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Author Topic: Tuesday Little Brown Jug/Jugette notebook  (Read 1099 times)
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« on: September 17, 2013, 04:21:34 PM »

Story: Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA
Casie Coleman’s fondness for the Delaware County Fair and the Little Brown Jug goes back years, to when she lived and trained in western Canada and watched the historic race at parties with friends.
In 2010, the party shifted to Delaware when she brought her first horse to the fair and won the Jugette with Western Silk. The party has yet to stop.
A year later, Coleman was back in the Jugette winner’s circle with Idyllic. In 2012, she captured the grand prize, winning the Little Brown Jug with Michael’s Power.
On Wednesday, she will send Social Scene and Parlee Beach to the $257,750 Jugette. On Thursday, she sends the highly regarded tandem of Vegas Vacation and Lucan Hanover to the $552,551 Little Brown Jug. The last trainer to win the Jug in consecutive years was Tom Artandi in 1988-89.
“So far we’ve taken hardware home with us each time we’ve come,” Coleman said. “I hope we can do something again. To win the Jug again would be absolutely surreal. Just to be racing in it, let alone to win it two years in a row, is pretty awesome.”
Coleman, a 33-year-old native of British Columbia who now lives in Ontario, attended her first Little Brown Jug as a fan in 2007 and saw Jody Jamieson drive Tell All to victory. She knew Delaware was where she wanted to be someday, racing in the Jug.
“I thought we had to somehow get a horse good enough to race here because it was awesome,” Coleman said. “I grew up in B.C. and the Jug was a huge thing. We would have huge Jug Day parties and it was just awesome. I’ve never seen anything like the Jug atmosphere; seeing the heat racing and all the good drivers and the crowd of 40,000 to 50,000 people.
“Anyone that hasn’t been to the Jug, I highly recommend it. It’s unreal.”
Coleman has a good chance to continue her win streak at Delaware when Vegas Vacation and Lucan Hanover compete in the Little Brown Jug. The Jug is the second jewel in the Pacing Triple Crown and requires a horse to win twice to be declared the champion.
The top three finishers from three elimination heats advance to the second heat. If a first-round winner also wins the second heat, he is declared the winner. If another horse wins, then a four-horse race-off is held to determine the winner. The last race-off was in 2000, when Astreos defeated Gallo Blue Chip, George Scooter and Profita.
Vegas Vacation is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the first of the three opening-round heats; Lucan Hanover is the 5-2 choice in the second division.
“I really like the way both boys are looking,” said Coleman, who was honored as Canada’s Trainer of the Year in 2012, the fifth time she received the award in the last eight years. Earlier this year, she got career training win No. 2,000.
“I think both have legit chances and both have been racing really well. Vegas looks like the better of my two, but Lucan looks good in his division. Both are big strong horses and seem healthy, so I don’t see the double heats bothering them if they’re fortunate enough to get to the second heat. Hopefully things will work out.”
Vegas Vacation, who will be driven by Brian Sears, has won seven of 13 races this year and is coming off a stakes-record 1:48.3 victory in his division of the Simcoe on Sept. 7 at Mohawk Racetrack.
Lucan Hanover, who will be driven by David Miller, has won six of 12 races this season. He was third in his division of the Simcoe.
“I was a little bit disappointed with him,” Coleman said. “I thought he should have been a little better than he was. When we scoped him, we found his allergies were really bothering him, so we’ve been working on that. It was really hot and humid in Toronto when his allergies were bothering him for the Simcoe. It’s been a bit cooler weather here, so that’s going to help him.”
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« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2013, 04:22:17 PM »

Story: Ellen Harvey/Harness Racing Communications/USTA
Trainer John Williamson is optimistic about his chances with his very first Little Brown Jug starter, Urbanite Hanover, who will race from post seven with Ron Pierce driving at odds of 12-1 in the third $58,939 Little Brown Jug elimination heat on Thursday.
The colt, who has $96,674 in lifetime earnings to go with a 1:53 career-best time, is coming off a fourth-place finish in his division of the Simcoe Stakes, won by Vegas Vacation, on Sept. 7 at Mohawk Racetrack. Otherwise, he has raced primarily in overnight events this year, with two wins in 13 starts.
“He raced very well in the Simcoe, but I’ve never lost confidence in this horse. He’s one of the best gaited horses, and just a fast, fast, little horse,” said Williamson.
“If he gets out and gets on top, it could be good, but I’d rather see him get pulled up into it. He’s got a heart on his forehead; he’s just a real nice little horse, smart and easy to get along with. He’s well gaited so he should be able to get around here just fine.”
Williamson says Urbanite Hanover is still a bit wary of the activity at the Delaware County Fairgrounds.
“I took him for a walk a little while ago and he’s still a little nervous,” he said. “He didn’t want to settle down on his walk. He’s wondering what’s going on. I trained him this morning and he did good. He can see a lot with the bridle he has on.”
The son of Western Ideal-Up Front Sassy represents 25 percent of Williamson’s four-horse stable. He co-owns the Jug starter with Daniel Haist of Ridgeville, Ontario. Williamson is a native of Caledonia, Ontario, but now lives in Waterdown.
He bought Urbanite Hanover at the Standardbred Horse Sale for $11,000, but was prepared to go much more.
“He was a gorgeous individual and he went for about $20,000 or $30,000 less than I thought he was going to go for,” he said. “We couldn’t figure why. Still can’t.”
At age 2, the colt was plagued with issues getting enough oxygen and had no wins in 10 starts.
“He had a breathing problem, nothing that would shut him down, but really kind of immature. But he’s outgrown that,” Williamson said.
Urbanite Hanover rebounded late last year to put in a valiant effort in the Breeders Crown at 100-1 odds against the top 2-year-old of the year, Captaintreacherous.
“If you look at the Breeders Crown, he was on top (after fractions of :26.3 and :55.2) and then (Captaintreacherous)  re-moved, but I was on top at the half in :55 on a dirty night and we just got beat up,” Williamson said. “I finished sixth and he finished third.”
His luck in Kentucky was no better last year.
“This colt would have won in Lexington, I think, but he broke a front hopple hanger,” Williamson said. He finished second to Apprentice Hanover in a division of the International Stallion Stakes, timed in 1:50.4. “He’s been a tough luck little horse, if you look at his lines, he’s always there.”
A bout of sickness early this year also set him back a bit.
“I brought him home (from wintering at Spring Garden Ranch in Florida) and he won his first start and then he got sick on me,” Williamson said. “I don’t know what it was, it wasn’t really respiratory, but he shut down. John Campbell drove him (in a Somebeachsomewhere division) and he said, ‘Something is stringently wrong with this horse. I don’t know what is.’ I backed off on him twice but I never did figure it out.”
$58,939 First Elimination
1. Eddie Sweat-Dan Noble-Edward Zubkoff, Jr.-20-1
2. Lonewolf Currier-Dave Palone-Kevin ***-4-1
3. Rockin Amadeus-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-5-2
4. Right Touch-Ray Paver-Ray Paver-6-1
5. Vegas Vacation-Brian Sears-Casie Coleman-2-1
6. Wake Up Peter-Ron Pierce-Tony Alagna-8-1
$58,939 Second Elimination
1. Ilikeitrealhot-Matt Kakaley-Ron Potter-15-1
2. Mach It So-Scott Zeron-Nifty Norman-4-1
3. Emeritus Maximus-Tim Tetrick-Tony Alagna-8-1
4. Lucan Hanover-David Miller-Casie Coleman-5-2
5. Beach Memories-Yannick Gingras-Brian Brown-6-1
6. Word Power-Jody Jamieson-Larry Remmen-5-1
7. Urbanite Hanover-Ron Pierce-John Williamson-12-1
$58,939 Third Elimination
1. Twilight Bonfire-John Campbell-Danny Collins-5-2
2. Resistance Futile-Corey Callahan-Blair Burgess-10-1
3. Sunfire Blue Chip-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-2-1
4. Johny Rock-Andy Miller-John Butenschoen-4-1
5. Odds On Equuleus-Tim Tetrick-Tony Alagna-8-1
6. Only The Lonely-Matt Kakaley-Nick Surick-15-1
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« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2013, 04:23:11 PM »

Story: Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA
Richard Young came into this year hoping I Luv The Nitelife would be a top 3-year-old filly pacer, but he was not expecting her to be the best.
So far, she has been the best.
But her test Wednesday in the $257,750 Jugette will be a whole new experience.
I Luv The Nitelife, owned by Young and his wife Joanne, has won 10 of 11 races this year and brings a nine-race win streak to the Delaware County Fairgrounds. Her victories include the Fan Hanover, Valley Forge, Lynch Memorial, Mistletoe Shalee and Simcoe stakes. Her earnings of $852,350 this season are the best among all female pacers and are fourth best among all harness horses in North America.
“Going into most races, I’ve had a quiet confidence; the last three or four starts especially,” Young said. “But the Jugette is a different ballgame. We’ve never been on a half-mile track and horses that get the right position at the right time become very good horses for this particular race. So I’m apprehensive. We’ll see.”
This year’s Jugette will be raced in two heats, with the first race determining post positions for the final. A horse must only win the final to be named the champion.
I Luv The Nitelife is the 4-5 morning line favorite in the first heat. She will start from post three with regular driver Tim Tetrick at the lines for trainer Chris Ryder.
Novascotia Hanover is the 7-2 second choice, out of the stable of Virgil Morgan Jr., followed by Casie Coleman’s Social Scene at 5-1 and Ron Burke’s Carols Desire at 6-1.
Last season, I Luv The Nitelife won four of 10 races, including the She’s A Great Lady Stakes, and was second in the Breeders Crown and Champlain stakes. She has lifetime purses of $1.54 million, which put her on pace to challenge Put On A Show’s record of $1.89 million for total earnings by a filly pacer at ages 2 and 3.
Young also owned Put On A Show, who skipped the Jugette in 2010 because the Breeders Crown eliminations were 10 days later. Put On A Show won both her elimination and the Breeders Crown final.
“There was no way I was going to go race in the Jugette and then the Breeders Crown the following week,” Young said. “It didn’t make sense to me.”
Put On A Show retired after her 5-year-old season with $2.40 million and the world record for fastest female pacer in history (1:47.3).
“Show and Nitelife are different in their attitudes and how they train, but their results are similar,” Young said. “But when Show finished as a 2-year-old, our thought going into the 3-year-old year was that we had the best horse. We thought we were going to have a great year.
“Nitelife was a different story. She didn’t dominate the way Show did; she toughed it out. Going in this year, I thought I had a top-five filly and was hoping she would come back good enough to get a little better. It wasn’t the same attitude as with Show. It’s more or less a surprise to be that good.”
COLEMAN HOPES TO STEAL THE ‘SCENE’: Social Scene drew post No. 1 for the first heat of the Jugette and trainer Casie Coleman’s speedster could be poised to use it to her advantage.
The filly is coming off a track-record 1:52.2 win in New York Sire Stakes action on Sept. 11 at Monticello Raceway and also set track records this season at Yonkers (1:52) and Batavia (1:53.1). All three of those tracks are half-mile ovals, just like Delaware.
“She’s a very fast filly, but she’s not the easiest filly to handle,” Coleman said. “Everywhere she goes she seems to either set a track record or she chokes and finishes last. We’re hoping she does the win part.”
Social Scene, a daughter of American Ideal-On The Catwalk, has won six of 11 races this year and earned $166,378.
“The rail is awesome at Delaware; as everyone knows, it’s the best spot to be,” Coleman said. “With her, she can leave a ton if you want, but she’s best if you just let her settle and try to move at the three-quarter pole. If you fire her off the gate she usually gets too revved up and she might choke.
“She’s never raced against a horse like I Luv The Nitelife yet. But she went (1):52 over tracks like Batavia and Monticello and Yonkers; those are some pretty serious miles over those tracks.”
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