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'Sunfire' In A Shocker At Pocono

Published: July 22, 2018 12:44 am ET

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A veteran pacer with career earnings of $1.3 million and a record of ability over off going at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono teamed with a driver making his first career start on a sloppy track to pull off a 12-1 upset, as Sunfire Blue Chip and driver Josert Fonseca skimmed the inside to take a 1:50.4 victory in a $30,000 Great Northeast Open Series for fast-class pacers on Saturday night.

Sunfire Blue Chip, who was beaten only a half-length over sloppy footing when third behind Captaintreacherous and Vegas Vacation in the 2013 Hempt Championship here, started from post six and took his spot sixth in the early “line-up” (1 through 7) out of the gate, but things changed radically even before the :27 quarter, as Christen Me N was already out to take the lead from pole sitter and favourite Bettors Edge, only to see that one remove to the top by the :54.3 half.

Highalator came uncovered from third with Rockeyed Optimist and the mare Bettorhaveanother right behind, and when Rockeyed Optimist gapped cover Christen Me N slid out behind Highalator, with Sunfire Blue Chip and Fonseca, sixth in front of the stands, advancing quickly to find themselves in the pocket to the three-quarter pole in 1:22.4.

Highalator wore down pacesetting Bettors Edge early in the stretch, but Fonseca had his son of American Ideal flying up the famed Pocono Pike, and they beat out the game Highalator by a neck, with Bettorhaveanother, ducking back in to get out of her bad flow, closing well to miss the big end of the purse by only three-quarters of a length as the 43-1 longest shot on the board.

Sunfire Blue Chip, whose mark of 1:48.3 was taken in his Hempt elim just over five years ago, boosted his earnings for trainer Jimmy Takter to $1,380,500 for Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Brixton Medical Inc and R A W Equine Inc.

For driver Fonseca, his budding career now shows a 14-6-2-1 tally, good for a UDR of .532 – which rises to 1.000 if only sloppy track races are considered.

(PHHA / Pocono)

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