After leaving strong from behind the starting gate, one could realize that Father Patrick and driver Yannick Gingras were not going to be passed by and that held to be true as the top colt wired the field in winning the $340,00 Harry M Zweig Memorial for three-year-old colt trotters Friday at Vernon Downs.
With stable mate and entry Nuncio and driver John Campbell also leaving at the start it was a formidable duo that took control of the early lead to the opening quarter mile in a blazing :25.4 seconds.
They raced indian-style to the half mile in an easy :56 and that was when Skates N Plates (Jim Morrill, Jr.) decided to the try coming first-over to no avail as they passed the three-quarters in 1:25.2.
It was then that driver John Campbell moved out of the pocket and started to get Nuncio into high gear to mount a challenge against Father Patrick. But it was not to happen as Gingras urged Father Patrick on and he trotted a :27 second last quarter mile to win with ease by two lengths in 1:52.2. Nuncio was second with Flyhawk El Durado (Mark MacDonald) third.
The time of the race was one-fifth of a second off of tying the stakes record for the Zweig Memorial.
“In the post parade he felt really sharp,” said Yannick Gingras, “He was on the bit and this was one of his best races all year, the way he is supposed to be. When they popped the plugs (Nuncio) you have to worry as he is a great horse too. He tried hard too and never gives up. But once he came alongside my horse then my horse latched on even more. I was really confident with him and did not have to get after him tonight and that’s a good thing.”
For Father Patrick, the son of Cantab Hall posted his seventh win in nine starts this year for trainer Jimmy Takter. It was a sweep of the Zweig Memorial as Taker’s Shake It Cerry earlier captured the Zweig filly division.
Father Patrick is owned by the Father Patrick Stables of East Windsor, NJ and he paid $2.10 to win.
By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com