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)

Holland Jr. having fun with new kennel as track records fall

ST. PETERSBURG — Cal Holland Jr. turned to his heart, not his head, in December when he joined Patriot kennel.

For eight years, he had been in a comfort zone as the trainer for Floyd & Porter kennel. Finally, he rose out of the comfy chair.

"I didn't really want to leave Randy (Floyd, the kennel co-owner)," Holland said. "But I've wanted to run a kennel and show my potential."

Holland, 47, showed his stuff as Patriot's manager-trainer, using "fun" as the common denominator. The kennel's record-setting dominance at the previous Derby Lane meet still has greyhound fans abuzz.

Patriot was first in every main category, including wins and purse earnings. Patriot smashed the track mark for most victories in a six-month meet with 333, eclipsing Lester Raines' 299 in 2010, and finished 63 in front of McAllister. Patriot collected $242,250 in purse earnings, $23,660 ahead of McAllister. The meet ended June 30.

"My goal when I took over was to make this fun," Holland said. "The dogs come first, and we blast rock 'n' roll music in the kennel. We do our work, show every dog attention, and take care of every single injury as soon as we notice it."

Kennel workers David Keck and Gloria Morse bought into Holland's program. Quality and quantity were key. Led by Grade A dogs Art Allen and Jim Mercedes, Patriot totaled 2,412 starts, 428 more than any other kennel. Art Allen, winner of the $10,000 St. Petersburg Consolation Derby, and Jim Mercedes tied for second in victories at 16 apiece, one behind Tiger Boy of McAllister. Patriot's win percentage was 13.8 with an in-the-money percentage (top-four finish) of 49.7.

Patriot recorded at least one victory in each of the meet's first 16 performances, and won a minimum of 10 races in 24 of the 26 weeks. Twice it won 19 races in a week. Patriot had multiple victories in 103 of 216 performances, including four five-win cards and 12 four-win performances.

"I've never seen anybody blow the doors in on these people like Patriot did these past six months," track racing secretary Jerry Miller said. "(Holland) killed them in starts, and he's certainly got the quality."

It was the largest win margin by a kennel since McAllister captured the 2007-08 crown. McAllister had 643 victories for a 218-win advantage, but that season's numbers were a year-round accumulation.

Patriot owner Vinny Savill of Whitman, Mass., claimed his second kennel title. Holland was recommended to Savill by former manager-trainer Victor Hall, who moved to Vermont.

"When I started with Patriot kennel, my goal was to win races and to win stakes," Holland said. "I want to show Patriot has just as good a dog as every other kennel that runs (at Derby Lane). This kennel had great potential when I got here. I hope it still has great potential for years to come."

Holland Jr. having fun with new kennel as track records fall 07/13/12 [Last modified: Friday, July 13, 2012 10:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. The Lightning's 2017-18 road jersey
  2. For starters: Ramus to DL, Peterson back, no further moves


    We were expecting a flurry of roster moves this afternoon and we got one. OF Colby Ramus is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 19 with left hip tendinitis.

    Colby Ramus is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 19 with left hip tendinitis.
  3. Jameis Winston stats: How the Bucs QB performed under pressure


    Every quarterback's performance declines when he faces pressure from the defense.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston faced pressure on more than 30 percent of his pass plays last season. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. Could Lightning deal for a defenseman today?


    Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman has been trying to further bolster his blueline, and he may have a chance to acquire one by tonight's first round of the NHL Draft.

    The Lightning is reportedly in on Travis Hamonic (Islanders), though New York is rumored to be asking for two-first round picks.
  5. SI ranks Quinton Flowers on top 100, above Deondre Francois


    Sports Illustrated's ongoing countdown of the top 100 players in college football includes some high praise for USF quarterback Quinton Flowers.