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2017 RACE DATES

MEADOWLANDS - Post Time 7:15pm
March 17 - August 5, 2017
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September 8 - September 16, 2017
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September 1 - December 9, 2017
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December 28 - December 30, 2017
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BETTING LINE WINS LITTLE BROWN JUG

Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

DELAWARE, OH -- SEPTEMBER 22, 2016 -- Betting Line won for the 12th consecutive time, capturing the first of two opening-round heats of Thursday’s Little Brown Jug by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:50.4 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. Lyons Snyder was second, Dr J Hanover third, and Check Six fourth.

Check Six set the pace for much of the mile, hitting the quarter in :27.1, half in :56, and three-quarters in 1:23.4. But by that time, first-over Lyons Snyder had pulled even and second-over Betting Line was ready to go three wide coming out of the final turn.

Betting Line, who was fifth for the first three-eighths of the race before flushing the cover of Lyons Snyder prior to the halfway point, pulled away from his foes in the stretch and won comfortably for trainer Casie Coleman.

“It worked out just kind of like I thought it would,” winning driver David Miller said. “(Check Six) left and I was able to pick up good cover. He actually took me farther than I thought he would. My horse was strong the whole way and anxious to go anytime I asked him. He finished up good. He was good and strong all the way to the wire.”

Betting Line, who was the 1-5 favorite, has won 12 of 13 races this year and earned $1.13 million. He is owned by West Wins Stable, Christine Calhoun, and Mac Nichol.

Western Fame and driver Mark MacDonald controlled the race from post one, parking out favorite Racing Hill for much of the mile, on their way to a 1:50.1 win in Thursday’s second opening-round heat of the Little Brown Jug for 3-year-old male pacers.

Big Top Hanover, Racing Hill, and Manhattan Beach rounded out the top four.

MacDonald hustled Western Fame off the gate and protected the inside spot from Racing Hill, who started in post two. After reaching the quarter in :26.4, Racing Hill challenged Western Fame for the lead, but was unable to get to the front. He briefly ducked back to third as the half was reached in :53.4, but soon thereafter was back on the move again.

Western Fame rebuffed Racing Hill again as they hit three-quarters in 1:22.1 and then held off Big Top Hanover by 1-1/4 lengths for the victory.

“It was kind of an all-or-nothing drive, I guess,” said a laughing MacDonald, who drove Western Fame for trainer Jimmy Takter. “The first heat, there wasn’t a whole lot of action so I wanted to give the crowd something to see.

“We had the rail; it’s tough when you get stuck in the two hole at Delaware, not too many horses win out of the two hole. Jimmy had a lot of confidence in the horse. He thought he would be really good over this track and he showed some grittiness today. He never got a breather. When I called on him halfway down the stretch, he paced away for me.

“It was the perfect opportunity for him to show his speed. He has always had it, but quite possibly today he could finally really show it. He has always raced well. You can see that from his last race in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final.”

Western Fame is owned by breeder Brittany Farms. He has won four of 17 races this year and earned $213,866. He was the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship runner-up to Check Six on Sept. 10.

Racing Hill and Check Six were scratched from the second heat. Western Fame will start from post one, Betting Line from post two. The rest of the field in post order is Lyons Snyder, Big Top Hanover, Dr J Hanover, and Manhattan Beach.

-- Kim French also contributed to this report

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