The hoof prints of some of the greatest pacing stars are imprinted in the historic track at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, and this year will be no exception. When the gates open to kick-off Little Brown Jug week, the excitement will be felt around the world.  Though “The Great American Harness Race” will be conducted without spectators, fans will be able to watch and wager on the 2020 Grand Circuit Week, September 20 through the 24th, through its simulcast network. 

Bret Hanover’s Statue (Jennifer Leslie Photo)

Now in its 75th year, the third leg of harness racing’s Triple Crown has spotlighted Pennsylvania stars, both human and equine. The sensational Bret Hanover made his mark in Jug history by pacing in a scorching 1:57 after 24 hours of steady rain forced track maintenance to scrape the entire racing surface. Foaled at Hanover Shoe Farms out of Brenna Hanover by Tar Heel and sired by the dynamic Adios, the winner of harness racing’s Triple Crown was voted United States Horse of the Year three times. Winner of 62 of 68 starts, he is buried at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. A statue that had been at Castleton Farm now adorns his gravesite. (Photo)

Hall of Fame driver Dave Palone, winner of over 19,000 races in his illustrious career and the winningest driver in North America, piloted P Forty-Seven to victory in the 2005 Little Brown Jug. “It was a great feeling, winning for such good friends, C. Ed Mullinax and Kelly O’Donnell”, Palone said enthusiastically. “Everybody dreams of winning the Jug, so it was very special.”  Bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, P Forty-Seven clocked a 1:52.1 winning time.  

This year, The Meadows Racetrack and Pennsylvania will once again be in the forefront, as Adios winner Catch The Fire heads to Ohio to make his mark in history. Trained by John Ackley and owned by Charles Taylor for CT Stables, the colt out of Captaintreacherous will have regular driver Mike Wilder and the entire Wilder family cheering section on hand. Mike is excited for the opportunity, singing the praises of the colt. “He’s a very special colt that has given us a thrill for the last two seasons”, he said, adding that he is always excited to drive him. Wilder is equally complimentary of the colt’s connections. “They have been exceptional in every way to work for, just a dream come true!”  

As “Jug Week” approaches, the horses, trainers, grooms, and drivers will be traveling to the famed track, looking to make their dream come true. In a year where everything is turned upside down, one thing is certain…the fans will still be cheering for their favorites, no matter where they are watching! 

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