DELAWARE, Ohio — Vegas Vacation won the Little Brown Jug late Thursday, beating Urbanite Hanover by two lengths in 1:50 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds.
It was the second straight Little Brown Jug victory for trainer Casie Coleman, who won with Michael’s Power in 2012.
In the second heat, driver Brian Sears went first over and got Vegas Vacation to the front at the three-quarter mark in 1:22. Vegas Vacation came home in 28 seconds to earn the victory in the second leg of the three-year-old pacing Triple Crown.
“He is a big strong horse and I was OK with the start.” Sears said. “He was coming into the race very well, so I was very confident … Once I got through the turn and got him straightened up, he was on his way.”
After the first elimination, Coleman changed the shoes on Vegas Vacation.
“The shoeing change (to steel shoes) made a big difference. I knew he was sticking to the track,” said Coleman. “Plus, I shortened his hobbles by a half inch.
“I have my extremely nice horses, I have a great staff behind me,” she added. “I just want to say this horse was awesome.”
Vegas Vacation has won nine times in 15 starts this season and now has $902,898 in career earnings after collecting $256,382 with Thursday’s victory.
Vegas Vacation, with Sears driving, took the first elimination with a three-wide move at the three-quarter mark, winning by 2 1/4 lengths in 1:50. Lucan Hanover, driven by David Miller, won the second elimination by 3 1/2 lengths, in 1:49.4. Miller also made a three-wide move at three-quarters to get to the top.
Resistance Futile, a 24-1 shot, made a big move past the half mile to win the third elimination in 1:49.3. Driven by Corey Callahan, Resistance Futile won by 5 1/2 lengths.
Lucan Hanover, also trained by Coleman, was third in the final. Resistance Futile broke stride and finished eighth.
Captaintreacherous won the Cane Pace, the first leg of the Triple Crown, at Tioga Downs on Sept. 2, but did not race in the Little Brown Jug. Ownership told Little Brown Jug officials the group had decided to focus on other races
The third leg of pacing’s Triple Crown is the Messenger Stakes on Nov. 2 at Yonkers Raceway.
OCEANPORT, N.J. — Sierra Ancha rallied in the closing strides to beat In God’s Country by a neck in the $60,000 Charles Hesse III Handicap at Monmouth Park on Saturday.
Ridden by Shannon Uske and trained by Ed Barney, the four-year-old gelding ran the 1 1/16 miles on a good track in 1:45.920 and returned $27.40, $12.20 and $6. The win was the third in 13 career starts for Sierra Ancha, who has now earned $134,125.
In God’s Country paid $15.40 and $6.20, while Crafty Concorde was a neck back in third and returned $3.40.
NEW YORK — Cluster of Stars improved to 6 for 6 with a mild upset of Dance to Bristol on Saturday in the $300,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap for fillies and mares at Belmont Park.
Making her first start since winning the Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct in April, Cluster of Stars shot right to the front and controlled the pace as the 3-1 third choice. Dance to Bristol, winner of seven in a row and the 2-1 favorite, rallied for second, five lengths behind the winner.
Javier Castellano, who had five wins on the card, was aboard for trainer Steve Asmussen as Cluster of Stars ran the 6½ furlongs in 1:15.75, paying $8.20, $4.00 and $2.80.
Dance to Bristol returned $3.60 and $2.50, while Dance Card paid $3.20 as the 5-2 second choice.