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. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis


    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  2. Florida softball returns to World Series; FSU baseball in ACC title game


    GAINESVILLE — Florida defeated Alabama 2-1 Saturday to win the deciding Game 3 of their softball Super Region, putting the Gators in the Women's College World Series for the eighth time in program history.

    ’NOLE POWER: FSU’s Dylan Busby, right, is congratulated by teammate Taylor Walls after Busby’s homer against Duke.
  3. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Christian to win state baseball title


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a perfect 30-0 …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  4. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”
  5. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. laughing right along after comical dive

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Souza being Souza.

    That seemed to be the best way to describe the entertaining — and comically bad — dive Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. attempted in Friday's game, and the good humor he showed in handling the fallout, including a standing ovation his next at-bat from the …