08/04/2016 2:34PM

Meadowlands: Battle of the sexes in Cane Pace

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Derick Giwner
Pure Country will start from post 11 in Saturday's $320,000 Cane Pace.

The battle of the sexes bursts through the gates of the Meadowlands Racetrack this Saturday as lone filly Pure Country takes on the boys in the $320,000 Cane Pace on Hambletonian Day.

Under the control of driver Brett Miller, the filly owned by Diamond Creek Racing was voted the Dan Patch 2-Year-Old Pacing Filly champion last year and enters the race with 16 lifetime wins under her belt and $1,276,210 earned.

“She seems to be better than all of the other fillies, at least at this point in her career,” says co-owner Adam Bowden. “She’s been as good as she could possibly be the last couple of weeks and I’ve always wanted to have a filly good enough to take on the boys.”

[MEADOWLANDS: Watch the Hambletonian Day card from The Meadowlands Live on DRF!]

Howard Taylor, owner of Control The Moment, the likely favorite in the Cane, was surprised at Bowden’s decision.

“I can’t believe they would pass up a sure thing in the Shady Daisy. I would rather go for the sure money than take a chance. I’m not unconfident because she’s in there,” said Taylor.

Control The Moment enters the race in “top, top shape” according to Taylor, with 11 lifetime wins and $874,820 earned. Earlier this year, he won the track’s signature event, The Meadowlands Pace.

“I never had a horse that I thought was as good as any horse in the country,” said Taylor. “This is the best shot I’ve ever had of winning a Triple Crown race.”

In addition to tough competition, Pure Country faces another obstacle, having drawn post 11 in the second tier. Starting behind Check Six in post one could be a tricky spot according to trainer Jimmy Takter, who fears that the filly will be unable to avoid traffic issues and could possibly get trapped and lose the ability to get off the rail.

For Bowden, he is unconcerned with the post and simply entered the famed filly into the prestigious race as a “roll of the dice.”

“It’s on the biggest day, on the biggest stage, so we’d figured we’d take a shot,” said Bowden.

Miller has all the confidence in the world in Pure Country, but realizes her limitations against her male counterparts. “I don’t think she can rough it and go up against Control The Moment, but I think if I get a trip, she has a shot of winning,” said the top driver.

However, difficult as it may seem to beat the boys, history has proven that a filly can emerge victorious in a Triple Crown race.

If Pure Country takes home the Cane trophy, she’ll follow the ranks of Countess Adios (Cane Pace and Messenger, 1960), Belle Acton (Messenger, 1956), and Fan Hanover (Little Brown Jug, 1981), becoming the first filly in 36 years to win a Triple Crown race.

The Cane Pace is scheduled as race seven on a 16-race Hambletonian Day program and has a scheduled post time of 2:32 p.m.

Dylan Novicio-Ablan, a junior at Boston University, is writing as a part of the Clyde Hirt Journalism workshop.