Hkf Crazy Horse closes out Derby Lane's stakes season with big win

Published July 4, 2015

ST. PETERSBURG — John Farmer didn't push the panic button when Hkf Crazy Horse lost 16 consecutive races in the latter stages of 2014.

He hit fast forward instead.

During the winless streak, the Derby Lane kennel owner-trainer moved Hkf Crazy Horse from the 550-yard course, where he had struggled with first-turn traffic from quicker sprinters, to the middle-distance track.

That decision paid dividends June 27, when Hkf Crazy Horse captured the $30,000 St. Petersburg Derby, the final stakes race of Derby Lane's 90th anniversary season. It was the first stakes win at the St. Petersburg track for Farmer, 50, and his son and kennel assistant, Sean, 21. Ohio dog owner Richard Knauff also got his first career stakes victory.

"It felt awesome," John Farmer said. "We had a shot at a 1-2 finish, but Highlyclassified (third) couldn't quite get up there."

Hkf Crazy Horse ($19.40) used an early burst to snap a 0-for-9 record from the No. 1 box. D'Arcy kennel's Night Goddess also won the $10,000 Consolation Derby from the inside post.

Hkf Crazy Horse, a 3-year-old male out of a litter by Kiowa Sweet Trey and Uss Arlington, was making his fourth start in the past 11 weeks."(The time off) helped him a lot," Farmer said. "He had fresh legs."

Farmer had not won a stakes race since 2008. That was when Starz Jenko, now a house pet at Farmer's St. Petersburg residence, captured the Hollywood World Classic at Mardi Gras in Hallandale Beach and the Palm Beach Grand Classic at West Palm Beach.

The St. Petersburg Derby was Hkf Crazy Horse's 39th consecutive race at 660 after making his first 62 starts at 550. He won for the 23rd time.

"When (Hkf Crazy Horse) was in sprints (550), he didn't have enough early speed to get up to the turn, and he would always get knocked around all the time and still come back and win races," Farmer said. "I just thought in the long run, he would be better in three-eighths. He's actually a little bit short for three-eighths, and he has a little more distance in him than a regular sprint. A course right in between really would be his favorite."

MORE DOGS: The Derby Lane meet ended Tuesday with Burk Greyhounds winning its first kennel title with 292 victories. Husker Magic of Abernathy kennel repeated as top dog with 22 wins. Top times were clocked by D'Arcy's Eyes Loaded (29.99 seconds at 550) and Highlyclassified (36.92 at 660). … Floyd & Porter kennel has been renamed Floyd kennel.

HORSES: Tampa Bay Downs had an all-source handle of $2,918,659 at its two-day Summer Festival of Racing this week, an increase of 5.2 percent. Leaders for the 2014-15 meet: trainer Jamie Ness (46 wins); jockey Antonio Gallardo (record 147); owners Amaty Racing Stables and Midwest Thoroughbreds (tied at 23); apprentice rider Luis Figueroa (17); and horse Brother Pat (five).