Abernathy’s Magic Smoke (Flying Hydrogen x Magic Bacon Bits) kicked off the qualifiers in an upset come from behind victory in race four to pay $11.00 for the win. Patriot kennel’s Starz Brave One paid $16.20 to place and $11.60 to show and Dancin Rainman (Nova) paid $18.80 to show setting the tone for a night of upsets. D’Arcy kennel’s Galway finished fourth and filled the first of sixteen slots slated for the semifinals.
In race six Strike It Up paid $16.80 for her win over the favorite Flying Masago who finished second followed by Kiowa JSK Gustaf (Patriot) and USS Gazillionair (Lester Raines) that advanced to semifinals. The next heat in race eight was historic, as McAllister kennel’s Flying Marvelous was seeking six wins in her seventh career start. Marvelous made history as the only greyhound in the 85-year history of the stakes with so few starts and she might be the youngest to enter the stakes as well.
Marvelous (Kiowa Sweet Trey x Flying Midnite) was the betting favorite that was crowded early, but put forth a tremendous effort to finish third by three lengths. Strike Out King closed to win the race over Distance Classic champion Magic Finch (Abernathy) that finished second. McAllister’s Marvelous finished third followed by OK Barry (Capabal) to fill four more slots.
The final heat of the night saw Cal Holland kennel’s Kentucky Fire (Dragon Fire x RK’s Tomb Raider) rocket to the lead for her semifinal slot. Nova kennel’s Hi Noon Maestro ran a solid second with Storm Rush (Royal Racing) and Chugalugger (Magic City x Mighty Fine) sliding into the last two slots.
The semifinal for the St. Petersburg Derby will be held Wednesday night June 22. The first four finishers from each heat will become the elite eight in the St. Petersburg Derby stakes on June 25. The remaining eight will compete in the Consolation stakes the same night.
By Vera Rasnake