ANDERSON, Ind. – Eight horses fanned across the track in a battle down the stretch with Pure Country surging in the closing strides to capture Friday night’s $250,000 Breeders Crown Mare Pace by 1¼ lengths over Bedroomconfessions in 1:52.1 over a sloppy track at Hoosier Park. Lady Shadow was third.
Pure Country, trained by Jimmy Takter for Adam Bowden’s Diamond Creek Racing, was a Breeders Crown champion at age 2. Diamond Creek Farm bred the filly, who snapped a four-race skid with her Breeders Crown win at odds of 14-1.
“We have been dealing with a lot of struggling with her all year,” said Takter. “She got sick early and then she raced good. She is a pure champion. She has made over $2 million and that is hard to do in this game. She is just a fantastic horse and I am so happy for Adam. He raised this filly and she is just so wonderful.”
Lady Shadow took the lead after a tussle with 6-5 favorite Nike Franco N and Darlinonthebeach, bringing the field to the opening quarter in :26.2. She set the pace from there, with the half in :54.4 and three-quarters in 1:23.2, before facing pressure from everywhere as the field made its way down the stretch.
Pure Country was sixth at the top of the lane, but rallied on the outside to win.
“I thought she had a shot, I really did,” said winning driver Mark MacDonald. “I thought the way the race was going to go it would work out. I figured Lady Shadow would blast out of there from the outside and I had a couple of good ones inside of me to follow. I kind of almost automatically was going to get a good trip and it turned out and she did.”
Takter finished Friday’s Breeders Crown card with three wins in the series, pushing his record total to 33. Diamond Creek Racing and MacDonald have each won three Breeders Crown trophies.
“I've always been lucky in the Breeders Crown,” said Takter. “It's like a magic night for me. I won six in one year and three almost every year. Things just work out for me on that night. I don't know why, but we have a great crew and my trainer has done a fantastic job. Without those guys, I can't do it.”
Pure Country, a Dan Patch Award winner at ages 2 and 3, has won four of 14 races this year and earned $376,293. For her career, she has won 24 of 45 starts and earned $2.14 million.