Michael's Power, the leading money-winning pacer in harness racing, will compete in the Little Brown Jug on Sept. 20 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in central Ohio.
Trainer Casie Coleman said Tuesday that owner Jeff Snyder decided to pursue the Little Brown Jug rather than enter Michael's Power for an Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series final on Sept. 22. The Little Brown Jug is the second jewel in the Pacing Triple Crown. Contested around Delaware's famed half-mile oval, the race requires a horse to win two heats to be declared the victor.
Snyder has won the Little Brown Jug twice--with Well Said in 2009 and Million Dollar Cam in 2002. The decision to send Michael's Power to the Little Brown Jug came after the gelding finished third to Panther Hanover and A Rocknroll Dance in the $257,571 Simcoe Stakes on Sept. 8 at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario.
Michael's Power and driver Scott Zeron started from post eight, got stuck outside through an opening quarter-mile of :25.4, led to the half in :53.2 and maintained their advantage until the stretch before yielding to A Rocknroll Dance and Panther Hanover, who won in 1:49.1.
"We were undecided up until that last race,” trainer Casie Coleman said. "He raced very good, but got beat, and I wasn't sure which way Jeff Snyder would decide to go, but he said let's go and take a shot at it.
"He raced very good the other night, he just got some very hot, tough fractions and got nipped on the end by a couple nice horses. But he came out of the race very good and we should be good to go for the Jug. I was very happy with him.”
Michael's Power has won 11 of 14 races this year and earned $1.04 million. On Aug. 12, Michael's Power won the Confederation Cup at half-mile Flamboro Downs, where the eliminations and final were contested on the same day, not unlike the format for the Little Brown Jug.
"He likes the half and he's already proven he can do double heats,” Coleman said. "I think he should be just fine, hopefully.”
Michael's Power is a son of Camluck, out of the mare Michelle's Jackpot, who won the 1996 Three Diamonds Stakes. He is a full-brother to millionaire Michelle's Power and his second dam, Jef's Magic Trick, is the mother of 1994 Horse of the Year Cam's Card Shark.
Post positions for the 67th Little Brown Jug will be drawn Saturday. (HRC)