When you're a superstar, you can win by a small margin and still make it seem like it was effortless. So Nuncio and Father Patrick, the twin 3-year-old superstars of the Jimmy Takter barn, proved in winning $72,300 divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There were three Sire Stakes divisions held on the night for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings.
In his division, Nuncio (Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle), two-for-two in Sire Stakes action this season coming into the night, sank to last in the seven-horse field early before beginning a long first-over journey on the front stretch. Even when pacesetter Don Dorado built a sizable lead, driver Matt Kakaley and Nuncio never panicked and eventually glided by Don Dorado in the final strides to win by a neck in 1:53.3. Outburst finished third.
Father Patrick (Cantab Hall-Gala Dream), like Nuncio, was a 1-9 favorite in his split, which was no surprise considering his career record coming in of 12 wins in 13 starts. Kakaley sent him to the front past Datsyuk, who came into the race with wins in all three of his previous career races, and led him through fractions that were less than imposing. With Datsyuk all-out in the passing lane, Kakaley gently urged Father Patrick home to beat his persistent foe by a neck in 1:53.1. Dony Andreas picked up the show.
In the night's remaining Sire Stakes division, Madewell Hanover (Yankee Glide-Mayday Hanover) cashed in on a strong first-over move to win in a career-best 1:53.4. Owned, trained, and driven by Chris Ryder, Madewell Hanover scored as the 4-1 third choice. JJ Alex finished second while 3-5 favorite Amped Up Hanover settled for third.
In other action on Saturday night at Pocono, Bolt The Duer captured the $25,000 Preferred pace and Not Afraid did the honors in the $25,000 Preferred Trot. It was the first win of the year for Bolt The Duer, driven by Mark MacDonald and trained by Peter Foley, who paced first-over to a victory in 1:48:2. Not Afraid, driven by Jim Morrill Jr. for trained Jimmy Takter, overpowered the field on the front end to a win in a career-best 1:51.4. (Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs)