ST. PETERSBURG — Lego Andrew is racing against Father Time. He also will be chasing history as the Floyd kennel 42-month-old greyhound attempts to defend his title in the $64,000 Sprint Classic, which begins Saturday at Derby Lane.
No dog in the track's richest 550-yard stakes race has won the 42-year-old event twice.
"I'm hoping we get one more good, little spurt with him," said kennel owner Randy Floyd.
Lego Andrew, who has clocked or shared the best 550 time in the past two meets, faces 31 challengers. The first of four qualifying rounds are in Races 4, 6, 8 and 10. Eight dogs with the most accumulative points after the final qualifier March 1 advance to the finale three nights later.
Sired by 2008 Sprint Classic winner Kinloch Brae, Lego Andrew carries plenty of sentiment for Floyd and his wife, Pat. They raced his dam, Danicas Go Daddy, who won 32 of 172 career starts and made the finals in two stakes races.
"I had (Lego Andrew's) mom, his grandmother (Kiss The Bride) and great-grandmother (Tequila Girl, if you go back that far," Randy Floyd said. "I never thought (Lego Andrew) would be doing this good. He doesn't have nearly the box break like he used to, but that's because of his age. What he's lacking in early speed, he runs the turns pretty well, and he's learning how to stay out of trouble."
Lego Andrew has made the finals in four of seven stakes appearances, highlighted by his eight-length Sprint Classic win at 8-1 odds. The Derek Barsell trainee also has a pair of runner-up stakes finishes: the $10,000 1925 Historical Inaugural in January, and the $10,000 Matinee Idol in 2016. Lego Andrew has 42 career victories from 129 starts with earnings of more than $58,000. He has finished in the money 77 percent of the time with top-four showings, including his past 11 starts.
Lego Andrew drew box 4 in Race 6 at 8:39 p.m. Floyd kennel also entered Kaias Pogo, who has won his past two races and starts from post 1 in Race 4 at 8:10.
"Pogo doesn't break, but he's got a heck of a rush to the turn," Floyd said. "He'll give you 110 percent every time."
The Floyds have won Derby Lane's past two major 550 stakes: the $50,000 Husker Magic Fall Sprint in September with Tr's Flapjack, and Lego Andrew's Sprint Classic victory.
First place pays $25,000.
More Dogs: A graveside service took place Tuesday in Miami for Derby Lane kennel owner Pauline O'Donnell, who died Feb. 7 from undisclosed causes. O'Donnell of Miami Lakes was 84. … Derby Lane will host the Mutt Derby on Sunday. Registration is at 11 a.m. with racing at noon.
Horses: Tampa Bay Downs has two stakes on Saturday's 11-race card: the $100,000 Pelican (Race 10, 4:55 p.m.), and the $50,000 Minaret (8, 3:55). Both 6-furlong sprints will be contested on the main dirt track.