The Little Brown Jug Radio Network aims to boost its racing coverage this year with the addition of Dan Telle, who will join the network for the entirety of race week at the Delaware County Fair.
Telle will serve as a co-host alongside Kelley Bell on the network, which will bring race fans live coverage of every race from every day at the fair, including the Ohio Sire Stakes Finals, the Old Oak and Bucket, the Juggette and the Little Brown Jug.
A native of Powell, Telle has spent much of his life immersed in the sport while growing up in a racing family. Telle’s father began his harness racing career in 1981, and the family took home the 2011 Little Brown Jug with winner Big Bad John.
Prior to coming back to Delaware County, Telle worked for five years at The Meadowlands track in East Rutherford, New Jersey, beginning as an intern before eventually accepting a full-time position working as a players representative and director of social media.
“It was a lot of fun with a lot of great people,” he said of his stint at The Meadowlands. “Sometimes the job was a little much. Not too much to handle, but a lot of hours put in at that track. But I worked with a lot of good people and a lot of good horsemen.”
Telle never believed his time around harness racing would include a radio stint, however brief, but after being asked to join the network for the fair’s biggest draw, he was happy to give it a shot.
“I normally go to the Jug just to enjoy myself,” he told The Gazette. “All the big horsemen from out east come over, and I get to hang out with them again. But I’m very excited and honored that I was asked (to join the broadcast) to begin with. I’m just hoping I don’t screw it up.”
Given that harness racing tends to appeal to older generations, Telle said he was asked to bring a “younger perspective” to the network’s coverage to attract a different demographic of racing fans.
“I’m all about that because I want my kids to see it whenever I have kids,” he said.
Asked about ways in which he believes the sport can better appeal to younger fans, Telle said having a bigger social media presence would be a good place to start. He added the most important thing is to get younger people to the track, and tracks need to make better attempts to entice them with things such as promotional nights.
He added, “On our show, it’s going to be less handicapping and more stories from people such as those who are experiencing the Jug for the first time and stories of that nature.”
The network will still feature the track calls of each race, as well as the price rundowns following the races. Of course, Telle has many established relationships with numerous people who will be heavily involved in the week of racing, and he hopes to be able to use those relationships to offer listeners first-hand accounts of what the week is like at the track.
Most importantly, Telle said he is simply happy to be back home and glad to have the opportunity to give back to an event and a town that has always been special to him. And if all goes well, Telle said he’ll be happy to join the broadcast in the years to come.
“I love being involved with Delaware as much as possible,” he said. “It’s the fairgrounds I grew up going to, and enough hooky was played when I was a kid so I could be at the track. … I just want to do right by Delaware because they’ve always done right by me.”
The Little Brown Jug Radio Network’s coverage of the races can be heard on 96.7 FM and can also be found using the Tune In app.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.