UGR's News from Around the Country 04.09.12By: Clint Locklear
Friday night, April 6th, The 2nd Series Championship of the American Derby kicked off a big weekend of stakes action. It also kicked off a big weekend for the D.Q. Williams Kennel, which has been a dominating force in Florida stakes races for several years now.
Wannadobadthings shot from the box and anyone familiar with the son of Dragon Fire instantly recognized the predicament of the seven other dogs. 'Badthings has always been the embodiment of stamina, so a quick start only enhanced his chances. Kennelmate Goodlucksterling picked up the chase second, holding a slight advantage over the favorite Kelsos Guardian. The other five runners became an afterthought. Although Sterling and Guardian gave it all their worth, they were never able to gain any ground on 'Badthings as he crossed the wire five and a half lengths in front to stop the timer at 37.20 for the 660 yards. The winner went off at a healthy 11-1, setting off a $312.20 trifecta that included the two wagering favorites. The D.Q. Williams kennel ran one-two and that perfecta combination paid $177.60.
Wannadobadthings, owned and bred by Tina Williams, is a son of Dragon Fire and out of the stakes producing dam Leafs Flying. Leafs Flying was a distance star of the former Flagler-Hollywod circuit. She was 2nd to the legendary Instant Vintage in the 2005 Hecht Marathon. Leafs Flying was also a multiple top grade winner at 660 and 770 yard distances. Her littersister, Ruby is the Best, has also become a well known producer. Her son, Offthebrakedrake, was a stakes winner the night following the American Derby at Orange Park Kennel Club.
Wannadobadthings will now be paired with Kelsos Guardian in a match race this Friday night, April 14th, while several others from this event will go straight into qualifying for the $10,000 Floridian Stakes at 770 yards.
Wannadobadthings' is nine for ten in the money since moving south to Mardi Gras. He has five wins from these ten starts.
American Derby 2nd Series results:
1st- Wannadobadthings (Dragon Fire - Leafs Flying), D.Q. Williams Kennel
W- $24.20 P- $8.60 S-$4.60
2nd- Goodlucksterling (RA Blazer - Good Luck Leslie), D.Q. Williams Kennel
P- $4.40 S- $3.00
3rd- Kelsos Guardian (Kelsos Fusileer - Kelsos Hifalutin), J.E. O'Donnell Kennel
4th- Roc A By Spinoff, 5th- Caspian's Place, 6th- Jax Wanda Rinn, 7th- Show You Want, 8th- Kelsos Fabulous.
When Offthebrakedrake began his career late last summer, no one believed he'd become a track record holder. At one point, he failed to finish better than 5th seven consecutive times in grades C and D, several of those being last place finishes. Unlike most track record holders and stakes winners, 'Drake didn't reach grade A until close to his 20th start. But it's safe to say, he has since figured it out.
'Drake came into the Jacksonville Sprint Classic as the top point qualifier, winning three of four, his only loss was filled with trouble. In the semi-final he teased race fans by coming within a hundredth of second off the track record and crushed his rivals by ten lengths. Totally in a league of his own, his closest competitor was his kennel mate J's Robin, who was making her second appearance in a stakes final this year.
'Drake, who has gotten better at timing his break. He was away quick the night of the Final and it instantly became a race against the clock. 'Drake kept a comfortable margin throughout and the race, finishing four and a half lengths ahead of System of a Down. The final time was 30.04, four hundredths of a second faster than the previous track record.
System of a Down (who ran the race of a winner if it were any other year) shook off a first turn bump to gain second and held on to the wire, while J's Robin closed from seventh at the break to get up for third.
The win puts Offthebrakedrake's lifetime record at 45/21-4-6. Even more impressive is his dominance in 2012 with thirteen wins from eighteen starts.
ML Top Royalty set the Orange Park track record in 1993 with a time of 30.21. The former All-American's record would stand for eleven years before Dustin the Way (who also raced for D.Q. and Sharon Wlliams) would lower it to 30.17. The record would fall three more times before Paddy Whacker would lower his own record to 30.08 in February of last year.
The next stakes event is the JGR Puppy Stakes which begins May 18th. The Final will be held June 2nd. The race is restricted to juvenile aged greyhounds so Offthebrakedrake will be unable to compete.
Jacksonville Sprint Classic results:
1st- Offthebrakedrake (Coldwater Konow - Ruby Is The Best), D.Q. Williams Kennel
W- $3.20 P- $2.80 S- $2.40
2nd- System of a Down (Dodgem By Design - Star Olga), Crowe Kennel
P- $3.60 S- $3.20
3rd- J's Robin (Lonesome Cry - Boy Trouble), D.Q. Williams Kennel
4th- Par C Jackhammer, 5th- Miss Kate, 6th- Easi Mitchie, 7th- Gs Shock, 8th- Penrose Jovial
On a night featuring two major stakes Finals and elimination rounds, many handicappers turned their attention to the historic St. Petersburg as nearly $430,000 was wagered. Race fans witnessed Brother Buck, of the D'Arcy Kennel & Ryan Farms combination, capture the $80,000 Distance Classic. Although Buck was the high point qualifier, his accomplishments were nearly forgotten. He was dismissed at 6-1 by the betting public. The front running Kentucky Fire was surprisingly sent to post as the favorite at a cool 2-1, slightly lower than Tiger Boy. Flyin Commandant garnered respect closing out at 4-1.
Rail running Kentucky Fire got out in front early as expected, after springing from her favorite box, the one hole. Brother Buck was hot on her tail chasing second with Kiowa Wildbraves and Flying Commandant behind him. These four would set the tone early and would provide a wild finish. All-American Team Captain Tiger Boy was forced wide on the first turn, costing him several lengths and defending champ Magic Finch was in tight early leaving her without much chance of a repeat. Sovereign Gift fell asleep in the box and although he closed well late, he was left with too much to make up. As Kentucky Fire began to get leg weary turning for home, Brother Buck seized the opportunity in the stretch.a lead that he would not relinquish. Wildbraves tried to make a move for second, but was blocked by the fading front runner. This enabled Flying Commandant to nip both of those for place in a three way photo. With Tiger Boy and the favorite left out of the top three, the trifecta paid a handsome $1,093.80 and the super was more than double that amount. The Buck - Commandant perfecta reward was $55.80.
Brother Buck improves his record to 21/6-6-0 for the year.
3/8ths runners will go at it again this Summer in the St. Petersburg Derby in July.
Derby Lane Distance Classic results:
1st- Brother Buck (Kiowa Mon Manny - Bow Okie Barb), D'Arcy Kennel
W- $14.20 P- $5.40 S-$4.60
2nd- Flyin Commandant (Dragon Fire - Flying Cleburne), Red Oak Racing
P- $5.00 S- $4.60
3rd- Kiowa Wildbraves (Kiowa Sweet Trey - Kiowa Wild Girl), Patriot Kennel
4th- Kentucky Fire, 5th- Sovereign Gift, 6th- Tiger Boy, 7th- Magic Finch, 8th- Jewelz Fire
The $15,000 Southland Spring Futurity moves on to Round 2 Wednesday afternoon with 80 greyhounds still in contention to advance.
The David Blair Kennel holds a hot hand with a pair of young males. Blair's primary weapon is Bella Laugh Itup, a son of Jimbo Scotty who turns into a white streak on the track. He's nearly all white except for a couple black ears and some black ticking on the legs. He's won half of his thirty career starts and he's already a stakes winner as the 2012 Southland Inaugural champ. Laugh Itup has been hot dating back to his Inaugural win. He's won three in a row, eight out of his last eleven, and has yet to finish worse than second in his last fifteen races. Bella Laugh Itup is the favorite to win this event. David Blair is also loaded with Bella Hercurles, a Kiowa Sweet Trey son. Hercurles exits the Hound Madness Stakes in which he was a contestant in the Consolation Match race. He's won eleven of thirty two lifetime races and has been a steady grade AA performer.
Hercurles draws into his round two qualifier with a half brother to former Southland standout and 2008 All-American Soprano Drive. Lost Dutchman, a son of Trent Lee and Essie Ecks Drive, has some running to do before reaching the same status as his older brother, but he's off to a fast start through just six career races. Dutchman, who races for the Robert Thorne Kennel, won two of his first three schooling races by a combined thirty lengths. After finding trouble in his career debut, he rattled off three straight runaway victories, all sub 32 second times. He's since been grounded in his last two trouble filled starts, but may benefit from a favorable outside post.
Oshkosh Fayola from the Charter Kennel is an exciting finisher to watch. She has seven wins from fifteen starts, two if those in grade AA coming from well out of it to get up late. Fayola draws in with WW Eletric Ray, another capable closer from the North Shore Kennel.
Nitro Stubby is one of the more experienced pups with twenty two lifetime starts from the Magic City Kennel. Stubby was a first round winner and draws into a second round group that's light on experience.
Whiskey Tango from the Charter Kennel and Oshkosh Grace from Robert Thorne are two young pups that put on a show in round one. Tango barely held off Grace in a swift sub 32 second time. Big things are expected again from both.
Lastly, an interesting entry is Mega Quasar. Most tracks require juvenile stake entries to have broken their maiden at the track which is holding the event. Mega Quasar, a David Blair Kennel entry, broke his maiden and ran his first twenty six career races at Caliente in Tijuana, Mexico. Quasar took a few starts to find his footing, but has come on strong. In his last six starts, they have all been top three finishes and five of those in the quinela. He's a first round winner and will go to post as one of the wagering choices in Round 2.
The 3rd Round of the Bob Balfe Puppy Stakes goes off Wednesday afternoon. The four pups which are undefeated through the first two rounds are Greta's Milano (Rader Racing), Milam Pierce (Steve Gilster), WW All Starodell (Steve Gilster), and Turbo Edwin (Rader Racing). Other notables include Doinitforsumdoll (Brindle) and Nidett (W.H. O'Donnell).
Gilded Sherry won again Monday afternoon extending her win streak to ten.