09/18/2015 12:02PM

Giwner: The best is yet to come in 2015

Derick Giwner
The gate opens for the Red Mile's Grand Circuit meet on September 30.

It is hard to believe that only two months remain in the 2015 stakes season. We have been treated to some sparkling performances and stories, but what has me excited is the next three weeks of action in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

Just a few days from now the annual treat on the calendar that is the Little Brown Jug will be upon us. Top 3-year-old pacer Wiggle It Jiggleit will be on hand to defend his honor versus the newly rejuvenated Artspeak, the hometown Lost For Words, Adios winner Dude’s The Man, and others.

While we have witnessed Wiggle It Jiggleit dominate practically all year, a new test looms as he will have to go multiple heats to rein supreme at Delaware.

Post position will clearly play a role in the outcome over the smaller oval. Some will say that half-mile track racing is a thing of the past and would prefer the smaller tracks to be eradicated from the planet. For me, the true test of champions is the ability to overcome all obstacles—posts, track sizes, tough trips—during their careers.

I can’t wait for the draw (Saturday) and to be on track for the 70th edition of this classic race.

[DRF HARNESS LIVE: Watch the Jugette & Little Brown Jug cards Live on DRF.]

Shortly after the Jug I’ll be making the trek to Hoosier Park in Indiana. If you would have told me five years ago that a trip to Hoosier was in my future, I probably would have answered, “why?” But the landscape has changed and few tracks seem more enamored with the sport than Hoosier.

I’m an even-keeled guy, but I have to say that when the press release came out Thursday night that the Indiana-sired wonder Freaky Feet Pete would be racing in the Jenna’s Beach Boy on September 26, a smile ran across my face. I’ve been looking forward to seeing the nearly unbeaten son of Rockin Image in person all year and that opportunity finally arrives in eight days.

Not only will Freaky Feet Pete be on hand, but another top 3-year-old in Wakizashi Hanover is also committed to the race. That match-up should provide us with a strong barometer of “Pete” as a Grand Circuit horse.

I’ve also been informed that the Centaur Trotting Classic is attracting some major older performers to make the September 26 card a must-see night of racing.

After Hoosier the Grand Circuit moves to The Red Mile. While the excitement in Lexington seems to be surrounding the grand opening of the Historic Racing machines (video slots), I’m more interested in the actual racing.

Quite frankly, visiting The Red Mile is my favorite trip each year. The track has everything a fan of the sport could want, with a perfect racing surface and a serene setting. I’m no Gordon Waterstone, but there is something relaxing about trolling the barn area in the early morning hours and watching horses prepare for future engagements with early morning exercise.

Every visit to The Red Mile leaves you with the anticipation that something special could occur. Last year we saw Mission Brief go faster than any 2-year-old trotter in history. Previously Shebestingin became the fastest 3-year-old filly pacer over the same surface. I’m certain that another breathtaking moment will occur over the two-week stakes-filled schedule that starts September 30.

I purposely said three weeks in my open because three weeks and one day from today marks one of the most interesting dates on the racing calendar. Not only will The Red Mile play host to the Kentucky Futurity and Tattersalls Pace, but Yonkers Raceway is contesting the $1,000,000 International Trot, and we are expecting to see the showdown between previously mentioned Indiana stars “Wiggle” and “Pete”.

That’s 22 days and nights of great racing and we’ll still be two weeks out from the Breeders Crown at Woodbine.

The best is truly yet to come.

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