Updated on 09/16/2013 1:50PM

Jugette: Jerseylicious in a good spot to upset I Luv The Nitelife

Derick Giwner
Jerseylicious has hit the board in 15-of-18 starts this year.

Although her record in the big money races would say otherwise, when Jerseylicious lines up behind the gate for the first heat of the $257,750 Jugette at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, she may be in the best position to knock off the heavily favored I Luv The Nitelife.

Jerseylicious has the advantage of starting from post two, one spot inside of the horse to beat in the 42nd edition of the historic race. On a half-mile track that plays to early speed, Jerseylicious could be in an enviable position.

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“The two-hole is tough with two trailers, so we’ll obviously be pushing off (leaving),” said regular driver Corey Callahan. “I’m sure it will be a cavalry charge because you know David (Miller) won’t be taking back with Shebestingin. The good thing about post two is I probably won’t have to cover as much ground as some others.”

To date in 2013, Jerseylicious has eight wins and 15 on-the-board finishes in 18 starts for owners Legacy Racing of De Inc. and Pamela Curran. Yet not a single one of her victories has come in a race with a purse of $100,000 or higher. She has grinded out a healthy bankroll of $210,495 by picking up checks in four of her six stakes races.

With her ability to pace fast at both ends of the mile, the Jugette could be the perfect spot for Jerseylicious to get over the hump against elite competitors. Callahan for one believes the daughter of Western Ideal-Jet Lag N can beat the best.

“I definitely think she can (win at this level),” said Callahan.

Coming off perhaps her most disappointing effort of the season, an eighth-place finish in the Valley Forge at Pocono on August 17, Jerseylicious qualified back nicely in 1:53 2/5 at Philadelphia on September 10 to prepare for the Jugette start.

“She tied up in the Valley Forge but qualified back super,” said Callahan. “Wayne (Givens, trainer) told me to give her a run (in the qualifier) to see if she was good enough to go to the Jugette.”

For Callahan, who made an appearance in the Jugette with 91-1 shot Upfront Secret last year and also raced at Delaware in the 2009 Little Brown Jug with Mr Wiggles, any victory at Delaware would be a step in the right direction. The Maryland native has yet to find the winner’s circle in seven tries at Delaware and he’s hoping to get off the schneid.

“It would be nice to win there. I have a little more power now than in the past,” said Callahan, who is on pace to set new career highs in earnings and is second in the nation in wins with 461. The driver has often passed up the opportunity to drive an entire card to drive just one or two stakes horses on the Grand Circuit. “My goal all year long was to hit the $10 million mark. If things keep going the way they are I have a shot. It would be nice to be the dash leader in wins, but I’m not going to just go anywhere to do it.”

While the road to the winner’s circle in the Jugette clearly goes through I Luv The Nitelife, Jerseylicious has given her a run for her money on occasion. In the Miss New Jersey prep in July at the Meadowlands, Jerseylicious came uncovered and lost by just a nose in 1:50 3/5.

“I Luv The Nitelife has been tough to beat,” said Callahan. “I headed her that day (Miss NJ) and she came back. It was kind of my fault. When [Jerseylicious] strikes the lead she lets up a bit. I should have sat back a little longer.”

The accomplished I Luv The Nitelife has won 10 of 11 races this year with earnings of $852,350 for the team of trainer Chris Ryder, driver Tim Tetrick and owner Richard and Joanne Young.

Having dominated the 3-year-old filly pacing division thus far, I Luv The Nitelife faces a new challenge of having to race twice on the same day and win the second heat to take home the Jugette title. With the draw for the final dependent on each horses’ finish position in the first heat, none of the nine young ladies can afford to take it easy in the $103,100 first heat.

The 16-race Jugette card gets underway at noon and features a pair of guaranteed pick fours - $25,000 and $50,000. The first heat of the Jugette is scheduled as race 12 and all nine fillies will return for the second heat in race 16.

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Jugette 1st Heat - Wednesday 9/18 - Race 12

1 Social Scene B.Sears 5-1
2 Jerseylicious C.Callahan 10-1
3 I Luv The Nitelife T.Tetrick 4-5
4 UF Dragons Queen D.Palone 12-1
5 Carols Desire M.Kakaley 6-1
6 Macharoundtheclock Y.Gingras 15-1
7 Shebestingin D.Miller scratched
8 Belle Boyd J.Jamieson 25-1
9 Novascotia Hanover D.Miller 7-2
10 Parlee Beach B.Miller 15-1