Delaware, Ohio – Vegas Vacation and driver Brian Sears cleared to the lead at the three-quarter mile pole and then held the field at bay in winning the second heat of the 68th annual $552,551 Little Brown Jug in world record time for three-year-old geldings.
Trained by Casie Coleman, it is her second straight Little Brown Jug victory, she won last year’s Jug with Michael’s Power.
A horse must win twice in order to be declared the Little Brown Jug winner and Vegas Vacation seemed to do it in ease. He won both of his heats in the exact same time of 1:50, which rewrote the prior world record.
The 18th race finale started out with Urbanite Hanover (Yannick Gingras) shooting to the early lead with Lucan Hanover (Dave Miller) grabbing the two-hole spot. They raced to the opening quarter mile in :26.3 and the field settled down until coming to the half mile when Sears came first-over with Vegas Vacation and Resistance Futile (Corey Callahan) following second-over to the half mile in :54.3.
As they raced down the backstretch, Vegas Vacation was able to continue to gain ground and collared Urbanite Hanover before the three-quarters and cleared to the lead in 1:22, parking Resistance Futile on the final turn.
Then in the stretch drive it was Vegas Vacation as he powered down the stretch and won by two open lengths. Urbanite Hanover was second with Lucan Hanover third, who is also trained by Casie Coleman. Sent off at odds of 3/5, Vegas Vacation paid $3.40 to win.
“My horse is just awesome,” trainer Casie Coleman said, “I trained him hard and we do a lot of double headers and I have a great staff helping me out. If everything goes well after today we will head down and race him in Lexington and then the Breeders Crown. It’s all up to the horse if he is up to it.”
Sired by Bettor’s Delight, Vegas Vacation is co-owned by the West Wins Stable, Adriano Sorella, Anthony Beaton and Phyllis Saunders, all of Ontario. It was his ninth win in 15 starts this year.
“He has just been a great horse,” driver Brian Sears said, “He came into this race in very good shape. After the first heat I was pretty confident he would win it. I was ready to go have to go first-over with him.”
The announced attendance for the Little Brown Jug day was 47,651.
By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com