Harness Racing: Betting the Little Brown Jug

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September 22nd, 2021


Thursday, Sept. 23 brings together 13 sophomore colt pacers in the $661k Little Brown Jug. The traditional landmark event offers two elimination heats, each offering berths in the final later on the same program. The elims, as usual, are the strongest wagering events.

In the first elim we can only hope the Morning Line (ML) favorite, Lous Pearlman, takes the top spot in the win pool because the probable second-choice colt, Whichwaytothebeach should beat him.

Trainer Brett Pelling’s “Jug” history was interrupted when he took a hiatus from training and moved back to his native New Zealand. Before that, his pacers roared to wins and paid wonderful prices in their elims. The “Brett bet” in the Jug is always the colt in his stable he grooms for the speedy half-mile. This year it’s Whichwaytothebeach and because of the ML favorite Lous Pearlman, local Ohio colt Borntobeshameless and “now horse” Town Gossip, Brett’s pacer should offer a good price. To pry a good exacta price with him, Mysweetboymax is raring to take the place spot.

The second elim ML favorite is handsome money-burner Perfect Sting. American Courage’s connections have coughed up $45k to supplement their struggling colt and though they may easily make the final, Rockyroad Hanover could show his class and win this elim as an outsider of the sextet.

“Rocky” has raced with the division’s best all season and this field looks like the ragged boxcars on an old freight train that he can lead wire to wire for Tony Alagna and the sport’s current wonderboy driver, Dexter Dunn. American Courage will make the final and do not be surprised if Perfect Sting burns out trying to get in the main mile and does not. He could struggle and make the final but if the road is too tough look for him to scratch in the second mile of the day. Trainer Joe Holloway is too smart to send Perfect Sting out for a second mile if the colt works too hard and does not win the elim.

As for the final, if Whichwaytothebeach fails to win the elim, Brett will send him flying for the final and he will be a better price than in the elim. However, if he puts in the mile that Brett has trained him to race and wins he will go off at far less than what he paid winning the elim.

No one on Earth would blame you for passing the final if Whichwaytothebeach wins his elim and comes back the big choice in the second heat. As well, do not give up on him in the final if he loses his elim. The Brett bet produces Jug justice.