Always A Virgin wins
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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.
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
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.