The ‘Jug’ And A Hoosier Harness Harangue

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

September 18th, 2014

We will begin with the immediate attraction, Thursday, Sept. 18’s Little Brown Jug at the Delaware, Ohio fairgrounds. We’ll stay in the Midwest for Saturday, Sept. 20’s Hoosier Park program, featuring a few top stakes and some stars that sat out the Ohio fair. 

The Milton Final at Mohawk is the Breeders Crown Countdown feature this week. We link to the “Countdown” blog from this TwinSpires address for coverage of races through the rest of the season leading to the championship events in November, in cooperation with the Hambletonian Society and TwinSpires.

Check out TwinSpires-Hoosier Park’s 10-percent bonus for hitting Pick 4s every night there is racing at the Indiana track. And, of course, our horses-to-watch list (H2W) offers live contenders for win, place, show and exotics from tracks across the continent.

More H2W suggested contenders are posted to complement your win, place, show and exotic combos at many harness tracks across North America.

The Little Brown Jug

There are only two elimination-heat fields in the 2014 Little Brown Jug and they host a fair amount of this year’s glamour-boy stars. The first elim is worth $103,600 and is, in our opinion, the tougher elim of the pair and therefore the better wagering event. The first four finishers in each heat return for the $310,000 second heat, which will be the final if it is won by one of the elim victors. If another colt wins, the three-elim winners return for a race-off worth $129,000. We concern ourselves with only the fields we know at press time, the two elim heats.
From the rail, Let’s Drink On It is afforded the perfect opportunity to win the first elim-heat and he will not be the favorite despite his post (how dearly the rail is cherished at the Delaware, Ohio oval). If “Drink” returns to his form at the Meadows, where he can be swift and calm as the wings of the gate collapse, he will outgun the speed on the outside of him, which must fire early for position or be short at the wire. That would be Lyonssomewhere, the colt that developed too late for our money but is now in great shape for trainer Jimmy Takter and bound to be a top choice in the wagering.

In the second elim, Limelight Beach can stalk Mcwicked and take him late, as trainer Ron Burke’s hand-picked colt to win all the Jug marbles is set to pounce upon the probable top public choice. Mcwicked will be in fear of a grinding Hes Watching who must rush because he is leaving from the outside. Limelight Beach should get all the benefits of an easy trip. Mcwicked may soar too quickly too early and Hes Watching may not take the turns well enough to catch the leader, who will surrender to Limelight Beach getting the win at a great price for a Burke contender.

Kentuckiana Bound

Two of four frosh-filly Kentuckiana Stallion Management stakes start the Saturday, Sept. 20 stakes-laden Hoosier Park program. Both go for more than $150,000.

In the first split, for frosh-filly trotters, there is value in looking beyond the popular trainers’ entries and making a case for Global Ice. Trainer Pete Foley’s daughter of Andover Hall has been first or second six times in eight starts and has every reason to improve to the level the obvious duo appears to have attained.

In the second split for filly trotters, D.R. Ackerman’s Southwind Cartier is quite the underdog but on target for better races and having a qualifying speed badge that appears slow by comparison to the marks of others here will only raise the value of this well-bred filly, a daughter of Muscle Hill from a Chocolatier mare.

For the Kentuckiana frosh-filly pacers, round one could find an upset with Image Of Felicia. The local gal has been very competitive in state-bred affairs and will be overshadowed in the betting by the top trainers’ entries.

In round two for the young filly pacers, we find the hot and streaking Jk Shesalady, having not tasted defeat in her only six pari-mutuel appearances and seemingly tons the best. How does one attempt to bet against her?

Rising Stars

The $92,100 Elevation is for frosh-colt pacers and another standout appears to dominate a stakes—Toni’s Affection. He’s fast and up to the task of invaders (he is an Indiana-bred by the speedy Always A Virgin, whose soph daughter, Color’s A Virgin, won the Jugette yesterday against broader breds).

The second Elevation for frosh-colt pacers, worth $92,850, offers a field of nine, led by the ultra-hot son of Illinois-sire Sportsmaster, Earndawg. Trainer Roger Welch has this one tuned tightly and he aims at this prize with dead accuracy.

More Star Action

The $50,000 Jenna’s Beach Boy Invitational gathers a cool bunch of glamour-boy pacing candidates. Always A Miki has been racing in Indiana with no challengers locally but now has to face the likes of those he battled in the east, including Jk Endofanera and Doo Wop Hanover. Jk Endofanera had his popularity watered down by Hes Watching and he has been quietly stalking another big win. This is it, we feel, and his offerings in the win pool may be better than most feel.

The $238,500 Centaur Trotting Classic offers free-for-all trotters another shot at the king of this season in the division, Sebastian K. Only once this year has a horse snuck up on him and got the win but danger lurks here in the likes of Natural Herbie. This one surprised a lot of folks on Hambo day, as trainer-driver Verlin Yoder showed the horse had guts for a stakes win. Perhaps a few of the known names here will challenge “K” and give Yoder a chance to put extra push into steed and be a part of the finish? As well, Takter’s Master Of Law will be gunning for the K, too. When so many cases can be made for contenders while a dominating horse exists in the field, it may be a good time to take one of those mentioned as slayers of the giant; the prices will sure be right.

Vernon Downs hosts New York Excelsior finals on Sept. 20. To make matters easy for bettors, we have included our suggested contenders of the eight, $45,000 events in our H2W list below, obviously under the Vernon heading.

H2W Legend

Review our choices and follow the wagering at the prescribed track. These are possible contenders we have judged from reviewing races. The horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track after the date they will be racing. The race in which they are entered (R and race number) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name it means it is appearing on the list for the second (and last time) because it failed to win the first time it appeared. An “ae” signals the horse is entered on the also-eligible list. If a horse is listed twice, refer to the entries on the night of the race since a horse may enter in more than one race. Types of wagering on any of the H2W listed horses are based on your judgment. If you have any questions, email us at TwinSpires.


9/19/14, Victom As R8; +Bella’s Spunkin R8; Golden Fizz R11
9/20/14, +Mr Thomson R10
9/20/14, +Rocket Fuel R3; +Jammin Joseph R5  

9/18/14, +Brianna Official ae R2
9/19/14, Buttered Noodles R5

9/19/14, +Torque R3; +Upfront Dean R3; Troublebegins now R14

9/19/14, Shine N Shimmer R14
9/20/14, When N Rome R2

9/20/14, I Turtle R1; +South Dakota R3; Jenkins Creek R4; +Speeditup Hanover R5; Like A Boss R8; Cooken Your Goose R10

9/20/14, +Mr Rockford R3; Bet On Roulette R7; +Avogadro Hanover R12
9/20/14, Tickle My Fancy R3; Rage N Ryan R4; +Southern Allie R4; +Pro Deuce R6
9/12/14, +Mcardles Lightning R4; Winbak Glory ae R9
9/18/14, True Beauty R1
9/19/14, That’s Idea R8
9/20/14, Commissioner Daley R2; Morecredit Bluechip R3; Crazshana R5; Just Fine R6; Believeinthespirit R7; Julerica R9; Bugatti Beauty R10; Do You Believe R12
9/19/14, +Goose Creek R1; Woodmere Trackeater R3

Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition.