Burgess can Tell All he's Jug champ

ROB LONGLEY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:40 AM ET

With a pair of runner-ups and a third for good measure, Blair Burgess has had his share of pacers good enough to win the Little Brown Jug.

The Campbellville trainer learned a long time ago, however, that it also takes a big heap of racing luck to win one of the most treasured events in harness racing.

It finally came yesterday when Tell All and Jody Jamieson rocketed around the tight half-mile oval at the Delaware, Ohio, County Fair to give both Canadians their first Jug win.

"Blair Burgess is going to the hall of fame one day, that's for sure," Jamieson, the leading driver on the Woodbine/Mohawk circuit said, in a phone interview last night.

"I'm glad to say I'm the first guy to get him his first North America Cup and his first Little Brown Jug. It's an honour."

Burgess, whose inaugural second-place finish was with Amity Chef 21 years ago, has had an incredible run the past two years.

Tell All's win in the Jug and the North America Cup at Mohawk in June came on the heels of a 2006 campaign in which Burgess won trotting's biggest race, the Hambletonian, with Glidemaster.

Yesterday he got some help with a cool and savvy steer from Jamieson.

After a tough, parked out trip in the first heat which Tell All captured in a gruelling 1:503/5, he earned the rail for the final and never let another horse get by him.

Better still, Jamieson slowed the pace enough to keep betting favourite Always A Virgin locked hopelessly in second place for most of the mile.

When the runner-up finally shook loose in the closing strides, it was too late, allowing Jamieson and Tell All to score a half-length win in a time of 1:52.

Both Jamieson and Burgess have bigger races money-wise, including Tell All in the $1.5 million N.A. Cup. But this day, in front of an overflow crowd of 51,411, was worth more than the cash for both Canadian horsemen.

"It's a pretty emotional experience," Burgess said.

"Money doesn't mean anything on this day in Ohio," Jamieson said. "It's all about the prestige."


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