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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – RTSS Eve’s Angel of Floyd kennel and Hi Noon Ricochet of Nova kennel drew No. 1 boxes for the second qualifying round in the Grand Finale Derby on Wednesday at Derby Lane.

Post positions were drawn on Monday.

The greyhounds are among 16 athletes competing for eight spots in the 550-yard championship race on Sunday. All dogs advanced by finishing in the top four in their respective races in this past Saturday’s first round.

RTSS Eve’s Angel, a 31-month-old female from a litter by Kiowa Myth and PJ Hardnottolike, starts from the inside post in Race 6 at 1:44 p.m. Trained by kennel owner Randy Floyd for owner Running To Stand Still LLC, RTSS Eve’s Angel is the second-choice 4-1 morning-line favorite. She finished second in her first qualifier.

Other starters in Race 6 in post-position order: Hi Noon Recoil (Nova kennel), O Ya Flo (Lester Raines), Flying Stark (Everett Racing), LK’s Trubulee (Lashmet), Oh No Mr Bill (Abernathy), Kentucky Smith (Cal Holland) and Ventilator (Everett Racing). Hi Noon Recoil is the 5-2 morning-line top choice.

Hi Noon Ricochet drew the No. 1 box in Race 10 at 2:56 p.m. The 33-month-old son of SH Avatar and Hi Noon Wheezy advanced with a third-place showing in the opening round. Hi Noon Ricochet is a seventh-best 10-1 on the morning line. He is trained by Missy Kubitz for owner Charles Haliburton III.

The remainder of the field in Race 10 in post-position order: Shoot For D Moon (Floyd), Harwich (Abernathy), Fine SB Lines (Lester Raines), Raiders Coolio (Cal Holland), Kaias Marvin (Floyd), Flying Benelli (Everett Racing) and LK’s Santorini (Lashmet), the 5-2 morning-line choice who has wrapped up her first meet win title.

Also on Monday, Watson Racing took a major step toward wrapping up its first meet kennel championship with a three-win effort on the 12-race performance. With six cards remaining in the July-to-December meet, Watson Racing extended its lead to eight victories over both reigning champion Lester Raines and three-time champion Everett Racing with 255 wins. The meet concludes with a rare Sunday matinee performance.

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.