Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Little Brown Jug

The Little Brown Jug
Dave Palone and P-Forty-Seven took 1:52 1/5 to cover the one-mile that makes up the Little Brown Jug and become part of the event’s rich tradition on Thursday.

How big is the Jug? The attendance was nearly 53,000 or double the population of the city of Delaware. Thousands more watched the race live on Ohio News Network and still more read about it in newspapers – from USA Today to London, Ontario.

The 60th running of the Jug – the second leg of the pacing Triple Crown – was my first onsite experience. Growing up in Central Ohio, you know about the Jug but being there provides a completely different perspective. The day begins early, with the first races going off at 11 a.m., but those sitting along the fence needed to be there at least two hours before to secure a prime location.

The first race went off as planned and the man to my right hit the trifecta and won a cool $665 – and the right to buy lunch and supper for his traveling party from Crestline. That was probably the most interesting aspect, standing in lines you met people from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Canada, Kentucky, and New York to name a few. They were all in Delaware because of their love of harness racing and were quick to pass along a tip on a horse or share their favorite racing story.

As the day went along the few remaining seats filled and the tension around the stadium continued to build. By the time the Jug – the day’s 23rd race – went off, the crowd was at a fevered pitch. P-Forty-Seven drew the rail and rode its favored starting position – and raw talent – to the victory. I have seen national championship games in football and basketball, been to a playoff game at Jacobs Field and many other sporting events, but there was something about those two minutes that eclipsed those other events.

It was enough that I can say, “I’ll see you next year at the Little Brown Jug!”

For more coverage of the Jug results read, “P Forty Seven Wins The $569,032 Little Brown Jug In Straight Heats.”

--Toby Boyce
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