Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Derby Lane releases partial stakes schedule

ST. PETERSBURG — Ken Lesperance wears a lucky tie. Kayruth Abernathy has on a favorite dress. Malcolm McAllister is attired in dark colors. Stakes nights are special for kennel trainers and owners at Derby Lane. They dress up for the occasion, anticipating results that could impact their operations immensely. Trophies are nice, but paychecks are dandy.

"Picking up a win or good finish in one of our major stakes in a real nice shot in the arm for some of these guys who are average, hard-working people," Derby Lane racing secretary Jerry Miller said. "A nice chunk of change in a tournament can go a long way for improving their business or even surviving in these days."

The first part of Derby Lane's $375,000 stakes schedule has been released. Two of the St. Petersburg track's richest races — the $75,000 660-Yard Challenge (Dec. 4-18) and the $50,000 Fall Sprint (Sept. 18-Oct. 2) — headline the Tampa at Derby Lane meet that runs through Dec. 31. The meet's other stakes is the $20,000 Fall Juvenile (Oct. 30-Nov. 13).

Stakes dates for the meet that runs Jan. 1 through June 30 are expected to be announced soon. Miller said the $8,000 Inaugural will kick off the track's 86th season Jan. 1. Other stakes: $80,000 Distance Classic, $64,000 Sprint Classic, $30,000 St. Petersburg Derby and $10,000 Consolation Derby, $20,000 Gold Trophy Juvenile, $10,000 Matinee Idol and $8,000 T.L. Weaver Memorial Challenge. The season's first stakes was July 2 with Charter kennel's Special Purpose winning Night of Stars XXIII.

Miller said stakes money is generated from two sources: $200,000 out of purses through the kennels and $175,000 from Derby Lane. "The (kennels') deduction is before we run purses with $3,846.15 a week coming off the top," he said. "It's a total contribution from the kennels as a whole, rather than based on who's earning more."

Of the 16 kennels at Derby Lane, two have dominated recent stakes. McAllister and the defunct Filipelli & O'Donnell (now separate operations) have combined to win the four richest races 11 of 12 times over the past three seasons. D'Arcy kennel was the exception, winning the 2008 Sprint Classic.

"Big breeders and good suppliers, who are known for quality, tend to be successful," Miller said. "There's a reason why (Vince) Berland keeps cranking out champions, why the (Barney and Pauline) O'Donnells can keep producing … and the Kay Smiths. It's reflected in the number of All-American (dogs) they have over the course of their business careers and the number of stakes wins. It's been a long time since some of those guys in the back have won a stakes race. Those are the guys that are running every day for that weekly check, rather than the big payday once a year."

Derby Lane releases partial stakes schedule 07/30/10 [Last modified: Friday, July 30, 2010 8:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning edges Red Wings on road

    Lightning Strikes

    DETROIT — The digs were different, the Lightning seeing the masterfully-done new Little Caesar's Arena for the first time.

    Lightning center/Red Wings’ killer Tyler Johnson gets past defenseman Trevor Daley on his way to the first goal of the game.
  2. Armwood pulls away to defeat Plant 27-7, remain undefeated


    SEFFNER — First-year Armwood coach Evan Davis pulled out all the stops to get his team psyched for Monday's annual grudge match against Plant.

    Armwood defensive end Malcolm Lamar (97) gets fired up before the start of the game between Plant High School Panthers and the Armwood High School Hawks in Suffer, Fla. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.
  3. Bucs journal: Dirk Koetter says Vernon Hargreaves needs to improve


    TAMPA — The Bucs now rank 31st in the NFL in pass defense, allowing 301 yards per game in their 2-3 start, and coach Dirk Koetter was asked Monday how concerned he is with the play of second-year CB Vernon Hargreaves.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick, throwing an incompletion under pressure after replacing injured Jameis Winston against the Cardinals,  would start this Sunday in Buffalo if Winston’s shoulder is still bothering him.
  4. Backhand shot makes Nikita Kucherov's offense even more dangerous

    Lightning Strikes

    DETROIT — Nikita Kucherov is on a historic streak, just the fourth player in the past 30 years to score a goal in each of his first six games.

    Nikita Kucherov’s backhand shot adds to his strong scoring.
  5. Rick Pitino officially fired by Louisville amid federal corruption probe


    In an expected move, the University of Louisville Athletic Association's Board of Directors on Monday voted unanimously to fire men's basketball coach Rick Pitino. The decision came 19 days after Louisville acknowledged that its men's basketball program was being investigated as part of a federal corruption probe and …

    In this Oct. 20, 2016, file photo, Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino reacts to a question during a press conference in Louisville, Ky. Louisville's Athletic Association on Monday officially fired Pitino, nearly three weeks after the school acknowledged that its men's basketball program is being investigated as part of a federal corruption probe. [AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File]