10/17/2013 8:55AM

Breeders Crown: Gingras driving a handful of favorites in finals

Geri Schwarz
Yannick Gingras will drive likely heavy favorites Father Patrick and Maven in Saturday's Breeders Crown at Pocono Downs.

Yannick Gingras will drive five of the 12 morning line favorites in Saturday’s $5.65 million Breeders Crown finals at Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs.  Known for his aggressive driving style, Gingras is not afraid to put his horses in play regardless of the odds or circumstances.

“I think that is why I get a lot of seconds and thirds as well as wins,” said Gingras on his penchant for being involved in the action in every race. “I like to give every horse I drive a chance to get a call at some point in the mile.”

Thus far in 2013, horses driven by Gingras have accounted for $10,626,176 in earnings; good for third-place behind Tim Tetrick and Brian Sears.

“I think I’ve had a good year but not great,” said Gingras, who could easily make it a great season with a big night on Saturday. “I had very good Aged horses and 2-year-olds this year, but not that much power other than Sunfire Blue Chip with the 3-year-olds; and that is where all the money is at.”

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Gingras has a drive in 11 of the 12 Crown finals and took the time to go over each horse and race.

Race 3 – Father Patrick (2-1)

On the elimination win . . . “The win wasn’t as tough as it looked on TV. I didn’t kick the (ear) plugs out until halfway down the stretch.”

On the chances of losing in the final . . . “I would be surprised , but I wouldn’t say he is a lock, either.”

Race 4 – Allstar Rating (5-2)

On facing and beating Precocious Beauty in the elimination . . . “I think Precocious Beauty was the one to beat but I wasn’t scared of her. Now that [Precocious Beauty] has drawn post nine, it is going to be tough on her.”

On the competition in the final . . . “I think there are five or six that can win. Precocious Beauty, obviously, but even the filly that Pierce was driving (in the elimination, Act Now) seemed to have pace while stuck behind me.”

Race 5 – Lifetime Pursuit (4-1)

On his chances in the final . . . “She needs a trip. I think she will give a better effort out of the two- or three-hole. I would say she is third best going in.”

Race 6 – Wishing Stone (12-1)

On his chances in the final . . . “I’m very confident and think I have as good a chance as anybody. Last week at Lexington he had no chance from post 10 and I never kicked the (ear) plugs out. I’m really looking for big things from him.”

Race 7 – Carols Desire (4-1)

On whether she could beat I Luv The Nitelife . . . “I wouldn’t think so, but it is not only I Luv The Nitelife. You also have Shebestingin. I think my filly is a step below the top two.”

Race 8 – Somestarsomewhere (5-2)

On his colt’s current form . . . “He seems to be coming around at the right time. At Lexington I thought the track and trip had a lot to do with the big mile, but he really impressed me in his elimination. I’m not saying he had a lot left but he wasn’t a tired horse.”

On strategy in the final . . . “I would love to cut the mile, but I’m sure some others are probably looking to do the same. It could be a wide open race.”

Race 9 – Maven (5-2)

On her current form . . . “She is as good as ever and was very good in her elim. That was two weeks in a row that I didn’t get the chance to kick out the (ear) plugs. I know it was tight at Lexington, but she had an equipment issue and I couldn’t get them out, and she is a horse that responds when they are pulled.”

On the final . . . “I think Maven and Check Me Out stand out.”

Race 10 – Rocklamation (3-1)

On her elimination effort and current form . . . “The last couple of times I think she has been cheating on me. I was definitely a little disappointed in her last week. She didn’t want to keep up.”

On the final . . . “We are going to change a couple of things. The rail is a great spot for her because I won’t have to use her too much early.”

Race 12 – Sunfire Blue Chip (6-1)

On his elimination effort . . . “I thought I had a chance but Captaintreacherous is just too tough to go by. Anyone that beats him will need to have help.”

On his chances in the final . . . “I think he will be sharper this week and they will train him down a bit tighter.”

Race 13 – E L Rocket (12-1)

On his elimination effort . . . “He raced very well, but was a little shaky around the turn.”

On his chances in the final . . . “We will definitely need a little help.”

Race 14 – Foiled Again (5-2)

On his elimination effort . . . “That was the best he’s ever been. He just did it all on his own and was really handy doing it.”

On his chances in the final . . . “I think he is the horse to beat if he comes back like last week.”

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