Always A Virgin captures Cane Pace, first leg of the triple crown

Updated: September 3, 2007, 8:14 PM ET
Associated Press

FREEHOLD, N.J. -- Always A Virgin took command early on and ran away with the $300,000 Cane Pace at Freehold Raceway on Monday, setting a new course record in the process.

Driven by Brian Sears and trained by Joe Holloway, the 3-year-old colt covered the mile in 1:51.1 to win the opening leg of pacing's triple crown.

Always A Virgin finished five lengths ahead of Southwind Lynx, while Fresh Deck -- a stablemate of the winner -- finished third after taking the early lead.

Always A Virgin was fourth early on before making a move and grabbing the lead at the halfmile mark. He then pulled away from the field and was never challenged.

"It worked almost as perfect as it could be," Holloway said. "I thought I could have been one-two, I was trying to root the other one (Fresh Deck) home, but this was nice."

Always A Virgin will now head to the Little Brown Jug, the second leg of the triple crown, which will be held Sept. 20 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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