02/05/2015 2:16PM

Meadowlands: Teague hopes for big things from undefeated sophomore

Wiggle It Jiggleit has won both career starts and will try his luck at the Meadowlands on Saturday.

Wiggle It Jiggleit has been just a little bit impressive in winning his only two career starts – beating his foes by a total of 18-1/4 lengths – but George Teague Jr. needs to see a little bit more from the 3-year-old pacer.

“The horse is going to have to do more than that for me to be super impressed,” Teague said with a laugh. “But he seems like a real nice horse. He’s got a great set of lungs, a high rate of speed and he’s a really, really intelligent horse. He’s got all the qualities, he just has to stay sound, and get lucky.”

Teague, who owns and trains Wiggle It Jiggleit, will get a better look at the gelding in Saturday’s first round of the Sonsam Series at the Meadowlands. Wiggle It Jiggleit, who was limited to one start last season because of soreness, faces a field of 4- and 5-year-olds in the event.

He will start from post six with Montrell Teague handling the driving. Escort Series champion Company Man is also in the field, starting from post seven.

A total of 20 horses, split into two divisions, entered the Sonsam’s first round. Escort runner-up Major Uptrend is in the second division, starting from post eight. Wiggle It Jiggleit is the only 3-year-old in the first round of the event.

The second leg of the Sonsam Series is scheduled for Feb. 14 and the estimated $75,000 final is Feb. 21.

“It’s going to be a little bit of a tall order to race against those horses, but I’m hoping it gives me an idea what I’m staking for,” Teague said. “I think he’s worthy of staking. He dealt with a little bit of colt soreness (last year) so I couldn’t get a good gauge whether he was a top-tier colt or just a horse. So I’m starting him up a little early to try to get an idea.”

Wiggle It Jiggleit is a son of stallion Mr Wiggles out of the mare Mozzi Hanover. Teague owns both horses and raced both horses during their careers on the track. Mr Wiggles won the 2009 Hoosier Cup and finished second in the Breeders Crown and Adios.

“I had the mom and dad, which makes it fun for me,” Teague said. “Mr Wiggles to me was a very impressive racehorse. He had a couple issues that he overcame. I know he gave a hundred percent. He was always one of my favorites. Of all the horses I’ve had, he was one of the toughest horses that I put on the racetrack.

“(Mozzi Hanover) was the favorite in her Lynch (Memorial) elimination, but she came up sick and had some issues of her own. But she was a very talented filly.”

Last year, Wiggle It Jiggleit won two qualifiers – by a total of 27-1/4 lengths – before capturing his debut by six lengths in 1:51 2/5 on Aug. 31 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. After sitting out the remainder of the campaign, the horse returned on Jan. 25 with a 1:52 victory at Dover Downs.

“His first race was a very impressive race, I will say that,” Teague said. “He came first over at Pocono and never dropped the bit. The other night was virtually the same. I knew I was heading to the Meadowlands so I wanted to tighten him up a little bit. He won and did it like he’s supposed to.”

Teague could have continued to race Wiggle It Jiggleit last year, but didn’t want to push it.

“I didn’t want to take any chances and end up hurting him for this year,” he said. “It worked out good. I was able to put him away earlier, get him sounder, and get him back together early this year to see what I’ve got. He seems as good as some of the better horses I’ve trained in the past.

“The game plan is not to do too much now. I want to give him three or four starts right now and see if he’s good enough to stake to some of the other races. He reminds me of his dad. He appears to be a real serious horse.”

Teague’s longtime assistant Clyde Francis, who co-owned Mozzi Hanover during her racing days, is listed as the trainer of Wiggle It Jiggleit for Saturday’s start at the Meadowlands.

“Clyde told me over the summer that this horse reminded him of some of the best horses we ever had,” said Teague, who trains a stable of 25 horses, focused on homebreds, in Delaware. “He called it. He liked the horse from the beginning and I’d like to see him get a little recognition.”

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