Delaware, OH --- Joseph Di Scala, Jr. and Cynthia Lynn Massari's Vibe Blue Chip (Yannick Gingras) popped out of the three hole going to the three-quarters and captured the $65,750 first division of the Old Oaken Bucket for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Thursday (Sept. 19) at the Delaware County Fair.
From the first call to the top of the stretch they all chased Bluto (Andy Miller), who couldn’t withstand the charge of Vibe Blue Chip. Bluto held second and Sailer Eddie (Ron Pierced) earned third money.
Vibe Blue Chip (Andover Hall-Winning Jonlin, by Muscles Yankee) won in 1:54.3, a national season’s record for a sophomore trotting gelding on a half-mile track. He has now won five of 14 and $128,787 this year under the direction of trainer Ron Burke.
"I only put trotting hobbles on him to give him confidence," said Burke. "He gets a little shaky, but it's not a gait issue. He's cleanly gaited.
"Actually I saw he had a little trouble on the turn but Yannick did a great job holding him together around the turn, then pulling out the plugs coming into the stretch. I knew if he could do that he would trot right by them.
"We are taking him to Lexington and after that it will be day-to-day with him."
The mile was covered in 1:55.1, equaling the national season’s record for a 3-year-old trotting colt on a half-mile track. Boffin (Charlie Norris) and Theatrical Session (David Miller) were next to the wire, finishing second and third, respectively.
He has won five of 18 this year, with $249,348 in the bank. He finished seventh, beaten only four lengths, in this year’s Hambletonian.
"He might not be right up with the top horses but he is very consistent and a good horse to have in the barn," said Jimmy Takter.
"If he could have gotten out in the Hambo, as he got blocked in behind some horses, he could have finished second.
"There are still a lot of races left this year and he is a very sound horse. I've never had a problem with him. Look how well he raced just six days ago (a strong second in the $260,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final).
"We have the Breeders Crown at Pocono (in October) and he really likes it there."
-- Kimberly French also contributed to this report
by John Pawlak, the U.S. Trotting Association
Courtesy of the United States Trotting Association web newsroom