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JJ: 'Definitely Have To Win The First Heat'

Published: September 20, 2011 4:58 pm ET

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Jody Jamieson knows what it is like to win the Little Brown Jug. Still, a victory in Thursday’s 66th edition of the storied race for three-year-old pacers would carry additional meaning.

Jamieson won the 2007 Jug with Tell All, which gave trainer Blair Burgess his first win in the race. This year, Jamieson will try to help another trainer to his first Jug victory --- his 60-year-old father, Carl. The Jamiesons’ Up The Credit will compete in the second of two opening-heat eliminations, from which the top four finishers will advance to the Jug’s second heat.

Up The Credit is 4-1 on the morning line in his opening heat elimination.

“It’s the Little Brown Jug, so I put a lot of pressure on myself to win for my dad,” Jody said. “I know he’s winding down his career and wants to train fewer horses. He won’t have the numbers, so the chances of winning the Jug will go down after this year. It would be a very, very special occasion if I could get it done.”

The Jamiesons, who live in Ontario, already shared a special moment earlier this year when Up The Credit won the $1.5-million Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk Racetrack -- on Father’s Day weekend, no less.

“I really put a lot of pressure on myself to win the North America Cup,” Jamieson said. “It’s a race we look forward to every year and everyone in Canada wants to have a horse for it; not only because it goes for $1.5 million, but because it’s the biggest race in Canada. It’s a huge race to be in, let alone win.”

Up The Credit has won seven of 13 races and earned $1,008,522 this season for owners Carl Jamieson, Thomas Kyron, Brian Paquet and Joanne Morrison. He is coming into the Jug off a 1:49.1 victory in a division of the Simcoe Stakes on September 10 at Mohawk.

“My dad and I have had some good horses and had good horses together,” Jamieson said after the race. “I don’t think he’s had a horse that went over a million dollars in a single season until now, so it’s a big thrill and hopefully we can keep it going.”

The Jamiesons had one previous Little Brown Jug starter together, Santanna Blue Chip, who finished fourth in 2008.

“I’ve been there and won the race and I just want to be able to enjoy the race a little bit more,” Jamieson said. “I think it definitely helped me. It was four years ago that I won the Jug and five years ago that I made my first appearance in the Jug. I was in my late 20s and really just getting going on the national scene racing horses.

“To come there this year with a champion horse already, I think the pressure is minimal. I’m going to be able to enjoy it more and I think all the connections will be able to enjoy it. Just because we’ve won the North America Cup, we’ve solidified our position during the season. (Up The Credit) has done everything we’ve asked of him so far pretty much.”

Up The Credit faces a tough task in his first Jug heat. He will start from Post 6 in the six-horse field, which includes Meadowlands Pace winner Roll With Joe and Cane Pace winner Betterthancheddar.

“You definitely have to win the first (heat),” Jamieson said. “If you don’t win the first one, you might as well go home. I don’t really know how the race is going to go. My horse is a closer. He’s shown he can do it on the front, but he hasn’t done it for a while on the front.

“It’s a difficult proposition right now. But it’s one I’m excited to get to go and attempt.”


This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.

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