Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Greyhound returns from injury ready to defend title in Derby Lane Fall Sprint Stakes

ST. PETERSBURG — Entering the final turn, just beyond the tote board at Derby Lane, his proverbial green light comes on. Time is running out, and sometimes he has yet to pass a dog.

For Craigie I Am Jak, it is go time.

Jak is back, and his timing couldn't be better. The $50,000 Fall Sprint Stakes begins Sept. 15 at Derby Lane, and Craigie I Am Jak can be the first greyhound in the six-year event to defend his title.

For a while, that didn't seem possible. A month after defeating Aerial Battle to win the Fall Sprint in October, Craigie I Am Jak tore a muscle in his right rear leg. The Campbell Greyhound Racing kennel sprinter, whose trademark is a dynamic come-from-behind running style, was sidelined more than five months.

"(The tear) was about the size of a dime," kennel owner James Campbell said. "He puts so much stress and pressure on the back legs that it usually takes a while to heal. I left him off longer than most dogs because of who he was and how much propulsion he uses his back legs for."

Craigie I Am Jak was moved to Bonita Springs, where Campbell has a booking at Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track. "For the first three months, he didn't do anything but go into semiretirement," Campbell said. "The last two months, we got him back in shape and rehabbed the injury."

The 32-month-old male out of a litter by Lonesome Cry and Craigie Crimson returned to Derby Lane in May. In 23 subsequent starts, Craigie I Am Jak has five victories and finished no worse than third 17 times. Overall, he has won 18 of 69 races. The 70-pound greyhound is racing at Grade B, one level below the top of the track's graded scale.

"He has come back from the injury a better dog," Campbell said. "His racing style has changed a little bit. He's starting to get a little closer (to other dogs) down to the (first) turn. He'll be 100 percent ready by the time the Fall Sprint comes around."

Craigie I Am Jak, a notoriously slow starter, captivates his fans on the 550-yard course. The races last slightly longer than 30 seconds, and he often has considerable ground to make up in the final 12.

"On that far turn, he is probably going 5, 6 or maybe 7 miles per hour faster than the dogs in front of him," Campbell said. "He has to make a split-second decision where to run. Most of the times, it's the right decision. He's exciting to watch."

Purchased for $2,500 at the National Greyhound Association spring meet in 2011, Craigie I Am Jak is owned by Campbell's wife, Michelle Edgar, and her mother, Tammy Edgar. "Michelle's dad (James Edgar) picked him out," Campbell said. "He found a diamond in the rough."

LABOR DAY SCHEDULE: Derby Lane will hold a 15-race matinee performance Monday. There will be no night racing, but the track will be open for poker and simulcast wagering.

Greyhound returns from injury ready to defend title in Derby Lane Fall Sprint Stakes 08/31/12 [Last modified: Friday, August 31, 2012 9:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Buccaneers defense was among NFL's best when its pressure got to the QB

    Bucs

    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]

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

    Blogs

    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 …

  3. USF to face Indiana in men's basketball next season

    College

    The USF men's basketball team will get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse next season.

  4. Rays employee helps save suicidal woman near Pirates stadium

    Blogs

    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

    Multimedia production manager Mike Weinman, 32, was walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge with Rays broadcasting director Larry McCabe when he …

    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.
  5. Blake Snell struggles in return as Rays fall to Pirates

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH

    Blake Snell talked a good game ahead of his return to the Rays rotation Wednesday night, but he didn't pitch one.

    The Pirates’ David Freese scores on a Blake Snell wild pitch during the first inning against the Rays.