by Darrell Wood, for Shenandoah Downs
Woodstock, VA — John’s Dream and Southwind Ferrari captured their respective $8,500 Open Pace and Open Trot contests this weekend at Shenandoah Downs as the Woodstock oval now heads into its final week of action. Various “Pink Power” events were held in conjunction with the harness cards including a silent auction to benefit the American Cancer Society.
John’s Dream, who holds the Shenandoah Downs track record of 1:52.1, wired the field in Sunday’s sixth race against four other foes. The 5-year-old Dream Away gelding authored fractions of :27.3, :56.4 and 1:25, and took a 1-1/2 length lead over Skyway Billy into the stretch.
Reinsman Chuck Perry, who also owns and trains John’s Dream, maintained that same cushion through the stretch and beat late closer Swagasaurusrex in a meet best 1:53. The victor had a blemish-free late summer/early fall Woodstock streak snapped last start when he finished a close fifth in the Open Handicap. He had won two straight at the Shenandoah County Fair meet followed by two at the current pari-mutuel stand.
Southwind Ferrari also wired the field in Saturday’s eighth race feature, but did not have the luxury of any distance between himself and the trailers turning for home. Owner/driver Scott Woogen directed his 4-year-old Chapter Seven gelding to panels of :28.4, :57.3 and 1:27.2 while John Wagner’s KZ Crazee moved from fourth to second at the third fraction in setting up a stretch duel. The two met stride for stride in the turn and battled to the finish where Southwind Ferrari nosed out the challenger in 1:57.1 via an inside route.
Earlier in the “Pink Power” Saturday card, Lori Stark guided Smithers to a come from behind victory over Betsy Brown’s Hot Rod Pete in a “Powder Puff” Ladies Driving Race. Brown’s pacer nearly wired the field, but Stark made up a two length deficit in the stretch and won by a neck. Sierra Graham, Jean Rastetter and Stacey McLenaghan also competed.
A special non-betting card will be held on Monday (Columbus Day) featuring eight Virginia Breeders prep races in the 2- and 3-year-old pacing and trotting divisions. Championship races in each division will close out the meet Sunday (Oct. 14) in another non-betting slate. The final programs with betting will be held Friday (Oct. 12) at 3 p.m. and Saturday (Oct. 13) at 2 p.m.