Delaware, Ohio, is almost home for 3-year-old pacer Right Touch. The gelded son of Always A Virgin-Touch Of Bogart was born and raised just 45 minutes east of the track, in Mount Vernon, Ohio, at the farm of his breeder and co-owner, Carolyn Brechler, and the family's Knox Services Inc.
Right Touch has post four in the first of three Little Brown preliminary heats at odds of 6-1. He's coming off two straight wins, including a career-best 1:50.1 in the $200,000 Indiana Sire Stakes championship at Hoosier Park on Sept. 11, after four consecutive second-place efforts.
He has five wins in 12 starts this year and career earnings of $448,404, made primarily in Indiana-bred company. Vegas Vacation, trained by Casie Coleman, is the 2-1 favorite in his Jug heat, followed by Jimmy Takter's Rockin Amadeus, who won last year's Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male pacers.
"We'll find out Thursday if he's up to it, but we're all Buckeyes that own him so that's something you always look forward to -- the Jug,” said trainer Ray Paver, a Columbus native who is part of the ownership group, along with Circleville's John Rhoads Jr.
"We don't know if we'll ever have another chance to get to it, so we might as well put him in.”
Paver says Right Touch's strengths include his diverse racing style.
"You can really race him any way, but he's actually better coming off cover,” Paver said. "He explodes coming out of a hole so I'm hoping he has one of those :25.4 quarters (his last quarter in a second-place finish at Hoosier on Aug. 21) on Thursday.
"He races any way you can, it doesn't matter to him if he's on the front or coming from behind or first up. He likes looking at a horse, so I just play it by ear and see what happens when the gate folds.”
Paver will have to be on the lookout for what other horses do in the race, but beforehand, it's a different type of horse power he'll have to be alert for.
"He doesn't like tractors,” Paver said. "He goes to the outside fence and wants to buck and kick by them.” (HRC)