07/24/2013 4:16PM

Meadows: Sunfire Blue Chip figures to improve for Adios final


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 3/5 for trainer Jimmy Takter. It was the colt’s first start in three weeks and his third victories in his last four starts.

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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 2/5.

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 3/5 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 4/5, 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.

A son of stallion American Ideal, Sunfire Blue Chip is out of the mare Shot Togo Bluechip and is a full-brother to Heston Blue Chip, who was named last season’s Dan Patch Award-winner for best 3-year-old male pacer. Sunfire Blue Chip’s family also includes millionaires Kikikatie and Camluck.

Sunfire Blue Chip was purchased for $75,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Brixton Medical AB and RAW Equine.

Last season, Sunfire Blue Chip was slowed by a hind ankle fracture and did not race until the end of October. He won his debut before finishing fifth in both the Matron Stakes preview and final. He ended the year by winning consecutive starts in condition races at Harrah’s Philadelphia.

“I wanted to get him a little bit of experience,” Takter said. “He’s a full brother to Heston Blue Chip so he has the pedigree to step up and be one of the serious contenders. He’s showed so far that he’s one horse we might see a little bit of all season.

“He’s a horse that doesn’t give up. He has a heart that you just love.”

The Adios, also known as the “Pace for the Orchids,” goes as race 12 on Saturday’s card with a projected post time of 4:05 p.m.

“I think the race is wide open,” Takter said. “Everything is going to depend on how the race unfolds. But I think we’re going into it with a pretty decent shot to do well. Post four is probably one of the better posts at The Meadows and the horse has good gate speed. I think we cannot count him out. I really hope he has a good chance.”

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. To register and for a complete list of contest rules, visit www.horsetourneys.com/rules.

-Courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, please visit www.ustrotting.com