Father Patrick leads Takter brigade into Hoosier Park stakes
Harness racing’s richest horse this year, Father Patrick, will look to add to his bankroll when he visits Indiana’s Hoosier Park for Friday’s $230,000 Carl Erskine Trot for 3-year-olds.
Father Patrick, who on Tuesday ascended to the No. 1 spot in the weekly Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, knocking Sebastian K from the position he held each of the previous 23 weeks of the rankings, drew post one for the Erskine with regular driver Yannick Gingras. Father Patrick has earned $1.38 million this year.
The Erskine is part of a stakes-filled card at Hoosier, along with the $275,000 Monument Circle for 3-year-old male pacers, $211,500 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for older pacers, $193,000 Moni Maker for 3-year-old female trotters, and $176,500 Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old female pacers.
Father Patrick hails from the stable of trainer Jimmy Takter, who conditions the five richest trotters in North America this season: 3-year-old colts Father Patrick, Nuncio and Trixton, followed by 3-year-old fillies Shake It Cerry and Lifetime Pursuit. Nuncio, who last weekend won the Yonkers Trot, has earned $1.29 million. It marks the first time in harness racing history that one trainer has produced two million-dollar trotters in the same division.
Shake It Cerry and Lifetime Pursuit will square off in the Moni Maker Stakes.
Father Patrick is coming off a three-length victory in the American-National Stakes at Chicago’s Balmoral Park on Oct. 11. He has won 11 of 14 starts this year, including the Canadian Trotting Classic, Beal Memorial, Zweig Memorial, and Stanley Dancer Memorial.
He has five wins in his most recent six races, with his only setback being a second-place finish to Nuncio in the Kentucky Futurity on Oct. 5.
“He got a nice little break after the American-National,” Takter said. “He had a little foot issue (in the Futurity). He wasn’t happy about that. In his start in Chicago, I saw right away he was on the right foot there.
“It’s got to be perfect for these horses, that’s the way it is.”
Father Patrick, a son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream owned by the Christina Takter-led Father Patrick Stable ownership group, has won 21 of 25 career races and $2.12 million. He was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter.
Takter also sends Odds On Amethyst to the Erskine. Odds On Amethyst has won three of 10 races this season, but gone off stride in five losses.
“He’s fast enough, but whether he’s going to manner himself, that’s another thing,” Takter said.
The race also includes home-track star Rose Run Parker, from the stable of trainer Ron Burke. Rose Run Parker, who has never raced anywhere but Hoosier Park, has won 13 of 15 races this year and $324,700. He will start from post three with regular driver Ricky Macomber Jr.
Shake It Cerry has won 12 of 14 races this year and $803,436 while Lifetime Pursuit has won eight of 15 starts and $706,729. Shake It Cerry, the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter, leaves from post six with driver Ron Pierce while Lifetime Pursuit has post two with Gingras.
Last time out, Shake It Cerry beat Lifetime Pursuit by three-quarters of a length in the American-National for 3-year-old female trotters.
“Both of them raced very good in Chicago,” Takter said. “They’re going to meet again in Indiana. They’re both very, very nice fillies. They’ve been able to stay sound.”
Takter’s Somewhere In L A, who bumped the starting gate and suffered a nosebleed in the American-National for 3-year-old male pacers and struggled to a seventh-place finish, takes on the Burke Stable’s JK Endofanera, Limelight Beach, Big Boy Dreams, At Press Time, and Forty Five Red in the Monument Circle.
“He’s such a good horse,” Takter said about Somewhere In L A. “I love that horse. He’s as good as any 3-year-old pacing colt out there. He’s very, very tough. I trained him back twice now, and no bleeding. I talked to (Dr.) Patty Hogan and she thought he’s going to be fine.”
The Monument Circle also includes Joe Holloway’s Always B Miki, Joe Seekman’s Let’s Drink On It, and Erv Miller’s Jet Airway.
Takter’s Uffizi Hanover is among the nine 3-year-old filly pacers in the Nadia Lobell, which also includes Jugette winner Color’s A Virgin from the stable of Brian Brown.
“Uffizi trained so good,” Takter said. “She’s been having so much problems in the turns, but she was fantastic today. Uffizi, when she has the right day, she’s good.”
The Burke Stable is also well represented in the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, sending out Sweet Lou, Foiled Again, Bettor’s Edge, Clear Vision, and Easy Again.
Sweet Lou, who has won 10 of 16 races and $958,558 this year, will try to snap a three-race losing streak. Foiled Again has won six of 23 starts and $701,643 this season, pushing his North American record for career purses to $6.73 million.