“He doesn’t have a lot of races this year because we didn’t want to travel too much with him,” trainer Jim Oscarsson said. “We just wanted a few races before the Breeders Crown. I’m going to try to get him better next year. That Father Patrick is a good one.”
The son of Andover Hall and Nicole Isabelle was bred by Russell Williams. He is owned by Stall TZ Inc. and is the first foal out of his dam. He was purchased for only $7,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and appears to be a bargain as he has already collected $115,175 from his six miles.
|USTA/Ken Weingartner photo|
|Father Patrick (#9) edged Nuncio by one length in their Breeders Crown elimination.|
The only other colt from Nuncio’s crop to defeat him has been world record holder Father Patrick. He was second in both the elimination and final of the Peter Haughton to the reigning world champion and then in the elimination of the Breeders Crown in a world record mile of 1:52.1.
He won’t have the odds in his favor when he leaves from post eight in the third race on the Breeders Crown card this Saturday, but it’s always nice to have John Campbell holding the reins on your horse.
“The owners and I picked him out together,” Oscarsson said. “He had long legs and a perfect body for us.”
Oscarsson transplanted his family and himself from Sweden last year after deciding the cold weather was not for him. His trotter Aperfectyankee was the most fleet of foot at age two last year, but Nuncio didn’t exhibit how swiftly he could stride until later in his training.
“We took him to Florida (where Oscarsson is based),” he said. “He didn’t show so much in the beginning. He was just an ordinary horse and from February on down until today he has been so good.”
Oscarsson definitely has taken it easy on this colt. He made his debut with a victory in a $12,500 non-winners race on July 12 at Meadowlands Racetrack and beat Father Patrick by a head with a :27.3 last quarter.
His next engagement was a second by a head to Father Patrick in their Peter Haughton Memorial elimination on July 26 and he was soundly defeated by that same rival in the $280,500 Haughton final on August 3.
But Father Patrick is the only horse Nuncio has not finished in front of. He trotted another victorious mile on August 28 at Pocono Downs in a $13,000 non-winners contest and then nabbed a $39,500 division of the Reynolds Stake with ease at Vernon Downs on Sept. 5.
He then captured a qualifier in fine style over the Freehold Raceway surface on Sept. 26, before battling with Father Patrick all the way in that world record mile on Oct. 11 in the Breeders Crown elims.
“He has grown and put on more weight and muscle,” Oscarsson said. “He is a big horse so he needed to do that. He is a good horse and he was a little too hot in his elimination, but he came out of that race fine and it was a new day for him. He’s a tough one and everything is good for him right now.”
Oscarsson will be returning to his native country shortly after the Breeders Crown but Nuncio may remain here rather than accompanying him to Sweden which was the original plan.
“We might have him stay here,” he said. “I’m going to talk to the owner after the race. The only reason I am going home is because of the children. I have two and they are what I need to take care of. This is the same every year and the children only grow up once.
“I am going to come back to this country and try again. And this is a good horse.”