ST. PETERSBURG — As a pup, Oya Stan The Man made people notice.
His physical appearance and running ability drew the attention of Gary Reicherts, who bred and raised the greyhound on his farm in Osage, Iowa. Stan Mauer, one of Reicherts' employees, also saw something he liked.
"I told (Mauer) to go out and pick a dog you want to put your name on," Reicherts said.
Mauer had an eye for talent.
Derby Lane kennel owner Mick D'Arcy would agree.
D'Arcy, 70, who started his Derby Lane operation in 2004-05 after a successful stint as manager and trainer with former Greymeadow kennel, enjoyed his first top-dog title as a kennel owner with Oya Stan The Man in the recently concluded January-to-June meet.
Oya Stan The Man won 19 of 34 starts to finish three victories ahead of Floyd kennel athletes, $64,000 Sprint Classic champion Lego Andrew and Tr's Flapjack. The signature win for Oya Stan The Man came on the eve of his second birthday on June 25 when he took the $30,000 St. Petersburg Derby, his first stakes victory.
"He has to come into the reckoning for All-American," D'Arcy said.
The male from a litter by Australian-bred stud dog Defrim Bale and O Ya Norma also clocked two of the meet's four best times on the 660-yard course, including a 36.82-second effort on June 22.
Frances D'Arcy, Mick's wife, said Mick was confident that Oya Stan The Man was more than a sprinter.
"(Mick) always felt he was a ⅜ths dog," she said. "He was thrilled . . . over the moon (about the win title)."
Said Mick: "We knew early on that he was special. He could still run very fast at 5/16ths, and he wasn't even warmed up."
Oya Stan The Man made his first 10 starts at 550 yards with five wins. The 75-pound greyhound has been at 660 since, logging 15 victories from 27 starts. D'Arcy's last St. Petersburg Derby win came in 2008 with Greys Touch Gold, who recently died from cancer at age 11. She was owned by Mick's daughter, Catherine D'Arcy, where she lived until her passing. Greys Touch Gold had been the kennel's top-ranked dog for a meet until Oya Stan The Man's title, finishing fourth in 2007 to Hometown Boy of Floyd & Porter kennel.
Defrim Bale, who stands with Michael Strickland of Abilene, Kan., had a major impact on Derby Lane's meet. He sired three champions: Alabama Racing kennel's Mac's Gossie, winner of the $10,000 Consolation Derby and $10,000 Matinee Idol; D'Arcy's $80,000 Distance Classic champion O Ya Cruiser Max; and Oya Stan The Man.
"(Reicherts) is unique," D'Arcy said. "He had three dogs in the (Derby) final, and they're all out of three different females. Gary seems to produce a great dog.
"He's a dairy farmer, but he loves the greyhounds and he loves the horses. I'll tell you what — whatever he's doing, I wish I knew it. He's doing everything right."