Heading into the finals of any stakes race as the leader in points can be a curse or a blessing. We all have seen several times where the best greyhound in the field just couldn’t get it done in the finals, and we have also seen where the leader rises to the occasion and dominates for the win.
The 2012 Jacksonville Juvenile would not be an exception to either rule. Three greyhounds, Ww’s Mile Stone, Lk’s Now R Never, and Braska Char all won three rounds of the stakes and all looked like they had a chance to win the finals. Only one would get it done and that dominance started early on.
As Rusty flew through the far turn and the box started to open up, it was the converted router Gavotte who came out on top ahead of the rest of the field. No doubt a surprise to everyone, but that early glory would turn out to be a short lived one as point leader, Ww’s Mile Stone, Ww Head First, and Lk’s Now R Never. were hot on her heels.
As they rushed to the first turn, Ww’s Mile Stone drew along side of Gavotte and took command at the turn with a strong inside move. Gavotte was cutoff on the rail and flew out wide to get room. In her swing wide she collided with Lk’s Now R Never, Ww Petty Cash, and Atascocita Hoot, and left room on the rail for Braska Char and Atascocita Hemp to benefit around the corner.
Down the backside the field went with Ww’s Mile Stone, a mile in the lead and in complete control of this race. Braska Char chased in place as Atascocita Hemp continued to play catch up, and Ww Head First tried to overcome her own trouble at the first turn.
By the far turn this race was already over Ww’s Mile Stone was breezing on the lead and was a full five lengths ahead of her nearest competition. The battle for place was the real contest of this final as Braska Char was doing everything she could to hold on as Atascocita Hemp was narrowing the gap with every step.
Down the stretch there was really no doubt who would take home that title as Ww’s Mile Stone continued to roll on as she crossed in a speedy 30.52 second clocking, four lengths better than the rest of the field.
Braska Char was able to hold off the all out effort by Atascocita Hemp to secure her show in place and Hemp had to settle for show. Ww Head First ran a huge race as she overcame trouble in both turns to close and finish just a length off of place at the wire.
Completing the field was early leader, and collider at the first turn, Gavotte in fifth, the bumped Ww Petty Cash in sixth, the bumped race favorite Lk’s Now R Never in seventh, and the hit Atascocita Hoot in eighth.
Congrats to a set of first timers here at bestbet Orange Park Kennel Club. Trainer Leon Ooton, Red Oak Racing, and owner Julia Ward all got their first stakes victory here at the racetrack. Leon has been trying for several years and it’s good to see that hard work and dedication pays off in the end, and with the partnership that Red Oak Racing has formed with Julia Ward and her WW’s greyhounds, this might be the first in a long line of stakes victories to come.