Little Brown Jug briefs

McKee to receive Award

Long-time Little Brown Jug simulcast host, Sam McKee has been named the 2017 Joseph Neville Memorial Award honoree by the Delaware County Fair.

The native of Michigan, McKee started calling imaginary races as a young boy. His developed a pen-pal relationship with the Hall of Fame and Little Brown Jug announcer, Roger Huston. Huston’s mentorship helped shape McKee’s career.

The day after graduating high school, McKee was hired by Saginaw Valley Downs to serve as their track announcer. He later worked for Sports Creek Raceway, Raceway Park, Detroit Race Course and Northville Downs.

In 1990, McKee moved his family east to work at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. He served as the Big M’s co-announcer, simulcast director and TV coordinator. His distinctive voice would later be heard during the Grand Circuit meet at Lexington’s Red Mile.

McKee was inducted into the Communicators Corner of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2012. He also owned a spot in the Michigan Harness Racing Hall.

McKee died March 8, 2017 at the age of 54. He is survived by his wife, Chris, and three daughters – Meagan, Lindsey and Melissa.

Brower To Join LBJ Broadcast Team

The Little Brown Jug is pleased to announce that Dave Brower will host the popular simulcast television broadcast from Tuesday, September 19 through Jug Day on Thursday, September 21. Dave will be joined on the show each day by co-hosts Dave Bianconi and Wendy Ross.

Roger Huston will call the action for the 51st consecutive year and Jason Settlemoir is the back up announcer.

The Little Brown Jug telecast is eagerly anticipated by racing fans all year as the personalities discuss the racing and interview the trainers and drivers throughout the day.

“One of harness racing’s most beloved and iconic races is the Little Brown Jug, and I’ve been honored and privileged to broadcast two of them live nationally on CBS Sports Network in 2014-2015. Being asked to represent Ohio’s most famed race for their on track simulcast presentation is truly humbling,” said Brower.

“Following in the footsteps of Hall of Famer Sam McKee is a scary proposition, but I look forward to the challenge. Just to be asked is a tremendous honor, and I embrace it in the dedicated manner which he would wholeheartedly endorse.”

“Since my first visit to Delaware, Ohio in 1997, I have always loved the Jug, and the many fans who attend it. I can’t wait to work with colleagues Dave Bianconi, Wendy Ross, Jason Settlemoir, and the incomparable Roger Huston! We’ll try to make it fun for everybody.”

“We are extremely excited to have Dave join our broadcast team,” added Tom Wright, Director of Racing. “He is very knowledgeable and will enhance our simulcast product.”

The Delaware County Fair will race from Sunday, September 17th through Thursday, September 21st.

Top 10 Little Brown Jug Contenders

72nd Edition on September 21, 2017

Week #1 – August 9, 2017

1. Fear The Dragon (1:48.4s; $1,152,844)

Owner: Emerald Highlands Farm (OH)

Trainer: Brian Brown Driver: David Miller

2. Downbytheseaside (1:49.0; $1,113,322)

Owners: Country Club Acres (OH), Joe Sbrocco (OH), Richard M. Lombardo (OH) & Diamond Creek Racing (PA)

Trainer: Brian Brown Driver: Brian Sears

3. Filibuster Hanover (1:52.0f; $255,483)

Owners: : Burke Racing Stable (PA), Weaver Bruscemi (PA), Joseph DiScala, Jr. (NY) and J&T Silva Stables (NY)

Trainer: Ron Burke Driver: Matt Kakaley & Yannick Gingras

4. R J P (1:51.2; $237,941)

Owners: Burke Racing Stable (PA), Weaver Bruscemi (PA), Jack B. Piatt II (PA) and Prunel & Libby (FL)

Trainer: Ron Burke Driver: Yannick Gingras

5. Blood Line (1:50.3f; $198,754)

Owner: Diamond Creek Racing (PA)

Trainer: Jimmy Takter Driver: Mark MacDonald

6. Funknwaffles (1:50.4h; $499,933)

Owner: Crawford Farms Racing (NY)

Trainer: John Butenschoen Driver: Corey Callahan

7. Classic Pro (1:51.0s; $306,002)

Owners: Ian Moore (ON), R G McGroup (NB) & Serge A. Savard (QC)

Trainer: Dr. Ian Moore Driver: Trevor Henry

8. Miso Fast (1:49.2f; $351,059)

Owners: Burke Racing Stable (PA), Weaver Bruscemi (PA), Our Horse Cents Stable (PA) and J&T Silva Stables (NY)

Trainer: Ron Burke Driver: Matt Kakaley

9. Chip Walther (1:50.3; $187,688)

Owners: Ervin Miller Stable (PA), Paymaq Racing (IL), Nick Surick Stable (NJ) & Louis A. Willinger (KY)

Trainer: Erv Miller Driver: Marcus Miller

10. Heaven’s Gait (1:49.0s; $140,409)

Owner: John R. Cummins (KY)

Trainer: Nicholas DeVita Driver: David Miller & Jordan Stratton

Upcoming Events

August 12 Nfld Carl Milstein Memorial

August 13 TgDn Empire Breeders Championship Eliminations

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Announcer Sam McKee. Sam McKee.

By Jay Wolf