In a talented field of eight, Our Lucky Chip turned in an impressive performance to produce the fastest mile of the 2014 live harness racing season at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, just 30 days into the season, in the $22,000 Invitational Pace on Saturday. Guided by regular driver Trace Tetrick, Our Lucky Chip's 1:49.4 performance marks the fastest mile of the season for the veteran pacer and just one second off his lifetime best.
Leaving from post six, Our Lucky Chip was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in seventh. Brad Hanners sent Rustle's Chip firing from the gate and were the first to get a call through an opening panel in a snappy :25.4. Time To Roll and LeWayne Miller benefitted from a pocket trip while Tyber Tyke and Tyler Smith followed intently in third.
As the field rolled down the backside, Rustle's Chip continued to call the shots through the second panel in :55.3 before ever being contested. Itrustyou and Ricky Macomber Jr. were the first to take aim at the leader and were able to secure the top spot around the three-quarter mark in 1:24.
Tetrick gave Our Lucky Chip the green light and they began their quest for the front as the field approached the final turn. Sam Widger and Jammin Joshua quickly grabbed the cover and were well placed in the outer flow turning for home.
Saving his best for last, Our Lucky Chip used a :25.4 final panel to pace on to the wire to win by four lengths. Jammin Joshua rallied gamely for the second place finish while Itrustyou rounded out the trifecta. As the heavy betting favorite, Our Lucky Chip returned $6.20 to his backers.
Trained by Jason Miller, who also co-owns the horse with Bradley Roller, Our Lucky Chip has now increased his lifetime bankroll to $524,092. With the victory, the 5-year-old son of Art's Chip-Lady Moira scored his 25th win from 46 lifetime outings.
The victory was one of three wins on the evening for driver Tetrick has he also scored with Martz Time in the $22,000 Invitational Trot for trainer Walter Haynes Jr. in 1:54. Tetrick continued his winning ways later in the evening as he scored with Astreo's Love for trainer Don Eash in the 4-year-old open. (Hoosier Park)