09/16/2014 10:59AM

Little Brown Jug: Seekman still high on Let's Drink On It

Chris Gooden
Let's Drink On It drew the rail in the first Little Brown Jug elimination.

Drawing the rail at the Delaware County Fairgrounds almost draws a bigger cheer than actually winning a race. When pre-race favorite McWicked landed the pole position for Thursday’s $647,500 Little Brown Jug, it immediately cast the spotlight upon him. There was little fanfare surrounding the other horse that managed to land inside in the other division of the first heat. Let’s Drink On It has been mired with some horrible racing luck this year, but he’ll have a chance to turn his season around from the rail.

“Sure I’m glad he drew the rail,” said Joe Seekman, who trains the son of Art Official.

“He’s been hampered all year drawing bad spots.”

Indeed most recently Let’s Drink On It drew the outside post eight in the $260,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship at Harrah’s Philadelphia. The draw took him out of the picture both figuratively and literally, as driver Tyler Smith and the horse circled the track and finished last.

“You’re not going to pass these horses when they are going (1):48 miles with :53 back halves,” said Seekman, all too aware that such has been the plight of his talented colt all season long.

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Let’s Drink On It has won five of his 14 starts this year including a 1:48 3/5 victory at the Meadowlands, but for the most part he’s been shut out in major events and while discouraging, has not diminished his trainer’s belief.

“Tyler (driver Smith) said he’s as good as he’s been all year,” said Seekman, who shipped to Delaware on Monday and will try to prepare his horse for the heats required to win the Little Brown Jug.

Seekman came to Delaware in 2008 with Meadowlands Pace winner Art Official. He also drew the rail in his elimination heat and was victorious, but could not deal with Shadow Play going overland in a back half of :54 seconds over the speed-favoring Delaware half-mile track.

“Art Official wasn’t as handy as this horse,” Seekman said. “Let’s Drink On It may be a little quicker, but I don’t think he has the same motor as his dad.”

Ironically Art Official found his way into the Jug in 2008 in the same manner Lyonssomewhere has this season.

“We didn’t stake him on a half-mile track,” Seekman said, recalling Art Official’s three-year-old season. “The only way we were going to be able to race in the Jug was to supplement to the Cane Pace and win it.”

Despite not having half-mile track experience, Art Official did capture the Cane and earned a chance to supplement and race in the Jug.

Lyonssomewhere, by virtue of his Cane supplement and victory, has drawn into the same division as Let’s Drink On It with post seven. The colt showed explosive speed leaving the gate in his Cane triumph at Tioga and will certainly test Let’s Drink On It and others in this division of the first heat.

“There are some good ones in there,” said Seekman. “From the rail I know we’re going to be close to the action.”

On paper Let’s Drink On It landed in the weaker of the two divisions, with McWicked (post one) and Meadowlands Pace winner He’s Watching (post 6) landing in what appears to be the more stacked division.

McWicked has been quite impressive over the course of the year and looks to give trainer Casie Coleman a third consecutive Jug victory, having scored with Michaels Power in ’12 and last year with Vegas Vacation.

McWicked’s field has earned more than $2.7 million collectively this year while Let’s Drink On It’s division has banked just $1.2 million as a group.

The top four finishers in each elimination heat will return for the second heat. If neither first heat winner captures that race, a third and decisive race-off will occur with the three heat winners battling for the title.

The Little Brown Jug, sponsored by Fazoli’s, will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network on Thursday at 5:00 pm. The program is scheduled to run live to 6:30 pm but should a third heat race-off be necessary, the final will be seen live at approximately 7:00 pm. Gary Seibel and Dave Brower will co-host the program.

Post time for the Little Brown Jug card is 11:00 a.m. on Thursday.