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)

Late-season push spices up Derby Lane finale

ST. PETERSBURG — When the week started, stakes winners Craigie I Am Jak and Storm Rush were 1a and 1b in the category of main contenders for the $20,000 Fall Juvenile at Derby Lane.

Well, the landscape has changed — somewhat.

Eleven of the remaining 30 entries have won races since Monday. So tonight, the 550-yard event begins with kennels buzzing about more than a potential Craigie I Am Jak-Storm Rush showdown in the Nov. 12 finale.

"I've been happy with the performances of some of the other dogs this week," Derby Lane racing secretary Jerry Miller said. "I certainly do expect to see Storm Rush and Craigie I Am Jak making the final, but the other six dogs? Flip a coin."

The fifth annual event features four qualifying rounds. Tonight's qualifiers are Races 4, 6, 8 and 10. For many greyhounds, this will be their first stakes.

Not so for the co-favorites. Craigie I Am Jak, the meet's third-leading winner with 12 victories for Campbell Racing, won the $50,000 Fall Sprint on Oct. 1. Storm Rush took the $30,000 St. Petersburg Derby on June 25 for former Royal Racing (now Hambleton Racing). If either dog wins, it becomes the first Fall Juvenile champion with multiple stakes victories. First place pays $9,000.

Craigie I Am Jak (Race 4, 8:18 p.m.) and Storm Rush (Race 8, 9:33) have combined for 28 career wins.

"They're fairly well-experienced dogs that have the same style as far as finishing a race," Miller said. "It's a completely blind draw when we draw these rounds. So if Storm Rush and Craigie I Am Jak wind up drawing together once (and) maybe twice during the tournament, then getting down to the final eight is kind of wide open."

To be eligible for the Fall Juvenile, dogs had be less than 2 years old when they came to Derby Lane with a maiden victory from April 18-Oct. 2. They also have to be at Grade C or higher. Lester Raines, which has won the past three Fall Juveniles, is represented by littermates Frizzell (Race 4) and Felicitate (Race 8).

MORE DOGS: Aerial Battle of Capabal kennel has been retired to stud. A winner in 70 of 142 starts, Aerial Battle's highlights included a Matinee Idol title, a meet win crown and an All-America second-team selection in 2010. … D'Arcy kennel's Happy Stutz has become a crowd favorite. He weighs 96 pounds, believed to be the heaviest dog at Derby Lane.

HORSES: Rapid Redux held off Tampa Bay Downs trainer Jamie Ness' Rich Hero for his 19th consecutive victory Thursday at Laurel Park (Md.), tying Peppers Pride and Zenyatta for the North American record for most wins in a row. … Entries will be drawn Monday for the 28th Breeders' Cup world championships Friday and Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. All 15 races will be simulcast at Derby Lane, Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar and Tampa Greyhound Track.

Late-season push spices up Derby Lane finale 10/28/11 [Last modified: Friday, October 28, 2011 10:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Thursday's Rays-Yankees game

    The Heater

    The 10 strikeouts look flashy, but RHP Chris Archer was not his sharpest Thursday. He allowed three runs on seven hits, including three straight in the two-run second and a Gary Sanchez homer in the third, and lasted only six innings, throwing 102 pitches.

  2. Rays fall to Yankees in 11 on Brett Gardner homer (w/ video)

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — The front office did its part Thursday, making two trades to bolster the roster in a push for the playoffs. But the Rays didn't follow up in a frustrating 6-5 11-inning loss to the Yankees.

    Rays reliever Andrew Kittredge stands on the mound and can only watch as the Yankees’ Brett Gardner starts to circle the bases after his walkoff home run leading off the 11th inning.
  3. Believe it! Rays are buyers, trade for reliever Dan Jennings and 1B/DH Lucas Duda

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — Dan Jennings' ability to render lefty hitters useless with a sinker that gets beaten into the ground and Lucas Duda's power to blast baseballs off and over outfield walls should make the Rays better.

    Lucas Duda
  4. Bucs' direction is decidedly up for first time in several years


    TAMPA — If you want to see a team give the Heisman Trophy stiff-arm to expectations, check out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Tight end O.J. Howard, left, the Bucs’ first-round draft pick this year, was brought in to give QB Jameis Winston another big-play option.
  5. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Friday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.