Day At The Track

Colors A Virgin nails 'em at the wire

03:53 PM 25 Oct 2015 NZDT
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Colors A Virgin
With Colors A Virgin's latest win, she surpassed $1 million in lifetime earnings
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Colors A Virgin

TORONTO - The Champ is back. Colors A Virgin, last year's champion harness racing three-year-old pacing mare in the U.S., showed her true colors Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack in the $250,000 U.S. ($324,350 Cdn) Breeders Crown mare pace.

In the driving rain and wind, Colors A Virgin nosed out Sandbetweenurtoes at the wire.

It looked as if Katie Said, driven by John Campbell, would prevail on the far outside after she made a big move. But just as she was about to claim the lead, she went off-stride.

That gave Colors A Virgin the lead. Katie Said had followed the cover of Colors A Virgin going around the far turn.

Colors A Virgin had experienced a topsy-turvy kind of season. She came into the race with seven wins in 17 starts and earnings of almost $160,000. But last year she won 13 of 18 starts and more than $530,000.

But similar to many three-year-old fillies making the transition to the older ranks, she needed time to make the adjustment. Her form showed improvement in October. She came into the race with consecutive wins at Hoosier Park in Indiana and The Red Mile in Lexington. She made it three in a row at three separate tracks with the win in the Breeders Crown.

With her latest wins, she surpassed $1 million in lifetime earnings.

She is trained by Brian Brown for breeder/owner Emerald Highlands Farm of Mount Vernon, OH.

"This mare was the 2-5 favorite last year and had a tough trip and no flow," Brown said. "Tonight was very rewarding, but I have to tell everyone and give congratulations to Tony O'Sullivan. He took the mare to Jersey and up here and he's the one who really got her turned around... To finally get over the hump in a major race, hopefully it will open the gates and we can be here again."

Colors A Virgin was driven to victory by David Miller, who tied a Breeders Crown record with four wins in a single night of racing. Tim Tetrick set the record three years ago at Woodbine.

"The trip worked out all right," Miller said. "I wasn't so sure she was going to get there or not. John's horse running helped. He was going by, but you know what, she got it done. She dug in at the head of the stretch. It was tight (at the wire). I turned around and Sylvain (driven by Sandbetweenurtoes) must have thought he got beat. I was thinking about going down to the tunnel, but that would have been pretty embarrassing to have him turn around and go back. I'm glad for Brian (Brown). He's a great guy. He works hard. He deserves it."

Brown said he was worried about Colors A Virgin's health just 24 hours earlier.

"She came off the truck yesterday, took her to the field and turned her out and the right nostril just had mucous flowing out of her. I turned her out and jogged her this morning and she jogged great, with very little mucous," Brown said. "We were worried she might be getting sick, but she was great jogging and we were all relieved, but we had no idea we'd come here and win."

Colors A Virgin paid $15.00, $6.50, $4.60. Sandbetweenurtoes paid $7.10, $3.50. Venus Delight, the favorite in the field of nine at slightly more than 3-2, paid $2.90 to show.

The exacta paid $82.50. The trifecta paid $910.55.

By Perry Lefko

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