09/22/2016 4:48PM

Delaware County Fair: Western Fame takes no prisoners

Conrad Photo
Western Fame took full advantage of his rail draw to win the second Little Brown Jug elimination

10-1 shot Western Fame drove through from the rail, parked heavily-favored Racing Hill when he came out to challenge, and kept going when called on to win the second $92,320 elimination heat of the Little Brown Jug for 3-year-old pacing colts on Thursday afternoon.

With Mark MacDonald at the lines, Western Fame shot straight to the lead, and Racing Hill (Brett Miller) relented into the pocket initially.  Miller moved to the outside just before the 26 4/5 opening quarter, but MacDonald had no intention of letting him go, and when Big Top Hanover (Yannick Gingras) moved up to close the pocket, Racing Hill was left parked-out.

Western Fame would go on to reach the half in 54 2/5 and the three-quarters in 1:22 1/5, with Racing Hill moving up to challenge again in between those two markers.  The trip caught up to him turning for home, though, and he dropped back, leaving Western Fame and Big Top Hanover to decide it.  Western Fame couldn't be caught, though, and he would defeat Big Top Hanover by just over a length in 1:50 1/5.  Racing Hill wound up third, ahead of Manhattan Beach (Matt Kakaley).

"We had the rail, and it's tough when you get stuck in the two-hole in Delaware," said MacDonald.  "Not too many horses win out of the two-hole.  (Trainer Jimmy Takter) had a lot of confidence in the horse.  He thought he'd be really good over this track.  He showed some grittiness at The Meadows (second in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final), and he showed some real grittiness today.  He never got a breather.  I said to Jimmy, 'when I called on him halfway down the stretch he paced away for me.'

"It was kind of an all-or-nothing drive, I guess.  The first heat, there wasn't a whole lot of action, so I wanted to give the crowd something to see."

Jimmy Takter trains Western Fame, a colt by Western Ideal, for owner/breeder Brittany Fams.  Western Fame scored his fourth win from 20 career attempts, and he has now earned over $200,000.  He paid $23.40 to win, and with Racing Hill out of the top two, the place prices were bloated, with Western Fame returning $30.60 and Big Top Hanover $66.60.

"I'm so happy about this horse because I know he has it, but he's kind of laid back," said Takter, who teamed with MacDonald to win the 2006 edition of the Little Brown Jug with Mr. Feelgood.  "He reminds me a little bit of Vintage Master; he's very lazy.  You've got to be a little aggressive on him and make sure he knows who is behind him.  Mark handled him very well."