Sunfire Blue Chip might be ready to fire on all cylinders in Saturday's $450,000 Delvin Miller Adios for 3-year-old pacers at The Meadows.
Last weekend, Sunfire Blue Chip won his $50,000 Adios elimination by a nose over Word Power in 1:50.3 for trainer Jimmy Takter. It was the colt's first start in three weeks and his third victories in his last four starts.
His only setback during that span was a third-place finish behind Captaintreacherous and Vegas Vacation in the $500,000 Hempt Memorial at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Sunfire Blue Chip, who started from post eight, was beaten by a half-length in 1:49.2.
In his Adios elim on July 20, Sunfire Blue Chip started from post seven with Dave Palone at the lines. After Some Kinda Beach got the lead from post eight with a :26.3 opening quarter-mile, Sunfire Blue Chip worked his way to the front and led the field to the halfway point in :55 before holding off Word Power's rally from fifth place in the final quarter-mile.
"I thought he raced OK," Takter said. "David had a tough post assignment out there and he left with him and it took him three-eighths to get to the lead and it took a little bit out of him. When he popped the (earplugs) in the last turn I thought he almost lost him there; he lost a little momentum.
"But the horse wasn't raced for three weeks and at that level they're basically going to need to stay tight a hundred percent. I'm not one to really train my horses fast miles between races so I knew I was going in maybe a little bit short."
Sunfire Blue Chip drew post No. 4 for the final and is 6-1 on the morning line. Lonewolf Currier, who won the second Adios elim by a head over Ultimate Beachboy in 1:48.4, got post one and is the 7-2 second choice. Hempt Memorial runner-up Vegas Vacation, who starts from post seven, is the 5-2 favorite.
Saturday's card is rich with Grand Circuit races, including the Quinton Patterson Adioo Volo for 3-year-old filly pacers, the inaugural Mary Lib Miller-Arden Downs for freshman filly pacers and the Gov. David Lawrence-Arden Downs for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers. The card also features a $50,000 Adios consolation.
The Meadows, in cooperation with the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program, is offering three special Adios Day wagers: a $7,500 guaranteed Pick-4 (races four-seven); a $15,000 guaranteed Late Pick-4 (races nine-12), and a $25,000 guaranteed superfecta on race 12, the Adios final.
In addition, The Meadows and HorseTourneys.com are offering a "Pick & Pray" handicapping contest on Adios Day, with the winner earning a free berth in the 2014 World Harness Handicapping Contest. Free past performances will be available at TrackMaster. To register and for a complete list of contest rules, visit www.horsetourneys.com/rules.
Following is the Adios field with listed drivers and trainers (and morning line odds): 1. Lonewolf Currier, John Campbell, Kevin McDermott (7-2); 2. Ultimate Beachboy, Dave Palone, Ron Burke (9-2); 3. Some Kinda Beach, Andy Miller, Robin Cruise (10-1); 4. Sunfire Blue Chip, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter (6-1); 5. Evenin Of Pleasure, Brett Miller, Tony O'Sullivan (10-1); 6. Beach Memories, Corey Callahan, Brian Brown (8-1); 7. Vegas Vacation, Brian Sears, Casie Coleman (5-2); 8. Word Power, Jim Morrill Jr., Larry Remmen (8-1).
by Ken Weingartner