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Win atones for Scheele's past loss

Talk about your pleasant turnabouts.

Last year, Flo Decarlo was running away from the field in the Distance Championship but broke a leg and didn't finish. So, you can imagine what kennel owner Paul Scheele was thinking when another of his dogs, Pleasant Katie, burst to the lead in this year's race.

"We weren't counting our chickens until she crossed the finish line," he said.

But Pleasant Katie breezed home last Saturday in front of GR's Always Jake and prohibitive favorite Big Chase to win the $40,000 race at the Tampa Greyhound Track.

"I don't mean to say we had it coming, but I think this one was owed to us after what happened last year," Scheele said.

Although Pleasant Katie immediately took the lead and really never was threatened, the race might have been won two days before _ when the post positions were drawn.

Pleasant Katie didn't have the rail, but she was better off in the No. 4 hole than her chief rivals. Bontebok broke from the No. 5 post; Oxford Shoes from the No. 6; Big Chase, the winner of seven consecutive stakes, from the No. 7; and EZT Dresden Lace in No. 8.

"She came out of the box in good shape, out rushed the three dog (Wright Deckit) and went right to the front," Scheele said. "If you turn around and put Big Chase in the one hole, he goes to the front and wins. It's all post position."

Well, not exactly.

Pleasant Katie might not be as renowned as kennel mate Flo Decarlo, but she has developed nicely. Scheele could have run Pleasant Katie in the Greyhound Race Of Champions at Derby Lane last April, but chose to bring her along more cautiously.

She was third to Flo Decarlo in the St. Petersburg Derby on June 30, Derby Lane's closing night. Flo Decarlo failed to qualify for the second round of the Distance Championship and just ran _ and won _ a B race at Tampa Greyhound.

"Pleasant Katie's only 2{, so she has a good year in her," Scheele said. "If she stays healthy, maybe she'll win a few more (big) races."

Harnessing more betting opportunities: Tampa Greyhound Track has begun receiving simulcast harness racing from Pompano Park on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. First post is 7:30 p.m. Wagering will be accepted on Pompano races only on the second floor of both the grandstand and clubhouse.

Advisory committee meets: The 13-member "blue-ribbon" committee, appointed by the Department of Business Regulation to review legislative proposals, heard the department's positions on a number of issues during its first meeting Monday.

"We told them what was in the last bill (which stalled in the Senate, leading to court action and partial deregulation) and we walked them through that," said Bill Tabor, the director of the Division of Parimutuel Wagering.

"We had no idea what their positions were, so we mainly sat back and listened," said Vey Weaver, Derby Lane's general manager and a committee member.

"If we have any comments, we're supposed to write them up and send them to them so we can discuss them at our next meeting on Oct. 29," Weaver said.

Strong newcomers: Tampa Jai-Alai has added three new players, including two of the best young players from Ocala: Mendieta, 24, a frontcourter who played in the Central Florida partido championships for Ocala; Larru, 24, a backcourter who also played in that partido; and Amias, 33, a frontcourter who has played predominantly at Fort Pierce. Mendieta has already made an impact. Through Tuesday night, he has four wins.