Chuck Perry’s John’s Dream — the Shenandoah Downs track record holder — made his first appearance at this year’s four-day Shenandoah County Fair count in a big way by capturing Friday’s “winners over” pacing event by six lengths in a meet best 1:55 3/5. His “Downs” mark of 1:52 1/5 was authored in 2016 and still stands.
The 10-year-old Dream Away gelding came in fresh off a 1:56 4/5 come from behind win at Ocean Downs August 13 where he surged three wide at three-quarters to win by one length. On Friday, John’s Dream came first over at the half in a field of five, powered past Holy Moment and Sure R Lookin Good and crossed six lengths the best in the Earl Lee and Terry Lee Kibler Memorial. Perry, who drives and trains as well, directed the pacer to his 44th career win and pushed his purse earnings to $352,765.
With one race day remaining, Billy Carter leads all drivers with eight wins — three of which came Friday aboard Bluebird Ina, Benevolence and Wild Irish Rose. The trio each collected their second wins of the week. Carter trains the first two while Leon Harris conditions the latter one.
Saturday’s 7-race closing day program begins at 12 Noon. Two lucky fans will win a chance to “Own a horse for a day” courtesy of the Virginia Harness Horse Association. The pair selected will return with six other winners on September 17 and randomly pick a horse in a pre-selected race. All eight will meet their horse and connections in the paddock, enjoy complimentary lunch and keep the share of a $5,250 purse that their horse earns. The winning “owner” will win $2,625. More details are available at shenandoahdowns.com.