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Thursday, August 11, 2016

After a couple of year absence from bestbet Jacksonville, the DQ Williams Kennel has returned, and has come back with a vengeance. If you have followed our circuit in the past, you know that there has been a slew of not only stakes winners, and track record holders, but All-Americans too coming from the DQ Williams Barn, and on Saturday evening August 6th yet another name has been etched into the silver plate.

Saturday was the finals of the 2016 $20,000 bestbet Sprint Classic with a talented field of greyhounds competing for the cash in crown. Every greyhound in the field had to win a race to get in and five of the eight in the finals won at least 2 races in qualifying. Leading the way was a DQ entry, but probably not the one that everyone was looking for. After the big dogs withdrew, Hey Hey Daddy took the lead spot for the kennel and never looked back. Winning 3 of the 4 rounds, she was now the one to beat. With the added pressure of all those names in past riding on her back in this final round race, would she be up to the challenge? Could she keep it going strong? Could she rise the trophy once again for the king of the stakes at bestbet Jacksonville? We were all ready to find out.

As the lure powered through the far turn, and rusty swept by the front of the starting box, it was hard to hear it open up as the boisterous crowd was already booming with excitement. Out the greyhound came with a rush and it was going to be a contested race from the get go. Fleet footed Ww’s Lost Girl missed her break and left a void at the start of this race on the front end. Stepping up to take over was Boc’s Andross and Ww’s Sammy. This duo came to rush and run and quickly put the rest of the field in a defensive posture. As they speed to the turn, dueling on the front end, as they tried to separate themselves, the rest of the field chased close behind to the turn. There is when things got interesting. The whole outcome of the race would change in just a few strides. With Andross and Sammy still in front. Hey Hey Daddy bullied his way through the turn on the inside part of the racetrack and send the rest of the field out of her way in the turn. Several greyhounds had to adjust their course, but the benefactors of the collision on the rail were Hey Hey Daddy and her sister Hey Pretty Baby. Daddy shook off the trouble, but her bullying ways here not done just yet. As the rounded the turn, she brushed by both leaders and they in turn got tangled up with each other and lost control of this race. Down the backside Hey Hey Daddy continued to run, and now with the open air up front, it looked like easy sailing for her in this effort. Well that was until the big name runners and closers decided to start making a move. By the far turn Hey Pretty Baby was close in tow and gaining on the leader. Ln Houdini had found room after the nudge in the first turn and was closing as well, and the ultra-fast flying pup Charlie Bale was coming from way back in last after being taken wide around the bend. Entering the corner, it was every sibling for themselves as Baby tried to go by on the rail, but Hey Hey Daddy was having none of it. She shutoff her sister, and let it be known that this race was hers to either win on lose on the front end. After that move, Baby was forced out a big wide and Houdini and Charlie drove by into stalking range. Turning for home it clearly looked to be a Daddy victory. She was 3 in front of the rest, she was breezing on the lead, but as they say, it ain’t over till it’s over. Charlie Bale was not done running just yet. He was not ready to concede the victory half way up the stretch, so he did what he does best, reach back for more. Gaining with every single stride he took, you saw the 3 length lead evaporating like cool rain on a hot tin roof. But Daddy was not done either, she put her head back down, she refocused hard, and surged for the wire with one last burst. At the finish line, it was a blur. No one knew just who had won, and it would take a photo to decide just who claimed victory. When the print dried and all eyes had seen it, the 1 shines highest on the board as Hey Hey Daddy took home the victory. Kudos to Charlie Bale as he might just be one of the best closers in the country. Coming from last to miss by a neck, he ran a winning effort, but had to settle for 2nd in this one. The 2016 James J Patton Silver Cup winner, Ln Houdini, was third as he held off a challenge from the resurging Hey Pretty Baby at the finish line. Completing the field was Idaho Kinky in 5th, early leader Boc’s Andross in 6th, Ww’s Sammy in 7th, and Ww’s Lost Girl in 8th.


Congratulations head out to the DQ Williams Kennel, owner Tina Williams, trainer Craig Edwards and everyone else connected with this fantastic greyhound. Yet another great stakes winning greyhound from the Need A Date line, which also ran at bestbet, the Williams have something special in this dam that also produced All-Americans Need My Moneynow and Seldom Told.

To answer the question from earlier on, Hey Hey Daddy was up to the task in this race. The pressure was not too much, as she adds her name to a long, long list of talented DQ greyhounds to win stakes races here at bestbet Jacksonville. Her future is bright, as she is just turning three, and like most DQ greyhounds, I think she might like a turn at 660 too in the upcoming $50,000 Orange Park Derby.

Big things lie ahead for her, and the kennel, now that Daddy and DQ are home!