The fields have gotten shorter, but the competition has gotten greater here in the 3rd round of the 2010 James J Patton Silver Cup.
Here in the quarter-finals, there is only 4 races and 32 greyhound left in the competition left and each and every point is needed if you hope to move on in the stakes.
Only one greyhound remains undefeated, Comedrinkwithme from DQ, but there is still a log jam at the top of the standings with 4 greyhounds tied for second, 6 greyhounds tied for third, and three more within a few points of joining the rest.
So buckle up and get ready for some great greyhound racing here in the third round.
The first of the four events comes our way in the 7th race on the card for Friday evening.
1. Kiowa Vanessa (Flying Hydrogen - Greg Kiowa Girl) upset the field and posted the fastest time of the night in round 2 from this very same post. If she hits the lid again, it could be a repeat performance.
2. Kiowa Trent Tovi (Trent Lee - Kay V Barbierie) is faring well so far in the stakes even though it has been at 550 yards. Here he finally draws a rail post and that should up the ante. Cashing in? Maybe.
3. Hanks Diana (Lonesome Cry - Dolly Madison) has had a couple of rough trips in the stakes. If railer post might get her out better in this effort, and trust me, she needs it. If she does break, she could contend.
4. Sunsand Fannymay (Lonesome Cry - Sunsands Sienna) is slowly finding her break again and it is happening against the best at the racetrack. Two tries, two in the money efforts. Three-peat?
5. Cayenne Ferrari (Dodgem By Design - Cayenne Jet) was posted last time out and failed to fire, here from the 5 box things are going to be tougher. He still has the late speed to challenge, he just needs to get the engine revved up.
6. Citation Cam (Flying Penske - Ctw Miss Kelly) is doing what she does best, breaking and factoring throughout in her races. Here she might have enough early to even get the lead. If she makes it there she could be upset minded.
7. Miss Kate (Fuzzys Cannon - Miss Kissable) a tale of two races for Kate. A fall, and a win. In each she was in the hunt early, look for more of the same, especially from the same box in her third straight race.
8. Switzler Takeoff (Clappin Thunder - Switzler Firefly) ran a huge race last time out despite being up a grade competition wise. The one box helped out that effort a ton, but she can run from out here too. Being close early will determine how she finishes.
This race should be a very interesting one up front. There are several greyhounds in this race that can break sharply and have the opportunity to steal the lead, and the win, away from the rest of this field. If they all decide to come out running, it could be quite the cluster at the first turn. So who has the advantage, well let's go with the posted up hot hands. Kiowa Vanessa might like to race wide, but from the rail post she really comes out of the starting box in a hurry, especially as of late. In 2010 she has three red blanket efforts and they include a pair of wins and a second place finish. Also working for her is that she is not just an early speed greyhound either, even without the front end she can come from just off the pace to win races too. All she has to do tonight is be around the lead and she should come home a back to back winner. Miss Kate is the other posted up early speed greyhound. I know she is all rail all the time, but like the rest of her litter, she loves to rush up on the outside and move to the rail to contend. She too is coming off a win in round two and it came from the same 7 box she has in this race. Like her counterpart she is not just early speed either, she too can close a bit when needed. If she does get her nose in front in this effort, this field might have a tough night ahead of them. Citation Cam is the cagey veteran and always has to be accounted for. You never know when she is going to hit the lid and leave a field in her dust, and since it hasn't happened in the stakes so far, and she needs the points, everyone better watch out. Just missing last time out, tonight could be her night to show up. Kiowa Trent Tovi might get overlooked here, but there are a couple of things to remember. This is the first rail post position this greyhound has had in a long time, he has taken well once again to the 550 yard course, and he has enough late speed to take down all the early speeders at the finish line if he gets around close. Don't forget about him in this effort. He might not get up for the win, but factoring with everyone at the wire is a distinct possibility. (1-7-6-2)
Race 9 on the card is the second of four stakes races on the card in the quarter-finals.
1. Leading Steps (Lonesome Cry - Tk Ashira) is the best early speed greyhound in this race and maybe the whole stakes. His only drawback is that he can be caught late, and the big closers lurk to his outside tonight.
2. Daycare Ron (Lonesome Cry - Ml Teardrops) has not missed the money in 6 straight and has run well so far in the stakes. The post will help against this stronger field and he might just keep the streak intact here.
3. Kiowa Vinita (Flying Hydrogen - Greg Kiowa Girl) has been a solid factor in grade A and that has translated well to the stakes rounds. She can run from anywhere as long as she breaks close, with some close she could contend again.
4. Eds Budby (Domingo Dodge - Cherokee Queen) stole a win on the lead in round 1, but came back to closing form in round two. He was a late threat, but not for the win. If he wants to steal away the victory, he has to come out quicker.
5. Gm's Dale (Deerfield Site* - Steffie's Charm) is the other big time early speed greyhound in this field, but the 5 box is not his best place to start from. He has been short in both rounds and will be again here. If he wants to make the money again, he must come out running.
6. Gs Ashlynn (Rapido Rambo - Gm's Cutie) is a big closer over the short distance. She likes it wide and is posted up well in this race. She needs to get back to winning if she wants a chance to move on in the stakes.
7. Miss Romy (Fuzzys Cannon - Miss Kissable) will have to make due here without her beloved rail. She has just missed twice so far in two rounds of the stakes. If she can clear close, she might be able to upset at the finish line.
8. Howdoyoulikethat (Lonesome Cry - Here's The Thing) always seems to find the money in his races at the OPKC. Here he is a long way from the rail, so the break will be extra important to him. If he can get out well, he should be around at the finish line again.
The ninth trip around the racetrack should be a tale of two races. One early, and the other one late. No doubt at all in my mine who is going to the early lead in this race, Leading Steps. Even though he missed his break last time out, he put on a huge rush and still made the lead at the first turn. It did take a lot out of him though as he came up short in the deep stretch. Here he is posted up extremely well and if he breaks like he can in this effort, from this post, he is going to have a ton on the rest of this field early on. The only question that remains in this race is, Can he hold on at the wire for the win? Maybe, but if he does he would have done it over some very strong closing greyhounds. The 2010 Orange Park Derby winner Eds Budby and the 2010 Orange Park Derby Finalist Gs Ashlynn might just have something to say about it. Both greyhound posses huge closing ability over the shorter distance and if either of them can get around close, Leading Steps will not post up a win tonight. Both have the ability to win at this level of competition over this distance and on occasion both have broke well over the shorter distance. How they finish tonight is up to them as both get to start from fairly decent post positions. Miss Romy has to be considered a threat as well. Even though she is not on the rail, she can come on with the best of them late at win races. She can break too, but you can't count on that. The thing you can count on will be the effort. She is going to give her all. Will it be enough to break out of the second place slot? We will see. (4-1-6-7)
More stakes racing action in the 10th race, which happens to be the first half of the Forced out Twin-Trifecta.
1. Ahk Lady Deanna (Coldwater Keelin - C Ya Martinique) is an even runner that has just not gotten out of the box all that well in the stakes rounds. Third race in a row with an inside post, Deanna needs to find that break, or leave the stakes.
2. Comedrinkwithme (Dauntless - Instant Vintage) is the only undefeated greyhound left in the stakes. He has won from the lead and from off the pace. He loves the rail and this is the 2 box. On top of his game, he is going to be tough to beat.
3. Paddy Whacker (Heart Rumble* - Spicy Candy) has looked different in each race. In a tough post in round one, box to wire, in a great post last time, box sitting, and not winning. Here from the inside again, he needs to come out running.
4. Kiowa Kay Share (Solitary Runner - Sol Happy) is a strong closer that just has not gotten around cleanly in either of her stakes attempts, and from the 4 box it might just be 3 races in a row. If she does wake up, look out for her in the stretch.
5. Kiowa Trent Tam (Trent Lee - Kay V Barbierie) has taken the jump to 550 well and has threatened in each of her stakes starts. This time out she is away from her beloved rail and will have to work a bit harder. If she breaks close, she will be there at the finish line.
6. Kiowa Top Design (Dodgem By Design - Flying Acme) has some good early speed skills and wired the field on the lead in round 2. Here she is outside again and if she hits the mark early, she might be in position to post back to back victories.
7. Gm's Chicago (Dodgem By Design - Gs Gertie) is all about the early speed too and should be challenging for the early lead in this effort. He is not that short late, so if he comes to break and run, he might be a contender throughout.
8. Klarissa (Fuzzys Cannon - Well Chosen) got a free pass in round one to a second place effort, but found the going harder from the middle boxes in round 2. Here back outside in the 8 box, she might get around better and she needs to finish well to move on.
Tough to pick against the undefeated greyhound, so I WON'T! Comedrinkwithme is a double threat and can win with or without the early lead in any race. What is making him even more dangerous in this effort is that all of the early speed is away from him on the outside part of the racetrack. He also gets a double bonus with the post position. Why? First he loves the rail and the 2 box is close enough to the rail to be feeling enough at home to win, second Paddy Whacker is next door and is as wide as the house. He will move to the outside part of the racetrack at the break and give Comedrinkwithme all kinds of room to rush the turn. Granted he might not even make the early lead, but at the finish line he will be the winner. Next up the aforementioned Paddy Whacker. This greyhound is just pure guts around the racetrack and no matter what happens to him, what post position he has, or how many lengths he might be behind the competition, he just keeps on coming. He will never give up or never give in and that is the reason that everyone likes him. Here he just can't get left too far behind early on, like he did in his last race, if he wants a chance to take home another stakes win. Now for the early speed, leader, portion of our program. Kiowa Top Design should have that covered and the reason being, the outside post position. He loves it out here and breaks well when he is away from the crowd. He is running high of his last race too, where he put the hurting on Paddy Whacker and the rest of the field on the front end. Holding off the competition late tonight, could be his biggest hurdle. Kiowa Trent Tam might rank further up the ladder in this effort, but the 5 box is a big drawback. She loves the rail and will have to find room early on in order to get there. Closing is what she does best though, so even with trouble she should be able to rebound somewhere into the money at the finish line. If she does decide to hit it, she could be upset minded in this effort. (2-3-6-5)
Capping off the stake rounds for the evening, we tune into the 11th race on the card.
1. Kiowa Shag Along (Flying Stanley - Kiowa Shag Sue) gets the best post draw that she can in this effort. She is a whole different greyhound from this post. She is an early lead machine from here, and can even wire them on the lead. See round 1 where she just missed.
2. Really Xtreme (Afleet Alex - Xtreme Hustler) might be a puppy, but has been running like a stakes vet. This greyhound is the real deal and the best from 2003 All-American Afleet Alex. He can really run from the front, from behind, from where ever. Posted up again, he's a big threat.
3. Yo My Delbert (My Zapper - My Cattie Breeze) might not have the pedigree or name recognition of the rest of the big wigs, but he has been holding his own in the money so far in the stakes. This field is tougher though, so he will need to be at his best tonight.
4. Ww Kay Sea (Greys Flamebeau - Ww Kiowa Sister) came from nowhere to win in the 2nd round and showed some good late speed in round number 1 too. Midtrack is not a problem, but if they steal too much early she won't be able to win. She needs to be closer early to have a shot.
5. Raiders Bart (Dodgem By Design - Raiders Azeri) was on fire before the stakes and has continued that hot running right into the rounds. With a win and a second by a nose, he has been an all out force. Breaking well again here, he should be a factor throughout again tonight.
6. Mr. Clark (Fuzzys Cannon - Miss Kissable) finally broke in round 2 and held on at the finish line to steal away the win. Tonight he starts from the same box and looks to give a repeat performance. Whatever happens, he needs to break well in order to contend.
7. Kelsos Spiffy (Kelsos Fusileer - Kelsos Gabriella) needs to forget about the last trouble ridden race and get back to contending. Mostly she is a closer and seems to like it outside. BONUS! So if she can get out of the box at all in this effort, she might have a shot to upset.
8. Smokin Snoopy (Go Joe Jester - Smokin Dizzy) was nowhere to be found in round 1, but made up for it with a threatening effort in round 2. Like he has been in the past, he is rough when he can get around the leaders early on, so the break will be the most critical part of this race.
This race is really going to be something to watch as there is a good mix of early and late speed, puppies and veterans, and posted up greyhounds verses some not in such a good posts. Frankly this effort comes down to who wants to win the most. Who is going to make the most of this opportunity and I have to go with the puppy Really Xtreme. This greyhound is almost unbelievable. With just 11 career starts under his belt, he has been running like he has done this one-hundred times. He is not going to outrun everyone to the lead every time, but he has enough in the stretch to run down almost anyone at the racetrack. He runs tough from the rail and should have it all to himself here as Shag Along should be all alone ahead of him in the early lead. Late no one is going to deny this greyhound that win, and possibly a spot in the finals. Raiders Bart is the seasoned greyhound of the bunch that has won more grade A's that probably anyone else in this field. He strings them together and since the last run was stopped in his last effort, tonight be a good time to start off another run. Known for his early speed, he can from off the pace and almost ran down the not short Mr. Clark in the last race. If he can get around within striking distance, you never know. Mr. Clark also gets some props after back to back big races. The key to his success in those starts was the break. He came out well in both starts and gets another outside post to break from in this effort. If he can continue to press from the start of the race, he will have a good chance to finish in the hunt at the wire. Kiowa Shag Along is the greyhound that all of the rest of this field will be chasing early on. He has fantastic early speed and when breaking from the rail post, it seems to increase his abilities. He does pay for it in the stretch though, and against this talented field, holding on will be quite a task. If he could get some help behind him, he might have a shot at taking down the competition. (2-5-6-1)