Round 3 of the bestbet Derby is in the books and just one greyhound made it through unscathed. Most would have thought that it probably would have been Raiders Bacardi who came to the semi-finals with an unblemished record, but in fact it was his brother Mercury Morris that got the job done.
Breaking slowing once again in the 15th race, Mercury Morris got it into high gear early on. Using the loads of room, he found outside, he galloped right behind the leader the first time around past the finish line. By the escape he was already in the lead, and well the rest is history. He continued to drive around the racetrack and left the field in his dust. Coming home he was all alone and easily won by 6 full lengths in a speedy time of 37.76 seconds. Second was Ww’s Corolla who came from off the pace early as well to chase the leader in place for the majority of this effort. Gs Daisy May made a huge late run to steal away the show position in the stretch from the solid chasing threat Kane’s Widow, who had to settle for the final spot in the superfecta.
Well Raiders Bacardi might not have won the 9th race on the car, but it was not from a lack or trying. As expected, Pj Alabama burst from the starting box and took over the early lead in this effort. Stealing away 3 lengths early, Alabama was in control of this effort, the problem lied in that the closers will hadn’t started to run yet. Down the backside the big dogs started to make their move and by the far turn, that 3 length lead was cut down to one. In the stretch is where it got really interesting. The closing chasing threat Mx Midnight Jazz took over from the leader and was in control of the race heading home, but as they approached the line, Raiders Bacardi came from nowhere to challenge for the win. He was absolutely flying late and made the easy winner worry about the W. When the smoked cleared, and the photo was taken, Bacardi came just a head short of the win. Midnight Jazz survived to win, Bacardi reluctantly took place, and the early speeder Pj Alabama gave a winning trip just a length and a half off in third. Rounding out the superfecta was Mexican Senorita.
There was a battle for the ages in the 11th race on the car as race favorite O Ya Gunsmoke and Pat C Lulu battled it out from the box to the wire for the win. Frankly the whole race battled as top 6 positions at the wire were within 4 and a half lengths at the wire. Breaking on top was Gunsmoke. The veteran knows how to get out of the box and on this occasion he was on his game. Lulu was right behind in second and was pressing the leader as they turned up the frontside. There Gunsmoke took an easy almost 3 length advantage, but Lulu was not done just yet. This dynamic duo keep battling and Lulu was starting to get the best of the veteran as they approached the far turn. There Lulu drove by and took command of the race. She looked like she just took the heart out of the veteran when she passed him, but nothing could be further from the truth. Digging deep for everything that he had left in him, Gunsmoke on sheer will and determination, found a way to get back past Lulu before the wire. A thrilling race to watch, as two greyhounds gave their all, all the way around the racetrack. Third was Lk’s Picketwire who chased the leaders throughout and was just 2 lengths off at the finish, and fourth in a similar fashion was Tempo Rock.
The 7th race was another race that proved to be a thriller between the greyhounds up front as well. Beating the box and seizing command of this race early on was Darx Ida Da Moon. Pushing the pace away from the rest, he stole a couple of lengths on the rest of the field early, but the issue was who was chasing right behind him. Stakes veteran, and strong closer, KK Whitezin, was in tow and that would be a bad omen for later on. Moon continued up the pace and took the lead to the far turn, the issue was those 2 lengths how now just become a neck and the race for the win, was on! Down the homestretch this pair went and each was not going to go down without a fight. Duking it out with every step they took, these leaders battled an edge and the wire. But try as Moon might, he just couldn’t deny Whitezin in the stretch. Whitezin was just too much and drove by near the wire and took home the slim victory at the finish line. After a gallant effort, Moon settled for the easy place. Third went to the coming from way back runner Hioctanebill, who make up several lengths on the leaders late, and fourth was the steady chasing Jawa Poison Ivy.
The semi-finals will run on Saturday January 30th in the evening card. The field will be trimmed down again and only the top 24 greyhounds will move on with a chance to make it to the finals. The finals will run a week later, on February 6th in conjunction with our Super Derby Saturday Promotion. Scratch off tickets, Mad Mad Money Machine, and Second chance drawings.