The Jimmy Takter-trained Father Patrick was a unanimous choice for the 2013 Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter of the Year, posting 10 wins in 11 starts. The only blemish on his card came in his second start when Nuncio bested him by a head in a 2-year-old overnight at the Meadowlands in early July.
Nuncio's five wins last year also included the Matron final at Dover Downs. Included among his five seconds were four runner-up finishes behind Father Patrick, including the elim and final of the Peter Haughton Memorial and the elim and final of the Breeders Crown. But with Nuncio's trainer, Jim Oscarsson, now back home in Sweden, the trotter has found a new home for the 2014 campaign: He's at Takter's farm in New Jersey. Takter admits it's a powerful one-two punch he may have on his hands for the upcoming season for 3-year-old colt trotters.
"Nuncio just got here a couple of days ago and he's fine,” said Takter of the son of Andover Hall who earned $461,074 last year with a mark of 1:53f. "You never know how either one of them will come back. But I'd rather have him with me than race against me.
"You need a lot of bullets in this game. There could be a third horse showing up too, you never know. I know that I have two very, very nice horses. Ability-wise, they are probably the best two of that division.”
Takter said there is one noticeable difference between the two trotters, who were one-two on the 2013 earnings list among freshman colt trotters. "Father Patrick is much more manageable, Nuncio isn't, and hopefully I can teach him to calm down a little bit and put some manners on him,” he said.
Takter also admitted he may have to do some juggling come entry time to give both trotters their best chances.
"You can control them for some stakes and they won't have to race against each other all the time,” he said.