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Captain Barbossa Wins The Little Brown Jug

Published: September 24, 2020 11:39 am ET

Last Comment: September 24, 2020 7:58 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

On Thursday, September 24, 2020, Captain Barbossa and driver Joe Bongiorno launched a first-over attack and went on to win the $335,400 final of the 75th Little Brown Jug for three-year-old pacers at Ohio's Delaware County Fair.

Captain Barbossa, who is trained by Tony Alagna, had finished a hard-closing second to Sandbetweenmytoes in their Jug elimination a few races earlier. Bongiorno turned the trick in the final when the chips were down, though, as he again fired from off the pace, but this time hit pay dirt for the colt's owners. Captain Barbossa is owned by Alagnafrankinthegym Stabl (of Manalapan, NJ), Robert Leblanc (Austin, TX), and David Anderson, the latter of which hails from Aurora, Ontario.

Captain Barbossa was able to hold off Cattlewash (who was driven by David Miller) to win the Jug. Opening-heat winner Catch The Fire (Mike Wilder) had to settle for third. The final two purse cheques were earned by Sandbetweenmytoes and Seeyou At Thebeach, respectively.

Bongiorno's big win -- which was his first ever in the Little Brown Jug -- came just one day after his 27th birthday. The winner's circle celebration was emotional. Instead of 50,000 fans cheering from the grandstand and around the course -- fans could not attend due to the COVID-19 pandemic -- the group in the winner's circle accounted for the majority of the noise. The emotion of the win was still the same, though, as Bongiorno and his connections beamed after their impressive win.

"There's really no words to describe it," said Bongiorno, who mentioned that early racing luck and his super-sharp charge made all of the difference. "I can't thank Tony and his owners enough to entrust me with this horse."

When asked if he was confident headed into the final, Bongiorno admitted that he truly was. "I definitely did (have confidence) because my horse had the most pace finishing (in his opening heat)," he said.

Bongiorno and Captain Barbossa lined up in Post 4 for the Jug final and were able to get away third. They gained a big advantage early when they were able to get around Seeyou At Thebeach and settle in behind duelling leaders. The two that were mixing it up on the front end were Sandbetweenmytoes (Scott Zeron) and Catch The Fire. Wilder and Catch The Fire made Zeron and Sandbetweenmytoes pay to get to the point, as they played hardball past the quarter, which was clicked off in 26 seconds. Sandbetweenmytoes then went on to click off the half-mile timer in a sharp :53.3.

Bongiorno commenced his first-over attack in the third panel, and Captain Barbossa was sharp as a tack along with Sandbetweenmytoes and Catch The Fire as the three-quarters time flashed in 1:21.2.

With a full head of steam behind him, Captain Barbossa dug into the track through the stretch and went on to nail the wire in 1:49.1, which was just one fifth of a second off of Betting Line's 1:49 world record.

The victory was the first win of Captain Barbossa's tough-luck 2020 campaign and was the fourth of the colt's career.


Sandbetweenmytoes Impressive In The Second 2020 Little Brown Jug Elimination

In a rare display of winning from off the pace at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, Sandbetweenmytoes and driver Scott Zeron captured the second $111,800 elimination of the 75th Little Brown Jug.

Major Betts (Dexter Dunn) used his rail control for the early lead before ceding to Capt Midnight (Dexter Dunn) after a :26.4 opener. Even money favourite Warrawee Vital (Tim Tetrick) was positioned in third and then tipped off the rail just before a sharp :54.3 half.

Moneyman Hill (Brett Miller) followed Warrawee Vital into the outer flow heading to the third station but the Canadian invader Warrawee Vital couldn't gain on the pacesetter. Scott Zeron launched Sandbetweenmytoes three-wide down the backstretch as the third quarter flashed up in 1:22. As pocket sitter Major Betts and first-over attacker Warrawee Vital started to fade, Sandbetweenmytoes was loaded with pace and sped by Capt Midnight turning for home to trip the timer in 1:49.3. Captain Barbossa (Joe Bongiorno) showed his typical late turn of foot to edge stablemate Capt Midnight for second with Cattlewash (David Miller) finishing fourth to complete the field for the 2020 Little Brown Jug Final.

Jim Campbell trains the regally-bred Sandbetweenmytoes (Somebeachsomewhere - Galleria), a homebred gelding of Fashion Farms LLC who picked up his sixth win of the season in 11 starts.

"When you've got the five hole here and there's a lot of speed on the inside of you, there wasn't a whole lot Scotty could do," said Campbell after the win. "We were hoping for strong fractions and it worked out. The horse brought his A game and when Scotty pulled him three wide there I said to myself 'he must feel real good otherwise Scotty wouldn't be moving him like that' and he was just fantastic."

The draw for the 2020 Little Brown Jug is as follows.

1. Catch The Fire (Mike Wilder)
2. Sandbetweenmytoes (Scott Zeron)
3. Seeyou Atthebeach (Dexter Dunn)
4. Captain Barbossa (Joe Bongiorno)
5. Later Dudes (Brett Miller)
6. Capt Midnight (scratched)
7. Genius Man (Marcus Miller)
8. Cattlewash (David Miller)


Catch The Fire Sharp In The Jug's First Opening-Heat Elimination

Catch The Fire kicked off the 75th edition of the Little Brown Jug with a mark-equalling 1:49.3 win in the first of the $111,800 opening-heat eliminations.

A field of seven three-year-old pacing colts and geldings faced the gate, and driver Mike Wilder was able to get Catch The Fire forwardly placed in the first quarter. Seeyou At Thebeach (Dexter Dunn) led the field past the quarter-mile indicator in :26.2, and Wilder was then able to bide his time with Catch The Fire and stay along the pylons as Seeyou At Thebeach led the field past the half-mile indicator in :54.

The outer flow started early in the back half of the mile, and Wilder and Catch The Fire stayed to the inside as long as they could. With the outer flow inching forward to his right, Wilder tipped Catch The Fire out and proceeded to lead the charge up against Seeyou At Thebeach, who would go on to click off three quarters in 1:21.3.

After saving his charge for the late going, Wilder threw Catch The Fire into a higher gear headed for home, and that was all he needed. Catch The Fire was sharp and well within himself through the lane and went on to nail the wire ahead of his competition.

Seeyou At Thebeach held on for second, while Later Dudes (David Miller) finished third off of a second-over trip. Genius Man, who had raced third over for driver Marcus Miller, finished fourth and also advanced to the final.

The victory was Catch The Fire's third win from nine starts this year and tHE seventh of his 21-race career. The win pushed his career bankroll to $538,708 for owners CT Stables LLC.


LITTLE BROWN JUG UNDERCARD


An undated shot of the infield at Ohio's Delaware County Fair.

In addition to the Jug, the program also featured the Old Oaken Bucket, the final of the Miss Versatility, two divisions of The Standardbred, and multiple divisions of both the Ohio Breeders Championship and the Buckeye Stallion Series. Trot Insider kept an eye on the action as it unfolded and recapped some of the stakes action as it occurred.

A compact field of five faced the gate for the fifth race of the afternoon, which was the $83,800 Old Oaken Bucket for three-year-old trotters. A trio of early breakers essentially reduced the festivities to a match race, and it actually ended up being a battle of the sexes. The Ron Burke-trained and Matt Kakaley-driven filly Sans Defaut left out of Post 3 and yielded the lead early. The Muscle Hill lass allowed her made rival, Hobbs (Jason Bartlett), to assume the lead and cut all of the fractions (:28, :57.1, 1:26.3). After having drafted in the pocket, Kakaley right lined entering the stretch and trotted by to post the win with Sans Defaut in 1:55. The full sister to Southwind Frank was well within herself in victory, which was the fifth win of her 11-race season. Sans Defaut has now won eight of her 21 career races and has banked $253,706 overall. Sans Defaut is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Crawford Farms Racing, Jandt Silva Purnel & Libb, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Burke indicated during a post-race interview that Sans Defaut raced without shoes in the Old Oaken Bucket and is being pointed to the Red Mile and Breeders Crown.

Elver Hanover turned heads last year on Little Brown Jug Day when he captured a two-year-old division of the Ohio Breeders Championship in 1:52.3. The much heralded son of Yankee Cruiser returned to the Delaware County Fair for Jug Day 2020, and even though he wasn't participating in the pacing classic for 'glamour boys,' he was putting in some work. Elver Hanover faced the gate for Race 7, which was a $48,121 division of the Ohio Breeders Championship for three-year-old male pacers, and he ended up taking a nice tour of the half-mile track in 1:51.1. Chris Page had the gelding moving early, as Elver Hanover vacated the three hole early and shot to the lead in the vicinity of the quarter pole, which flashed to life in :26.2. The career winner of 12 of 17 races wasn't headed from there on out, as he cruised through the middle half (:55.1, 1:23.1) before ending the festivities with a 28-second final quarter. Elver Hanover stopped the clock in 1:51.1 for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky, Jason Melillo, and Jandt Silva Purnel & Libb.

The $47,006 Standardbred for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings faced the gate for Race 9, and it was Arnold N Dicky that was in the mood for a stakes-record performance. Trainer Chuck Sylvester and driver Dave Palone teamed up with the Bar Hopping colt that had won three of his eight career starts heading into Delaware. Palone and Arnold N Dicky started from the rail and were second early, but that was before the duo looped to the lead prior to the :27.4 quarter pole. From there, Arnold N Dicky cut the speed (:57, 1:25.3) and cruised home in :29.3 for the convincing win in 1:54. The win time shaved a full second off of the previous stakes mark (1:55) that had stood since 2016. Sylvester holds Arnold N Dicky's ownership papers along with Amy Stoltzfus and Gilbert Short. In victory, Arnold N Dicky pushed his career earnings to $154,060.

After having raced on the front end throughout the duration of Race 11 -- which was a $46,021 division of the Ohio Breeders Championship for three-year-old pacing fillies -- Penpaperpaige needed the photo finish camera to determine that she won the tilt in a new stakes record clocking of 1:52. The Pet Rock filly cut the speed (:28.2, :57.1, 1:24.2) for driver Tyler Smith, and the Jeff Smith pupil had enough left to hold off a late closer and win by a nose on the wire. The bay has now won 10 of her 18 career starts for her breeder/owner Shirley Le Vin. Penpaperpaige has now banked $296,036 in purses.

It may have only been a $48,121 division of the Ohio Breeders Championship for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, but Ocean Rock let everyone know that he belonged in the 2020 edition of the Little Brown Jug. With Dan Noble calling the shots in the race bike, Ocean Rock rolled on the engine and went on to stop the clock in 1:49.2. After a Post 1 start, the Christi Noble trainee shot the front, sizzled the fractions (:26.4, :54.3, 1:21.4) and capped things off with a :27.3 final quarter. The 1:49.2 clocking tied Wiggle It Jiggleit's track record for three-year-old pacing geldings. The son of Rockin Amadeus has now won six of his nine starts this season and 11 of 18 overall. Courtesy of the win, Ocean Rock pushed his career bankroll to $519,737 for his breeder/owner Sandra Burnett.

The $87,500 final of the Miss Versatility (Race 17) followed the Little Brown Jug eliminations, and it was Plunge Blue Chip that was in a world-record sort of mood. The five-year-old daughter of Muscle Mass started from Post 2, went right to the front and trotted there confidently (:27, :54.4, 1:22.3). The millionaire bay cruised home with a 29-second final quarter and nailed the wire in 1:51.3. The clocking lowered Barn Girl's world record for an aged trotting mare on a half-mile track by a full second. Breaking was surely an issue in the Miss Versatility final, as almost half the field was on the run early and often. Plunge Blue Chip's trainer/driver, Ake Svanstedt, looked back and saw what was occurring in the race, and had the ability to call the shots at that point. Seizing the moment, the duo trotted a very confident front-end trip and held a large lead in different parts of the tilt. Plunge Blue Chip is owned by Ake Svanstedt Inc., Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., and Tomas Andersson.

In the $54,206 division of the Standardbred for two-year-old pacing colts, Chase H Hanover etched his name into harness racing's record books with a gate-to-wire win. Driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. pointed the pacer to the position of command and carved out fractions of :27.3 and :56.3 before repelling a pocket-popping Lous Pearlman (Matt Kakaley) through a 1:24.3 third quarter. Sprinting home in :26.3, Chase H Hanover tripped the timer in 1:51.1. The time of the mile equalled his lifetime best (set at The Meadows) and matched the existing record for rookie pacing geldings set by Ocean Rock at Northfield Park in 2019. Scott Cox of Streetsboro, Ohio trains and co-owns Chase H Hanover (Captaintreacherous - Calgary Hanover) along with Jason Ash of Delaware, Oh. The win gives the freshman a 3-5-0 summary from nine lifetime starts with earnings of $210,797.


September 24, 2020 - 7:58 pmCaptain Barbossa was

Norman Hall SAID...

Captain Barbossa was consigned to last year's Harrisburg mixed sale but was withdrawn. Kudos to whoever made that decision.


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