Little Brown Jug happenings through the years

Little Brown Jug happenings through the years

September 22, 2021

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by Bob Heyden

This year marks 50 years since Nansemond defeated Albatross in the Jug on Sept. 23, 1971.

Albatross was 25-for-28 and the first pacing Horse of the Year for Stanley Dancer. He set a new earnings record of $558,009 that year for either a trotter or pacer. He recorded a 1:54.4 world race record set at The Red Mile — and he did it twice in one day. Albatross won the Horse of the Year vote 131-34 over Steady Star and the division title 188-1 over Nansemond.

But on that one day in Delaware, OH, Herve Filion and Nansemond got the measure of “Big Bird” by a length in 1:57.2. Albatross, who had won six days earlier in Livonia, MI where Stanley promised a friend he would compete, was barred from the betting in the Jug.

Four years later, Filion, who also trained Nansemond, would go into the Hall Of Fame at age 35.

Miller time

David Miller has won five Jugs for five different trainers:

Ivan Sugg in 2003, Ian Moore in 2008, Ron Potter in 2011, Casie Coleman in 2016 and Blake MacIntosh in 2018. Miller’s first Jug victory in 2003 came on a day in which he posted 10 wins on the card.

Delvin Miller won three straight Jugs as a trainer with three different drivers:

1950 with Dudley Hanover (Del Miller drove), 1951 with Tar Heel with Del Cameron driving and 1952 with Meadow Rice with Curly Smart in the bike.

Switch hitter supreme

Six Day War certainly was a switch hitter on the trot and pace. He won the 1989 Woodrow Wilson for pacers, competed in the 1990 Little Brown Jug (finishing 8th in his heat) and won the 1992 Su Mac Lad for trotters.

Makeup time

Cam Fella won the 1982 Cane and then the Messenger via the supplemental route, but he was ineligible for the Jug. Still, he made up for it big time.

Cam Fella sired Goalie Jeff, the 1989 winner, Precious Bunny, the 1991 winner and HOY, Fake Left, the 1992 winner and Armbro Operative, the 1996 winner. Then, he had four straight grandsons win the Jug, too (after Blissful Hall won it in 1999): 2001 winner Bettors Delight followed by Million Dollar Cam in 2002 No Pan Intended in 2003 and Timesareachanging in 2004.

Smashing debut

Mike Lachance’s first four drives in the Jug were winners — two heats in 1988 with B J Scoot and both drives in 1989 with Goalie Jeff. Then he was second in 1990 with longshot Spirited Style in his fifth drive in an elimination heat, who earned no money in the final at 176-1.

Only happened twice

Only twice has the 2-year-old Breeders Crown winner come back to win the Jug at 3: Bettors Delight in 2000-2001 and Well Said in 2008-2009.


Scott Zeron was 23 when he won the Jug with Michaels Power in 2012. He is the youngest driver to ever to win a pacing Triple Crown event.

Montrell Teague was 24 when he won the Jug with HOY Wiggle It Jiggleit in 2015.

Mark MacDonald was 27 in 2006 when he won the Jug with Mr Feelgood.

John Campbell was 27 when he won the Jug — and his first Triple Crown race — in 1982 with his own colt Merger.

William Walters was 18 when he competed in the 1973 Jug. A year later, 19-year-old Peter Haughton debuted. That makes the Jug the only Triple Crown event to have teenagers appear in back to back seasons.

June fever

June Weller in 1972 became the first and only female driver in Jug history when she handled Dads Time-(10-9) in the Jug.

Lone stars

Captain Barbossa in 2020 and Limelight Beach in 2014 did not with any other races at 3.


Sixty-one of 75 Jugs — counting newly-elected Yannick Gingras —were won by a Hall of Fame driver.

Thirty-six of — counting newly-elected Ron Burke and George Teague, Jr. — were won by a Hall Of Fame trainer.

Palin power

Greyhound’s driver/trainer-Sep Palin also trained the very first Jug winner — Ensign in 1946.

Junior division?

In 1993, four “juniors” were in the final and three of the four got money:

Jim Morrill, Jr — second with Riyadh.

Joe Pavia, Jr. — fourth with Ready To Rumble.

John Stark, Jr. — fifth with Getting Personal

Walter Case, Jr. — sixth with Captain Pantastic

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