Lather Up wins, Stay Hungry dq'd in Jug elims
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Leaving fast from post 1 in the first of two eliminations for Thursday afternoon's $642,000 Little Brown Jug at the Delaware, Ohio fairgrounds, Lather Up and driver Montrell Teague lined them up in post position order and that's the way they finished. The second Jug elim was most dramatic, starting with favorite Courtly Choice making a break at the start and eventual winner Stay Hungry disqualified for interference.
In the first elim, after an opening half of :55.3, Teague put his foot down on the pedal and the 1-9 favorite Lather Up came a back half in :54 flat to easily hold off the pocket-sitting This Is The Plan and driver Andy McCarthy by about 1 1/2 lengths in 1:49.3. Babes Dig Me (Brett Miller) finished third and Done Well (Tim Tetrick) was fourth to also earn spots in the same-day second heat.
In the second elim, Courtly Choice went offstride from post 1, allowing driver Andy Miller to head for the lead with Hayden Hanover. Doug McNair had settled third with second-choice Stay Hungry, but moved toward the front coming out of the first turn. Angling back to the pylons at the quarter, Stay Hungry came in close quarters with Hayden Hanover, forcing Miller to grab hold and veer inside briefly.
Around the final turn, Stay Hungry cut a couple pylons but stayed game through the stretch to win by about 1 1/2 lengths over Dorsoduro Hanover (Matt Kakaley) in 1:50.4. Courtly Choice, who recovered his gait and made a huge three-wide move in the final turn to get back into contention, crossed the wire third, with Hayden Hanover fourth.
The track judges looked at both the interference and pylons and ultimately disqualified Stay Hungry from first to fourth as a result of impeding Hayden Hanover. Still making the second heat, trainer Tony Alagna scratched the colt, squashing his dreams of a pacing Triple Crown after scores in the Messenger and Cane Pace.
Dorsoduro Hanover, elevated to first, brought a large group to the winner's circle to celebrate with the connections and trainer Ron Burke.