Purely Given (Pure Prize – C K Given, by Point Given) figured racing out pretty quickly…at least, it seemed that way in December of 2013. He broke his maiden third time out, at age two, against state-bred maiden special weight company.
In eleven starts at age three, he never won.
This did not mean he had no signs of life as a racehorse. Through the summer and fall, he consistently found the podium in $25,000 claiming company: seven starts, a second, four thirds. Trainer Tammy Domenosky claimed him on October 31, and notched him up to protected company for the rest of that Hawthorne meet: state-bred N1X. He finished second on his debut for the barn, and then second again. Finally, on January 2, he hit the wire first. He sat right off a pace battle between Doc Galore and Half Foxy, took over, and drew off. He cleared his state-bred N1X just in time to go on his winter break, as the Hawthorne meet closed the next day.
He returned three months later only to sing an old, familiar tune. Sent off the favourite against conditioned state-bred company, he only kicked on enough for third. After another pair of starts in allowance company in which he finished off the board, Purely Given dropped to the lowest tag of his career: $16,000.
He didn’t win on June 21, but he did get claimed.
Maybe the move to trainer Scott Becker helped him along. Maybe the switch to new rider Chris Emigh explained it. Ever since that claim, no one has been able to stop Purely Given.
Tail Gunner Carl had come off a long layoff in fine fettle, winning his first two starts back. He set the lead on July 4, as he liked to do, in a $25,000 conditioned race. Purely Given bided his time a few lengths off, and kicked clear of the pacesetter to win by daylight.
On July 19, Purely Given notched back up to state-bred allowance company: a short but salty field that included Goesse, Plunder, Reigning Catfish, and Slip Kid. Goesse was the speed of the speed in that field of five. As dangerous as speed may be in short fields, Purely Given stalked well in touch, fought down the stretch, and hit the wire a neck in front. A winner of just two before joining his new barn, he had now won two for his new barn.
The next step, which Purely Given tried on August 14, was an open N1X allowance-optional. All three of his protected-company wins to date had come in state-bred company, yet the bettors knew a streaking horse when they saw one. They sent Purely Given out as the 7/5 choice in a field of seven.
Salty speedster Roarin Missile shot to the front, but Media Time went right with him. Purely Given, rail-drawn, settled inside. He sat a couple of lengths back, paired with Western Country. Turning for home, they angled out to get around the leading pair: Purely Given inside, Western Country outside. Roarin Missile dropped out first. Media Time kept fighting, but the duel had taken its toll. The stalking pair passed by, with Purely Given just a sliver ahead.
The horse who had racked up so many second and third place finishes responded with some fight once again. Western Country fought on, staying right near his foe. Western Country tried to close the margin, but Emigh kept asking Purely Given. He had more, just enough to cross the wire a neck in front.
After being winless at three, he had now notched four wins at age four. All three starts for his new barn had resulted in win pictures.
For shifting from second-itis to one of the hottest horses on the grounds, the spotlight shines on Purely Given this week.