09/19/2013 7:03PM

Delaware County Fair: Vegas Vacation wins the Little Brown Jug

Derick Giwner
Vegas Vacation has now earned $902,898 this year.

Trainer Casie Coleman feels right at home at the Delaware County Fairgrounds and Vegas Vacation’s straight-heat victory in the Little Brown Jug on Thursday proved that fact once again.

The Canadian conditioner won the 2012 edition with Michaels Power. She came with power again and the end result saw her horses finish first and third in the final heat.

The first elimination saw Lonewolf Currier set a blistering 25 2/5 opening quarter and a 53 3/5 half. That set up the closers and they came flying down the backstretch.

Vegas Vacation, who picked up cover from Rockin Amadeus at the half, was sent wide by driver Brian Sears approaching the 1:21 4/5 three-quarter marker and gobbled up ground in a hurry to make the front. He was followed by Right Touch and Wake Up Peter, who would ultimately finish second and third behind him.

Vegas Vacation cruised through the lane to win by just over two lengths in 1:50

Elimination number two also went to Coleman. Her Lucan Hanover posted a 1:49 4/5 victory.

Mach It So was the early pacesetter with a 26-second opening panel. Emeritus Maximus came to call at the half in 54 2/5 and was followed in the outer flow by ILikeitrealhot and Lucan Hanover.

Nearing three quarters in 1:22, driver David Miller and Lucan Hanover uncorked a wicked wide move to get up to the leaders and the pair simply paced away from the field. At the wire he was three-and-a-half lengths ahead of Beach Memories.

The official sign would not flash on the tote board for a while as the judges looked at an inquiry and eventually placed Beach Memories last for causing interference on the final turn. Urbanite Hanover and Emeritus Maximus were moved up to second and third, thus qualifying for the second heat.

In the final elimination, Sunfire Blue Chip did the early heavy lifting by posting a 26 2/5 quarter and 55 2/5 half. At that point Resistance Futile began to attack the leader and he lived up to his name. The Blair Burgess trainee cleared the top just past three quarters in 1:22 2/5 for driver Corey Callahan and pulled clear with ease.

At the wire the final margin read five-and-a-half in a sparkling 1:49 3/5 clocking over Odds On Equuleus and Sunfire Blue Chip, the latter of which would scratch out of the second heat.

The final started with a surprise show of speed from Urbanite Hanover. Driver Yannick Gingras gunned off the wings of the gate and quickly opened up a sizable lead with a 26 3/5 first quarter.

The action picked up heading to the half. Sears pulled Vegas Vacation to the rim and engaged the early leader. The pair went head-to-head off the third turn with Resistance Futile following cover and Lucan Hanover positioned in the pocket.

Vegas Vacation would clear the lead and the rest was history. He cruised past three quarters in 1:22 and found no late challengers in his two-length 1:50 victory over Urbanite Hanover and Lucan Hanover.

“He is a big strong horse that can take a lot of air,” said Sears on Vegas Vacation’s stamina.

“I thought I could get by that horse (Urbanite Hanover) before the last turn. I cleared and just let him pace home,” he continued.

Coleman actually made a shoeing change between heats, adding steel shoes in front to help the gelded son of Bettor’s Delight-Don’t You Smile grab the track.

“He was sticking too much to the track,” said Coleman. “I’d like to send a thank you out to paddock blacksmith Eric Wilt for helping to fix the horse’s shoes. ‘Vegas’ does have sensitive feet, so he isn’t the easiest to shoe.”

For Coleman, the Jug has a special place in her heart that draws her to the race year after year.

“It’s the Jug! Going out in front of a crowd like this that just loves harness racing. To be in it yet alone win it is a dream come true,” said Coleman.

The entire Casie Coleman barn will benefit from the victory. A trip to Las Vegas is in the future for the 40 to 50 employees and friends of the ownership group.

“Yes, we are going on a Vegas vacation,” said co-owner Adriano Sorella. “I was in my car listening to the other heats and thinking, if this happens we are going. I’m going to foot the entire bill.”

Sorella was also quick to point out his respect for Coleman and her work ethic.

“If Casie wasn’t training for me, I probably wouldn’t be in horse racing right now,” said Sorella. “I’m tough to please and she along with her staff does a great job.”

The two victories helped to lift Vegas Vacation’s 2013 earnings to $902,898. Owned by West Wins Stable, Sorella, Anthony Beaton and Phyllis Saunders, the gelding has accrued a 9-for-15 record.

Coleman said the horse would head to The Red Mile with an eye on racing in a division of the Bluegrass on September 28.

A packed house of 44,798 witnessed the 19-race card that also included multiple world record performances.