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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

 

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Derby Lane welcomed back patrons on Wednesday.

After losing 49 performances to the coronavirus pandemic, the greyhound track resumed racing May 8 with no fans allowed on the premises.

That changed Wednesday, when patrons were allowed back and the poker room was reopened. The card room will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. with 50 percent capacity. Twenty-six of its 52 tables are available with a limit of six players per table.

Derby Lane also is opening its fourth-floor simulcast area.

The track has made several changes to ensure safety for its employees and patrons, including plexiglass dividers, social distancing markings, regular cleaning and disinfectant practices.

Derby Lane, which currently holds matinees daily at 12:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, is adding a Saturday evening performance at 7:30 p.m., beginning May 30. All performances feature 15 races.

Lester Raines entered Wednesday as the win leader in the 14-kennel standings with 145 victories, 16 ahead of both ABC Racing and Capabal. Shoot The Breeze of Floyd kennel has the meet’s most victories among greyhound runners with 13.

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.