05/07/2016 10:17PM

Pocono: Pure Country rebounds off first loss to win Miss Pennsylvania

Curtis Salonick
Driver Brett Miller celebrates Pure Country's win in the Miss Pennsylvania at Pocono

One loss managed to wake up Pure Country in a big way. Last year's unbeaten freshman queen came overland without cover the final five-eighths and wore down the speed to score in a lifetime-best 1:50 3/5 in the inaugural Miss Pennsylvania Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

The $313,800 event saw race favorite Darlnonthebeach and driver David Miller get used quite hard to reach the top. Newborn Sassy and Call Me Queen Be duked it out early to a 25 3/5 opening quarter with Darlinonthebeach looking to settle in third, shunning the tuck, and driving to the top at the three-eighths marker.

Brett Miller put Pure Country in motion passing the stands the first time, and he continued to grind up as the favorite set fractions of 53 3/5 and 1:21 3/5. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, trained by Jimmy Takter, hit high gear on the final turn, overtook the leader, and then had little trouble in the stretch as she easily held off I Said Diamonds on the outside, and Call Me Queen Be on the inside.

Sent off as the 2-1 second choice in the field, Pure Country won for the 11th time in a dozen lifetime starts for owner Diamond Creek Racing LLC.

The $50,000 Van Rose saw 6-1 shot Luck Be Withyou spring from the pocket and wear down J K Endofanera in the final strides of a 1:48 4/5 mile. J K Endofanera cut all the pace through fractions of 25 4/5, 54 3/5, and 1:21, but couldn't lose the pocket-sitting winner.

George Napolitano Jr. guided the Chris Oakes-trained 5-year-old.