10/09/2015 2:38PM

Red Mile: Pure Country now perfect in eight starts

Derick Giwner
Driver Brett Miller urges Pure Country to victory.

Pure Country kept her perfect streak alive in the first of three $74,700 International Stallion Stake divisions at The Red Mile on Friday afternoon.

Over a track rated “good” due to some brief rain which lasted through the first two races, Pure Country was sent to the front with a slow, methodical early move by driver Brett Miller. Once in command at the opening quarter in 28 seconds, the Jimmy Takter-trained filly posted a comfortable middle half of 57 3/5 as pressure began to mount.

With challengers coming from all sides, Pure Country, despite drifting some in the stretch, showed her class by dispatching the competition easily enough in 1:52 1/5.

[DRF HARNESS LIVE: Real-time insights from The Red Mile, International at Yonkers, Super Finals from Hoosier and Woodbine this Saturday--Starts at 1PM]

Yankee Moonshine came uncovered and saved second while Mother Of Art showed early speed and held for third.

“I think it was easy,” said Takter in response to the somewhat narrow one length margin of victory. “She kind of toyed with them in the stretch. As soon as she saw a horse she took off.”

The Diamond Creek owned and bred daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Western Montana boosted her career earnings to just shy of $380K.

Darlinonthebeach was clearly the most impressive of the freshman filly pacers on the day. The daughter of superstars Somebeachsomewhere-Darlin’s Delight made a powerful brush down the backstretch to make the lead at the half in 56 1/5 and was much the best in a sparkling 1:51 4/5 over the somewhat off going.

Blue Moon Stride came up the cones to be a closing second ahead of Shezarealdeal in third.

“She’s been a nice filly from the get-go,” said trainer Nancy Johansson, who said sickness during the summer slowed the filly down. “She races well on the front and likes to pace right through to the wire.”

Darlinonthebeach was driven by David Miller for owner White Birch Farm.

Rock Me Baby pounced off bad cover to gain the front and fended off her foes gamely to score in the second division. Call Me Queen Be (second) and Kiss Me Onthebeach (third) raced very well in defeat.

The 1:53 winning mile was a career best for the Staffan Lind-trained Rock Me Baby, who is owned by Bender Sweden, Acadia Farms, E. Fannin and Lind.