The Horse Race Insider is a privately owned magazine. All copyrights reserved. “Bet with your head, not over it.”

The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


By Ken Weingartner, USTA — Quiksilvr Bluechip might not always be a joy to be around, but the trotter never ceases to bring a smile to Vic Kirby’s face.

Kirby and his partners purchased Quiksilvr Bluechip near the end of his 3-year-old season for $24,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale’s mixed sale in November 2019. Since then, the son of Credit Winner-Sea Raven has won 21 races and earned $344,202. The gelding has brought home a check in 72 of 88 starts during that span, a nearly 82-percent success rate.

“It was a good investment,” Kirby said with a laugh. “I usually only keep between four and six horses, and not all of them do what you expect them to do. He’s kind of the shining light when you get down. You know that if he’s in a race and things work out right, he’s going to get you paid.”

Kirby has driven Quiksilvr Bluechip in all 88 of his races for the ownership group that now includes Tyler Raymer, Stephen Moss, and Brian Hoffecker. Raymer trained the trotter initially but turned over the duties to Kirby when he stepped away from the sport during racing’s COVID-19 shutdown in 2020.

Hoffecker was the first to put Quiksilvr Bluechip, who was a Valley Victory finalist at age 2 and stakes-placed at 3, on the group’s radar.

“He scouts out horses and if he sees something that might fit what we want, he’ll send it to me and I’ll look at it and give either a yea or nay,” Kirby said. “He really liked this horse. I used to drive the horse’s mother years ago, and I had the opportunity to be in a race with (Quiksilvr Bluechip) a week or two before the sale. I got to watch him, and I liked him. Tyler liked him too.

“We thought we would have to give more than we did to get him. We made about $50,000 with him quick while Tyler had him, and it’s worked out well ever since.”

It is not always easy, though. Quiksilvr Bluechip, who in his career has won 24 of 110 starts and earned $404,288, can be a handful on the track — except when it comes time to race.

“That’s the only time he’s a pleasure to sit behind, handling wise,” Kirby said. “In a race, a little kid could drive him. But he’s a pain in the butt to jog and he’s not an easy horse to train. He’s just very aggressive. He’s aggravating to warm up, he’s aggravating to score down before the race, but as soon as he goes to the gate, he will do whatever you want. You don’t even really need handholds. It’s amazing.”

His disposition is entirely different away from the track.

“He’s like a big kid in the barn,” Kirby said. “My 7-month-old grandson, Carter, was here the other day just looking at the horses, and (Quiksilvr Bluechip) dropped his head right to him and kind of nuzzled on him.

“That epitomizes the kind of horse he is.”

Quiksilvr Bluechip makes his next start Wednesday (April 19) at Harrington Raceway when he faces seven rivals in the $20,000 Open Handicap. He will start from post six and is 6-1 on the morning line.

“He loves Harrington,” Kirby said. “He didn’t draw a good post, but we’ll race to get everything we can get.”

The 7-year-old trotter heads to the event off a 1:54.1 win in the $19,000 Winners-Over Select Handicap on March 28 at Dover Downs. It was his third victory in 11 starts this season.

“He’s consistent and I admire his longevity,” Kirby said. “He knows how to take care of himself. If you ask him to do too much, or want to make him do it your way, he will very quickly let you know that’s not happening.

“Knock on wood, we haven’t had many issues with him. He’s been good like that. Hopefully, this will be our third full year with him (not counting the pandemic-shortened campaign). It’s pretty cool.”

Facebook Share
Twitter Share
LinkedIn Share

⚠ Before you comment

Our staff likes nothing better than to engage with the HRI Faithful and provide a forum for interaction on horseracing and sports. In that spirit, please be kind and reasonable; keep the language clean, and the tone civil. Comments from those who cannot comply will be deleted. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *