September 20 proved a beautiful day for flat races and tailgate parties when Virginia Downs Racing, presented by the Virginia Equine Alliance, debuted an inaugural six-race card, complete with pari-mutuel wagering, at Great Meadow. The entire affair was like a grand community event, with plenty of time to watch the runners parade in the paddock, place bets, visit old friends and make new ones. Mede Cahaba Stable & Stud LLC bred the winner and second-placed horses in the $15,000 Virginia Bred/Sired Maiden Starter Allowance with Mushroom King, owned by John Anthony D’Amico & Why Not Racing LLC, with stablemate Class Classic, owned by The Pod & Why Not Racing LLC, in second, both trained by Lilith Boucher (Md.); third was Malibu Dreamer, owned locally by Holston Hall & Steve Beard, trained by Russell Haynes. JAF Racing’s Ice Women, Jeff Murphy in the irons, won the $25,000 Maiden, Fillies & Mares. Maryland-based trainer Elizabeth Voss saddled two winners: Mrs. Thomas Voss’s Swoop in the $30,000 Allowance/Fillies & Mares and Merriebelle Stable LLC’s Renown in the $30,000 Allowance for 3-year-olds and up. In the $25,00 Allowance/3-year-olds and up which have started over fences, owner-trainer Linda Gaudet’s Annawon relegated Rock Ford Stable’s Gun Point, trained by Julie Gomena (Middleburg), to second place. Bonded (IRE), trained by Jimmy Day, triumphed in the $25,000 Maiden for Bruce and Edie Smart (Upperville).

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