Lexington, KY --- Freshman trotting colt sensation Father Patrick ran his winning streak to seven with a 1:54 score in a $90,100 Bluegrass Stakes division on Friday night (Sept. 27) at The Red Mile.
Yannick Gingras was in the bike for trainer Jimmy Takter and the Father Patrick Stable as the son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream ran his 2013 bank account to $481,557 with his eighth win overall in nine trips to the post. Father Patrick paid $2.10 across the board.
Starting from post position three in a field of seven, the 1-9 favorite got away second as Speak The Truth (Tim Tetrick) took the field to the opening quarter in :28.4.
But Gingras did not sit in the pocket for long, brushing Father Patrick to the lead on the backstretch and taking control of the race by the :58 half.
From there it was all Father Patrick as he took the field to the three-quarter pole in 1:27 and trotted a final quarter in :27 to hit the wire in 1:54. Lightning Force (John Campbell) rallied to finish second with Raise The Curtain (Sylvain Filion) third.
"I just wanted to take it easy; it's been a long year already," said Gingras. "I was trying to save something for the next couple of weeks and next year as well.
"He's a very, very special horse. I haven't turned him loose yet, you know what I mean. He can go so fast it's scary.
"I didn't take them (ear plugs) out tonight, either. I'm sitting on some more, I'm not sure exactly how much and I don't want to find out."
Trainer Jimmy Takter said Father Patrick will not race in Lexington next week. His next start will be in the Breeders Crown at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Eliminations (if necessary) will be held on Oct. 11, with the final on Oct. 19.
While Father Patrick continued to grab the headlines, he was not the only star in the Bluegrass Stakes on Friday.
The $90,100 third and final division for the freshman trotting males saw Outburst (Ron Pierce) nail Southwind Spirit (Yannick Gingras) at the wire in 1:53.1, the fastest race mile ever for a freshman trotting gelding on a mile track.
Owned by Adam Victor & Son Stable, Mirva Bogucki, and trainer Noel Daley, the son of Explosive Matter-Exquisite Lady posted his fourth win in seven lifetime efforts, lifting his career earnings to $89,154.
Outburst ($16.20) sat a pocket trip behind Southwind Spirit, who put up fractions of :28.3, :57 and 1:25.3. Down the stretch, Outburst came off the rail and nailed the leader at the wire in a tight photo. Trixton (Jimmy Takter) was third.
"You couldn't ask for a better trip," said Pierce. "My colt was hanging on the right line a little bit and to get my nose past Yannick I had to just kind of turn his head loose a little bit.
"We got a little close there, but I thought I nailed him."
The middle $90,100 division of the Bluegrass Stakes was captured by Odds On Amethyst with a wire-to-wire performance in a lifetime best 1:54.2.
Tim Tetrick was in the bike for trainer Robin Schadt and owner Odds On Racing as the son of Muscle Hill-Mystical Sunshine won for the second time in five lifetime starts. His share of the purse more than doubled his career earnings to $79,578.
"Yeah, he was OK; you know he did everything right," said Tetrick. "He's got some ability; he's a little head strong at times. But he let me do my thing with him and he relaxed.
"Father Patrick, he's pretty special. This horse is not going to embarrass himself if he stays trotting. He's made some mistakes but he's on the right path right now. Today we didn't pull the plugs and he had plenty left.
"Can he go with Father Patrick? We'll have to see."
PRECOCIOUS BEAUTY SCORES IN 1:51
Lexington, KY --- James Avritt, Sr.'s Precocious Beauty continued her impressive freshman campaign when she defeated a field of nine filly pacers in an $85,900 division of the Bluegrass Stakes on Friday night (Sept. 27) at The Red Mile.
Doug McNair piloted the Art Major-Precious Beauty miss to her fifth straight victory and her sixth in eight lifetime starts. The Gregg McNair trainee has now earned $402,792.
Act Now (Ron Pierce) was the early leader in this race, taking the field to the opening quarter in :27.1 before yielding to Beach Gal (Scott Zeron) at the :54.2 half-mile marker.
Beach Gal continued to lead at the 1:24.3 three-quarter pole, but Precocious Beauty ($3.00) was finally up to challenge after sitting fifth for most of the mile.
She blew by the leader midway down the stretch and powered home in a quick 1:51. Southwind Silence (Yannick Gingras) rallied to finish second while Beach Gal ended up third.
"Hard to believe, isn't it?" was the initial response from owner/breeder Avritt in the winner's circle. "Hard for me to believe, I'll tell you that.
"I've known Gregg for years. He bought a colt off of me many years ago, I think a Matt's Scooter colt, and I introduced myself to him at that time and kept in touch with him over the years and he's trained horses for me.
"He does a great job and I can't thank him enough, or Susie, the lady that takes cares of this filly. And Doug's done a great job driving her. I just can't thank them enough."
The $86,900 second division of the Bluegrass freshman filly pace went to Frank Bellino's She's Da Bomb, who overcame post position 10 to win in a personal best 1:50.3.
"Obviously I wasn't happy to see the ten hole," said Jamieson. "But Lexington is a different animal. It's way more forgiving, the surface. The ten hole here isn't near as detrimental as it is at the Meadowlands, or Mohawk or Woodbine, absolutely for sure.
"This filly is a freak creature. She's unreal. I didn't use her much before the half, but she did a lot of work from the half on. She was just waiting on them in the stretch, like she's not all done.
"I'm ecstatic to have the chance to keep driving her and hopefully it's going to be a real productive year in the next couple of weeks."
Another 1:50.3 clocking was posted in the $86,900 third division as Al Libfeld, Marvin Katz and Sam Goldband's Uffizi Hanover (David Miller) came from far back to defeat Gallie Bythe Beach (John Campbell) and I Need Hotstuff (Yannick Gingras).
The Jimmy Takter trainee, a daughter of Well Said-Up Front Dragonfly, won for the first time in eight lifetime efforts, with her share of the purse lifting her career earnings to $90,565. Uffizi Hanover paid $14.20 to win.
"I raced her at Hoosier last week (a second in a division of the Kentuckiana Stallion Management) and I liked her real well," said Miller.
"I wasn't happy with my trip here; she didn't want to go up to the gate. She got away back. They were kind of moving along but our cover stalled out. On the last turn I didn't think much of her chances really of winning. But I pulled her out and she hit another gear and took off.
"I thought for sure I was too far out of it there, but she set sail coming for home and she got by them."
Reprinted with permission from the USTA Communications Department