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Jaguar Jet and Zeke Parker win Little Grey Jug
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 - by John Manzi, publicity director, Monticello Raceway

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Monticello, NY --- On a misty Monday afternoon (Sept. 27), with the rain trickling down and the racetrack covered with mud, Zeke Parker reined odds-on favorite Jaguar Jet to a 2:01.1 victory in the 20th edition of Monticello Raceway’s Little Grey Jug. And since Parker won the inaugural in 1990 maybe it was only fitting.

Jaguar Jet finally wore down Big Rueben to score the victory.

Seven grey or roan colored pacers lined-up behind the mobile starting gate and when the word “go” was given by the starting judge Big Rueben and Rick Harp grabbed the racetrack and wouldn’t relinquish the lead despite, or maybe because, two of the top pacers in the contest were parked out.

Big Rueben passed the first stanza in :29.1 with Brickyard Wayne (Ray Baynes) and Jaguar Jet and Parker chasing the leader to gain command. But that never happened for either of the challengers.

Harp kept the two greys, who were deemed the best by the betting public, on the limb and he kept Big Rueben’s pedal to the metal. As the field passed the half in :59.3 there were four in and three out and the order on the front end remained the same.

Knowing he had the best horse in the invited field, Parker moved three wide after the half and finally circled Brickyard Wayne as the field approached the three-quarters. But Jaguar Jet still never saw the pylons as he and Big Rueben raced as a team around the final turn.

However, in the lane Jaguar Jet’s class prevailed and he and Parker wore down Harp and Big Rueben to score the victory. Big Rueben fought gamely but second best was all that he could muster. Brickyard Wayne, who also went the mile on the limb, finished third.

Geri Schwarz photos
Co-owner Anna Glide holds Jaguar Jet as trainer Nick Surick (left) and John Manzi hold the blanket.

When Parker returned to the winner's circle he was literally covered with mud. Even his full beard was brown from the muddy racing surface.

“It wasn’t one of my best drives,” Parker openly admitted, “but hey, it was tough going out there today.”

Nick Surick, who conditions Jaguar Jet for owners Melvin Fink, Cliff Grundy and Anna Glide, was extremely thrilled with the outcome as was Ms. Glide when they held the blanket and posed for the winner's circle photographs.

When asked how he was doing, Surick was quick to quip, I’m a lot better now.”

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