BY DOUG HARKNESS
Bible Hill native Jody Jamieson was on top of the harness racing world Thursday after driving Canadian-owned Tell All to straight heat victories in the Little Brown Jug at Delaware Ohio County Fair.
His victory marked the second straight year that a Maritime native has driven the winner of pacings most prestigious harness race. Charlottetowns Mark MacDonald won the event last year with Mr. Feel Good.
For Jamieson, this years victory in the $480,000 race was vindication for his first trip to the Jug final last year when Doonbeg made a break early in the race and finished last.
The 30-year-old Jamieson said he was so nervous on Wednesday night that he hardly got any sleep
Tell All, a horse he drove to victory in the $1.5-million Pepsi North America Cup earlier this year, had been established as the pre-race favorite in his elimination heat, but was making his first trip on a half-mile track.
He was just super. said Jody of the son of Real Desire. I had to use him hard in the first heat (1:50.3), but he came back strong in the second and I really thought I had a chance of winning when he got away so easily from the rail.
Tell All was a wire-to-wire winner in 1:.52 in the second heat, fighting off Hot Rod Mindale (David Miller) from the half on.. Favorite Always A Virgin sat second for most of the mile, but couldnt overtake Jamiesons horse when he abandoned the rail for the stretch drive.
Its a pretty emotional experience to win this race,said trainer Blair Burgess , who won the Hambletonian race last year with Glidemaster. This was his first Jug win in 10 tries.
I was very happy with Jodys drive Ive always had confidence in Jody. The drive today was all about rail control. He had to work for it early, but the cheap fractions really gave him an advantage. It was a very sly drive by Jody, to be sure.
Tell All earned $234,240 for his victory in the Jug, raising his seasons earnings to $1,386,747. He has now won 10 times in 18 trips to the post.
We caught up with Jody Friday afternoon as he was picking up his daughter Hayley from her school classes.. He was still riding the emotional high from his Jug victory.
Its a pretty big race to win. said Jody as he recalled what he described as a surreal experience as he took Tell All on a victory lap past the thousands of fans who were lining the race track.
I brought him up close to some of the fans on the rail, said Jody. It was one of those moments in your life you might never experience again.. The fans (many of whom Jody said he recognized) were cheering and shouting congratulations..
Jody said the atmosphere on Little Brown Jug day is similiar to that of Gold Cup and Saucer night at Charlottetown only there are a lot more people at the Jug.
I think Charlottetown took away some of the atmosphere when they stopped people from going into the infield.. said Jody.
Jodys parents Carl and Debbie Jamieson were among those in attendance. Carl had sent out a horse in the first elimination, but Reserve Forces didnt qualify for the final..
Tell Alls victory in the Little Brown Jug put the Real Desire colt in great position to be Canadas Horse Of The Year.
He certainly should have a lock on three-year-old pacer of the year. said Jody, who as Canadas leading money-winning driver is a top candidate for the OBrien award as Canadas top driver of the year.
You can make the argument that he could get Horse of The Year.
(Atlantic Post Calls)
BY DOUG HARKNESS