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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

First Coast Classic

bestbet Jacksonville

Saturday Evening November 9, 2019


Pat C News– (76 Points)

OP Career Totals (57/33-9-5-3)

W Bk– MJanuary 2017 Rico’s Vintage – Pat C April Oak

Owned By – Patrick Collins

Runs for the Pat CollinsKennel

Trained by Scott Jarvis

No big surprise here as the win leader at the racetrack went undefeated in the rounds and sits atop of all competitors in the finals. Pat C News is an all-out rushing machine that sees the front end in almost all of his races. This was never more on display than in his semi-final round race. Not breaking first, he shifted gears and left the field in his dust as he rushed to control the race at the first turn. Heading down the backside 3 lengths clear of the rest he breezed in the open air and maintained his lead to the stretch. In the past he has known to be a bit short at the end of the race, but not on this occasion. Drawing away, he padded his numbers even more and crossed 4.5 lengths ahead of his nearest competitor in the nights fastest time, 30.52 seconds. This race is his 4th stakes event for the Pat Collins kennel and he finds himself in his 3rd final round race. He has had great success in those efforts as he was the winner of the 2019 bestbet Puppy Stakes and he finished 4th in the finals of the recent Redemption Stakes. News is as consistent as they come with a current streak of 14 races in a row in the money, or for a great perspective, he has only finished worst than 4th in seven races all year. News is clearly the greyhound to beat in this race, and if they want to take him down, someone is going to have to be preforming above their talent level to get it done. Post position really doesn’t matter much to him as he is so quick at the start, but something on the edges to inside might do him well at the start of this race. He has only lost one race, in 5 starts from the 8 box, and he has never finished out of the quiniela in 7 races from the one box, winning 4 times. He will be ready to break, rush, and run in the finals. He will give his all, will anyone be able to catch him before the wire? That is the real question in this final round race.

Lee Liam– (69 Points)

OP Career Totals (14.11-2-0-1)

F– MOctober 2017 Sh Avatar – Lee Opera

Owned By – Robert Gurley

Runs for the Lester Raines Kennel

Trained by Michael Gerard

News might get all the headlines and the cagey veteran, but you better save some for Lee Liam. Talk about taking the racetrack by storm! Liam has won 11 of his first 14 races, has never finished out of the money, and his mom is someone you might have heard of, LEE OPERA! Liam is a strong rushing closing greyhound that makes his first final round appearance in his first ever attempt at stakes racing competition for the Lester Raines Kennel. This pup’s raw talent was on full display in his round 2 race. There he broke close, rushed to the early lead, put on the after burners and demolished a field of stakes caliber greyhounds in the process. Early the lead was 3 lengths, but the far turn it was 6 and at the wire it was 9 as he stopped the clock in a blistering run of 30.35 seconds. Liam is by no means short and he can break too. This double threat is going to be a major factor at the wire in this stake final. Post position could help his efforts, but he has performed so well so far it is tough to tell. Edges might be a good starting place for him to consider. The 4 and 8 boxes are the only ones that he has started from on more than 2 occasions. He has won twice and finished a close second from those posts. It all comes down to room, if he has room to rush, and gets around close to the early leaders, he will be tough to stop at the wire tonight.

Saber Bryce – (52 Points)

OP Career Totals (23/6-6-1-5)

Be Bd– MOctober 2017 Barcelona Boss– Hogg Hannah

Owned By – Imark Kennels, LLC.

Runs for the Global Racing, Inc.

Trained by Destyni Ward

Saber Bryce is another strong looking puppy that really stepped up his game in the rounds. Winning twice, and finishing 2nd in another of the 4 rounds, Bryce was right in the thick of things with the leaders in points in his second ever attempt at stakes racing competition for Global Racing. This time out he made the finals and his 3rd round race set the tone for his back to back wins into the finals. In that effort he came out running from the red box and took over control almost instantaneously. Rushing to control, he coasted around the racetrack with an easy lead and never looked back. Galloping home unchallenged he won by 3.5 lengths in a speedy 30.59 second clocking. Bryce runs his best when he is close to the early lead in races, as he can be a bit short late, so a strong break will be critical to him once again in this final round race. Bryce might not have many races to draw from, but even from the short supply, it is obvious where he wants to start this race from. The RAIL to inside post positions. The best races of his career have come from here and that is on coincidence. In 6 career starts from the 1 or 2 boxes, he has never missed the money, has finished in the quiniela 5 times, and has posted up a pair of strong wins. Bryce has all the tools to win this race, but he will have to use them early and often if he wants to take down the monster greyhounds above him in the rankings. Just a pup, he doesn’t know he is not supposed to win, and that inexperience could help him out tonight.

Arkans TT Cali– (52 Points)

OP Career Totals (95/18-11-12-11)

Bk– FJuly 2016 Defrim Bale* – T’s Hanky Panky

Owned By – Rachelle Henry, Tom and Brent Taplin

Runs for the Jim Blanchard Kennel

Trained by Mark Blair

After a long career at Jacksonville, Cali finally got a chance to compete and she took full advantage of that opportunity. Never finishing out of the money with a win, a second, and a pair of third place finishes, she earned her way into the finals of the stakes for the Blanchard Kennel. That win in round number 1 came in the style she likes best, box to wire. Beating the lid, she dashed off to a 3-length lead and never surrendered aninch all the way to the wire for the easy victory. Crossing 3.5 lengths better than the rest she stopped the clock at a speedy 30.61 seconds. Cali easily has the most experience on the racetrack, but for stakes she is new to the game and will need to be at her best if she wants a chance against this fantastic field of greyhounds. There is a plethora of races to look through for her and you get a good feeling as to where she likes to race from. She likes room early most of all and that translates to the outside and middle post position. From the 7 and 8 boxes she has been really consistent and won several of her career races, but if she had he druthers in this effort, she might just choose the 5 box. I know it sounds counterproductive, but with the empty hold next to her, she gets room to break, rush, and run and she has turned in some great efforts wearing the 5 blanket. In her 17 career races from this post, she has won 5 times and finished in the money on 12 occasions. She wins with the lead, so she must hit the lid tonight if she wants a chance to upset.

Big Backlash –(49 Points)

OP Career Totals (31/8-2-3-4)

W T Bk– MFebruary2017Barcelona Boss– B’s Elite Wendy

Owned By – Strong, Pence, or Blanchard Kennel

Runs for the Double J Kennel

Trained by Chris Maynard

Big Backlash is a recent ship in that saw his best effort at Jacksonville come in the early rounds of the stakes. Starting off right, he posted up back to back wins in rounds 1 and 2 for the Double J Kennel, and that along with a chasing third place effort was enough to find his way into this final round race. A strong early speed greyhound, Big Backlash is at his best when he can get out of the starting box in a hurry and that is just what he did in round number 1. Breaking with the leaders, he quickly positioned himself on the front end as they rushed to the turn. From that point on it was game over. Three lengths clear down the backside, and through the far turn, he was unchallenged as he drove for the wire. Padding his numbers at the finish line, he was 4.5 lengths ahead of his nearest competitor and finished with a strong time of 30.71 seconds. As far as post position go, like most breakers, it really doesn’t matter if he gets out of the starting box in a hurry, but if he has to rush, he needs room to do it. There in lies the starting box that he wants to run from. For him it has to be the outside part of the racetrack, or possibly the edges if he doesn’t totally sit in the box. From the outside he has 12 starts and has won 5 times and finished in the money on 9 occasions. This final is not going to be easy. He is in tough, very tough, but as one of only 3 greyhounds to keep in the money throughout the rounds, his consistence might just get him a spot at the money table again tonight.

LK’s Alexis – (46 Points)

OP Career Totals (52/28-8-4-2)

R Bd– FDecember 2016Lk’s Vespar–Plover Drive

Owned By – Jill Lashmet

Runs for theLashmet Kennel

Trained byAshley Bouthillier

LK’s Alexis is the big name that not many are talking about, but maybe should be. I know she didn’t have to best efforts in the rounds, but she still won one and finished a close second in two other races. That win came in her third-round race in her patented running style. Exploding from the starting box, she took instant command of the race and never looked back. Three lengths clear of the rest from the start, she was never in danger and maintained that margin all the way to the finish line. Stopping the clock at a speedy 30.42 second time, she proved that she is a force to be reckoned with at the racetrack. With 28 wins on the year, she is no slouch and remember that she was the winner of the 2019 edition of the redemption stakes, where she beat Pat C News in a box to wire effort. She is oh so tough on the lead and has only been caught once in the stretch in her last 28 times with the lead heading home. Alexis is the monster in waiting and a good starting box might just give her the edge she needs to win yet another stakes title in 2019. Looking at her lines, the edges are the place to be. She runs her best from the 1,2,7 or 8 like most greyhounds. Breaking is still her best attribute, but if she gets the 8-box watch-out! She has never lost from this post, a perfect 4-4! If there is someone here that can upset the big names, it is her!

Pat C Kudos – (41 Points)

OP Career Totals (37/8-6-7-1)

Bk– FApril 2016Pat C Clement– Pat C April Oak

Owned By – Patrick Collins

Runs for the Patrick Collins Kennel

Trained by Scott Jarvis

Pat C Kudos has had a long and storied career at bestbet Jacksonville that included a trip to Southland in-between his last two stakes appearances. A finalist in the 2018 bestbet Sprint Classic, Kudos left for the big-time track, but returned not too much longer to start again at bestbet. Climbing back up the ladder he has rounded back into grade A form that saw her win back to back races to start off the stakes here in the 2019 First Coast Classic. She backed his way into this final round field after a pair of rough trips in the 3rd and 4th round races. She gets another chance at the title tonight, but she will have to run like she did in the 2nd round if he dreams of the W in the finals. In that race she rockets out of the starting box straight to the lead and never, ever, looked back. She increased her lead with every step she took around the racetrack. First by 2 lengths, then 4 lengths, and at the wire by 5 lengths over the field in 30.71 seconds. Like most early speed greyhounds, Kudos can be short at the end of races when she has the lead, but she can hold on sometimes as well. As for post positions she likes to start on the edges where she can get room to rush to the first turn. Also like several other early speed runners, the break is really more critical to her efforts than any post position that she would start from. Winning against this talented field might be an uphill battle for this stake veteran but finishing in the money somewhere might be such a hard task. She has been fairly consistent over her last 18 races with 2/3 of her starts being in the money finishes. Anyway, you slice it, if she wants a chance, she must do what they all need to do tonight, BREAK!

TMC’s Skatman – (36 Points)

OP Career Totals (32/6-6-4-2)

W Bk– MOctober2017 Time Flies– Tmc’s Mcjosalyn

Owned By – Eddie Mc Donald

Runs for the Double J Kennel

Trained by Chris Maynard

Last but not least is TMC’s Skatman. He did win a round in the stakes, and finish 2nd in another, but in the other rounds he was just a little too late to make it up into the money at the finish line. This puppy really might be better suited for the backside at some point, but for now he competes and closes over the shorter 550 distance. His best effort was the win in round number 2 as he gave a great determined effort to get the job done. Breaking slowly, he looked for room to rush, made up some ground and was 4th at the turn. Down the backside he continued to move and by the far turn he picked up another spot as they turned for home and just 3 greyhounds were in front of him. In the stretch he dug in deep, made one final surge and blew by the early leaders to score by 2.5 lengths at the wire in 30.65 seconds. Trying to keep within striking distance will be his chore in this final round race, as there is a ton of early speed, and he could be too far back to contend even on a good day. This is a talented field and even on his best day, he is going to have a hard time competing with the elite greyhounds at this distance. Post position will play a roll for him as he likes the edges and especially the one box where he has won, he has won twice and finished in the money 5 of his 7 efforts. This pup might just be the best true closer in the field, but he might just be overmatch too. If he thinks about being the longshot winner, he has to break better and be around the leaders as they head to the turn.