Lewis Lakin’s Pure Clan remained unbeaten and earned her fourth career victory as she unleashed a powerful late run in the $250,000 Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II) (VIDEO) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 24.
Stretching out to 1 1/16 miles for the first time the 2-year-old Pure Prize filly, trained by Bob Holthus, got a clean break and was sixth under jockey Julien Leparoux as pacesetter Morakami led the field of eight through early fractions of :24.75 and :48.82. C J’s Leelee was closely placed in second, while Sunday Holiday and French Kiss made up the front four.
After three-quarters in 1:13.14, Pure Clan began steadily picked off horses heading into the far turn, where she swung to the outside. In a game drive for the wire while drifting in slightly, Pure Clan kicked clear to win by 2 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:43.59. The tiring C J’s Leelee was clearly bested for second, while Turn Away finished third and Sunday Holiday was fourth.
“At the quarter pole, she really kicked in,” Leparoux said. “She is getting better every race. Last time I was on her, she was a little green, but today she was much better.”
Sent off at odds of 5-2, Pure Clan returned $7.80, $4, and $2.80. C J’s Leelee and jockey Robby Albarado paid $6.20 and $3.40, while even-money favorite Turn Away brought $2.20 to show under Rafael Bejarano. Morakami, French Kiss, Greenhaven Lake, and Minewander completed the order of finish.
Bred in Kentucky by A. Lakin & Sons, Pure Clan is out of the General Assembly mare Gather the Clan. She has two wins over the turf, including an impressive 7 ¾-length win in her maiden debut. And two wins on the dirt, including a 1 ¼-length victory in the Pocahontas Stakes (gr. III). Her career earnings total $316,209.
“She has really been a surprise,” Holthus said. “When she came from the farm no one really had a lot of high hopes for her, but she turned into a good one. It has been a pleasant surprise. When she was that close turning for home, I thought we would get it.”