$702,200 Champions Day Card Set for Sunday October 29 at 1 PM
The final round of Virginia Breeder’s Prep race action took place over the weekend and after four weeks of competition, all systems are a go for Sunday’s (Oct. 29) $702,200 Champions Day card featuring eight title matches between 2 and 3-year-old pacers and trotters of both sexes. Several Breeders races for aged horses will also be contested with $20,000 purses in each.
Pam Wagner’s Covid For Real and Petes For Real swept both $8,000 pacing preps for 2-year-olds on Sunday. The former won her second career race in the filly pace where she left a pocket journey just before the half and eased past one of Wagner’s other two entrants, Charlottes Choice. The Rustys For Real filly maintained a one length cushion the rest of the way and held off Caviart Farms’ Caviart Sanibel just before the wire. The winner, trained by John Wagner and driven by Corey Braden, crossed in 2:00 4/5.
Wagner’s Petes For Real finished a full second faster in the colt/gelding pace and crossed 1-1/4 lengths the best in 1:59 4/5. The John Wagner trainee captured his initial Breeder’s prep a week earlier in 1:59 1/5. On Sunday — with Fern Paquet Jr. in the bike — Petes authored an identical trip to his prior one. In both, Tracy Bradshaw’s Bgoing Away led the field through mid-stretch until the Rustys For Real colt came from behind and surged past for the win. Bgoing Away took second, and Wagner’s Cloggs For Real was third.
The 2-year-old colt/gelding trot prep was held Saturday and 80-1 shot Pretty Two upset the 8-horse field with a 1-3/4 length triumph in 2:02 1/5. The Dusty Winner gelding, a homebred of Jane Dunavant’s, broke stride in his first prep a week earlier and was overlooked by the betting public. Trainer Carlo Poliseno piloted the winner to his first score in four career starts. 1-9 betting choice K J Dash went off stride making a move from fourth approaching the final turn but rebounded with a :29 1/5 closing panel to finish third. Robert Allison Jr.’s Meantrottinmachine was second.
A pair of $8,000 filly trot eliminations followed. Nanticoke Racing Inc. and Delbert Cain’s Platinum Proposal prevailed in the first by a comfortable four lengths in 2:05.0. The daughter of E L Platinum made up for a break in her initial prep with a solid performance courtesy of driver Jim Morand who won his first race ever at Shenandoah Downs. After surging past front stepper and eventual third place finisher Ida Muscles at the half, the Les Givens trainee coasted home for her first lifetime score. Scott Woogen’s KJ Angel was second.
The afternoon finale pitted first leg winners Chinco Mayo (Robert White) and Rip Away (Jane Dunavant) against each other and the rematch did not disappoint. A nose separated the pair at the wire as White’s E L Platinum filly crossed in 2:05 1/5 after a thrilling stretch duel. Both trotters broke during the mile — Chinco Mayo at the third marker and Rip Away just after the start. Robert White piloted his filly while Cody Poliseno drove the runner-up. Arthur Lisi’s Divoc finished third.
Post time for Sunday’s (Oct. 29) Virginia showcase day is 1:00 PM. Admission is free and concession specials include $1 hot dogs and $2 canned beer. The Champions card is available for wagering via all major ADWs and tracks/OTBs. Free Trackmaster programs and Derby Bill Watson’s tip sheet will be available at shenandoahdowns.com.
(Photos courtesy of Quenton Egan)