We are starting the year off right here at bestbet Jacksonville with the 2018 edition of the Orange Park Derby. With $20,000 up for grabs, you know the competition is going to be fierce, and who know just who is going to come out on top. We have 40 greyhounds ready to take on the challenge and see just who the best of the best is over 660 yards at bestbet Jacksonville. Round one runs tonight, so let’s check out the race and see if we can get you cashing some tickets, as you cheer on your favorites, in the Orange Park Derby.
Round 1 of the 2018 Orange Park Derby
Monday evening January 15th, 2018
Race 4 – Sneaky pick here in the first race of the Derby. Pat C Merlin might have been flourishing over 550 yards, but he is no stranger to the longer distances. He made the finals of the 2017 bestbet Derby and didn’t miss the trifecta in any of those qualifying efforts. Here the solid A, breaks and wins again. Pushing the pace throughout will be the solid grade A Lee Bonafide from the rail. This will take full advantage of the post and give another all-out effort. Mrl Pay Back is a strong closer that will come up late to challenge and don’t forget about the hot and cold running factor Jack’s Jet Speed. If she is on, she could be upset minded tonight. (6-1-4-5)
Race 7 – Class ruling the day again in our selections. Lee Banshee is one of the faster, and more experienced, greyhounds running in the rounds, and the rail post will just aide his effort tonight. He has been running great, 5 money trips in a row, but is overdue for the top spot. Tonight, he gets it. Pressing the pace early should be the combination of the solid grade A converted sprinter, Pat C Typhoon, along with the red hot off a grade A win rising threat that is Rebel Fred. Everyone better be wary late as all out closer, Lk’s Rose Petal, will take no prisoners if she gets room early and is within striking distance in the stretch. (2-7-6-3)
Race 9 – Competitive field here in the ninth and it could go a lot of different ways at the wire. Several greyhounds have a chance to win this effort, it might just come down to who wants to show up and take the stake round. Craigie Javier is the pick I am going with. Javier is liking the new surroundings at 660, he seems to be made to run the route, and gets the rail to boot. Hot off a strong effort behind kennelmate Craigie Avatar, he wins this time around. Drink It Off has loads of talent for a pup, but has found trouble in his last couple of starts. He needs to break better to be effective tonight. Royal Clarion is a strong closer over the distance and could make a late run to challenge, and don’t sleep on Pat C Alex either. The times might not be that great, but the Pat C greyhounds always seem to run any distance and he could be a good under play on your tickets. (1-4-6-2)
Race 11 – Speed should be the determining factor in this race. RT Banana Foster has been a breaking machine over 660 as of late and has won 3 of her last 4 efforts. She is tough on top and should be able to beat this field to the front end from an almost midtrack post. Once there, she will need to dig in deep to beat this talented field. Threatening throughout should be the rising star from the Pat Collins kennel, Pat C Bona. This greyhound has taken well to 660, posted up 3 wins in 5 races to get to grade A, and has showed no signs of slowing down yet. If he is too close, too soon, he might be the one to beat late. Dutch Dalton is a strong threat when he is close early and it should be in this effort from a great post. Last time out from the 5, he won! Enough said. Best of the rest goes to Sorry Not Sorry. Big upside when she breaks, we just don’t know when that is. In case she does, she enters the mix. (3-4-5-8)
Race 15 – Capping off the evening we get the best 660 greyhound at the racetrack, Craigie Avatar. Winner of the recent Holiday 660 Stakes Race, Avatar is as fast as she wants to be late and can run down just about anyone in this stake. She can break on occasion too, and with the lead, she is unstoppable. Here she gets the 8 box and I expect nothing but dominance over this field. With 4 wins, and 6 quinielas, in 6 races, she is the one to beat. Challenging here will be the 2017 winner of this race, Dutch Casey. Casey is all about closing as well and has a solid grade A pedigree to go along with it. He has not seen the top spot in a while, so a better break would help here. Really, a late rally cry, and next best looks more the part tonight. Critics Choice is no slouch on the rail and might just be the front-runner in this effort. She is short late though and that might cost her in the end. She will be around, as she has not missed the money in 6 straight. Pat C Zz Top also gets a look. You never know when he is going to break, and you must love the post. Last time in blue, a monster win, just 2 starts ago. (8-7-1-2)
Round 2 will take place on Friday evening January 19th at bestbet Jacksonville. All 5 races will return as the greyhounds try and rack up the points, so that they can more on further in the stakes. Make your plans to join us online, or in person, at bestbet Jacksonville. I’ll see you at the races!