ST. PETERSBURG — Rt's Bo Jangles has been down this road before.
In his past three stakes finals at Derby Lane, the Cal Holland kennel sprinter has been a prohibitive favorite to win his first title. He has yet to find the winner's circle.
Rt's Bo Jangles can change that Saturday night in the $10,000 Howl-O-Ween Stakes. The 30-month-old male from a litter by Kiowa Mon Manny and Penrose Karrie is expected to be the dog to beat again in Race 10 at 9:47 p.m.
Owned by Randy Toler of Penrose, Colo., Rt's Bo Jangles brings plenty of momentum into the Howl-O-Ween, which pays $4,500 to the winner. He has won his past three starts by a combined 17 lengths — all in box-to-wire manner — and leads Derby Lane greyhounds in victories this year with 34.
"A win for Bo Jangles will sort of cement his nomination to be an All-American for the year," Derby Lane director of racing Les Robison said. "He's right up there (nationally) with wins. He just needs to get a stakes victory, and has a good shot at it."
Rt's Bo Jangles, who leads in his quest to capture a second consecutive meet win title, clocked the fastest time among 63 dogs that raced on the 550-yard track in Wednesday's qualifying race at 30.73 seconds.
In Rt's Bo Jangles' past three stakes finale, he was sixth as the 9-5 favorite to Tmc's Moonbeam in the $50,000 Husker Magic Fall Sprint on Sept. 30; third to Hkf Betty Lou as the 2-5 choice in the $8,000 T.L. Weaver Memorial on Aug. 19; and third again behind Poweroftraction as the even-money favorite in the $20,000 Remembrance on May 29.
Rt's Bo Jangles drew box two. The rest of the field from the rail: Se's Punisher (Nova kennel), Barts Mr Peabody (Bartley Corporation), Flamenco Dancer (Farmer Racing), Brian Ernst (Capabal), Wall Nut (ABC Racing), Kelsos Jam On It (Lester Raines), and Bob's Kelly (Steubenville).
"Brian Ernst (second by three lengths to Rt's Bo Jangles on Wednesday) is always up close at the end," Robison said. "He's got mid-track finishing power, so he's a threat. Bob's Kelly is a young pup and has some very early speed. If she can stick her nose out in front, she could also be a factor as well.
"You've got some old standbys like Barts Mr Peabody make another final. Another pup with the least amount of racing is Kelsos Jam On It."
Bob's Kelly won her qualifying race Wednesday in 30.99 seconds, holding off Wall Nut by a neck. Barts Mr Peabody, a 3-year-old greyhound who finished fourth in that same race, is the finale's oldest dog and goes for his second career stakes championship. He won the $20,000 Gold Trophy Juvenile in 2016.
Kelsos Jam On It qualified with a third-place effort against Bob's Kelly. The 20-month-old female is the youngest and least experienced starter with 14 lifetime races (four wins).