ST. PETERSBURG — Lily Rose is a small girl with a huge 'tude.
"She's my little tomboy," Patty Floyd said. "She stands her ground and doesn't let anybody bully her. She's just got that 'I want to be the best' attitude."
Less than a month into Derby Lane's 88th season, no greyhound has been better than Lily Rose. She has won the track's first two stakes of the meet: the $10,000 Matinee Idol on Monday and the $8,000 Inaugural on Jan. 5 for owners and kennel operators Randy and Patty Floyd.
Lily Rose ran her finest race in the Matinee Idol, clocking a personal-best 550-yard time of 30.62 seconds. The Floyd & Porter kennel sprinter finished 3 lengths ahead of McAllister kennel's Flyin Pink Floyd. And for the second consecutive stakes, she knocked off track defending top dog Venus Espinosa, who was 61/2 lengths behind in fifth. Lily Rose beat the Patriot kennel standout by a neck in the Inaugural.
Trained by Liz Dunnuck, Lily Rose has 17 victories from 53 starts. Patty Floyd said the 25-month-old female is nothing like her dam, Miss Merle, a two-time stakes runner for the Floyds.
"Miss Merle was such a sweetheart, but Lily Rose is like queen bee everywhere she goes," Patty Floyd said. "She is really special to us, because most of our males have been the better dogs — Joe Hearns, Brady Thomas (and) Hometown Boy."
Sired by 2001 All-America selection and two-time stakes winner Kiowa Sweet Trey, Lily Rose was whelped on the Belleview farm of Chuck Schoup near Ocala. The 66-pound female was sent to Rosebud, Texas, for training by Peter Limmer, whose father, Hans, owns Nova kennel at Derby Lane.
Lily Rose lost her first lifetime start in May at St. Petersburg by 23 lengths, and the following one by 17.
While Lily Rose didn't clock a 550 time in less than 31 seconds until her 19th start, she has cashed 41 times with top-four finishes.
"She really proved herself (in the Matinee Idol)," Patty Floyd said.
Horses: Multiple graded stakes-placed Honey Chile faces 10 fillies and mares today in the $75,000 Lightning City Stakes (Race 10, 4:57 p.m.) at Tampa Bay Downs. … Breeders' Cup Juvenile and Eclipse Award winner Shanghai Bobby, one of 54 nominations for the Grade III $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes on Feb. 2 at Oldsmar, is entered today in the Grade III $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes (Race 10, 5:05) at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach.