09/09/2017 8:54PM

Tioga Downs: Paprike Blue Chip turns in track record performance

Fred J. Brown
No 2-year-old pacing gelding has toured Tioga Downs faster than Paprike Blue Chip did on Saturday night

Paprike Blue Chip established a new track record for a 2-year-old pacing gelding of 1:52 in winning the first of two New York Sire Stakes divisions on Saturday night at Tioga Downs.  Hitman Hill would win the other split, improving his record to five wins from five starts.

Rock Lights (Jim Devaux) carved out fast fractions of 26 4/5, 54 4/5, and 1:22 4/5 in the first $56,500 flight, but Paprike Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) drove into the lead turning for home off a second-over trip, and he would go on to defeat Silver Arrow (Jim Meittinis) by a length and three-quarters.  Keystone Tenacious (Mickey McNichol), who provided the cover for the eventual winner, wound up third.

The 1:52 clocking lowered the previous track record for a rookie pacing gelding of 1:52 2/5 that was set last year by Cougar Bait.

Paprike Blue Chip is a gelded son of Roll With Joe trained by John Butenschoen for owners Harmony Oaks Racing Stable, Crawford Farms Racing, and VIP Internet Stable LLC.  He is now a four-time winner from nine attempts, and he pushed his earnings to $109,423.  Bred by Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., Paprike Blue Chip was a $7,000 buy at the Goshen Yearling Sale and is out of the Blissfull Hall mare Bliss N Vinegar ($162,998).  That makes Paprike Blue Chip, who paid $3.40 to win as the 3-5 favorite, a half-brother to the likes of Buddha Blue Chip (Art Major, $203,528).

In the other $55,500 test Hitman Hill (Brett Miller) was sent off at 1-9, and he would overtake Casual Cool (Mike Simons) for the lead beyond the 26 2/5 opening quarter.  Hitman Hill didn't get a breather, though, as Jersey Jim (Devaux) attacked first-over and took command at the 54 3/5 half.

Jersey Jim would go on to reach three-quarters in 1:23, but Hitman Hill came to the outside of the pocket to battle with him around the final bend.  Hitman Hill got his measure racing into the lane, but had to hold off a host of challengers through the stretch to win by half a length in 1:52 1/5.  47-1 shot Topville Olympian (Morrill Jr.) rallied on the far outside to finish second, and Casual Cool was the third-place finisher.

Chris Oakes trains Hitman Hill, an American Ideal gelding owned by Tom Hill and Northfork Racing Stable.  Hitman Hill, a $145,000 purchase at the Standardbred Horse Sale, has banked $107,133 to go with his unblemished status.  Bred by Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., Hitman Hill is out of the Incredible Finale mare Fox Valley Shaker ($427,164), making him a half-brother to five six-figure earners, including Pretty Katherine (Rocknroll Hanover, $525,653).  Hitman Hill returned $2.20 to win.