In the first elimination, Catch Driver Mike Gagliardi guided Bret's Star, another Haughton entry, to victory in 1:58, catching favored Title Holder at the top of the stretch and winning by nearly six lengths. Bret's Star has a lot of speed but is sometimes unruly. "He shows so much speed that every once in a while he'll make a break," said Gagliardi.
The second elimination went the way Billy Haughton wanted it. Boyden Hanover took the lead just before the half-mile pole but Armbro Omaha caught him halfway up the stretch and won going away in 1:57. Young Peter, meanwhile, could do no better than fifth in the same heat with Keystone Presto.
For the final his father put Peter behind Belmont Shadow, the horse Billy had driven to a third-place finish in the first elimination. That gave the Haughton stable three horses in the showdown. It helped.
George Sholty pushed Boyden Hanover quickly on lop although he was trying to save him as much as possible. Bret's Star had started poorly and would never be a factor, so Sholty's scheme for making a stretch drive appeared sound. But after the half-mile pole, Pete Haughton came challenging up on the outside, his father right behind. Rather than let Pete take the lead, which would mean the Haughtons could put a tag on Sholty reading "Do Not Open Until Christmas," Sholty urged Boyden Hanover on.
Billy did the same thing to Armbro Omaha, and he responded beautifully, even though they had to go three-wide to get up to Sholty and Boyden Hanover. They caught the leader at the top of the stretch and from there until a few steps before the wire the horses were neck and neck. The time was 1:58[4/5].
"I had him where I wanted him when he went three-wide, but he was too strong," said Sholty. "It's hard when you have to beat three of the Haughton entries, but that's racing. You have to beat them all."
And that is what Billy Haughton has been doing this year. At the Little Brown Jug, nothing had changed.