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)

Wayne Ward Kennel has three underdogs in Derby Lane greyhound track's Distance Classic

ST. PETERSBURG — John Graham the optimist is ecstatic about having three Wayne Ward Kennel greyhounds — Its Quillan, Kiowa Muting and Ww's Deathvalley — in tonight's golden anniversary of the $100,000 Distance Classic at Derby Lane.

John Graham the realist knows how difficult it will be to defeat 2008 All-American Flying Mancini of McAllister Kennels and Tmc's Remedy, a quality 660-yard performer, of Filipelli & O'Donnell. The finale in Derby Lane's richest event is at 10:07 p.m.

Graham, the kennel manager-trainer, likened the race to Monday's NCAA men's basketball tournament title game: "North Carolina needed to play a bad game to lose, and Michigan State needed to play its best game. It didn't happen (for Michigan State; North Carolina won 89-72). We're going to try to do what the Michigan State coach (Tom Izzo) was trying to do."

It has been 15 years since Wayne Ward won its only Distance Classic to date, with Shyland Saint. Graham was part of the trophy ceremony that night, when former Tampa Bay Lightning coach Terry Crisp presented the hardware.

Can lightning strike again?

"Not to wish any bad luck on anybody that's racing," Graham said. "But the best chance we have is if our dogs run their best race and Mancini doesn't run her best race."

Flying Mancini, seeking her sixth stakes win in 12 career finals, won all four qualifying rounds by 28 total lengths. The post-position draw was favorable for Wayne Ward, with Kiowa Muting at No. 1, Ww's Deathvalley at No. 2 and Its Quillan at No. 5. Flying Mancini and Tmc's Remedy drew Nos. 7 and 8, respectively. Other entries are Backwood Nan (Campbell Kennel), Hi Noon Hypnotic (Nova) and Kt Poker Face (Abernathy).

Graham said Kiowa Muting has perhaps the most early speed in the race; Its Quillan is more confident after reaching the $30,000 Naples-Fort Myers Classic finale (finishing seventh) March 21 at Bonita Springs; and Ww's Deathvalley is returning to form after missing two months with an ankle injury.

"We're looking forward to getting another crack at winning," Graham said. "It's certainly the most valuable prize in Florida ($32,000 for first)."

HORSES: Cliffy's Future, General Quarters and Join in the Dance, graduates of Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar, are in today's Grade I $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes (Race 9, 5:15 p.m.) at Keeneland. It is a prep for the Kentucky Derby on May 2. Also today is the Grade II $1 million Arkansas Derby (Race 11, 6:41 p.m.) at Oaklawn Park.

EASTER SCHEDULE: Derby Lane and Tampa Greyhound Track will be open Sunday for simulcast wagering and poker. Tampa Bay Downs will be closed.

Wayne Ward Kennel has three underdogs in Derby Lane greyhound track's Distance Classic 04/10/09 [Last modified: Friday, April 10, 2009 7:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays journal: Archer has strong outing, with two mistakes

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Two pitches RHP Chris Archer didn't execute are the ones that stood out Thursday as Josh Donaldson hit them out of the park. But the two solo home runs aside, Archer turned in a sterling outing that went atop the pile of good pitching the Rays keep wasting.

    Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) works during the first inning. [Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP]
  2. Tim Tebow continues wowing fans as he wraps up bay area games

    Minors

    CLEARWATER — Tracey Fritzinger has seen Tim Tebow play baseball a few times this year. The 40-year-old St. Petersburg resident went to two of his games against the Tampa Yankees, along with Joy, her little sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow, middle, hangs out in the dugout during the first inning of Thursday night’s game against the Clearwater Threshers at Spectrum Field.
  3. Rays vs. Mariners, 7:10 Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.
  4. Rays waste repeated opportunities in 5-3 loss to Blue Jays

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Rays manager Kevin Cash made a case for urgency before Thursday's game, in both actions and words, making significant changes to the structure of the lineup and sincere comments about time running short.

    Trevor Plouffe of the Rays reacts as he pops out with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. [Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]
  5. Confederate statue: Why Bucs, Lightning, Rays took a stand

    Bucs

    They didn't want another Charlottesville.

    Marc Rodriguez, a member of the "Florida Fight for $15" organization, stands in protest along with other activists demanding the Confederate  monument be removed from the old Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]