ST. PETERSBURG — They were once pups, small enough for two to sit on anyone's lap.
As Legends Field, his four brothers and four sisters eventually grew into racing greyhounds, owners Randy and Pat Floyd watched and admired.
Brady Thomas was the standout, winner of four stakes and a two-time, second-team All-America member. Hometown Boy was the fastest, a 550-yard record-holder at Tampa Greyhound Track and the only dog to finish undefeated in the Sprint Classic at Derby Lane.
Legends Field was — and still is — the blue-collar dog.
Trained by Cal Holland Jr., the red brindle male is the only greyhound still racing from what Pat calls "the litter of a lifetime." Legends Field became the Floyds' second all-time leading winner on Oct. 8 with his 55th career win over Grade A sprinters, surpassing Hometown Boy. At 41/2 years old, he isn't likely to move up any further with Brady Thomas at 74 wins. Brady Thomas and Hometown Boy were retired to stud in April.
"He's not flashy, just a boy who brings home the bacon," Pat said. "He gets out there and tries every time … and I think he runs smarter now. He amazes me."
Pat named the 550-yard sprinter after the New York Yankees' spring training home in Tampa (now called George M. Steinbrenner Field). Like many in his litter, Legends Field has been fortunate to avoid injury. He has 192 starts, earned $56,513 in purses and finished in the money (top four) at a 72 percent rate.
Legends Field is part of a litter that has combined for 269 wins, 926 starts and $265,955 in purses. Blue Deuce, Miss Merle, Brady Thomas, Hometown Boy and Legends Field all won at Grade A, while Three Rivers and Van Lear Rose advanced to that level. Frankly Scarlett and Touche Tina are the other littermates.
"Most (dogs) just don't get that many starts anymore," Pat said. "I was surely hoping (litter) would be like their mother."
Sired by the late Stan's Boy Flyer, Legends Field is from the second litter out of Touche Baby, who enjoyed a racing and breeding career with the Floyds. Touche Baby made 200 starts — most at 660 yards — and won the 1999 St. Petersburg Derby. In 2006, she was the National Greyhound Association's leading dam. Her first litter, sired by Craigie Whistler, produced the Floyds' only first-team All-America member, Joe Hearns. Now 11 years old, Touche Baby is retired and lives with Pat and Lorraine Carrier in Lecanto.
Brady Thomas and Hometown Boy got most of the stakes starts for Floyd & Porter Kennel, keeping Legends Field out of major races. His best finish among the three stakes he started came in 2007, when the 74-pound dog was third to All-America member Afleet Alex in the $140,000 Mardi Gras Ultimate Challenge in Hallandale Beach.
"We're very proud of him," Randy said.
HORSES: The 17th edition of Festival of the Sun will be held today at Calder Race Course in Miami Gardens. The card includes $400,000 races for 2-year-olds, My Dear Girl (Race 6, 3:19 p.m.) and In Reality (Race 8, 4:21 p.m.), and Grade III $100,000 events for older horses, Miami Mile Handicap (Race 5, 2:49 p.m.) and Spend a Buck Handicap (Race 7, 3:50 p.m.). Tampa Bay Downs graduates Soldier's Dancer and Greycliff Exchange are in the Miami Mile. In the Spend a Buck, Gottcha Gold, Judiths Wild Rush and Sweetnorthernsaint all have more than $900,000 in career earnings. … Post positions for all 14 races in the Breeders' Cup World Championships will be drawn Tuesday at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. There will be five races on Friday and nine on Oct. 25. … It was a bad week for pitcher Brad Penny. Not only did his Los Angeles Dodgers lose the National League pennant to Philadelphia, but his 4-year-old filly, Synnin and Grinnin, took the lead on the final turn Friday before being overtaken by Peppermint Lounge and Petite Cherie in the $55,626 feature at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif., snapping her winning streak at five.