A second round of Virginia Breeder’s Fund preliminary races in the 3-year-old trotting and pacing categories took place at Shenandoah Downs October 7 & 8 in advance of the $650,000 “Day of Champions” card scheduled to close out the fall meet on Sunday October 29.
James Brown’s Terrys Watching and Tracy Bradshaw’s Joan Deer captured respective male and female trot divisions in very different fashion Saturday. The former wired the six-horse field rather easily in 2:01.0, crossing 2¼ lengths ahead of Providence West Inc.’s Royal Mistake though the winner carried six and seven length cushions through most of the mile. Trainer Betsy Brown piloted the Charlie De Vie gelding in her 508th career driving victory. Tyler Shehan’s Cantab Speed took third.
Cory Braden on the other hand led Joan Deer to a thrilling neck win over Jane Dunavant and Thomas Davis’s Starlight Lounge after settling into a pocket journey the second half of the mile. Bradshaw’s Uncle Peter filly started from outside post five and trailed through the first two markers before finding a spot right behind Starlight Lounge. The winner crossed in 2:06 3/5 to earn her second win of the year. Graham Grace Stables’ Quarantine Crisis was third.
Three preliminary divisions took place in the sophomore pacing categories — two in the male preps which were won by Pamela Wagner’s Center Of It All and Lawrence and Derrick Cooper’s Caviart Stoney, and one in the female counterpart which was captured by Wagner’s Lloyds Loves.
Center Of It All rebounded from a break in the prior week’s prep to wire the six-horse field by a neck in 1:56 3/5 with John Wagner in the sulky. The Rusty’s All In gelding entered Sunday action with a career bankroll of $109,360, highest of any in the race. Jimmy Viars’ Miraclepowerfull took a solid second in a tight finish while Michael Viars and Pamela Horton’s Artzinasknight took third.
Caviart Stoney’s finishing time of 1:56 4/5 was a tick off the first division winner’s time and he as well wired the field with Billy Carter in the bike. The Captaintreacherous gelding is now 3-for-3 at Woodstock this fall. The Lawrence Cooper trainee captured the first Breeder’s prep in 1:56 2/5 which followed a conditioned score a week earlier in the same 1:56 2/5 clocking. Charles Myers’ Hillbillypacinhill finished second and Caviart Farms’ Caviart Callum was third.
High money earner Lloyd’s Loves was three lengths the best in the 3-year-old filly pace, a week after finishing second to Hillbilyclassygirl — who was third in Sunday’s test. The winner, a son of Rusty’s All In, was guided by Fern Paquet Jr. for trainer John Wagner. Paquet positioned his pacer in third through much of the mile, came outside and got to within a head of front stepping Caviart Sabrina at the top of the lane, then surged forward en route to a healthy victory. Pamela Wagner’s Morgans All In was runner-up.
Virginia Breeders’ 2-year-old competition is up next with back-to-back weekends of prep activity.