Monthly Archives: October 2023

70 Years of Equine Excellence; The Powhatan Plantation in King George, VA

The Powhatan Plantation in King George, Virginia is not unique in the fact that they have horses enrolled in the Virginia Certified program, it is unique because it is one of the only farms in the Commonwealth that is involved in raising both standardbred and thoroughbred race horses. 

The historic barn at the Powhatan Plantation

The facility was initially constructed in 1829 by Edward Thorton Tayloe and was a major agricultural centre trading with English ships coming in on the Rappahannock River. The current operation was started by present owner Achille Guest’s father Raymond Guest, after he purchased the facility in 1952. 

Raymond bred and raised thoroughbreds, some of which were well renowned race horses, not just here in the States, but overseas in Ireland, France, and England as well. Raymond was the United States Ambassador to Ireland from 1965 – 1968, He was always passionate about horses. He played polo,  hunted, and rode; he was a true horseman. He is one of only three owners to win both the Epsom Derby and the Grand National. Some of his most iconic horses included Sir Ivor, the winner of the 1968, 2000 Guineas Derby in New Market, and Larkspur, winner of the 1962 Epsom Derby. 

Photo of Raymond Guest holding Sir Ivor at Claiborne Farm in 1981

He was voted in as President of the Viriginia Thoroughbred Association in 1958. His most accomplished horse in the States was Tom Rolfe, the winner of the 1965 Preakness Stakes whose accomplishments led him to win American Champion 3-year-old Male Horse honors. Guest also dabbled in steeplechasers, the most impressive of which was I’Escargot a U.S. Racing Hall of Fame member who was awarded 1969 U.S. Steeplechase Horse of the Year. After receiving the award, he shipped across the Atlantic to England where he won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in back-to-back years (1970-1971). There is a history of greatness at the Powhatan Plantation. 

Dozens of polo horses call Powhatan home in the offseason

The farm started with Polo horses, Raymond played Polo and began keeping the horses on the property in the off-season. Typically, the horses played a summer season in New York and then returned to Virginia to rest for the off-season before returning to Florida for the Winter. To this day they continue to house polo horses in the off-season.

Raymond Guess was the United States ambassador to Ireland from 1965- 1968

When the Virginia Certified program started, Raymond’s son Achille was seeking to diversify the cattle business that dominated his interests. In 2019,  they brought in their first bunch of standardbred race horses, these horses were owned by Virginia Harness Horse Association President Dr. Scott Woogen. He remains the primary owner of the standardbreds on the property. The farm is currently on their fifth group of standardbreds. 

Both standardbreds and thoroughbreds enjoy the lush pastures of Powhatan

Farm Manager Gena Nelson has been at Powhatan since 2018 when the farm was focused on cattle. She delighted in the arrival of the horses and said“ I’ve always loved racehorses and thoroughbreds; I love polo horses as well. But working with the standardbreds is a little different. They are some really smart, intelligent, and levelheaded horses. So, a lot of times they’re not handled as much as the thoroughbreds are, but they seem to settle in quicker once they understand.” She knows the difference in the breeds is significant but is comfortable managing both. “The one thing about taking care of animals is that they can’t tell you what they need. And if there’s one gift that I’ve been given, it’s the sense of just understanding, okay, they need this or they want that, or this is what’s necessary. And that’s just not something that I necessarily have been taught. It’s just something that I’ve learned with experience.”

Farm Manager Gina Nelson

The first group of thoroughbred race horses showed up to Powahattan last December, the first group consisted of 4 colts and 3 fillies. Unlike the standardbreds who usually arrive as two-year olds, the thoroughbreds were primarily yearlings. With the farm’s rich history Achille has always wanted to return to the thoroughbred roots of the farm and continue his father’s legacy. 

Some of the standardbreds they helped develop can be found racing for Sharon Robert’s local farm in Maryland, or right here in Virginia where Dr. Scott Woogen races his horses from Powhatan every Saturday and Sunday during the Spring and Fall at Shenandoah Downs. 

The facilities at Powhatan include over 1000 acres

When asked about his experience with Powhatan, Dr. Woogen said “I like it because they have 1000 acres, good pastures, good fences, and good people working with the horses. They handle them so, when it’s time to be broken, they are ready.” Dr. Woogen also noted that KJ Dash, the 2-year-old Maryland Champion who has won over $100,000 for him this year, was trained and broken at Powhatan Plantation last year.

Veteran Timber Star Schoodic Returns in Grand Fashion to the VA Fall Races in Middleburg

Originally posted on on October 19, Written by Tod Marks

At the Virginia Fall Races in Middleburg, the rain stopped long enough to complete the entire eight-race card, highlighted by the return of veteran timber star Schoodic in the $50,000 National Sporting Library & Museum Cup at 3 ¼ miles. In a fight to the finish, Dolly Fisher’s 13-year-old son of Tiznow fought off recent stakes winner and defending Cup winner Cracker Factory, to win by 1 ¾ lengths.

With the victory, Schoodic, ridden by Graham Watters for trainer Jack Fisher, went over the half-million-dollar mark in earnings in a remarkable 51-race career that began in 2012.

The scene at the 2023 VA Fall Races

On the sidelines for 17 months, Schoodic returned to the races two weeks ago at Shawan Downs to finish a hard charging second, in a timber allowance. The gelding has been a model of consistency, not only winning multiple stakes over hurdles and timber, but finishing in the top three 32 times, including in Grade 1 competition.

Here’s how the rest of the card played out:

The Stewart’s stand overlooking the course

Press Pause goes fast forward in maiden hurdle

Rolling Tide’s Press Pause, a French-bred five-year-old, led from start to finish in the $30,000 Theodora A. Randolph Cup maiden hurdle at 2 1/8 miles, the distance of all of the hurdle races at Glenwood Park.

Trained by Doug Fout for owner Allie Lawaetz, Press Pause, under Harry Beswick, broke swiftly in the nine-horse field, and extended his lead at every call, drawing off easily by 16 lengths at the wire. The win came in Press Pause’s fifth career start. He began his career at the Carolina Cup Races in April and finished in the top three in four of his five outings. Northwood Stable’s Look North (Graham Watters) was second. Armata Stable’s Imperial Assassin was third.

Press Pause ridden by Harry Beswick with the Winning Connections

Kiyomori comes from behind to break maiden in exciting finish

Greg Hawkins’ NY-bred four-year-old gave leading 2023 rider Harry Beswick back-to-back wins. The race began with Kiyomori stalking the pacesetter, Gary Barber’s Finding Freedom, in the $30,000 Virginia Equine Alliance maiden hurdle.

The gelding, in the hands of new trainer Todd Wyatt, fell back to fifth, then launched his bid heading toward the final fence. Kiyomori still trailed Michael Smith’s Foxy Walk (Mikey Hamill), who raced close to the lead throughout, and South Branch Equine’s I Can Only Imagine (Jamie Bargary), as the last hurdle loomed. Turning into the stretch after the long downhill run, Kiyomori narrowed the gap and closed with a flourish to get up at the wire by three-quarters of a length. Foxy Walk was second in his career debut, with I Can Only Imagine, third.

Kiyomori breaking his maiden, ridden by Harry Beswick; Photo by Tod Marks

Eye of Gunfighter gives Larry Smith milestone win

Trainer Larry Smith earned his 300th career victory – on the flat and over jumps – when Hickory Made Stables and Celtic Venture Stable’s Eye of Gunfighter captured the $30,000 Magalen O. Bryant ratings handicap.

With Gerard Galligan aboard, the six-year-old Pennsylvania-bred tracked the leader, Flying Elvis Stable’s Vincent Van Gogo, in second the first time around the course, took charge on the final lap, and held off Bruton Street-US’ South Mountain (Jamie Bargary) by 1 3/4 lengths. Gill Johnston’s Ping Pong Champ (Graham Watters) was third.

The victory was the second in a row for Eye of Gunfighter, who took a maiden claimer at Foxfield on Oct. 1.

Eye of Gun Fighter ridden by Gerard Galligan, gives trainer Larry Smith 300th win; Photo by Tod Marks

“General” takes no prisoners in $20,000 maiden starter hurdle

Making his first start over jumps after 11 tries (and three victories) on the flat, Sycamore Run Farm’s Union Gen. George made his move the second time around the course under Parker Hendriks, took the lead in a cavalry charge over the final fence, and was in an all-out drive to score by a neck over Maranto Manor’s Auction Kingdom in a race for runners who had previously started for a claiming tag of $20,000 or less.

Kathy Neilson trained the winner, a five-year-old son on Union Rags. The second and third-place finishers are also newcomers to steeplechase racing. Auction Kingdom, a son of Animal Kingdom trained by Neil Morris and ridden by Graham Watters, began his career over the summer at Colonial Downs. He finished two lengths ahead of South Branch Equine’s Casamo, who made his NSA debut at Shawan Downs two weeks ago.

Union Gen. George ridden by Parker Hendriks leaping a fence ahead of the competition; Photo by Tod Marks

Sheppard-bred Lap of the Gods gives Hendriks his first training victory

On a week that a memorial was held in honor of training legend Jonathan Sheppard, a horse that the late Hall of Fame conditioner bred made his first trip to the winner’s circle after three years and a dozen starts.

Owned by Stewart Strawbridge, whose father, George, teamed up with Sheppard to campaign several champions and multiple stakes winners, Lap of the Gods was third at the final fence and made up ground in the stretch to get up in time to defeat Bon Nouvel Chasers Ya Boy Ya by a length in the $20,000 James P. McCormick maiden timber.

The winner, a six-year-old Pennsylvania-bred son of Temple City, was trained and ridden by leading 2022 jockey Parker Hendriks. It was Hendriks’ first victory as a conditioner.

Ya Boy Ya, ridden by Gerard Galligan and making his first start in two years, was second best, 11 lengths ahead of Keystone Thoroughbreds’ Hard Strike.

Lap of the Gods ridden by his trainer Parker Hendriks; Photo by Tod Marks

Fashion Line makes statement in $25,000 steeplethon

Armata Stable’s Fashion Line, a seven-year-old son of Morning Line, made it three wins in six 2023 outings with a come-from-behind victory in the Kinross Steeplethon over mixed obstacles.

Ridden by Gerard Galligan, Fashion Line gave trainer Kathy Neilson her second score on the card, uncorking a late burst after the natural brush final fence to catch the leader, Leipers Fork Steeplechasers Court Ruler (Harry Beswick). The winning margin was 1 3/4 lengths. Sheila Fisher and Northwoods Stable’s Storm Team was another three-quarters of a length behind in third.

Fashion Line ridden by Gerard Galligan, with the winning connections after the $25,00 Steeplethon; Photo by Tod Marks

Scanno takes training flat finale

After 25 starts on the flat from Gulfstream Park in Florida to Woodbine in Canada, S. Rebecca Shepherd’s Scanno made his NSA debut a winning one on the flat at 1 1/4 miles.

With Taylor Kingsley riding for trainer Liam Bourke, the six-year-old son of Bernardini dueled Elizabeth McCue’s Prince Khozan, with Gretchen Eisenberg aboard, for most of the going. Heading downhill toward the stretch, Scanno – a winner of nearly a quarter-million-dollars in his flat career — took the lead and coasted to the wire 2 3/4 lengths ahead of late-closing Clifton Down (Mikey Hamill), an Irish-bred and France-raced three-year-old making his NSA debut for Runnymoore Racing and Leslie Young.

For Scanno, the race was a prep for next weekend’s $100,000 John Forbes Memorial flat stakes at Far Hills. For Liam Bourke, who works alongside his dad, trainer David Bourke, it was the first victory under the younger Bourke’s name.

Scanno ridden by Taylor Kinglsey, getting walked by trainer Liam Bourke’s father, David Bourke; Photo by Tod Marks

Preview of Middleburg Fall Races at Glenwood Park

Originally posted on on October 13, Written by Tod Marks

Eight races have been carded for the 69th Virginia Fall Races at Glenwood Park in Middleburg. First run in 1955, the meet carries $205,000 in purses for a mix of timber and hurdle races.

Anchoring the program is the $50,000 National Sporting Library & Museum Cup stakes at 3 ¼ miles. The race has gotten a purse bump of $20,000 over last year.

A field of seven is expected, including The Hundred Acre Field’s Cracker Factory, who captured the race last fall for trainer Mark Beecher. The eight-year-old is coming off a come-from-behind victory in the Brown Advisory stakes over Elusive Exclusive and champion Andi’amu at Shawan Downs two weeks ago.

The wildcard in the race is Dolly Fisher’s venerable star Schoodic, trained by her son, Hall of Fame conditioner Jack Fisher. The 13-year-old, a multiple stakes winner of nearly half-million-dollars over hurdles and timber, returned recently after 17 months on the sidelines to run a hard-charging second, beaten 2 ½ lengths by Chosen Mate in an allowance race at Shawan Downs. A model of consistency over his 11 years on the track, Schoodic has 13 top-three finishes in 15 starts since April 2019.

Leslie Young, sends out Leipers Fork Steeplechasers’ Tomgarrow, the 2021 timber champ. Tomgarrow began 2023 with a win in the My Lady’s Manor stakes, and had won four of his previous five outings coming into the Virginia Gold Cup in May, where he fell.

Fat Chance Farm’s Flaming Sword, trained by Richard Valentine, was second in the Willowdale Steeplechase, and set the pace for 2 miles in the Brown Advisory at Shawan before tiring to finish last. Valentine also saddles Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Hafajay, who makes his first start in more than two years. The lightly raced British-bred 10-year-old broke his maiden over timber at Winterthur in 2021.

Upland Partners’ Shootist, trained by Todd McKenna, makes his first appearance at Middleburg. The nine-year-old son of Smart Strike is stakes placed over timber. He was third in the Maryland Grand National and competitive in the four-mile Maryland Hunt Cup before tiring and being pulled up at the 18th fence.

Rounding out the field is Stooshie, a winner of two of his past four starts for leading owner Irv Naylor and trainer Cyril Murphy. The 10-year-old broke his maiden at the Virginia Fall Races in 2022 and outfought multiple stakes winner Storm Team in an allowance event at the Old Dominion Hounds meet in April. He lost his rider in his only other start this year, in the Steeplethon stakes at Great Meadow.

Glenwood Park in Middleburg plays host to a card of steeplechase racing once each spring and fall.

Besides the timber stake, the card consists of two $30,000 maiden special weight hurdles; a $30,000 handicap for horses rated at 115 or less; a $20,000 maiden starter allowance for horses who have run for a claiming tag of $20,000 or less; a $20,000 maiden contest over timber; a $25,000 steeplethon over mixed obstacles; and a training flat finale. Post time is 12:30 p.m.

For complete entries, click here:

You can watch all of Saturday’s races via live stream from the link on the NSA homepage, The stream is sponsored by Brown Advisory.

2023 Virginia Gold Cup

Join us at the
International Gold Cup

Saturday, October 28 • 11 am

Great Meadow Race Course, The Plains, Virginia

The VTA and VAHBPA invite you to join your friends and fellow horsemen for the International Gold Cup in the Horseman’s Tent* on Members Hill.

Food Service Opens at Noon • Cash-only Bar Available

Tickets are $50/person, available to VTA and VAHPBA members. Up to FOUR tickets for the Members Hill passes, lunch, and up to TWO parking passes may be purchased. Each registered guest will receive a $50 cash/betting voucher upon arrival at the tent.

Please register by Monday, October 16, 2023.

For more information contact Christy Jenkins at

*The Owners Tent and VTA Tent are combined again. Owners who have a horse(s) entered that day will receive credentials from the Gold Cup office for free admission to the tent.

Trainer Leslie Young’s Hat Trick Highlights Opening Weekend of VA Fall Steeplechase Races

The first weekend of the National Steeplechase Association fall season was a blockbuster for Leslie Young, who padded her lead in the training standings, while Freddie Procter zoomed into the top three among riders.

With a hat trick at both Shawan Downs in Cockeyesville, Md., and at Foxfield in Charlottesville, Va.,Young has amassed 27 victories with nine meets to go on the calendar. Five of those wins came over hurdles. Last season, Young won her first training title, with 37 wins, and you’d have to go back to the late Hall of Famer Jonathan Sheppard in 1988 to find a trainer who won more races than that (39). Jack Fisher is currently second in the standings, with 13 wins.

Procter, who rang up 19 victories and 33 top-three finishes in 51 starts in his first year on the circuit, hasn’t ridden as much this year, but he’s made the most of his opportunities. His four weekend victories give him a total of nine in 22 starts, which moves him up to third, three behind Harry Beswick and two behind Graham Watters, and tied with Barry Foley (who is out with an injury).

Images of the scene the morning of the races, photo by Camden Littleton

Here is a recap of the Action at the Foxfield Hunt Races

Eye of Gunfighter wins shootout in maiden claimer

Virginia Korrell, who had a winner on the final race on Saturday at Shawan Downs, picked up where she left off on Sunday, piloting Hickory Made Stables and Celtic Venture Stable’s’ Eye of Gunfighter to a front-running score over eight rivals in a $15,000 maiden claiming hurdle at 2 ⅛ miles.

Sprinting to the lead at the flag drop, the six-year-old Pennsylvania-bred, trained by Larry Smith, led by as much as five lengths and repelled challenges at one time or another from Tom Rice’s Secret Soulmate, Runnymoore Racing’s Codigo, and a late surge by Vivian Rall’s Icandothat, who finished second, under rider/trainer Sean McDermott, beaten two lengths. Louisa Stevens and Achsah O’Donovan’s Greylover (Jamie Bargary) was third.

In his lengthy, 54-race career, Eye of Gunfighter has seesawed between flat and jump racing. This was his first victory over hurdles.

20k Maiden Claiming Hurdle Winner Eye of Gunfighter, ridden by Virginia Korrell, photo by Douglas Lees

The Hero Next Door makes heroic return

Michael Smith’s The Hero Next Door, a budding star en route to victory when he fell at the final fence in the Green Pastures novice stakes at the Iroquois Races in May, made his first start since his mishap in the second at Foxfield, a training flat race.

Ridden by Mikey Hamill for trainer Leslie Young, The Hero Next Door was content to sit in second in the field of 11 going 1 1/4 miles, as Shannon Hill Farm’s Sliabh Aughty, with Tom Garner, exploded to a huge lead and nursed his advantage until running out of gas near the final turn. At that point, The Hero Next Door snatched the lead and prevailed in a hand ride by 2 ½ lengths over Sonny Via’s late-closing Welshman (Graham Watters). Leipers Fork Steeplechasers’ Fast Vision was third.

The victory by The Hero Next Door sets the Irish-bred four-year-old up for the fall’s big races to come, notably steeplechasing’s championship day at Far Hills on Oct. 21. The lightly raced gelding had won his first two starts impressively and had a clear lead in the Green Pastures when he fell.

The Hero Next Door, ridden by Mikey Hamill, photo by Tiffany Dillon Keen

Afraid Not takes $30,000 filly & mare maiden

Bonnie Rye Stable’s Afraid Not, another runner who has alternated between flat and jump racing, defeated nine foes by 3 ¼ lengths in the maiden special weights hurdle for fillies and mares at 2 ⅛ miles.

Breaking alertly under Gerard Galligan, the Julie Gomena-trainee set the pace as Atlantic Friends Racing’s Lacey Underall and Mell Boucher stalked in second. But with two fences to go, the field bunched up and fanned across the course, and it looked like any one of the eight runners had a legitimate shot. Heading to the final fence, Buttonwood Farm’s Lady’s Game (Tom Garner) made her move on the outside, but Afraid Not had plenty left and actually drew off powerfully in the final furlong. Lacey Underall fought back to finish second, with Lady’s Game 4 ½ lengths behind in third.

Afraid Not jumping over a gate in her win of the 3rd race, ridden by Gerard Galligan, photo by Douglas Lees

Newcomer Garrison Forest takes down nine foes in $30,000 maiden hurdle

The third time proved a charm for Leipers Fork Steeplechasers’ Garrison Forest. The four-year-old Irish-bred, who began his career with two previous unplaced starts over the summer at Colonial Downs, benefitted from those experiences with a come-from-behind victory in the fourth race, another maiden special weights event at 2 1/8 miles.

With Freddie Procter riding for Leslie Young, the Walk in the Park Gelding broke in midpack, rallied on the outside from seventh after the ninth fence to pass the frontrunners, Northwoods Stable’s Look North, with Jamie Bargary, and Gill Johnston’s Active Duty (Tom Garner). Active Duty was tough as nails and dug in, until Garrison Forest drew clear by a length and a half in the final strides. Look North was four lengths behind Active Duty in third.

Garrison Forrest, ridden by Freddie Proctor, in their win of the 30K VEA Maiden Hurdle, photo by Douglas Lees

Arrowheart makes it back-to-back wins with $25,000 handicap score

Starting slowly and waiting patiently to strike, Charlie Fenwick’s Arrowheart took charge after the first mile and didn’t look back, drawing off by nearly 10 lengths in a handicap for horses rated at 110 or less at 2 ¼ miles.

The five-year-old New York-bred Hard Spun Gelding, a veteran of a dozen starts on the NYRA circuit, entered the race off of a layoff of nearly 11 months. In his previous start, he captured a maiden claiming hurdle at the Montpelier Hunt Races.

The win was also the second straight on the card for both trainer Leslie Young and jockey Freddie Procter.

Content to sit in midpack as Ann Jackson’s Left Blank and Elizabeth Scully set the early pace, Arrowheart assumed control with two fences to go, widening his lead with every stride. Buttonwood Farm’s Baltimore Kid, ridden by Stephen Mulqueen, came within striking distance with a quarter mile to go, but faded. After a poor start, Paul and Molly Willis’ New Appointment rallied to finish third under Mell Boucher.

Arrowheart in the Winner’s Circle with the winning connections after the 5th race, photo by Douglas Lees

Who’s Counting an easy winner in $35,000 handicap

In a third win on the day for horses who have concurrently competed on the flat and over jumps, South Branch Equine’s Who’s Counting pounced on Genet Racing’s Wicked West after the second to last fence, cut the corner on the far inside and spurted clear to take the finale at Foxfield, a 120 handicap at 2 ¼ miles, by 6 ¾ lengths.

Trained and ridden by Sean McDermott, the five-year-old Maryland-bred won for the first time since consecutive victories at Colonial Downs in 2022, a starter allowance on the flat over turf, and a handicap over fences.

When Wicked West (ridden by Tom Garner) weakened in the late going, Bruton Street-US’ Presence of Mind (Jamie Bargary) launched his bid from sixth at the10th fence and appeared as if he’d be in the thick of things but was unable to gain ground on the winner. William Russell’s Animal Kingston (Graham Watters) was third.

Who’s Counting cooling off after his win of the 6th race on the card, ridden by Sean McDermott, photo by Douglas Lees
Farmington Hunt, photo by Douglas Lees
Jockeys having a meeting pre-race, photo by Camden Littleton
The Farmington Hunt Club’s Beagles are always a hit, photo by Douglas Lees

American Cancer Society Big Winner at Shenandoah Saturday

Originally Posted on on October 1, 2023, Written by John Berry, For the United States Harness Drivers Club.

Shenandoah, VA – Shenandoah Downs Racing Secretary Dee Lineweaver carded 15 races on their Saturday afternoon (Sept. 30) racing program; 14 pari-mutuel events and one race to find a cure for cancer as quickly as possible.

First, the track played host to the “Pink Power” fundraiser putting the spotlight on breast cancer awareness benefitting the American Cancer Society’s Harrisonburg, VA chapter.

Cancer Survivors Participated in a Special 2-Seater Sulky Race

That event featured five of the top female drivers and as medicine looks for a “theorem”—a formula for something that is needed to be proven—the event went to the aptly named “Theorem” (Southwind Frank) wiring the competition for Veronica Merton.

The 5-year-old was perfectly rated as the 1-5 tote-board choice and was never threatened in scoring the 2:01.4 win over Triple T Swinger, handled by Devan Miller, and Tungsten Tim, with Sierra Seidner driving. Stacey McLenaghan and Betsy Brown were next with their respective charges.

After that event, Stacey McLenaghan (fourth in the event) lamented, “The real winner of that race was the American Cancer Society and we just hope our ‘Pink Power’ event can continue to put a dent and find a cure for a very difficult disease. It’s about ‘time’ to find a method of prevention and a cure was found.

Winners from the “Outrageous” category in the fancy hat competition

“I’m hoping I can win one for our ‘pink power’ ladies in one of the USHDC events coming up.”

For Theorem, it was his fourth win of the year in 13 starts and 12th success lifetime. For Veronica Merton, who has 239 training successes, it was her 27th career driving win.

Theorem is trained by Michael Whitaker for Shantae Gant.

The track then teamed up with the United States Harness Drivers Club to conquer that most important race of the afternoon—a cure for cancer—and representatives from the American Cancer Society were at the track for an initial $1,000 donation presentation.

Racing Secretary Dee Lineweaver was on hand for the festivities, as was Dein Spriggs, president of the USHDC and several Club members for the generous donation.

The amateur racing was, again, outstanding with driver Scott Woogen repeating his feat of last week with yet another driving double.

An image of the scene for the special “survivor” races

The good doctor kicked off the festivities by guiding the 10-year-old gelding KJ Erich (Roll With Joe) to an upset victory—$59.40—in the first of four events for the USHDC.

The warhorse overcame a difficult journey from the outside eight post and survived being roughed up early while double-bubbled through an opener in :28.3 and then got into yet another skirmish the final 5/16ths to bully his way to a win measuring a half length in 1:58.

The pacesetter, Hoosier Shark fought valiantly and finished second for John McNeil III while Cruise Control, driven by Adrian Wisher, Jr. finished third.

Woogen also owns KJ Erich while Oscar Johnson, Jr. trains.

Stacey McLenaghan, indeed, fulfilled her hopes in the next amateur event and she meant business from the first stride to the last with the 5-year-old pacer Hulou (Sweet Lou).

Zipping off the wings with alacrity, Hulou had daylight measuring a dozen lengths through an opener in :27.2 and had even more daylight—15 lengths—at the half in :55.1 before coasting the rest of the way to win by 12-1/2 lengths in 1:56.4.

All of the Female drivers who competed in the “Powder Puff” Derby, Pictured with Racing Secretary Dee Lineweaver

Windemere Frank, with Dein Spriggs in the sulky, came from more than 20 lengths away at the half to get up for second with Cole On The Beach, driven by Kubi Erzene, just another nostril or two back in third.

Rollatown, handled by (Wyatt Long) and Doc’s Papparazzi, with Justin Griffith, were four-five in the mile.

For Houlu, it was win number four of the year with the win—his 13th lifetime—vaulting him over the $100,000 plateau—$102,644—with the success benefitting his faithful to the tune of $7.20.

Hulou is trained by Scott Warnick for Deborah Warnick.

It was McLenaghan’s 37th career driving success to go along with 377 training wins.

Veronica Merton then put an exclamation for the “pink power” gang in the next race with a hard fought win back of Betabcool N (Bettor’s Delight) in 1:58.3

The winners circle after the “Powder Puff” Derby

The gutsy 13-year-old mare, trained by Michael Annunziata for the Ettore Annunziata Trust, had “1’s” at every call, got in a heated discussion with Lenda Hand Man, with Wyatt Long in the sulky, and, after an epic stretch duel, prevailed by a neck.

Freak On A Leash, driven by Scott Wooten, was just another neck back in third.

Pacific Stride with John McNeil III was next while Amazing Ponderosa and Stacey McLenaghan teamed up to get the nickel.

For the winner, it was his 51st career victory—37th in North America—and pushed his career earnings to $644,222, of which $522,295 has been earned since arriving from “down under” in 2017. Betabcool N returned $6 to win.

For Veronica Merton, it was her first driving double, although, driving sparsely, she did win two races on consecutive days at Monticello Raceway back in 2003.

In the amateur finale, Woogen, for the second straight week, doubled up guiding the chalk, Moneyorroses (Cougar Hall), to a handy two-length win in 1:57.1.

Winners of the “Elegant” category in our fancy hat competition

Out from fourth before the half, Moneyorroses ducked back after finding the garden spot near the third station and then had a :29.2 final panel under his girth at the expense of the pacesetting Anythingforlove A, driven by Adrian Wisher, Jr., for the win.

Hey Siri, with Stacey McLenaghan, was third with Allieverdreamedof and Wyatt Long teaming for fourth and Relentless Dancer, driven by John McNeil III, earning the final check in this septet.

Eric Davis owns and trains Moneyorroses.

It was the first win of the year for Moneyorroses in 33 starts with this success leaving him just a “nose” short of $100,000 in career bounty—$99,374. The winner paid $4.

After the festivities, USHDC President Dein Spriggs lamented, “This is what great goodwill can do or worthy causes and our sport. When we can walk forward with the tracks and race office personnel like Dee (Lineweaver) and so many others, it makes our efforts well worth it.

“Our members donate 100% of their driving earnings to these great causes and, since our inception, that number is over $300,000 and we know that our efforts and participating tracks make a positive difference in many lives.”