Bluffinner (Credit Winner) was claimed at Yonkers by Jordan Derue in January. The five year old trotter enjoyed a six-figure season in 2021 and has been off to a solid start to his ’22 campaign. After being a beaten favorite in his debut at Saratoga Casino Hotel, Bluffinner rattled off back-to-back jacks for Derue including one victory in the $13,000 Winners Over. Last week, he made his debut in the Open Trot and was backed by the betting public to the tune of 4-5 odds. The Derue trainee was a non-factor in his first start in the feature and finished fourth.
On Sunday afternoon, Bluffinner drew post seven in the seven-horse Open and was thus dismissed at odds of 22-1. Derue left a bit with the longshot and found a spot in fourth in the early going. With the favored Gigfy (Alek Chartrand) setting comfortable fractions on the engine, a first-over task appeared to be a tough one but that’s the path Derue took with his speedy trotter. Bluffinner fought gamely on the outside as Gigfy dug in. In the meantime, Squee Hanover, who was the pocket-sitter, closed up in the inside in the stretch as the dueling leaders traded strides. Bluffinner surged one last time at the wire before coming on to score in 1:56, paying $46.20 to win in the big Open upset. Gigfy finished second while Squee Hanover had to settle for third. The exacta and triple with the 22-1 shot on top returned $148 and $269.50, respectively. Bluffinner is owned by Derue in partnership with the FBP Racing Stable of Hinsdale, NH.
Live racing continues on Monday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post set for Noon.
Photo: Melissa Simser