Where Is Wiggle It Jiggleit?

Published: April 26, 2018 06:45 pm EDT

Since the turn of the millennium, few horses have attracted the following of pacing superstar Wiggle It Jiggleit. Thus, when a horse of that calibre disappears from the public eye for nearly 18 months, people start to wonder.

Is Wiggle It Jiggleit done racing? The answer is no, according to his owner George Teague.

After being sidelined for his entire five-year-old season, Wiggle It Jiggleit is not done and is being pointed a return to the track this summer.

"He's jogging and swimming quite a bit because he's quite a bit heavy and we're just trying to maintain his weight," Teague told Trot Insider on Thursday. "Hopefully he'll be ready to gear to start qualifying sometime in July, early August.

"I actually paid him into a couple of stakes in August. If everything goes as planned, hopefully we can see him on the racetrack then...if something else doesn't pop up."

When news of a delayed five-year-old campaign first surfaced for Wiggle It Jiggleit in May 2017, the issues concentrated around the pacer's back. Teague reports the issues facing his stable star now pertain to other areas.

"I had him ready to qualify; I trained him a little faster than :55 the last of December and I was ready to qualify him and it seemed like he was as good as he ever was. Then one thing popped up, another thing popped up and we had to shut him back down again," stated Teague. "But he's moving and hopefully we have a string of good luck where we can make it back and get some starts under his belt."

Wiggle It Jiggleit was North America’s leading money-earning Standardbred in 2016 with more than $1.8 million in purses, pushing his overall earnings past the $4 million mark. Owned by Teague along with the Teague Racing Partnership, the now six-year-old son of Mr Wiggles - Mozzi Hanover won 15 of 24 starts in his last season of racing and finished no worse than third -- which he only did twice. That consistent success is crucial for his return to the track.

Wiggle It Jiggleit - 2015 Little Brown Jug

"I would have given my left arm to think nothing would pop back up, and then something else happens that was completely different from before. Because he was there, I trained him several big miles and I was planning on qualifying three or four times, and had a race for him in February and something else popped up," said Teague. "Anything can happen at anytime, but if everything goes well -- and he seems to be fine at this point -- I'm hoping that we can get him started up sometime in July or early August, at least the qualifying process anyway."

Fans eagerly anticipate the return of Wiggle It Jiggleit and his signature soft white breast collar. And that's certainly not lost on his owner, who gets an average paycheque of nearly $80,000 each time his horse hits the racetrack factoring 51 starts his sizable bankroll. If an average mile time of 1:50 was given to a Wiggle It Jiggleit race, that's earning more than $722 per second from his starts thus far.

"Even if he wasn't mine, he would be in the back of my mind of what's this horse doing," admitted Teague. "I've had a few good horses in my time, and with the earning potential he's got...it's ungodly. So when he's out of circulation, it changes every facet of your business. Even morale; you have a horse like him, I don't think anybody would underestimate how much fun it is to race a horse like him until you put him on a racetrack and he gives more than his share of effort every time...you just say, man what a beast he is."

For his fans, however, that return to the track cannot come soon enough. Teague is fully aware of how popular his horse is, placing him in the stratusphere of Somebeachsomewhere, Foiled Again and archrival Always B Miki.

"I can't remember a horse being as popular outside of harness racing other than Somebeachsomewhere...not in the last 15, 20 years."

That popularity comes from the unique package Wiggle It Jiggleit presents: down to earth people campaigning a horse from not the most fashionable breeding, racing on all sizes of racetracks, taking on all comers and either winning or losing valiantly. To top it off, Teague confessed that the horse overcame issues just to be a racehorse in the first place.

"As much as he hasn't raced in the last year, year and a half, I can honestly tell you he had issues when he was a three-year-old that could have stopped him from even racing so he acquired and earned and built his reputation but it's still great that he got that far. I do honestly believe he'll make it back, he's not that far from being where he needs to be it just takes adequate time to heal him."

Having said that, Teague reiterated that he would only bring Wiggle It Jiggleit back to the races if and only if he was able to compete at the level he left the sport at: its highest.

"I don't see myself racing if he isn't sound and he isn't the horse he was....it just takes time, unfortunately, nobody can predict it but these horses are like football players. One bad step and life changes for them like it does us. I've been doing this for a long time and I know how quick things can change from good to bad."



I love WIJI and have watched every race he was in. I think he is probably one of the best harness horses ever. With that being said, and reading between the lines, I don't think he will race this year or maybe ever again. I really hope he will prove me wrong.

A Classic LBJ finish. Miss hearing Sam McKee doing his excellent commentary at The Jug.

Mr Brown, I totally agree.
Always B Miki was a notch better than that group. He was rested in spots, so that he didn't end up on the shelf injured. Being rested also cost him some sharpness after being rested but he usually bounced back after a start.
That was a tough campaign for WIJI.
I hope he makes it back healthy.
I believe it's a back issue. I know the feeling.

I Love This Horse! wow what a MONSTER. Thanks again for the update. This web page is awesome. My option is he’s number one. The race schedule he kept in 2016 was brutal. He sure traveled. I think he was the most traveled.

The 2016 aged pacers was the best racing that I've ever seen with so many 1:47 miles. It truly had an impact on Wiggle It Jiggleit, Shamballa, and others. Although we didn't get an opportunity to see how it affected Always B Miki because of his retirement. I'm giving credit where credit is due, Always B Miki was just one notch better.

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