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Pure Country Upsets In Second 'Crown' Win

Published: October 27, 2017 10:43 pm ET

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Four-year-old pacing mare Pure Country, a favourite in her first Breeders Crown victory at two, pulled off a 14-1 upset this time around as she closed from the outer flow in an exciting finish to the first night of championships at Hoosier Park.

Driver Mark MacDonald, donning the colours of Pennsylvania owner/breeder Diamond Creek Farm, guided the Somebeachsomewhere-Western Montana mare to the victory in $250,000 Mares Pace, closing out Breeders Crown's 'Ladies Night.'

Pure Country and driver Mark MacDonald winning the Breeders Crown Mares Pace on October 27 at Hoosier Park.

With the victory, Pure Country pushed trainer Jimmy Takter's record career 'Crown' count to 33.

“I've always been lucky in the Breeders Crown,” said Takter after his third championship win of the night. “It's like a magical night for me. I won six one year and three almost every year. Things just work out for me that night. I don't know why, but we have a great crew and my trainer has done a fantastic job in running the show in Lexington. Without those guys, I can't do it.”

Defending champion Lady Shadow (Yannick Gingras) hustled to the lead from post eight over elimination winners Nike Franco N (Tim Tetrick) and Darlinonthebeach (Brett Miller) through a :26.2 opening quarter and continued to front the field through middle splits of :54.4 and 1:23.2 while the outer flow developed, led by L A Delight (Corey Callahan) with Blue Moon Stride (David Miller) tracking her cover and Pure Country spotted third-over. Down the stretch, the field swarmed Lady Shadow with Pure Country getting up late to score in 1:52.1 by one and a quarter lengths. Bedroomconfessions (Scott Zeron) closed widest of all just outside of Pure Country to finish second while Lady Shadow held on for third in a photo finish with Darlinonthebeach.

“I thought she had a shot [at the head of the lane], I really did,” said MacDonald. “I thought the way the race was going, it would work out. I figured Lady Shadow would blast from the outside and I had a couple of good ones inside of me to follow so I kind of almost automatically was going to get a good trip and hoped she could turn out and she did. She finished up good.”

Pure Country, whose first Breeders Crown win capped a perfect 10-for-10 freshman campaign, has won four of her 14 starts this year. Lifetime, she boasts 24 wins from 45 starts and has amassed more than $2.3 million in purses.

“We were dealing with a lot of struggles with her all year,” said Takter. “She got sick early and then she raced good. I never really knew where I had her all season. She's a pure champion. She's made over $2 million and that's hard to do in this game. She's just a fantastic horse and I am so happy for Adam [Bowden of Diamond Creek]. He raised this filly and she's just so wonderful.”

"She's a homebred for us. I actually bred the mare myself, I was there when she foaled and then to pass her on to a great trainer like Jimmy and for her to win at two and then come back to win at four, there's just no words," said Bowden.

Pure Country returned $31 to her backers at the betting windows.

More updates on Friday's championships will be posted in the 2017 Breeders Crown News Centre.

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