Little Brown Jug (horse racing)

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Little Brown Jug
Triple Crown race
Location County Fairgrounds, Delaware, Ohio,
 United States
Inaugurated 1946
Race type Harness race for standardbred pacers
Website [1]
Race information
Distance 1,609 meters (1 mile)

The Little Brown Jug is a harness race for three-year-old pacing standardbreds hosted by the Delaware County Agricultural Society since 1946 at the County Fairgrounds in Delaware, Ohio. The race takes place every year on the third Thursday after Labor Day. Along with the Hambletonian, a race for trotters, it is one of the two most coveted races for standardbred horses. Little Brown Jug, a pacer, who won nine consecutive races and became a USTA Hall of Fame Immortal in 1975 had the world's premium pacing event is named in his honour.[2]


It began in 1937 when the Delaware County Agricultural Society's members, at their annual meeting, voted to move the County Fair, held since its inception at Powell, to Delaware on a tract of land at the northern edge of the city. Two years later a half-mile track was built and provided the stage for harness racing. R.K. McNamara, a local contractor, designed and built the lightning fast track. Enter attorney Joe Neville, whose family had been identified with the standardbred sport for many years, and his friend, Henry C. "Hank" Thomson, sports editor of The Delaware Gazette. Neville, who had campaigned horses on the Grand Circuit and was familiar with its officers and stewards, was successful in obtaining Grand Circuit dates for the new Delaware track. Neville, concerned over the years by the emphasis placed on the trotter, turned his efforts toward showcasing the pacers, particularly the 3-year-olds. The Little Brown Jug Society was formed to stage the Grand Circuit meeting. Neville headed the organization with Thomson as secretary-treasurer. Then came the birth of the Little Brown Jug, named through a newspaper contest, with its previews in 1944 and 1945. The initial Jug in 1946, with a purse of $35,358, was won by Ensign Hanover with Delaware's Wayne "Curly" Smart driving. Smart, a most successful trainer-driver on the Grand Circuit, was later to become an integral part of the Jug's operation as the track superintendent. Over the years the track monopolized the half-mile record section with world standard performances, mainly through Smart's skill in maintaining the fastest racing strip of its size in the country.

Through its humble beginnings, the Jug grew slowly to become perhaps the most traditional stake on the pacing gait. In 1956 the Jug provided the anchor for the newly designated Triple Crown of Pacing to go along with The Cane Pace at Yonkers (N.Y.) Raceway and the Messenger Stake then at Roosevelt Raceway in Westbury, N.Y. [3] The Little Brown Jug is contested in heats. The first heat is split into several divisions, with the top finishers in each division returning to contest the second heat. A horse wins the Little Brown Jug by winning both heats. If a horse does not win both heats, a race off is conducted between the first heat division winners, and the winner of the second heat, to determine the champion.

The Little Brown Jug is the second leg of the Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Pacers.

Ever since 1946 the administrators of the Little Brown Jug have glazed the winners of the horse race on a jug. In 2005, they ran out of room on the first jug and had to make another one. This time, instead of making it out of clay, they made it out of plastic so it would be lighter. The little brown jug is played during the Delaware county fair.


Year Winner Driver Owner Time
1946 Ensign Hanover[5] Curly Smart 2:07.1
1947 Forbes Chief Del Cameron 2:05.0
1948 Knight Dream Frank Safford 2:07.1
1949 Good Time Frank Ervin 2:03.2
1950 Dudley Hanover Del Miller 2:03.2
1951 Tar Heel Del Cameron W N Reynolds 2:00.0
1952 Meadow Rice Curly Smart W N Reynolds 2:02.3
1953 Keystoner Frank Ervin 2:09.3
1954 Adios Harry Morris MacDonald 2:03.2
1955 Quick Chief Billy Haughton 2:00.2
1956 Noble Adios John Simpson 2:00.4
1957 Torpid John Simpson 2:03.4
1958 Shadow Wave Joe O'Brien 2:01.0
1959 Adios Butler Clint Hodgins 2:00.4
1960 Bullet Hanover John Simpson 1:59.3
1961 Henry T. Adios Stanley Dancer 2:05.0
1962 Lehigh Hanover Stanley Dancer 1:59.3
1963 Overtrick John Patterson 1:57.3
1964 Vicar Hanover Billy Haughton 2:01.0
1965 Bret Hanover Frank Ervin 1:57.0
1966 Romeo Hanover George Sholty 1:59.3
1967 Best Of All Jim Hackett 2:00.0
1968 Rum Customer Billy Haughton 1:59.3
1969 Laverne Hanover Billy Haughton 2:00.2
1970 Most Happy Fella Stanley Dancer 1:57.3
1971 Nansemond Herve Filion 1:57.2
1972 Strike Out Keith Waples Beejay Stables 1:56.3
1973 Melvin's Woe Joe O'Brien 1:59.2
1974 Armbro Omaha Billy Haughton 1:58.4
1975 Seatrain Benny Webster 1:59.4
1976 Keystone Ore Stanley Dancer 1:57.2
1977 Governor Skipper John Chapman 1:56.2
1978 Happy Escort Bill Popfinger Keytone Arbor Stables 2:00.4
1979 Hot Hitter Herve Filion Solomon Katz, S A J & Alterman Stables 1:55.3
1980 Niatross Clint Galbraith Elsie Berger, Clint Galbraith 1:54.4
1981 Fan Hanover Glen Garnsey J Glen Brown 1:58.4
1982 Merger John Campbell 1:56.3
1983 Ralph Hanover Ron Waples Waples, Firlotte, Pointsetta & Grants Direct Stables 1:55.3
1984 Colt Fortysix Chris Boring Proudfoot Farms 1:55.2
1985 Nihilator Bill O'Donnell 1:52.1
1986 Barberry Spur Bill O'Donnell Roy Davis & Barberry Farms 1:52.4
1987 Jaguar Spur Dick Stillings Roy Davis & Barberry Farms 1:55.3
1988 B. J. Scoot Michel Lachance Sybarite Stable 1:52.3
1989 Goalie Jeff Michel Lachance Centre Ice Stable 1:54.1
1990 Beach Towel Ray Remmen Uptown Stables 1:53.3
1991 Precious Bunny Jack Moiseyev 1:55.0
1992 Fake Left Ron Waples 1:54.4
1993 Life Sign John Campbell George Segal 1:52.0
1994 Magical Mike Michel Lachance 1:52.3
1995 Nick's Fantasy John Campbell Markenjay Stable 1:51.2
1996 Armbro Operative Jack Moiseyev T. J. Walsh, Jr. & D. H. McDuffee 1:52.6
1997 Western Dreamer Michel Lachance 1:51.1
1998 Shady Character Ron Pierce 1:52.3
1999 Blissful Hall Ron Pierce 1:55.3
2000 Astreos Charalambos Christoforou Charalambos Christoforou 1:55.3
2001 Bettor's Delight Michel Lachance 1:51.4
2002 Million Dollar Cam Luc Ouellette Jeffrey Snyder 1:50.2
2003 No Pan Intended David Miller Robert Glazer 1:53.0
2004 Timesareachanging Ron Pierce Perfect World Enterprises 1:51.3
2005 P-Forty Seven Dave Palone 1:52.1
2006 Mr Feelgood Mark MacDonald 1:50.3
2007 Tell All Jodie Jamieson Mac Nicol 1:52.0
2008 Shadow Play David Miller Serge Savard, Ian Moore & R.G. McGroup 1:50.1
2009 Well Said Ron Pierce 1:51.4
2010 Rock N Roll Heaven Dan Dube Frank Bellino 1:49.2
2011 Big Bad John David Miller Ed Telle 1:50.0
2012 Michael's Power Scott Zeron Jeffrey Snyder 1:50.0
2013 Vegas Vacation Brian Sears West Wins Stable, Adriano Sorella, Beaton, and Saunders 1:50.0
2014 Limelight Beach Yannick Gingras Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, M1 Stable, and Wingfield Bros 1:50.4