by Kimberly Rinker
Lexington, KY — Team Takter provided Red Mile fans with a thrilling stretch duel between stablemates Nuncio and Father Patrick who slugged it out to the rail, with Nuncio emerging victorious by a length in 1:51.3 in the 122nd edition of the $435,000 Kentucky Futurity for sophomore trotting colts.
Hall of Famer John Campbell steered Nuncio, a son of Andover Hall, to his eighth win of the season and his 13th career victory for owners Stall TZ, Inc. of Vero Beach, Florida. He now has $1,488,970 in career earnings.
Nuncio had the lead from start to finish, trotting through splits of :27.2, :54.1 and 1:22.2 before Father Patrick (Yannick Gingras) began to challenge him. It appeared that Father Patrick was going to trot right past Nuncio, but the latter dug in hard and won by a length over his stablemate.
“He was on top faster than I wanted,” said Campbell. “Father Patrick started to go past, but my colt got game as soon as he saw him. This colt isn’t like most horses in that he isn’t as comfortable over this track as a lot of horses are. I fired him out of there pretty strong, so he was a little more fired up than usual.”
The win was the seventh Kentucky Futurity crown for Campbell, who last steered Glidemaster to victory in this Bluegrass State classic in 2007. Trainer Jimmy Takter, the leading trainer on the Grand Circuit, was equally proud of both of his Futurity starters.
“Nuncio has been chasing Father Patrick all year,” said Takter. “He has the right attitude and he’s a fighter and he sure deserved this win. Patrick can leave very hard too, but Nuncio just raced fantastic, so I expected them to be fighting this race.”
Nuncio is the first foal out of the Lindy Lane mare Nicole Isabelle and was a $7,000 yearling purchase at the 2012 Standardbred Horse Sale at Harrisburg.