A small but talented field of 12 sophomore colt pacers will go postward Thursday afternoon, Sept. 22, looking to capture the 66th Little Brown Jug. The field is divided into two $84,288 eliminations with the first four finishers in each advancing to the $252,864 final. If a race-off would be necessary, the three-horse event would go for $105,360. The field is the smallest since 1980, when Niatross captured the Jug in straight heats.
Hometown favorite Big Bad John drew post position two and was named the 8-5 morning-line favorite in the first elimination. Big Bad John will have the lion’s share of the expected 50,000 fans, as the colt is owned by Ed Telle’s Winchester Baye Acres and trained by Delaware’s Ron Potter. Ohio native David Miller will rein the colt.
“John” is looking to become the first horse since Barberry Spur to capture back-to-back Delaware victories. Big Bad John won the 2-year-old Standardbred last year at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in a then world record 1:53.
“How can you not like that draw? Everyone’s got a chance,” noted Potter. “We think we have a good shot.”
Roll With Joe, winner of the $1 million Meadowlands Pace, will leave from post five in the second elimination. The Cam’s Card Shark colt is owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock, Stephen Demeter, Not To Worry Stable and Winbak Farm. Roll With Joe will be piloted by Ron Pierce, the four-time Jug champion.
“I am very surprised there were so few horses entered,” stated Roll With Joe’s trainer Ed Hart. “Our post position is not horrible. I would rather be on the inside, but we will work it out.”
Roll With Joe will be challenged by Betterthancheddar, leaving from post four. The Cane Pace winner became Jug eligible when his connections paid the $45,000 supplemental fee to enter the 66th Little Brown Jug. Betterthancheddar is owned by Steve W. Calhoun and West Wins Stable. The Bettor’s Delight colt will be driven for the first time by George Brennan and is conditioned by co-owner Casie Coleman.
Also in that elim from the outside post six is North America Cup winner Up The Credit, trained by Carl Jamieson and driven by Jody Jamieson. Jody Jamieson won the 2007 Jug with Tell All for trainer Blair Burgess.
Here are the eliminations for the Little Brown Jug, with named driver:
$84,288 First Elim
1. Something For Doc (Tim Tetrick) 10-1
2. Big Bad John (David Miller) 8-5
3. Powerful Mist (John Campbell) 7-2
4. Foreclosure N (Tim Tetrick) 8-1
5. Custard The Dragon (Montrell Teague) 5-1
6. High Noon (Mark MacDonald) 15-1
$84,288 Second Elim
1. Rollwithitharry (Brett Miller) 8-1
2. Hugadragon (Yannick Gingras) 10-1
3. Wink N Atcha (Yannick Gingras) 6-1
4. Betterthancheddar (George Brennan) 3-1
5. Roll With Joe (Ron Pierce) 2-1
6. Up The Credit (Jody Jamieson) 4-1
(with files from LBJ)