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Putting the flimflam on the slickers from the city
Pete Axthelm
October 02, 1967
When it's time for the Little Brown Jug, Ohioans know that the thing to do is hustle the strangers and beat their horses, as Jim Hackett did
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October 02, 1967

Putting The Flimflam On The Slickers From The City

When it's time for the Little Brown Jug, Ohioans know that the thing to do is hustle the strangers and beat their horses, as Jim Hackett did

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"Who in hell would have moved off the rail?" Hackett said. "Here I am, right behind Romulus, and he can outbrush every horse I've ever seen. I figured I could wait till he beat off Nardins Byrd and then go out after him."

Haughton was just as surprised. "My horse wasn't rough-gaited that time," he said. "He just didn't show any speed, and he's never done that before." Then he looked at Romulus, who was shivering in his stall, and called for his veterinarian, Dr. John Steele. It took them only a minute to decide that the colt was sick. Calmly and quietly Haughton walked toward the paddock judge to scratch the fastest horse he's ever driven. Owner John Froehlich's reaction again showed why he is one of the most deserving men who ever owned a great horse. Froehlich won one Jug 12 years ago, but was not there to see it. This time he had brought a large entourage from Brookville, N.Y. "Anything you and Billy decide is fine," he told Steele. "I'm in no hurry to run him if he's not right."

With Romulus out the third heat was virtually a match race between Nardins Byrd and Best of All. Eddie Cobb took an. early lead with Honest Story, but Hackett made a decisive move near the quarter to take command. Moving from third on the last turn, Nardins Byrd gave his usual game effort but weakened near the wire. "After that bad luck in the second heat," Hackett said, "I knew I had the best horse, so I took the lead early to stay out of trouble. I never did have to whip him in this heat." Hackett and Huttenbauer, a popular sportsman from Cincinnati, agreed that it was their finest moment in 18 years together, and Del Miller spoke for many horsemen when he said, "It's always a good thing when people like these win a big one."

But Miller, like Grant, is a Pennsylvania outsider. It took Curly Smart, the colorful horseman who won the very first Jug in 1946 and is now semiretired in Delaware, to sum it all up for his son-in-law Hackett: "You flimflammed those New Yorkers on the right day and in the right place—right here at home."

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