09/12/2013 9:15AM

Mohawk: Father Patrick will be a prohibitive Wellwood Memorial favorite

Lisa Photo
Father Patrick has six wins and one second in seven career starts.

Father Patrick is unlikely to need any special blessings from above when he faces nine others in the C$365,000 William Wellwood Memorial at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday.

With a nearly flawless record of six wins in seven starts (one second), Father Patrick has clearly lived up to expectations. The $105,000 Lexington-Selected purchase from 2012 has displayed the ability to produce a quick burst of speed and has been quite a few steps faster than his 2-year-old counterparts.

“I’ve never driven a 2-year-old of this caliber,” said regular driver Yannick Gingras. “The best before him was probably his brother, Pastor Stephen (now 4, $1,048,607), and with all due respect, he’s not in [Father Patrick’s] class.

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“He is so powerful and has done everything so easily,” continued Gingras on Father Patrick. “He is as square-gaited as they come and has pacer-like speed.”

The only knock on Father Patrick has been his propensity to throw his head and get a bit fussy on the track. In last Saturday’s Wellwood elimination, Gingras had his hands full with the Jimmy Takter-trained colt as he simply refused to trot a straight line in mid-stretch.

“He is very fussy with his mouth and is unlike any other 2-year-old trotter I’ve seen,” said Gingras. “Most want a little pressure on their mouth (from the driving bit), but he likes to go on a loose line. I pulled him out and things got a little tight in the stretch (in the elimination). When I had to pull the right line, he starting getting mad at me and throwing his head. The more I pulled the worse he acted. Once I was able to let go of the right line he took off and won easily. I never even pulled the earplugs.”

Currently the fastest rookie trotting colt in North America this year, Father Patrick could be racing more against the clock than his competition on Saturday. Only Harper Blue Chip (1:56) and Il Songo Dream (1:55 4/5) have tripped the timer in a winning mile of 1:56 or lower, and those times are nearly two full seconds slower than a typical mile for Father Patrick.

For Gingras, who starts from post four with Father Patrick, he feels the sky is the limit for the Brittany Farms-bred son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream.

“I really don’t know and I don’t want to know,” said Gingras when asked about the colt’s bottom. “I want to keep something in the tank for next year.”

Gingras will also steer 2-year-old filly Scream And Shout for Takter in the C$374,000 Peaceful Way. While Saturday will mark his first time in the bike behind the Muscles Yankee youngster, he has trained against her and likes what he saw.

“She seems to be coming into her own and I think I have a chance with her,” said Gingras. “With all the good young fillies Jimmy (Takter) has, she kind of fell through the cracks a bit.”

The Wellwood Memorial (race 3) and Peaceful Way (race 5) are part of a stellar 12-race program at Mohawk that features the C$686,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-olds. First race post time is 7:25 pm.