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Betting Line Wins The Little Brown Jug

Published: September 22, 2016 11:50 am ET

Last Comment: September 26, 2016 10:15 pm ET | 5 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Betting Line paced a world record 1:49 mile in the second heat of the Little Brown Jug on Thursday, September 22 at the Delaware County Fairground in Ohio, as the Ontario Sired son of Bettors Delight captured the 71st edition of the Jug in straight heats for trainer Casie Coleman and driver David Miller.

The mile time matches Wiggle It Jiggleit's 2015 Jug clocking as the fastest ever paced by a three-year-old over a half-mile track (Wiggle It Jiggleit still holds the gelding mark).

Owned by Coleman’s West Wins Stable (of Cambridge, Ont.) along with Christine Calhoun (Burlington, Ont.) and Mac Nicol (Burlington, Ont.) Betting Line came first-up for Miller in the second quarter of the race, made the lead in the vicinity of the half-mile pole and did not look back whatsoever.

Fellow opening-heat victor Western Fame (driven by Mark MacDonald) had cut the opening quarter in :26.4. Miller bided his time with Betting Line from third and came calling as the field raced through the homestretch for the first time. It was in the vicinity of the :54.4 half-mile pole where Betting Line assumed control of the proceedings.

Betting Line paced a solid third panel (:27), but it was in the final quarter where the brown colt showed his motor to everyone. Miller knew it was his race to lose at that point, so ‘The Buckeye’ went to work a bit. He spoke to Betting Line for good measure and even gave him a bit of the high-line treatment just to make sure the end result was never in doubt.

And what an end result it was.

Miller and Betting Line paced hard off the final turn and jetted through the lane unchallenged, expanding their multi-length lead with every stride. Betting Line was firing on all cylinders when he hit the wire in 1:49, which was a world record for a three-year-old pacing colt over a half-mile track.

“Huge day. It’s unbelievable,” said co-owner Nichol, during the winner’s circle proceedings. “There’s no bottom to this horse. I’ve never seen the bottom of this horse, ever.”

Betting Line ($2.20) bested Western Fame, who finished second for pilot Mark MacDonald. Manhattan Beach finished third for Matt Kakaley. Lyons Snyder (driven by Sylvain Filion) and Dr J Hanover (Scott Zeron) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

The victory was the third career Little Brown Jug win for Coleman and the fourth for Miller, who is currently the unofficial reinsman to beat over the blazing-fast half-mile course.

Announcer Roger Huston asked Miller – possibly tongue in cheek – if the win was as easy as it looked. “Yeah… it was pretty easy,” said the very humble Miller. “[Betting Line] was great both trips, and I’m so glad for all the connections and the horse to win the Little Brown Jug.”

Miller went on to say, “I enjoy each and every one of them (Jug wins), and this one was special.”

"I love the Jug. Everybody knows I've always been supportive of the Jug,” Coleman, who was just married days before, said in the winner’s circle. “I think I pay every horse I have – I have some cheaper horses that I pay into this race just hoping they're good enough to come. Every single year I'll be here supporting it as long as I have a horse good enough."

Coleman also stated that Betting Line still has the Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals and Breeders Crown on his dance card, but he was not paid up to upcoming stakes at the Red Mile in Lexington, Kentucky. Coleman did say that no decision has been made at this time as to whether they will supplement Betting Line to the Red Mile Grand Circuit stakes.

With the win in the Jug final, Betting Line extended his winning streak to 13, which includes scores in the Pepsi North America Cup, Carl Milstein Memorial, the Battle of the Brandywine, Simcoe Stakes and multiple OSS events.

Betting Line’s Jug win made for a Bettors Delight sweep of Jug and Jugette, as L A Delight captured the latter over the course one day prior.

Prior to the first heat, the USTA's Harness Racing Communications reported that a controversy that had been brewing behind the scenes since early this morning came to a head. It involved a lost cell phone belonging to one of winning trainer Casie Coleman’s employees that was found on the backstretch with a message on it that trainers Ron Burke, Jimmy Takter and Tony Alagna brought to the attention of the judges because they interpreted it as a message directing her employee to give something to the horse this morning. Coleman explained that she was referring to yogurt that Betting Line gets twice a day.

According to HRC, the three other trainers, who had nine of the 11 horses in the Jug, asked the judges to scratch the eventual Jug winner and protested Betting Line’s participation with a threat to scratch their horses if their protest was not accepted. As a show of their protest, the three other trainers demanded that Betting Line leave for the post parade five minutes earlier than the rest of the field for the first Jug heat.

“The horsemen expressed their concerns to the Ohio State Racing Commission (OSRC),” said the official statement from the Little Brown Jug following the race. “Little Brown Jug officials worked with the OSRC and the horsemen and we are pleased that the horsemen participated in our event. At this point it is an OSRC decision.”


Western Fame and driver Mark MacDonald played some serious hardball in the second opening-heat division of the Little Brown Jug, as the Western Ideal colt thwarted all comers and scorched a gate-to-wire mile in a 1:50.1.

Trained by Jimmy Takter, Western Fame ($23.40) was blessed with Post 1 in the five-horse field. MacDonald knew what the deal was and ended up attacking the speed course with all that Western Fame had.

Racing Hill, the heavy favourite in the race, also had his sights on the early lead, as driver Brett Miller fired off the starting gate from Post 2. Western Fame and Racing Hill went full bore into the first turn, and MacDonald was not willing to give an inch.

MacDonald and Western Fame parked Racing Hill to the :26.4 opening quarter and left his foe taking air on the outside through the second panel. Racing Hill was parked past the :53.4 half-mile marker, where Big Top Hanover (Yannick Gingras) sat in the garden spot on the rail.

MacDonald and Western Fame continued to roll through the third panel. Gingras smelled blood in the water at that point and tipped Big Top Hanover out from second for a first-over attack. The duel was on at the hot 1:22.1 third call and MacDonald was doing all he could to keep Western Fame on his business into the lane.

It was in the lane where it became apparent that Western Fame was not going to give up the lead to anyone. He and MacDonald were able to keep Big Top Hanover at bay, although the margin of victory was not large. Even though he raced a very taxing mile, Racing Hill was able to hang onto third.

“It was kind of an all-or-nothing drive,” MacDonald said in a post-race interview. “There wasn’t a whole lot of action in the opening elimination, so I wanted to give the people a show,” MacDonald said, with a smirk.

It was back in 2006 when Takter and MacDonald hooked up at the Jug and set a then-two-heat world Record with Mr Feelgood.

“I’m happy standing here with Mark,” Takter said afterward. “We did it (won the Jug) ten years ago, and hopefully we do it again in about an hour.”

Western Fame is a homebred of Brittany Farms of Versailles, Kentucky.

Western Fame, Big Top Hanover and Racing Hill all advanced to the final, as did fourth-place finisher Manhattan Beach.

The 1:50.1 clocking was a national season’s record for a three-year-old male pacer over a half-mile track, and it also was a mark-lowering mile for Western Fame.

Post positions for the second heat were released shortly after. It was also announced that Racing Hill and Check Six were subsequently scratched.

Post positions for the second heat appear below.

1 – Western Fame – Mark MacDonald
2 – Betting Line – David Miller
3 – Lyons Snyder – Sylvain Filion
4 – Big Top Hanover – Yannick Gingras
5 – Dr J Hanover – Scott Zeron
6 – Racing Hill – Brett Miller (SCRATCHED)
7 – Check Six – Yannick Gingras (SCRATCHED)
8 – Manhattan Beach – Matt Kakaley


Betting Line captured his 12th straight win with a confident 1:50.4 score in the first heat of the 2016 Little Brown Jug.

David Miller dropped the 1-5 favourite into fifth early as Check Six (Yannick Gingras) fronted the field through the :27.1 opening panel. Dr J Hanover (Scott Zeron) sat the pocket in front of Stolen Glimpse (Matt Kakaley) and Lyons Snyder (Sylvain Filion).

Miller started the outer flow heading to the half by right-lining Betting Line out of fifth. That move prompted Filion to pull with Lyons Snyder through the :56 half. Lyons Snyder made gains on Check Six with every stride, eventually getting his nose past the early pacesetter by the 1:23.4 third station.

Miller then edged Betting Line three-wide around the final turn and gave his charge daylight heading into the stretch. Betting Line powered past the front pair with ease and hit the wire in 1:50.4. Lyons Snyder, Dr J Hanover and Check Six completed the top four and those colts advance to the second heat.

The time of the mile established a new national season's record for three-year-old colt pacers on a half-mile track.

Betting Line (Bettors Delight - Heathers Western) is trained by Casie Coleman of Cambridge, Ont., and owned by West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Christine Calhoun of Chatham and Mac Nichol of Burlington, Ont.

"I'm really happy we decided to take the invite when Northfield was nice enough to invite us to race there now because he never did that to me on a big track all that much," noted Coleman. "We brought his hopples up an inch today and had a little sharper headpole on the inside...he's got a jawbreaker [bit] on also to help David steer him around the turns."

Coleman expressed no concern about drawing the post two over the rail, saying she'd be fine with either one.

Driver David Miller stated that the race played out much like it did in his mind beforehand.

"Actually it worked out just like I thought it would. Yannick left and I was able to pick up good cover. And he took me farther than I thought he would," noted Miller. "My horse seemed strong the whole way....he's been a great horse and a pleasure to drive. I know he had a little hiccup there at Northfield but [Casie]'s got him figured out."


Four-year-old Conway Hall mare Barn Doll ($5.60) and driver Jeff Gregory utilized a decisive quarter-pole move to make the lead early and not look back, as the duo captured the $120,000 final of the Ms. Versatility in a sharp 1:53.2.

Gregory, who co-owns Barn Doll with the Jesmeral Stable of Scarsdale, New York, left well from Post 4. He opted to quickly brush to the lead from the two-hole and cleared to the engine before the :27.4 timer flashed to life.

Barn Doll’s competition began to rev up in the second quarter, and that competition came in the form of Charmed Life, who advanced first-over in the second panel and was right there with Barn Doll. The duo raced each other past the :57.1 opening half-mile marker and the 1:24.4 three-quarters station.

Barn Doll stayed on her game through the lane and was first to the wire in 1:53.2. Charmed Life held on for second, while Sky Hanover held third to finish on the board.

The win was the 18th of Barn Doll’s 35-race career, and the winner’s share of the purse pushed her bankroll over the $700,000 mark.


He's been knocking on the door in some recent stakes but Blenheim finally clicked for a winning effort in the 2016 $122,500 Old Oaken Bucket for three-year-old trotting colts & geldings.

John Campbell dropped the fourth choice into fourth while Tight Lines (Jeff Gregory) fronted the field through early fractions of :27.2 and :56.3. Just before the half, Campbell gave Blenheim the signal and started the first-over grind. That move gave cover to favoured Cufflink Hanover (David Miller) heading into the final half-mile.

Blenheim continued to steadily stalk the leader through the backstretch and made it to second as the field passed the three-quarter station in 1:25.1. Campbell kept Blenheim on task and eventually forged past pacesetting Tight Lines in mid-stretch to trip the timer in 1:54. Cufflink Hanover tipped off Campbell's helmet at the head of the lane but couldn't catch his rival and settled for second, with Tight Lines staying for third. The time of the mile set a new national season's record for a three-year-old gelding trotter on a half-mile track and matches Blenheim's lifetime mark.

"It's a tough race to win, especially with a ten-horse field and this horse, he had to do it overland and without cover and went a real strong race," said Campbell in the winner's circle.

Campbell drove the son of Yankee Glide - Are Your Ready for trainer Per Henriksen and owners Steve Organ and Asa Farm of Ontario and Thomas Nurmi of Washington, D.C. Campbell was appreciative for the opportunity to drive such a talented colt.

"There's lots of guys to choose from around here so I was thankful to get a live drive going for $122,000. That's a good deal for me."


McLucky was the initial winner of the first $35,325 division of the Ohio Breeders Championship for two-year-old colt and gelding pacers, but he was placed back to second for causing interference. The bay had raced first-up through the middle half-mile of the race. McLucky caused interference to Scotch McEwan near the three-quarters pole. Scotch McEwan ($3.00) and driver Josh Sutton were racing three wide when McLucky caused interference to them. Scotch McEwan made a demonstrative break of stride due to the interference, but Sutton got the son of McArdle back on gait. Scotch McEwan and Sutton closed well and fended off the rest of the closers with the Jim Dailey trainee. McLucky (David Miller) was placed second and Barnabas (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) finished third.

Driver David Miller steered trainer Brian Brown’s McThriller ($5.60) to a track record performance in the $35,325 second division of the OBCs for two-year-old colt and gelding pacers. The McArdle gelding raced in the backfield in the opening half mile, but Miller had him advancing three wide at the three-quarters of a mile mark. The duo caught some luck at that point, as the leader, McGold, broke stride. That allowed Miller and McThriller to do their thing along the final turn and through the lane. McThriller went on to stop the clock in 1:53.4. LifewithJohn (Kyle Ater) finished second and Buckeye President (Brett Miller) was third.

Winwood Mac ($5.00) showed some speed and steering issues, but the son of Canyon Wind got the job done in the first $50,170 division of the OBC for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. The bay gelding left hard from Post 4 and diced the fractions (:26.2, :54.4, 1:22.4) for driver Yannick Gingras. ‘The Green Hornet’ had to keep Winwood Mac straight on the turns, and those issues were evident on the final bend, when Winwood Mac again had issues. Regardless of that, the gelding did hang on in the :29.2 final quarter to post a 1:52.1 win for his co-owning trainer, Ron Burke. “He has a big engine, but he doesn’t like to turn that much,” Gingras said afterward. World Of Gaming (David Miller) closed well to finish second and Winna Winna (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) turned a second-over trip into a third-place finish.

Miss Me Yet ($8.40) was tops in the first $47,000 OBC division for three-year-old pacing fillies, as the Im Gorgeous bay went gate to wire from Post 6 and hit the wire in a new stakes record of 1:52.3. The time also equalled Miss Me Yet’s lifetime mark. The fractions were cut in :27.2, :55.2 and 1:23.1. The Brenda Teague trainee fought off the first-over My Tweed Heart throughout the majority of the mile. When all was said and done, My Tweed Heart succumbed to her taxing trip and missed the board. NPR Nine (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) came three-wide on the final turn and finished second, while Crazy Bad K (Ken Holliday) turned a cone-skimming pocket ride into a third-place finish.

The second $50,170 division of the OBC three-year-old colt and gelding pace saw driver Kayne Kauffman steer Mr Wiggle Pants ($3.60) to a gate-to-wire score from Post 3 for trainer Jim Mulinix in 1:52.2. The bay son of Mr Wiggles cut the fractions in :27.1, :57 and 1:24.4. Whataboy (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) turned a pocket trip in to a second-place finish, while Hustling Charley (David Miller), who raced first-up from the second quarter onward, finished third. Mr Wiggle Pants has now won 11 of his 21 career races.

Big Bad Bruce ($5.00) captured the third $35,325 OBC division for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings for driver Chris Page and trainer David Wornstaff. The Big Bad John colt separated himself from the rest of the field during the final quarter. After having left well from Post 2, Page worked out a two-hole trip for Big Bad Bruce through the fractions (:27, :55.4, 1:25.1). It was on the final turn when Page asked Big Bad Bruce, and he responded in full. The colt shot off his cover, zipped to the lead and held off the backfield, which was sparring for the place and show dough. Shooter McGavin (Kayne Kauffman) fired from second-over to finish second, while Trial By Fire (Tim Tetrick) rallied from the backfield to finish third. Big Bad Bruce has now won six of his 10 career starts for Wornstaff, who also owns.

After a close runner-up finish in the Ohio Sires Stakes Final, Queen Ann M made every call a winning one in the second $47,000 division of the Ohio Breeders Championship for three-year-old pacing fillies. The daughter of Big Bad John and driver Chris Page fronted the field through splits of :27.2, :56.3 and 124.4 before closing the deal with a :29.1 split to hit the wire first in 1:54. Pocket sitter Naked By Nine (Sandy Beatty) finished second while Wiggler (Yannick Gingras) closed off cover to complete the triactor.

Trained by Mike Roth, Queen Ann M is owned by Alan Keith, and Carl & Melanie Atley of Ohio.

The fourth and final division of the Ohio Breeders Championship for freshman pacing colts went to Dancin Rebel, who made an eye-catching backside brush three-wide to collar leader Up On The Outside (Brady Galliers) by the three-quarter mark. Dancin Rebel couldn't clear around the final turn but pulled clear in the stretch for the win in 1:53.2, a lifetime best. The time of the mile also matched the stakes record.

Peter Wrenn engineered the winning trip behind Dancin Rebel for trainer Melanie Wrenn and owners Gene Oldford Farms LLC and The Kales Company LLC of Michigan along with Wrenn Racing LLC of Indiana.


Hes On A Mission ($5.60) was at the right place at the right time in the first $32,050 division of the Standardbred for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. The Groton Hall gelding trotted home a winner after the leader, Lars Perry (Yannick Gingras), broke stride in late stretch. Hes On A Mission had raced first-over in the lane and went on to nail the wire in a mark-lowering 1:58.3 for driver Tim Tetrick and co-owning trainer Stacey Ruddick. Brand New Key (David Miller) took a two-hold trip and finished second, while Lars Perry held on for third.

It was world-record time in the second $32,050 division of the Standardbred for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings, as the heavily-favoured Don Dream ($2.80) was on his toes for driver David Miller and trainer Chris Oakes. The Donato Hanover colt left from Post 3, cut all the fractions (:28.1, 57.3, 1:26.4) and stopped the clock in 1:55. The bay has now won four of his eight career starts for owners Michelle and Albert Crawford (Cazenovia, NY) and Susan Oakes (Wilkes-Barre, PA). The 1:55 clocking is the fastest mile ever trotted by a two-year-old over a half-mile track. Moonshiner Hanover raced a two-hole trip and finished second, while Andy M made up ground from the backfield to finish third.


Three-year-old Big Bad John gelding Prince Giovanni ($7.00) got the day’s action underway, as the bay gelding paced to a life’s mark 1:54.4 in the first $3,900 division of the Ohio Fair Racing Conference Stakes (OFRC). He grinded first-over into the lane and prevailed in a photo finish for driver Brett Miller and trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. The dash took place during the morning’s two-race ‘early card,’ which also featured the opening division of the Standardbred, which was won by Hes On A Mission….. Driver David Miller and trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. clicked in the opening race of the full Jug Day card, as the favoured Tail Gunner Hall ($2.60) recorded a gate-to-wire mile in 1:52.4 in a conditioned race..... Off of a strong first-over rush in the third quarter, Stand Tall ($24.40) shot to the lead from third, cleared to the lead, and trotted off to a solid 1:52.4 win in the $12,000 final of the Signature Series. Brett Miller performed the driving duties for trainer Mark Winters Sr. The 1:52.4 clocking was a mark-equalling mile for the eight-year-old Stand Forever gelding..... Im Sorry Charlie ($18.20) hit the wire first in his OFRC division for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Driver Brett Miller popped the pocket in the vicinity of the three-quarters pole and Im Sorry Charlie went on to nail the wire in 1:54 for trainer Jim Arledge Jr..... Three-year-old Big Bad John gelding Donald Doc ($7.00) and driver Kayne Kauffman shunned their Post 7 start in their $3,900 OFRC division and went on to post a gate-to-wire win in 1:57.4. Ryan Miller trains the flashy grey.

September 26, 2016 - 10:15 pmI would like to convey my

Jim Brown SAID...

I would like to convey my thanks to Mr. Phil Terry for allowing me the opportunity to go into the announcers booth to visit Mr. Huston and have a picture taken with him. I would also like to thank Mr. Huston, whom I had the opportunity to meet in Canada at the Sarnia and Leamington racetracks. As we discussed horse racing, I brought up how I had never been to the Kentucky Derby or the Little Brown Jug. When I said the jug, Roger told me I'd never been to a horse race. After experiencing this, I couldn't agree more. To sum up my Jug experience; It was like a huge family reunion. The hospitality was great, in the future, if I had the chance to go back the Jug or go to the Kentucky Derby, I'd choose the Jug.

My love of Standardbred racing helps with this decision.

(I'llHaveAnother - Ontario Needs Racing)

September 26, 2016 - 2:00 pmJohn Carter my friend, you

Joe Riga SAID...

John Carter my friend, you and I rarely disagree but I think I'm going to go a little different from you this time. While I do like Betting Line I do not necessarily agree that he is the best 3 year old since the Beach. First off he beat no one in the Jug. There was no Racing Hill (in the final) and no Control The Moment. Yes I know he has beaten them before but you need to beat them more then once or twice to prove you are head and shoulders the best. Secondly I think both WIJI and lets not forget the Captain (Treacherous) were great 3 year olds and both performed admirably against older horses. That said, he does deserve 3 year old of the year, though I'm leaning to Miki for horse of the year especially if he wins the Breeders Crown.

September 23, 2016 - 3:09 pmIt's too bad this horse won't

John Carter SAID...

It's too bad this horse won't be racing as a 4 yr old. It would have been good for the sport to see him race WIJI and Always B Miki. The rule that was put in place that made owners race there horses as 4 yr olds was good for the fans and good for the game. In fairness to the owners you can't blame them for turning him out to stud right away. Betting Line is easily the best 3yr old since SBSW.

September 23, 2016 - 11:22 amI so agree 100%... while

john thomas SAID...

I so agree 100%...
while other horses are at the top of the speed limit BL still has 1 or 2 gears left.
If he does not lose another race from here on in he should win 3 yr old honors and horse of the year.
Not sure whats on his card other than the Breeders Crown. maybe Kentucky?

September 23, 2016 - 12:18 amThis horse is a pacing

This horse is a pacing maniac.....

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