view counter
view counter

Filibuster Hanover Wins The Little Brown Jug

Published: September 21, 2017 10:27 am ET

Last Comment: September 27, 2017 7:02 am ET | 3 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

A total of 22 races faced the gate on Thursday, September 21 at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio, and not one was more dramatic than the last dash of the day, the $401,472 second-heat final of the Little Brown Jug for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings.

The 72nd edition of the half-mile pacing classic for the sport’s ‘glamour boys’ featured a new wrinkle. Effective 2017, the winner of the second heat is now declared the ‘Jug’ winner. The potential of an exclusive (and rare) third-heat showdown between preliminary-heat winners is now a thing of the past.

After having started from Post 2, the Yannick Gingras-driven and Ron Burke-trained Filibuster Hanover ($12.00) stormed to the lead early, cut all the fractions (:26.4, :54.3, 1:21.3), and was every part a winner in the lane before cruising under the wire in what was an impressive 1:50 mile.

Funknwaffles, who started from Post 3 for driver Corey Callahan, raced second along the rail in third place for most of the mile and ended up finishing second. The Matt Kakaley-driven Miso Fast, who had started from Post 4, raced mid-pack through the mile, closed well in the lane, and got up to grab third.

Opening-heat winner Fear The Dragon started from the coveted and advantageous Post 1, but was eased off the gate from the outset. After having taken a conservative approach early, Fear The Dragon’s driver, David Miller, positioned the North America Cup winner in the second-over position through the middle half of the mile.

As the race continued to unfold, Fear The Dragon was drafting in behind his stablemate, Downbytheseaside (driven by Brian Sears), who had been stalking Filibuster Hanover from the first-over position. In a surprise twist to the proceedings, Downbytheseaside began to lose ground on the outside in the vicinity of the three-quarters pole. The turn of events affected Fear The Dragon enough to effectively take him out of serious contention. Fear The Dragon ended up finishing fourth and Downbytheseaside fifth.

Given the way the outer flow played out, the second-heat final was Filibuster Hanover’s to lose as he led the field home, and Gingras knew it.

Employing a confident and professional steer through the lane, Gingras guided Filibuster Hanover home late for the sharp victory.

"All year we said once this horse comes to the Jug, we thought he could put up a huge mile on the front," Gingras said afterward. "I thought he was the best horse in the elimination, I was locked in and I had a fresh horse going into the final. I would have parked anybody."

Filibuster Hanover is a bay Somebeachsomewhere gelding owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC (of Fredericktown, PA), Joseph Di Scala Jr. (Katonah, NY), J And T Silva Stables LLC (Long Beach, NY) and Weaver Bruscemi LLC (Canonsburg, PA).

"After the first heat we knew he was sharp, and he drew in a good spot,” said Burke. “He knew if we could get around David's horse, we'd control the rail from there. We [Burke and driver Yannick Gingras] pretty much both decided we'd just go down the road and if we got beat, we got beat."

The Jug win was the second for the Gingras-Burke tandem, who connected previously with Limelight Beach in 2014. The win also gave breeder Hanover Shoe Farms a sweep of the feature races during Jug week, as the nursery also bred Jugette winner Caviart Ally (for a complete recap and analysis of the Jugette Day card, click here).

"I didn't think the thrill would be as big, but honestly, it is," stated Burke. "Earlier this year this horse didn't look like he was going to get here and now he's turned around. It's actually satisfying. We're thrilled."

While other trainers had consciously skipped the Jug due to the heat racing format, Burke had no qualms about dropping his horse in the Jug entry box.

"[The heat racing] doesn't bother me, honestly. It's just another day in the barn for our horses. They're used to working hard, it's not a big deal."

"It feels good," said co-owner Mark Weaver. "I made quite a bit of money betting on him too, so I'm happy about that."

Filibuster Hanover has now won three of his 14 seasonal starts and five of his 27 career races.


Handicappers had to wait until roughly 5:30 p.m. (Eastern) to get a taste of Little Brown Jug action on Thursday, but when the field of eight lined up for the $188,928 opening heat, the fans were given a show.

The Brian Brown-trained and David Miller-driven Fear The Dragon ($5.60) sustained a first-up attack from fourth and went on to post a narrow opening-heat victory in 1:50.3.

Miller and the Dragon Again colt started from Post 3 and found themselves third early, as Filibuster Hanover (Yannick Gingras) was first down to the opening quarter in :27.1.

Miller asked Fear The Dragon for his move as the field made its second trip into the homestretch. The career winner of more than $1.3 million in purses advanced on Filibuster Hanover heading towards the half, which Filibuster Hanover clicked off in :55.3.

Fear The Dragon was still right there on the outside for Miller at the three-quarters pole, which was spun off in 1:22.4.

The stretch drive proved to be something else, as no less than five horses were right there and within striking distance in the final strides.

Even though Fear The Dragon put in a noticeable bad step in deep stretch, the North America Cup winner was still able to show his class and fend off the rest of the circling bearcats.

Filibuster Hanover finished second and Funknwaffles finished third. Miso Fast (Matt Kakaley) and Downbytheseaside (Brian Sears) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Brown thinks Fear The Dragon will be tough to beat in the Little Brown Jug final.

"It's going to be awful tough getting around [Fear The Dragon in the final]. He is one tough horse."

Brown thought his other entrant, Downbytheseaside, would be closer to his stablemate on the gate in the second heat.

"I actually thought the horse was second or third from standing over here. He made a bad step going into the last turn, and it really cost him -- it stopped his momentum. I think if he hadn't made that step, he'd have been at least second...I have to talk to Brian [Sears] and see what he says.

"I'd to see Seaside get out of there better [in the next race], and get out of the traffic."

It was announced after the opening heat that the eighth-place finisher, R J P, was subsequently scratched from the final.

Jug officials noted afterward that the horses would retain their head numbers from the opening heat (for wagering purposes) while they raced in the second heat.

Post positions for the second-heat final of the Little Brown Jug appears below. Chip Walther moved up to Post 7 after the scratch of R J P.

Post (Head No.) – Horse – Driver – Trainer
PP1 (Head No. 3) – Fear The Dragon – David Miller – Brian Brown
PP2 (Head No. 2) – Filibuster Hanover – Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke
PP3 (Head No. 1) – Funknwaffles – Corey Callahan – John Butenschoen
PP4 (Head No. 4) – Miso Fast – Matt Kakaley – Ron Burke
PP5 (Head No. 5) – Downbytheseaside – Brian Sears – Brian Brown
PP6 (Head No. 6) – Boogie Shuffle – Scott Zeron – Mark Harder
PP7 (Head No. 8) – Chip Walther – Marcus Miller – Erv Miller


Kadabra mare Emoticon Hanover ($3.40) turned in a sparkling mile for driver Dan Dube and trainer Luc Blais in the $120,500 final of the Ms. Versatility series (Race 5), as the four-year-old bay trotted to an ultra-sharp 1:52 win for the Determination Stable of Montreal, Quebec.

Dube had his sights on the lead right from the word ‘go.’ He fired Emoticon Hanover off the wings from Post 5 and charged out for the point. Yannick Gingras and his Post 1 starter, Caprice Hill, made Emoticon Hanover pay for the lead, as the latter finally crossed over just before the opening quarter, which flashed up in :26.4.

Dube and Emoticon Hanover wouldn’t give up the lead from there, as the duo clicked off the opening half in :55.1 and scooted down to the three-quarters pole in 1:23.2.

Dube kicked out Emoticon Hanover earplugs just before the lane, and the classy mare responded by digging back in and trotting home with a :28.2 final quarter.

Caprice Hill wound up finishing second and Barn Girl (Aaron Merriman) finished third.

The win time of 1:52 was just one fifth of a second off Maven’s 1:51.4 world record, which was recorded in a prior rendition of the Ms. Versatility at the Delaware County fair.

Emoticon Hanover is trained by Canada's Luc Blais.

"Right now she's in really good shape; she's strong and it's nice to drive her," Dube said after the mile.

Dube stated that he had no concerns that Emoticon Hanover would be ready for this race after the three-week layoff.

"Luc trained her pretty good [coming in]; she just wants to keep her [fresh] for the big races. I knew she was fit enough to do it."


The first major stakes tilt of the day came in Race 3, as a field of five three-year-old trotting colts and geldings faced the gate for the Winbak Farm Old Oaken Bucket, which featured a six-figure purse of $105,125.

Post 1 starter Shake It Off Lindy ($3.40) left off the wings and had things all his way. Oakville, Ont. native Scott Zeron was in the sulky, and he made the lead early, cut the fractions (:28.1, :57.2, 1:26), and came home with a 28-second final quarter to record the victory.

The win time was 1:54, which was a mark-lowering mile for Shake It Off Lindy, who is trained by Frank Antonacci. The win time was also a national season’s record for a three-year-old trotting colt on a half-mile track.

Andy M (driven by David Miller) raced third in the mile and finished second, while pocket rider Moonshiner Hanover (Tim Tetrick) finished third. Only Passing Through and Brand New Key finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Shake It Off Lindy is a three-year-old Crazed colt. The bay is a homebred of K R Breeding LLC of Somersville, CT.

"He's getting sharper," said assistant trainer Domenico Cicere. "This is the first time for him on a half. I was thinking we were going to have problems but we didn't have problems. Scott's been driving him his last three times and he's done a great job. Very, very happy.

Cicere confirmed he'd headed for the Grand Circuit events at the Red Mile next.

"He's extremely fast off the gate, so I thought a lot of people would respect that. And when you have a five-horse field you can control the tempo if nobody's coming at you, and that's kind of what we did."

Zeron gave the horse all the credit for his recent win streak.

"Today, he did all the work. I'm three-for-three with him, I love sitting behind him...he's very well-mannered and they've done a great job with him."


After four consecutive Ohio Breeders Championship dashes had gone to post, a nine-horse field of two-year-old trotting colts and geldings took to the fair oval for the $52,200 Standardbred.

After having raced overland for much of his trip, the Marcus Miller-driven Keystone Apache ($4.80) powered to the lead in the third quarter and went on to prevail in the tussle courtesy of a lifetime-best 1:56.2 mile.

Keystone Apache, who is a son of Explosive Matter, started from Post 5 and ended up mid-pack as Cinnamon Stick (driven by David Miller) led the field to the opening quarter in :28.2. Marcus had his mount positioned second-over by the time Cinnamon Stick clicked off the opening half in :58.

It was in the vicinity of the 1:27.4 three-quarters pole where Keystone Apache showed that he was something special on the day. Marcus asked his charge for a bit more, and Keystone Apache responded by shooting over three-wide. He passed both his cover and the leader, and settled down onto the pylons for the rest of the fight.

Keystone Apache looked brave the rest of the way home, as he strided out full of himself and went on to hit the wire first.

"He's a really nice horse; he was very easy to drive today. [Erv] had him hung up just right. He likes the turns so this is a good spot for him."

The colt rebounded from his last start, in which he made a break late in the mile. Miller noted that his father made some adjustments based on that miscue.

"I know he changed his shoes a bunch, he had some different headpoles on. He talked to Mike Wilder and filled us in on what happened [in his last start] so I really wasn't too worried about that."

Trainer Erv Miller, of Wind Gap, PA, co-owns the winner of three of nine races along with Tangie Massey of Debary, FL.

Cant Afford It and driver Andy Miller finished second, while M S Triple J trotted under the wire third for Marcus Johansson.


The fair’s two-race mini-card was contested during the morning, and it concluded with the first Ohio Breeders Championship event, which was an $11,500 division for aged pacers. The dash was a compact contest, as just four pacers faced the starting gate. The Brenda Teague-trained and Montrell Teague-driven Im Gorgeous mare Miss Me Yet ($3.00) started from Post 4 and was still game in the lane for a gate-to-wire win in 1:52.1. The bay was the lone mare in the field.

Ohio Breeders Championship action continued during the day’s full program, as the first $36,296 split for the two-year-old pacing colt and gelding division went out and faced the gate for Race 9. Rock On Creek ($2.40) was a convincing 1-5 winner in the dash. The Pet Rock gelding started from Post 4, went first-up early in the second quarter, and powered to a stakes record 1:52.4 win The Brian Brown-trained and Chris Page-driven bay was well ahead of the field at the wire. Rock On Creek was bred by Gores Landing, Ont. resident Debbie Bird, who co-owns the gelding.

The Brian Brown-trained and David Miller-driven Dragonology ($6.20) captured the second $36,296 OBC split for the two-year-old pacing colts and geldings (Race 10) after a prolonged duel on the front with the Tyler Smith-driven Letsall Rock. Although the pair of pacers skirmished on the engine, it was still Dragonology that recorded a gate-to-wire win in a mark-equalling 1:53.2. Letsall Rock had come first-up on Dragonology after the opening quarter, and the duo went toe to toe the rest of the way. Dragonology, a Dragon Again gelding, refused to throw in the towel, and hit the wire first.

The two-year-old pacing colts and geldings were back in action in Race 11 for another $36,296 OBC split, and it was Slick Mick ($11.00) that got up to post a narrow 1:55.1 victory for driver Ron Wrenn Jr. and trainer Brian Brown. The bay The Panderosa colt started from the rail and worked out a two-hole trip through the fractions. Wrenn had him right up in contention in the final sixteenth and he was able to post a nose victory.

Three-year-old pacing colts and geldings made their first foray into the Thursday OBC action in Race 12, which featured a purse of $37,945. It came down to post position and trip, as Scotch McEwan ($7.80) was able to start from Post 1, race on the lead, fend off multiple foes, and hit the wire first in 1:52.4. The McArdle gelding was able to get home first after having faced quite a bit of pressure on the engine. Pilot Josh Sutton steered the winner for trainer Jim Dailey.

He may have been sent off at odds of 24-1 in Race 14 – a $37,945 OBC division for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings – but Camwood ($50.00) raced like a favourite. The son of Woodstock fired out from mid-pack on the final turn and went on to win convincingly in a life’s best 1:53.2. Kayne Kauffman was in the bike behind the Mike Polhamus trainee.

The seventh OBC showdown of the day took place in Race 15, as a field of seven faced the gate in search of the lion’s share of the $36,296 purse. The 6-5 post time choice, Born To Be Bad ($4.60), started from the rail and refused to squander the advantage, as the Bid Bad John colt was a convincing 1:52.3 winner on the engine for trainer Julie Miller and driver Andy Miller. The win time was a new lifetime mark for the bay.

Ohio Breeders Championship action continued in Race 17, and it took an examination of the finish line photo to determine the winner of the dash, which was a $53,543 split for three-year-old pacing fillies. Berazzled ($6.40) emerged from the photo and was declared the gate-to-wire winner of the dash for driver Ron Wrenn Jr. and trainer Chris Beaver. The Charley Barley bay started from the rail and led every step of the way. She held off Pistol Packin Mama (Tim Tetrick) for the scant nose victory.

Trainer Brian Brown and driver Ron Wrenn Jr. clicked in Race 18, which was a $37,945 OBC split in the three-year-old pacing colt division, as Barnabas ($7.00) came from third, grabbed the lead late, and held off a handful of closers at the wire. The McArdle gelding had started from Post 6 and stopped the clock in 1:54.1.

The final OBC dash of the program took place in Race 19, which was a $53,543 split in the three-year-old pacing filly division. The 4-5 post time choice, Rosas Touch ($3.80), started from Post 4, got everything her way, and paced a down-the-road mile in 1:54.1. The Ron Burke student was in rein to Matt Kakaley. Rosas Touch is a bay by The Panderosa.


The first of the Ohio Fair Racing Conference divisions went forth as Race 2 on the day’s main program, and the $3,015 dash was the first split of the stakes’ three-year-old pacing colt and gelding division. A photo was needed to determine the winner, but once the analysis was done it was determined that 21-1 shot Ohio Larry ($45.80) just got up late for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Steck. The three-year-old McArdle gelding started from Post 5, closed three-wide from off the speed, and nailed the wire in 1:54.3.

Ohio Fair Racing Conference action continued in Race 4, as the second of the $3,015 splits for the three-year-old colt and gelding pacers went postward. David Miller wanted the lead from Post 2, and he got it early with Art Official gelding Official Delight ($3.40). The bay had a good time on the engine, as he cut all the fractions and held on in the lane to record a mark-lowering 1:52.4 victory for trainer Jeff Cox.

The third $3,015 OFRC split for the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings headed to post for Race 6, and it was the Phil Goldwater-trained and Jason Thompson-driven McSpidey ($3.60) who was a dominant, wire-to-wire winner in 1:54.2. The three-year-old McArdle gelding left from Post 3 and went a pretty big opening half. He got some help in the third quarter when a competitor failed to advance on the outside and back through the field somewhat. Regardless, McSpidey paced a sold back half and went on to nail the wire in 1:54.2.

The fourth $3,015 OFRC split for the three-year-old pacing colt and gelding division took to the track for Race 8, and it was the Marvin Craft-trained and Ron Wrenn Jr.-driven OGradys First Man ($5.60) that held a pair of foes off in the lane to post a gate-to-wire win in 1:56.4. The Manhardt gelding had started from Post 7 and was used a bit to get to the front from that spot. The bay faced a good deal of pressure through the back half, and Wrenn had to work his magic to keep closers (on each side of him) at bay.


The $12,000 final of the Signature Series was carded as Race 7, and it was the Ron Wrenn Jr.-driven and Mervin Schmucker-trained Mystical Rock ($2.40) that paced a rather large mile. The four-year-old Rockin Image gelding left hard from Post 8 and then tucked for a brief early breather. He then came first-up in the second quarter and raced overland the rest of the way. He was still very game in the lane and paced on to post a 1:54 win as the 1-5 post time choice.


The day’s two-race mini-card kicked off at roughly 11:00 a.m. (prior to the day’s main program) with the $6,500 final of the Hall of Fame and Museum Amateur Racing Series. After having started from Post 6 and taken a two-hole trip through the mile, the Ned Hodkinson-trained and driven Mutinyonthebounty ($18.80) came on in the lane to win the dash in 1:58.4. Mutinyonthebounty is an eight-year-old Mutineer gelding.


The day’s lone conditioned race kicked off the 20-dash program in Race 1, and it was the Deborah Swartz-trained and Dan Noble-driven Indiana Cam ($4.80) who went wire-to-wire from Post 1 and recorded a 1:52.1 victory. Indiana Cam is a five-year-old Majestic Blue gelding.

September 27, 2017 - 7:02 amWhy not race the eliminations

murray brown SAID...

Why not race the eliminations on the Sunday before the race and then the final on the traditional Thursday? The advantages would be.
(1) There would almost certainly be eliminations, because many of those opposed to racing heats would be more disposed to entering, as opposed to the diminishing number that we see now.
(2) It would, a least in theory give the fair two big days instead of one.

September 26, 2017 - 9:41 amI'm not sure what the

I'm not sure what the advantage is to win the first heat? Each horse won a heat but the one who won the second heat wins the Jug? This makes no sense to me at all and just another reason why this sport is going in the wrong direction. Keep things the way they were or as Mr. Conley mentioned, race the heats the week before and just have one race for all the marbles like every other big race is done. If it's good enough for all the other major races why should the Jug be any different?

September 21, 2017 - 7:35 pmI give all credit to the

Craig Conley SAID...

I give all credit to the owners, and trainers who came today. The best Jug I ever saw was Western Hanover, and Fake Left. Those days are gone. Just run elims the week before and have a one race final. I guess nobody cares about the history of the sport anymore.I have always booked a day off work to watch the Jug, full card, not anymore!!

view counter

© 2021 Standardbred Canada. All rights reserved. Use of this site signifies your agreement and compliance with the legal disclaimer and privacy policy.

Firefox 3 Best with IE 7 Built with Drupal