On Saturday evening February 2nd at bestbet Jacksonville, the best of the best at the racetrack over 660 yards locked up in the finals of the 2019 $20,000 Orange Park Derby. Win City Racing and Global Racing had dominated qualifying as we saw 3 greyhounds post up victories in 3 of the 4 rounds in qualifying, but could they keep that trend up for kennel owner Eric Griffin in the finals. The answer came right at the break.
Down the backside the lure rumbled past the starting box, and with a pop of the lid, we were off in racing in the finals of the Orange Park Derby. The speed did come to run as Rs Axel Rod exploded to the early lead and was in complete control of this race from the get-go. In Cahoots Withu also came to run and was just off the pace of the early leader. The problem for this dynamic early speed duo was that the closer James Clubber also broke and was way to close too early in this effort. Around the early turn Axel Rod went with the lead as James Clubber moved In Cahoots Withu out of his way so that he could set his sights on the leader as they headed up the frontstretch. The rest of the field chased, but it was already turning into a bunch up front and then the rest behind them. By the first call, Axel Rod was in the lead, but only by a length over the hard driving James Clubber and the Early pressing In Cahoots Withu. Around the turn the leaders continued with Axel Rod clinging to a slim lead, but down the backside is where things were going to change. James Clubber decided that it was time to deliver the knock blow. Digging in deep, he blew by the leader in the length of the toteboard and came out in front as they crossed the lap at the 660-yard box. From that point on, James was just preening for the crowd. Stretching out his lead, he was 3 lengths clear of the rest at the far turn, but he was far from done on this occasion. Stretching out with every stride he took coming home, James crossed the wire unchallenged, finishing 6.5 lengths better than the rest in a speedy time of 37.48 seconds. Next best was the early game leader Rs Axel Rod, who survived a rallying try from early threat In Cahoots WithU at the finish line. Cahoots finished third. Itsafoolsgold might have missed her break and found trouble early, but she never game up. Making up ground throughout, she closed from 6th early on to move up into a money position at the finish line as she finished out the superfecta in 4th at the wire. Completing the field was the chasing and outgamed late threat Gs Otis in 5th, the even running Gs Onyx in 6th, the shuffled at the break runner Dutch Sydney in 7th, and the slow breaking early trouble runner Leaping Linda in 8th.
Congratulations head out to kennel owner Mike Crowe, Trainer Garnet Crowe, Owners Brindle Kennel and Charles Woods, and everyone else connected with this fantastic greyhound. Not 3 yet, he has plenty of wins ahead of him, especially if they leave him over the distance races where he gets more time to use all that raw speed. Best luck in the future to this tremendous pup.