ST. PETERSBURG — Victor Hall may push the dessert menu aside after dinner. He already knows a hearty piece of Pie would complete the evening.
Kiowa Ak Richpie can give the Patriot Kennel manager-trainer his first Derby Lane stakes win in seven years tonight in the $50,000 Fall Sprint. The 550-yard event (Race 10, 10:11 p.m.) is the track's first major stakes. First place pays $22,000.
The youngest of eight finalists at 19 months, Kiowa Ak Richpie enters with momentum. He was the Fall Sprint's points leader with 46, capped by Wednesday's win in a career- and stakes-best time of 30.46 seconds. He also drew the No. 2 box, the same post that produced his two qualifying wins. This will be only his 24th lifetime start.
"He seems to be maturing nicely," said Hall, whose last stakes win was in 2002 with ZEZ Kennel's Kiowa Sweet Trey in the All-Star Kennel Preview. "He will run to daylight, inside or outside — wherever he has to to get the win."
Kiowa Ak Richpie is owned by Al Flohr and Kay Smith, who will become the second woman inducted into the Greyhound Racing Hall of Fame on Oct. 15 in Abilene, Kan. Patriot is Derby Lane's newest kennel, added in January for Massachusetts owner Vinny Savill. The field from the rail: Flying Ochoa, Kiowa Ak Richpie, Bonafide Top Dog, Kiowa Neon Nick, Kelsos Scotsclan, Backwood Terri, Ll's Dormarbuddy and 2008 All-America captain Hallo Gold Acre. Meet wins leader Lamorge Streaker injured a toe in a third-round spill and will be sidelined at least a month.
THOROUGHBREDS: Belmont Park has its top fall card today with five Grade I races in Elmont, N.Y. The main event is the Jockey Club Gold Cup (Race 10, 5:43 p.m.), featuring Belmont Stakes and Travers winner Summer Bird. Also on the program are the Beldame, Flower Bowl, Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and Vosburgh. … Three entries in the Grade II Ohio Derby (Race 8, 5 p.m.) at Thistledown in North Randall will be saddled by Tampa Bay Downs trainers: Petch (Shirley Girten-Drake), War Fighter (Jamie Ness) and Westlinn (Gerald Bennett). Tampa Bay Derby runnerup Join in the Dance also is in the field. … Petch and Westlinn are cross-entered in the Grade II Indiana Derby (Race 11, 5:15 p.m.) at Hoosier Park in Anderson. Sam F. Davis runnerup Sumo is in the race. … Oldsmar horsemen did well as several meets ended the past week. At Presque Isle Downs in Erie, Pa., Ness (71 wins) captured the training title with Bennett (23 wins) fourth. Huber Villa-Gomez was the leading rider (102 wins) and Ronnie Allen Jr. (64 wins) fifth. At Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Ill., Dale Bennett (26 wins) tied for fifth and Tom Proctor (25 wins) was seventh in the trainer standings. At Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J., Jane Cibelli (23 wins) tied for fourth among trainers and Daniel Centeno (57 wins) was fifth among jockeys.