Pure Country, Yankee Moonshine win 2FP Crown elims

Undefeated Pure Country took her act to the North Country on Friday night (Oct. 16), but the results were identical to what’s been expected from the juvenile daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Western Montana in the U.S.

The Jimmy Takter-trained filly was powerful in capturing the first of two $20,000 Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-old filly pacers in 1:52.3 at Woodbine Racetrack.

Driven by Brett Miller, the homebred from Adam Bowden’s Diamond Creek Farm’s racing stable got away third as the 1-5 betting choice as Lyons River Pride and Yannick Gingras jetted from the outside to take charge in a :28.1 opening quarter. Lyons River Pride kept an honest pace and because of it there was little movement through the second quarter with the half reached in :56.2 before anyone began to move.

Darlinonthebeach and driver David Miller were the first to pull at that point and slowly progressed on the rim with Pure Country pulling to provide cover with roughly three-eighths of the mile remaining. The pace and activity got serious as the field reached the three-quarters in 1:24. Brett Miller worked on Pure Country in the early stretch and the filly responded with authority, blowing past the leader and drawing clear to win in handy fashion.

Darlinonthebeach looked to be a serious threat off cover on the final turn, but couldn’t accelerate with the winner into the stretch. Nevertheless driver David Miller was able to urge the filly on late to get the place spot with early pacesetter Lyons River Pride holding on for the third spot.

Mayhem Seelster and Shezarealdeal picked up the final two qualifying spots and return for the $600,000 Oct. 24 final.

The victory kept Pure Country with a perfect nine wins in nine career starts during her first season at the races. Pure Country returned $2.40 to win.–Jay Bergman

Yankee Mooshine wins 2FP elim in 1:53.4

Yankee Moonshine is back in the winner’s circle.

Following two consecutive second-place finishes, the daughter ofYankee Cruiser- Bootleg Yankee won the first $20,000 Breeders Crown division for 2-year-old filly pacers Friday night (Oct. 16) at Woodbine Racetrack.

With Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Ron Burke, Yankee Moonshine emerged from far back and unleashed a furious kick down the stretch, seizing control late and emerging with a two-length victory in a time of 1:53.4.

It marked the third win in 11 starts for the $42,000 Harrisburg graduate.

Given the fact that she has been facing the undefeated Pure Country several times in her first season, including a week ago in the International Stallion Stakes at the Red Mile in Lexington, Yankee Moonshine has done quite well. The fact Pure Country drew in the second division, didn’t hurt her chances.

Yankee Moonshine was the race favorite at just under 8-5, but she had work hard for the win.

“She’s a really nice filly,” Gingras said. “She was good in (Pennsylvania) and then she tailed off a little bit, but the last three weeks she’s been really good. She was good in Indiana. She was vicious last week in Lexington. She was first up against a really good filly, but she never quit. She was still trying in the stretch. She proved tonight she belongs with the top of the class.”

The race featured several lead changes, but it was Yankee Moonshine, seemingly emerging from nowhere, that finished on top.

“I was in a pretty back spot there,” Gingras said of his position heading into the stretch. “But she was running in pretty hard around the last turn, so it was hard for me to get her out three-wide around (Rock Me Baby), so I took a chance to go back to the inside and hoping to be fifth.

“But they weren’t pacing that strong up front and she was loaded with pace, so once I got daylight she did the rest.”

Call Me Queen Be placed second, followed by Soft Idea. Blue Moon Stride and Skinny Dipper rounded out the top five that will move on the final.

Yankee Moonshine paid $5.50, $2.60, $2.60. Call Me Queen Be paid $2.60, $2.50. Soft Idea paid $3.80.

With her third win in 11 starts, Yankee Moonshine raised her career earnings to just shy of $140,000.

Call Me Queen Be led at the opening quarter in 27 flat, then Soft Idea made an outside move to inherit first place. But Blue Moon Stride then made a move and had the lead after three quarters in 1:24 flat.

With the elimination winners drawing for posts 1-5, the complete field for the final is as follows:

Post Position-Horse-Driver-Trainer

1-Darlinonthebeach-Dave Miller-Nancy Johansson

2-Shezarealdeal-Marcus Miller-Tony O’Sullivan

3-Pure Country-Brett Miller-Jimmy Takter

4-Lyons River Pride-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke

5-Yankee Moonshine-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke

6-Soft Idea-Tim Tetrick-Linda Toscano

7-Blue Moon Stride-Andrew McCarthy-Mark Harder

8-Skinny Dipper-Randy Waples-Tony O’Sullivan

9-Mayhem Seelster-Jack Moiseyev-Tony O’Sullivan

10-Call Me Queen Be-Scott Zeron-Tony O’Sullivan

AE1-Tipton Teeez-Tim Tetrick-Brian Brown

AE2-Rock Me Baby-John Campbell-Staffan Lind