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Dr. Glen Brown named Jug honoree

June 20, 2008

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Dr. J. Glen Brown, owner of the 1981 Little Brown Jug winner Fan Hanover, is the 24th Little Brown Jug honoree as selected by a panel of national and international harness racing enthusiasts.

The Brampton, Ontario native becomes the sixth Canadian to be honored by the Little Brown Jug.  Dr. Brown is also a member of the Hall of Fame at Goshen, NY and the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

Dr. Brown will be officially inducted and presented a commemorative gold ring at the  Mayor’s Breakfast to be held in the Hospitality Pavilion at the fairgrounds on the morning of September 17th, the date of the Jugette Pace. The breakfast will get underway at 7 a.m.

“I am quite honored,” said Dr. Brown, who served as president, general manager and chairman of the board of Armstrong Brothers Farms in Ontario.  “I am very surprised.  I did not expect such an honor.”

Dr. Brown received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1957 and soon became farm manager and veterinarian for the fledgling ABC Farms started by Elgin and Ted Armstrong.  Under Dr. Brown’s guidance, Armstrong Brothers became one of North America’s leading Standardbred Farms. 

Armstrong Brothers bred two winners of the Little Brown Jug, Armbro Omaha (1974) and Armbro Operative (1996), and also two winners of the Jugette Filly Pace, Armbro Feather (1987) and Armbro Romance (1998).

Dr. Brown, who retired three years ago, saw his first Little Brown Jug in 1980, the year Niatross won the Classic.  “Our yearlings were always on vans Jug Day heading for Lexington for the annual yearling sales. I was always so busy, I couldn’t come to Delaware,” said Brown.

But in 1980, he traveled to Delaware on a small chartered airplane.  “We landed on a dirt runway on a farm outside of Delaware, but we had to go to Port Columbus to return to Canada because the runway was too short for takeoff with a full load of passengers.  I was overwhelmed by the crowd and the large number of Canadians at the Jug.”

The following year, Fan Hanover dominated her filly rivals and Dr. Brown and trainer-driver Glen Garnsey talked often about racing her against the colts in the Jug.

“Two weeks before the Jug, Fan Hanover made a break in the stretch in a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at Liberty Bell Park.  Garnsey thought Fan might be getting a bit tired and decided to send her to a farm near The Meadows for a brief rest,” said Dr. Brown.  Fan’s groom, Odell Short, was in charge since Garnsey was out west racing on the Grand Circuit.  When Odell got to the farm, he was turned away because of an outbreak of  strangles.

When the caretaker could not reach Garnsey, Short went ahead and entered Fan Hanover in a PASS at The Meadows.  This race was scheduled for the weekend before the Jugette and Little Brown Jug.

“When Garnsey  learned of this, he sent assistant trainer Steve Waller to The Meadows to drive Fan Hanover and she set a world record for a five-eighths mile track,” remembers Dr. Brown.  “After  the race, Glen called me and said ‘the deadline is here.  You want to race in the Jugette or the Jug?’  I said, \'Let’s go in the Jug,\' and that really made Garnsey happy.”

Fan Hanover won the accident-marred 1981 Little Brown Jug in straight heats to become the only filly to win the pacing classic .  She was voted “Harness Hose of the Year” in 1981 and retired after the 1982 season  with 45 lifetime wins and career earnings of $969,734.

“I stayed in Delaware Thursday night, then took an early flight to Canada the next morning.  I worked all day Friday on the sale and drove to Lexington on Saturday.  I finally got a good night’s sleep Saturday night and I woke up Sunday morning thinking ‘I won the Little Brown Jug!’.  That was the first time I actually had time to realize what Fan Hanover had accomplished.”

Tickets to the Mayor’s Breakfast are available for ($30) each by phoning 1-800-335-3247 or by writing The Mayor’s Breakfast, PO Box 1278, Delaware, OH 43015. (Delaware County Fair) 

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