Gs Daisy May has been a strong competitor at bestbet Orange Park since breaking in, but she may have just found her niche as she moved to the longer distance for the First Coast Derby. Getting better with every start, Gs Daisy May won the first three round of the stakes, and finished a close fourth in the semi-finals to secure her spot atop of the field heading into the finals. With a good mix of break and finish, Daisy can get it done from the front end, or from just off the early leaders. Her easiest trip came in the third round as she exploded to the lead and coasted all the way around on the front end for the big win, but her most impressive victory was the one that she gave in round 2. There she didn’t have the lead, had to work hard from behind, and still managed to get up at the finish line for the win. Daisy will be competing in her first final round race, but that doesn’t mean she is lacking in stakes experience. She has competed in 2 other events and almost made the finals of the 2013 Jacksonville Juvenile over the 550 yard course. Daisy is the first of 3 young greyhounds in the final for the Willis Kennel, and come post time she should be the one to beat in this effort. As far as post positions go, Daisy will want something on the inside part of the racetrack. She loves it in there, but if she comes to run early, it really will not matter that much. She made her case during the qualifying rounds, now all we can do it sit and wait on the verdict come post time in the finals of the 2014 First Coast Derby.
I don’t know what more to say about Snj Black Porter than has already been said ten times before. No really, he has been in 10 stakes races and this one makes his 6th final round appearance. Porter is a monster, plain and simple, when he wants to run and that was during the rounds in the 2014 First Coast Derby. He posted up victories in 3 of his 4 efforts, and remember he is the only greyhound in this field who has won a stakes event. Not only has he won one for the Crowe kennel, he has won two over different distances. Porter is as fast as he wants to be and when he gets his nose in front early, like he did in the first and fourth rounds, the race is pretty much over at that point. Don’t get me wrong, he has late speed too and can come from off the pace as well to try and challenge for the win at the wire if need be. Porter loves to race on the midtrack to wide side of the racetrack and the further out he goes, the easier it is going for him to find room early on. In this stakes final, I think he has to break like he did in the rounds if he is going to be successful. We all know how much experience he has, so he needs to go to the well one more time tonight, and if he does, he will join rarefied air with 3 stakes victories at bestbet Orange Park.
With all of those starts you would have expected Ty Kay Event to have been in several stakes events and maybe even a final, but that would not be the case. Ty Kay Event is competing in her first ever stakes final and this was only her 2nd attempt against the elite stakes competition for the O’Donnell kennel. She is no stranger to winning though as she has posted up several victories over 660 and 770 yards in the past. She is mostly a breaker over this distance and runs her best when she can get out of the box on top, or near the early lead. Case in point would be her semi-final round race where she rushed hard early, crept by the leaders to take control, and proved tough on top to secure the win. Pack that effort up with a pair of second place finishes, and one out of the money finish, and she gets to join the elite crowd in the finals on Saturday evening. Ty Kay Event doesn’t really care too much about where she starts the race from, as she needs to be on top early to really be effective, but if she had her druthers she would probably like something inside to midtrack. That is not the only spot though as she has performed well from the outside too. Tonight she is going to have to pack up all her knowledge, and her best break, if she wants a chance to compete against this talented field.
Ww’s Brutal really stepped up her game in the rounds and no greyhound helped their cause more that Brutal did in the semi-finals. Rushing hard early Brutal seized quick command, and survived the late chargers to hold on for the slim win at the wire. With that win and her 2nd, 3rd and 5th place finish, she landed herself in the finals of a stakes race in her very first attempt. Running for Red Oak Racing, she is the first of two entries into the finals for the kennel champs from last year. Speed is the key to her success over the route and she has to be in contention early on if she is going to stand a chance in this effort. Finally in grade A with the win in the semis, Brutal has a bright future ahead of her here at bestbet Orange Park. Now for the post position talk. Clearly she needs to break, but post could go a long way and helping her out in this effort. Something on the edges would be ideal for her to start from. Anywhere inside or outside, just not in the middle, would allow her room to break, rush, and run through the early turn. Can she step up and surprise them all in back to back efforts? We will find out on Saturday evening in the 11th race.
Back after a stint at Wheeling, Ww’s Sweetie never missed a beat and rocketed back to grade A, and into her first final round race in her very first attempt. Running for Red Oak Racing, Sweetie posted up back to back wins in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, and along with a 4th and 7th place finish, she became their second finalist. Breaking is the key to her success in each and every start and once she gets her nose in front, she is about as tough as it gets to run down. Just look at her 2nd round race and you will know exactly what I’m talking about. She burst to the front from the box, stole away a couple of lengths down the frontside, maintained the margin to the stretch, dug in deep when she needed to, and survived at the finish line in the photo to win by a nose. Sweetie has won several grade A’s over 660 yards and knows how to get it done, but she is going to have to be on top of her game in this final round race if she wants to take home the trophy at the finish line. As far as post positions go, I would say that she would like to start on the outside part of the racetrack. Some of her best efforts have come from the 7 or 8 boxes, including that determined win in round 2. Sweetie has all the tools she needs to get the job done, she just needs to show up, hit the lid, find that determination, and she could be the next champion at bestbet Orange Park.
No greyhound in this race is a better closer over 660 yards than Gs Sidney. She is never out of any race and can even win against the best greyhounds at the racetrack from way, way, way off the early pace. Trust me when I say, she was flying late in each and every effort, but where she really shined was in the first round of the stakes. There she found room around the early trouble, gradually gained ground to the far turn, and then exploded by the leader late to win by almost 7 lengths at the finish line. Parlay that with a 2nd, 3rd, and 7th place finish and you get the second finalist for the Willis Kennel here in the First Coast Derby. Sidney really shined after moving to the added distance and the further she goes, the better she gets. In 19 races she has only missed the money twice, and that trend is surely going to continue on the more races that this puppy runs over the route. Post position really doesn’t matter to her as she is almost always last from the starting box, but she has a pair of wins from the 4 box and has also won twice and not missed the money from the 8. As long as she gets a clean run through the early turn, and the leaders don’t get too far ahead of her at the start, she will be a strong contender in the stretch once again in this final round race.
Gs April didn’t win a round of the stakes for the second straight time, but she did well enough to find a spot in the finals for the second straight time. Running for the Willis kennel, Gs April is the third finalist in this field for them after finished 2nd by a nose, 2nd by 4, 3rd by 2, and a hard closing 5th in the semi-finals. Closing has been her mainstay since breaking in at bestbet Orange Park and the longer course seemed a great place to go and try out. No one in my last 17 years here has made more of a statement in their first 660 yard race than Gs April did in hers back in December. Breaking from the 7 box, this closer came out running and took over instant command of the race. She drew away from the grade A field with each and every step she took and finished 10 lengths better than the rest in the speediest of times we have seen in a mighty long time here, 37.18 seconds. Since she has been good, but has not won a race and she could be saving another one of those out of body experience runs for the finals. Post could go a long way with helping her accomplish her goals as this rail runner has never started inside of the 3 box over 660 yards. A good rail post and she might just break again, and that would be a lot of bad news for the rest of this race come Saturday.
Pat C Bs Lamotte – (36 Points)
Career Totals (18/5-5-1-2)
Bd – F Dec 2011 Kiowa Sweet Trey – Pat C Shes Right
Owned By – Robert Schoop or Patrick Collins
Runs for the Pat Collins Kennel
Trained by Scott Jarvis
Rounding out the field is the true puppy in the bunch Pat C Bs Lamotte. I know others are younger, but she only has 18 starts under her belt here and just a handful over the added distance. Since arriving at 660 yards, she has been loving the extra time to close and it did her well in the rounds. With a win, and second, and a pair of 5th place finishes, she maneuvered her way into the final spot in the final field in her very first try at stake race competition. Running for Pat Collins, she is his only entry, but proved that she can get it done when she gets around cleanly against some of the best at the racetrack. Her best effort was the win in round three where she broke slowly, rushed up well, gradually gained on the leaders, and bursted by in the deep stretch to steal away the win at the finish line. Lamotte is a rail driving greyhound that absolutely loves being inside the rest at anytime on the racetrack. She would love to draw a post on the rail, she has never been inside of the 4 box at 660, and it could be a difference maker for her. The longshot here to win, this puppy will need to bring everything she has if she wants a chance to upset the field in this final round race.