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)

Gold Squire leads Distance Classic field

ST. PETERSBURG — Popular, powerful and persistent.

Golden Squire, the D'Arcy kennel greyhound who has captivated the industry with his compelling closing kick, goes for his biggest prize tonight in Derby Lane's richest stakes race, the $80,000 Distance Classic.

"The dogs are the stars," said Gary Guccione, National Greyhound Association secretary-treasurer. "When you get a really good one, it's fun to see if they're in the sport for any great length of time. You really appreciate the talents and abilities that a champion has."

The 660-yard event in Race 10 (10:11 p.m.) sets up as a showdown between D'Arcy and Pauline O'Donnell kennels, both of which advanced three dogs to the final. But most eyes will be on Golden Squire, the product of a dream by owner Catherine D'Arcy, who spent three years planning his breeding. The match involving Australian sprint champion Surf Lorian and Greys Touch Gold, the 2008 St. Petersburg Derby winner who is now D'Arcy's house pet, has been what the kennel manager-trainer calls a blessing.

D'Arcy's faith never wavered in 2013, when Golden Squire lost 14 consecutive starts and 19 of 20 overall at 550 and 660 yards during a four-month span (he was second 10 times). Since then, the 34-month-old male has finished first in 21 of 28 starts, including a 10-race win streak — all at 660.

He has 26 career victories with purse earnings of more than $53,000. Golden Squire's victory in the $75,000 Holiday Distance Challenge in December led to his selection to the All-America second team, and he was the runner­up for the Flashy Sir award (nation's top distance runner).

"We knew all along how good he is from when he was a pup," D'Arcy said. "It was just a matter of time that the penny would drop and he would figure it out.

"He does have a lot of fans across the country, and a lot of adoption people are now watching his races. They just love to watch him run, because he closes and he's exciting."

Golden Squire (Box 3), his brother Golden Surf and Crowned Supreme give D'Arcy legitimate shots at the $32,000 first-place paycheck. Pauline O'Donnell counters with Kiowa Jordan Doc, Kiowa Zabia and Tmc's Roxslide. Other finalists are Odd Grayson (Abernathy) and Rams Contango (Marsella).

"(Golden Squire) has an excellent reputation," Guccione said. "People that are watching closely are very impressed with what they're seeing. … I know I am."

HORSES: Kentucky Derby qualifying resumes today with Tampa Bay Downs graduates Vinceremos (Sam F. Davis winner), Asserting Bear, Bobby's Kitten, Coltimus Prime and Harry's Holiday in the Grade I $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes (Race 11, 5:45 p.m.) at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky. Tampa Bay Derby beaten favorite Conquest Titan is entered in the Grade I $1-million Arkansas Derby (11, 7:07) at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs.

Gold Squire leads Distance Classic field 04/11/14 [Last modified: Friday, April 11, 2014 10:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Competition and uncertainty keep New Port Richey's Steve Miklos hooked on power boat racing


    HOLIDAY — If Steve Miklos could have it his way, every power boat race would take place in rough water. He finds the turbulent conditions calming, an attitude he's developed during a professional power boat racing career that spans hundreds of races dating back to 1991.

    Steve Miklos, the throttle man and owner of the No. 51 Sun Print Racing boat, poses at his shop in Holiday. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  2. Did a Cubs player give Trump the middle finger during a White House visit?


    President Donald Trump welcomed former Rays manager Joe Maddon and the World Series champion Chicago Cubs into the Oval Office. But it was a photo that surfaced later that got much of the attention on …

    President Donald Trump welcomed former Rays manager Joe Maddon and the World Series champion Chicago Cubs into the Oval Office. But it was a photo that surfaced later that got much of the attention on social media.
The photo, taken by Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, purportedly shows outfielder Albert Almora Jr. flipping a bird while standing just feet from Trump as the other players were gathered around his desk. [Gordon Wittenmyer via Twitter]
  3. Jeff Vinik contributing $6 million to fund Lightning's practice facility upgrade


    Lightning owner Jeff Vinik will invest $6 million in upgrading the team's practice facility, the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon.

    The plan will create a brand new locker room and training facilities for the team, an 18,000 square foot addition.
  4. Buccaneers defense was among NFL's best when its pressure got to the QB


    It doesn't matter how many times they've thrown a football. It doesn't matter how many seasons they've played. It doesn't matter whether they have a degree from Harvard or Central Florida.

    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy recorded 6.5 sacks last season, but many of his other contributions didn't show up in the box scores. [ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times]

  5. Rays DFA Danny Farquhar to make room for Brad Boxberger


    The Rays continued shuffling their bullpen, dumping RHP Danny Farquhar after Wednesday's game to make room for RHP Brad Boxberger to be activated off the DL.

    Farquhar, who worked an inning in Wednesday's 6-2 loss, had a 2-2, 4.11 record for 37 appearances, working primarily in lower leverage situations. In …