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)

West Virginia-based Lester Raines wins first kennel championship at Derby Lane

ST. PETERSBURG — The Derby Lane meet started with Lester Raines kennel losing its first 12 starts and Flying Coal City suffering his only career defeat in a 550-yard stakes final in Night of Stars XXIII.

Mere speed bumps on the road to success.

Lester Raines, a West Virginia-based powerhouse operation, won its first kennel championship at St. Petersburg, while Flying Coal City of McAllister kennel was the top greyhound at the six-month meet, which ended Friday. Lester Raines entered the 208th and final performance with an insurmountable 296-276 advantage in wins over Patriot. Flying Coal City led in victories with 25, five more than Kiowa Lazy Lazy.

Derby Lane's 86th year begins today with a matinee-evening doubleheader.

"It always feels good to win," said Jeanne Lesperance, wife of Lester Raines kennel manager and trainer Ken Lesperance. "It's especially nice for Lester."

She said Raines purchased the Derby Lane kennel more than 20 years ago from R.L. "Tex" Block, a 1984 Greyhound Hall of Fame pioneer inductee. Lester Raines took the meet lead for good on Oct. 29 over Patriot, which had over 400 more starts. Lester Raines had four of the season's top winners: Kiowa Lazy Lazy, Uss Gazillionair, Kiowa Lazy Lott and Kiowa Lazy Larry. Uss Gazillionair's win in the $20,000 Fall Juvenile on Nov. 13 extended the kennel's streak of winning a Derby Lane stakes to six straight meets.

"We never get excited about not starting (the meet) on top," Jeanne said. "We're in it for the long haul. We're very proud of the dogs and definitely worked hard to earn the title."

Flying Coal City, trained by Barbara McAllister, clocked the best times at both distances: 30.21 seconds at 550 yards and 36.91 at 660. He has the best 660 times in the past three meets, and the top 550 times at the past two meets. Flying Coal City finished second on Friday, denying him a chance to tie Palm Beach dog Where's Big Cash for the North American win title at 49.

MORE DOGS: The $8,000 Inaugural Stakes begins Wednesday night with two 550-yard races. The top four finishers in each qualifier advance to the Jan. 8 finale. … Former wins leader Aerial Battle and Ll's Dormarbuddy started schooling Tuesday for Capabal kennel. Injuries have sidelined the pair for several months.

HORSES: My Irish Girl is the 7-2 morning-line favorite today in the $50,000 Minaret Stakes (Race 9, 4:07 p.m.), a 6-furlong dirt sprint for older fillies and mares at Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar. … The Morning Glory Club begins at 10 a.m. today in the lower grandstand with track announcer Richard Grunder interviewing racing personalities. His guest is Downs vice president and general manager Peter Berube. … Trainer Jamie Ness finished second in the 2010 national win standings with 291, and jockey Daniel Centeno was eighth at 278. Both were career highs.

West Virginia-based Lester Raines wins first kennel championship at Derby Lane 12/31/10 [Last modified: Friday, December 31, 2010 11:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays DFA Danny Farquhar to make room for Brad Boxberger


    The Rays continued shuffling their bullpen, dumping RHP Danny Farquhar after Wednesday's game to make room for RHP Brad Boxberger to be activated off the DL.

    Farquhar, who worked an inning in Wednesday's 6-2 loss, had a 2-2, 4.11 record for 37 appearances, working primarily in lower leverage situations. In …

  2. USF to face Indiana in men's basketball next season


    The USF men's basketball team will get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse next season.

  3. Rays employee helps save suicidal woman near Pirates stadium


    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

    Multimedia production manager Mike Weinman, 32, was walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge with Rays broadcasting director Larry McCabe when he …

  4. Blake Snell struggles in return as Rays fall to Pirates

    The Heater


    Blake Snell talked a good game ahead of his return to the Rays rotation Wednesday night, but he didn't pitch one.

    The Pirates’ David Freese scores on a Blake Snell wild pitch during the first inning against the Rays.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Pirates game

    The Heater

    Corey Dickerson is doing everything he can to garner All-Star votes heading into tonight's voting cutoff, going into play Wednesday leading the AL with 101 hits and rapping two more his first two times up, and scoring two more runs.