02/14/2017 2:38PM

Marks: Father Patrick vs. Trixton rivalry can play out as stallions

Nikki Sherman
Trixton produced 77 foals in 2016.

They were the two best 3-year-old trotters of 2014. They were also stable-mates, both trained by Hall Of Famer Jimmy Takter. Each has a legitimate case as being the best son of their respective sires—Cantab Hall and Muscle Hill, those two with genuine claims as being the best trotting sires of this current generation.

Of the two stallions, Muscle Hill seems on his way to potentially eclipsing every great trotting sire in history, while Cantab Hall, the incumbent leader, fell victim to ataxia which affected his hind coordination and is no longer in active service.

Yet Father Patrick and Trixton really weren’t rivals on the racetrack, having faced each other but three times as 3-year-olds in 2014, two of which became inconclusive due to ill-timed breaks.

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The first time they met was in the Stanley Dancer Memorial at The Meadowlands where Father Patrick scored a relatively handy wire to wire win in 1:51 3/5. Trixton closed some to be a non-threatening third.

The next time they met was in the Hambletonian, where Father Patrick with Yannick Gingras driving made a disastrous miscue at the start losing all chance. Trixton was parked the mile and still out-gamed another formidable stable-mate in Nuncio to give Takter his first Hambletonian win as a driver.

They would meet again at Mohawk in the Canadian Trotting Classic, but Trixton, emulating his stable-mate, made an early break and was never a factor. Father Patrick meanwhile won handily in 1:52 4/5. 

The final totals for 2014 had Father Patrick winning 12 of his 17 starts while earning $1,693,081 and receiving honors as 3-year-old Trotter of the Year. That was his second Dan Patch award having been overwhelmingly voted 2-year-old champion the year before. Trixton won eight of 11 starts and earned $813,370 for the season. He was not a major factor at age 2, earning but $53,687 while winning four of his eight starts.

With Cantab Hall no longer in active stud, Father Patrick emerges as his potential line extender. There has been one other major Cantab Hall in stud thus far in Explosive Matter, sire of the Hambletonian winning Pinkman, but most will consider Father Patrick to be Cantab’s optimum son.

Genetically Father Patrick has indeed a stallion’s pedigree being from Gala Dream, dam also of the millionaire Pastor Steven, in addition to the successful Whom Shall I Fear and Stan The Man.  Gala Dream is a sister to Chocolatier and Sugar Trader from the very productive Maple Frosting (Valley Victory-Valley Regina).

Trixton has been described as having the apex pedigree in the trotting world today, being arguably the greatest son of Muscle Hill from Emilie Cas El, she a full sister to a trio of contemporary leading stallions in Andover Hall, Conway Hall and Angus Hall.

Historically it is rare for major stallions to be born in the same year but it does happen.  Hoot Mon and Rodney were 1-2 in their respective Hambletonian in 1947. On the pacing side, No Nukes and Cam Fella are from the same crop, though like ‘Patrick’ and ‘Trixton’, met infrequently on the track and weren’t considered rivals. Conversely, Rocknroll Hanover and American Ideal were not only from the same crop but shared the same sire in Western Ideal and they were considered rivals.  Both of course became excellent sires.

Though Father Patrick raced sparingly while breeding at age 4 in 2015, he did produce 46 foals the following year from a cross section of outstanding mares. These foals will hit the sales rings in the fall of 2017 and those that get there will undoubtedly be well received. Foremost might be Susy from the brilliant Solveig, but not all from that great mare reach the auction ring. Of Father Patrick’s 46 yearlings, a total of nine are from Muscles Yankee mares.

Trixton produced a total of 77 foals in 2016 from a powerful segment of mares including Cantab It All, the Broodmare of the Year for 2016 and dam of last year’s superstars Ariana G and All The Time, both by Muscle Hill. In that not one of Cantab It All’s foals have reached the auction ring, it’ll be interesting to see if her Trixton colt, so appropriately named Totally Takter, does sell in either Lexington or Harrisburg this fall. Of the 77 Trixton yearlings, nine are from Cantab Hall mares, including the above mentioned Totally Takter.

While both Father Patrick and Trixton are direct male-line descendants of super power source Valley Victory, that one is now far enough back to allow for crossing back with each other.  Father Patrick is by Cantab Hall, he in turn by Self Possessed, that one by Valley Victory’s first great son Victory Dream.

Trixton is by Muscle Hill, the foremost son of Muscles Yankee, he in turn the best siring son of Valley Victory. That will result in a male line bred of either 4x5 or 5x4 to Valley Victory should Trixton or Father Patrick mares be bred back to each other—which they undoubtedly will.

Thus the Father Patrick-Trixton rivalry that really wasn’t on the racetrack may significantly come into play in the breeding shed.

Stay tuned.           

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