by Dean Hoffman
Landslide came into the 1981 Jug as the king of the sophomore pacing colts. The Little Brown Jug seemed to be his for the taking. After all, he’d never been beaten in his racing career. He was trained and driven by the classy horseman Eddie Lohmeyer.
Landslide had been a $290,000 yearling, but did not race as a 2-year-old. He possessed a royal pedigree as he was by the reigning stallion king Meadow Skipper and a half-brother to the top pacer Silent Majority. Landslide had everything going for him.
To be sure, there were other talented colts aiming at the Jug. Seahawk Hanover was among the strongest challengers, but there were also Eastern Skipper, Slapstick, and Conquered. There was even the filly Fan Hanover, the first female to challenge the Jug colts in 15 years.
Since the Jugette was started in 1971—and even five year before that—- no filly had risked roughing it with the colts. Pacing fillies simply were seldom capable of competing with their male counterparts. But a team of two Glens—trainer-driver Glen Garnsey and owner J. Glen Brown—felt that Fan Hanover deserved a chance.
It proved to perhaps the wildest Jug of all. In the first elimination heat, Landslide fell — quite literally — from the ranks of the unbeaten when he was involved in a backstretch accident and he was among the three horses that did not finish. Seahawk Hanover sailed home free to victory.
Fan Hanover took the second and weaker elimination for Garnsey.
In the second heat, Seahawk Hanover was made the 4-5 favorite since he had post one while Fan Hanover was second choice at 2-1. In a remarkable instance of déjà vu, another backstretch accident took out half the field including Seahawk Hanover.
Garnsey and Fan Hanover skirted the fracas of falling horses and tangled sulkies and paced their way into the history books as the only female winner of the Delaware classic. More than three decades later, she retains that title.
This year’s 69th Annual Little Brown Jug is brought to you by Fazoli’s