Driver Chuck Perry scored a natural hat trick on back to back days this weekend at Shenandoah Downs as the Woodstock, Virginia track ushered in its third pari-mutuel harness racing season.
The 53 year old Suffolk, Virginia resident had five wins on Saturday’s opening day card and another three on Sunday. The first hat trick included wins with 14-year-old B Blissful, track record holder John’s Dream and Yeahboyyeah, all in consecutive races. His second one featured victories aboard Fall Toy, former Virginia Breeder’s 2 year old colt/gelding champ Royal Red, and Blissful Artist. In all, Perry made eight weekend trips to the winners circle. His other triumphs were aboard undefeated Lemonaideshine, who is now 9-for-9, and Shez In Orbit. Half of those eight represented horses trained by Jimmy Viars while another two were Perry trainees. The others were conditioned by Henry Lewis and Renfrow Hauser.
Trainer Arlene Cameron had three wins on opening weekend including a dead heat where her pair finished together at the wire. Crystals Pistol and Craziville, driven respectively by Dr. Scott Woogen and Corey Braden, crossed together in 2:05.0 in a race named for Delegate Kathy Tran. The former won for the fourth time in eight races while the latter shattered a two year winless streak. Cameron’s other win came Saturday in the co-featured $7000 Open Handicap trot with Southwind Ferrari. The 4 year old, who is owned and driven by Woogen, won for the fourth time in his last five starts.
Trainers Amanda Jackson and Chris Shaw each had a pair of weekend triumphs. Jackson’s pair came in bookend fashion Sunday. Hillbillyheartache kicked off the card with a win and B A Rocket connected in the afternoon’s finale. Shaw had one each day, and he was in the sulky for both. His Sunny Day won for the third straight time Sunday and the best named horse of the weekend — Cinco De Drinko — won for the first time in 29 career starts Saturday.
“Historically, entries for the first week of Virginia racing are light and this week was no exception,” said Shenandoah Downs Director of Racing Dee Lineweaver. “We are awaiting the arrival of horsemen from the Red Mile, Tioga Downs and Running Aces. Everything for opening weekend though fell into place. The support of the horsemen was great. They filled the entry box and moved horses around to help us kick off the season. The racing was very competitive,”
Shenandoah Downs will continue racing every Saturday and Sunday thru October 14th with first post at 2 PM. A special non-netting card featuring Virginia Breeder’s prep races will be held on Monday October 8th, and an “After-Work” program with wagering will be held Friday October 12th at 3 PM. Fans can bet the action on track and at the four Virginia Bets OTBs in Richmond, Henrico, Chesapeake and Martinsville. Races are streamed live at www.shenandoahdowns.com.