Heavily favored Betting Line captured the Little Brown Jug under a cloud of controversy on Thursday after the discovery of text messages that implied the winning horse may have been given an unauthorized supplement. Betting Line beat Western Fame going away by eight lengths in a 1:49 world record for 3-year-old pacing colts on a half-mile track in the third leg of harness racing's triple crown. It was the largest margin of victory in Jug history, and he did it facing just five competitors, the smallest field since the Jug was first raced in 1946. For hometown driver David Miller, it was his fourth trip to the Jug winner's circle, and it was the third win for Canadian trainer Casie Coleman.
FRANKLIN, Ky. — Frank Smothers is the state’s oldest racing official, last week completing yet another meet as Kentucky Downs’ jockeys’ room custodian. He’s not the guy sweeping the floor, but custodian in its broader sense of being a guardian or protector, overseeing the jockeys and valets. Smothers, who has been in horse racing since 1943, also turned 90 years old during the Kentucky Downs’ meet, a proud veteran of World War II and Korea. He has been the jocks’ room custodian every meet since 1994, with Kentucky Downs shuttered for two years in the late 1990s. Now, it’s a closing-day rite when Kentucky Downs’ officials ask, “You are coming back next year, right, Frank?” And Smothers responds,
The most accomplished of this year's American 3-year-olds – Songbird, Exaggerator, Nyquist, Cupid, Gun Runner and Cathryn Sophia – are on the track this weekend as things start to sort out for the onrushing Breeders' Cup World Championships. The 3-year-old action centers on Parx Racing in Pennsylvania, with a pair of seven-figure purses. But it also extends to the Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park and to the turf at Laurel Park and Woodine. International competition includes Breeders' Cup-qualifying juvenile heats – with Lady Aurelia in one – and the cavalry charge of the Cambridgeshire Stakes, all at Newmarket in England. There are important Group 1 events in Australia, Italy and Germany. With