Bad luck to two heavily bet favorites meant good things for long shot Swift Blue Chip Friday night at Buffalo Raceway.
The bargain-basement 2-year-old pacer -- owned, trained and driven by David Fisher of Batavia -- narrowly avoided an accident at the half-mile pole and then went on to score a 30-1 victory in a $32,100 New York Sire Stakes race at Buffalo Raceway.
The bettors, including the on-track crowd of 1,088, spread most of their money between So Elegant, the 4-5 favorite, and Yankee Shiloh, the 6-5 second choice in the dash for juvenile fillies.
But the former, driven by Ed Lohmeyer, broke stride coming out of the first turn. The latter, with John Stark Jr. at the reins, took the early lead from Swift Blue Chip and then made a bad break and almost fell approaching the half.
"I almost got wiped out," said Fisher, who was just behind Yankee Shiloh. "When he broke, my front feet almost hit his wheel," he said.
Fisher swung Swift Blue Chip around the breaking horse and never was headed en route to a one-length victory in 2:02 3/5 . She paid $71.50.
Fisher was in position to take advantage because he had shot for the lead from the No. 6 hole at the start.
"I've raced here so I knew I could leave," he said. "I know how safe she is leaving out of there. I know these guys are scared of this first turn. I figured I could leave and get a good position."
The win was especially sweet because Fisher had paid just $5,200 for the filly last fall at the Morrisville yearling auction. The daughter of On The Road Again and Camatross is a full sister to 3-year-old Carmel Blue Chip, who set the Raceway track record for her age, sex and gait (1:56 2/5 ) in a NYSS race on June 21.
Earlier, Cafeuccino -- who finished third as the second choice in last Saturday's $45,000 Hopefulette Stake -- made amends with an easy win in a $31,500 NYSS contest.
Catch-driven by Dave Vance, she left from the No. 7 spot, gained the front in a 30-second quarter, and went on to win by three-quarters of a length in 2:01 3/5 and pay $3.40.
Vance said trainer Roger Hammer, who drove her in the Hopefulette final and elimination, "just said be careful at the gate."
Pounce ($10.80) edged 1-2 favorite Fieldstone Franki to win her $31,500 division in 2:02 1/5 for driver-trainer Ed Lohmeyer.