68th Edition of The Little Brown Jug
September 19, 2013
2012 - Jeff Gural, chairman of Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs and the managing member of LLC which has leased The Meadowlands, has been elected the 28th Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame honoree. "This is a big honor for me. To be honest, my favorite two days of the year are when I come to Delaware for the Jugette and Little Brown Jug. Honestly, it is very depressing when the Jug is over because I will have to live another 363 days before the next one. I always say to myself, I hope I make it another year. I look forward to a lot funâ€¦.and I like the junk food too." Gural grew up on Long Island near Roosevelt Raceway. "In those days harness racing was very popular and when I was in high school, I started going to Roosevelt and Yonkers with my friends." Gural also owns and manages two Standardbred farms, one in Stanfordville, NY and the other in Litchfield, PA. Mr. Gural has been an owner and breeder of horses for over 35 years. In 2011, he had 35 mares and 25 yearlings. In 1990, Gural co-owned Jugette champion Lady Genius along with Robert Bencal, Douglas A. Cass and David Stolz. "David and I grew up together and after he moved to Columbus, OH, we get together for the Jug. We have a great time." Stolz' company designs and prints the cover of the Dalaware race programs. Gural also has raced horses in the Old Oaken Bucket and the Buckette, three-year-old stakes for trotting colts and fillies. "I haven't raced in the Jug because most of my horses are trotters." The 2012 Wall of Fame honoree also sponsors the Ms Versatility Aged Mare Trot Final each year during the Delaware Grand Circuit. Gural was elected to the little Brown Jug Society board of directors in 2010. Gural has also received the 2006 Proximity Award from the U.S. Trotting Association, the 2004 Lee Anne Pooler Unsung Hero Award from the U.S. Harness Writers Association, the 2006 Stanley Bergstein Messenger Award from Harness Tracks of America, and the 2006 Frederick L. Van Lennep Award from the Hambletonian Society. Jeffrey is also the chairman of Newmark Knight Frank, a full service commercial and industrial real estate management firm. Jeffrey and wife Paula, who live in Manhattan, have three children and six grandchildren. "You know what makes Delaware and the Little Brown Jug so great is the large crowd, the county fair atmosphere which is a throw back to the old days, and heat racing. Heat racing is the most exciting racing there is."
2011 - Paul E. Spears, chairman of the board of Hanover Shoe Farms and executive vice-president of the Standardbred Horse Sales Company, has been elected as the 27th Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame honoree. Spears grew up in Reynoldsville, PA, a small town in northwestern Pennsylvania. "I worked on Dad's farm and I learned to ride a horse when I was 6 years old." Spears has been a member of the Little Brown Jug Society since 1988, a director of the Hambletonian Society, a trustee of the Hall of Fame in Goshen, NY, the Pennsylvania Standardbred Breeders Association and former president of the Pennsylvania Live Horse Racing Council for Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds. The former amateur driver was also the first president of the Billings Amateur Driving Association. Spears and wife Josephine have been attending the Delaware Grand Circuit for many years. "What a tremendous thrill it has been to watch horses we bred and sold win the Little Brown Jug." Fourteen Hanover Shoe Farm-bred pacers have captured the Little Brown Jug, including Ensign Hanover, who won the inaugural in 1946. Spears lives in Hanover, PA but also owns land in Orangeville, PA which has a creek for fly casting and a woods for deer hunting.
2010 - Phil Terry, general manager and director of marketing for the Delaware, OH County Fair, has been elected as the 26th Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame honoree. In 1968, as a student at Ohio Wesleyan University, Phil helped direct traffic at the Delaware Fairgrounds. Now, 42 years later, he was selected as the 2010 Wall of Fame honoree by a panel of national and international harness racing enthusiasts. Terry will be officially inducted and presented a commemorative gold ring at the Mayor's Breakfast to be held at the Hospitality Pavilion at the Fairgrounds on the morning of September 22, the date of the Jugette Pace. The breakfast will get underway at 7 a.m. I am extremely honored to be associated with the past Wall of Fame honorees, said Terry. When I look at the accomplishments of those past winners, I am humbled to think that I should be considered with them. I am a lucky guy to be involved with the Little Brown Jug. It has opened many doors. Among Phil's major accomplishments have been the financing and construction of the Lavern Hill Jugette Barn, the Hospitality Pavilion and the Tack Shack. Terry also created and oversees simulcasting, the Future Jug Pool and the Little Brown Jug Fantasy Stable Contest.
2009 - Joe Thomson, breeder of Little Brown Jug winners Bettor's Delight and No Pan Intended and master of Winbak Farm, has been elected as the 25th Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame honoree by a panel of national and international harness racing enthusiasts. "I love coming to Delaware and being with longtime friends, Tommy Thomson and Phil Terry," said Thomson. "Tom is one of the few Thomsons in this country who spells his name correctly. Tom and Phil approached us in 2006 to take over the sponsorship of the Magical Mike Pace. That first year Ponder set a World record of 1:49...what a start." In 1991, Joe and wife JoAnn founded Winbak Farm in the Maryland horse country near Chesapeake City, a short distance from Baltimore and Philadelphia. "We bought Winfield Farm, where the Thoroughbred Northern Dancer was born. The contract prohibited us from using the name Winfield, so we shortened it to Win and then used the names of our three kids, Bradley, Ashley and Kimberly to complete the name Winbak," explained Thomson.
2008 - Dr. J. Glen Brown, owner of the 1981 Little Brown Jug winner Fan Hanover, is the 24th Little Brown Jug honoree as selected by a panel of national and international harness racing enthusiasts. The Brampton, Ontario native becomes the sixth Canadian to be honored by the Little Brown Jug. Dr. Brown is also a member of the Hall of Fame at Goshen, NY and the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Dr. Brown will be officially inducted and presented a commemorative gold ring at the Mayor's Breakfast to be held in the Hospitality Pavilion at the fairgrounds on the morning of September 17th, the date of the Jugette Pace. The breakfast will get underway at 7 a.m. I am quite honored, said Dr. Brown. who served as president, general manager and chairman of the board of Armstrong Brothers Farms in Ontario. I am very surprised. I did not expect such an honor. Dr. Brown received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1957 and soon became farm manager and veterinarian for the fledgling ABC Farms started by Elgin and Ted Armstrong. Under Dr. Brown's guidance, Armstrong Brothers became one of North America's leading Standardbred Farms.
2007 - The 23rd Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame honoree is Jules Siegel of New Hope, PA. Siegel who breeds and owns Standardbreds with wife Arlene, was elected by a panel of harness racing experts. "This is exciting, but there are many other people more qualified than me." It is appropriate that Siegel will receive his gold ring on Jugette Day because he has owned the last two winners of the Jugette, Just Wait Kate in 2005 and Eternity's Delight in 2006. "The Jug is a throwback to what racing was and should be today," said Siegel. "The Delaware County Fair is the most exciting event in (harness) racing. My wife and I bring guests to Delaware each year who are not even involved in harness racing and they enjoy the racing as much as we do. Everything about Delaware is a credit to the sport. Siegel stands four stallions at Fashion Farm, Hambletonian winner Tagliabue, Dan Patch award winner Broadway Hall, Real Artist and 2005 Little Brown Jug runner up Village Jolt. The Siegel's campaigned each of those four stallions.
2006 - Ron Waples, a two-time Little Brown Jug winner, has been elected as the 22nd Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame honoree. The Toronto, Ontario native was elected by a panel of national and international harness racing enthusiasts and is the sixth Canadian to be honored. Waples will be officially inducted and presented a commemorative gold ring at the Little Brown Jug breakfast at Ohio Wesleyan University's Hamilton-Williams center on the morning of September 20th, the date of the 36th Jugette Filly Pace. This is quite an honor to be elected to the Wall of Fame. My goal was always to win the Little Brown Jug. It was unbelievable when I drove in my first jug in 1982, said Waples, who is also a member of Canada's Hall of Fame and the Living Hall of Fame in Goshen, NY.
2005 - Mrs. LaVerne A. Hill, vice-president of Scioto Downs and widow of the late Charles Hill, founder and former chairman of the board at Scioto Downs, became the 21st Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame inductee. "I can not think of a more fitting person to receive this year's award. LaVerne has done so much for harness racing at Delaware," said Mayor's Breakfast Chairman H.C. "Chip" Thomson. Mrs. Hill has won the Harness Tracks of America's prestigious Messenger Award and the U.S. Harness Writers' President's Award. She is also a director of the Little Brown Jug Society and Harness Tracks of America. Mrs. Hill also donated the funds to build the new Jugette Barn at the Delaware County Fairgrounds.
2004 - Howard Beissinger, a native Ohioan and one of the top trainers of trotters, was selected at the 20th Wall of Fame inductee. The Hamilton, Ohio native if a 1974 member of Harness Racing's Hall of Fame in Goshen, NY and became a member of the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1977. Beissinger's list of horses is a "who's who" of the trotting sport including 1969 Triple Crown winner Lindy's Pride; the 1971 Hambletonian winner Speedy Crown; and 1978 Hambletonian winner Speedy Somolli. He also recorded 11 stakes victories at Delaware including 1982 Little Brown Jug elimination heat winner Temujin.
2003 - William O'Donnell, driver of back to back Little Brown Jug champions - Nihilator (1985) and Barberry Spur (1986), has been selected as the 19th Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame inductee. The Springhill, Nova Scotia native is a 1986 member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and was enshrined into Harness Racing's Hall of Fame in Goshen, NY in 1990. During his 33 year career, O'Donnell has amassed over 5,500 career victories and his horses have earned over $95.7 million in purses, third on the all-time list behind fellow "Wall of Famers," John Campbell and Mike Lachance. O'Donnell was the Harness Tracks of America "Driver of the Year" in 1982 and 1984. O'Donnell was the regular pilot for three Horses of the Year, Fancy Crown (1984), Nihilator (1985) and Staying Together (1993). The "Magic Man" also captured 13 Breeder's Crown titles and the 1985 Hambletonian Final with Prakas.
2002 - Thomas Walsh, Jr., A standardbred owner for more than 40-years, the Woodbury, New York native co-owned two Little Brown Jug champions Magical Mike (1994) and Armbro Operative (1996). Walsh and his Shadow Lane Farm have also campaigned such stars as Conway Hall, Bold Dreamer, Victory My Way, McClusky and Miles McCool. Walsh has been a generous patron of several industry efforts and was presented with the United States Harness Writers' Association William Haughton Good Guy Award in 1998. Walsh's generosity helped establish the Magical Mike Invitational Pace at the Delaware County Fair and is largely responsible for the building of the Little Brown Jug Barn that houses the Jug starters. Walsh is also the owner of Colonial Wire and Cable, a manufacturer of electrical wiring products, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Standardbred Retirement Fund, the Harness Racing Museum and TIMES: In Harness, an industry trade publication.
2001 - Michel Lachance, Hall of Fame driver and a four time winner of the Little Brown Jug. Lachance has won nearly 9,000 races and his drives have collected over $129 million in purse earnings over a 34 year career. Lachance has won nearly every major stakes race in North America, including three Hambletonian finals and 21 Breeders' Crown events. The St. Augustin, Quebec native realized a lifelong dream by winning back-to-back Little Brown Jugs in 1988 and 1989 with B J Scoot and Goalie Jeff. He also captured Jug glory with magical Mike (1994) and Western Dreamer (1997). Lachance has visited the Delaware County Fairgrounds winner's circle a record thirteen times in 42 jug starts. In 1995 Lachance received the sport's ultimate honor, when he was elected into the Living Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York.
2000 - Roger Huston, longtime track announcer of the Little Brown Jug and Delaware County Fair, has brought countless race fans to their feet with his booming voice, flashy attire and exciting stretch calls. The Xenia, Ohio native has announced more than 126,000 races on three continents and in September will call his 34th Little Brown Jug. He has also been enshrined in the Harness Racing Hall of Fame and received the Golden Pen award from the Harness Publicists Association.
1999 - H. Charles Armstrong, is the Honorary Chairman of the famed breeding farm, Armstrong Brothers. The "Armbro" prefix has visited Delaware's winners circle many times, including Jug champs Armbro Operative ('98) and Armbro Omaha ('74) and Jugette "queens" Armbro Romance ('98) and Armbro Feather ('87).
1998 - George Segal. There is nothing that George Segal likes to do better than breed and race Standardbreds. For nearly a quarter of a century he has immersed himself in the sport he learned to love as a young man growing up in the New York City borough of Queens. George's credits are amazing! He bred and raced 1992 Horse of the Year Artsplace and bred 1996 Hambletonian winner and Horse of the Year Continentalvictory. He also bred and owned 1993 Little Brown Jug champion Life sign and Jugette winners Three Diamonds, Leah Almahurst and So Fresh. He also raced 1992 Jug heat winner and runnerup Western Hanover, the sire of 1997 LBJ trophy winner Western Dreamer.
1997 - Charlie Bowen, a third generation Standardbred enthusiast, was the 1997 Little Brown Jug Society's Wall of Fame honoree. Bowen, who was director of special events for the Delaware County Fair through 1997, had been associated with the Little Brown Jug since 1947. ("Hank Thomson put me in charge of the winner's circle ceremonies.") But, Charlie has made his mark as Director of Special Events which translates into raising funds to promote and develop Grand Circuit harness racing at the Delaware County Fair. During his tenure, Charlie had been largely responsible for raising the necessary funding of the new paddock, log cabin, hospitality pavilion and the latest project, the Little Brown Jug Horse Barn.
1996 - When a young driver from London, Ontario, showed up at the Delaware County Fairgrounds Track in 1981 to see if he too could sip from the heralded Little Brown Jug, there was no reason to think he'd be any different. But John Campbell showed that first impressions aren't always accurate. Twenty-five years after driving in his first Little Brown Jug, Campbell is, without question, the dominant figure of his sport. With more than $138 million in career earnings and more than 7,000 victories - including three Brown Jugs - Campbell is a portrait of confidence and success. The 1995 season saw Campbell capture the North American money-winning title for the 12th time overall, and the ninth time in 10 years. When Campbell's regular ride, David's Pass, had his season cut short by injury, Campbell picked up the reigns of Nick's Fantasy. In the Brown Jug - their first race together - all Campbell did was bring the 3-year-old gelding home in a race-record time of 1:51.2. That win followed Jug triumphs in 1993 with Life Sign, and 1982 with Merger. Although Campbell has driven many champions in his career, his accomplishments behind a trio of trotters are his most noteworthy. The colts Mack Lobell and Pine Chip, and the filly Peace Corps are among the best of all times. Campbell has come so far so fast - he already is in the Harness Hall of Fame - but he hasn't forgotten harness racing's rich traditions. And nowhere does that mean more than at Delaware.
1995 - He never trained a harness horse or drove a two-minute mile. He doesn't sit in the front row at yearling sales or oversee a million-dollar stud farm. Yet as the Little Brown Jug celebrates "the fastest 50 years in racing," it looks forward to another 50, thanks in great part to W.D. "Tom" Thomson. Following in the footsteps of his late father Hank - the 1985 honoree - Thomson has pointed the Jug toward the 21st Century, modernizing the pacing classic without it losing its quaint county fair charm and rich tradition. From his position as Director of Racing, a title he's held since 1973, Thomson oversees all that makes the Jug one of the most recognized sporting events in the world. He was instrumental in bringing regional and national television coverage to the Jug, organizing an extensive simulcasting operation, and making continual upgrades to the Delaware racing plant and equipment. At the same time, the Delaware County native has resolutely made sure the race loses none of its history and tradition. When not overseeing the Jug or the family-owned Delaware Gazette newspaper, Thomson serves as an ambassador for the sport as president of the Grand Circuit, a position he has held for four terms.
1994 - For more than 50 years the influence and commitment to the harness racing sport and industry has earned Corwin Nixon deep respect in Ohio and throughout all North America. President of the United States Trotting Association, he has been a leader not only in harness racing but also in politics and public and community service. Over the years, Nixon used his experience as manager of Lebanon Raceway, his many sessions in the Ohio House of Representatives where he served as minority leader, and as an officer of the USTA to effect progressive changes in harness racing. His business connections include the Citizens National Bank in Lebanon and the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce. He has owned and driven a number of standardbreds, the most outstanding being Smolder, Lass Hanover, Yankee Belle, and Gail Ann. A director of the Harness Tracks of America, he was inducted into the Ohio Harness Hall of Fame in 1986; the Living Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y. in 1993; and the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame in 1990. Nixon received the Harness Horsemen International Appreciation Award in 1989 and was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree at Ohio University in 1986.
1993 - Former Ohio Governor, James A. Rhodes will always be remembered for - among his many accomplishments in public life and service -the great support he has given to harness racing and the standardbred sport. Rhodes, who served an unprecedented four terms as the state's chief executive, still follows the sport with as much interest as during his days in the Ohio Statehouse. Much of the credit for the Ohio Sires Stakes program, established in 1976, can be directly attributed to Rhodes' efforts. He signed legislation which led to the creation of the program which has won national recognition. Rhodes remains in the forefront in promoting harness racing in Ohio and throughout the nation. An avid follower of the Little Brown Jug, he has participated in the stake's winner's trophy presentation for more than three decades.
1992 - Gene Riegle carries more than ample credentials to the Jug Wall of Fame. Already a member of the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame, Riegle was recipient of the sport's highest honor when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Trotter at Goshen, N.Y. Riegle's career took off in 1952 with the top pacer Red Sails, and it really blossomed in 1958 when he piloted Mr. Saunders to a 2-3 finish in the Hambletonian. In 1993 Life Sign, trained by Riegle, won the Jug. Since that time, Riegle has developed top horses in assembly-line fashion, cranking out some of the sport's best known and most popular performers on an annual basis.
1991 - Stanley F. Bergstein first became associated with Delaware Grand Circuit racing and the Little Brown Jug when, in the 1960s an emergency brought him to the track as the announcer, a post he held for several years until becoming executive vice-president of the Harness Tracks of America, a position he has held since 1961. Bergstein is the only person ever named to both harness racing's Hall of Fame - its highest honor - and its Writers Hall of Fame. Other awards include 1971 Harness Horseman of the Year, U.S. Harness Writers Proximity Award, and the National Clem McCarthy Good Guy Award. He was the first recipient of the Harness Publicists' Golden Pen Award and the Harness Horse Youth Foundation's Service award.
1990 - John G. Hayes, Sr., became the first Canadian to be selected to the Jug's Wall of Fame. Long one of Canada's premier horsemen, he was most prominent in 1972 when Canadians became active in the standardbred sport. Hayes' claim to fame is his training success. In 1971 he developed Strike Out, a $15,000 purchase. The son of Bret Hanover came on to earn 2-year-old honors as the best colt pacer in North America. In 1972, Strike Out claimed 3-year-old honors of the year after winning the Little Brown Jug in a record 1:56.3 and The Adios.
1989 - Stanley F. Dancer, from the legendary harness racing family in New Jersey, drove three Jug champions, Henry T Adios (1961), Lehigh Hanover (1962), and Most Happy Fella (1970). Dancer drove in 23 Jug heats with nine victories and finished out of the money only once. His 1:57.1 and 1:57.3 victories behind Most Happy Fella were at that time an all-age world record, three heats divided. Among the long list of super stars campaigned by Dancer, were Cardigan Bay, the sport's first millionaire; Henry T Adios, Triple Crown winner; Most Happy Fella and trotting's Triple Crown champion Super Bowl.
1988 - John F. Simpson, Sr., now manager of the famed Hanover Shoe Farm in Hanover, Pa., was one of the most successful trainer-drivers in the sport of harness racing. Simpson drove three Jug winners and trained and drove two winners of the Hambletonian. During the 1950s and 60s, Simpson supervised one of the largest stables on the Grand Circuit and was annually one of the leading drivers in the country. Victorious in the Jug with Noble Adios in 1956 and Torpid on a stormy day in 1957, Simpson was the first driver ever to win back-to-back Jugs.
1987 - Delvin G. "Del" Miller is another of the all-time greats of harness racing and is often referred to as the Ambassador of the Sport. Miller's illustrious career started in Burgettstown, Pa., in 1929 when he drove his first race as a 16-year-old high schooler. A most talented trainer and driver, Miller was in the bike behind great horses like Dale Frost and Countess Vivian and later Delmonica Hanover, Tarport Hap, and Speed In Action. In 1963 Miller founded The Meadows, still the home of the Adios Pace for 3-year-olds. Miller recently retired as president of the Grand Circuit, a post he held for more than two decades.
1986 - William R. "Billy" Haughton was fatally injured in a driving accident just months before he was to be honored. Haughton has been rated as one of the greatest trainers and drivers in the sport, has a particular spot in Jug annals, as the only driver to take down five Jug champions. And he trained the great Nihilator. A Hall of Famer, Haughton achieved records in harness racing that would require volumes to catalog. Winner of seven Messenger Stakes and four Hambletonians, Haughton's green and white silks accounted for 4,910 race victories and $40.2 million over a 40-year career. His earnings totaled more than $1 million in each of 19 years, a record.
1985 - Henry C. "Hank" Thomson, Delaware newspaper publisher, was one of the co-founders with the late Joseph Neville of the Little Brown Jug Society which sponsors harness racing's most prestigious 3-year-old colt pace. A member of the Harness Horse Hall of Fame, Thomson was one of the most respected leaders of the sport and industry. A quiet nuts-and-bolts man, Thomson used an even hand to guide the Society in its formative years. He deserved full credit for the outstanding success of Grand Circuit racing each September at Delaware.