Day At The Track

JUG FAVORITE LIKES HALF-MILE TRACKS

07:27 PM 05 Sep 2007 NZST
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Cane Pace champion Always A Virgin may be a perfect fit for Delaware’s half-mile track.

Saddled with post eight, Always A Virgin powered into the lead just before the :54.3 half and defeated Meadowlands Pace winner Southwind Lynx in 1:51.1 in the Cane Pace Final raced over Freehold’s half-mile oval.

Having to start from post eight with Always A Virgin was not a major concern for trainer Joe Holloway.

“Not that I wanted it (post eight), believe me, but he is exceptional on a half-mile track. This horse is just handy. He’s turning into a dominant horse.”

Delaware hasn’t been kind to Holloway in the past.

“I’ve had some horrendous draws at Delaware. I’ve gotten the eight hole so often, I think I deserve the rail this year.”

Always A Virgin has seven wins in his last eight starts. His only loss came thanks to a late break in the Meadowlands Pace Final.

“He was not himself in that race. I don’t think he felt real good,” said Holloway, who decided to give his colt some training miles at Freehold, site of the Cane Pace elimination on August 25.

Always A Virgin’s first training mile over Freehold’s half-mile track caught Holloway a bit off guard.

“He was just blazing. I got down to the quarter in :30, the half in :59, three-quarters in 1:28 and I wound up going the mile in 1:54.2. He was sprinting through the last quarter.”

Two weeks later Always A Virgin won in a lifetime best 1:48.4 at The Meadowlands. He followed with victories in divisions of the Oliver Wendell Holmes and the Battle of Brandywine, and in the Cane Pace elimination and final.

Holloway trains Always A Virgin for breeder/co-owner Joe Hurley’s Roll The Dice Stable of Delaware, along with Bluewood Stable and Val D’Or Farm, both of New Jersey. Brian Sears, who has driven Always A Virgin in all of his 2007 starts, will also drive in the Jug. Sears’ best finish in the Jug was a second with Western Terror in 2004.

Holloway began training Always A Virgin last November, turned him out for about a month, then started back.

“After another month, I knew he could be something special.”

But it was Always A Virgin’s third 2007 start on June 2 in the New Jersey Sires Stakes Final that really captured Holloway’s attention.

“What a race. He was sick, coughing, but he still finished third in 1:49.4 after racing first over.”

Always A Virgin, and stablemate Fresh Deck, will now head to the Little Brown Jug at the Delaware, Ohio, County Fair on Thursday, September 20.

Filly Southwind Tempo wins Shady Daisy...is Jug next?

The 3-year-old filly Southwind Tempo kept alive her chances of racing against the colts in the Little Brown Jug. In Monday’s $144,325 Shady Daisy Filly Stake, Tom Tetrick drove Southwind Tempo to victory, equaling the Freehold track record for 3-year-old pacing fillies with a time of 1:53. The win was the 14th in 17 starts for the Steve Elliott-trained filly.

As of last week, Elliott and owners Toby Lynch and Wayne Chrebet had not decided whether to start the filly in the Jugette or the Little Brown Jug.

by Tom White, publicity director, the Little Brown Jug

ourtesy of The US Trotting Association Web Newsroom

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