09/15/2015 5:16PM

Harness: Wiggle It Jiggleit preps for Little Brown Jug

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Wiggle It Jiggleit is the top ranked standardbred in 2015.

Wiggle It Jiggleit qualified Tuesday at Harrah’s Philadelphia, winning by 14-1/2 lengths in 1:50 2/5 as he prepares for the Little Brown Jug on Sept. 24 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in central Ohio. It was the 3-year-old pacing gelding’s first trip to a racetrack since winning the Battle of the Brandywine with a world-record-equaling performance on Aug. 22 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

With regular driver Montrell Teague at the lines for the qualifier, Wiggle It Jiggleit paced fractions of 28 1/5, 56, and 1:23 as he led at every marker.

“He was good,” said Teague, who drives Wiggle It Jiggleit for his father, owner George Teague Jr., and trainer Clyde Francis. “He was definitely himself. I pretty much just let him do what he wanted to do. I let him float out and we were planning on going a (1):52 mile, but when I tapped him in the last quarter he took off, so I just let him do what he wanted. That (time) is not a bad thing at all.”

Wiggle It Jiggleit, the No. 1-ranked horse in harness racing’s weekly Top 10 poll, has won 16 of 18 races this year and earned $1.43 million. His victories include the Meadowlands Pace, Hempt Memorial, Battle of the Brandywine, and Milstein Memorial.

The Little Brown Jug, which requires a horse to win two heats to be declared the champion, is the third leg of this year’s Pacing Triple Crown. Dealt A Winner won the first jewel, the Cane Pace, and Revenge Shark captured the second, the Messenger Stakes.

Wiggle It Jiggleit was not staked to the Little Brown Jug, but his victory in the Meadowlands Pace permits his connections to pay $45,000 to supplement to the event.

Since supplements were first allowed in 1999, four horses have used that route to enter the Little Brown Jug: Four Starzzz Shark in 2001, Art Official in 2008, Betterthancheddar in 2011, and Lyonssomewhere in 2014. Four Starzzz Shark, Art Official, and Betterthancheddar all finished third. Lyonssomewhere failed to advance to the second heat.

“On to the Jug,” Teague said. “I’m looking forward to it the most of any race I’ve been in so far.”

The Little Brown Jug is contested on a half-mile track at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, located 30 miles north of Columbus. Wiggle It Jiggleit is history’s fastest 3-year-old pacer on a half-mile oval, having won in 1:49 earlier this season at Harrington Raceway.

“That won’t be a problem,” Teague said about the small track. “It all comes down to the draw. Nothing is guaranteed, but I’m hoping everything works out in our favor.”

-Courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, please visit www.ustrotting.com