08/14/2014 10:39AM

Tioga: Father Patrick returns to action

Derick Giwner
Father Patrick starts in race nine on Tioga's Sunday card.

Just 15 days removed from the most disappointing race of his career, Father Patrick is back in action in a division of the $36,036 Tompkins-Geers at Tioga Downs on Sunday afternoon.

Father Patrick was the toast of the town entering the Hambletonian at the Meadowlands with only one career defeat in 17 starts. As the 2-5 betting favorite, he went off stride right at the start and lost any chance of winning the one race his connections had been pointing towards the entire year.

With the race now in his rearview mirror, trainer Jimmy Takter is looking ahead to what his 3-year-old colt can accomplish going forward.

“He trained awesome,” said Takter. “I’m excited to get him back on the track.”

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The plan calls for Father Patrick to make his following start in the Zweig at Vernon Downs on August 29 and continue on to the Canadian Trotting Classic at Mohawk (eliminations on September 6 and hopefully the final on the 13th).

While Takter admits he never gets too high or too low when it comes to on-track performance, Father Patrick’s driver Yannick Gingras found it hard to get the race out of his head.

“It was a great day, but I still went home and was very disappointed,” said Gingras to Ken Weingartner from HRC. “When you focus on a race for so long, that’s what makes it such a disappointment. There are only a couple million-dollar races and I haven’t won one yet. That day had it all – the million dollars, the Hambletonian, Father Patrick and everything he’s accomplished. It was such a downer. Even though I had a great day, I didn’t feel like celebrating.

Gingras will steer Father Patrick from post four against six others in the ninth race on a Tioga card that features plenty of horsepower.

Empire Breeders Classic winner Precocious Beauty (post 2) hooks up with Fan Hanover winner Uffizi Hanover (post 1) in a $50,572 Tomkins-Geers split for 3-year-old pacing fillies, race five on the 11-race card.

The $54,072 division for sophomore pacing colts features JK Endofanera looking to get back on track after finishing second to He’s Watching last week at Tioga. Brian Sears will drive the colt from post seven in the seventh race.

Sunday’s Tioga card gets underway at 1:30 PM.

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