Make us your home page
Instagram

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

Loading...
  1. Whatever USF has to say about Temple waits till Thursday

    College

    "The holes were wide open. Anyone could have run through them."

    South Florida Bulls cornerback Mazzi Wilkins (23) intercepts a pass during the second half of the home opener for the South Florida Bulls against the Stony Brook Seawolves at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Five reasons why Kentucky can beat Florida for the first time since 1986

    College

    By Matt Baker

    GAINESVILLE — Florida's 30-game winning streak over Kentucky is one of the most impressive feats in the country.

    Florida Gators offensive lineman Martez Ivey (73) celebrates Florida Gators running back Mark Thompson's  (24) touch down in the first quarter, putting Florida on the board 6-0 during the game between the University of Florida and the University of Kentucky in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, in Gainesville, Fla. Florida defeated Kentucky 45-7. ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times

  3. Once targeted by the Bucs, Dalvin Cook thrills for the Vikings

    Bucs

    How good would the Bucs be with running back Dalvin Cook?

    Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) slips a tackle by Steelers strong safety Sean Davis (28) to score a touchdown Sunday in Pittsburgh. [AP photo]
  4. Boxer Jake LaMotta, immortalized in 'Raging Bull,' dies at 95

    Obituaries

    MIAMI — Jake LaMotta, the former middleweight champion whose life in and out of the ring was depicted in the film Raging Bull, for which Robert DeNiro won an Academy Award, has died, his fiancee said Wednesday. He was 95.

    Jake LaMotta, retired professional boxer, shakes hands with Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) on the field before the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg on Sept. 15, 2015. LaMotta was on hand to sign autographs in the Ted Williams Museum.
  5. J.R. Sweezy shows what Bucs were missing

    Bucs

    By Greg Auman

    TAMPA —- Sunday's season-opening win against the Bears saw the debut of 13 Bucs, a mix of rookies and free-agent veterans.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive guard J.R. Sweezy (73), seen at center, runs through drills during training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Monday, July 31, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times