Delaware, OH --- A field of 14 sophomore pacers have dropped into the box for the $487,550 Little Brown Jug, the second leg of Pacing's Triple Crown, set for Thursday (Sept. 20) at the Delaware County Fair.
Heading the field is Michael's Power, the leading money-winning pacer in harness racing. Owned by two-time Little Brown Jug winner Jeff Snyder and trained by Casie Coleman, he has won 11 of 14 races this year and earned $1.04 million.
|New Image Media photo|
|Millionaire Michael's Power will be making his first start outside of Ontario in the Little Brown Jug.|
On August 12, Michael’s Power won the Confederation Cup at half-mile Flamboro Downs, where the eliminations and final were contested on the same day, not unlike the format for the Little Brown Jug. He scored in 1:52.4 in the $587,315 second heat final.
Racing exclusively in Ontario this year, he has also posted victories in the $582,000 Upper Canada Cup, the $227,700 Canadian Breeders and in a trio of $125,000-plus Ontario Sires Stakes Gold finals.
Michael’s Power is a son of Camluck, out of the mare Michelle’s Jackpot, who won the 1996 Three Diamonds Stakes. He is a full-brother to millionaire Michelle’s Power and his second dam, Jef’s Magic Trick, is the mother of 1994 Horse of the Year Cam's Card Shark.
He will start from post position number three in the $78,008 first elimination and will be driven by regular reinsman Scott Zeron. Michael's Power is the 2-1 morning line favorite.
“He likes the half and he’s already proven he can do double heats,” Coleman said earlier in the week. “I think he should be just fine, hopefully.”
|Meadowlands Pace winner A Rocknroll Dance will be looking to add the Little Brown Jug to his resume.|
The 2-1 morning line favorite in the $78,008 second elimination for the Jug will be A Rocknroll Dance, owned by the A RockNRoll Dance Stable and trained by Jim Mulinix. He has won four of 13 races this year and earned $991,635. For his career, A Rocknroll Dance has won 11 of 24 starts and accumulated $1.85 million.
The son of Rocknroll Hanover-Wichita Hanover has several major stakes victories to his credit this year, including the $600,000 Meadowlands Pace (with a wire-to-wire effort of 1:48.1), the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine (in a track-record 1:48.1 at Harrah's Philadelphia) and the $300,000 Max Hempt Memorial (in a stakes record of 1:48.3).
His best effort of the season may have come in defeat, with his second-place finish to Bolt The Duer in the Adios at The Meadows. A Rocknroll Dance was tested on the lead throughout the race while setting historic fractions, helping lead to a 1:47.4 world-record mile.
“He got beat, but I think that’s when he earned a lot of people’s respect,” driver Yannick Gingras said. “When I called on him in the stretch, he was still digging. To me, that was his best race. He was good at Philly, but that, to me, is when he separated himself a little bit, even though he got beat.”
Gingras will get the call in the bike again when A Rocknroll Dance starts from the seventh and outside post.
"We've got our work cut out for us, but the seven post is better than the eight hole," said A Rocknroll Dance's trainer Jim Mulinix. "I'm going to let Yannick Gingras worry about the post position. He won't try to punish my horse.
"My horse has a lot of power and he can go head to head with any of those other horses. They might have to break the track record to beat him. I imagine Yannick will be off the gate real fast."
|Nigel Soult photo|
|Kentucky Sire Stakes champion Bolt The Duer is riding a four race winning streak heading into the LBJ.|
The aformentioned Bolt The Duer is also a strong contender in this year's Little Brown Jug. He comes into the Jug off a Kentucky Sires Stakes record win of 1:48.2, taken in last Sunday's $250,000 final. That win was the fourth straight for the son of Ponder-Wonderbolt, bred by Peninsula Farm and owned by John Como Sr. and John Como Jr.'s All Star Racing Inc. Trained by Pete Foley, Bolt The Duer has career earnings of $797,401, with $583,343 of that earned in 2012.
He began his current win streak with a victory in the $500,000 Adios final (in the world-record time of 1:47.4 mentioned earlier) and then posted scores in a pair of KYSS preliminary legs, before his triumph in the series final.
Mark MacDonald, who won the Little Brown Jug in 2006 with Mr Feelgood, has been Bolt The Duer's exclusive pilot in 2012 and will be in the bike again when the colt starts from post four in the first elimination.
The top four horses in each of the elimination races will advance to the $234,024 second heat. If an elimination winner scores in the second heat, he will be the Jug winner. Otherwise, the three heat-winners will return for a $97,510 race-off.
The exact race numbers and post times for the LBJ will be announced after the balance of the Thursday program is drawn on Monday. Be sure to visit the USTA's Little Brown Jug mini-site all week long for the latest news and exclusive photos and videos. Below is the field for the $487,550 Little Brown Jug, in post position order, with drivers, trainers and morning line odds. $78,008 First Elimination $78,008 Second Elimination
1. Escape The News-Tim Tetrick-Joe Holloway-10-1
2. Major Bombay-Jim Morrill, Jr.-Tony Alagna-8-1
3. Michael's Power-Scott Zeron-Casie Coleman-2-1
4. Bolt The Duer-Mark MacDonald-Peter Foley-5-2
5. Thinking Out Loud-Randy Waples-Robert McIntosh-7-2
6. One Through Ten-David Miller-Jim Arledge, Jr.-15-1
7. Time To Roll-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter-6-1
1. Sweet Lou-Dave Palone-Ron Burke-3-1
2. Bettor's Edge-David Miller-Linda Toscano-5-1
3. Simply Business-Ron Pierce-Jimmy Takter-10-1
4. Carol's Comet-Brett Miller-Ron Potter-12-1
5. Dapper Dude-John Campbell-Robert McIntosh-8-1
6. Bakin On The Beach-Tim Tetrick-Mark Harder-15-1
7. A Rocknroll Dance-Yannick Gingras-Jim Mulinix-2-1
The exact race numbers and post times for the LBJ will be announced after the balance of the Thursday program is drawn on Monday.
Be sure to visit the USTA's Little Brown Jug mini-site all week long for the latest news and exclusive photos and videos.
Below is the field for the $487,550 Little Brown Jug, in post position order, with drivers, trainers and morning line odds.
$78,008 First Elimination
$78,008 Second Elimination