Friday - 8/19/2011
The first round is upon us in the 2011 James J Patton Silver Cup and boy do we have some fantastic races for you. As always in the first round, there are some mismatches, but we also have some highly contested affairs to look at. Seven great races, and fifty-six greyhounds, in all will be battling it out for points and bragging rights in this first round trips.
So let's take a closer look at the 5th, 7th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 14th, and 15th races for Friday evening August 19th at the Orange Park Kennel Club.
Race 5 is a good match-up between some fantastic early speeders and some greyhounds with tremendous closing ability. I always love these races, because it is so interesting to see just who will take home the win. Does the speed hold, or do the stalking, closers get there in time. They are always tight late and prove to be great races to watch. Leading the charge from the box will be the rail posts, consisting of Shorty's Nana and Bh's Doitmyway. Both greyhounds have enough speed to see the lead in this race, and even though they are short late, both have won several at the grade A level. Holding on will be a challenge though as you have Kiowa Jill Vik and Gotyourgoodeye lurking on the outside. Tough post here for Jill Vik, if she was on the rail she would be the favorite, tonight she will have to prove that she can get it done without the red vest. Gotyourgoodeye can come from anywhere late to win, but he needs to be around close enough to want to. If he breaks well, he too could be upset minded in this effort. (8-2-1-7)
Race 7 seems to be the mismatch of the first round. Ultra hot Lk's Energizing is by far the class of this race and is clearly the one to beat. He has scored in 3 races in a row and 5 of his last 6 starts. He has not missed the quiniela in 9 straight starts and that is way better than anyone else in this race. Breaking has been the key to his recently success and tonight there is no ankle burners to take that away from him. Don't be fooled though as he is not short late and can some from just off the pace and get it done at the wire. All he has to do is show up at all, and this race is his! Trying to make him at least work will be the veteran Touch My Hand. I know he has not been winning, but he has been closing well from tough post and finishing in the money. If he can get around at all tonight, he might have an outside chance at a win. Brining the only other true early speed here will be Gs Addison, and when she sees the front end, she is tough to beat. Look back 3 starts, she beat a really tough field and looked good doing it. The inside post will help too, but it all comes back to how she gets out of the box. A strong break will equal a strong effort tonight. Let's not forget stakes veteran Gm's Giovanni. Forget about the lines, when the light shine the brightest, so does he. In the puppy stakes he can from nowhere to run tough and make the finals. From a favorable post, and hot off a win, things might be going in his direction again. (7-6-3-8)
Enough has to be enough in the 10th race as crowd favorite, at 2011 Jacksonville Sprint Classic Winner, Really Xtreme is overdue for a big effort. Breaking has been his downfall as of late and the tough 5 box is doing him no favors in this effort. He is in against a tough field and if he waits to break again tonight, he will not be first at the wire. We all know what he can do around the racetrack. It's time for him to step back into the spotlight and take home the win in this effort. Trying to upset the apple cart is the red hot running Gs Uncle Henry. Henry has been a breaking and winning machine as of late and looks to keep that going in the stakes. He can be short late and could be caught if Xtreme can get out of the box. If he sits early, Henry will make the most of the rail post and score 16 points. Hardheaded Dude is someone not to overlook in this race either. He has been a force in each and every one of his last 6 races and that includes three winning trips. He is a good early stalker that can close a bit when needed in the stretch. Look for him to be a force throughout in this effort. Gm's Cashman also gets noticed in this race. This former Night of Stars winner, has what it takes to win during the stakes and takes a pretty good recent run into round 1. Post might be his only concern here as he likes to race on the rail and draws the 7 box. The break is really what matters, he must be around early in order to be around late tonight. (5-3-6-7)
Post and speed should get the job done in the 11th race on the card as Gm's Dale gets the double bonus at the start. Breaking from his best box, the one, this all out early speed greyhound should be a mile ahead of the competition in the early going. After that he will need to steal as much as he can in order to be able to hold on at the finish line for the win. Trying to run him down will be a trio of big upside, but inconsistent, greyhounds. Jl's Dutch Jem looked like the one to beat in the puppy stakes, but really never got going. Recently she has looked a bit better, but her break needs to return if she is going to cross in front of the competition. Wp's Clinton is as fast as he wants to be and can really take down the short rivals in the stretch if the mood suits him. Recently he has been running tough, but if he can't find room early, he might just put up his second stinker in a row. If he does clear though, he could be the one to beat. Another greyhound not to overlook is the winner of the 2011 JGR Puppy Stakes, Gs Uncle Harry. Harry dipped into a funk after that win and has been slowly climbing back into form over the last couple of months. He still has all that late speed, but he has forgot how to get out of the starting box and win races. he likes the rail and the 2 box might just be a good place to start off a new stakes win streak. If he clears close, he could be on his way to another final round appearance. (1-7-6-2)
Want a battle royal? Well, you got one in the 12th race on the card. Loads of talent here including the track record holder, but he might not even be the one to beat. That is saved for the greyhound that beat him last time out, Gs Tee Up. Tee Up is once again posted near the rail and that alone gives him the upper edge on the competition. He loves it in here and normally breaks extremely well from theses starts boxes. He is not short either and can prove very tough on top in the stretch. Look for another big effort from this Afleet Alex pup as he proves best of this very tough field. Now for the MAN of the track, Paddy Whacker. Coming off a big rest, after his Hollywoodian adventure, Paddy has looked a little rusty. I know he won his first start back, but since he has had a pair of seven boxes and just closed to finish around in the money. Normally he we demolish fields from the outside posts, but not so much as of late. We all know his potential and if he wants to go, the race tonight will be for place. Let's just see which Paddy we get here. Buck Whaley might be a bit up in grade here, but he is running so well you have to give him a look. How about 5 quinielas in his last 6 races, including three, count em, three wins. Pretty impressive and those have come from different post positions too. Here he is close to midtrack and should be rip-roaring ready to go at the break. If he comes out running, this race could get even more interesting at the wire. Now for the wildcard! Dutch Buckeye is just back after a long rest and seems ready to fire once again at the Orange Park Kennel Club. I huge closer over 550 yards, don't expect him to be around early on, but in the stretch everyone better be watching in their rearview mirror for him. If he can break at all in this effort, he will have a shot to get into the photo for the win tonight. (2-6-5-3)
The 14th race should be a big time battle on the front end as we have two of the best early speeders at the racetrack locking up. Leading Steps and Wild Boy Andy both can beat the box and take early command of any race. Both might be short late, but both have held on at the wire to win in too many races to count at Orange Park. With a little bit of distance between their starting posts, they both should get room to run to the turn and then it will be a mono a mono match up to the stretch. Who will lead? Who will chase? Who will win? That remains to be seen, but I'll give the edge to Steps as he has the better post position in this effort. Trying to run down this speedy duo will be the resurging Scottish Dreamer. Dreamer is no stranger to stakes competition and has won her share of big time races. Here she is close enough to the rail to be a factor and has enough left in the tank late to get by the short leaders in the stretch and steal away a win. She will need to come out running though if she wants to be within striking distance in this effort. Tmc's Bestofshow might be a bit higher up in the hierarchy is she wasn't starting all the way outside in the 8 box. She is a rail runner all the time, and before her last start, she was living in those inside post positions. From there she has won 3 of 5 and finished in the quiniela in 4 trips, but tonight the tables could turn the other direction for the second straight race. If she wants to overcome this tough starting position, she needs to just do one thing, BREAK! (2-6-4-8)
Another great race caps off the evenings rounds in fine fashion. Super closing, and back to back winner, Vanessa Rousso is looking to take the whole pot again with a great run on the river. She can come and get ANYONE at 550 yards and when she breaks she has track record type speed. She is one of the hottest greyhounds heading into this stakes with 4 wins in her last 5 attempts, but with the 5 box and a slower break, trouble could find her in this effort. If she stays clear, she wins, but if not the top spot could be reserved for someone else. Someone like Raiders Bart or Kiowa Adara Art. Both greyhounds have really be a force throughout in their last 6 trips around the oval, but Bart has looked a bit more impressive. In his last 5 straight races, he has not missed the quiniela and has won on 3 separate occasions. Breaking has been his mantra, and with no one around to contend early, he might just get there again in this effort. Once on top, he could be tough to catch. Kiowa Adara Art might not break as well as the rest of the field, but he has a tremendous rush to the first turn, and once he is close, he is tenacious. Not missing the trifecta in 6 straight trips, Art knows how to run and win when it counts. Let's not forget he was the runner-up in the 2011 Jacksonville Sprint Classic, so don't underestimate him at any time during the stakes. Rounding out the super play is Gs Baker. Not a name you are used to hearing, but you have to respect the lines and you might even be impressed after you look them over. Not to mention that everything seems to be going to her tonight too. She loves the rail and gets it in this race. She has good early speed in a race for stalking, rushing, closers. She has finished in the trifecta in 5 of her last 6 races, and she has posted up some quality times in the process. If she can put it all together here, she might have an outside shot at upsetting the field. (5-2-8-1)