The 2022 O'Brien Award winning Stockade Seelster and the Breeders Crown champion Ammo lead a group of 105 colts and geldings that remain eligible for this year’s 78th edition of the Little Brown Jug.
Stockade Seelster, also a 2022 Dan Patch Award winner, won eight of 11 races last season and earned $917,470. The Ontario bred State Treasurer colt counted the $900,000 Metro Pace and $225,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final among his victories for co-owners Sally and Paul MacDonald and trainer Ian Moore.
Ammo scored one of the biggest upsets in Breeders Crown history with his half-length win in last year’s $810,000 freshman colt pace final at odds of 52-1. Ammo finished outside of the top three in just one of his seven 2022 starts, earning $497,145. The son of Sweet Lou is conditioned by Joe Holloway for Val D’Or Farms and Theodore Gewertz.
This year’s Little Brown Jug number of eligibles represents a 30 per cent increase from last year’s 73 eligibles. This year’s Jugette numbers are up by 26 fillies.
The 2023 Jugette eligible list of 81 fillies is headlined by Sylvia Hanover, who won eight of nine starts last season on her way to sweeping the O’Brien and Dan Patch Awards as the top freshman filly pacer. The Always B Miki lass is conditioned by Ontario-based Shawn Steacy for the Hudson Standardbred Stable.
“We are truly excited to see these numbers increase,” noted Tom Wright, President of the Little Brown Jug Society. “With in the increased eligibles and the hard work we are doing with sponsorships we are expecting this year’s Jug purse to surpass record numbers.”
The record Jug purse was $677,000 won by Wiggle It Jiggleit in 2015.
Horses that are not currently eligible to the 2023 Little Brown Jug or Jugette can still supplement into those events with a $45,000 or $15,000 payment, respectively.
The Little Brown Jug and Old Oaken Bucket will be raced Thursday, Sept. 21 and the Jugette and Buckette on Wednesday, Sept. 20.
(With files from Little Brown Jug)