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Pure Country equals stakes record in James Lynch Memorial
Saturday, July 02, 2016 - by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

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Wilkes-Barre, PA --- Pure Country and driver Brett Miller made their way to the front near the midway point and never relinquished the lead from there, winning Saturday’s (July 2) $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers by a half-length over Blue Moon Stride in a stakes-record-equaling 1:49.2 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

USTA/Mark Hall photo
Pure Country and Brett Miller captured the Lynch Memorial in 1:49.2.

I Said Diamonds led the field to the opening quarter-mile in :27, but soon gave up the top spot to Darlinonthebeach. Pure Country was on the move ahead of Blue Moon Stride in the outside flow and made her way to the lead as the group reached the half in :54.2. Darlinonthebeach slowed on the backstretch and did not finish.

Pure Country reached three-quarters in 1:22.1 and paced home from there to win for the fourth time in seven starts this season. Blue Moon Stride was followed by Lindwood Beachgirl in third and I Said Diamonds in fourth.

It was Pure Country’s third major victory of the campaign, having captured the Miss Pennsylvania and Fan Hanover earlier this year.

“She’s just classy,” winning trainer Jimmy Takter said. “Brett didn’t have any other choice than to go forward. I was a little worried. I know (Blue Moon Stride) is a pretty good horse sitting in the back there. We had to work very hard to go to our spot, but I know (Pure Country) is tough to get by.”

A daughter of Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Western Montana, Pure Country has won 14 of 17 career races and earned $1.19 million. She is owned by Diamond Creek Racing.

Last year, Pure Country won all 10 of her races and was named the Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female pacer.

“She’s getting more professional,” Takter said. “As a 2-year-old it’s a little easier to be a little dominant. There are a lot of good fillies out there. They have to work for every race.”

Pure Country, the 7-5 favorite, paid $4.80 to win.

Darlinonthebeach’s trainer Nancy Johansson told DRF Harness’ Derick Giwner that her filly suffered from atrial fibrillation.

Call Me Queen Be, forced to go :26 to the quarter in her Lynch elimination and understandably tiring, was very strong coming off a fast pace in the $50,000 Lynch Consolation, moving to the lead on the far turn past backstretch brusher Sail To The Beach and going on to a two length triumph, equaling her lifetime mark by stopping the timer in 1:50.3.

Scott Zeron handled the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, the 3-5 choice of the large group of fans gathered for the giant card, for trainer Ross Croghan and the ownership of Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Dana Parham.

The Lynch Memorial is named in honor of the late James M. Lynch, who did some amateur driving and worked as a groom as a teenager, but made his mark years later as a race official, most notably as the director of racing at Liberty Bell for its entire 23-year existence. Lynch, who passed away in 2000 at the age of 78, also was a horse owner and director of the U.S. Trotting Association.

-- PHHA/Pocono also contributed to this story


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