ST. PETERSBURG — Tmc's Trail Boss eats a 21/2-pound, high-protein meal daily that includes meat, macaroni, vegetables and vitamins. His appetite for winning is equally hearty.
The Filipelli & O'Donnell Kennel sprinter puts his undefeated qualifying record on the line tonight in the $85,000 Sprint Classic at Derby Lane. He is in Race 10 at 10:07, one of two third-round 550-yard events. The other unbeaten greyhound, McAllister Kennels' Flying Mancini, is in Race 6 (8:51).
Tmc's Trail Boss, a 31-month-old brindle male with outstanding box speed, has won seven consecutive races and 15 of his past 20, including the $10,000 Matinee Idol on Jan. 24, his only stakes title.
"This dog is definitely a speed dog and probably has the most speed of anybody on the racetrack," kennel owner-trainer John Filipelli said. "He has developed into a stakes-caliber greyhound."
Early in his career, Tmc's Trail Boss struggled against top dogs. It took him 33 starts to win at Grade A. Since Nov. 22, he has led at the first call in 18 of 20 races by 55 total lengths. His best time at 550 yards is 30.49 seconds. "For a dog to consistently break like that is phenomenal," Filipelli said. "It's a bit of a surprise that he can be this consistent and hold on as long as he has."
Owned by Eddie McDonald of Texas, Tmc's Trail Boss finished third in the $8,000 Inaugural Stakes on Jan. 3. He has 30 wins from 82 lifetime starts. His sire, Lonesome Cry, was a two-time stakes champion and top winner at Derby Lane in 2003.
Tmc's Trail Boss' maturation has sparked Filipelli & O'Donnell in the kennel standings. Trailing front-running McAllister Kennels by 28 wins on Nov. 12, Filipelli & O'Donnell had surged to within 357-354 of McAllister entering Friday. "It really takes more than one dog to pull up that kind of slack," Filipelli said. "We have a number of Grade A's that can win; that's always a huge factor."
TAMPA BAY DOWNS: The $65,000 Wayward Lass Stakes (Race 8, 3:43 p.m.), a 11/16-mile race for fillies and mares 4 years and older, heads today's 11-race card at the Oldsmar thoroughbred track. … Vanquisher, conditioned by TBD's Gregory Griffith, and Oldsmar graduates Buffalo Man and Delightful Kiss are entered in the Grade III $150,000 Canadian Turf Stakes (Race 8, 4:43 p.m.) at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach. The Grade II $250,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes for 3-year-olds is on that card (Race 9, 5:14 p.m.). … Entries close today for the Tampa Bay Derby on March 14. The Daily Racing Form reports Sam F. Davis beaten favorite Free Country is not expected to run, but Nick Zito-trainee Nowhere to Hide may be entered.