Sunday, May 20, 2018
Sports

Capabal kennel brings fast trio to Remembrance Stakes

ST. PETERSBURG — Imagine all three Capabal kennel greyhounds battling for the lead as they enter the stretch Monday in the $20,000 Remembrance Stakes at Derby Lane.

"I'd feel pretty good (if that were to happen),'' kennel owner Henry Parker said. "I just want to win it. … I'm not looking to run 1-2-3. Anything else (after a win) would be a plus.''

For the first time in his career, Parker, 62, a native of Plattsburgh, N.Y., will have three starters in a stakes championship race when Brian Ernst, David Lopez and John Valazquez — pups all named after thoroughbred jockeys by New England breeder-owner Raymond Thurber — run in the inaugural edition of the 550-yard event.

The Remembrance, which pays $9,000 to the winner, will be the feature (Race 10, 2:47 p.m.) on the Memorial Day matinee performance. The Remembrance replaced the former Fall Juvenile Stakes — a race that Parker won in its final two years with Lagro Cc Nance (2015) and Joey Rightywhity (2014).

When entries were submitted for the Remembrance, Parker did not expect to have all three dogs move through four qualifying rounds and advance to the finale.

"But I kept drawing (good) post positions (in qualifying), and I became pretty confident,'' Parker said.

Brian Ernst and John Valazquez tied for second in the point standings with 50, eight behind leader Rt's Bo Jangles of Derby Lane's leading kennel, Cal Holland. David Lopez was fifth with 32.

"Valazquez is kind of streaky,'' Parker said. "He's like Joey Ice (2014 All-America team captain and Rural Rube winner as the nation's top sprinter). … When he gets on a roll, he's pretty fast.

"Brian Ernst has got a little finish to him, too. I've got to get David Lopez outside, and get him out (in front).''

Brian Ernst and David Lopez are littermates by Thurber's stud dog, Street Credit.

Of the three Capabal entries, John Valazquez has the most familiar name. He is named after two-time Kentucky Derby winner and Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, and opened the Remembrance with three consecutive victories.

"The key is I don't want to get those dogs jammed down on the inside,'' Parker said. "They can run from the inside, but it's been tough. (Running) from the outside, I'll be pretty happy.''

Belinda Parker trains the Capabal trio.

The only time that Henry Parker has finished 1-2 in a Derby Lane stakes race was in the 2011 Fall Juvenile, where 11-1 shot Jw Rapid Strike rallied to beat Se's Chewie by a neck.

The field from the rail: John Valazquez, David Lopez, Fiesta Ironman (Burk Greyhounds), Brian Ernst, Rt's Bo Jangles, Ozark Mike (Burk Greyhounds), Poweroftraction (Nova) and Jeff Sessions (Farmer Racing).

"Funny things happen in finals,'' Parker said. "But I've won quite a few stakes races if things go good. If you don't get there, you don't have a chance.''

Comments
For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo again as “the opener”

For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo again as “the opener”

The Rays were so pleased with how their Saturday night experiment went with veteran reliever RHP Sergio Romo pitching the first inning – as "the opener" – before giving way to LHP Ryan Yarbrough that they are going to do it again today.Th...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Softball: Scouting the Academy at the Lakes vs. Lake Worth Christian semifinal

Softball: Scouting the Academy at the Lakes vs. Lake Worth Christian semifinal

Academy at the Lakes (24-4) vs. Lake Worth Christian (10-3)Where: 11:50 a.m. Monday at Historic Dodgertown, Vero BeachHow they got thereAcademy at the Lakes defeated Seacrest Country Day 11-1, defeated Canterbury 5-1Lake Worth Christian defeated...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Playing .500 ball is obviously no goal, and the Rays certainly know that.But given where they came from, that terrible 1-8 start that oozed into 3-12 and 4-13, climbing back to the respectability of .500 would be an accomplish...
Published: 05/20/18
Lightning defeats Capitals, can clinch Stanley Cup berth in Game 6

Lightning defeats Capitals, can clinch Stanley Cup berth in Game 6

Tampa Bay Lightning center Cedric Paquette (13) celebrates his first period goal after beating Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby (70) 29 seconds after the start in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final of the Stanley Cup Playoffs Saturday...
Updated: 5 minutes ago
Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The first part of the Rays' new and unusual pitching plan worked so well Saturday, as game "opener" RHP Sergio Romo struck out the first three Angels hitters, that the Rays will do it again on Sunday.That's right. Romo will st...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/20/18
Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay withstood Washington’s barrage

Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay withstood Washington’s barrage

TAMPA — A two-goal lead was suddenly only one, and the Washington Capitals, having pulled their goalie, had a furious 96-second siege.Andrei Vasilevskiy made the last three of his 28 saves to preserve the Lightning's 3-2 victory Saturday in Gam...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/20/18
Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay’s early surges carried the day

Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay’s early surges carried the day

TAMPA — Dan Girardi knew where the puck was heading. It was heading to Alex Ovechkin for a one-timer on net, so Girardi did the only thing he could do. He blocked it.With his rump."It hit me right in the cheek," said Girardi, the Lightning defe...
Published: 05/19/18
Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 3-2 victory in Game 5

Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 3-2 victory in Game 5

TAMPA — Faster than Justify down the stretch at the Preakness, quicker than Harry and Meghan walked down the aisle at Windsor Castle, the Lightning jumped on Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final. No runaway gallop. No funny hats. Just ho...
Published: 05/19/18
Lightning-Capitals: How Ryan Callahan and his linemates overwhelmed the Caps

Lightning-Capitals: How Ryan Callahan and his linemates overwhelmed the Caps

TAMPA — They're called grinders. Pluggers. Checkers.They're lunch-pail guys. Like 9-to-5ers. They get up every day and go to work. They punch in and punch out for no glory or credit. But the business would fall apart without them.They're the fo...
Published: 05/19/18
Justify wins foggy Preakness, keeps Triple Crown bid alive

Justify wins foggy Preakness, keeps Triple Crown bid alive

BALTIMORE — Justify rounded the final turn and hit the top of the stretch winded but with the lead. The roar from the crowd was delayed, hushed by the thick fog that enveloped the track. When Justify emerged from the haze in view of the grandstand, t...
Published: 05/19/18