Pure Clan, who was last seen finishing third to Proud Spell and Little Belle May 2 in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), bounced back with an impressive victory June 14 in the Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) under the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs.
The Regret, for 3-year-old fillies, was the second of six stakes during the “Stephen Foster Super Saturday” card at the Louisville track.
Pure Clan, the even-money favorite with Julien Leparoux aboard, tracked the early pace set that was set by C J’s Leelee and Zee Zee throughout the nine-furlong Regret. Robby Albarado, aboard C J’s Leelee, and Kent Desormeaux astride Zee Zee, set the early splits of :24.51, :49.48, and 1:14.04 over the firm turf course. Both were battling at the eighth pole as Pure Clan came with a three-wide move to sweep to the lead.
With a final furlong run in :11 4/5, Pure Clan drew off to defeat C J’s Leelee by 2 3/4 lengths in 1:49.86. It was 1 1/2 lengths back to Zee Zee in third. Magical Thunder finished fourth and Miss Mafioso trailed the field.
Absolutely Cindy and Clearly Foxy were scratched from the Regret field.
"We had the ideal scenario with the two horses to beat setting the pace,” said Leparoux after the race.
Pure Clan returned $4, $2.60, and $2.10. C J’s Leelee paid $3.60 to place and $2.20 to show. Zee Zee paid $2.20 to show. The 4-1 exacta paid $12.60.
Pure Clan is trained by Bob Holthus for Lewis Lakin, IEAH Stables, and Pegasus Holding Group Stables. She was bred in Kentucky by Lewis Lakin and Sons. From the first crop of Vinery stallion Pure Prize, she is out of the General Assembly mare Gather The Clan.
“I think I know where we will be spending the Fourth of July (at Hollywood Park in the 1 1/4-mile American Oaks Invitational, gr. IT, on grass on July 5) if we get an invitation,” said Holthus. “She has trained well on the grass since the Kentucky Oaks and her last work was just awesome. We felt all along that her action was better suited for the grass than the dirt.”
Having raced only in Kentucky and Arkansas’ Oaklawn Park, Pure Clan has a 5-1-2 mark from eight career starts following the $217,000 Regret. The $134,540 first prize gives her career earnings of $552,406. She is now three-for-three on turf, having won her first two outings as 2-year-olds over the turf at Ellis Park and Keeneland, respectively.
In her main track debut, she won the Pocahontas Stakes (gr. II) going a mile at Churchill Downs last October, then was wheeled right back to win the Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill by two lengths Nov. 24.
The Regret marks the first victory of her sophomore campaign, however she had been running solely in graded stakes, and has never failed to hit the board. In successive starts this year, she ran second in the Honeybee (gr. III) and third in the Fantasy (gr. II) at Oaklawn, then was third in the Oaks over a sloppy track.