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Little Brown Jug (horse racing)

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.

The founding of the jug which actually set its roots more than 50 years ago, is as unique as it is interesting. 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. Attorney Joe Neville, whose family had been identified with the standardbred sport for many years, 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. 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.

The Little Brown Jug is raced 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 raceoff 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.

Previous winners:

  • 1946 - Ensign Hanover
  • 1947 - Forbes Chief
  • 1948 - Knight Dream
  • 1949 - Good Time
  • 1950 - Dudley Hanover
  • 1951 - Tar Heel
  • 1952 - Meadow Rice
  • 1953 - Keystoner
  • 1954 - Adios Harry
  • 1955 - Quick Chief
  • 1956 - Noble Adios
  • 1957 - Torpid
  • 1958 - Shadow Wave
  • 1960 - Bullet Hanover
  • 1961 - Henry T. Adios
  • 1962 - Lehigh Hanover
  • 1964 - Vicar Hanover
  • 1966 - Romeo Hanover
  • 1967 - Best Of All
  • 1968 - Rum Customer
  • 1969 - Laverne Hanover
  • 1970 - Most Happy Fella
  • 1971 - Nansemond
  • 1973 - Melvin's Woe
  • 1974 - Armbro Omaha
  • 1975 - Seatrain
  • 1977 - Governor Skipper
  • 1978 - Happy Escort
  • 1979 - Hot Hitter
  • 1981 - Fan Hanover (filly)
  • 1982 - Merger
  • 1983 - Ralph Hanover
  • 1984 - Colt Fortysix
  • 1985 - Nihilator
  • 1986 - Barberry Spur
  • 1987 - Jaguar Spur
  • 1988 - B.J. Scoot
  • 1989 - Goalie Jeff
  • 1992 - Fake Left
  • 1993 - Life Sign
  • 1994 - Magical Mike
  • 1995 - Nick's Fantasy
  • 1996 - Armbro Operative
  • 1997 - Western Dreamer
  • 1998 - Shady Character
  • 1999 - Blissfull Hall
  • 2000 - Astreos
  • 2001 - Bettor's Delight
  • 2002 - Million Dollar Cam
  • 2003 - No Pan Intended
  • 2004 - Timesareachanging
  • 2005 - P-Forty Seven
  • 2007 - Tell All
  • 2009 - Well Said



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