Monday, December 11, 2017
Sports

Flying Sebastian aims to keep Derby Lane streak alive

ST. PETERSBURG — Before Flying Sebastian ran his first career race in May, Vince Berland received a high five-figure sales offer for his pup.

"No way," the Abilene, Kan., dog breeder said of the undisclosed amount.

It's easy to see why.

Flying Sebastian is the only undefeated greyhound in tonight's third round of qualifying in the $50,000 Fall Sprint, the first stakes race of the season at Derby Lane.

"My boss (Robert Lambert) let me know when I got this pup how tremendous and talented he was," said Alex Hall, the 20-year-old manager-trainer of top kennel Red Oak Racing. "This dog has got some straight speed coming from the turn."

Flying Sebastian, the track's top dog, goes for his seventh consecutive victory in Race 6 (8:55 p.m.), one of two 550-yard qualifiers. The 73-pound greyhound drew box 3. He is the point leader with 32, six ahead of Jack's Cruze (Cal Holland kennel) and Kiowa Jordan Doc (Pauline O'Donnell). The other qualifier is Race 10 (10:11). Qualifying concludes Wednesday night for the Oct. 5 final.

A 19-month-old male out of a litter by Bd's Grayson and Flying Witness, Flying Sebastian is trying to uphold family tradition. Bd's Grayson was a stakes winner in 2009, taking the Firecracker Sprint at Wheeling Island (W.Va.). During a 44-win career, Bd's Grayson won seven in a row by 32 lengths. A five-length victory tonight by Flying Sebastian would match that superiority. "As young as Sebastian is, he's got one heck of a career ahead," Hall said. "I think he is just getting the best of himself right now."

Flying Sebastian has won 15 of 30 career starts and is the meet win leader with 11, one more than Budz Crosby (Alderson). "(Winning) seems to be an ongoing sequence with some of my young pups," Hall said.

MORE DOGS: So Divine (D'Arcy) clocked a meet-best time of 37.24 seconds at 660 yards Tuesday. She won the Grade B race by 14 lengths.

HORSES: Tampa Bay Downs will offer a record $2,695,000 in stakes purse money when its traditional 88th season kicks off Dec. 4 at Oldsmar. The 25-race stakes program is highlighted by the Grade II $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby, one of six graded stakes races and the Downs' only Kentucky Derby qualifier on Festival Day, March 8. The undercard includes Grade III events: the $200,000 Florida Oaks and the $150,000 Hillsborough Stakes.

Comments
How bad are Florida State’s football facilities?

How bad are Florida State’s football facilities?

As Jimbo Fisher was leaving Florida State for Texas A&M, an administrative commitment to facilities was one reason why.So how bad are the Seminoles' facilities, really?No. 12 in the country, according to 247Sports.That's better than Miami (...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 1

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 1

UPDATE, 10:30: In addition to the Cardinals, the Rockies and Mets are considered hot in pursuit of Rays closer Alex Colome. …. Keep hearing the Angels as a potential landing spot for 3B Evan Longoria if the Rays deal him. … Rays manager K...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays manager Kevin Cash on trade speculation, bullpen staffing, Yankees addition of Giancarlo Stanton

Rays manager Kevin Cash on trade speculation, bullpen staffing, Yankees addition of Giancarlo Stanton

Rays manager Kevin Cash was first up in the media room at the winter meetings today and here are a few up the more interesting things he said:* On trade speculation regarding their veterans such as Chris Archer and Evan Longoria: "I know there is a l...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Explosives? On 40-yard plays, Bucs among NFL’s worst

Explosives? On 40-yard plays, Bucs among NFL’s worst

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter has key statistics that he puts great value in, finding a close correlation between success in those areas and success on the scoreboard. Winning the takeaway battle is always first among those priorities, but he and his staff...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Another close game that got away

Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Another close game that got away

In his latest Cannon Fodder podcast, Greg Auman looks back on the Bucs’ 24-21 loss to the Lions, Gerald McCoy’s injury, reports of Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter friction and another close game that got away from Tampa Bay on the way to a 4-9 record. Li...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rick and Tom podcast: Do Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter get along?

Rick and Tom podcast: Do Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter get along?

The Bucs guarantee another losing season after turning the ball over five times in a 24-21 loss to the Lions. In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones talk about how the Bucs stayed in the game until the end despite a non-existent pass rush...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Tampa Bay Rays cornerstone Evan Longoria “somewhere in limbo” due to trade speculation

Tampa Bay Rays cornerstone Evan Longoria “somewhere in limbo” due to trade speculation

Franchise cornerstone 3B Evan Longoria considers his future with the Rays "somewhere in limbo" based on speculation he could be traded as part of a cost-cutting and rebuilding movement."I don't know what to think, really,'' Longoria told the Tampa Ba...
Updated: 8 hours ago
The Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter relationship: It’s complicated

The Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter relationship: It’s complicated

  TAMPA — There are lies, damn lies and statistics, none of which are working in favor of Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter avoiding a split in the near future. Even before the Bucs turned the football over five times and lost to the Detroit Li...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Report: Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter relationship ‘is not in a good place’

Report: Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter relationship ‘is not in a good place’

Jameis Winston is displeased with how coach Dirk Koetter has handled Winston's shoulder injury and the Bucs offense, according to an NFL Network report Sunday. “The relationship between quarterback Jameis Winston and Koetter is not in a good p...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Veteran 3B Evan Longoria as uncertain as anyone about Rays’ plans

Veteran 3B Evan Longoria as uncertain as anyone about Rays’ plans

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Uncertain with all the talk about potentially rebuilding if the Rays would go as far as trading franchise cornerstone 3B Evan Longoria?So is he."I don’t know what to think, really,’’ Longoria said via text message Sunday night as t...
Updated: 4 hours ago