The Little Brown Jug, pacing's most prestigious race, won't be without its Maritime connections when 15 horses answer the starters call Thursday afternoon at the Delaware County Fairgrounds.
Maritime harness racing connections prevalent in Little Brown Jug starters
DELAWARE, OHIO - The Little Brown Jug, pacing's most prestigious race, won't be without its Maritime connections when 15 horses answer the starters call Thursday afternoon at the Delaware County Fairgrounds.
Wallace, N.S., native Carl Jamieson, one of Canada's leading trainers, will send out long-shot Reserve Forces in the first of two $76,800 elimination heats, racing in the same division as favourite Tell All, the North America Cup winner being handled by his son Jody.
Jody has had to pick against driving a horse trained by his father, Carl, several times this year, but given that, his choice has been the North America Cup winner, it's been understandable.
Tell All, who has earned $1.2 million this season, is the 2-1 morning line favourite from Post 3 in the first heat while Carl's Reserve Forces starts from the outside Post 8 at odds of 20-1.
Starting from Post 5 in this division is a horse who began his racing career at Truro Raceway. Watta Hotshot, a son of Artisicape, was owned by the Whebby Stables of Dartmouth, N. S., and trained by Charlottetown native Scott Bell before he was sold to American connections earlier this year, after finishing third in the $1.5-million North America Cup.
Dave Palone will drive Watta Hotshot.
Tell All, who is trained by Blair Burgess, has won eight of 16 races this year, including a 1:50.4 triumph in a Simcoe division at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 8. He was second to Southwind Lynx in the Meadowlands Pace in July. Tell All's appearance in Delaware will mark his first race over a track smaller than seven-eighths of a mile.
"I don't think that's going to be an issue," Jamieson told Harness Racing Communications. "Delaware is its own half-mile track; with the configuration of the turns it's not like racing at Monticello or Flamboro. He should be able to get around there and we've got a good draw. He just jogged in the Simcoe. He toyed with the competition and paced through the wire still full of himself."
Jamieson finished ninth in last year's Little Brown Jug with Doonbeg in a race won by Mr. Feel Good in straight heats for Kingston's Mark MacDonald in a world record time.
(Mr. Feel Good became the first Canadian-sired horse in the 61-year-history of the race to win the event with Mark becoming the first Maritimer to win the Jug since Springhill's Bill (Magic) O'Donnell.)
Reserve Forces, who Jamieson co-owns with Ken Henwood of Mississauga, Ont., qualified for the final of the North America Cup, but was scratched sick.
"We certainly didn't get a good post, but he can be competitive. We'll take a shot and see what happens when the gate folds," said Jamieson, who will be entering a horse for the first time in the Little Brown Jug .
"My colt can leave and it never does much good to take back in the Jug. I will let driver (Steve) Condren make that decision." he said.
Notes: The field for the Little Brown Jug was reduced to 15 starters when Tivoli Hanover was scratched sick...John Campbell will extend his consecutive drive streak in the Jug to a record 27 straight when he sits behind Ruff Me Up (PP7) in the first heat...The first elimination goes to post at 4.35 p.m. (ADT) with the second heading postward at 5 p.m. (ADT). The top four finishers meet in a second heat at 6:35 p.m. A horse must win two heats to win the Little Brown Jug.
(With Files From Harness Racing Communications)