The stakes week begins early and unfolds through Saturday with high-powered events, including the beginning blasting with action at our Breeders Crown Countdown blog on Wednesday and continuing here on Thursday with The Little Brown Jug. Significant opportunities run through Friday and Saturday on both sides of the North American border. Features are covered here, along with TwinSpires’ horses-to-watch (H2W) list. Prepare to fire for profits aplenty. ‘JUG’-BAND BATTLE The 15 soph-colt pacers in the 2019 Little Brown Jug on Sept. 19, make for a scrappy group, primarily because they are of average ilk among the glamour-boy division. Anyone reading their names is quick to notice the names missing before measuring those involved in two $128,000 elim heats. For weeks, the “Jug” PR department promoted their early choice was Captain Crunch, even as the colt faltered. Then, Bettor’s Wish, who continued to dominate the division, had a microscopic defeat in the Messenger to American Mercury. The loss disqualified instant entry into the Jug for the scathing colt. Also absent and also more accomplished are Best In Show, Captain Victorious and a few we have been tracking who may have been peaking for the event—Wild Wild Western, Yacht Week and Proof. Bettors may applaud the evenness of the rag-tag group and should be ready for supporting promising returns for playing the elim heats. Again this year, we concentrate on the elims, since the final—however the field develops—rarely promises prices worthy of play. JUG ELIM ONE Southwind Ozzi came from out of nowhere to win enough races and money for favoritism in the Adios. The colt is not eligible for the Breeders Cup and has not shown the level of class displayed to become a Jug favorite, yet he inherits the status from the absence of better horses. Bettors will hammer “Ozzi” in the first elim, while he remains vulnerable to at least four others in the field. Shake That House, for one, is in line for a big mile. Air Force Hanover is a perfect spoiler on the lead or in a duel, US Captain will make the final one way or another and too much speed through the first three turns could all but hand the race to Stag Party, who has thrived on closing late to make money during a dismal winless soph season so far. What makes a case for an upset so appetizing is the speed involved in this elim. Fiery three-quarters will make it more advantageous to be leaving from an outside post. That scenario enriches the chances of US Captain first and Stag Party second. That is our predicted outcome. It is one that may mean nothing come the final (the two favorites can still make the final by losing to our predicted duo in any order) but mean everything to our bankrolls. JUG ELM TWO This is being considered the softer elim, giving American Mercury the nod as the public’s top dog. Again, there is much to promote the stakes strangers involved against his win. In that club is Erv Miller’s Artie’s Ideal, a well-bred, high earner this season, who has hit the board 10 of 12 times, making more money than Escapetothebeach, Tony Alagna’s colt leaving from post 8. But for a few noses, heads and necks, Artie’s Ideal could have won nine of 12. This way, however, he will not get strong support, which is good for us and bad for American Mercury. The best thing about this elim for bettors is its full field, a matter that should send the race into action with a hugely imbalanced win pool that focuses upon American Mercury, giving any number of upset scenarios better chances. INDIANA LEGS The seventh leg of the Indiana Sires Stakes (INSS) for soph-colt trotters goes to post on Sept. 19. Two $47k divisions ensue. Beating It’s A Herbie is the goal of the seven against him in this mile, barring no unforeseen predicaments, Martini Show is the one and only that can do it. A stalking trip may be the key, or he just may feel better this night and have a few more steps in him, but that is the betting plan. It is also time for a homegrown trotter to beat Swandre The Giant. He may very well be done already this season if we assess his awful performance in Canada last weekend. Our best candidate for the upset is DG’s Caviar. He has made his late start this season into six wins of eight races, any one of those victories good enough to beat the “Giant” and the rest here. MONI MONI The $135,000 Moni Maker for soph-filly trotters is one of a few high-powered stakes on the Sept. 20 Hoosier program. Six of the division’s big earners bring on the speed. Evident Beauty comes off of her rare 9-1 victory and should get some heavy backing in this short field of six. Grand Swan, locally bred, has as many wins as “Beauty” and gets the hometown support. Last week, Sister’s Promise got tangled up early and was disappointing to those who enjoyed her strong win the week before. Then again, she raced to her odds, which were nowhere near reflecting a good chance to repeat. Whatever went wrong, we are going to toss that race and look for a pricey upset that mirrors the race of two weeks back. BEACH BATTLE The $170,000 Jenna’s Beach Boy stakes (Hoosier, Sept. 20) is for soph-colt pacers, although its namesake was dynamic through three campaigns. Workin Ona Mystery chose to race in this, passing the portrait-turned-postcard Little Brown Jug. He is bound to be the favorite here, though he is far from a standout. Little Rocket Man has won 10 or 14, which makes up for what he doesn’t match in the “Mystery” earning column. Century Farroh is the top earner. But, Rockie Got Framed may be the overlay. Mostly due to the popularity of the others and a 9 post launch, “Rockie” won’t get the respect he has earned on this circuit. He will, however, reward well those who support a win here. CAESARS CHARIOTS Aged trotters go for a whopping $230,000 in the Caesars Trotting Classic on the Sept. 20 program. Sharp bettors will play it “to bury the number, not praise it.” That number could come in the form of cashing a powerfully paying exotic from the field of 10 top ground-stomping trotters. The trio that should offer the best exotics in one position or another includes Crystal Fashion, Mission Accepted and Six Pack. Leaving Guardian Angel AS and Hannelore Hanover and Fiftydallarbill out of the top three should assist in making the exotic payout numbers big. Those three will collect supporters based on various biases that handicapping cannot prove worthy. Price is our priority, so we feel our trio has a better chance than the odds will reflect, which totals a fine payoff. DERBY DAYS DONE The $176,000 Hoosier Pacing Derby on Sept. 20 is one of the last big stakes for most of the horse pacers involved before Breeders Crown competition. Lather Up is still missing (what’s the deal?) but McWicked and This Is The Plan shouldn’t mind; they will share favoritism in his absence. And the rest? Jimmy Freight looked tired bouncing off a big win; Miso Fast is not so fast; Dorsoduro Hanover finally got a win last week among the weak; Filibuster Hanover has not kept up with this crew; Geez Joe is fresh but no good enough; Endeavor likes Hoosier but not these foes; Donttellmeagain rarely repeats; and On Duty is not up to the command. Where does that leave us? It means we are stuck with the top two and a short price could look bigger once they prove themselves best. METRO TRAFFIC Looking beyond Capt Midnight in the $750,000 Metro Pace Final for frosh-colt pacers at Woodbine/Mohawk (WoMo) on Sept. 21 is darn near reckless. Then, looking beyond YS Mathis as second seems as foolish. This is no event to “take a shot” on a wild-card upset. In fact, based upon your own judgment of the prices that will be offered for the top two choices, you may want to sit back and watch one of two endings. The first will be a super-speedy-record-setting win by Capt Midnight. The other will be a product of unpredictable circumstances based on luck and the lack of it. LADY OF GREATNESS The Sept. 21 She’s A Great Lady Final for the frosh-filly pacers at WoMo, on the other hand, deserves the consideration. Alicorn won the first elim easily but not with as much strength as the second-elim winner, Lyons Sentinel. That one looked as if he could have beaten Alicorn under most circumstances if the two elims were a single race. Get a jump on a good exacta, too, by keying Lyons Sentinel with Sneaky Peaky. Leaving out Alicorn, at least from the first two spots, will pay well. H2W Legend Review our choices and follow the wagering at the prescribed track. These are possible contenders we have judged from reviewing races. The horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track after the date they will be racing. The race in which they are entered (R and race number) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name it means it is appearing on the list for the second (and last) time because it failed to win the first time it appeared. An “ae” signals the horse is entered on the also-eligible list. If a horse is listed twice, refer to the entries on the night of the race since a horse may enter in more than one race. Types of wagering on any of the H2W listed horses are based on your judgment. If you have any questions, email us at TwinSpires. H2W LIST Batavia 9/20/19, +Praying Fay R3; A Wish For Wings R9 9/21/19, Hes A Love Shark R4 Dayton 9/20/19, +Manhattan Beach R8 9/21/19, +I Am Will R13 Freehold 9/20/19, Nippy W Hanover R4; Newyournewyork Deo R5; Common Sense S R7 Hawthorne 9/21/19, Heidi High R6; Maximus R10; Perch R11 Hoosier 9/19/19, +Backup A R3; Southern Swagger R3 9/20/19, +Merga Hanover R5; +Sherry Lyns Lady R8 Monticello 9/19/19, Sandnista R3; Relentless Dreamer R5 Northfield 9/20/19, Jetomatt R1; Rockin Kasbah R9; St Lads Maggie Mae R13; Here Comes Harlee R14 9/21/19, Northville 9/20/19, +Casimir Quiche R6; +Calm As Can Be R7 Plainridge 9/19/19, Bestfillyintown R2; Massive Lightning R3; +Motown Hall R12 Pocono 9/21/19, +Iwillmakeyousaywow R4; +Bondi Hanover R5 Saratoga 9/19/19, +Iced Out R12 9/23/19, Tioga 9/21/19, +Jenkins Creek R7 Vernon 9/21/19, Hand Off Frank R3; +O’brockoli R6 Yonkers 9/20/19, +Southwind Cruze R11