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'Sunfire' Surprises In Quillen Memorial

Published: September 17, 2018 7:49 pm ET

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A star-studded group of older pacing horses was in the spotlight at Harrington Raceway on Monday to contest the $150,000 Bobby Quillen Memorial.

All eyes were on the even-money favourite, Rockin Ron, but a tripped out Sunfire Blue Chip rained on that foe’s parade.

Mark MacDonald hustled Sunfire Blue Chip right to the top from Post 5, but they were overtaken in the backstretch by Rockin Ron. The favourite settled into a comfortable-looking stride and took the field past the opening quarter in :26.2. He then took the group past middle splits of :55 and 1:23 before being confronted in the lane by Sunfire Blue Chip.

Sunfire Blue Chip swept past Rockin Ron and fended off the late-rushing tandem of Scott Rocks and Evenin Of Pleasure en route to winning in 1:51.1. The public’s top choice, Rockin Ron, faded late and settled for fourth prize.

“My horse was really good last start at Yonkers,” said Mark Macdonald. “I kind of had an all-or-nothing approach behind the gate tonight and was able to get a great trip and it worked out. You can do anything you want with him. He’s a lot of fun to drive. ”

Dismissed by many at odds of 7-1, the Jimmy Takter-trained Sunfire Blue Chip improved his 2018 record to 7-5-0 from 19 tries with the win. The eight-year-old son of American Ideal-Shot Togo Bluechip is a 32-time winner who races for Christina Takter, John And Jim Fielding, Brixton Medical Inc and R A W Equine Inc. The lion’s share of the loot lifted his earnings to a cool $1.5 million.

Five $20,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund elimination events for two-year-old pacers were on the undercard with Team Teague stealing the show with three wins.

George Teague and K&R Racing's The Lady Sheriff ($8, Montrell Teague) was the first filly winner in 1:57.2 for trainer Clyde Francis. The Southwind Lynx filly registered her first career win off a ground-saving trip.

The first division for colt and gelding pacers would soon ensue with The Lady Sheriff's stablemate, Dashiki ($3) scoring a 1:54.1 score for the Teague and Francis combo. Dashiki held off a fierce late rally from Chillaxin Away to achieve his first career win in his third lifetime starts. Dashiki is a son of Barber Pole.

The second filly division went to The Wiz Kids Stable's Golden Wigglet ($7, Bart Dalious) in 1:57.1. The Mr. Wiggles filly notched her second career win for trainer/driver Dalious with a late rally that reeled in pacesetter Vistamista late.

The third filly division saw Edward Walls' Lilys Puddle Jumper ($4.80, David Rearic) score in 1:59.1. The Gamblers Dream filly outkicked pacesetter Miss Giggles to the wire for a one length win. Trained by Walls, it was her second career win.

The final colt division to another Teague-tied horse, George Teague Jr.'s Keepmywiglegametyt ($6.40, Montrell Teague) who surged clear of leader Son Of A Lynx in deep stretch for his first career win. The Francis-trainee is a son of Mr Wiggles.

In the $15,000 Open overnight feature, Richard Lombardo, Charles Cochran III and Josh Green's JJ Flynn ($7, Yannick Gingras) was a 1:51.2 winner over Qs Cruise and Options Are A Dream.

(With files from Harrington)


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