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  1. Sports

Derby Lane plans to open again after 49-day layoff

Matinee-only racing will be available six days a week, starting Friday. The poker room also is re-opening.

ST. PETERSBURG — Derby Lane will resume greyhound racing this week after a 49-day closure because of the coronavirus pandemic, the track announced Saturday on Twitter.

The facility, which closed March 20 — in accordance with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order to help combat the spread of COVID-19 — is scheduled to begin racing Friday with a 15-race matinee performance. Derby Lane did not address how it plans to adhere to social distancing guidelines, other than to say, “Please stay home if you are showing any symptoms.”

Derby Lane has amended its schedule with matinee-only racing six days a week, Monday through Saturday. Previously, the track offered seven weekly performances with night racing on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

The track’s poker room is scheduled to reopen May 11, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Derby Lane, which is celebrating its 95th year, lost 49 racing performances due to the shutdown. Greyhounds have not competed since March 19.

Lester Raines sits atop the 14-kennel win standings with 129 victories. ABC Racing is second at 119, followed by Capabal at 118 and Lashmet at 117. All-America first-team member and two-time reigning meet win leader LK’s Crush N It of Lashmet kennel and Shoot The Breeze of Floyd kennel are tied for the most wins at the meet with 11 apiece.

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