Day At The Track

It's all in the family for Adam Bowden

01:06 PM 14 Sep 2017 NZST
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Grand Teton, Harness Racing
Grand Teton has twice won in 1:52.1, which is his best victory time so far, and has flashed ample finishing speed with three consecutive final quarter-miles of :26.2 to go with a :26.1 in his second start.

Pure Country has already proven herself a star, but she might have to start sharing space in the family scrapbook with younger harness racing sibling Grand Teton.

Grand Teton, a half-brother to two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Pure Country, has won five of six races this year and is a neck from being undefeated. The 2-year-old male pacer is owned by Diamond Creek Racing, which also owns 4-year-old female pacer Pure Country.

Both horses are out of the mare Western Montana and were bred by Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania. Pure Country's sire is Somebeachsomewhere; Grand Teton's sire is Diamond Creek Farm-based A Rocknroll Dance.

"You hope a mare ends up giving you something like Pure Country, but to have more than one look like they're a star is always really cool," Diamond Creek's Adam Bowden said. "Especially being a homebred from our stallion too. It's a full-circle thing for us.

"These are the kinds of things you dream about."

Pure Country and Grand Teton, both trained by Jimmy Takter, will be in action this weekend. Pure Country competes Saturday at Ontario's Mohawk Racetrack in the C$256,000 Milton Stakes for older female pacers. Grand Teton races Sunday at Lexington's Red Mile in the $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male pacers.

Grand Teton and Key Advisor both won two preliminary rounds of the Kentucky Sire Stakes series and finished second in the remaining leg. The draws for all eight Kentucky Sire Stakes finals are Thursday.

"At this point he really hasn't beaten any of the top colts, but from what he's done so far, I think he's shown that kind of ability," Bowden said about Grand Teton. "I think he's the type that will take the next step. At least we hope so."

Grand Teton has twice won in 1:52.1, which is his best victory time so far, and has flashed ample finishing speed with three consecutive final quarter-miles of :26.2 to go with a :26.1 in his second start.

"From what I hear from Jimmy, he's not quite as good gaited as Pure Country, but I think he has that same ability and same desire to win," Bowden said. "He's scary fast. I think he's shown that turn of foot you like to see in good horses.

"I think he's got as good a shot as any on Sunday night to win."

Pure Country enters the Milton off a win in her elimination last weekend. It was Pure Country's third consecutive victory after going winless in her first six races of the season and pushed her career earnings to $2 million.

On Saturday, Pure Country and driver Mark MacDonald, who has been in the sulky for the mare's past four starts, will start from post three. Blue Moon Stride, the remaining Milton elimination winner, will start from post two and returning champion Lady Shadow leaves from post one.

"There was a little bit of circumstantial stuff early in the year; bad posts or bad trips or something like that," Bowden said. "She's the type of filly that clearly wants to be involved in the race. As Mark said in the winner's circle the other night, she can take a lot of air. I think she's shown how good she is and that she can compete at this level against these older mares."

In the last nine years, the only 4-year-old mare to win the Milton was Rocklamation in 2012. The 4-year-olds in this year's 10-horse field are Pure Country, Blue Moon Stride, LA Delight, Darlinonthebeach, and Lyons River Pride.

Rocklamation also was the last mare to win the Milton in consecutive years (2012-13), a feat 6-year-old Lady Shadow will try to accomplish.

"Those are good mares," Bowden said. "Lady Shadow, Darlinonthebeach, LA Delight; there's a whole herd of them that are good. I think it shows these 4-year-old mares can compete at this level. I think it's been a great crop. They've proved it this year. Other than Lady Shadow and Nike Franco, the best mares are 4-year-olds."

For Saturday's complete card at Mohawk, which also includes finals of the Maple Leaf Trot, Canadian Trotting Classic and Elegantimage plus eliminations for the Metro Pace, click here.

Ken Weingartner

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