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Always A Virgin wins

June 23, 2007

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Driver Brian Sears won his second New Jersey Sire Stakes final of the weekend at the Meadowlands Saturday night, scoring with Always A Virgin, a colt by Western Ideal, by open lengths in 1:50.2.


On Friday night Sears drove Lady Mattgalane to a triumph in the NJSS for 3-year-old filly pacers. Saturday night he took the colt division.


Several outside leavers, and a rough-gaited Artist’s View, made traffic dicey in the first turn. At one point in the turn Fresh Deck, driven by John Campbell, was four wide.


St. Pete Star was the leader at the first quarter in :27, then the Meadowlands shuffle was underway. Campbell came first and cleared with Fresh Deck, then Sears took over the point with Always A Virgin. Next up was Art At Heart, driven by George Brennan, who led at the half in :55.3.


Heading into the last turn, the second tier was well developed, with Kinetic Yankee, who had won two straight NJSS legs, left first-over and hanging after Art At Heart had cleared. Before hitting the straightaway Sears tipped Always A Virgin to the outside and quickly zipped by Brennan and Art At Heart.


In the homestretch Always A Virgin was on cruise control, eventually winning by 4 ¼ lengths thanks to a :27.2 last panel.


After the race Sears noted that he had two anxious moments with Always A Virgin, both of them in the turns. In the first turn, he explained, “Greg Merton’s horse (Artist’s View) was rough…I didn’t want to get taken out early.” As for the second incident, in the last turn Sears saw Art At Heart “put in a step…to avoid any trouble here I popped the pocket.”


Always A Virgin picked up his second win of the season in five starts for owners Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable and Val d’Or Farms. Joe Hurley’s Roll The Dice Stable also bred the colt, who won three of 10 starts as a 2 year old and took a mark of 1:52.1.


Always A Virgin is trained by Joe Holloway. The colt finished third in the $500,000 NJ Classic, behind his stablemate Fresh Deck, who faded in this latest contest.


Kinetic Yankee finished second and St. Pete Star took third.
Click for the free PedigreeGuru.com catalog-style pedigree of Always A Virgin and for thebigm.com race chart.
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