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Monday, May 4, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Derby Lane announced Saturday that greyhound racing will resume this week following a 49-day closure because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The facility, which closed on March 20 – a move initiated by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order on COVID-19 - is scheduled to begin racing again on Friday with a 15-race matinee performance.

Derby Lane has amended its racing schedule with matinee-only racing six days a week from Monday through Saturday.

It is a reduction of one performance per week. Previously, Derby Lane offered seven weekly performances with night racing on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

There will be no racing on Sunday.

The Derby Lane poker room will reopen on May 11. It will be available seven days a week from 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Derby Lane, which is celebrating its 95th year of racing, lost 49 racing performances. Greyhounds have not competed since March 19.

Lester Raines sits atop the 14-kennel win standings with 129. ABC Racing is second at 119, followed by Capabal at 118 and Lashmet at 117. All-America first-team member and two-time reigning meet win leader LK’s Crush N It of Lashmet kennel and Shoot The Breeze of Floyd kennel are tied for the most wins at the meet with 11 apiece.

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.