Little Brown Jug Week starts on Monday 15th and traditionally there has been a small yearling sale to kick off the festivities. This year the sale has increased dramatically in numbers as the benefits of OHIO slots boosts the interest in Ohio breds - the reverse of what has occurred in Ontario and ironically the Ohio experience is based on the now defunct Ontario Slots at Racetracks program.
This sale has never been of much significance serving primarily as an opportunity to get horsemen involved in Jug Week in advance of the big race on the Thursday. There still is not a lot of significance in this sale either and if you take out the 60 head by first crop sire Big Bad John, and the 25 by Ohio's current hot pacing sire Feelin Friskie there is really not a lot of value in the pacing consignment.
The trotters are even more forgettable unless again you are interested in the current top trotting stallion Chip Chip Hooray with 25 yearlings and a new stallion Triumphant Caviar with 24. There is also a handful by Pilgrims Taj who left Ontario after one crop and now has 7 on hand here. I believe he is now in Finland and based on his Ontario racing crop that is probably a blessing, and not necessarily for the Finns.
Big Bad John is by Western Hanover and joins 35 others currently at stud by that sire. His maternal side of Artsplace - Big Towner is not shared by any of them and indeed the only same sire maternally is Mr Saratoga by Million Dollar Cam with a few racing in Ontario. There are other sires that we can use however to construct a profile including Dragon Again (Abercrombie - Towners Big Guy), Memphis Flash (Big Towner - Abercrombie) and Allamerican Merlin (Big Towner - Abercrombie). Based on the common elements in the dams of their top performers to date here is what I see.
1. Non Meadow Skipper line broodmares that are inbred to the Meadow Skipper line through sons, the Albatross line and the No Nukes line. (43%)
2. Linebred Meadow Skipper mares with an Albatross line 2nd or 3rd dam (35%)
3. Cam Fella line dams with an Adios/Abercrombie line 2nd or 3rd dam or a broodmare sire with a dam through Adios (18%)
4. Mares with maternal combinations of Abercrombie and Big Towner (4%)
Big Towner maternally, although not essential, would be considered an asset.
The percentages are the collective results of the top 16 offspring of the comparable sires so give this some priority in your selections. Having said that I must admit there is one colt that I really like that falls under the #4 profile factor. He is called Big Cool John and from a mare by Real Artist, a sire by Artsplace from a Big Towner mare.
As noted the trotters are an indifferent bunch mostly from dams with low percentage crosses. There are always a few gems to sift for like a full sister to a winner of $470K that is however an 11th foal and an interesting Pilgrims Taj called Taj For All.