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Gingras Discusses Trotting Talent

Published: September 27, 2014 8:26 am ET

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“He’s been the same horse, but obviously he’s a little stronger now than he was in his first couple starts. But as far as manners and what he can do on the racetrack, he’s the same horse, just a perfect horse.”

Driver Yannick Gingras is atop the national purse standings with $11.82 million heading into Friday evening, and this Sunday he has engagements with two trotters who have contributed to that total considerably.

Father Patrick, who leads all horses in earnings with $1.17 million, and Hambletonian Oaks winner Lifetime Pursuit, who has banked $660,826, are among the horses that have dates with Gingras at The Red Mile on Sunday. Both horses are trained by Jimmy Takter.

Lifetime Pursuit, who has won eight of 13 races this year and set multiple world records, has post two in the first of two Bluegrass Stakes divisions for three-year-old female trotters. She has won six consecutive starts, including the Hambletonian Oaks, divisions of the Casual Breeze and Simcoe stakes, and most recently the Buckette at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio.

Gingras says the Brittany Farms-owned filly is an uncomplicated assignment. Lifetime Pursuit is the 7-5 morning line favourite in her Bluegrass split.

“She’ll do anything I want her to do,” Gingras said. “She’s really a sweetheart, very easy on herself, easy for me to drive. Her last two starts before Delaware, I thought she was due for a covered-up trip, but at Delaware, on a half-mile track at (odds of) 1-9, it is what it is, she was much the best.

“Going back to a big track down here, I’d like to have her covered up and if she’s the best horse in the race, she’ll do what she has to do in the stretch.”

Gingras says the daughter of Cantab Hall-Queen Of Grace has matured emotionally over the racing season.

“She was one early on that needed an easy trip and needed to get mentally ready,” he said. “She wasn’t quite ready to cut miles or go first over, nothing like that. But as the year went along, she got better and better with that and now I can do whatever I want. She was the one that early on, I really had to babysit a little bit, whereas Father Patrick, he’s just a sweetheart.”

Father Patrick and Gingras will team up once again in the second of two Bluegrass Stakes for three-year-old male trotters. Father Patrick, the 3-5 morning line favourite, has post one. The colt, a son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream, has won nine of 11 races this season and 19 of 22 in his career. His lifetime earnings are $1.92 million.

He enters the Bluegrass off a win in the Canadian Trotting Classic on Sept. 13 at Mohawk Racetrack. Father Patrick was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best two-year-old male trotter.

“There’s nothing about him not to like, you can do whatever you like,” Gingras said. “You can come from the back, be first over or in the front. It doesn’t matter to him, he’ll get it done.

The two-week Red Mile meet provides both drivers and trainers with a few more tools to utilize in seeking a top performance from their horses, Gingras says.

“The clay is definitely the biggest difference, you can race horses barefoot here, which on most stone dust tracks, you can’t,” Gingras said. “Trainers can come here and take their (horses’) shoes off and sometimes it improves their gait big time. It’s something you can’t do every week, but you’ll see certain horses that step up here versus racing at other tracks because you can make changes here.

“The Red Mile is probably the last track left in North America that’s not a speed favouring track. You can win races from the front, but it’s a track where you can actually come from the back very easily and win races. The other tracks we go to, they’re speed favouring, most of them.”

To view entries for Sunday's card, click the following link: Sunday Entries - The Red Mile


This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.


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