11/25/2017 11:19PM

Meadowlands: Pure Country prevails in TVG Mare Pace final

Derick Giwner
Pure Country will likely collect divisional hardware for the third consecutive year

Pure Country kept a close watch on pace-setter Darlinonthebeach, and then mowed her down to take the $175,000 TVG Mares Pace at the Meadowlands on Saturday night in a 1:49 mile for driver Mark MacDonald.

Darlinonthebeach and driver Brett Miller scorched the front-end from the start, assuming the top from Nike Franco N and setting sail through fractions of 27, 54 1/5 and 1:21.  Only Lady Shadow attempted to move to the outside past the half, but she failed to gain any traction.

MacDonald sat chilly in third waiting for Lady Shadow to back off a bit and then tipped the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere to the outside entering the homestretch. As Darlinonthebeach bore out and began to weaken, MacDonald put Pure Country to a drive, and the 4-year-old mare responded with a solid late kick to overtake the favorite. Bedroomconfessions rallied well from off-the-pace for second, with Darlinonthebeach holding for third.

Sent off at 7-2, Pure Country won for the fifth time in 16 starts this year for owner Diamond Creek Racing Stable. Jimmy Takter trains the mare with 25 career victories to her credit.

"She's really game. Half way down the stretch she kicks into another gear," said MacDonald of the mare who also captured the Breeders Crown final in October.

"I think she'll race next year," said Takter. "When you decide to race at four I think it is a two-year commitment. They still grow a bit from four to five, and she was so good at the end of this year."