The J & J Calabro and Ocala kennels owned the first round of the $20,000 2016 bestbet Derby as the former won 3 of the 5 rounds and the latter won the other 2 in qualifying. Now everyone wants in on the action and will get a chance here in round number 2. Once again we will have some great plays that can be made and we will see if we can get you cashing some tickets tonight. Let’s take a closer look at the races.
Friday evening –
Race 4 – SEVEN GREYHOUND RACE – The empty post in the middle always gives extra room to the greyhounds surrounding it, but I like someone else in this effort. Bostonstrongiris gets the nod in this effort. WHY? She is the only early speed greyhound in this race. I expect her to steal a mile on the competition early on and survive the closing rush by everyone else at the wire for the victory. Oh and did I mention that she almost did that exact same thing last time out? Now you know… She will be looking for that wire early though as we have some of the best closers at the racetrack over 660 coming after her late in this effort. No doubt solid grade A and stakes threat Kk Whitezin will be looking to make up for a disappointing 4th place effort in round 1, and with the outside post, tonight might be the time to take a shot at a win. If she wants to pull it off, she needs to break well and get close enough early on in order to score. The other closers, get even more help as they are both located on the side of the open box. Herstal is in the 4 box and Tmc’s Sweety Pie is in the 6. Both greyhound can come from off the pace to get things done in the stretch and both are as fast as they want to be. Herstal lacks the experience factor that two time Orange Park Derby Winner Tmc’s Sweety Pie has, but recent he has the running well edge over his counterpart. If either get loose, either could win, but tonight the edge factors the young over the old in this effort. (3-8-4-6)
Race 7 – Another strong field here, but you have to love the first round winner Raiders Bacardi. This puppy is really taking to the longer course and put on quite a show in round 1. Breaking slowing, Barcardi came from way, way, way back early to drive up into contention in the far turn. Coming home, no one, and I mean no one, had a shot at keeping him out of the winner’s circle. Here he gets an outside and that might be the only thing that keeps him to scoring once again. Frankly I think it matters not again as he finds a way to drive home and secure another 19 points for his totals. If he does wants to win he is going to have to beat out a couple other closers and an early speed threat. No doubt that Ld Virgil Earp should be in the early lead in this effort. This greyhound has the best break of this field and gets the one hole bonus in this effort. The real thing for him will be holding on as he is short in the stretch. Darx Ida Da Moon came on strong late in round 1 to score a third place effort and gets another favorable post and should keep to form again here and contend. Mexican Senorita is also growing up over the route and gets another opportunity to cause some pains for this field. The post could be better, but it might not matter. Next to the speed, she may follow it out early, and if she does, she could keep the trifecta streak intact at 4 straight and even be upset minded if it all goes her way early on. (8-4-2-1)
Race 9 – Another talented pup for the Calabro kennel and it should be another win for them as well. Lk’s Picketwire is as good as his dad was here and he was in some stakes finals. Here the first round winner gets another great post position near the rail and that might be all he needs to score in back to back races. He has the tools to get it done and could see the front end early on again in this effort. Even without the lead, he can win from off the pace, and if he look at the rest of this field, he is clearly the best greyhound in the bunch. I think he should be considered that favorite for sure to win this effort. The only other greyhound that might really challenge for the lead and the win here is Ww’s Corolla. This greyhound ran into a mess in round 1 after missing her break, but with a better post, and no early speed near her, she is going to come out running and could be the one to catch in this effort. Tough to ignore that strong breaking efforts in her last 6 races, so I won’t. If she shows up, she too could wire this field and take home the top spot at the wire. First round winner Hioctanebill could be a factor too. He is liking the moved to the longer distance and is breaking better over here than he was over 550. He has good closing speed and should be making another run at the leaders in the stretch. Will they get too far ahead of him in this effort? Can he make up the ground before the wire? Time will see. Another greyhound to not forget about includes Saber Rat. Saber had nowhere to go in round 1, and tonight with an outside post, he might give more of an effort here. He is a bit over his head class wise, but could still find a spot in the superfecta at the wire. Winning is a stretch, but in the money could be a solid place for him to finish here. (2-8-7-6)
Race 11 – Enough with the runner up role, Shutthefrontdoor wants to win this race. Coming oh so close in 3 of her last 4 starts, she needs the win and the 19 points if she wants to have a chance to make the finals. She has been breaking well, and always gives a determined effort, so tonight is the night. From this outside post, she will need to come out running, but if her nose gets in front early on, she will not surrender. Look for a big time burst from the box, for her to control this race throughout, and for her to score at the wire tonight. Coming on late to challenge will be one of the best closers at the racetrack. Ddm’s Orion can gain on almost anyone in the stretch over 660 and tonight he will do just that again. Hot of a closer trying second place effort in round 1, he will get the engine revved up again for this 2nd round trip. The thing working against him is the post position. He has no run well from this post in the past, so it is time for him to step up and get it done. If he clears close, he could prove tough to keep from winning this effort. Early speeder Pj Alabama also gets some love in this effort. This converted router is a breaking machine so far over 660 and has pushed the pace early in both of her efforts over 660 yards. She seems to be tough over the route and should be a factor throughout for the 3rd straight trip tonight. Sleeper time here to round out the selections and it goes to the red hot Calabro Kennel. Ch Red Alert has just jumped over to 660 for the stakes and even though he was not overly impressive as of yet, a 4th in round 1, this post could have him a bigger threat than they give him credit for. Sure he will need to hit the lid and steal some lengths early on if he wants a chance at the W, but strangers things have happened. He looked impressive chalking up the wins at 550 in closing fashion after a couple of starts, maybe he is a late bloomer over 660 as well. If he gets loose, you never know. (8-4-5-1)
Race 15 – Capping off the evening we get 2 first round winners to choose from. O Ya Gunsmoke and Mercury Morris both looked rather impressive in round 1, but when you add up all the things that make those efforts special, the veteran gets the nod. I know both had great posts to break from, but the veteran just has more of IT then the puppy does right now. Not saying that Morris will not have it later, just right now the edge is with the experience. Gunsmoke has a better break, will see the lead from the outside tonight and should take over instant command of this race. Once in front he is tough to run down, he has been caught on occasion, but it takes a special effort to get the job done. With back to back wins over 660 yards, he is the hottest thing going in the stakes and has to be a favorite to make it all the way to the finals. Morris is no slouch himself. He has taken well to the longer distance and has not lost his closing abilities during the move. He has great drive and desire late and the 1 box will just aide in his efforts tonight. If he can come out running and stalk the pace early on, he has a shot to pull off the win in the deep stretch. Stalking threat Pat C Lulu also should get some love on the betting tickets, well that is if she wants to run. When he comes out well and gets into contention at the start, she is a much better greyhound that she is when she is behind early on. Post should factor in her breaking here, but as we said it is all up to her. Can she find room, rush hard, and put up another close effort like her 3rd place finish in round 1? Watch and see. Rounding out the superfecta is Mac Ennison. Ennison is a steady chaser that should do just that once again in this effort. Up in grade a bit, she has to work even harder to get it done, but if you look at her lines you can see that she is up to the task. With 4 money starts in her last 5 efforts, including a run of 3 straight, she has to be considered a threat to make it there once again tonight. (8-1-2-5)
The field will be cut down for the 3rd round, which will run on Monday January 25th at bestbet Jacksonville.