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Shadow Play, Lonestar Legend, Art Official win Jug elims

September 18, 2008

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David Miller captured the first two eliminations for the 63rd Little Brown Jug Thursday afternoon at the Delaware, Ohio fairgrounds, scoring a stakes record-equaling 1:50 win in the first split with Shadow Play and then shattering that mark with a 1:49.3 score behind Lonestar Legend in the second division, and Art Official overcame a couple of missteps throughout his journey to win the third in 1:52.3.
Miller dropped in second early with Shadow Play behind Badlands Nitro, who sent to the front by Brian Sears. Giddy Up Lucky, who made a brief bobble at the start, recovered and took a seat third for Paul MacKenzie.
Badlands Nitro set fractions of :27, :55.2 and 1:23.3, as Pat Lachance sent On The Brink up first-over. Before Lachance could get up third, Miller tipped Shadow Play to the outside heading into the final turn and the pace got heated. The final quarter was timed in :26.2 as Shadow Play surged past Badlands Nitro to win by 1 1/2 lengths. Giddy Up Lucky held for third and a spot in the second heat.
\"I wasn\'t getting locked,\" said Miller. \"The key was that I didn\'t have to pull at the half.\"
Shadow Play is owned by trainer Ian Moore, Ron and Gail McLellan\'s RG McGroup and former hockey star Serge Savard.
Lonestar Legend left fast from post one and set fractions of :27.3, :55.1 and 1:21.4, putting away the first-over bid by Atochia and driver Yannick Gingras. Closing out his mile with a final half of :54.2, Lonestar Legend easily won over Rudy Rednose (Brian Sears) and Mystery Chase (John Campbell).
\"He went pretty hard down the backstretch when he didn\'t need to, but if he wants to pace I just let him,\" Miller said of Lonestar Legend.
Don Swick trains the winning son of Western Hanover for owners Royal Wire Products and United Princess Control Board.
Art Official made a slight bobble in the first turn for driver Ron Pierce, as Major General took the lead for Andy Miller, followed by Santanna Blue Chip and Jody Jamieson, who took the top coming out of the first turn.
Pierce had to tip Art Official to the outside past the opening quarter of :26.4 and came up first-over, but they could not overtake Santanna Blue Chip who stayed game on the inside. The half was in :54.2 and three quarters in 1:23.2, with Art Official stilling hanging on the outside.
Art Official found his best stride down the stretch and the son of Art Major rallied past Santanna Blue Chip to win by a neck. Goddess\'s Justin was third for Tim Tetrick.
\"In the first heat he was not 100 percent,\" said Pierce, adding he was unsure if the bobbles were caused by shadows from the pylons or simply pacing too fast through the turn. \"I still knew he had gas in his tank so I wasn\'t surprised I won the race at all. It didn\'t surprise me even him getting steppy in the mile.\"
James and Joyce Jesk\'s Sawgrass Farms owns Art Official, who posted his sixth straight victory, a streak that includes the Cane Pace, which allowed him to be supplemented to the Jug at a cost of $45,000. Joe Seekman trains the winner, who won for the 11th time in 17 starts in the elim. 
David Miller said he came to drive Shadow Play in the Jug and he kept his word, with Dave Palone picking up the drive on Lonestar Legend. Trainer George Teague Jr. scratched Badlands Nitro out of the second heat, leaving eight going postward.
Post Horse (driver)
1 Shadow Play (David Miller)
2 Lonestar Legend (Dave Palone)
3 Art Official (Ron Pierce)
4 Badlands Nitro (SCRATCHED)
5 Santanna Blue Chip (Jody Jamieson)
6 Rudy Rednose (Brian Sears)
7 Mystery Chase (John Campbell)
8 Goddess\'s Justin (Tim Tetrick)
9 Giddy Up Lucky (Paul MacKenzie)--trailing post position
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