Gold Trophy Juvenile Stakes at St. Petersburg's Derby Lane greyhound track has wide-open field

ST. PETERSBURG — No greyhound has more than 10 victories, and only four won their previous starts.

Welcome to the $20,000 Gold Trophy Juvenile Stakes at Derby Lane.

Thirty-two dogs who broke their maiden from October to April are entered in the 550-yard series. The first of four qualifying rounds begins tonight (Races 4, 6, 8 and 10). Eight greyhounds with the most accumulative points advance to the final May 23. First place pays $9,000.

"It looks wide open," track spokeswoman Vera Filipelli said.

Lester Raines Kennel, winner of last year's event with Craigie Mr Venus, has two of the leading winners: Uss Race Pocono (10) and Sheza Mary Run (eight). Other top winners include Alderson's Dewey Millions (nine) and Magic City's Jamie M Grodeki and La Rosa Enterprises' Hardworkinwomen, both with eight. Sheza Mary Run and Dewey Millions are coming off wins, along with Floyd & Porter's Gretchen Oswalt and Cal Holland's Kentucky Ed. Magic City owner Randy Finnegan named Jamie M Grodeki after St. Petersburg College softball coach Jamie Madewell-Grodecki. He also entered closer Dave Pano, named after the St. Petersburg College baseball coach.

After Wednesday, the field will be cut to 16 for the remaining qualifiers May 16 and 20.

More dogs: Distance Classic winner Tmc's Remedy and Ask The Umpire represent Derby Lane tonight in the $30,000 Hollywoodian Stakes 660-yard final (Race 10, 10 p.m.) at Mardi Gras in Hallandale Beach. … La Rosa Enterprises' Kaias Sequoyah had his 69th lifetime win Wednesday at Derby Lane.

Horses: Tampa Bay Downs ended its 83rd season Sunday with declines in many categories for the 94-day meet: live on-track handle (10.36 percent), live in-state handle (9.94), live out-of-state handle (1.31), total live all-source handle (2.73), total on-track handle including simulcasts (16.54), total attendance (4.75) and total purses paid (6.3). Horses per race were down from 9.41 to 9.32 in eight fewer races. A total of 148 horses, combining for $1.432 million, were claimed compared with last year's 288 and $3,258,500, respectively. There were 222 turf races, 19 more than last year. … Jockey Daniel Centeno and trainer Jamie Ness captured their third consecutive titles. Centeno won 138 races and led in purse earnings with $1,974,333. Ness had 62 victories and was second in purse earnings at $635,745. Kirk Ziadie was first at $688,340. Richard Averill led owners with a record 24 wins, earning $272,038. Michael Straight was the top apprentice rider with 16 victories. Brooks Star, trained by Dale Bennett for Equiforce Inc., set the lone track record, going 61/2 furlongs on the main track in 1 minute, 16.09 seconds on April 1.

Breeders' Cup: The Breeders' Cup is cutting ticket prices for its two-day showcase at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif. Single-day tickets will be offered for Nov. 6 and 7. Fans buying reserved seats last year had to get two-day packages.

Breeders' Cup president Greg Avioli said Friday that it was important to recognize the economic environment in Southern California and around the world.

Seats range from $40 to $235 on Friday and from $55 to $335 on Saturday. Last year, seats cost $100 each on both days. Single-day prices for premium seating will be reduced by 30 percent. Tickets go on sale June 5.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Gold Trophy Juvenile Stakes at St. Petersburg's Derby Lane greyhound track has wide-open field 05/08/09 [Last modified: Friday, May 8, 2009 7:50pm]

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