10/05/2014 5:41PM

Red Mile: Nuncio upsets Father Patrick in Kentucky Futurity

Derick Giwner
Nuncio and caretaker Helene Engblom after his Kentucky Futurity win.

“We knew it was going to happen, didn’t we.”

Those were the first words uttered by winning driver John Campbell after guiding Nuncio to the upset victory over stablemate Father Patrick in the $435,000 Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old trotters at the Red Mile on Sunday afternoon.

Nuncio had previously been defeated by Father Patrick eight times since besting him on July 12, 2013, his only prior heads-up victory versus his stablemate.

Campbell took charge with Nuncio as Father Patrick bided his time in the pocket. In what amounted to a two-horse race, the Jimmy Takter-trained tandem went fractions of 27 2/5 and 54 1/5 through the first half of the mile.

It was approaching the 1:22 1/5 three quarter call that driver Yannick Gingras asked Father Patrick for speed. The Cantab Hall-sired colt unleashed a quick burst of trot and was immediately in front by almost a length, but Nuncio was far from ready to throw in the towel.

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Nuncio showed determination, coming back as the field straightened away into the stretch and simply put away Father Patrick nearing the wire to win by just over a length in 1:51 3/5.

“He tried hard and he beat Father Patrick. You have to race extremely well to do that,” said Campbell, who explained the quick fractions. “He wasn’t trotting as well as he normally does down the backstretch. When I went to back him up he got a little rough on me, so I didn’t want to take a chance of him going off stride.”

Derick Giwner      John Campbell & Jimmy Takter

Takter admitted he thought Father Patrick was going to win coming into the stretch, but he stressed the fight in Nuncio and his desire to win.

“When I had Trixton I went by him (in the Hambletonian), but the horse came back at me too. He doesn’t quit until after the finish line,” said Takter. “This horse has been racing fantastic all year. I got him last year and he was a psychopath. To be able to turn him around and win a Triple Crown race like this, I am extremely proud of the horse.”

Behind Nuncio ($5.80) and Father Patrick came Il Sogno Dream in third.

Nuncio, a 3-year-old son of Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle, is owned by Stall Tz Inc. His victory in the 122nd Futurity pushed his career record to a stellar 23-13-10-0 and inched his lifetime earnings to just under $1.5 million.

The Futurity win for Campbell was the seventh of his storied career.

Takter confirmed that the colt will start next in the Yonkers Trot (eliminations 10/18, final 10/25).

Takter again in the Filly Futurity

The 49th Filly Futurity played out on the track exactly as it appeared on paper. Shake It Cerry made her way to the front and the rest is history, winning the $224,000 race for 3-year-old filly trotters in 1:52 2/5.

Heaven’s Door was fast off the gate but made an early miscue leaving Scream And Shout on the lead past the opening quarter in 27 4/5. Then driver Ron Pierce moved Shake It Cerry to the front to take charge. The pair would cruise through splits of 56 2/5 and 1:25 1/5 without much in the way of a challenge from the first-over Vanity Matters.

Shake It Cerry sprinted away in the stretch and finished 4 1/2 lengths ahead of Vanity Matters and Scream And Shout for the victory.

“The race worked out perfectly,” said Takter. “It was a heck of a mile going (1):52 with a trotting filly in this weather. She is just a special horse.”

Shake It Cerry owns an amazing 19 wins in 24 lifetime starts for the ownership group of Solveig Racing.  She has earned $1,562,205 in her two years of racing.