Harrington Raceway hosts Bobby Quillen Memorial

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Ted Black

September 17th, 2018

Monday evenings are typically not high on the radar for standardbred races but this past Monday it was Harrington Raecway in southern Delaware that offered the latest renewal of the $150,000 Bobby Quillen Invitational for Free-For-All Pacers, the half-mile oval's signature event of the summer-fall meet.

When the gate folded in the Quillen, Sunfire Blue Chip (Mark MacDonald) left alertly from post five to gain command on the first turn then he immediately yielded to even-money choice Rockin Ron (Yannick Gingras) just before they rolled by the opener in 26.2. Somewhere In L A (Jason Bartlett) got away third, just in front of Scott Rocks (Eric Goodell) and Endeavor (Trace Tetrick).

Rockin Ron continued to show the way past the grandstands the first time and by the half in 55 flat, with Sunfire Blue Chip tucked neatly in the pocket. Somewhere In L A gradually angled out first over, with Scott Rocks second over and Endeavor right on his back entering the clubhouse turn.

Rockin Ron shook loose of Somewhere In L A down the backside, but Sunfire Blue Chip had his mind on business and appeared poised to pounce in the pocket. At the top of the lane, Rockin Ron began to weaken and Sunfire Blue Chip overhauled the choice easily and then drew clear from Scott Rocks and Evenin Of Pleasure in the final 50 yards for a length score in 1:51.1.

An eight-year-old American Ideal stallion trained by Jimmy Takter, Sunfire Blue Chip notched his second straight score, his third win in his last four outings and his seventh win from 19 starts this year, pushing his seasonal earnings toward $200,000. Sunfire Blue Chip now sports a 32-18-10 slate and nearly $1.5 million banked from 108 career tries and continued his fondness for the half-mile ovals.

"There really wasn't much planning really," MacDonald said. "I just wanted to put him on the front. I really didn't want to sit the pocket, but Yannick had the horse to beat. My horse was really good. I guess he's still got a couple of big races left this year."

One race earlier in the $11,000 Open II for older pacers, Special T Rocks (Tim Tetrick) overcame a first over trip down the backside and through the far turn and wore down favored Daiymir (Montrell Teague) in the lane for a neck score in 1:52.1. A 10-year-old Rock N Roll Hanover gelding trained by Joe Hundertpfund, Jr. owns a 5-5-2 slate and $57,500 slate from 22 starts this year and the aged gelding still knows how to win under adverse conditions,

One race earlier in another $20,000 DSBF elim, Golden Wiggleit (Bart Dalious) rallied from just off the pace to overhaul favored Vistamista (Victor Kirby) to post a mild 5-2 upset. A juvenile daughter of Mr. Wiggles trained and driven by Dalious for the Wiz Kids Stable, Golden Wiggleit recorded her second win in four starts pushed her seasonal earnings to nearly $15,000.

One race earlier on the card in a $20,000 DSBF elim for two-year-old pacing colts, Dashiki (Montrell Teague) lived up to his billing as the 1-2 favorite when he led throughout and outlasted the late bid of Chillaxin Away (Tim Tetrick) for a neck victory in 1:54.1. A juvenile son of Barber Pole owned, bred and trained by George Teague, Jr., Dashiki notched his first win in three starts and pushed his earnings toward $14,000 and looms one of the favorites for the $100,000 DSBF final next month.

One race earlier on the card the $20,000 DSBF elim for two-year-old filly pacers also had a "Team Teague" flovor when The Lady Sheriff (Teague) recorded her first win in three tries, while In And Out Again (Tetrick) edged Roddys At It Again (Stafford) for the place spot.