10/09/2016 2:03PM

Red Mile: Darlinonthebeach, Pure Country deliver in Glen Garnsey splits

Derick Giwner
Pure Country was iron-tough off a first-over trip in winning her Garnsey division

Three-year-old pacing filly rivals Darlinonthebeach and Pure Country drew into separate Glen Garnsey Memorial divisions on Sunday afternoon at The Red Mile, but they both shined, with Darlinonthebeach winning in 1:48 1/5 and Pure Country scoring in 1:48 2/5.

Pure Country (Brett Miller) got away third in the first $105,500 split, and she remained in that position while Call Me Queen Be (Scott Zeron) chopped out a 27 1/5 opening quarter and a 55 second half.  Pure Country then came first-over past the half, but she was still two lengths behind Call Me Queen Be as she ripped through three-quarters in 1:21 4/5.

In the stretch Pure Country began to chip away at the deficit, and she would go by Call Me Queen Be inside the final sixteenth en route to a one length victory.  Lakeisha Hall (Yannick Gingras), who followed Call Me Queen Be from the pocket, finished in third.

"She's a pure champion," said winning trainer Jimmy Takter.  "It's not easy to stay in the highest form through all the year.  She's been a fantastic horse this year.  She hasn't been undefeated, but by the same token, it's been a great, great group of 3-year-old fillies this year."

Pure Country is a Diamond Creek homebred.  The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere has now won 18 times from 28 career starts, and she has earned $1,649,698.  The 1-2 choice, Pure Country paid $3.00 to win.

In the other $108,000 flight Penpal (Pat Lachance) and Blue Moon Stride (Andrew McCarthy) battled to the 26 2/5 opening quarter, with Penpal clearing briefly before Blue Moon Stride took over on the way to the 54 second half.  Rock Me Baby (John Campbell) would come first-up out of fourth beyond the half-mile marker, and that gave Darlinonthebeach (David Miller) a second-over trip to the 1:22 1/5 three-quarters.Derick GiwnerDarlinonthebeach paces away from the field in the stretch

Miller fired Darlinonthebeach three-wide as the fillies turned for home, and she would go right by Rock Me Baby and Blue Moon Stride.  Kiss Me Onthebeach (Marcus Miller) also rallied from third-over, but she could only pace with Darlinonthebeach, who scored by about two lengths.  Penpal came up the inside to get third.

"It worked out just the way I wanted it to," David Miller said.  "There was a bit of pace on the lead, and she felt comfortable the whole way.  I felt like I had a lot of horse.  She's an all-around professional.  She's pretty handy, whatever you want to do.  She was a bit bully early in the year, but we've worked with her, and she's learned how to race.  She's a big, strong horse who can carry her speed real good."

Darlinonthebeach, a filly by Somebeachsomewhere, is trained by Nancy Johansson for owner/breeder White Birch Farm of New Jersey.  Darlinonthebeach scored her 12th victory in her 28th career trip behind the gate, and she has banked $830,823.  She returned $3.00 to win as the 1-2 favorite.