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Arkansas kennel hits high gear

The Thorne/Herron Kennel is on the move in the Derby Lane Million.

Kiowa Cruzechamp and Sas Mason Jar gave the surging Arkansas kennel two victories in the quarterfinal round Wednesday afternoon at Derby Lane.

Sixteen of the 32 greyhounds were eliminated in the four qualifying races, sending the remaining 16 into Saturday night's semifinals (races 8 and 10). Thorne/Herron and Magic City lead all kennels with three greyhounds still alive for a shot at the $500,000 first-place prize.

The race and post-position draw for the semifinals will be held today. The top eight greyhounds with the most points after Saturday advance to the March 4 final.

D'Arcy Kennel's Greys Calibrator and Floyd & Porter's Joe Hearns are the only greyhounds guaranteed of being in the championship race with 56 and 54 points, respectively. Both sprinters lost Wednesday after winning their first three qualifiers.

"The same couple dogs had been winning and the rest of us had been pretty much wide open," Thorne/Herron Kennel manager Rod Monroe said. "I had a feeling that if we just did what we do best, some things would work out in our favor. We have the talent to work with, and I had the confidence we could get it out of them."

Thorne/Herron has advanced three of its four entries to the semifinals. Kiowa Cruzechamp is third with 44 points, Sas Mason Jar has 42 and Kiowa Cruze Thru is at 29. Thorne/Herron has won five of the past eight qualifying races after an 0-for-10 start.

Cajun Cain of Brumage/Filipelli posted the fastest 550-yard time Wednesday in 30 seconds flat. C & C Kennel's Jack Whistler scored the biggest upset at 11-1 odds and ran a 30.01.

Magic City's semifinalists are Ebony River (42 points), Your Lucky Charm (37) and Extruding Dream (33).