WILKES-BARRE PA--The terrific two-year-old trotting colt Father Patrick got Saturday's $5.75M Breeders Crown Championship Night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs off to a formful start with his tenth victory in 11 lifetime starts, an easy engine triumph in 1:54 for driver Yannick Gingras, who rolled a natural sulky triple to start off the monster card.
Gingras decided to take the shortest route to Victory Lane, leaving very hard from post two and put everybody in behind through a solid 26.4 first quarter. From there it was a relative walk in the Pocono park, as Father Patrick got to the half in 57 and the 3/4s in 1:26 before picking up the pace approaching headstretch under mild Gingras tapping, winning much more easily than the 1 1/4 length margin would suggest. Nuncio, forced to take back to an early rail spot on the rail after a quick start, came up the inside for second a neck ahead of pocketsitting Credit Fashion; Southwind Spirit and Expressive Action got the final checks.
Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter, who became the Breeders Crown's all-time leading trainer with his 16th Crown, ahead of Bob McIntosh by one now, commented afterwards: "Father Patrick is just a wonderful creature. Others in this division do have ability, high speed, but no one has the total package put together like he does. I hope that we haven't seen the best of him yet." That sentiment is surely echoed by his ownership, the Father Patrick Stable flock, and breeders Brittany Farms.
Driver Gingras stated that "I left hard because I didn't want anybody but Nuncio ahead of me at any point, and when he took a tuck, the race was basically over." Asked about possible Trotter of the Year honors, Yannick opined: "Should Bee A Magician get beaten tonight, I think he deserves serious consideration."
Vibe Blue Chip completed a Daily Double sweep for North America's leading trainer, Ron Burke, and Gingras when he won a $75,000 Invitational trot for sophomores in 1:53.3, taking a new mark. Major Athens posted early fractions of 27.2 and 56.1; Gingras rolled raw with the Andover Hall gelding in front of the stands, with "Vibe" sustaining the bid to clear to the lead at the 1:24.1 3/4s and never being threatened from there. Rossini outbobbed Picture This for second behind the winner, owned by Joseph DiScala Jr. and Cynthia Massari.
Former world champion Ultimate Beachboy was parked to a 26 quarter, but was in control the rest of the way in the curtainraiser, a $75,000 Invitational pace for three-year-olds, scoring in 1:49.1. Driver Gingras and the Somebeachsomewhere gelding posted middle splits of 54.2 and 1:21.3; Lonewolf Currier loomed boldly off of cover at headstretch and paced well through the lane, but came up a length shy while just holding off Mach It So, who was on his back, for the deuce. The seven-time seasonal winner is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, and Jack Piatt III.
The large Breeders Crown crowd of enthusiasts showed their handicapping savvy by making the winner of these three races betting favorites.
Jerry Connors for Harnesslink.com