Pure Country still undefeated after ISS win
October 09, 2015
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The $224,100 International Stallion Stakes (ISS) for 2-year-old filly pacers was the first grouping of Grand Circuit action on the Friday program at The Red Mile.
Undefeated in eight races this season, the Jimmy Takter-trained Pure Country snagged the first of three $74,700 ISS splits in 1:52.1. The Somebeachsomewhere filly from the Western Hanover mare Western Montana secured the top spot from Hug A Dragoness after a :28 first quarter. She proceeded to stride through fractions of :56.1 and 1:25.3. In the stretch, she encountered a rally from Yankee Moonshine, but, despite drifting off the pylons, managed to hold her off easily heading to the line. Yankee Moonshine finished second, ahead of Mother Of Art and Soft Idea.
Sent off the overwhelming choice at 1-9, Pure Country returned $2.10 to win. She's owned by Diamond Creek Racing and driven by Brett Miller.
"We bought the mare [Western Montana] as a yearling,” owner Adam Bowden said. "We've kept all the foals from her so far, and she's [Pure Country] the best one.”
"I think it was easy [on her],” Jimmy Takter said. "She kind of toyed with them in the stretch. As soon as she saw the horse at the inside [Yankee Moonshine], she took off on another couple gears. I was a little worried myself, but I'm happy that she learned how to take care of herself.
"She's just a magnificent filly,” Takter also said. "She's up there in the top fillies I've ever been around.”
The second division of the ISS went to Rock Me Baby, who vaulted off a second-over trip in the stretch towards a 1:53 victory.
The tempo was managed by Call Me Queen Be, who put up a :28.1 first quarter. By the half, Kiss Me Onthebeach marched from the middle of the pack to take command from Call Me Queen Be, putting up splits of :57.1 and 1:25.2 as leader. Riding the cover of Wine Snob around the far turn, Rock Me Baby hastily fanned three wide at the top of the stretch, pacing by within a matter of strides. While Call Me Queen Be and Kiss Me Onthebeach kept pace with Rock Me Baby, they finished second and third respectively.
Sired by Rock N Roll Heaven, from the mare Lover Of Art by Artsplace, Rock Me Baby collected her second win of the season in six starts. Trained by Staffan Lind and driven by John Campbell, the $8.40 winner competes for the interests of Bender Sweden, Acadia Farms, Staffan Lind, and E. Fannin.
"She's really coming into her own right now,” Staffan Lind said. "She's always been a very nice filly; I've been high on her all along, but she wanted to do too much in the beginning and she made a couple of breaks when we pulled the earplugs.”
"She was sick [on Aug. 21 at Vernon Downs],” Lind also said. "She's best on the big track; we were supposed to race her at Vernon and then go to the She's A Great Lady. I wanted to get a nice race first [before coming back].”
"Corey's [Callahan] mare kind of stalled and then she went on again when I tipped out,” John Campbell said. "She [Rock Me Baby] gave me a good run when I tipped her, and she paced strong to the wire.”
"I thought she could go with the Grand Circuit fillies off of last week,” Campbell also said. "I think she had the fastest last quarter [of the card] last week; it [the track] was very tiring, and she marched home in :27-and-a-piece. I thought she'd step up in company.”
Darlinonthebeach won the final ISS division with a vicious brush down the backstretch to take the lead and hold onto it in progress towards a 1:51.4 mile. The Nancy Johnasson trainee overtook pacesetter Shezarealdeal, who circled by Blue Moon Stride at the quarter in :27.4 to make the lead. However, once Darlinonthebeach took the lead, setting fractions of :56.1 and 1:24.2, she held off challenges from Shezarealdeal and Dime A Dozen by sprinting to a four-length victory.
Racing for the interests of White Birch Farm, Darlinonthebeach, a filly by Somebeachsomewhere out of Darlin's Delight by Bettor's Delight, won her second race of the year in eight starts. Driven by David Miller, she paid $7.60 to win.
"She has been a nice filly from the get-go,” Nancy Johnasson said. "She got a little sick on us earlier in the summer [July 17 at The Meadows], and we had to scratch her once there. We kind of got off on the wrong foot and she got too aggressive, but she's just turned right around. She did a really good move on the backside and she's good on the frontend.”
"I'm very thankful that they [White Birch Farms] gave me a chance to train her. I train at White Birch Farm, and we had Jk She'salady last year, so I guess they figured they'd give me a shot with another pacing filly. So far it has turned out well.” (Ray Cotolo for Red Mile)