ST. PETERSBURG — Derby Lane kennel owners Randy and Patty Floyd didn't have to ask trainer Derek Barsell where he planned to go the morning after their Tr's Flapjack collected his first stakes title in the $50,000 Husker Magic Fall Sprint Stakes.
"I've got to go to the store and get a porterhouse (for him)," Barsell said moments after the race. "When you win a stakes, you get a steak."
Patty Floyd added: "Get him a cupcake, too."
It was time for celebration in the Floyd kennel on Sept. 24 — the night before Tr's Flapjack's third birthday — as the 82-pound male ran his best race ever to win the inaugural 550-yard event, the first stakes in Derby Lane's 91 years to be named after a greyhound. Tr's Flapjack's clocking of 30.57 seconds was a career best, and the $22,000 first-place prize raised his lifetime earnings to more than $38,000.
The post-race festivities featured a different setting with track treasurer Shaine Mobley making her inaugural appearance in a trophy presentation, and a second dog being added to the group. Husker Magic, Derby Lane's all-time win leader, stood next to kennel co-owner Kayruth Abernathy as photographs were taken of the winning connections. Husker Magic, whose career ended on June 21 with 105 victories, was having a farewell track presence on the eve of a breeding career.
"It worked out real good (for Tr's Flapjack)," Randy Floyd said. "He did what he was supposed to do. … He broke (well), and got a jam behind him that gave him a few more lengths."
Tr's Flapjack, whose 27th lifetime victory represented the eighth consecutive time that he has finished either first or second recently in a race, rushed into the first turn on top, and moments later, enjoyed a 5-length lead as four dogs went wide on the turn. Alderson kennel's Bella Gigan avoided the jam and moved into second quickly along the rail. But Tr's Flapjack's margin was too much to overcome as he won by 2 lengths.
"As he has progressed, we knew (he could be a stakes dog)," Patty Floyd said. "His early speed is his strength."
Tr's Flapjack, the 5-2 wagering favorite and a runnerup to Kentucky Kat in the $8,000 T.L. Weaver Memorial Challenge on Aug. 27, has flourished at Derby Lane since arriving 15 months ago from Southland Park in West Memphis, Ark.
Former Derby Lane athletes make up Tr Flapjack's breeding. Owner John Robinson of Orlando purchased his dam, Gretchen Oswalt, from the Floyds after she raced for the St. Petersburg couple from 2008-11. Flying Coal City, the sire, was a five-time stakes champion and the sport's Triple Crown winner in 2010 for kennel owner Malcolm McAllister and his late wife, Barbara.
MORE DOGS: The $20,000 Gold Trophy Juvenile Stakes begins the first of four qualifying rounds tonight in Races 4, 6, 8 and 10. The 550-yard finale is Oct. 15. First place pays $9,000.