ST. PETERSBURG — The star of the $100,000 Distance Classic was the greyhound from the Lone Star State.
Tmc's Remedy of Filipelli & O'Donnell Kennel won the 50th edition of Derby Lane's richest race on April 11, giving breeder-owner Eddie McDonald of Bridgeport, Texas, his second stakes victory of the meet.
In January, littermate Tmc's Trail Boss won the 550-yard Matinee Idol for McDonald, 66, a 24-year greyhound veteran who also raises cattle and drills for oil and gas in Texas.
"An agriculture teacher (at Bridgeport High School) told me that if I would take 5 acres and raise greyhounds, I could do better with that than 5,000 acres of cattle," McDonald said. "He's been right ever since."
Both stakes-winning dogs are 33-month-old males out of Tmc's Josalynn, also owned by McDonald. Their sire is Lonesome Cry, 2003 Derby Lane win leader and Matinee Idol titlist. He is owned by Kenneth Biehle, a Thorndale, Texas, breeder who set records at the 2008 National Greyhound Association spring meet auction with 52 sold pups totaling $320,300. This year's spring meet begins Monday in Abilene, Kan.
"We do breed for distance," McDonald said. "Sometimes we get some early speed, like Trail Boss, that can blow out real fast. It's weird — two dogs out of one litter that one is real quick and the other is best long."
In the 660-yard finale, Tmc's Remedy surged past Wayne Ward Kennel speedster Its Quillan in 37.79 seconds for his first career stakes win. McAllister Kennels' All-American Flying Mancini, the unbeaten qualifier and 2-5 favorite, was fifth. It was the second Distance Classic crown for kennel owner-trainer John Filipelli, who won with J's Habanero in 2005: "It's a whole new experience and a great feeling every time it happens."
Tmc's Remedy has 57 top-four finishes from 61 starts this meet, including 17 of his 23 career victories. He was third to Flying Mancini in the $75,000 660-Yard Challenge in December. "His in-the-money record is phenomenal," Filipelli said. "He's just one of a nice bunch of dogs in that litter, and I'm very pleased to have a few of them."
Wayne Ward manager-trainer John Graham was pleased with Its Quillan's effort. "She tried as hard as she could and was just beaten by a better dog," he said. "She's grown up, getting confidence, and we're expecting better things ahead."
Tmc's Remedy and Flying Mancini are now at Mardi Gras Race Track in Hallandale Beach, where they join Derby Lane dog Kiowa Knockout for the $30,000 Hollywoodian Stakes that begins Wednesday.
thoroughbreds: Tin Cup Chalice, the first to sweep the Big Apple Triple for 3-year-olds bred in New York, collided with Zany, a 4-year-old colt that had bolted, and both were euthanized at Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack in Farmington, N.Y. … Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., is the second North American track to pass a new NTRA safety inspection. … Live head-on video of all races at Belmont, Saratoga and Aqueduct will be broadcast into the chase ambulance that follows the horses as a way to enhance the safety and welfare of jockeys and mounts.
Information from the Associated Press was used in the report.