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Harness Highlights: Little Brown Jug and Jugette

by Frank Carulli

September 26, 2017


Driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke mapped out their strategy months ago for Filibuster Hanover's appearance in last Thursday's Little Brown Jug. Their plan was put into motion in the $401,472 finals at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio.

Filibuster Hanover hustled to the lead and stayed there to spring a mild upset in third leg of the Pacing Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. He repelled a backstretch bid by favorite Downbytheseaside and held safe rail-sitting longshot Funknwaffles to win by a length in 150.1 before a crowd of 42,000.

“All year we said when he comes to the Jug we thought he could pop a huge mile on the front," said Gingras, who employed similar tactics when he won the Jug behind the Burke-trained Limelight Beach in 2014. "I thought he was the best horse in the elimination, I just was locked in. I had a fresh horse going into the final. If I could get around (Fear The Dragon), I would have parked anybody.”

His task was made easier when Fear the Dragon (David Miller) showed no speed from the rail and settled into fourth. Downbytheseaside (Brian Sears) challenged Filibuster Hanover for the lead but backed off to the pocket after a :26.4 quarter mile.

Downbytheseaside, the Messenger Stakes winner, pulled the pocket on the backstretch but had little to offer. Funknwaffles (Corey Callahan) seized pocket position and Fear the Dragon, the 6-5 second choice, was slowed by his back-pedaling stablemate on the final turn and had to negotiate traffic for a non-threatening run. 

Filibuster Hanover paid $12 to win and keyed a $96.40 exacta with Funknwaffles (16-1) and $232.60 trifecta with fast-closing Miso Fast (Matt Kakaley, 30-1) third. His bankroll swelled to $633,258 for co-owners Burke Racing Stable, Joseph DiScala Jr., J&T Silva Stables and the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi.

"I made quite a bit betting," Weaver said during the trophy presentation. "I'm happy about that too."



Caviart Ally showed signs of star power before last Wednesday's $163,950 Jugette Stakes final.

Now she has the staying power to back it up.

In a clash of elimination winners, Caviart Ally stalked 2-to-5 favorite Blazin Britches and proved best in the stretch drive to win the prestigious race for 3-year-old female pacers in 1:51.3 at the Delaware (Ohio) County Farigrounds.

“She’s got as much speed as (the other top sophomore pacers) but up until now she hasn’t had as much bottom as a couple of them,” said winning trainer Noel Daley. “We added Lasix a couple starts ago and it seems to have done the trick.”

Caviart Ally settled into the pocket for driver Andrew McCarthy after Blazin Britches (Trace Tetrick) went to the lead from the rail through splits of :27.3 and :55.4. Caviart Ally pulled out before the duo reached 3/4s in 1:23.3 and edged clear of a stretch duel in the closing yards to win by 3/4 of a length. Obvious Blue Chip finished third and Tequila Monday failed to sustain a first-over bid and ran fourth.

“I saw (Tetrick) timed the gate pretty good and I didn’t have any shot of getting around him,” said McCarthy. “I looked up coming out of the third turn and (Blazin Britches) looked a little lazy on him. I wasn’t sure how much pace he had, so I decided to take a shot and race him and it worked out.”

Caviart Ally improved to 8-29 with a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship and half-million dollar bankroll already on her resume for owners Judy and Buck Chaffee of Caviart Farms.