On Saturday evening November 11th at bestbet Jacksonville the old tall tale was in full effect, except this time around, Mighty Casey DIDN’T strike out. You see the finals of the 2017 $35,000 Orange Park Derby was set and ready to so in the 11th race on the card. The place was packed with patrons enjoying the second chance drawings and the dash for cash promotion, but there were here to see the best routers at the racetrack battle it out for the title. Loads of talent littered the post positions, but with no clear-cut favorite, it really was anyone’s. Mostly made up of converted sprinters, the pace should be hot early, but would they all have enough to hold on late for the win.
As we approached post time the excitement grew and you could hear each patron making a case for just who they thought would take home the title. Rusty got revved up down the backside as Joe Ross billowed out the patented “Here Comes Rusty” call and before you knew it, we were off and racing at bestbet Jacksonville.
Destroying the lid and outbreaking everyone easily was Rt Banana Foster from the rail. Clearing right with Foster was the race favorite Nizy and as expected Gs Humongous was pushing the early leaders as well. Butch Casey also was close early, with former stakes winner Boc’s Queen Lady in tow on the rail. As they went through the early turn, Foster worked out a bit midtrack and cutoff Humongous who was pinched back a bit as he was caught between Foster and Nizy. This gave room for Boc’s Queen Lady to rush by on the rail as Dutch Casey stayed wide around the early trouble and continued to chase as they moved up the frontside for the first time. Foster continued to set the pace, but the players behind her shuffled up a bit as they rushed to the clubhouse turn. Stalking the leader was Boc’s Queen Lady and Lee Trinity, both benefiting from the trouble, followed by Dutch Casey, Nizy, and Businessasusual. Another turn to go through and another rough spot for the leaders up front. Foster’s lead had shrunk down to a half a length, but as Queen Lady tried to get by, she was cutoff and bumped the leader. This caused her to carry even further to the outside part of the racetrack and collide with Lee Trinity. This collision would change the whole outcome of this race. Staying under the trouble was Dutch Casey and Businessasusual and as they turned down the backside, this duo of closers was on a mission. Dashing away from the rest Foster was still in control, but at the far turn things they were a changing. Dutch Casey had run a huge backside and caught the leader entering the far turn and like most early speed greyhounds know, it’s never good when the closer has the lead. Sneaking past on the rail, Casey found the clean air up front, and as they say, the rest was history. Businessasusual also moved by the leader and turning for home it was a two-way battle for the win as Foster had run out of gas. Casey knocked the mud off his paws, dug in deep, saw the pitch a coming, and hit it out of the park. Businessasusual gave an all-out effort, but try as he might, he just couldn’t take down the winner as they crossed the wire. Late rallying Nizy was good enough for third, after rallying from early trouble and coming from well off the pace, as Boc’s Queen Lady settled for fourth after she was outgunned late by the closer, but still had enough left to run down the early leader Foster at the finish line.
Congratulations to the Ocala Kennel, Trainer Toni Gerrard, Owner Jo Ann Koerner, and everyone else connected with this fantastic greyhound. Some might say he got lucky in the turns, but I think you make your own luck in racing. This greyhound is smart and made sure he was in the right place at the right time in this final round race. Congrats and good luck in your future races here at bestbet Jacksonville.