Pure Justice came from off the pace to win the $75,000 Emerald Necklace Stakes Oct. 21 at JACK Thistledown Racino, to win the six furlong race for 2-year-old fillies by 6 3/4 lengths, giving trainer Gary Patrick his 2001st win.
Two races earlier, his 4-year-old filly Sashenka won the sixth race for the milestone 2,000th win. Patrick owns and trains both fillies.
"My wife (Cindy) and I are so happy," Patrick said. "It's been tough, and it's been fun. I remember when we hit a thousand and nobody said anything. The next thing I knew, we hit 1,200, and I told Cindy, 'If we try really hard, and we have good luck and good horses, we might get to 2,000.' And here we are."
Pure Justice was fourth early in the Emerald Necklace behind the :22.40 and :47.06 pace set by Linda N Michelle. Winning jockey Edgar Paucar swung Pure Justice out entering the stretch, took the lead at the eighth pole, and drew off to the wire. First-time starter Silky Tassels closed for second, getting past fellow firster No Truer by half a length.
"I was in shock to see (Pure Justice) way back going down the backside," Patrick said. "I thought she would be closer. But they were going pretty fast and (Paucar) had plenty of horse down the lane. She had plenty left in the gas tank. The jockey rode a perfect race."
Pure Justice completed the six furlongs in 1:14.02 over a fast track and paid $3.60, $2.60 and $2.10 acroos the board as the 4-5 favorite.
The leading earner for freshman sire Twinspired, Pure Justice is out of Corner Girl, by Is It True. She was bred in Ohio by Justice Farm and Greg Justice. The Emerald Necklace is her first stakes win, boosting her record to two wins and one second from five starts for earnings of $66,580.
The all-time leading trainer at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino since Indiana began pari-mutuel racing in 1995, Patrick has been training without interruption since 1968. His record also includes 2,121 seconds and 2,192 thirds, and his purse earnings stand at more than $16 million. In addition to Pure Justice, his recent top horses include stakes winners Mo Money, who won the Crown Ambassador Stakes at Indiana Grand earlier this month, Short Round, Justice for Themob, Daddy Justice, and Country Minister. A native of Circleville, Ohio, Patrick has raced throughout the Midwest and Florida.
The Patricks run a family stable, owning and racing their own horses. They currently have 45 to 50 in training. The family maintains a broodmare band on the farm and also owns a second farm and training track in Florida.