Greyhound News
Monday, February 5, 2018

PJ Dark Angel looked like the solid favorite in the championship race of the $25,00 Delta Course Derby featuring Southland’s best long distance racers. Three wins during qualifying (two of them by comfortable margins) plus a decent starting post position had the brindle male from the Charter Kennel itching to grab his first career stakes victory. Imark Octane had a late lead in all four qualifying rounds but only held on to win one of those races (finished second best in the other three) and looked to have the goods to potentially steal a win here as well. FGF Smilin Drago was probably set up the best starting from the coveted one box in this race, but something just didn’t smell like total confidence after his last start from this spot in the semi-finals proved to be a dud despite a stellar qualifying stint before then. At the end, everybody smelled something brewing and all they had to do is look to the outside.

Lester Raines Kennel had a sneaky 74 pound competitor laying in the seven box by the name of Dutch Brew. If it wasn’t for a mere neck length in his last qualifying race in catching a historically laboring Imark Octane during the semi-finals, he may not have recorded a win during the four rounds. A closing third place finish by a length in the opening round followed by a distance second by 6 ½ lengths (at one point he was seventh in the race) and a solid 2 ½ length show effort in round 3 showed he had the late speed to factor, but a lack of a quick start usually dooms greyhounds with his running style from winning to many of the “big ones”. If there was anything that could offset that, it would be the long 820 yard course distance.

The race would feature 3 lead changes in the first 30 yards, but FGF Smilin Drago wrestled command away from the field by the time they hit the first turn. Imark Octane was hot in pursuit just to his right shoulder and Fly Jessica Biel grabbed some prime real estate along the rail as the group made their way by the fans for the first time. Jon Bon Jovi was midtrack in fourth closing and the rest of the field laid close enough by the time they made the escape turn that nobody seemed totally out of it except for DNT Finbarclancy, who normally doesn’t start making his moves until the last quarter of the race.

It was that last quarter that got people out of their seats. FGF Smilin Drago still had the lead at that point, albeit by less than a length with Imark Octane still breathing down his neck. The orange blanket of Dutch Brew came shooting through a small gap on the rail and was gaining ground quickly with every stride and DNT Finbarclancy was also putting the pedal to the metal near the back of the pack. When the eight greyhounds emerged into the last stretch run for all the marbles, all eight were within seven lengths of each other. Despite the gutsy effort, FGF Smilin Drago could no longer hold off his rivals and succumbed the lead to Dutch Brew who was just in another gear at this point. Imark Octane finally hit the point in the race where he had little in the tank as well, leaving the “in the money” spots to the closers in the group. DNT Finbarclancy filled that bill nicely, coming from dead last to shoot up on the rail and grab second place honors at the wire behind Dutch Brew. FGF Smilin Drago settled for third best but had to win a three way photo to do that as Red Handed came flying up late (from 7th in the far turn) and Imark Octane who was simply out of gas. When the dirt settled, the field from front to back was just 7 ½ lengths long, which tied for the second closest race on the 18-race program that afternoon.

For Dutch Brew, it was his first stakes win for the son of Djays Octane just a single day after his second birthday. The 46.88 winning time was the fastest of all five rounds in the stakes event for the black male owned by Joann Koerner. The greyhound is trained by Ken Lesperance but assistant trainer Jeannie Lesperance claims the first stakes winner of the 2018 racing season as “her boy”. Congratulations to all the connections of Dutch Brew.

Official Order of Finish (and added purse money)

Winner – DUTCH BREW (Lester Raines Kennel) - $11,250

2nd – DNT FINBARCLANCY (T and T Kennel) - $5,625

3rd – FGF SMILIN DRAGO (Charter Kennel, Inc.) - $2,500

4th – RED HANDED (Northshore Kennel) - $1,375

5th – IMARK OCTANE (Steve M. Sarras Kennel) - $1,250

6th – JON BON JOVI (Steve M. Sarras Kennel) - $1,125

7th – PJ DARK ANGEL (Charter Kennel, Inc.) - $1,000

8th - FLY JESSICA BIEL (T and T Kennel) - $875



Chasity Brown - Leadout; Jeannie Lesperance – Assistant Trainer; Brian Duncan – Racing Secretary

Shane Bolender