The model on consistence in the rounds, Pullanallnighter was never out of the quiniela in any of the qualifying rounds which included a win and three second place efforts. Breaking is always the key to her success and she was around the leader at the start in each and every one of her efforts. Her best start in the rounds came in the second as she burst from the box and stole a big lead at the first turn. She continues to cruise around the racetrack on the front end and even though her lead was dwindling, she held tough in the stretch and lasted at the wire for the slim victory. Finishing in the quiniela is not strange to this Blanchard Kennel entry as she has posted 14 top two finishes in her 19 career starts. This was her first chance to run against stake race competition and she not only made it into the finals, she was the leader in points with 52. Breaking in you might not have pegged her as someone that would be leading the way in a stakes race. She took 13 races to get to grade A and that was an uphill battle to say the least. She has really found her stride since arriving at the top level of competition and has not fallen back since meeting the grade A’s. With such a small sample size of efforts around the track it is hard to get a good grasp on just what post position she likes best. Really for her, it comes down to breaking and not so much the post. So room early would be a premium for her in this effort. If she had to choose, I say something on the outside part of the racetrack, or on the far inside of the racetrack. The edges seems to be where she wants to be. This race will not be an easy one as it is littered with fantastic greyhounds, but if she can steal away the early lead like she did in round 2, it might be her time to shine, that is if she can keep the closers at bay at the finish line.
The hottest greyhound headed into this final round race is Sheezsohot. WOW is that a coincidence or what? Sheezsohot made up for a trouble ridden round 1 as she found her break and won back to back to back races in round out qualifying in the 2015 bestbet Juvenile. This little girl might just have the best raw speed in the bunch. Don’t believe me? Check out her best effort in qualifying where she hit the lid and increased her margin all the way to the finish line. Stopping the clock at a blistering 30.41 seconds, she set the mark that was unmatched in any of the races in qualifying for the stakes. Sheezsohot runs for the Falcon Kennel and makes her first stakes race final in her very first attempt at stakes race competition. On her way up the ladder she has been a consistent competitor and closer, but that has not always translated into victories. She took 3 starts to break her maiden, and 10 to get to grade A. Recently her break has improved greatly and that has been the difference maker for her at the finish line. For her post does seem to matter as she looks to see red against this field tonight. She loves the one box and would be over the moon if she could start from there in this effort. In her 4 chances from the rail post so far in her young career she has posted up 3 wins and a third place finish, including that romp in qualifying. If she gets loose again in this one, this field will have a hard time getting to her before the wire tonight.
Arkaska Lotus – (48 Points)
OP Career Totals (33/10-9-4-4)
W T R – F Nov 2013 Kiowa Sweet Trey – Braska Hottie
Owned By – Rachelle Henry or Bill A Elliott
Runs for Double J Kennel
Trained by Chris Maynard
Arkaska Lotus is the only greyhound in this final that has former stakes race experience. She was the in the 2015 edition of the bestbet Sprint Classic and even though he didn’t make it to round 3, she took that experience and parlayed that into a successful run in the bestbet Juvenile. Despite the rough third round, Lotus was undefeated in the stakes. Winning round 1, 2, and 4, she is a formidable force in this final, especially if she can get out of the box like she did in round 2. In that race she exploded to the lead and steadily drew away from the rest of the field all the way to the wire for the easy victory. This Blanchard Kennel entry will take all that knowledge as she competes in her first ever final round race. Like several of the others finalist, Lotus is at her best when she is close to the early lead. Her strong break has been the reason that she has been successful as of late, but not the only reason. She is not a flash and fade type of runner and has come from off the pace as well to secure wins at bestbet Jacksonville. Lotus came from Southland and climbed the long ladder to grade A, 20 official starts, and even though she has slipped back to B for a brief second, she has really been on point as of late. In her young career she has been successful from the edges and that is where she will want to start this race from. Far inside or out would be a great starting post. If she comes to run, she will have a good shot at winning the title and her 7th race in her last 9 efforts.
Talk about stepping up at the right time, Mac’s Melanie really came into her own as the stakes round commenced. Winning two of the rounds, running 2nd in another, and missing in the fourth, Melanie mimicked her time at bestbet Jacksonville. There have been ups and downs early for this Chances Are Kennel runner. It took 9 races just to break her maiden, and 19 races to reach grade A, but when it mattered most, she rose to the occasion and made her way into the final round field in her first attempt against the best at the racetrack. Her best race came in the semi-finals when she needed the 16 points the most. Breaking slowly from the outside, she outrushed the field to the early lead and stole away 3 lengths over the field as she headed up the backside. She continued the assault all the way to the wire as she seized a spot in the finals with a speedy 4 length victory in 30.55 second. As for post positions, she is like most of the other greyhounds in this field, she wants something away from the crowd in the middle. Outside is the preferred spot for her, but she has performed well from the rail as well in the past. She has won races from off the pace, as well as, on the lead, so this dual threat could factor well in this effort again tonight. The only question is, which greyhound shows up? We will find out at post time!
Super C Britni was only one of three greyhound to remain in the money throughout the stakes and that included a pair of wins and a pair of fourth place efforts. There was total confidence in the Lester Raines Kennel for this little girl as she started off the stakes in just her 12th career start. It might have been the back to back wins prior to the start of the stakes that made up their mind on the entry, but she showed that she was well deserving of the nomination. In round 1 she proved she was for real as she broke close, rushed up to stalk the leader at the turn, took over down the backside, and coasted all the way to the wire for the easy victory. A little all or nothing to start her career, she has matured into a competent threat in each and every effort. In 11 races she made it to the top level and has not looked back since. Breaking does help her chances of winning, but she too can come from off the pace late to get the job done if need be. Post position is a tough call as she only has 15 starts, but her wins have come from the edges. Far outside or inside would be the place to be, but like the rest, breaking is really the key to her performing well in this race. She has the tools to get the job done, she just needs to show up early, and she should be a factor at the wire again tonight.
Ww’s Sammy might have joined us from Southland, but she has been a mainstay here for a mighty long time. What is surprising is that she has never competed in a stakes race before this one. Here she didn’t disappoint as she won a round, finished 2nd in two others, and finished a close 5th after trouble in the other round. Experience will be the wild card in this final for this first of two from Red Oak Racing, as she has competed in twice as many top grade races than some of this field has starts. Ww’s Sammy’s best effort in qualifying came in the third round as she beat the box and ran a huge race on the lead. She was pressed with every step she took around the oval and she never gave up and she never gave in. What a determined effort and it paid off in the end with a spot in this final round field. Normally a stalker that can close a bit at the end of the race, she can break on occasion too and when she does, she is normally in complete control and post up some very quick times. Unlike the rest, there is plenty of races to look at here and you get a good glimpse of where she wants to be at the start. Where is that? The inside part of the racetrack. Sure she has shown burst from the outside, but the inside is her bread and butter. Will experience be enough to take down this field tonight? Time will tell.
Ww Char Fontane might be the only true closer in this effort. Coming from off the pace in all 4 rounds of competition, she rallied for a win, a second, and a pair of third place efforts. This makes her one of only three greyhounds in the field to sweep the rounds in the cash, and it took her into her first final round field in her first try at stakes racing competition. This second entry from Red Oak Racing showed just what she could do in the first round of qualifying. There she broke close and chase the leaders all the way to the stretch. Coming home she found 3 more gears that the rest of the field wish they had and passed not only the leader, but the chaser as well, to score a going away victory at the wire. Even though she has many starts, she took the longest of any of the finalist to get to grade A. She reached it in her 38th official start, but sometimes the prize is worth the wait. Post position seems easy for her as the best start of her career have come from the 8 box, or the outside of the racetrack. From here she gets a clean rush to the turn and it gets her in contention early, which leads to her coming on late to win or challenge at the wire. Tonight she really needs to get out of the box well if she wants to keep up with all the early speeders in this race. If she can get some help up front, and find some acceleration at the break, she too has a chance to take home the big W in this final round race.
You want puppy power? Well you got it here with Lk’s Picketwire. Talk about jumping in head first, Lk’s Picketwire joined the stakes in just his 9th career start and it didn’t take long for him to prove he belonged. Winning the first two rounds of the stakes, he was on top of the point total for a while, but his break left him in the second two rounds and he backed his way into the last spot in this final round field. Those two efforts are the only ones of his career out of the money, and he will need to step it up once again if he wants a chance to contend with the big girls tonight. Clearly his best effort came in round 2 as he missed his break, rushed hard to take over control of the race at the turn and gave a huge front running effort for the breezing win at the wire. He overcame the trouble and proved that he was not just a front running greyhound. The only entry in the final for the J & J Calabro Kennel, Lk’s Picketwire gets into a stake final in just his 13th official start and of course this was his first try against the best at the racetrack. He has run so well so far that it is hard to tell just where he wants to start from. He has won races from the inside, the outside, and midtrack, but his best races seem to have come from the rail. So that is where I think he will find the most success. He has tools to win from the lead or from off the pace and just needs to be in the conversation early on in this effort to get a chance to steal away the win. Just because he fell on a couple of tough trips, don’t count him out. Puppies are puppies for a reason, and they are still learning and growing with every start. If the light bulb comes on again, and he comes out fast, he could be an upset waiting to happen in this effort.