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2014 Little Brown Jug Gets 16

Published: September 13, 2014 11:39 am ET

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A field of 16 sophomore pacers have dropped into the box for the $647,500 Little Brown Jug presented by Fazoli's, the second leg of Pacing's Triple Crown, set for Thursday (Sept. 18) at the Delaware County Fair.

The purse for the 69th edition of the Jug will be the richest in the history of the classic event, besting the 2001 edition, which carried a purse of $646,050.

Casie Coleman, who conditioned the last two Jug champions, Michaels Power in 2012 and Vegas Vacation in 2013, will be looking to make it three straight at Delaware when she sends McWicked behind the gate on Thursday. Coleman is among seven trainers to win the Jug in back-to-back years and is bidding to be the first with three in a row.

McWicked was the top rated horse in the final "Road to the Little Brown Jug" compiled by Jug Publicity Director Jay Wolf. The son of McArdle-Western Sahara has won nine of his 13 starts in 2014, with earnings exceeding $917,000.

Owned by Ed James' S S G Stables, McWicked set a world record of 1:47.3 (also his personal best) in winning the $500,000 Max Hempt Memorial final on June 28 over the five-eighths-mile oval at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. His other major wins this year have come in the $400,000 Delvin Miller Adios final and this past Sunday's $260,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final.

McWicked is favoured at odds of 7-5 after having drawn post position one in the second Jug elimination and will have regular driver David Miller in his sulky. Miller is a three-time winner of the Jug.

"I am always thrilled to draw the rail at Delaware," noted Coleman. “We are in the toughest division but I like where we are starting.

"He raced very well in the PA Sire Stakes final. Our goal now is to keep him healthy and sound."

Trainer Jimmy Takter's Lyonssomewhere, who won the $437,325 Cane Pace, the first leg of the Triple Crown, on Labour Day at Tioga Downs, will be seeking the second jewel of the Crown. Owned by Ontario's Geoffrey Lyons Mound, the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Miss Kitty Hanover has five wins in nine starts this year, with more than $376,000 in his bankroll.

In the Cane Pace, Lyonssomewhere (who was not eligible to the race and paid a $35,000 supplement to enter) went to the front from post seven and was never seriously challenged until the very end of the mile, when prohibitive favourite Hes Watching finally made a valiant charge, only to fall short at the wire by a half-length in a 1:49.4 clocking. Doo Wop Hanover rallied to finish third.

The victory in the Cane also allowed Lyonssomewhere to pay $45,000 to supplement to the Little Brown Jug and allows him to chase the Triple Crown, which was last captured by No Pan Intended in 2003. The third and final leg, the Messenger Stakes, will be raced on Oct. 25 at Yonkers Raceway.

Lyonssomewhere becomes the fourth horse in the history of the Jug to supplement to the race joining Four Starzzz Shark (2001), Art Official (2008) and Betterthancheddar (2011).

Lyonssomewhere will have to start from post position seven in the first elimination of the Jug and is favoured at morning line odds of 5-2. Yannick Gingras will be in the sulky.

"The outside post isn’t the greatest, but I would rather have the seven hole in that elimination than the three or four hole in the second elimination," commented Gingras.

Gingras, who is the leading purse-winning driver in North America this year, is seeking his first Jug victory. Takter won the Jug in 2006 with Mr Feelgood.

Another of the leading contenders in this year's Little Brown Jug will be Hes Watching. Owned by Menary Racing Inc., Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and Muscara Racing Trust, the American Ideal-Baberhood colt heads to Delaware with more than $814,000 on his resume this year, with five wins, two seconds and one third in nine starts.

His victories this year include the Meadowlands Pace, in a world-record-equaling 1:46.4, and the $255,525 Empire Breeders Classic. Hes Watching was second to Lyonssomewhere in the Cane Pace and third in the $1,000,000 North America Cup final.

Trained by co-owner Dave Menary and driven by Tim Tetrick, Hes Watching will score from the six hole in the second elimination and is listed at morning line odds of 5-2. Menary and Tetrick are both chasing their first Jug crown.

Hes Watching will try to become only the second horse in the last 23 years to win both the Meadowlands Pace and the Jug. Well Said accomplished the feat in 2009.

The top four horses in each of the elimination races will advance to the $310,800 second heat. If an elimination winner scores in the second heat, he will be the Jug winner. Otherwise, the three heat-winners will return for a $129,500 race-off.

The exact race numbers and post times for the Jug will be announced after the balance of the Thursday program is drawn on Monday.

The Little Brown Jug brought to you by Fazoli’s will air live from 5-6:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. The last Jug elimination heat will be shown live at approximately 5:11 p.m. The remaining elimination will be covered on a tape delay basis. The second heat of the Jug will be shown live at approximately 6:15 p.m.

Below is the field for the $647,500 Little Brown Jug, in post position order, with listed drivers, trainers and morning line odds.

$103,600 First Elimination
HN-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line
1. Lets Drink On It - Tyler Smith - Joe Seekman - 5-1
2. Winds Of Change - Brett Miller - Linda Toscano - 8-1
3. Three Of Clubs - Doug McNair - Gregg McNair - 10-1
4. On Golden Ponder - John Campbell - Bob McIntosh-7-2
5. At Press Time - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke - 8-1
6. Beat The Drum - Ron Pierce - Staffan Lind - 10-1
7. Lyonssomewhere - Yannick Gingras - Jimmy Takter - 5-2
8. Rediscovery - Chris Page - Ben Davis - 20-1

$103,600 Second Elimination
HN-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line
1. McWicked - David Miller - Casie Coleman - 7-5
2. Limelight Beach - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke - 6-1
3. Avalanche Hanover - Aaron Merriman - Ron Potter - 12-1
4. Capital Account - Ron Pierce - Jimmy Takter - 10-1
5. Somewhere In L A - Brett Miller - Jimmy Takter - 7-2
6. Hes Watching - Tim Tetrick - Dave Menary - 5-2
7. Sometimes Said – John Campbell - Jim Campbell - 10-1
8. Cammikey - Brian Zendt - Bill Zendt - 15-1 (SCRATCHED)

(USTA)


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