Woodstock, VA — Shenandoah Downs will play host to eight divisional Virginia Breeders Championship races this Saturday (Oct. 3), with purses totaling $363,575. The eight will be run consecutively, kicking off a 16-race program which also features a pair of $7,000 Open Handicap Paces — one for colts and geldings and one for mares.
Nvrfearlloydishere, last year’s champion 2-year-old pacing colt, defends his title at the age of 3 against seven other sophomores in the $46,800 event. The Rusty’s All In gelding has 13 wins from 17 career starts, good for a $111,020 bankroll. The Arlene Cameron trainee wired the field in last Saturday’s elimination in 1:56.4. He swept the recent Maryland Sire Stakes at Ocean Downs, capturing both preps before ttaking the $45,000 final in 1:55.3. Eddie Davis Jr. will direct from the rail for owner Pam Wagner. Caviart Sage, third in last year’s freshman final, won the other elimination by a nose over K J Michael in 1:56.3.
William Fletcher’s Breeze Away B, who won the pacing filly title last year, captured her elimination on Saturday and brings a $51,061 bankroll into the $43,400 sophomore test. The Nuclear Breeze filly wired the field last week in 1:56. After sweeping both Maryland Sire Stakes preps at Ocean Downs last month, she broke stride in the final as a heavy favorite. Allan Davis will drive the pacer from post four in the five-horse field. Elimination runner-up Hillbilly Kisses is 4-for-8 this year and has the highest 2020 earnings of any in the field with $32,128.
The $46,200 3-year-old colt trot features a full field of eight, including a trio of Jane Dunavant entrants that are all by Dusty Winner: Chauffer, Air Time and Riddle Me This. The three are all trained by Carol Poliseno and the first two have accumulated six-figure bankrolls. Chauffer has $114,365 to his credit and Air Time, who wired the field in the elimination, has earned $119,849. Poliseno will drive the former and Art Stafford Jr. will pilot the latter.
Cate’s A Keeper was six-for-nine last year, including a Virginia Breeders title. She will be favored to repeat in the $43,800 finale for 3-year-old trotting fillies against a field that includes 2019 runner-up Two Itchy. Co-owned by Scott Woogen and Pam Wagner and trained by Arlene Cameron, the Lockkeeper filly finished in a dead heat with stablemate K J Deb in last week’s preliminary. She will leave from post four with Eddie Davis Jr. in the bike.
Two-year-old competition is highlighted by the $46,295 final for pacing colts. Caviart Farms’ Caviart Skipper won his prep last week by four lengths in 2:00.4. The Betting Line colt is trained by Marna Shehan and will be driven by Tyler Shehan. Elwood Tignor’s Whep broke stride in last week’s prep, but captured the $45,000 Maryland Final at Ocean Downs the week prior.
Pam Wagner’s Madisonsallin powered to an eight-length triumph in last week’s filly pace prep. Eddie Davis Jr. piloted the daughter of Rusty’s All In to a 1:59.3 clocking. She is trained by Arlene Cameron, who has three others in the $45,475 final.
Wagner and Cameron team up again in the $45,775 freshman colt trot with Trents A Lock, who has been impressive in his five starts. The Lockkeeper gelding has three wins and two second-place finishees, good for earnings of $35,463. He prevailed in last week’s elimination and in the Maryland Sire Stakes final Sept. 18. Tracy Bradshaw’s J Stihl finished second in the Shenandoah prep, just one length behind Trents A Lock.
Driver Montrell Teague will make his first appearance ever in Woodstock when he pilots John and Sarah Swart’s Pride Of Windswept in the $45,300 filly trot. The Charlie De Vie filly has three wins and a runner-up finish from four starts and has bankrolled $28,325. She most recently won the $45,000 Maryland Sire Stake final at Ocean Downs in 2:01.1. The Shaun Callahan trainee will depart from the rail. Arthur Hauser’s Ollie El was best in the Shenandoah prep a week ago.
Even though spectators are not allowed at the track this year due to COVID-19, live streaming is available at the Shenandoah Downs website.