In the crowd on the opposite page are some of the keenest followers of horse racing in the world, but ask them their views on Nashua or Swaps or any other thoroughbred and you may draw a blank expression. They are harness-horse fans, a breed whose numbers grow each year as the sport of sulky racing wins increasing acceptance around the country, and they are gathered here at the Delaware, Ohio County Fairgrounds for the climactic event of the pacing year—the Little Brown Jug classic for 3-year-old standardbreds. Like the Hambletonian, the comparable event for 3-year-old trotters which annually packs the little town of Goshen, N.Y., the Little Brown Jug draws entries and spectators to little Delaware from as far away as the East and West coasts. The winner's prizes: the 3-year-old championship, a purse of $67,000, and a pottery jug for the mantelpiece. For prospects in next week's race, see page 17.
Neck-craning, stand-up crowd of 42,000 follows pacers' approach to starting line (above) for first race in Jug Day card. Closeup (below) shows how mobile, collapsing gate brings horses to the line in post position and on gait
Rhythmic grace of pacers is epitomized by Noah Hanover (No. 8) as Driver Joe O'Brien, winner of 1955 Hambletonian, urges colt on from spread-eagle perch on bouncy, bike-wheeled sulky
With nostrils distended and heads straining against taut reins, horses try for brush speed as close-packed field pounds through turn and straightens out for stretch drive