07/12/2014 8:08PM

Meadowlands: Father Patrick coasts home in Dancer Memorial

Derick Giwner
Father Patrick didn't disappoint in the lucrative Stanley Dancer memorial.

The more we see the Jimmy Takter 3-year-old trotting trio of Father Patrick, Nuncio and Trixton, the more likely that the Hambletonian trophy will be in the Hall of Fame trainer’s hands on August 2 at the Meadowlands. On Saturday night at that same East Rutherford oval, Father Patrick coasted on the lead in the $317,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial and was the top third of the Takter trifecta finish.

Driver Yannick Gingras left nothing to chance when he sent Father Patrick away from the gate. He would have to wait for stablemate Nuncio to clear before taking command at the quarter in 27 2/5. Those two would race as a team past the half in a very soft 56 seconds as Muscle Network moved first-over and towed Trixton, driven by Takter, into the race.

With only a 1:24 3/5 three quarter time, Father Patrick was going to be tough to defeat. Muscle Network went off stride as Nuncio edged out of the pocket and Trixton attempted to mount a charge. While his barnmates chased in vein, Father Patrick trotted home confidently to post a three-quarter length victory over Nuncio in 1:51 3/5. Trixton was two lengths back in third.

“I knew that Patrick was the best one of the three and the others have to fight for second place,” said Takter.

With the Hambletonian just three weeks away, Takter admitted that his competition might be slim.

“This was basically the Hambletonian,” said Takter. “Who is going to put up $25,000 and race after this race?”

Actually, in order for a horse to enter the Hambletonian the connections must put up a $15,000 entry fee. If 13 or fewer horses enter the elims, there will be just one dash for the $1,200,000 prize.

Gingras for one is very confident heading into the big dance in August. “He proved it tonight. I think I have the horse to beat and I’m very confident,” said Gingras.

Father Patrick paid $2.80 to win for the Father Patrick Stable.

[DRF HARNESS: Follow us on Twitter for the latest harness news!]