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Las Vegas, NV - One of North America's most important and unique Standardbred races is the Little Brown Jug, a race held each year at the Delaware County Fair in Delaware, Ohio. The Little Brown Jug, a race restricted to three-year-old Pacers, is unique in that to win the "Jug," participants must win two races to be crowned champion. The first series of heats are split into several divisions, and each of the top performers in each return to contest in a second heat. If the same horse does not win both heats, a "race off" is conducted between the two heat winners to determine the winner. The Little Brown Jug also serves as the second leg of the Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Pacers, preceded by Freehold's Cane Pace and followed by Yonkers' Messenger Stakes. With so many top-level horses participating, handicappers and horseplayers can be certain that the wagers their making are on the best horses, drivers and conditioners in the area.
The connections of 14 three-year-old pacers are going to take their chances against Wiggle It Jiggleit and will be chasing the lion's share of the record purse in the 70th edition of the Little Brown Jug.
North America's leading pacer, Wiggle It Jiggleit drew post position #5 in the second elimination. He has won 16 of 18 starts this season and has banked more than $1.4 million. Wiggle It Jiggleit is owned by George Teague, Jr., driven by his son Montrell Teague and trained by Clyde Francis.
Wiggle It Jiggleit was unknown entering this season, having raced only once in 2014 because of soreness, but Teague, who trained 2004 Horse of the Year Rainbow Blue, thought the horse was special.
"He appears to be a real serious horse," Teague said in February after watching the trotter win his first two lifetime starts by a combined total of more than 18 lengths. "He's got a great set of lungs, a high rate of speed and he's a really, really intelligent horse. He's got all the qualities, he just has to stay sound and get lucky.
Wiggle It Jiggleit is a son of stallion Mr Wiggles out of the mare Mozzi Hanover. Teague owns both horses and raced both horses during their careers on the track. Mr Wiggles won the 2009 Hoosier Cup and finished second in the Breeders Crown and Adios. He finished sixth in the 2009 Little Brown Jug.
Wiggle It Jiggleit won the $706,000 Meadowlands Pace, $500,000 Max Hempt Final, $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine and the $405,000 Carl Milstein Memorial. The win in the Meadowlands Pace allowed his connections to supplement the pacer into the Little Brown Jug for $45,000. The son of Mr. Wiggles prepped for the Jug by winning a qualifying race at Harrah's Philadelphia on September 14 in 1:50 2/5.
Wiggle It Jiggleit's main competition drew the coveted rail position. Artspeak is trained by Tony Alagna for Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and In The Gym Partners. Artspeak established a new lifetime mark of 1:48 2/5 in his last start, the $168,680 Simcoe Stake at Mohawk Racetrack on September 12. Scott Zeron, winner of the 2012 LBJ, has been selected to sit behind the son of American Ideal.
The first elimination features a competitive and balanced field of seven pacers. Locally trained Lost For Words was made the slight morning line favorite over Dude's The Man.
Lost For Words has finished on the board in 10 of 11 seasonal starts, earning $537,260 lifetime for owners Country Club Acres, William Robinson, Richard Lombardo and Strollin Stables, all of Ohio. The Well Said colt is conditioned by Brian Brown and will leave from the rail.
The $400,000 Adios Pace champion, Dude's The Man was the second choice at 5-2 from post #4 with Corey Callahan listed as the driver. The American Ideal colt is owned by M & L of Delaware, LLC and Victoria Dickerson and trained by Jessica Oskusko. The ultra-consistent colt has earned $687,791 and owns a lifetime mark of 1:48 4/5.
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