“Own a Harness Horse for a Day” Promotion Winner Barry Shrum Wins First Race as Actual Owner

Woodstock resident Barry Shrum scored his first win ever as a harness horse owner — and trainer — Sunday at Shenandoah Downs when his 12-year-old pacer Pacific Stride came three wide in the final turn, passed four front steppers and cruised home to a 4 1/2 length win after being sent off at odds of 9-1. Fresh off a pair of third place finishes, driver Fern Paquet Jr. directed the son of Art Major to his 20th lifetime victory in 1:56 3/5. 

Barry & Robin Shrum celebrate their first win as standardbred owners. 

Barry is the second local “Own a Horse for a Day” contest winner to invest in ownership of an actual harness horse — and win! Barry’s friend Steve Wetzel, who often attended racing at the Shenandoah County Fair, won the same contest several years ago and is now a full-time harness horse owner, trainer and farm owner with a dozen head racing between the Woodstock oval and Rosecroft. 

Barry Shrum and Pacific Stride in the winner’s circle with Harness Horse Youth Foundation Day Campers (Quenton Egan photo)

Fans will have one more chance to enter the Virginia Harness Horse Association’s popular “Own a Horse” promotion on Kentucky Derby weekend – May 4 & 5. Eight contestants selected will return a week later on May 11 and will each own a horse in a pre-selected race. They will receive a lunch voucher, get to meet their horse & connections in the paddock before the race, and keep the share of purse money their horse earns in a $5,250 race. 

Terry Brock won big last weekend in the VHHA Own a Horse for a Day contest when Arthur Lisi’s Divoc won the pre-selected race. Terry won $2,625 — half of the $5,250 purse.

In other weekend action, David Jarvis’s Creekside Pete stayed undefeated at the Shenandoah spring meet, winning his third straight in the $8,000 co-featured conditioned trot Sunday with Corey Braden in the bike. The 8-year-old Uncle Peter gelding rose in class for the third straight time but maintained his recent wire-to-wire form with a 1:57 1/5 clocking. Stacey McLenaghan trains Creekside Pete, whose career bankroll surged to $294,406 with the win. Shantae Gant’s Vulcan Hanover, one of the winningest horses ever at Shenandoah Downs, took second in his spring debut while Darren Olsen’s Black Hope finished third.     


Corey Braden pilots Creekside Pete to his third straight win Sunday at Shenandoah Downs (Quenton Egan photo)

In the following race, Alexandra Goldin’s Marco Beach captured the co-featured $8,000 pace in 1:53 1/5 courtesy of a strong second half. The 8-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding powered from third to first after the half with Eric Davis in the sulky and crossed two lengths the best for his 25th lifetime score. Royal Rock Racing’s Colossal Stride A finished second and Cole Olsen’s One of the Guys took third.

Scott Woogen & Brenda Messenger’s KJ Hunter had a big 1:54 3/5 win in the Blue Ridge Pace prep April 20 and will now vie for a $25,000 purse on April 27 (Quenton Egan photo).

On Saturday, a four-pack of $6,000 prep divisions in the track’s Mountain Racing Series went to post. James Brown’s Ellen’s Wish and Pam Wagner’s K J Todd each scored in respective Alleghany Trot Mare and Horse/Gelding races while Charles Myers’ Hillbillyclassygirl and Scott Woogen & Brenda Messenger’s KJ Hunter crossed first in respective Blue Ridge Pace divisions. All four will return this Saturday April 27 and look to repeat when purses increase to $25,000 for the finals. This series is open to Virginia-Certified 4 and 5-year-olds who spent a minimum of six weeks at a registered Virginia farm before they turned two years of age.

Matt Lohr, Virginia’s Secretary of Agriculture & Forestry (second from left), spent the afternoon at Shenandoah Downs on Saturday (Quenton Egan photo)

United States Harness Drivers Club action picked up on Saturday with a trio of races. Jack McNeil prevailed with Dale Wicher’s KK’s Dream Girl, Brian Tomlinson won with Chuck Perry and Jason Fitzgerald’s Antaeus, and Stacey McLenaghan connected with John Wagner’s Ideal Perfection Ten. The meet-long series will continue on Saturday.

Shenandoah Downs offers free parking and free admission for on-track customers, and free Trackmaster past performance programs for all fans via its shenandoahdowns.com website. Free Tip Sheets from long time thoroughbred and harness handicapper Derby Bill Watson are available via the website as well. The Shenandoah simulcast signal is available to wager via all major streaming platforms and at many tracks and OTBs around the country.