Round 1 of the 2018 Orange Park Derby is in the books and we had a little bit of what was expected, and a little bit more of what was unexpected. Some favorites took home the top spot at the wire, but more longshots did the same thing in the other races in the round. Loads of talent on display, maybe that is why not everything went as planned. The biggest winner on the evening was the Pat Collins kennel as they took home wins in 2 of the 5 stakes rounds on the card.
Even though those two Pat Collins wins took place in round 1 of the stakes, they could have not been any more different. In the 4th race on the card, Pat C Merlin, burst out from the box, took over the early lead, and never looked back. Breezing around the over on top, he maintained his margin from start to finish and made it look easy at the wire. Pressing the leader, the entire way, was Jack’s Jet Speed in second as Pj Wigglengiggle gave a strong late running effort for third. Cbj Thunderbolt varied in in 4th.
The other winner for the Pat Collins Kennel was Pat C Bona in the 11th. Breaking slowly, Bona, found room around the early turn and came out behind the leaders at the first call. Boc’s Libra stole the front end and Dutch Dalton was in close quarters behind. Libra continued to lead all the way to the stretch, but that is where Bona was going to make a statement after a long hard drive to get into contention. Digging in deep Bona jettison the leader heading home and drew away for a 3-length victory at the wire. Libra settled for place as Dutch Dalton held off Tempo Cinch late for show.
The fastest trip, 37.69, and the biggest shocker came in the 15th race as Boc’s All I Got pulled off the stunning upset. Beating the box and getting her nose out first, Boc’s All I Got put herself in a good place to secure a win. Early she separated from the rest and that would be all she needed in this effort, well plus the favorites getting tangled up early behind her. She would take that early lead and sit on it all the way to the wire for the win. Chasing the pace the entire way was Critics Choice who held off the late charging Tiger’s Eye at the finish line to secure a place finish. Rounding out the superfecta in this one was the early pressing and overtaken threat that is Boc’s Queen Lady.
The other cold as ice favorite to come through on the card was Craigie Javier. After breaking just off the pace of the leader Pat C Alex at the start of the 9th race, Javier decided in the backside that it was time to flip the script and take over the lead in the far turn. Turning for him he was clearly ahead of the rest and coasted all the way to the finish line. Kudos to converted router Drink It Off for a huge race to get up into place. Another greyhound chasing early, Drink It Off made up a ton of ground in this effort to offer up a challenge to the winner at the wire. Early leader Pat C Alex held on for the easy show as the even chasing Scottish Rouge settled for 4th.
The last, but not least, winner on the card was another long shot. Like A Boss might have been 9-1, but he didn’t know he was not supposed to win the 7th race. Bombing out of the staring box, Like A Boss took over instant command of this round 1 race and never surrendered. He stole away a couple of lengths early on, maintained his margin throughout, and gave a determined effort for the win. Lee Banshee was pressing the pace throughout, but try as he might, he just couldn’t gain any ground on the leader. Pat C Typhoon gave a solid chase in 3rd as Dutch Mustang challenged early, then faded back late, but was still able to hold on for the final spot in the superfecta at the wire.
All five races will be retained for the second-round races that will take place on Friday evening, January 19th at bestbet Jacksonville.