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Monday, October 7, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Sixteen down, eight to go.

With half of the entries eliminated Saturday after the first round in the $20,000 Gold Trophy Juvenile at Derby Lane, greyhounds face one final hurdle to gain a berth in the 550-yard championship race.

A top-four finish in each qualifier is needed to advance to the next level. Qualifying concludes Wednesday in Races 6 (8:39 p.m.) and 10 (9:47).

Eight dogs will compete in Saturday night’s title event with a $9,000 first-place prize at stake.

Amazing Archie of Bartley Corporation kennel, CBJ Trifecta of Capabal, Flying Romanian of Everett Racing, and Kaias Alex of Floyd all passed their initial tests with first-round victories.

Amazing Archie, a 22-month-old male from a litter by SH Avatar and Amazing Chesney, pulled off the biggest surprise. The Ken Brotherton trainee paid $20.80 to win, prevailing by a neck in the closest finish of the four races. He clocked 550 yards in 31.16 seconds for owner Travis Bartley.

CBJ Trifecta, trained by Belinda Parker for owner Carmen J Inc., was the only favorite to win. The 21-month-old son of SH Avatar and CBJ Treat rolled to a 7-1/2-length victory in 30.91 seconds, returning $4.60 to win.

Flying Romanian stretched her win streak to four with a 4-length triumph in 30.94 seconds. Trained by Kelsie Gubbels for owner Vince Berland, the 23-month-old female from a litter by Barcelona Boss and Flying Bosnian paid $8.40 after clocking the sprint course in 30.94 seconds.

Kaias Alex clocked the fastest qualifying time of 30.80 seconds in his 2-1/2-length win. The 27-month-old son of Djays Octane and Ethereal Elation paid $10.20. He is trained by kennel co-operator Randy Floyd for owner George Adler.

Kaias Alex was third at the first race call before overtaking his rivals.

“He’s got good early speed,’’ said Patty Floyd, Randy’s wife and kennel co-owner. “He likes to get out and go to the front.’’

Floyd joined Abernathy and Everett Racing in having three greyhounds each moving on to the next round. Bartley Corporation has two dogs remaining, one of nine kennels with dogs still in contention.

NEW KENNEL. Derby Lane adds a new kennel to its roster Monday with Watson Racing. James Watson owns the operation that enjoyed success at Ebro in the Florida Panhandle. The trainer is Alan Friedman. Derby Lane now has 14 kennels.

Don Jensen

I have been a sports writer in the newspaper industry for 40 years: working in Florida, Maryland and Virginia. I moved to Florida in 1984 after serving as the publicity director of Charles Town Race Track, a thoroughbred facility in West Virginia. I reside in Tampa, Fla., and cover the Tampa Bay area parimutuel scene – both greyhounds and thoroughbreds – and write about high school sports for the Tampa Bay Times.