Partly Cloudy77° FULL FORECASTPartly Cloudy77° FULL FORECAST
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)

Flying Coal City times Derby Lane wins perfectly

ST. PETERSBURG — Given one last chance to escape the doghouse, Flying Coal City sped around Derby Lane in a breathtaking way, and history followed.

The McAllister kennel greyhound recorded his 60th career victory Wednesday, but his preceding win was probably just as important. Needing a victory at Grade B to keep his racing career alive, Flying Coal City won the 550-yard race July 23 in a season-best time of 30.28 seconds. His margin of victory was 9 lengths, the same as in Wednesday's milestone Grade A win in 30.36, the meet's fourth-fastest time.

Flying Coal City, a five-time stakes winner and Triple Crown winner in 2010, had dropped to Grade B for the first time in 79 starts after returning recently from another shoulder injury. He finished a troubled second in that July 18 race, so leading kennel owner Malcolm McAllister gave the 76-pound dog a final opportunity before considering possible retirement.

"If he would have run second or third (July 23), I was going to pull his papers," McAllister said. "If he can't win a B, he can't win a stakes race. Now, I'm over the moon. He's definitely back. … He's a monster."

Before his Grade B victory, Flying Coal City had not won since taking the $8,000 Inaugural on Jan. 8, losing a career-high nine straight races. Flying Coal City's wins include 32 at Grade A and 22 in stakes. The 40-month-old male out of a litter by Kiowa Sweet Trey and Flying Crestline has earned $146,356 from 102 starts. He is trained by Barbara McAllister, Malcolm's wife, for owner Vince Berland of Abilene, Kan.

In 2010, Flying Coal City swept the industry's top awards: All-America captain, Rural Rube (best sprinter) and Flashy Sir (top distance dog). McAllister said his multi-distance standout will remain at 550 yards, and he expects him to try to defend his title in the $50,000 Fall Sprint, Sept. 17-Oct. 1.

"I know he's still got the tools," McAllister said. "This dog is going to make up for some (lost) time."

MORE DOGS: Derby Lane's two newest kennels are picking up the pace. Hambleton Racing, formerly Royal Racing Team, won 18 races from July 18-23, tying the track's fifth-highest weekly win total since the 2007-08 meet. During that span, Patriot (2010) and McAllister (2008) have recorded the most weekly wins with 23 apiece. McAllister had 19-win weeks twice (this year and in 2007). Led by trainer Doug Flint for owners James and Helen Hambleton of Solomon, Kan., Hambleton was in fourth place in the 16-kennel standings with 41 victories through Thursday, nine behind McAllister. Alabama Racing, a Daytona Beach-based operation, won a race on the first three performances this week, matching its win total of the previous 27 cards under owner-trainer Patricia Byers. Alabama lost its first 64 starts and later went 0-for-38.

Flying Coal City times Derby Lane wins perfectly 07/29/11 [Last modified: Friday, July 29, 2011 10:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2015 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours