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Shenandoah Horse of the Meet title still 3-way battle

October 17, 2020
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Penn, Rydia Hanover and Call Me Thefireman each scored a win Friday at Shenandoah Downs and furthered their respective consideration in Horse of the Meet discussions. The five-week season in Woodstock concludes Saturday.
 
Barkley Counts' Penn wired the field for his fourth win of the meet but had to hold off fast closing Miss Flora at the wire. The 10-year-old Master Glide gelding won his 51st lifetime race and crossed in 2:00.4 by a nose over the runner-up. Penn was driven to victory by Scott Woogen for the second straight week in a $4,000 Amateur Driving Trot. The Marna Shehan trainee pushed his career bankroll to $448,140.
 
John Kreiser's Rydia Hanover also wired the field in her $5,000 conditioned pace but she had it easier and cruised to a 4 3/4-length win in a lifetime best 1:53.1. The Cory Kreiser trainee won her third straight race and second consecutive with John MacDonald in the sulky. The 3-year-old Captaintreacherous filly authored a :56 half then crossed the third marker in 1:24.4 before powering onward. She won for the 11th time in 20 career starts. Rydia Hanover is trained by Cory Kreiser. 
 
The Kreiser/MacDonald combo connected again later in the card with trotter Call Me Thefireman, who also led all the way around without being challenged. The 4-year-old Wishing Stone gelding won his third straight in the Valley and fourth overall. His first came at the VHHA Matinee Meet which was held at the Shenandoah Fairgrounds prior to the current extended meet. On Friday, he passed the third fraction with a 4 1/2-length cushion and ended up finishing two lengths the best over Paging Doctor Teo --- who also has three wins this meet --- in 1:57.4. 
 
A spirited battle for top driver and trainer honors will play out over Saturday's 12-race card finale which begins at 1 p.m. Fern Paquet Jr. sits atop the driver standings with 17 wins. Tyler Shehan and Billy Carter are two back with 15 each and John MacDonald has 14. On the trainer side, Cory Kreiser's triple Friday gave him a two-win advantage over Marna Shehan, 13-11. Brandy Wine is one back with 10. (Shenandoah Downs)
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