Tim Tetrick's list of accomplishments increased once again over the weekend and North America's leading harness racing driver hopes to continue to add to it this week.
On Saturday night, Tetrick won the $1.03 million Canadian Trotting Classic with Market Share, putting him in the company of Bill O'Donnell and John Campbell as the only drivers to win three million-dollar races in a year. Tetrick also won the $1.5 million Hambletonian with Market Share and the $1.01 million Metro Pace with Captaintreacherous.
This week, Tetrick will try to win the Jugette and the Little Brown Jug, two races he has yet to put on his resume. He will drive American Jewel in Wednesday's $296,050 Jugette for 3-year-old filly pacers and sit behind Escape The News and Bakin On The Beach in their opening-round heats of Thursday's $487,550 Little Brown Jug for 3-year-old pacers.
In the Jugette, 15 fillies will compete in two $59,210 eliminations and the top four from each elim will return for the $177,630 same-day final. The winner of the final will be declared the champion.
American Jewel is the 6-5 morning line favorite in the first eight-filly elimination, starting from post seven for Tetrick and trainer Jimmy Takter. Economy Terror is the 7-5 morning line choice in the second seven-filly division and will start from post seven as well.
So far this season American Jewel has won five of nine races, finishing no worse than third in any start, and earned $744,355. Her victories include world-record efforts in the $629,160 Fan Hanover at Mohawk and the $250,000 James Lynch Final at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.
She enters the Jugette off a 3 3/4-length win over Class Of O Nine in the $207,930 Simcoe Stakes on Sept. 3 at Mohawk.
"She's rounding into form good,” Tetrick said. "She went to (Mohawk) and got stretched out and raced really well. She was well in hand, so I was very pleased with that effort. I'm coming into the race very confident knowing that I've got a great horse. Hopefully, we can work out a trip and get there.”
American Jewel, bred and owned by Brittany Farms, had a four-race win streak snapped by a second-place finish in the Mistletoe Shalee on July 14. After a nearly one-month layoff, she was third in the Empire Breeders Classic and second in the Valley Forge before winning the Simcoe.
"She had a little bit of a break and now she's getting her legs under herself,” Tetrick said. "She was still racing good and winning, but when you go four or five miles under (1):50 it's not easy. I have confidence in her and I know Jimmy said she had a great week. Hopefully we'll have some luck.”
For her career, American Jewel (American Ideal-Trim Hanover) has won 13 of 18 races, finished second four times, third once, and earned $1.42 million.
"She's got high, high speed; she can cut her own mile out, she can rough it, she can win first up -- and she can just go really fast,” Tetrick said. "She's at the top of the list on pacing fillies. The good ones don't need the trip or the track to carry around with them. They do it wherever they've got to go and track size doesn't seem to bother them.”
Fourteen horses entered the Little Brown Jug, which is contested in heats. The field was divided into two seven-horse opening-round heats, with Escape The News at 10-1 from post one in the first and Bakin On The Beach at 15-1 from post six in the second.
The top four horses in each of the opening divisions will advance to the $234,024 second heat. If a first-heat winner scores in the second heat, he will be the Jug winner. Otherwise, the three heat-winners will return for a $97,510 race-off. The last time a race-off occurred was in 2000, when Astreos defeated Gallo Blue Chip, George Scooter and Profita.
Tetrick has never driven Escape The News, who is trained by Joe Holloway and owned by breeders Brittany Farms and Val D'Or Farms. He has won three of 13 races this year and earned $98,187.
"We've got a good starting spot, so hopefully we get a little luck and do good with it,” Tetrick said.
Bakin On The Beach is trained by Mark Harder and owned by Harder and Bruce Soulsby. He has won four of 15 races and earned $144,149 this year. In June, Bakin On The Beach won a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes division in 1:49.4 at Harrah's Philadelphia, with Tetrick at the lines.
"I think he's coming into the race OK,” Tetrick said. "He won his last race at (Harrah's Philadelphia) and he was going to win there on Super Stakes Sunday and he made a mistake around the last turn; he touched a knee. I won earlier in the year in (1):49 with him; I think he'll go a good heat.” (HRC)