It was a long, but very big day at the Shenandoah County Fair in Woodstock, Virginia on closing day Saturday.
Driver Billy Carter has showed his muster all week long at the fair and Saturday was no different. In the first race, Sandhurst broke before the start and spotted the field eight lengths. The early leader Hot Rod Pete tried to cut the mile and end things early, but going up the backstretch Sandhurst was on his back bumper. When the field made their way to head stretch, it was obvious that Sandhurst was loaded and he won easily by a length. In the second heat of the same division, Sandhurst spotted the field 11 lengths at one point and was just too far back to catch the eventual winner Hot Rod Pete (Chief Robbin), who never looked back after getting to the lead.
It was a record setting day for trainer Betsy Brown as Sun Chimes not only won both of his heats, he also set the track record that hasn't been broken since 2012. In the first heat, Brown sent Sun Chimes to the lead and opened up by a lot early on. Connie Keeper attempted to stay close, but lost a lot of ground in the stretch. In the second and record-setting heat, Sun Chimes was all in. Stylish Image attempted to leave with Sun Chimes, but he took off opening up by six lengths early on. Sun Chimes hit the opening quarter in :29.1 and then had a 28.4 half-mile split, which set up a potential of setting the track record. It was obvious at the three-quarter marker that Sun Chimes had used a lot of energy, but he was still up by eight lengths and no one in the field cut into the lead at all. Sun Chimes stopped the timer at 2:02.3.
Billy Carter easily won the driving title with 12 victories, just missing his victory mark from 2014. Behind Carter was Alvin Lineweaver and Betsy Brown with five wins a piece, then Scott Woogen, who had four victories.
Betsy Brown made the trainer standings very interesting with 10 victories, however, Leon Harris was just able to hold on with a couple of wins on the final day. Harris had 12 victories, followed by Brown, who had 10 victories, and Gary Messenger was thirrd with three wins.
Racing resumes at the Shenandoah County Fair during the Wine and Trotter Festival, which is scheduled to be hosted during the first Saturday in June of 2016.
(Shenandoah County Fair)