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. Kids still playing for all the marbles — literally

    Human Interest

    In this world of pompous athletes, overbearing coaches, money-grubbing owners and a win-at-all-costs mindset, it's easy to become jaded.

    Eli Murphy, right, leans in to give Sierra Ricci the traditional king and queen kiss at the National Marbles Championship in Wildwood, N.J. Both of Allegheny County Pa., they won the girls and boys championship of the 94th annual National Marbles Tournament. [Associated Press]
  2. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  3. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  4. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary season

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    fit test: Top draft pick Cal Foote puts on his Lightning jersey.
  5. Rays designate catcher Derek Norris for assignment

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — C Derek Norris tied a career-high with three hits in Friday's 15-5 win against the Orioles then was designated for assignment after the game to make room on the 25-man roster for C Wilson Ramos.

    Matt Duffy is expected to resume his baseball activities once the stitches heal.