Currently regarded as the top 3-year-old male pacer in North America after his win in the North America Cup, Wakizashi Hanover will not compete in the Little Brown Jug, reports one of his co-owners, Bruce Kennedy. The Dragon Again gelding was not staked to the Jug but North America Cup winners are allowed to supplement into the field for the cost of $45,000.
“If we were lightly staked we’d probably entertain the idea of going to the Jug,” Kennedy said. “But we’re going to follow through with the original schedule we set for him, which is pretty grueling. We appreciate their offer and their interest.
“The $45,000 price didn’t have anything to do with it. The boys said we made the decision for a reason and the reason hasn’t changed. We love the Jug and the hype around it and the competitive aspect of it. We love all that. We don’t frown on the half-mile track. That has nothing to do with it. We just picked our events and the Jug wasn’t on the original list. We’re happy with the way our schedule works for this horse and wee want to stick with it. We don’t want to overdue things with this horse.”
The good news for the Jug is that 123 horse remain eligible for the Sept. 24 race, a 19.4 percent increase over last year. Top names among those who are eligible include Artspeak, the 2015 Art Rooney Memorial champ In The Arsenal, Go Daddy Go, Lost For Words and Yankee Bounty.
Another top name who is not eligible is that of North America Cup second-place finisher Wiggle It Jiggleit.