Trainer Jimmy Takter swept the Breeders Crown championships for 2-year-old trotters as his pupils Father Patrick and Shake It Cerry won easily at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Saturday night.
Father Patrick, the 1-9 favorite, made it look easy as he won the $500,000 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male trotters by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:54. Nuncio was parked in the first turn, finally slipped over to the pylons, but never got off the cones, finishing second while Credit Fashion took third.
It was the 10th win in 11 starts for Father Patrick, and ninth in a row. "He's been a fantastic horse,” said Takter, who won Breeders Crown trophy No. 16, breaking a tie with Bob McIntosh for the most in history. "Everything he's done has been fantastic. He's one-in-a-million. He's the horse I've been waiting for, this kind of dominant colt. He's just a wonderful creature.”
Father Patrick and driver Yannick Gingras went to the front from post two and controlled the race from there. They reached the opening quarter in :26.4, half in :57 and three-quarters in 1:26. World champion Muscle Network made a first-over move on the backstretch and got up to second place on the final turn, but was unable to get any nearer. He finished sixth.
Last week, Father Patrick won his Breeders Crown elimination in 1:52.1, setting the record for a 2-year-old male trotter. His other wins include the William Wellwood Memorial and the Peter Haughton Memorial. His only loss was by a head to Nuncio in his second start.
Father Patrick, who has earned $744,057 this year, is owned by the Father Patrick Stable. He is a son of stallion Cantab Hall out of the mare Gala Dream and is a full brother to millionaire Pastor Stephen, who finished second by a head to Manofmanymissions in the 2010 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male trotters in 1:53.2, which was the world record until Father Patrick's mile last weekend. Father Patrick was bred by Brittany Farms, who sold his yearling full brother to Takter for $475,000 at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale a few weeks ago.
"I think he's just better than everybody; he's more complete," said Takter of Father Patrick. "There are a couple of horses that have high speed, like Nuncio, but you have to put everything in the package. He's definitely the best horse out there.
Nuncio has finished second to Father Patrick four times this season.
"This colt just raced super tonight,” said John Campbell, who drove Nuncio. "Jim (trainer Oscarsson) made a few bridle changes and it made him much more controllable. The rain didn't affect him at all and it hasn't made a difference in the surface yet.”
Shake It Cerry wired the field to win the $500,000 Two-Year-Old Filly Trot and was never threatened. World champion Cooler Schooner broke stride early and was not a factor in the race. Struck By Lindy enjoyed a two-hole trip behind Shake It Cerry and driver Ron Pierce and finished second while Market Rally got up for third.
"I knew I was going to get everything my way after that (Cooler Schooner break) pretty much,” said Pierce. "I figured Lifetime Pursuit would be coming; I didn't know she made a break behind the gate. I was waiting on her kind of, and she never showed, so I just had things my way up there.”
Shake It Cerry, a Donato Hanover filly, was bred and is owned by Solveig's Racing Partners, which includes Takter's wife, Christina. Shake It Cerry's dam, Solveig, who is named for Jimmy Takter's mother, was a top performer on the track before she became a broodmare. Earlier this year she won the Merrie Annabelle final at the Meadowlands.