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BETTING LINE LEADS 11 INTO LITTLE BROWN JUG

-- Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

Delaware, OH -- September 17, 2016 -- Betting Line will put his 11-race win streak on the line in Thursday’s (Sept. 22) 71st edition of the Little Brown Jug presented by the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association, where he will start from post five in the first of two opening-round heats at the Delaware County Fairgrounds.

A horse must win two one-mile races on the same day to capture the Little Brown Jug trophy. Eleven horses entered the $577,000 event for 3-year-old pacers and were divided into two $92,320 first-heat eliminations. Betting Line is the 3-5 morning line favorite in the first elimination while Racing Hill is the 3-5 choice in the second elimination.

The top four finishers in each elimination advance to the $276,960 second heat. If one of the two elimination winners is victorious in the second heat, he is the Jug champion. Otherwise, the three heat-winners return for a $115,400 race-off. The last race-off was in 2000, when Astreos won the event.

Betting Line, who was the 3-5 favorite in the first Little Brown Jug Future Pool, will have three-time Jug winner David Miller in the sulky for trainer Casie Coleman.

The colt has won 11 consecutive races since beginning his season with a second-place finish against older horses. His victories include the North America Cup, Battle of the Brandywine, and Carl Milstein Memorial Invitational. He heads to the Jug off a win in the Simcoe Stakes on Sept. 10 at Mohawk Racetrack, where he rallied from an 8-1/4 length deficit on the final turn to beat Lyons Snyder by a half-length in 1:49.1.

“I thought he was finally getting beat with the way the trip was working out -- he was in no-man’s land, I thought anyway, coming off the last turn -- and Lyons Snyder is a pretty nice horse,” Coleman said. “But somehow Betting Line got him at the wire. I was pretty nervous watching the race, but when we were in the winner’s circle David said I had nothing to worry about.

“Every time he’s raced he’s been pretty awesome. It’s hard not to be happy with him. Hopefully everything goes good (in the Little Brown Jug). I don’t see two heats bothering the horse at all. He always comes out of his races good and never seems tired. He looks pretty good coming into it.”

Betting Line, a son of 2001 Little Brown Jug winner Bettor's Delight out of the mare Heather’s Western, has won 17 of 24 career races and earned $1.50 million for owners West Wins Stable, Christine Calhoun, and Mac Nichol.

Coleman has won the Jug twice in her career, with Michael’s Power in 2012 and Vegas Vacation in 2013, and would join four other trainers with three triumphs if Betting Line is victorious next week. Billy Haughton holds the record for training wins with six. Stanley Dancer, with four Jugs, is the only other trainer with more than three.

Racing Hill has won five of 11 races in 2016 and never finished worse than third in any start. He is the richest horse in the division this year with earnings of $1.21 million. His wins include the Messenger Stakes, Max C. Hempt Memorial and Delvin Miller Adios, and he finished second to Betting Line in the North America Cup and Battle of the Brandywine. He also finished second in the Meadowlands Pace.

Brett Miller will drive the colt from post two for trainer Tony Alagna and owner Tom Hill. Racing Hill is a son of Roll With Joe, who finished second to Big Bad John in the 2011 Little Brown Jug, out of the mare Chasing Ideals.

Trainer Ron Burke, who won the 2014 Little Brown Jug with Limelight Beach, will start five horses in this year's race including Check Six who will start from post four in the first elimination. Check Six has won seven of 15 races this year, including the Pennsylvania Classic and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, and earned $751,033. He finished second to Racing Hill in the Adios.

Yannick Gingras will drive Check Six, who is a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Southwind Vanna. The colt is owned by Burke Racing, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, William Switala, and James Martin. He is 2-1 on the morning line behind Betting Line.

Another of Burke's pupils will be Manhattan Beach, who is a full brother to Limelight Beach. Manhattan Beach has won four of 16 races this year and earned $260,853 for owners Burke Racing, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, Geoffrey Lyons Mound, and Wingfield Brothers. Matt Kakaley will drive the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Benear from post four in the second elimination and will open on the board at 6-1 odds.

Geoffrey Lyons Mound also is co-owner of Lyons Snyder, who is trained by 2006 Jug-winning trainer Jimmy Takter. Lyons Mound’s partner on the horse is Jeff Snyder, who shares the record for most Jug victories by an owner (three) with Stanley Dancer and George Segal. Lyons Snyder will score from post three in the first elimination and is 8-1 on the morning line.

The second Little Brown Jug future pool will be from noon Sunday (Sept. 18) through 11:30 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 21).

For all of the latest news, photos and videos for the 71st edition of the Little Brown Jug, visit the Harness Racing FanZone’s mini-site by clicking here.

Below are the fields for the Little Brown Jug first heat eliminations, with listed drivers, trainers and morning line odds. Actual race numbers and estimated post times will be assigned when the full card is drawn on Monday.

First elimination-Purse $92,320
HN-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line
1. Dr J Hanover-Scott Zeron-Tony Alagna-6/1
2. Stolen Glimpse-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-15/1
3. Lyons Snyder-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-8/1
4. Check Six-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-2/1
5. Betting Line-David Miller-Casie Coleman-3/5
6. Fernando Hanover-Tim Tetrick-Ron Burke-12-1

Second elimination-Purse $92,320
HN-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line
1. Western Fame-Mark MacDonald-Jimmy Takter-4/1
2. Racing Hill-Brett Miller-Tony Alagna-3/5
3. Big Top Hanover-David Miller-Ron Burke-15/1
4. Manhattan Beach-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-6/1
5. Spider Man Hanover-Andy Miller-Nick Surick-20/1

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