Sunday, February 3, 2008

And the Winner is...

Se's Top Speed is the 2008 Orange Park Derby Champ
There's an old saying in greyhound racing that if you can pick the winner to the first turn, then you have a good shot at picking the winner of the race. Such was the case at the 2008 $50,000 Orange Park derby in Jacksonville, FL. Se's Top Speed, wearing the #5 blanket, broke alertly and led box to wire in last night's championship event. Our pick, #3 Penny Candy, made a strong late bid that fell short by a neck to take the second spot. The sentimental favorite, #7 Deco Deano, was in contention entering the final turn but was jostled hard. The two bona fide closers in the race, #4 Kiowa Pretence and #2 USS California, made their way around traffic in the stretch to fill out the Superfecta.

Se's Top Speed was sent off at 9-1 so there were some nice payoffs, particularly the $234.30 perfecta. After her effort in the 1st round (01/18/08E-7 OP 660 F 37.94 61.5 7 7 6 8 8th 38.63 5.90 SA) you might have counted her out of the stakes. It wasn’t her fault that she ran into huge trouble and finished last. But to her credit she didn’t let it affect her in the least. She broke better in her next 3 races and closed hard in each of them to find a way to the finals. She even went box to wire in the third round for the victory, setting up a preview of her tactics in the final.

Se's Top Speed has always shown that she had the speed to compete, but for her it was a matter of staying on the racetrack. She just kept having those nagging little problems that have kept her away from the oval 3 times for little over 2 months apiece. All healthy now she was ready to go in this stakes event. The culmination of her efforts was a chance not only to compete, but to win the finals of the Orange Park Derby. It was her second try at the stakes world and her first ever stakes final.

Like most of the rest of this field she runs her best from the far inside or far outside part of the racetrack. But when you break like she did last night, it doesn't matter what box you have. Her BJ Kennel also won the race last year with the other greyhound, Craigie Grandy, the one that wasn’t suppose to win. History repeated itself tonight. Both for BJ Kennel and the unfortunate handlers of Deco Deano. Deano was the beaten favorite in the 2007 Derby Final after a similar rough trip.

11th Grade: S Distance: 660 Condition: Fast
Se's Top Speed**** 62.0 5 1 1 1 37.73 9.90 2008 Derby Champ
Penny Candy**** 62.5 3 5 2 2 37.75 2.30 Driving On Leader
Kiowa Pretence** 73.0 4 8 5 3 37.94 8.00 Slow Break, Drving
Uss California*** 62.5 2 4 3 4 38.04 18.70 Contended Thruout
Deco Deano**** 73.5 7 3 7 5 38.18 3.50 Sharp Brk, Lt Bump
Sweetsouthern*** 63.0 8 7 8 6 38.22 8.60 Wanted Rail, Bmped
Grim Reaper***** 71.0 1 2 4 7 38.23 3.30 Shutoff Last Turn
Stupendous Trent 67.5 6 6 6 8 38.27 8.70 Caught In Traffic

B J Racing Kennels Inc, Bd, F, 04/24/05,
Rooftop Moby - Crystal Riddell
5 Se's Top Speed 21.80 7.40 4.60
3 Penny Candy 4.40 3.20
4 Kiowa Pretence 3.40
QU(3-5) 34.20
PF(5-3) 234.30
TR(5-3-4) 546.60
SU(5-3-4-2) 1467.00

The following news release is from Kelly J Clark,
Director of Internet Services
Jacksonville Greyhound Racing

"Talk about deja vu! The other greyhound in the BJ Racing Kennel was the one who got it done in the finals of the 2008 $50,000 Orange Park Derby. For the second year in a row owner Henry Howe had a couple of greyhounds in the final and frankly the favorite of the two in both races was the 2007 $30,000 Clay County Classic winner Deco Deano. In 2007 it was Craigie Grandy who stepped up and went to the lead and coasted for the win and this year it was Se’s Top Speed (Rooftop Moby-Crystal Riddell) who his the lid and survived at the wire to take home the lion’s share of the $50,000 prize.

The BJ Kennel always has their greyhounds ready to go in the stakes finals and Saturday night in the 11th race it was business as usual. When the box opened up Se’s Top Speed and Deco Deano came out in a hurry to take a dominate one, two stance at the start of the race. Grim Reaper also broke well and this trio would be duking it out near the front end for the majority of this effort.

By the far turn Reaper had caught up to the leader and was attempting to pass on the inside and that is where the trouble started. Top Speed moved back to the rail and offstrided Reaper who in turn shuffled back into Deano, taking both of them right out of contention for the rest of the race.

Slipping under Reaper in the far turn was race favorite Penny Candy and Uss California. No so lucky was Kiowa Pretence as he was pushed wide and had to make up even more ground to contend.

Really unaffected by the clip on her heels, Top Speed continued to drive around the turn and turned clear for home with a comfortable 3 length margin. Now everyone though that she was home free, except for the closers that were chasing her. This race was not over yet and it was going to get interesting as they approached the finish line.

Speed was coasting and the closers were coming. Penny Candy decided that she wasn’t going down without giving her all and that is just what she did. As they crept closer and closer to the wire Candy left California behind and took off after the leader. With each stride she was getting closer and closer and closer to a victory. Speed’s lead was shrinking and shrinking and shrinking, but was they enough time for Candy to get there before the wire? Could Top Speed hold on? It was a knock down drag out final few steps that left the two locked at the wire in a photo finish. Who had won? Speed by a head.

It was a great effort by both greyhounds and was really fun to watch as the early speed strength of one held off the late speed strength of another. Rounding out the rest of the field was the ultra fast closing Kiowa Pretence as Uss California settled for fourth. Deco Deano finished in 5th, Sweetsouthern in 6th, Grim Reaper in 7th and Stupendous Trent in last.

Over the past year they are on fire as they have won the 2007 Orange Park Derby, the 2007 Clay County Classic, the 2007 JGR Juvenile and the 2008 Orange Park Derby. That’s 4 major stakes wins in 7 opportunities, pretty impressive as no other kennel has won more than one of the other 3.

Congratulation to the BJ Racing Kennels, Inc., owner Henry Howe and everyone who is connected with this early speed monster.

2007 ALL-AMERICAN HOPEFULS - Afleet Alex, Kay V Tatoo Tony, Santa's Playgirl & Kiowa Wish Frank"

Watch the races live or catch the replays at

Handicapping Contest results:

Like last week, we did well early and missed the middle races of the card badly. Also like last week, we lost a small portion ($9.20) 0f our imaginary forced bets. Well, all I can say is...better luck next week!

Race 1 - 1,220 points
Race 2 - 300
Race 3 - 0
Race 4 - 1,440
Race 5 - 0
Race 6 - 0
Race 7 - 0
Race 8 - 0
Race 9 - 0
Race 10 - 0
Race 11 - 760
Race 12 - 380
Race 13 - 800
Race 14 - 740
Race 15 - 2,440

Total points = 8,080 ($80.80)
Par = 9,000 (15 x $6 = $90.00)
Loss this week = $9.20
Starting Bankroll = $500.00
Current bankroll = $482.00
Net Loss (2 weeks) = $18.00


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