Gett It Going was the model of consistency during the rounds and worked her way to the finals with a pair of wins and a pair of second place finishes. Right now she is running at the of her game and has not missed the quiniela in seven straight trips. She is competing in her first stakes competition and make it not only all the way to the finals, but to the top spot in points. Gett It Going can close from off the pace on occasion to win races, but her break and been her biggest asset over this current hot streak. She has been coming out way to close early on and that has translated to some superior efforts around the racetrack. This could have not been more on display than in the second round of the stakes. Breaking from the eight box, she exploded to the early lead and was in command with every step she took around the oval. She crossed eight length clear of her nearest competitor and was never in question at any point in that effort. She is the first of two entries for the Red Oak Racing kennel in the final and is looking to keep her hot streak going in this race. Post position might play a slight role in this effort, but the break is really more of a critical thing for her to worry about. She run her best from the edges, but should prefer the inside boxes if she can get them. This multi grade A winner greyhound has the experience to get it done in this final race, so let’s see if she has what it takes to get the job done tonight.
No greyhound was more impressive in qualifying than Gs Cosmo. Winning the first three rounds in a row, in dominate fashion, he was already in the finals before he even stepped on to the racetrack. Sure he might of faltered in the semis, but he was in the mix to the far turn and did run into trouble late. Still no greyhound is more feared in this final round race than Gs Cosmo. Why? All you need to know about is the race that he ran in the quarter-finals. Breaking from the two box he was out and gone early on. Taking a huge strong lead early, he stretch it out with every step he took and left the field in his lurch at the finish line. He was eleven full lengths clear of his nearest competitor and posted up the second fastest time I have ever seen run over the Orange Park oval at 37.10 seconds. The first of two greyhounds from the Willis Kennel in the finals, Cosmo is competing in his third stakes event, the 2012 JGR Puppy Stakes and the 770 yard back on track special, which he won, were the other two and this race will be his second final round appearance. Post might not matter that much if he breaks, but I’m completely sure he would love to be on the rail in this effort. Cosmo was the pre-race favorite to win the whole thing and he has not shown anything different during the rounds. He will be the favorite in this race, so all he has to do is show up, run his game, as the title is his to lose.
Gs Grace is a bit of a surprise here as early on in her warm up races for 660 she looked like she might not be able to run this far consistently, but boy did she surprise everyone when the stakes lights came on. Winning two of the four rounds, and posted up the second fastest time in qualifying, Grace parlayed those efforts with a second by a nose and a seventh place finish to secure herself a spot in the final field. Breaking is her biggest attribute over this distance and it was never more on display than in the semi-finals. Here she was in against the best of the best in qualifying and was not intimated at all. She exploded from the starting box, drove hard to the early lead, and maintained her margin throughout for the strong front running victory. Grace is the second greyhound from Willis in the finals, and as the old Matron of the field, she is not new to stakes competition. She has competed in two other stakes events, the 2012 Jacksonville Sprint Classic and the 2012 James J Patton Silver Cup, where she finished 6th in the finals, but both of those races were over the 550 yard course. Here over 660 she gets another chance at the championship and might just be able to get it done. We all know just where she wants to be on the racetrack and the one box would be her dream scenario, but if she wants a chance to win this race, she is going to have to break on top. She has the tools and experience needed to get it done, she just needs to step up to the plate one more time as they exit the starting box.
Pat C Abash is another surprise greyhound that really took her game to another level during the qualifying rounds. She found her break, and in turn, she was a force throughout on the front end in all of the rounds. Finishing off her first two trips with a pair of second place efforts, Abash reached back for more in round three and gave her all with a slim win. She was in the mix to the far turn in the Semi-Finals before she found trouble and had to settle for a fifth place finish. For all her efforts she found a spot in the final field in her first ever stakes competition at bestbet Orange Park Kennel Club. This Pat Collins Kennel greyhound is all about the early speed over the route and she showed just what she can do in her Quarter-Final trip around the oval. There she came out close and battled from the get go for the lead. By the far turn she had secured the top spot, but had to give her all just to retain it all the way to the finish line. Sure it might have shrunk away during the run, but she dug in deep and survived at the wire for the win. Post position could play a role for her in this effort, but with just five starts over 660 it’s tough to tell where she wants to be. Breaking is really more important for her, but if she had her druthers, I think she would choose something inside. Tonight she will have to step up early on and hit the lid if she wants a chance to win.
Slick has been a consistent 660 competitor over the last several months, but really had to work hard in order to make this final round field. He bookended the qualifying rounds with wins, and that along with his third and sixth place finish, were enough for him reach the finals. This Connell Kennel greyhound is competing in his second stakes, his second final, the other was the 770 yard Back on Track Special where he finished 4th, and looks to do what needs to be done in order to challenge in this race. Champions do more when they need to and he showed off that trait in the Semi-Finals. He needed to win this race to get in, and even though he did not get the early lead in that effort, he just kept coming and coming throughout and found a way to get it done at the finish line. Slick is one of only a few true dual threats in this race that can win with or without the early lead. He can close from off the pace to get it done if needed and that will play to his favor in this final round race. Experience is on his side too as he has competed and won several races amongst the best routers at the racetrack. No doubt that he wants to be inside at the start of this race and if he could draw the railest of posts, he would be a happy camper come post time. He knows what needs to be done in this effort, he just has to step up and take control early. If he comes to run, he will be in the mix at the finish line tonight.
Gavotte is in her second stakes final in a row and for the second straight time she reaches the elite eight without a victory. No greyhound gives more in each and every step that they take around the oval, but sooner or later you have to get over the hump and take home the big W at the wire. With a pair of second and a pair of thirds she was a threat throughout in each of her efforts, and in all of her qualifying races she was beat by greyhounds, except for 1, that are in the final round field. No easy trip to the final eight for this Falcon Kennel greyhound who ran her best race in the very first round. There she found her break, stole away the early lead, pressed hard to the stretch, but had to settle for place at the wire as fellow finalist Gs Grace held strong to the finish line. Gavotte needs a lot of things to go right if she is going to upset against this talented field. First she needs to get a great post position to break from, and for her that comes on the outside part of the racetrack. If she can get there, that is a start, but she will need to bring her A game at the break in order to contend. She must come to run early on and try and find a way to make it to the early lead. She needs to get over the hump and get her first victory in stakes competition, and who knows, maybe she is saving her best run for last.
Safe At Home’s return to 660 yard as a pretty strong one as he posted up victories in two of his four qualifying attempt, but what is more impressive is how he rebounding after a last place effort in round one. He didn’t miss a beat and along with his even running fourth in the Semi-Finals he earned enough points to find a spot in this final round field. The second of two from Red Oak Racing, Safe At Home is competing in his third stakes event, but this will be his first chance in the finals for a title run. He has blazing early speed over 660 yards and has shown that he can clock the times needed to hang with the big boys and girls of the circuit. Both of his wins came in similar fashion, but the run in the Quarter-Finals was the more impressive of the two. There he came out close, drove to the early lead, and maintained that edged all the way to the finish line for the easy victory. His 37.55 second route was good enough to put him in contention with the other finalists best times in qualifying, and even ahead of some of the other contestants. His break is the most important part of his 660 game and it will need to bring it from the get go in this final round race. He has done well in the past from the edges and that is where he needs to be at the start of this race. Recently the outside has been kind, so a box away from the crowd and a good break could play to his advantage. He MUST break quickly if he stands any chance at winning this effort.
Kiowa Leap was a longshot to make the finals and low and behold she got it done. Coming from Daytona this greyhound had never run 660 yard before, but she looked the part and has taken well to the added distance course. No doubt it was a gamble, but the gamble paid off well in this instance. The second of two from Connell, Leap took the same path to the finals as her kennelmate Slick did. She won the first and Semi-Final rounds and put that with her other two efforts, a fifth and a sixth place finish, and scored just enough points to move her into the elite eight. No confusing her with a breaker by any means, Kiowa Leap is all about closing over any distance, but in both of her winning trips she was in the conversation early on. In both winning trips she posted up identical speedy times of 37.65 seconds, but each race was won in a different fashion. In round one, she rushed out close, took over early, and raced alone to win by almost 8 lengths. In the Semis she broke close, but had to work harder to make the lead and harder to keep it. She gave her all when she needed to win and that was why she made it into the finals of this effort. Inside is where he wants to be and a rail post would go a long way in aiding her in this race. She can close with the best of them, but against this very stout field, she will need to be in the conversation at the break if she is going to have a chance at the upset. She knows how to get it done, she just needs to seize the opportunity she has been giving tonight.