The third round of the 2018 bestbet Puppy Stakes is in the books, and I don’t think I anyone could be more impressed with a greyhound than I am with Jedi Auntie Pho. Frankly, she is untouchable around the Orange Park oval. In her young career she has not been beaten and chalked up another win in round number three to remain the only undefeated greyhound left in the stakes. It was not only the fastest race on the card, it was just another example of pure domination. Breaking closer in the 9th race, Auntie Pho, outrushed everyone to the turn and took a length lead down the backside. From that point on, it just got more fun for her and worse for the competition. Drawing out with every step, she stretched her to lead to 3 lengths by the far turn and by 5.5 at the wire over the chasing threat, and early leader, Kentucky Rich. Stopping the clock at a blistering 30.39 seconds, she is clearly the greyhound to beat in this stakes event.
Auntie Pho might have highlighted the best effort in the round, but the Lashmet kennel wins the other battle for supremacy. Winning 3 of the 5 stakes races on the card, they were hot once again and each of their greyhounds got it done with determined efforts. Of course, the most impressive of those came from Lk’s Black Gold in the 7th race. No surprise to her backers, she bolted from the 8 box, seized instant command and left the field in her dust. Stretching a 2-length lead to 4 and then 6 by the finish line, as she stopped the clock at 30.49 seconds ahead of a closing Lnt Batman. Lk’s Hopscotch took down the other undefeated greyhound in the 15th race on the card. Craigie Zuri did what she normally does and stole away the front end and looked like she was on her way to yet another win, but Hopscotch had other plans. Chipping away at the early 3 length lead, she narrowed the margin to just a length at the far turn and made it evaporate in the stretch. Flying home, she stole away the win by a length at the wire in 30.55 seconds. The other winner for the Lashmet kennel came in the 11th race as Lk’s Berry Frost exploded to the front end, stole 4 big lengths at the turn, and needed everyone inch of that to hold on late for the win. Se’s Fast Fanny was living up to her name and was flying up the backside to make it interesting coming home. All the way up the stretch Berry was pressed but held tough throughout and finished a length ahead of Fanny at the finish line in 30.91 seconds.
The other stakes winner on the card was Arkans Linx. Breaking to the lead in the 13th race was Workinthecorner and it looked like he was going to pull off the upset, but Arkans Linx was not going to have it. Applying pressure from the get go, she crept closer and closer as the race wore on and, in the stretch, it was an all-out battle for the lead, the wire, and the win. Head to head they went and it took a photo to pull them apart. In the end Linx was a head better in 30.75 seconds at the finish and Workinthecorner had to settle for a place position.
Once again, the field will be trimmed down for the semi-finals, on Saturday evening May 26th, as the top 3 races, 24 greyhounds, get a chance to move on to the final round race on Saturday evening June 2nd at bestbet Jacksonville.