This Saturday evening at bestbet Jacksonville we get to see the best greyhounds at the racetrack compete in the finals of the 2018 $30,000 bestbet Sprint Classic. This is a very tough field of greyhound that had to win in qualifying to even get into this race. Two of the greyhounds won 3 rounds and 4 others won two of their four efforts. Loads of early speed, with breakers and rushers, and a few closers to boot. This race could come down to just who wants it more from the get go. Let’s take a closer look at the finalists and I’ll give you my rundown on just how this whole thing is going to all play out at the finish line.
Race 11 – Saturday evening August 4th, 2018
1 – Lee Blondie (Djays Octane – Lee Talia) is the best closer in the field and can come and get anyone in this race if she is close enough early on. She has not missed the money in 15 straight efforts. Would rather be outside but can find her way as she breaks slowly in each effort. If she wants to win, she must stay out of trouble and break at least a little bit in this effort.
2 – Dc Midnite Rider (NMS Sweet Thing – Ale Star Dancer) was the point leader that is really on top of his game right now. Sure, he might want to be a little bit more midtrack here, but he will get room to rush as he will for sure outbreak Blondie tonight. He is a strong rusher that he tough near the lead in almost every race. With 9 straight starts in the money, and 3 wins in 4 rounds, he is the one to beat.
3 – Js Range Rover (pat C Sabbath – Ch Keepin Faith) is an even chasing hard trying greyhound that needs to break and steal a big lead early on tonight if he wants a chance to win at the wire. Consistency is his calling card, with 12 od his last 13 trips in the money but winning has not been his forte. Lucky for him that he drew this starting box. Likes it midtrack and must break to contend.
4 – Atascocita Kitty (Flying Westover – Atascocita Tisoy) might have squeaked into the finals, but it’s not as bad as it seems. She won a round and finished 2nd by a nose in two others. She easily could have had 3 wins in 4 starts as well. This stalking closer can win from the lead or from off the pace and could make the most of this midtrack post position tonight. If she gets room early, watch out!
5 – Pat C Kudos (Pat C Clement – Pat C April Oak) is the pure puppy in the field that did well early and backed her way into this final round race. She is ultra-tough on the lead and has never been caught when she has been in the front heading home. Yep, 10 straight deep digging efforts to her credit, but will it be enough against this field and can she even get there at the start? Those are the questions only she can answer in this final. Tough post, but if you hit the lid, you get all the room you need. This race is up to her.
6 – Ww Xavier (Kiowa Ww Brother – Ww’s Saints) peaked at the right time and has been running the best of his young career in the rounds. The difference for him has been the break and in turn it has led to good things at the wire. He can be short late on occasion, and against this field, he will need every inch of a lead if he hopes to hold on at the finish line. Key to success for him will be the start. He must outbreak everyone if he wants the title and crown at the wire.
7 – Chasing Charlie (Djays Octane – Seeking Beauty) was the fastest greyhound in qualifying by a wide margin with his 10-length win in 30.23 seconds. This dual threat can beat you on the lead or come from off the pace and run you down at the finish line. He has done well from this post in the past but needs to find a lane to rush in if he can’t find the front end early on. Also, on his side is veteran trainer Mike Gerard, that not only watches over him, but owns part of him as well. If he breaks and gets loose, this one could be a runaway victory.
8 – Kentucky Rich (Pat C Clement – Kentucky Fire) is the only greyhound in the field with final round race experience. He finished 2nd in the recent bestbet Puppy Stakes and is looking to improve on that finish tonight. This all out breaking front running threat must come out of the box in a big-time hurry here if he stands a chance tonight. Rich likes the post and has flashed from here in the past but will need to get to the rail portion of the racetrack to take full advantage of his gifts. Moving in early, needs to stay clear of the trouble in order to contend.
The field is set and its almost post time. As the lure rounds the turn and the box pops open in the finals, it is going to be crazy crowded for the lead. Everyone has showed up to run and it is a battle for the front-end from the get go. Kentucky Rich fires best of all and coasts up the frontside is command of this effort. Pulling along his next-door neighbor Chasing Charlie along with Dc Midnight Rider and a herd of others close in toe, followed behind by the slow-breaking Lee Blondie. Around the turn they go, but the big lead is not even that big already as Charlie and Dc Midnite Rider have snuggled up into contention behind Rich as they start to head down the backside. Others will be jockeying for position here, and trust me when I say, I think it gets crowded and now everyone gets around the turn untouched. This leaves room on the rail to get past and Blondie gets a benefit and makes up some ground. By the far turn Rich’s lead is gone and the chasers become the leaders. Charlie is just ahead of the rest as Midnite Rider makes a challenge and Rich starts to retreat. Blondie is full out flying now, but she still has a ton of work to do to get home in contention. Down the stretch the two greyhounds battle, toe to toe, back and forth and in the end, it will take a photo to separate them at the finish line. By a slim margin, Charlie proves best and Midnite Rider must settle for place. Blondie shows off her closing chops and gains on the leaders, but not enough to challenge for the win. She easily is third best. Kentucky Rich is in retreat after being past but manages to survive in the superfecta at the finish line. (6-2-1-8)
The stake is not the only thing going on this Saturday evening at bestbet Jacksonville. We will have second chance drawings along with our Trifecta Scratch-off tickets. Loads of cash to be had so grab your friends, make you plans, and head out to see us this weekend at bestbet Jacksonville. If you’re here, I’ll see you at the races!