It was truly like father, like son. In 2007 Extruding Dream went box to wire for the Magic City kennel to collect the Weaver title. This year Extruding Dream's son went box to wire for owner Lamar Porter who picked up an All-America award in April for KB's Ruckus that he co-owns with George Reicht. "It was a deserving win for Agent," said Patty Floyd. "That whole litter is nice. Both Extruding Dream and Agent's mother M's Mary Freeman both raced here at Derby," she said. St. Petersburg writer Don Jensen presented to trophy to Patty Floyd after the race.
M's Free Agent went off at 11-1 against the history making Hi Noon Renegade who was seeking a third stakes and another historic mark for Nova kennel. Renegade was the 4-5 favorite that watched Free Agent burst out of the starting box and keep Renegade at bay. Renegade gave another sensational performance for a runner-up finish. "I am really proud of my boy," said Floyd. "He held off a super nice sprinter to win the race." M's Free Agent recorded his 12th win of the meet taking the stakes win. He has lit the board 22 times in 34 starts. Free Agent was a finalist in last year's Gold Trophy stakes and made it all the way to semifinals of this year's Sprint Classic.
It was no surprise to Free Agent's backers that the male held the lead throughout. M's Free Agent's record while in the lead is nearly flawless. The male has only been caught one time in his career while leading in a race and that was by Royal Racing Team's Storm Rush in qualifying for the stakes. Storm Rush was the only female in the Weaver final.
M's Free Agent was five in front early but Renegade was making up ground fast and was just a length behind at the wire. Free Agent paid $24.20 for the win. USS Gazillionair (Raines) closed the gap in third followed by Campbell Greyhound Racing's Backwood Cody that was showing off his signature late speed to complete the superfecta. Fifth through eighth was Kiowa Tori Tech (McAllister), Cool Pinto Bay (Charter), Storm Rush (Royal Racing) and Kiowa Class King (Patriot).
The T. L. Weaver Memorial was the final 550-yard stakes race of the meet. Next up at Derby Lane is the 85th annual St. Petersburg Derby, the second longest running stakes race in North America. Qualifying rounds begin Saturday June 18. Semifinal rounds are Wednesday June 22. The Derby and Consolation features are Saturday night June 25.
By Vera Rasnake