Wilkes-Barre, PA---Father Patrick, dubbed early in the campaign by trainer Jimmy Takter as “possibly one of the greatest trotters of all time,” did nothing to diminish those expectations Saturday night (June 21) at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, winning his $25,000 elimination for next week’s $500,000 Earl Beal Trot for 3-year-old colts in 1:52.4.
|Curtis Salonick Photos|
|Father Patrick won his Beal elimination in 1:52.4. He will be joined in next week's Beal final by Harper Blue Chip, Sumatra and Outburst.|
The son of Cantab Hall, owned by the Father Patrick Stable of New Jersey, was reserved in third early by driver Yannick Gingras, then moved him at the 27.4 quarter directly to the lead, reaching the half in “walkin’ horse” time of 57. Gingras sharpened the speed one notch down the back to reach the three-quarters in 1:25.2, then downshifted again with the colt, coming home in 27.2 to complete a 1:52.4 package, 2-¼ lengths ahead of pocketsitter Harper Blue Chip, who was followed under the line by Sumatra and Outburst.
In the first Beal elimination, the Andover Hall colt Nuncio ($2.60) followed his Takter stablemate’s example by taking his fourth victory of an undefeated 2014 campaign, defeating pacesetting Datsyuk by a half-length in 1:52.2. Datsyuk, in only his fifth lifetime start, fought hard early to get the lead and set fractions of 27.2, 56.4, and 1:25, with Nuncio and driver John Campbell advancing to be just outside the leader entering the final turn.
Nuncio (2) beat Datsyuk to win his Beal elimination in 1:52.2. Don Dorado, Well Built and Amped Up Hanover also advanced to the final.
When asked he was confident or concerned around the final turn, Campbell said, ”Confident. He still felt very strong to me.”
Nuncio, who took a lifetime mark and set a national season’s record, proved Campbell correct by trotting by Datsyuk past midstretch for Stall TZ Inc. of Florida. Don Dorado, who raced in the pocket after a break by early challenger Hill I Am, stayed plugged until very late in finishing third, with Well Built fourth and Amped Up Hanover the faster of the fifth-place finishers to earn a spot in next week’s final.