Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Sports

Floyd & Porter aims for repeat at T.L. Weaver Memorial Classic at Derby Lane

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ST. PETERSBURG — If the Floyd & Porter kennel entry for next week's $8,000 T.L. Weaver Memorial Classic runs like its daddy, Derby Lane might add another chapter to its history book.

Floyd & Porter can become the first operation to win back-to-back titles in the track's final 550-yard stakes race of the 2011-12 season.

Kennel co-owner Randy Floyd is expected to enter Danicas Go Daddy or defending champion M's Free Agent for the race that honors Derby Lane's late founder, the great-grandfather of track president and chairman of the board Vey Weaver, and vice president Richard Winning. The post draw is Monday with qualifying Wednesday night in Races 6 and 10. The first four finishers in each event advance to the finale June 9. All kennels are ensured of one entry.

Both Floyd & Porter greyhounds were sired by All-America team selections. Danicas Go Daddy, a winner of 27 races from 140 starts, is by 2005 All-America member Joe Hearns. Now a stud dog in Ocala, Joe Hearns had 51 victories with win streaks of 11 and 10. He won the Inaugural Stakes in 2005 and finished sixth in the inaugural Derby Lane Million in 2006.

M's Free Agent was sired by Extruding Dream, an All-America choice and Flashy Sir Award winner (best distance dog) in 2006. Extruding Dream won 57 races and five stakes, including the 2007 T.L. Weaver.

"You do the best you can and hope for the best," said Floyd, who owns the kennel with his wife, Pat, and Lamar Porter. "A lot depends on the (other) dogs entered and the post positions."

The only kennels with two titles in the T.L. Weaver, now in its 16th year, are Alderson (2009, 1999) and Greymeadow (2003, 1998).

Pat named Danicas Go Daddy in honor of race car driver Danica Patrick.

"Pat is a big NASCAR fan," Randy said. "Over the years, she's named a lot of dogs after drivers or race cars."

The Floyds owned and raced the parents of Danicas Go Daddy, who is out of the only litter whelped by Kiss The Bride.

"I'd like to see (Danicas Go Daddy) do good because it represents the bloodline, both male and female," Floyd said. "She has been a nice, usable Grade A dog."

Danicas Go Daddy, a 43-month-old female, clocked her career-best 550-yard time two starts ago at 30.60 seconds. She has made two stakes finals, finishing sixth both times in the Inaugural Jan. 7 and the Fall Juvenile in 2010.

M's Free Agent was an upset winner in the 2011 T.L. Weaver at 11-1 odds. The next victory for the 50-month-old male will be his 50th. He has cashed in 121 of 170 starts with top-four finishes, earning $34,767.

"He comes out of a nice litter (M's Mary Freeman is the dam)," Floyd said.

Floyd has been the trainer since December, when Cal Holland Jr. left to become kennel manager and trainer of Patriot, the track wins leader. First place pays $3,200.

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