Win makes Twilight Bonfire a millionaire
March 07, 2015
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Twilight Bonfire, who has rapidly become a fan favorite at Miami Valley Raceway, became harness racing's newest millionaire Saturday night capturing the $16,500 Open Handicap Pace after a thrilling stretch duel.
Driver Dan Noble changed tactics in Twilight Bonfire's seventh local start by leaving the gate alertly and dictating all the fractions. A lukewarm favorite in a stellar field, the 5-year-old stud horse by The Panderosa reached the quarter mile marker in :26.3, then throttled down to a :56.1 half before the challengers began to form an outer flow. Masters Champion (Kyle Ater) was first to lap on the pacesetter with Neat (Jeff Nisonger) and Mykindachip (Kayne Kauffman) swinging wider yet at the 1:23.4 three-quarter station. Atta Boy Dan (Chris Page), fresh off three straight Preferred company victories at The Meadows, swung four wide at the head of the stretch and the cavalry charge was on to the wire.
In the end, Twilight Bonfire held off all challengers in 1:52.1 despite the fact that two of his adversaries had stuck their heads in front of him midway through the final turn. Atta Boy Dan got up for second with Neat pacing strong between horses to finish a very tight third.
Owned by Robert Key and trained by Danny Collins, Twilight Bonfire's winning bounty moved his career earnings to $1,003,070. The homebred has won 15 of his 66 lifetime starts and sports a 3-year-old record of 1:50.1. (Miami Valley)