gallo blue chip
Bred by Dan Gernatt of Collins, New York, Gallo Blue Chip was foaled on April 28, 1997 at Blue Chip Farms in Wallkill, New York. He was purchased for $32,000 at the 1998 Harrisburg sale - on the same day as fellow 2011 Living Horse Hall of Fame Inductee Eternal Camnation - by Chris Oakes of Three Crown Jewels Stable in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. In August 1999, he was purchased by Martin Scharf of Lawrence, New York for $100,000. Trained by Mark Ford and driven in most of his starts by Dan Dube, Gallo Blue Chip raced from 1999 to early 2005, and had a lifetime record of 133-53-19-9.
Gallo Blue Chip was undefeated in all eight starts of his freshman season of 1999, sweeping all seven of his New York Sire Stakes contests including the $150,000 final. By the end of his three-year-old campaign in 2000, Gallo Blue Chip had become the richest single-season moneywinning Standardbred of all time by earning over $2.4 million. Major victories that year included the North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace, Art Rooney Pace, Tattersalls Pace and the Breeders Crown. In his Little Brown Jug Preview win, Gallo Blue Chip set a world record for three-year-old pacers on a five-eighths mile track (1:50). He was voted 2000 Horse of the Year and Pacer of the Year, and also won both the USTA and Canadian (O'Brien) Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year awards.
As a four-year-old in 2001, in a victory at the Canadian Pacing Derby Prep, Gallo Blue Chip became the leading moneywinning pacer of all time with $3,227,861 to his credit. On his way to winning the 2001 Pacing Horse of the Year award in both the U.S. and Canada, Gallo Blue Chip would win ten out of nineteen starts, including the Graduate Pace, Battle of Lake Erie, American-National and the Canadian Pacing Derby. In 2002, major victories included a William Haughton Memorial elimination and several Meadowlands open paces. In winning the Presidential Series final as a six-year-old in 2003, Gallo Blue Chip became the first pacer in history to break the $4 million mark in earnings. He continued to race into 2005 as an eight-year-old before retiring on March 12 of that year.
"Gallo" enjoys a well-deserved life of leisure and fame in Slate Hill, New York, and has appeared at fairs and equine events as an ambassador of the sport. Sponsored by Martin Scharf and administered by the Harness Horse Youth Foundation, the Gallo Blue Chip Scholarship is awarded annually to college-bound students from the New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania area.