Father Patrick Wins Canadian Trotting Classic

Published: September 13, 2014 08:52 pm EDT

Proving his dominance once again after his Hambletonian miscue, Father Patrick captured the 39th edition of the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Jimmy Takter during a stakes-packed Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack.

Ironically, Father Patrick's Hambletonian winning stablemate Trixton made an unfortunate miscue at the start this time out for another bittersweet result for the Takter stable.

Meanwhile, Damfoolrmillionair fired across the track from outside the stablemates to establish the early lead over Muscle Matters and Harper Blue Chip with Il Sogno Dream parked out and Father Patrick outside second over. Damfoolrmillionair led the field in that order through opening fractions of :26.4 and :55.2.

Gingras then sent Father Patrick three-wide around the tiring Il Sogno Dream and moved up to challenge the leader as they approached the third quarter mark in 1:24. Father Patrick trotted by Damfoolrmillionair heading into the stretch and opened up three lengths on top.

E L Titan launched a late rally from the backfield but couldn't catch Father Patrick as he cruised home for the 1:52.4 triumph. E L Titan and Chris Christoforou finished second one and three-quarter lengths behind while Harper Blue Chip and Sylvain Filion were seven lengths back third.

Father Patrick paid $2.70 to win as the 1-5 favourite.

"It's definitely huge," said Gingras of winning his first Canadian Trotting Classic. "The Hambletonian is a race I'd like to forget. This is the second biggest race so it's nice to get it for him. He's a great horse. It was just that day, but I said it that day, it would be hard-pressed if he'd get beat again. From here on out, I think he'll be the best horse, no doubt."

The victory was Takter's third in the Classic. He also won the race in 2002 with Kadabra and was victorious in the 1997 edition with Red Xing.

Owned by the Father Patrick Stable, the Cantab Hall-Gala Dream colt is nine-for-11 in his $1.17 million three-year-old season.

“It was just a fantastic effort tonight," said co-owner John Fielding. "We’ve always thought this colt was the best colt I’ve ever owned. Jimmy, his wife Christina and myself have owned many, many great horses over the years. But this colt ranks up there as probably number one of all of them. It was disappointing at the Hambletonian, but tonight he was fantastic. It was just a great thrill."

"He went a huge trip. He was out the whole way, he never saw the rail," said Gingras, adding that is was unfortunate that Trixton made a break in stride.

"Trixton here I'm a little concerned over him," said Takter. "He had bad hind ankles, he had to have surgery in that one, and I didn't like the way he went behind the gate there and he got really rough. I think it could be the end of him [racing]."

Shake It Cerry Equals Canadian Record

The Jimmy Takter-trained three-year-old trotting filly Shake It Cerry turned in a dazzling 1:52.1 stakes, track and Canadian record equalling performance on the undercard in the $409,000 Elegantimage Stakes.

The Canadian record is co-held by former Elegantimage Stakes winners Check Me Out and Bee A Magician along with Lifetime Pursuit, who equalled the mark in the Casual Breeze Stakes in August.

Last year's Peaceful Way Stakes champion Riveting Rosie and Paul MacDonell established the early lead during a :27-second opening quarter, but the parked out Scream And Shout worked her way to the top in rein to Yannick Gingras and then her favoured stablemate, Shake It Cerry, rolled by. Shake It Cerry and Ron Pierce cleared to command just before the :55.4 half-mile mark and opened up three lengths on top by the 1:24.3 third quarter station. Down the stretch, the 4-5 favourite continued to draw away from the field for the nine and a quarter length victory with Riveting Rosie and Scream And Shout chasing her home in second and third.

"I figured I'd just take it as easy as I could early and follow Yannick to the top," said Pierce of his racing strategy. "We just kind of had a breather that third quarter. I asked her to go a little bit turning for home and she responded well and was just full of trot. I never turned the whip around and I never pulled her earplugs. I just kind of sat there, I was just a passenger. Jimmy had her tuned up. She's an amazing filly. I just love her."

Owned by the Solveigs Racing Partners, the millionaire Donato Hanover-Solveig filly has won nine of her 11 races and nearly $600,000 this year.

"I've always said this is the best three-year-old filly of this crop," said Takter. "Lifetime Pursuit is quite good too, but I know this filly, she had a tough run in the Hambletonian [Oaks where she finished fourth] and she's just a fantastic horse and she bounces back every time. I think she earned all the respect she gets."

Shake It Cerry returned $3.60 to her backers at the betting windows.

Bax Sweeps Top Spots In Peaceful Way Stakes

With overwhelming 1-9 favourite Mission Brief making a costly break in stride off the gate, the 2014 Peaceful Way Stakes set up for John Bax-trained two-year-old trotting fillies to sweep the top three spots in the $385,000 final on Saturday's stakes card at Mohawk Racetrack.

Stubborn Belle and driver Paul MacDonell swept around the early leaver after the :28.1 opening quarter and led the field through middle splits of :57.2 and 1:26.2 before holding off the quick-closing Juanita Fury and Steve Condren by half a length for the victory in 1:56 flat, with Southwind Champane and Steve Byron coming on for third. Stubborn Belle paid $19.50 to win for the 8-1 upset.

"I didn't expect it," said MacDonell, referring the the break made by world champion Mission Brief, "but you had to think about it because if she was going to get beat she would likely beat herself. I'm upset for those people, she's still a great filly, but we had to take advantage of it when the time came."

Stubborn Belle gave Bax and MacDonell back-to-back wins in the Peaceful Way Stakes as they also teamed up to take last year's edition with O'Brien Award winner Riveting Rosie.

"It feels good. It's a prestigious race. Peaceful Way was a great mare and I'm glad they named the race after her," said MacDonell. "My hat has to go off to John Bax here, he's come in one-two-three and I know we were up against Mission Brief there, but he had these horses prepared and ready to go tonight. He's just a perfect guy with a trotter. He's relaxed and doesn't get anxious and worried about how they're coming along at any time in the year. He knows things will fall into place and my hat's off to him."

Stubborn Belle was a runner-up to Mission Brief in that filly's 1:52.1 world record mile during last week's eliminations. A winner in the Champlain Stakes the previous week and Ontario Sires Stakes, the Taurus Dream-Musetta Hanover filly is now four-for-eight in her career with earnings soaring over $300,000 for Bax, who shares ownership with his Parkhill Stud Farm partners along with Al Libfeld of Pickering, Ont.

"She's come along," noted MacDonell. "She always had the strength and size, but she was touching herself early in the season and wasn't sure of her gait and John was playing with her, I know, shoeing-wise and she's just improved and improved and improved. The night I went to Ottawa [Aug. 10] and she won [an OSS Gold event] handily I knew she was gearing up for a nice Fall season."

Habitat Romps In William Wellwood Memorial Trot

After their chances diminished for a stakes victory with two-year-old trotting filly Mission Brief in the Peaceful Way, driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke rebounded to score a dominant win in the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial Trot for two-year-old colts with Habitat avoiding any serious challenges as another top contender broke stride early on.

Gingras sent 8-5 second choice Habitat to the lead while slight favourite Uncle Lasse self-destructed. Meanwhile, Jetpedia went wide around the breaker and advanced into the pocket. Habitat led the field past the quarter in :28 and the half in :57.2 and quickly opened up an insurmountable five-length lead on his way to the third quarter mark in 1:26.1. Habitat extended his lead down the lane to six and three-quarter lengths and hit the wire in 1:54.2, matching his lifetime mark. Jetpedia and Mike Saftic stayed for second while Southwind Stryker and Steve Condren came in third.

"My horse is really handy," said Gingras after the win. "I thought the horse to beat was obviously Uncle Lasse...Actually I didn't realize he ran. I thought he got away third and figured he'd be coming back and when he didn't I figured something happened."

A runner-up to the Jimmy Takter-trained Uncle Lasse in last week's eliminations, Habitat paid $5.20 to win the rich final. With victories in the Champlain Stakes, Tompkins Stakes and Kindergarten Series in previous weeks, the Conway Hall-Habits Best colt now has four wins in seven starts on his career record and nearly $300,000 in earnings.

"I really liked him from the 'get-go,'" noted Gingras. "He was very well mannered, good-gaited, he does everything right. He's a real nice two-year-old."

Burke shares ownership of Habitat as part of the Burke Racing Stable LLC with Our Horse Cents Stables and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.

When asked about Mission Brief's miscue, Gingras simply chalked it up to a bad day for the filly.

"Yeah, you know, that's her," he said. "Ronnie had talked about it before; there's going to be good days and bad days and today was one of her bad days. She's scary, scary good but there's little quirks about her."

Field Set For Milton Stakes

On an evening when the trotters had the spotlight, the sport’s best older pacing mares contested two eliminations for next Saturday’s $286,000 Milton Stakes.

Sixteen of the finest pacing mares were split into two $35,000 eliminations.

In the first elimination, Krispy Apple and Tim Tetrick converted off a two-hole trip to win in 1:50.4.

Trained by P.J. Fraley, Kripsy Apple started her season 0-for-16 before picking up a victory in her most recent start at Pocono Downs.

Saturday evening, the six-year-old daughter of Western Ideal proved that victory was no fluke with a length victory in her Milton Stakes elimination. The Ron Burke-trained Summertime Lea and Camille finished second and third, while Aunt Caroline and Monkey On My Wheel secured the final two spots into next week’s final.

Owned by Bamond Racing LLC and Joseph Davino, the Milton elimination was the 26th victory of Krispy Apple’s career and added to her more than $1.15 million career bankroll.

She paid $6.70 to win.

In the second elimination, Yagonnakissmeornot split horses to prevail by a narrow margin over Shelliscape in 1:51.1.

A hot early battle between Voelz Hanover, Yagonnakissmeornot and Rocklamation got the field to the opening quarter in :25.4. Voelz Hanover would eventually come away with the lead, but not long after Tim Tetrick fired up Anndrovette and sent her to the lead.

After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:22.4, Anndrovette led the field into the stretch and was quickly confronted by Voelz Hanover from out of the two-hole.

Yagonnakissmeornot, who was third along the rail at the three-quarter pole, made a charge to the outside of Voelz Hanover, while Shelliscape was on the far outside taking her best shot. At the wire, Yagonnakissmeornot held off Shelliscape by a head, while Anndrovette finished third ahead of Voelz Hanover in fourth. Charisma Hanover finished fifth to lock up the final spot in next week’s final.

Trained by Rene Allard, Yagonnakissmeornot has now won 10 of 23 starts this year and 24 races in her career.

A five-year-old daughter of The Panderosa, Yagonnakissmeornot has career earnings of more than $630,000 and is owned by Allard Racing Inc., Yves Sarrazin and Kapildeo Singh.

She paid $8.50 to win.

Following the eliminations, the post position drew took place for next week’s $286,000 final. Elimination winners earned the right to select their posts.

Here is how they will lineup next week:

PP - Horse - Driver

1. Monkey On My Wheel - Chris Christoforou
2. Yagonnakissmeornot - Jody Jamieson
3. Krispy Apple - Tim Tetrick
4. Camille - Yannick Gingras
5. Shelliscape - Scott Zeron
6. Voelz Hanover - Randy Waples
7. Anndrovette - Tim Tetrick
8. Aunt Caroline - Ron Pierce
9. Summertime Lea - Sylvain Filion
10. Charisma Hanover - Doug McNair
AE: Ferrari Sena - Sylvain Filion

Odds On Equuleus Wins Preferred Pace

Odds On Equuleus put an end to Dovuto Hanover's rein in the $34,000 Preferred Pace over the past two weeks at Mohawk, defeating him by one length during Saturday night's Canadian Trotting Classic undercard.

Catch-driver Scott Zeron sent Odds On Equuleus off Dovuto Hanover's cover turning for home and the Tony Alagna trainee sprinted his final quarter in :26.3 to steal the spotlight. He hit the wire in 1:49.4 with 'Dovuto' crossing in second for Ron Pierce and the Rick Zeron-driven Piston Broke edging out 6-5 favourite Thinking Out Loud for show close behind.

Firing across the track from the outside post nine, a rough-gaited Captive Audience had led through fractions of :26.4 and :55. Michaels Power swept around him on the way to the 1:22.2 third quarter mark, but was overtaken in the stretch by the late-closers.

Odds On Equuleus is a son of Art Major, owned by Odds On Racing. The fourth victory of his 12-race campaign pushed his seasonal earnings over the $100,000 mark while his lifetime earnings climbed to $787,326.

He paid $5.60 to win as the 9-5 second choice.

Another Racing Under Saddle Victory For Radical Dreamer

Radical Dreamer and Marit Valstad held off Smarty Pants and Riina Rekila by three-quarters of a length to win a $15,000 Trotting Under Saddle non-wagering race, contested after the third race.

The five-year-old Majestic Son mare, who is owned by trainer Ron O'Neill and Doug Millard, earned her fourth RUS victory, halting the teletimer in 2:02.2.

To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Mohawk Racetrack.

(With files from WEG)

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