Ww Next Bigthing – (76 Points)
OP Career Totals (34/13-5-1-3)
R F – M March 2015 Bella Infrared – Wwk Big Money
Owned By – Julia Ward
Runs for the Wayne Ward Kennel
Trained by Kelly Rowell
Undefeated! You don’t see that very often during the stakes rounds, and in this puppy stakes we not only have one, but two, greyhounds that accomplished that feat. Ww Next Bigthing has the best pedigree in the field and I’m not really surprised at all that you find him tied at the top of the rankings. He has only competed in two stakes races, and he has made the finals of both, and finished 2nd in the finals of the $50,000 James J Patton Silver Cup back in March. This greyhound is a monster once he gets his nose in front and that is just what he did in every start during qualifying. His most impressive race came in the third round as he broke well, seized command, and raced off along to win by almost 12 lengths in a speedy time of 30.48 seconds. The funny part of things was that he didn’t come in with all the fan fair of some of the other finalists. He joined us from Iowa Greyhound Park as a puppy that didn’t break his maiden. After he couple of months off, he flashed a few talented runs here and there, but now things are all starting to come together and he is proving to be one of the best greyhounds at the racetrack. Not only has he won 4 straight in the rounds, he has posted up wins against the best at the racetrack in 5 straight trips, and 7 of his last 8 efforts. Firing on all cylinders right now he is going to be tough to beat in this effort. Post position is not really all that important to him, as he has won from several different ones during his streak, but getting out of the box well will be a factor in the outcome of this effort. He must be close early to win and a post position on the edges of the racetrack should give him the best opportunity to get things done. This time out he is looking for a win, not a 2nd, at the finish line. This is his race to lose. Let’s see if he can get it done tonight.
Ln Michaels – (76 Points)
Career Totals (36/15-6-4-1)
W Bk – M May 2015 Vee Man Vane* – Uss Out Of Sight
Owned By – Kenneth or Austin Lane
Runs for Double J Kennel
Trained by Chris Maynard
Not to be outdone, fellow former stakes finalist Ln Michaels also went undefeated through the rounds of the 2017 bestbet Puppy Stakes. The best in him comes out when the brightest lights are on. Look no further than his first stake experience, the 2017 James J Patton Silver Cup. There he won the first 3 rounds as well and vaulted himself into the final round race. He did falter in that effort, but looks to make amends this time out in the bestbet Puppy Stakes. Breaking is his key to fame and once in front he is darn tough to run down before the finish line. That was never more on display than in his semi-final race as he burst from the box, grabbed control, and coasted around the racetrack to win by 3 lengths in 30.51 seconds. Ln Michaels is the only entry in the stakes for the double J Kennel, and big things were expected of him early on. He only took 8 starts to reach the grade A ranks, and once there, he won his first two grade A races in a row. Post position is not all that dyer of a need for him as he can run from anywhere, as long as he breaks. His early speed puts him in good position every time, and right now he is really coming out of the starting box in a hurry. If he did get to pick though, I’m sure he would love to be outside. There he has won 4 races in a row, 5 of his 7 trips, and he has not finished out of the quiniela in any of those efforts. Bet on him bringing his breaking talents to this race, as he will be the one to catch on the lead if they want to win at the wire.
Bambi Brake – (59 Points)
Career Totals (27/8-6-2-2)
W F – F May 2015 Offthebrakedrake – Good Luck Ruby
Owned By – Sharon Williams
Runs for DQ Williams Kennel
Trained by Craig Edwards
Bambi Brake is a strong closing greyhound from the DQ Williams kennel that really stepped up the consistency of her game in the rounds. In her first attempt against the best at the racetrack, she was up to the task. Winning twice, and never finishing out of the trifecta in any effort, she showed that she belonged in the mix with the best greyhounds at the racetrack. Her best trip in qualifying came when she needed it the most. Breaking on top in the semi-finals, she was hard pressed throughout, but never gave up the ghost. Digging in deep in the stretch, she held strong to her short lead and parlayed that determined effort into a win at the finish line. Another early riser in her career, she only took 10 starts to reach the grade A ranks, but it would take a couple extra to get her first win against the top-grade talent at the racetrack. Like we said before closing is her game, and she is not out of any race because of it. When she breaks she is extra tough, and the post position could go a long way in helping her out in this effort. If you look at her lines, it becomes apparent that the edges are where she wants to be. Far inside, or far outside, are good places for her to start from as she gets a little room early to rush and get into contention. If she can fire out like she has during the rounds, never worse than 2nd from the box, she might just be a surprise winner come the finish line in the finals of the 2017 bestbet Puppy Stakes.
Ww Rowdy – (52 Points)
Career Totals (31/6-4-6-2)
W F – M August 2015 KC And All – Ww Wind Turbines
Owned By – Jaws Racing, LLC
Runs for the Wayne Ward Kennel
Trained by Kelly Rowell
The biggest surprise in the finals might just be Ww Rowdy from the Wayne Ward Kennel. Rowdy didn’t even reach the grade A ranks until he won the first round in qualifying and that race had to be his best effort against the best puppies at the racetrack. Breaking in the middle of the pack, he found room early, and rushed hard up into contention at the first turn. From that point on he was on a mission, and by the far turn he had already taken over the race. Jogging home, he stretched out his margin some and made it known right then and there that he might be over his head a bit, but he was not afraid of the big boys and girls in this competition. Opposite of what happened with the other greyhounds in this race, big things were NOT expected of him early on. Sure, he won a maiden race, but then he struggled in grade D, and even graded off one time before things started to kick in and get going for him. He took the longest time to get to grade A of the bunch, 28 starts, but is poised and ready to go in his first stakes final in his first even attempt at stakes racing competition. Post could aide him in his effort here in the finals, well that is if he can draw a post on the rail, or the far outside of the racetrack. Either would suit him just fine in this race. Tonight, he still might be running over his head, but don’t tell him that. Looking at the rounds, he BELIEVES and that is all it takes to win.
Pat C Cozy – (52 Points)
Career Totals (39/11-12-5-2)
Dk Bd – F January 2015 KC And All – L’s Karla Clown
Owned By – Pat Collins
Runs for Pat Collins Kennel
Trained by Scott Jarvis
Pat C Cozy might have just had the harder run to the finals than any other greyhound in this race. In three of his four rounds, excluding her strong win in round number one, she had to run against the two undefeated greyhounds in qualifying. Twice she matched up with Ww Next Bigthing, she finished a close second and third, and she also raced against Ln Michaels, where she also finished a close second at the wire. Her win was a thing of beauty though. In that first round race she broke slow, rushed best to the turn, and never looked back. Breezing on the front end, she set the tone for the rest of the rounds in just one start. The first of two greyhounds from Pat Collins, Cozy made the finals for the first time in her second attempt at stakes racing competition. Another strong riser, Cozy climbed the ladder to grade A in just 6 races and was never out of the quiniela on her ascension. Consistency is the name of her game as she has not missed the money in 12 straight efforts. Post for her is easy, easy, easy to see. She wants to start from the 8 box. No other, just the 8. In her 11 career races from that post, she has won 5 times, finished in the quiniela in 10 starts, and has never missed the trifecta. Winning is what she needs to get back to doing in this final round race, but if the planets are not aligned for that here, you know one thing for sure. She WILL be in the money at the wire.
Dutch Double – (46 Points)
Career Totals (28/14-2-3-2)
Dk Bd – M June 2015 Flying Hydrogen – Dutch Dinah
Owned By – Jo Ann Koerner
Runs for the Lester Raines Kennel
Trained by Mike Gerard
The quickest of the quick in qualifying, Dutch Double is as fast as he wants to be, his consistency is what he needs to work on. Winning two of the races in fine fashion, he added a 6th and 4th place finish to find a spot in the finals in his first ever try for the Lester Raines Kennel. This closer showed his dominance when he can get out of the starting box well in round number 3. Breaking on top, he was long gone from the get go and the numbers just kept on multiplying as he cruised around the course. Maintaining a 2.5 length lead to the far turn, he turned on the jets in the stretch and padded his number to 5 at the finish line. Stopping the clock at a stakes best time of 30.43 seconds, he proved that no matter the situation, he must be considered a threat to win at any point on the racetrack. No greyhound in recent memory has been followed so closely from the start. Winning his schooling races by daylight, it was a forgone conclusion that he was going to be a force at the racetrack. Quickly running up to grade A, in just 7 starts, Double made a name for himself once he got there. Early in his career, in just his 3rd grade A starts, he started off a tear that saw him win 6 grade A races in a row. Post position could help him out, but breaking would help him out even more. Granted one can aide the other, and in his case, it does. For that most part, the outside part of the racetrack is where he wants to start from. The 6, 7, or 8, boxes could equal another strong effort. If he comes to run, he is going to be tough to beat in this final.
Got It Good – (36 Points)
Career Totals (22/6-6-1-2)
Bd – M July 2015 Dragon Fire – Fastestgirlntown
Owned By – Travis or Kate Bartley
Runs for Jim Blanchard Kennel
Trained by Traci Chase
Got It Good is the only greyhound not to win a round of qualifying that made it all the way to the finals. With 3 close 2nd place efforts, he was in the mix in most of the rounds, and surprised many with finding a spot in this final round field. His best effort in qualifying came in the second round as he stalked the pace throughout and came on late to just miss winning the whole thing by a nose at the finish line. Just missing the win, he told everyone that he might just have a shot in the stakes after all. Running for the Jim Blanchard Kennel, Got it Good made the most of her first attempt at stakes racing competition and made it all the way to the finals of this race. Early he was in a good spot like most of the rest of the finalists as he climbed up to grade A in just 9 starts, but he would retreat to grade C before winning back to back races right before the rounds of the stakes. Got It Good might just be the wildcard in this effort. You never know what you are going to get, and he might just Get It Good in this one. He runs his best close to the front end early on, and the edges, especially the 1 box, would be where he would like to start from. Winning 3 of 5 starts, and that 2nd by a nose in qualifying, the red blanket is where he wants to be. No one expects him to win here, but maybe, just maybe, he was saving his best run, for the finals.
Pat C Hash Tag – (35 Points)
Career Totals (38/7-4-7-6)
R – M January 2015 Ww Time Warp – Pat C Numbers
Owned By – Pat Collins
Runs for Pat Collins Kennel
Trained by Scott Jarvis
Pat C Hash Tag backed his way into the finals of the 2017 bestbet Puppy Stakes. After a strong start, which included a win and a close second place effort, Hash Tag found trouble twice and finished out of the cash in back to back efforts. Still his early success was enough for him to find a spot in the elite eight for Saturday night. Clearly his best race was in round number 1. There he fired out fast from the red box, and left the field in his dust. Stealing away a couple of lengths early on, he improved his margin throughout and passed the finish line almost 5 lengths better than the rest in a speed 30.61 trip. Hash Tag is the second greyhound in the finals for the Pat Collins Kennel and gets to try to win the crown in his first ever stakes racing competition. Hash Tag still get the underdog award in this effort as it took him 35 races to get to grade A. Since he has been competitive and has only dropped back to grade B once, and he posted up a victory in that effort, IE the first round of the stakes. Hash Tag is a strong rusher that makes or breaks his races in the early stages. If he gets room to run, he will be effective, if he finds nowhere to go, he is less effective. Once close to the lead, he can win with or without the lead, but getting close is his biggest hurdle. In this race, he will need to come out running if he hopes to stay around the big dogs for the duration. Post position, like most in this field, is favored from the edges. Put him far inside, or outside, and give him room to rush, and you never know what could happen. Sometimes the slow learner never forgets, maybe it is his turn to be the A student tonight.