Hollywood’s Hits: Important Jug anniversaries with a Hanover connection.
This year marks 70th anniversary of the first Jug ever held. Ensign Hanover (2-1-2-1) was the winner as the public choice with local legend Curly Smart subbed for an ailing Sep Palin (Similar to Ron Waples stepping in for Mickey McNichol in 1992 on Fake Left and winning by a nose over Western Hanover, thus preventing Western Hanover from the pacing Triple Crown last won by Waples in 1983 with Ralph Hanover)
One of the four heats was one by a filly His Lady (Joe Hylan) and one other ‘Hanover’ was in the inaugural Jug — DeSota Hanover was 5-7-7
This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the only back-to-back pacing Triple Crown winners (1965-1966) of Bret Hanover and Romeo Hanover.
In Bret Hanover’s year, Tuxedo Hanover and Gee Lee Hanover were also entered.
Bret Hanover was an incredible 40-for-43 in his career coming into Jug day.
The trio from Hanover carried an incredible combined record of 72-for-114 lifetime into the Jug and doesn’t count Bret Hanover winning in straight heats.
A year later, Bonjour Hanover, a full-sister to Bret Hanover was 31-for-39 lifetime entering the day, while Romeo Hanover was 26-for-30. That made the Hanover duo 57-for-69 lifetime, not counting Romeo Hanover’s straight-heats Jug victory.
The makes the combined record for five Hanover-breds heading into Jug Day in 1965 and 1966 129-for-183, a 70.5 win percentage.
If that wasn’t enough, Bonjour Hanover won the filly pacing Triple Crown that year — the only year they had it — so that means that Hanover bred the Triple Crown winner in 1965 and 1966, the one and only time it happened back to back, and also the filly Triple Crown winner the one and only time it was held.
Other Jug items
1. Meadow Skipper had 50 career starts entering the 1963 Jug. Though he didn’t win that year, he did win with a son from his first crop — Most Happy Fella in 1970.
2. Clint Galbraith and Niagara Byrd were seventh and eighth in the 1966 Jug from the family of Niagara Dream. On March 30, 1977, a foal named Niatross was born and would become the 1980 Jug winner.
3. In 1966, Overcall was no factor from post eight. He was 11-for-19 going in as a sophomore, just three years before he would run the table in the free-for-all division. He was 21-for-21 in 1969.
4. Billy Haughton appeared in every Jug from 1966-1985 — 20 straight. He was in the very last Jug he was alive for and won it with Nihilator.
5. Three days before his teenage years were to come to an end, Peter Haughton drove two horses in the 1974 Jug. He was fifth and eighth with Keystone Presto and Belmont Shadow, respectively.
35th anniversary of Campbell’s first Jug drive
In 1981, John Campbell debuted in the Jug with Armbro Wolf, but was involved in the accident early and was done for the day the year Fan Hanover won it. A year later, Campbell won his first Jug with Merger, a colt he trained.