Just one more round before we determined who is going to be in the finals for the 2014 First Coast Derby, and it all starts tonight in the semi-finals.
Three great races full of talent take to post in a chance to score some much needed points and find a spot amongst the other elite 8 finalist.
No doubt one greyhound is probably in the finals already, that would be Gs Daisy May, with 3 straight wins, but the other 7 spots could be nabbed by several of the remaining runners.
Let’s look at the races and give you an insight into just who those other 7 names could be.
Race 7: There is an obvious choice to be made in this race. Gs Daisy May has not missed a beat in the rounds and has gotten stronger, and faster, in each and every effort. Her last start she broke first, and that was just bad news for the rest of the field. She is a closer that can get it done on, or off, the lead. So pencil her in once again tonight as the streak continues. Trying to upset the apple cart will be a couple of rounds winners, but there will come at her in different ways. C Ville Wynter is a solid chasing early speed greyhound that should be a factor throughout, and Pat C Bs Lamotte is hot off a win in round 3 and should provide with a late challenge to the early leaders. Don’t forget about Kiowa Red Brook either. This steady chaser has taken well to the route and could find a spot in the money at the wire. (5-7-4-6)
Race 10: This is the most competitive race of the semi-finals and could be won a plethora of greyhounds. Ww’s Sweetie seems to be the one to beat here though as she has found her break and she is on a mission to win. With back to back wins, she is a big time threat, but with little left in the tank late, she will have her hands full with all of these talented closers. No doubt about it that Gs April will be making a late charge once again in this effort, and without a win in qualifying so far, she might need a W here to make it to the final round. She has the best late speed of the bunch and could pull it off, that is if she can break better tonight. Snj Black Porter might have faltered last time out, but previous to that, he had won back to back efforts. He is a monster close to the lead and if the light bulb comes on again tonight, the race might just be for place. Watch out for the converted sprinter Leroyjethogibbs here too. For sure he will be around early on and force the pace to the far turn, but in the stretch he is no match for the big boys and girls of the 660 world. Short is what he is, but he might just be able to hold on for a spot in the trifecta for the 4th straight time. (7-8-2-3)
Race 11: Speed vs. Close in the 11th race on the card as we have a pair of the best each over 660 locking up horns to see just who can come on out top at the wire. Multiple grade A 660 winner Cayenne Madonna needs to find her break, and if she does, she will be the one that everyone else will have to run down if they want to win this race. She has the experience, the speed, and the talent to get it done. The only question remaining is, can she rise to the occasion and steal enough early to hold on late. Pushing the pace from the box should be fellow breaking chaser Ww’s Hopeful, but he probably is not the one she needs to be worried about late. The best closer at the racetrack over the distance, Gs Sidney is in this field along with the winner of her last effort Braska Shimmy, who can also close well. Both greyhounds can come with a charge in the stretch and if either one gets around the conversation early, they easily could dash off late for the easy victory. So who gets up? Who hold on? Here I think Sidney outfinishes the rest at the wire. Madonna holds for place, and Shimmy is in the mix as well. Watch for Hopeful to give her all and round out the superfecta in this effort. (3-6-1-4)
The field will be set after tonight and the final will run this Saturday evening, February 1st at bestbet Orange Park in conjunction with our fan favorite 2nd chance drawings. Come out for the stakes promotion and the food, and stay for the stakes and see just who is the best 660 greyhound at the racetrack on Saturday evening.