As we trim the field down to just 4 races, the action in the 2016 edition of the bestbet Puppy Stakes gets expanded. Loads of greyhounds are still in the mix and with just one undefeated foe in our midst, there are plenty of opportunities to score some points and find a spot higher up the ladder. Several greyhounds will be contending and there are some questions that need to be answered. Can the first round gems who missed out in round 2 find their form again? Can Js Great Escape stretch the streak to 3 straight stakes wins? Can the Pat Collins Kennel stay hot and win multiple races again in round 3? Or will another no name greyhound rise to the occasion and take home the W? All will be answered tonight!
Quarter-Finals of the 2016 bestbet Puppy Stakes
Monday Evening –
Race 7 – After the best race of the stakes so far, Pat C Outbounds looks to put up another bonus victory here in the quarter-finals. Room early will be the key to her success in this race and with all the early speeders outside, well whatever ones there are here, she will be too close too soon not to win this effort. Granted she might not be in the early lead in this race, but she will find a way to be first at the wire again tonight. Speaking of breaking, Ww’s O Not Again might just have the best shot at making the front end in this race. She has been short late before and might be again in this effort. She has held tough on top late too and could upset this field if the mood strikes her in this race. She has not run well from this post in the past, but there is just no one to get in her way early on tonight. I think the streak gets broken and she runs a big race in this one. Another greyhound to consider is Kanes Hollywood. Winning might not be his thing, just one in his last 6 races, but this solid grade A always closes and has not missed the money in 6 straight races. Coming off a big nose short second last time out, he is poised to make some noise again in this race. By the way, that win, can from an outside post, just like he has tonight. Could be a sign. Gs Hal rounds out the superfecta for us after back to back resurgence in the stakes rounds. Looking tough, vying for the lead and the win throughout in both stakes rounds gets you noticed. Posted well again I expect more of the same in this effort. (2-8-7-3)
Race 9 – Class should rise to the top in this race, so that is why I went with the grade A greyhounds here. Raiders Rossi scored big in round 1 and took home the W, but ran into trouble in the 2nd and finished well out of the money at the wire. Here he gets a great outside post and should be all the room he needs to rush the turn and put himself into contention early on. I expect another determined run late and for him to score again in this effort. Another big time threat throughout in this race is Ww Standardissue. This rail loving greyhounds gets the red blanket in this effort and looks to keep up the torrid pace that he has started here in the rounds. Another greyhound that won in round 1, but he didn’t fall to much from grace in round 2 with a strong 2nd place effort. He too has some late foot and will be catching up and making it interested at the wire as well tonight. Leading the way early should be the other solid grade A Gs Jasper. Jasper has loads of early foot but pays for it in the stretch as he is short, short, short as they approach the finish line. With a good inside post, I expect him to be unscathed to the early lead in this race and for him to push the pace all the way to the stretch. Late he will be outgunned, but he will factor with every step he takes in this effort. Don’t forget Cbj Willow in this effort. This greyhound is a huge closer that can come from well off the pace to threaten leaders in the later stages of races. In round 1 she left herself too much ground to make up and finished 6th, but last time out she got the motor started earlier and was a late driving 2nd at the finish line. If she can get in the conversation early on, she might just surprise them all in this one. (8-1-2-7)
Race 10 – Undefeated time here in the 10th race, with Js Great Escape. The winner of 3 in a row, Js Great Escape has the best early speed rush of maybe this entire field. Once in front she is tough to get to and beat, and if you are going to try to get to here, you better do it before the stretch. She is extra tough in the last 50 yards and will be again in this effort. No chumps here though as we have 4 other round winners coming to bear, but non as potent as Great Escape. Trying to ruin the run to the lead will be the blazing upstart Ww’s Hold Grail from the coveted 1 box. This greyhound has been first to the turn in 5 of 6 races and hasn’t missed the trifecta in 6 straight trips. Loads of early, but like most ankle burners, he pays for it in the stretch and is short. Even with a bit of a lead at the first turn, he is going to have a hard time holding on all the way to the wire for the win, unless he gets some help from behind. Another early speeder and round winner Kc Tammy J should be forcing the pace throughout as well. Posted well on the inside part of the racetrack. This pup has the skills to challenge with the leaders from the get go. Like the rest she is short late and could be run down as well, even if she makes the lead. She will factor for sure, but stealing away yet another win might just be out of reach tonight. Don’t sleep on the second round winner Pat C Zip Code either. This greyhound will need to be close early in order to be effective, but once she is clear, she can run off a hide from her competitors throughout the race. With wins by 6 and 4 showing in her last 3 starts, she could be upset minded in this race. (5-1-2-4)
Race 12 – Tough to ignore that last effort by Pat C Dashboard, so I won’t here! This greyhound found a lane early, seized control of the race and wrangled it into submission. Coasting all the way around the racetrack, Dashboard was never really challenged and although I think he will win here, this race is going to be a little bit more contested. Good early and late speeders flank this pup and he will need to run another beauty if he wants to make it back to back jacks tonight. Early the greyhound to beat to the turn should be Boc’s Andross. This greyhound posted up a big win in round 1, but ran into trouble and fell in round 2 and finished last. She needs to points to move on and that could be a motivating factor in this effort. No greyhound here can match her to the turn if she wants to break and once in front she could prove to be a formidable foe. She can be short late, so even with the late lead she is no shoe in to win. She needs to step up to the plate if she wants to score and we will all know early on if it’s her night, or not. Later in the race the front running duo with have others to worry about. Gs Ashley is a grade A greyhound that has closed well in both of her starts in the stakes so far. Tonight she gets a better inside post and should have more room to get to where she wants to be on the racetrack. She has enough gears late to challenge and could take them all down if she can get around the leaders early on. She needs to step up her game, and tonight is the right time to do it. No one here can close better than Herstal over 550 yards. This 660 and 770 greyhound can make up ground at any distance, her only problem is that she waits a bit too long to rev up the engines over the shorter course. Granted she has been in the money in both of her 550 attempts in the stakes, but she was really not in contention to score a win in either trip. The top spot will most likely allude her once again tonight, but she should be a solid play on the under part of your ticket in this race. (4-2-6-5)
The field will be trimmed down again for the semi-finals as only the top 24 greyhounds, 3 races, move on to Saturday evening at bestbet Jacksonville. Don’t miss out as the elite eight will be crowned and the finals will be set on that evening. Don’t forget the finals will run on Saturday evening June 4th.