The first round of the 2018 James J Patton Silver Cup is in the books and three kennels got off to a hot start. Each won 2 races, or 6 of the 9, and put themselves in the driver’s seat heading into the second round of the stakes. Favorites rules the day as 6 race favorites came home winners at the wire. Still there were some longshots that ruined the perfect runs by the low odds crowd and gave themselves a leg up against the competition. Let’s take a closer look at the outcome of the races highlight the great efforts in round 1 of the 2018 $75,000 James J Patton Silver Cup.
No big surprise as the Blanchard Kennel was the first of our double dip winners, and they had the biggest race of the evening. Saving the best for last, Fix A Drink, showed just why he was the winner of the last stakes event at the racetrack. Breaking close in the 15th race he was in the conversation early and outrushed everyone to the early lead. By the turn he was already 4 lengths clear and never looked back. Stretching the lead throughout he crossed the wire 8 lengths clear of the rest in a blazing 30.45 second clocking. All-American Real Good Feelin closed well for a distance place as the chasing Rt Spicy Praline completed the trifecta. Se’s Fanny Frost ran even for 4th after trouble in the first turn.
Blanchard’s other winner came in the 11th race as the fast as he wants to be greyhound, decided to be fast. L’s Sum Dog might have see the lead early, and might have found trouble, but there was no denying him in the stretch. He let Jz’s Bullet and Reble Smither battle up front and thing they had things all under control, until he deiced that their time was up in the stretch. He shifted gears, like only he can, and ran by leaders for fun to steal away a victory from the clutches of defeat. Bullet settled for place, followed by Smither in 3rd, and the late gaining Vicki Of Ruckus in 4th.
The Ocala Kennel also scored a pair of wins and both got the job done in similar fashion. Both out fast, both stole the lead, both held on, and both posted up similar times at the finish line. Speedo Tuxedo was up first in the 5th race and gave a great determined front running effort for the win. Breaking quickly, she battled hard with the leaders and at the first turn finally got her nose in front of the rest of the field. She made her move down the backside and stole a way a couple of lengths to the far turn. She was going to need every inch though as she had to turn away another challenger in the stretch to hold on late for the slim win. Pat C Alex gave a winning trip, but just couple make up enough ground late to catch the leader. He did over take the early chaser, Boc’s Andross in the stretch and resided her to third place at the wire. Mrl Doo Hickey broke slowly and continued to gain throughout the race and came in a close 4th at the finish line.
The other winner for Ocala came in the 7th race as the returning Jedi Texas Acre showed why he has been so tough over the Orange Park oval. Breaking with the lead Midnight Loot, He dominated to the front end and took a resounding lead, by almost 4 lengths, at the first turn. Down the backside this duo went, and it looked like Jedi was going to dominate as he crossed the far turn and headed home clear of the rest of this field. Midnight Loot was not done yet though. Kicking it into high gear coming home, he was picking up the NOT short greyhound with every stride and made it mighty interesting at the finish line. Narrowing the gap yes, winning, no, for Loot as Jedi Texas Acre was a length better at the wire. Third was the stakes vet Boc’s Queen Lady, after a steady gaining trip, and Gs Dobie surged up the stretch to steal away the final spot in the superfecta at the wire.
The Pat Collins Kennel also won 2 rounds of the stakes, and in each, they were not the favorites to win. Showing signs of his younger self, Pat C Gangsta, actually broke, and if you have seen this greyhound run, that was really bad news for the competition. He has to be one of the best closers over 550 at the racetrack and he found himself 2nd at the turn only 4 lengths behind the ankle burner, and race favorite, Mac’s Kelly. By the far turn the lead had evaporated to just a neck, and there was no way that Kelly was going to hold off this competitor in the stretch. Gangsta turned on the NOS and left for the wire. Clearing by almost 3 lengths late, this 11-1 shot paid well for his backers. Kelly ran a game race, but nothing you can do when the huge closer clears close behind you early on. Kmz Kraken received the best of rest trophy as she overcome trouble to gain ground and secure a spot in the trifecta at the wire. Rounding out the top 4 positions was Gs Humongous.
Collins other victory came in the 12th on the car as Pat C Hash Tag left nothing to doubt. Hitting the lid and taking over instant command of the race, he seized the front end never relented until after the wire. This was not a runaway victory and he had to work very hard for this win. Dashing away 2 then 3 lengths clear of the rest, he turned for home with victory in mind, but Cal Smith was not going to make it easy for him. Rushing up with all his might, Cal Smith overcame the post and rocketed up in the final few strides but came up just a head short at the wire. Hash Tag held on for the win as Cal Smiths night ended in disappointment. There were not the only ones in contention either. Bgr Fast Flight and Dutch Dalton also came running in the stretch and finished 3rd by a length and 4th by a length and a half at the wire.
The biggest effort on the evening though came from the hottest greyhound at the racetrack. Ww Whatsapp from Global Racing made his presence know to the rest of the greyhound in the stakes. This recent ship-in from Wheeling, broke close, outrushed everyone to the lead, and took OVER! Building on his 2.5 length lead early on, he pounded through the gears and added 5 more lengths to the margin by the far turn. He was not done yet though as she kept piling on as he crossed the finish line 10 full lengths clear of the field in a smoking time of 30.77 seconds. Next best was the late gaining threat Takin The Money, followed by She Aint In It in 3rd. Two greyhounds TIED for fourth as Duke Rufus and Pat C Vic H dead heated at the wire.
Another winner was a familiar name for several people that follow our circuit. Lk’s Black Gold was back off arrest and it seems to have done her body good. Breaking out, like only she can do, she took to the front end and put a couple of lengths between her and the rest of the field at the first turn. On the lead she breezed to the far turn, but the closers were coming, and it was going to be a race to the finish. All out 660 star, Craigie Avatar, found room and was flying in the stretch. Digging in deep, Black Gold prayed for the finish line, and they were answered on this occasion. Holding on by a head, she got it done. Craigie Avatar gave her all but came out on the short end of the stick this time around. Third was the pace pushing factor Locomylegacy, who was passed in the stretch, and fourth belonged to the closing from last factor, and Orange Park Derby Winner, Drink It Off.
Pat Collins almost had 3 wins on the night and it would take a special effort to deny them in the 9th race on the card. Breaking on top was Pat C Typhoon who took a strong 2 length position at the turn. Typhoon was not alone though as Bgr Benny Da Jet broke well and was stalking the pace as they turned down the backside. By the far turn, the lead had dwindled to a length and Benny was on a journey. As the two locked up coming toward the finish line, it was obvious to everyone that it was going to be a tight finish. Benny was flying home, and Typhoo was doing his best to hold on. After the smoke cleared, and the photo was posted, Benny came home a winner a head better then Typhoo at the wire. The fast closing after trouble factor Dutch Casey was 3rd, followed by the even chasing runner For the Birds in 4th.
The second round of the 2018 $75,000 James J Patton Silver Cup will run on Friday evening February 23rd at bestbet Jacksonville. All 9 fields of greyhounds will return for yet another chance to score some points and have an opportunity to move on in the stakes. Make you plans and don’t miss out on a single moment of action from the richest race on the year here at bestbet Jacksonville. I’ll see you at the races!