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Monday, October 12, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The past week began slowly for Abernathy kennel. It ended with a flurry.

After failing to win a race on Oct. 5, kennel owners Jim and Kayruth Abernathy spent extra time in the Derby Lane winner’s circle the following five days. Their greyhounds scored at least two victories on the ensuing six performances, giving the operation 15 wins for the week.

The highlight came on the Friday matinee, when the Abernathy athletes chalked up four victories – sparked by an upset victory by Turbo Whistle in his fourth career start at Grade M. The 21-month-old male of a litter by Craigie Whistler and Kiowa Anchor prevailed by a half-length in the 550-yard sprint for owner Steve Sarras and paid $35.80 for a $2 win ticket.

Abernathy also had three wins on Thursday and two on the remaining four cards. Its 15 winners averaged a payout of $10 on a $2 win wager.

The showing entrenched Abernathy in third place in the track’s 14-kennel standings at 143.

Everett Racing, which had its string of three consecutive meet win titles snapped in the previous January-to-June season by Lester Raines, leads the kennel race with 155 victories, four ahead of Capabal. Everett Racing was one of four kennels to reach double digits in victories during the week with 10. Lashmet had 13 wins and Watson Racing had 11.

Lashmet possesses the meet’s top dog with LK’s Santorini, who won on Saturday to raise her meet record to 14 victories from 22 starts for kennel manager-trainer Ken Deacon. The 42-month-old daughter of LK’s Vespar and LK’s Chardonnay is owned by Derby Lane kennel operators John and Jill Lashmet.

On Wednesday, All-America first-team selection LK’s Crush N It of Lashmet recorded his 85th lifetime victory from 137 starts with a three-length Grade A win on Derby Lane’s 550-yard strip. The 46-month-old son of LK’s Now R Never and LK’s All In attempts to add to his total today (Monday) as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in Race 10 at 2:47 p.m. Also owned by the Lashmets, LK’s Crush N It drew box 4.

Another noteworthy component on the 15-race performance today (Monday) involves Kaias Alex of Floyd kennel, who tries to extend his remarkable in-the-money streak in Race 6 at 1:39 p.m. Trained by kennel operator Randy Floyd for owner George “Dick’’ Adler, the 39-month-old male from a litter by Djays Octane and Ethereal Elation has not finished worse than third in his previous 24 starts since December 2019. Kaias Alex, a lifetime winner of 24 races from 61 starts, is the 5-2 morning-line choice from box 2. He was third on Wednesday in his previous outing.

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.