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Monday, July 27, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Since 2004, the Abernathy brand has failed to appear on the proverbial kennel championship trophy at Derby Lane.

Kennel owners Jim and Kayruth Abernathy came close three times during those 27 meets – finishing second three times (2019, 2015, 2014).

As Derby Lane’s July-to-December meet winds down its first month this week, the Abernathys have put themselves in position to make history.

Entering Monday’s 15-race performance, Abernathy kennel parlayed a big week to move into second place in the win standings. After recording a meet-tying 16 victories in the previous week, Abernathy trails only reigning champion Lester Raines, 50-42, in the win race.

Abernathy and Lester Raines are the only kennels to collect 16 wins so far in a calendar week during the meet. Lester Raines won 16 races on July 6-11.

Abernathy and Capabal were the lone kennels to notch at least one victory on all seven performances. Abernathy ended the week the way it started: getting four wins on the first and final cards.

Six of Abernathy’s winners paid double-digits to win, including the $31.40 returned by Grade A athlete Charlotte York on Wednesday. That victory represented the first career Grade A win by Charlotte York from 61 starts. The 2-1/2-year old daughter of Pat C Clement and Krazy Kara was the longest shot on the board at 14-1 odds in the 550-yard race. She won in box-to-wire fashion by 2-1/2 lengths in 31.08 seconds for owner Steve Sarras.

Abernathy’s 16 winners produced an average payout of $10.20 for a $2 win ticket.

Nova ranks third among 14 kennels with 39 victories, followed by Capabal at 38, and Everett Racing at 37.

Derby Lane features seven weekly performances with matinee racing Monday through Saturday, and a Saturday evening card.

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.