Jimmy Takter sent out his two top trotters in the $25,000 eliminations for the Earl Beal, Jr., Memorial for three-year-olds Saturday at Pocono Downs and the hall of fame trainer went home with two impressive wins.
Nuncio was the fastest of the two divisions, scoring a half length victory over a game Datsyuk in a lifetime best time of 1:52.2.
Datsyuk and driver/trainer Charlie Norris was the first on the lead to the opening quarter mile in a speedy :27.2 but they had to give way to driver John Campbell and Nuncio. Nuncio then led the field to the half in :56.4 and with no real pressure on the outside went to the three-quarters in 1:25.
As they started down the stretch, Norris came after Nuncio with Datsyuk and gave them a battle to the wire but could not catch them at the finish. Don Dorado (Tim Tetrick) was third with Well Built (Jim Meittinis) grabbing fourth place to make the final next week.
“He was real strong to the end of the mile,” Campbell said of Nuncio. “He trotted a big last half and a strong last quarter mile. Next week a lot will depend on the draw.”
Sired by Andover Hall, Nuncio remains undefeated in 2014 with four straight wins for the Takter Stable. He is owned by Stall Tz, Inc. of Vero Beach, FL and paid $2.60 to win.
In the fifth race second division, the 2013 Dan Patch 2YO Trotting Colt of the Year, Father Patrick, did not disappoint anyone. Driven by Yannick Gingras, the son of Cantab Hall went to the lead after early pacesetter Harper Blue Chip (Brian Sears) led to the opening quarter mile in :27.4.
From that point on, Father Patrick held the field at bay, leading to the half in :57. Skates N Plates (Tim Tetrick) tried coming first-over, giving cover to Auspicious Hanover (Matt Kakaley) to the three-quarters in 1:25.2, but by the top of the stretch the race was history.
Yannick asked his trotter for some speed and Father Patrick took off, leaving the rest of the field and winning with ease by two and three-quarter lengths in 1:52.4. Harper Blue Chip was second with Sumatra (Brett Miller) third and also making the final was Outburst (Andrew McCarthy) in fourth.
“They gave him a lot of respect tonight,” said Yannick Gingras of Father Patrick. “He had an easy mile tonight. He was just starting to get going at the end of the mile. Next week is going to be a great race.”
Undefeated in 2014 with four straight wins, 14 wins in 15 lifetime starts, Father Patrick, trained by Jimmy Takter, is owned by the Father Patrick Stable of East Windsor, NJ paid just $2.10 to win.
“They both raced fantastic,” Takter said. “They came into this race as good as they can. Nuncio is very good but Father Patrick is a little better. We have taught Nuncio how to harness his energy.”
The Beal Final next week will race for a purse of $500,000. The fastest fifth place finisher of the two divisions, Amped Up Hanover, will also be in the final.
By Steve Wolf and Brian McEvoy, for Harnesslink.com