If you were looking for a big payout, you got what you wished for in the first round of the 2016 bestbet Puppy Stakes. In 6 of the 8 stakes qualifying races on the card, the winner was over 5-1 at post time. Only two favorites took home the top spot, as we saw several top grade greyhounds get beat by some lower grade runners who put up tremendous efforts. All you needed to do was go to the front and you were pretty much uncatchable. The big winner on the evening was the Blanchard Kennel as he scored 2 wins in round 1. All the others winners were from different kennels. With the points spread out all over the place, round 2 will be very interesting to watch.
The Blanchard Kennel won the 9th and 11th races on the card in similar fashion. Both runners decided to break in the middle of the pack, but put on a rushing clinic to take the lead at the turn. Maxwell ran the better, faster, effort in the 9th race as he stole away 4 lengths on the field early and saw that lead dwindle in the stretch. Still he easily won by a length and a half in one of the speeder clocking’s of the night, 30.74 seconds. Craigie Coldshot also ran tough in the 11th race on the card. Taking a 2 length advantage up the backside, she too saw her lead reduced by the far turn and almost lost it in the stretch. She dug in deep though and gave a determined run to through the wire and hold on for the victory by a head over the competition.
The quickest trip on the card belonged to Boc’s Andross in the 10th race. Breaking on top, she took instant command of the race and never looked back. Driving the rabbit away at the turn by 2 lengths, she increased her margin with every step she took to the far turn. There she was three and a half lengths clear of the rest, but in the stretch, she was glad she got away early on. Miss Margie came flying up to challenge and made it interesting at the finish line. Surviving the late charge, she held on by a half of a length at the wire in 30.70 seconds. Miss Margie gets props for a game second.
The easiest winner to pick came in the 12th race as the solid grade A runner Js Great Escape outrushed all to the lead and took over on the front end for the breezing win. Clearing by 2.5 lengths at the turn, she maintained that margin to the far turn, and all the way to the wire. Never really challenged in this effort, this Clear Lake favorite didn’t disappoint her backers in this effort.
Several other greyhounds won in similar efforts on the card. In the first race Ww Standardissue broke close, took over the lead heading to the turn, and left the field in his wake all the way around the racetrack. Coasting home, he was always in control, as he won by 3.5 lengths in a quick 30.74 trip. Kc’s Tammy J gave an another front running gem in the 7th race for the Crowe Kennel. There she bombed out to the early lead and was never in doubt as she headed to the turn. Stealing away 2.5 lengths early, she would need every bit of that coming on home as she saw her margin shrink with every step she took to the wire. Crossing with just a nose to spare, she took home the win in 30.75 seconds. Rams Big Dan T surprised in the 2nd race as he too put up a big time win on the front end. Breaking with the lead, he soon took over control and was long gone at the turn. Padding his margin to the far turn, he was 5 lengths clear of the rest headed home and posted up a 4 length victory at the wire in 30.77 seconds for the Falcon Kennel.
The other winner on the card was the only other favorite to get the job done. Raiders Rossi stalked the leaders for the majority of the 4th race, and seized her opportunity in the far turn as the leaders ran into each other. She slipped past on the rail and took off down the homestretch in the lead. Drawing away late, she crossed 2.5 lengths better than the rest in 30.91 seconds.
The second round of the 2016 bestbet Puppy Stakes will run on Friday evening May 20th at bestbet Jacksonville. All 8 races will return, and with the longshots winning, there could be some catching up in the second round of action. It will prove to be very interesting to watch, so don’t miss out!