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Michael's Power wins 67th Little Brown Jug

September 20, 2012

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Michael's Power powered his way to a second-heat 1:50 score in the $487,550 Little Brown Jug Thursday afternoon at the Delaware, Ohio fairgrounds, giving driver Scott Zeron and trainer Casie Coleman their first-ever win in the pacing classic as well as giving owner Jeff Snyder his third Jug title.
Drawing post one in the second heat after winning his Jug elim earlier in the day, Michael's Power took control for Zeron who refused to yield. Michael's Power raced to a :25.2 opening quarter--the fastest in Jug history--and then through a :54 half.
David Miller sent Bettor's Edge first-over at that point, followed by Randy Waples and Thinking Out Loud. That left A Rocknroll Dance, who had left fast for Yannick Gingras but then settled in the three hole, on the inside.
Michael's Power reached the three-quarters in 1:22 as he fended off his challenging rivals, and then held off Sweet Lou by 1 3/4 lengths under the wire. Bettor's Edge was third, following by Thinking Out Loud and Escape The News. Seven horses raced in the second heat after Bolt The Duer, runner-up to Michael's Power in their elim, was scratched. The time was a new world record for 3-year-old gelding pacers on a half-mile track, besting the previous mark of 1:50.2 set by Glass Pack in 2007 at Maywood Park.
A son of Cam's Card Shark, Michael's Power is out of the Artsplace mare Michelle's Jackpot. He is named for Jeff and Paula Snyder's son, Michael. The two wins on Thursday were his 12th and 13th of the year, bringing his seasonal earnings to $1,293,566. At age 23, Zeron became the youngest driver to win the Jug.
Michael's Power parlayed a two-hole trip behind Bolt The Duer into a head victory in 1:52.3 in the first of two eliminations. Sweet Lou then led gate to wire to win the second elimination in 1:51.
Scott Zeron sent Michael's Power to the lead from post three but easily relinquished control to the Mark MacDonald-driven Bolt The Duer coming out of the first turn. After a :26 quarter turned into a :56 half, Jimmy Takter moved Time To Roll first-over, with Jim Morrill Jr. following with Major Bombay and then Randy Waples with Thinking Out Loud.
With the field double-tiered at the 1:24.3 three-quarters, Morill moved Major Bombay three wide with Waples and Thinking Out Loud behind. But just as Time To Roll gave way and Major Bombay remained wide, Zeron seized the opportunity to slide out with Michael's Power to take aim at Bolt The Duer. It took virtually the entire stretch for Michael's Power to get the job done but he was successful in the final stride. Escape The News finished third for Tim Tetrick, with Thinking Out Loud fourth to also advance to the second heat.
"I took the conservative route in the two hole and barely squeezed out," Zeron said in the winner's circle. "I'm glad I did or Casie (trainer Casie Coleman) would have killed me. Now I'm pretty excited going to the final."
Zeron said Michael's Power, who already has a win in the double-heat Confederation Cup already on his 2012 resume, should have plenty left for the second heat. "He's a handy horse to drive. We got a conservative two-hole trip where I only had to use him down the lane."
Trainer Ron Burke said he expected driver Dave Palone to "go down the road" with Sweet Lou from post one in the second elim and that is what happened as Sweet Lou took control in the first turn, followed by Bettor's Edge and David Miller. Driver Yannick Gingras, leaving from the outside post seven with the favored A Rocknroll Dance, elected to drop in third instead of forging on toward the front.
"When I heard the announcer say that Yannick had taken a seat I hit the brakes right there," offered Palone afterward in the winner's circle.
Sweet Lou reached the first quarter in :26 but then Palone slowed the tempo down to a :55.4 half. The pace picked up through a 1:22.4 three-quarters as Gingras tried to keep A Rocknroll Dance game on the outside. It was to no avail as Sweet Lou paced on but then had to fight off a late bid by Bettor's Edge, crossing the wire a half length in front. A Rocknroll Dance held for third, with Simply Business fourth.
A son of Yankee Cruiser, Sweet Lou is trained by Ron Burke and owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Larry Karr and Phil Collura.
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