Wiggle It Jiggleit controls in Hempt
July 04, 2015
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Wiggle It Jiggleit keeps giving George Teague Jr. a good feeling. "I felt good in January, and that part hasn’t changed,” Teague said with a grin Saturday after watching Wiggle It Jiggleit capture the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono by 1 1/2 lengths over Artspeak in 1:48.2.
"He doesn’t disappoint. Even in his loss, I wasn’t jumping off the bandwagon. He’s a good horse. I still think he’s one of the best 3-year-olds I’ve ever had.”
Wiggle It Jiggleit has won 13 of 14 career races for owner Teague, trainer Clyde Francis and driver Montrell Teague. His only loss came June 20 in the North America Cup, where he was defeated by Wakizashi Hanover by three-quarters of a length.
On Saturday in the Hempt, Wiggle It Jiggleit took the lead following a :26 opening quarter-mile, fought off a first-over challenge from Pierce Hanover on the backstretch, and then pulled away down the stretch. Artspeak finished second, followed by In The Arsenal and Wakizashi Hanover.
"When he cleared to the front I knew he had a pretty good shot at it,” Francis said. "Wakizashi has a big kick on the end of it but he wasn’t making up much ground. Halfway down the lane nobody got close to him and I knew they weren’t going to catch him then.”
Montrell Teague, who won the Hempt in 2011 with Custard The Dragon, was taking nothing for granted.
"I was looking everywhere; I was looking for anybody,” he said. "I saw Timmy (Tetrick with Wakizashi Hanover) pull three wide and that’s when I popped the earplugs and stepped on the gas because I know how good his horse is coming off cover.”
Wiggle It Jiggleit, a son of Mr Wiggles-Mozzi Hanover, gave George Teague Jr. his fourth Hempt trophy. He trained Custard The Dragon as well as 2009 winner Johnny Z and 2008 champ Badlands Nitro.
The gelding’s next assignment will be the Meadowlands Pace.
With the triumph, Wiggle It Jiggleit pushed his career earnings to $607, 242. But the most important thing for Teague was the two people with whom he is sharing the ride.
"Montrell and Clyde Francis are the best part for me,” Teague said, adding about Francis, "We’re like brothers. He works his (butt) off.” (HRC)