ST. PETERSBURG — His signature move was a fast finish. The end of his racing days came in a comparable manner.
Flyin Bridgeport, the top distance greyhound in the country in 2007, is on his way to Abilene, Kan., one week after a career-ending injury at Derby Lane.
At Flying Eagles Farm, he will be a stud dog for owner Vince Berland.
The white brindle male out of a litter by Kiowa Sweet Trey and Flying Harriet suffered a dropped muscle to his right hind leg in a Grade A race Aug. 2, moments after leaving the 660-yard starting box for McAllister Kennels.
"Once you drop a hind muscle, you're done (racing)," kennel owner Malcolm McAllister said. "As soon as he came out of the box, I knew exactly what it was."
The injury occurs when the gracilis muscle, located on the inside of the thigh, pulls away — entirely or partially — from its attachment at the hip, causing the muscle to drop.
Flyin Bridgeport ran in more than 100 races at five tracks but excelled at Derby Lane. The 31/2-year-old distance standout won 36 of 89 starts and three stakes. He became the third greyhound in track history to win two Distance Classics (2007-08), and he captured the 660 Challenge (2007) and was runnerup in the Derby Lane Million Consolation (2007). Flyin Bridgeport was voted the recipient of the Flashy Sir Award as the nation's top distance dog and to the All-America team, both in 2007.
Trained by Barbara McAllister, Malcolm's wife, Flyin Bridgeport featured a wide, late-running style.
"He never ran three-eighths before he got here," Malcolm said. "We found out he was a natural when we put him over there. He was the best three-eighths dog I've ever had."
At Derby Lane, Flyin Bridgeport won 34 of 69 starts at 660 yards after posting two victories in 20 starts at 550 yards.
TBD Connections: Tampa Bay Downs graduates Dreaming of Anna and Meribel are among nine fillies and mares entered in the Grade I $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes today (Race 9, 4:50 p.m.) at Arlington Park in Illinois. The 13/16-mile turf test is on the Arlington Million undercard. … Seaside Retreat, who finished fifth to Bluegrass Cat in the 2006 Sam F. Davis Stakes, won the Grade II $300,000 Nijinsky Stakes on Monday at Woodbine Race Track in Toronto, his first graded stakes victory. He set a track record on the 11/4-mile turf course of 2:00.60.
Steroids: States that fail to adopt a steroid ban in horse racing by Jan. 1, 2009, could lose their graded stakes status. The American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association passed a new eligibility requirement this week that would penalize states if they don't adopt the proposed ban. At least 10 states have already approved the model steroid rule.
Arlington million: Front-running Sudan will miss the 26th running of the Arlington Million with an injured tendon. "He was fine when he galloped" on Thursday, trainer Bobby Frankel said. "But when we scanned him (Friday) we discovered that the horse had bowed a tendon."