Woodstock, VA — Shenandoah Downs kicked off a new era of racing in Woodstock, Va., this past weekend, video streaming its racing feed to major advance deposit wagering (ADW) outlets for the first time ever.
Race fans who have accounts with TVG, Xpressbet, TwinSpires and NYRAbets were able to wager on all the weekend action in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, and will be able to throughout the eight-week meet, which continues through Nov. 6.
The track opened Friday (Sept. 16) with an eight-race card and followed Saturday (Sept. 17) with an 11-race program which featured a $10,000 Open Trot and three consecutive pacing events which finished in 1:55 or faster.
Fans, on-track and online, saw Todd Warren guide 9-year-old Muscle Hill gelding Jack Vernon, a trotter he co-owns with Lester Peters and Richard Tomei, take over the lead from Creekside Pete at the half in the feature, then maintain a 1-3/4-length cushion all the way to the finish. Jack Vernon crossed in 1:57.1 and won for the seventh time this year.
The first of those three consecutive paces kicked off when track record holder John’s Dream initially won an $8,000 conditioned pace in 1:54.3, but the 9-year-old Dream Away gelding was placed second for causing interference to runner-up Art Nukem, who was awarded the victory in 1:55. The winner is driven and owned by Corey Braden, and is trained by Stacey McLenaghan.
Archie Buford piloted Benjamin Patrick’s Crius N Rock to a win next in a $5,250 conditioned pace in 1:54.4. The 6-year-old Rock n Roll Heaven gelding won earlier this year in 1:54 at Oak Grove. Buford is competing at Shenandoah for the first time ever. The 35-year-old driver-trainer scored earlier in Saturday’s card with Ideal Big Guy.
The third speedy mile was authored by reinsman Fern Paquet Jr. in a $7,000 conditioned pace aboard William Dagget Jr. and Lawrence Vukovic’s McNeil Z Tam in 1:54.2. The 5-year-old son of Sweet Lou, who triggered a 1:51.4 effort at Pocono last year, won for the first time this year for trainer Jennifer Sansone.
Shenandoah Downs kicks off its second week of fall racing with a 10-race card on Friday (Sept. 23) at 4 p.m. Happy hour specials include $2 draft beers and $1 hot dogs. Saturday’s (Sept. 24) card starts at 1 p.m., and the first 400 fans receive a free commemorative baseball cap.