Adam Bowden was in the Kentucky Futurity winnerâ€™s circle last year with Creatine and he hopes to return there following Sundayâ€™s 122nd edition of the trotting classic, this time with Father Patrick.
Bowden and his father, Chris, operate Diamond Creek Farm, which is part of Father Patrickâ€™s ownership group. Father Patrick, who has won 20 of 23 career races and $1.92 million, drew post No. 1 for Sundayâ€™s $435,000 Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old trotters at The Red Mile in Lexington.
Nine horses entered the Futurity, so eliminations are unnecessary. Yannick Gingras will drive Father Patrick for trainer Jimmy Takter in the one-dash-for-the-cash event.
Rounding out the field in post order are Il Sogno Dream, Martiniwithmuscle, Datsyuk, Hillustrious, Nuncio, Mr Lindy, DDâ€™s Hitman, and Lightning Force.
Sundayâ€™s card also includes the $224,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity, $173,000 Allerage Farm Open Trot, $160,500 Allerage Farm Open Pace, $90,000 Allerage Farm Mare Pace, and $89,000 Allerage Farm Mare Trot.
Father Patrick brings a four-race win streak to the Futurity, including a 4-1/2 length victory over Lightning Force in 1:50.4 in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile last Sunday. He also has won the $613,800 Canadian Trotting Classic, $260,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship and $340,000 Zweig Memorial since losing by a half-length to Datsyuk in a division of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes.
â€œLast week he was on cruise control and still trotted in sub-1:51,â€ said Bowden, who owns Father Patrick with John Fielding, Christina Takter, Brittany Farms, Brixton Medical AB, and the group of Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband. â€œHopefully, weâ€™re in the winnerâ€™s circle on Sunday. Jimmy gives me two thumbs up. Iâ€™m hoping thatâ€™s going to be the case.â€
Last year, the Diamond Creek-bred-and-owned Creatine won the Futurity for hometown trainer Bob Stewart. Bowden had planned to sell Creatine when he was a yearling, but the horse was withdrawn from the auction because of an infected hock and remained with Diamond Creek.
Creatine races Sunday in the Allerage Farm Open Trot.
â€œWeâ€™ve been with Bob since the beginning and for him to be a Kentucky guy, no offense, I love Father Patrick, but I donâ€™t think anything is going to top last year,â€ Bowden said. â€œThat was the most exciting thing for me. It was the first time. It was a homebred with a good friend of mine. We always believed in the horse and we finally won one of the big ones. That was exciting.â€
The Bowdens started Diamond Creek Farm in 2005 in Paris, Ky., and now have a second location in Pennsylvania. Diamond Creek will stand Father Patrick as a stallion at the conclusion of his racing career.
Father Patrick, bred by Brittany Farms, is a son of stallion Cantab Hall out of the mare Gala Dream. He is a full brother to million-dollar-earner Pastor Stephen.
â€œWeâ€™re very happy and lucky; we want to stand the best horses,â€ Bowden said. â€œAfter his 2-year-old year, we took a huge risk that (Father Patrick) was going to come back and be dominant at 3. Right now it looks like our gamble is going to pay off. Cantab Hall is arguably the hottest sire in the sport, along with Muscle Hill, and hereâ€™s his greatest son so far. Itâ€™s a great sire line and weâ€™re hoping it continues with Father Patrick.â€
The Kentucky Futurity is the second jewel in this yearâ€™s Trotting Triple Crown. Trixton won the first, the Hambletonian, but has since been retired because of injury. The third jewel, the Yonkers Trot, is Oct. 25.
Takter trained and drove Trixton in the Hambletonian. Another of his charges, Nuncio, finished second in the race. Father Patrick went off stride from post 10 and finished off the board for the only time in his career.
Nuncio will be driven by John Campbell, his regular pilot, in Sundayâ€™s Futurity. Nuncio has won 12 of 22 career races and finished second in the other 10. Eight of those runner-up finishes have come behind Father Patrick.
â€œNuncio is one tough horse,â€ Bowden said. â€œHeâ€™s a great horse and in any other year heâ€™s the best horse.
â€œOne of these days you think heâ€™s going to beat his stablemate. But I hope itâ€™s not Sunday.â€
Takter sends out the likely favorite in the Kentucky Filly Futurity, Shake It Cerry. She was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter and has won 10 of 12 races this season. She will start from post three with driver Ron Pierce.
Scream And Shout and Heavenâ€™s Door will start inside of Shake It Cerry while to her outside are Highest Peak, Chivaree Hanover, Vanity Matters, and Yoga. Scream And Shout and Yoga also are from the Takter Stable.
The Allerage Farm Open Trot features Sebastian K, the fastest horse in harness racing history thanks to his 1:49 win earlier this year, two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Market Share, 2010 Kentucky Futurity winner Wishing Stone and recent Centaur Trotting Classic winner Master Of Law.
Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year, and multiple-stakes-winner Classic Martine lead the way in the Allerage Farm Mare Trot, where they will encounter Dan Patch Award-winner and defending race winner Maven.
Sweet Lou, who has won 10 of 15 races and nearly $1 million this year, and Foiled Again, North American harness racingâ€™s all-time money-winner, are among the 10 horses in the Allerage Farm Open Pace.
Eleven horses were entered in the Allerage Farm Mare Pace, including three-time Dan Patch Award-winner Anndrovette, stakes-winners Rocklamation and Somwherovrarainbow, world champion Shebestingin, last yearâ€™s race winner Shelliscape, and 2012 winner Drop The Ball.
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