What an exciting month September, 2012, is turning out to be. Not only do we have the Little Brown Jug and Jugette to look forward to, we also have all the action in the New York Sire Stakes which culminates in the $1.8 million Night of Champions on Saturday, September 22 at Yonkers Raceway.
Before looking forward, this past Saturday provided yet another milestone for Linda Toscano’s Market Share when the 2012 Hambletonian winner claimed the winner’s portion of the $1 million Canadian Trotting Classic at Mohawk Raceway. The win vaulted driver Tim Tetrick into some rare company when he joined Bill O’Donnell and John Campbell as the only drivers to win three $1 million races in a single season. In addition to the CTC and the $1.5 million Hambo, Tetrick drove Captaintreacherous to his win in the $1 million Metro Pace. Congrats to Timmy!
Beginning the week on Monday, September 17, Harrington Raceway will host the $216,500 Bobby Quillen Memorial Pace. Carded for Race 10 at 8:30 PM, the race will feature some of the top older pacers in harness racing. In post position order: Betterthancheddar (Casie Coleman/George Brennan), Foiled Again (Ron Burke/Yannick Gingras), Feel Like A Fool (George Teague, Jr./Montrell Teague), We Will See (Sam De Pinto/Ron Pierce), and Flipper J (Kevin McDermott/David Miller). This will surely be the highlight of a typically slow Monday night and gives all us harness fans another opportunity to cheer the classy Foiled Again as he goes for his third straight Quillen win and continues his assault on the North American record books.
This week’s Delaware County Fair racing features the best 3-year-old filly pacers facing off in the Jugette on Wednesday, September 19. In the $59,210 First Elimination are 1 Moonlit Dragon, 2 Persistent, 3 Better B Lucky, 4 Sectionline Yankee, 5 Upfront Secret, 6 Real Touch, 7 American Jewel, and 8 Destiny’s Chance. The overwhelming favorite looks to be the Jimmy Takter trained and Tim Tetrick driven American Jewel, this year’s winner of the $629,160 Fan Hanover at Mohawk and the $250,000 James Lynch Final at Pocono Downs.
Meeting in the $59,210 Second Elimination are 1 Angel Scent, 2 Rockaround Sue, 3 Eighthunrdolarbill, 4 Princess Cruiser, 5 Darena Hanover, 6 Shelliscape, and 7 Economy Terror. Economy Terror, trained by Chris Oakes and driven by Dave Palone, has $1,230,869 in lifetime earnings and edged American Jewel as the 2011 Dan Patch Award winning 2-year-old pacing filly. The top four finishers in each elimination will meet in the $177,630 second heat to decide the winner of the 2012 Jugette.
Following on Thursday, September 20, a field of 14 pacing colts will compete in two $78,008 eliminations leading to the Little Brown Jug final, the second leg of Pacing’s Triple Crown. The First Elimination will feature 1 Escape The News, 2 Major Bombay, 3 Michael’s Power, 4 Bolt The Duer, 5 Thinking Out Loud, 6 One Through Ten, and 7 Time to Roll. The Casie Coleman trained Michael’s Power is owned by two-time LBJ winner Jeff Snyder and is this year’s leading money-winning pacer with wins in 11 of 14 races and $1.04 million in earnings. The colt has raced exclusively in Canada this year and has experience on half-mile tracks and in double-heat racing. Driven by Scott Zeron, Michael’s Power will provide quite a challenge for the Peter Foley trained and Mark MacDonald driven second favorite Bolt The Duer. Coming off his Kentucky Sires Stakes record win of 1:48.2, Bolt The Duer has lifetime earnings of $797,401 ($583,343 in 2012).
Meeting in the Second Elimination will be 1 Sweet Lou, 2 Bettor’s Edge, 3 Simply Business, 4 Carol’s Comet, 5 Dapper Dude, 6 Bakin On The Beach, and 7 A Rocknroll Dance. Favored in this elim is A Rocknroll Dance, lifetime winner of $1.85 million ($991,635 in 2012). The Rocknroll Hanover colt was purchased for $15,000 by trainer Jim Mulinax and has retained the services of top driver Yannick Gingras. A Rocknroll Dance comes into the Jug after winning the Meadowlands Pace in 1:48.1, the Battle of the Brandywine in a track-record 1:48.1, and the Max Hempt Memorial in a stakes record of 1:48.3. The colt was second to Bolt The Duer in that one’s 1:47.4 world-record win in the Adios at The Meadows and has been credited with pushing the pace throughout the mile. The second choice in this elim is Sweet Lou, trained by Ron Burke and driven by Dave Palone. Despite a disappointing 2012, the 2-year-old pacing champion has the benefit of leaving from the rail and should have a fair chance of making it to the $234,024 second heat which will feature the top four finishers in each elim. Should one of the elimination winners capture the second heat, he will win the Jug. Should another horse win, the three heat winners will face off in a $97,510 final heat.
In other Jug news, Won The West will be honored in the winners circle following the Winbak Pace, a race he won in 2009. The Ohio-bred pacer recently retired with a record of 36-24-15 in 109 lifetime races, a record time of 1:47 set at the Meadowlands, and $3,939,836 in earnings. Purchased for $35,000, Won the West was a 2009 and 2010 Breeders Crown winner and was the Older Pacer of the Year for those years. Also in attendance at this year’s festivities will be 2011 Jug winner Big Bad John. The Ohio-bred local favorite will lead the post parades for the elimination heats and will be available for fan visits and photographs in the Jug Barn on the final three afternoons of Grand Circuit racing.
As if all this top-level racing wasn’t enough, this week will conclude Saturday at Yonkers Raceway with the $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions races for 2 and 3 year old state-bred trotters and pacers of both genders. This is the richest night of racing in New York and fields are expected to include top youngsters such as Doctor Butch, Tirade Hanover, Archangel, Coraggioso, Brookwood Knight, Heston Blue Chip, Barn Babe, Summertime Lea, Fortunista, Cowgirl Hall, Romantic Moment, and Handsoffmycookie, among many others. Archangel, winner of the 2012 Yonkers Trot, is coming off his 1:54.3 track record set at Batavia Downs on Wednesday, September 12, and is sure to be everyone’s favorite when he returns to Yonkers. Fields have not been announced so look for an update later in the week.