Months of anticipation and waiting ended on Wednesday as the new track at the Shenandoah County Fair got its first taste of racing in Virginia.
Charles Perry Jr. scored the first victory on the new track at Shenandoah aboard Vertigo Hanover (The Panderosa-Varbo). Vertigo Hanover went to the lead and never looked back on the rest of the field. He won his first heat in 2:00.2 off a final quarter of :29.3 on the track listed as 'good'. Vertigo Hanover wasn't finished after one heat though, scoring by a big margin in heat two just missing the track record at the Virginia track.
The conditioned trotting heats were the highlight of they day as both just missed the track record by the slightest of margins. In the first heat, Pixel Queen (Scott Woogen) set some strong early fractions and just held off a strong-closing Speedy Taxi (Charles Perry Jr.). Pixel Queen closed home in :28.1, which was the fastest final quarter time of the afternoon over the new Shenandoah oval. In the second heat, Speedy Taxi would get his revenge just getting up at the wire over Pixel Queen. Speedy Taxi sat back off the pace and closed turning for home just like he did in heat one, but this time made sure the move was just a bit sooner to score the victory.
Drivers Scott Woogen and Charles Perry Jr led the day in driving victories with three wins a piece, while trainer Gary Messenger scored three victories on the training side.
Thursday afternoon at the Shenandoah County Fair features some very strong horses including Intheblinkofaneye who has been known to put in some very impressive miles. Trainer Tara Hynes is listed to drive Intheblinkofaneye, who will start from post four in the Aldine Jenkins Memorial Pace and has a big shot at the track record set by Ethical Hanover in 2005.
Live racing resumes at the Shenandoah County Fair on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. and continues through Saturday.
(with files from Shenandoah County Fair)