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)

Longer races at Derby Lane restore greyhound's confidence

ST. PETERSBURG — One win, zero confidence.

Budz Crosby had little else on his profile in December when he arrived at Derby Lane. But kennel owner Jan Alderson was struck by what Arkansas kennel operator Randy Finegan said when he recommended the greyhound.

"He's got talent," she said.

Budz Crosby, an invader from Southland Park in West Memphis, has developed into one of Derby Lane's leading 660-yard performers. He is a blue-collar dog, purchased for only $1,500 at the National Greyhound Association spring meet in 2011.

"It took (Budz Crosby) a while to get his confidence back," Alderson said. "We're lucky he did, because a lot of times that doesn't happen."

Finegan believed Budz Crosby would be a good fit for the St. Petersburg facility, where Finegan once had a booking. Led by track top dog Extruding Dream, Finegan's Magic City kennel captured the 2005-06 win championship. Extruding Dream was an All-America first-team selection and winner of the Flashy Sir award (nation's top distance greyhound). Finegan's trainer was Doug Flint, now with Hambleton Racing at Derby Lane.

Alderson started Budz Crosby on the 550-yard course. After winning only one of his first nine starts, he was moved to 660.

"It looked like he had some finish," Alderson said, "and it gave him more time to get going."

Budz Crosby has since raced exclusively at 660. In 50 starts at that distance, he has 14 victories and placed in the money 33 times with top-four finishes for owner Richard Armington Jr. He has clocked the season's two fastest times, including a career-best 37.39 seconds on July 25. Budz Crosby has five victories from 13 starts this meet, and five of Alderson's seven Grade A wins.

After running eighth Wednesday, Budz Crosby is being given time off to rest for the $75,000 Holiday Distance Challenge (formerly called the 660-Yard Challenge) on Dec. 1-15. The 81-pound greyhound placed third in the $30,000 St. Petersburg Derby on June 30, losing to 2011 All-America team captain Tiger Boy.

"We're very happy with him," Alderson said. "Crosby wasn't sure about things at first. But he kept going, and then he finally started to see that everything was going to be okay. It takes a lot of patience and a lot of luck to get a dog like him back (to being confident)."

Budz Crosby is a 35-month-old male out of a litter by Kiowa Mon Manny and Craigie Maxi. Of his 15 victories at Derby Lane, he has come from off the pace 12 times.

"Just like any good dog, he's got a lot of heart," Alderson said.

Alderson's kennel is a four-generation operation. Greg Lesperance, her 30-year-old son, is the trainer. Jan's grandfather, Perry Alderson, started the kennel in 1939. Eddie Alderson, her father, took over in 1963.

"Greg really likes it and he takes a lot of pressure off me," she said.

Longer races at Derby Lane restore greyhound's confidence 08/17/12 [Last modified: Friday, August 17, 2012 8:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Red state: Yes, Bill O'Reilly is a Bucs fan


    TAMPA -- The question was simple enough for Bucs fans: Why is former Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly wearing a red Bucs polo?

    O'Reilly was wearing the polo during a few video clips from his "No Spin News" podcast posted on his website Monday, which was exciting news for some Bucs fans and not-so-exciting …

    Former Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly was sporting a red Bucs polo during his "No Spin News" video podcast Monday. An assistant said the shirt was given to him by former Bucs tight end Dave Moore.
  2. For starters: Slumping LoMo, Dickerson not in Rays lineup tonight vs LHP


    1B Logan Morrison and LF Corey Dickerson, two of the main slumpers in the Rays lineup, are not in tonight's lineup with the Orioles throwing LHP Wade Miley.

    Logan Morrison is 0-for-12 on this homestand.
  3. Ex-Buc Booger McFarland becomes ABC college football analyst


    Former Bucs defensive lineman Booger McFarland is continuing his broadcasting rise by joining ABC's studio coverage for the upcoming college football season, ESPN announced Tuesday.

    Former Bucs lineman Booger McFarland (No. 92) will become an ABC studio analyst this college football season.
  4. Rank the top 10 Bucs players? Here's what fans said


    We mentioned this morning that is was a fun challenge, in response to Sports Illustrated's ranking of the NFL's top 400 players, to ask fans to rank their top 10 Bucs players.

    Bucs receiver Mike Evans celebrates with quarterback Jameis Winston during last year's Bucs win against the Seahawks. Evans and Winston finished 1-2 in an informal Twitter poll of fans ranking their top Bucs players.
  5. Brain study examined 111 former NFL players. Only one didn't have CTE.


    Researchers studying the link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy found that 99 percent of the brains donated by families of former NFL players showed signs of the neurodegenerative disease, according to a new study published Tuesday.

    This combination of photos provided by Boston University shows sections from a normal brain, top, and from the brain of former University of Texas football player Greg Ploetz, bottom, in stage IV of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. According to a report released on Tuesday by the Journal of the American Medical Association, research on the brains of 202 former football players has confirmed what many feared in life -- evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a devastating disease in nearly all the samples, from athletes in the NFL, college and even high school. [Dr. Ann McKee | BU via AP]