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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Brian Ernst, Kaias Pogo, RT’s Bo Jangles and SE’s Wepon X captured won first-round qualifying races Saturday night in the $50,000 Husker Magic Fall Sprint Stakes at Derby Lane.

The second round is Wednesday night, when 16 of the 32 greyhounds will advance in the four-round qualifying series. Eight dogs with the most accumulative points move on to the 550-yard championship race on Sept. 16.

Brian Ernst (Capabal kennel), Kaias Pogo (Floyd), RT’s Bo Jangles (Cal Holland) and SE’s Wepon X (Nova) earned 16 points apiece to ensure they will be in Round 3.

RT’s Bo Jangles, the defending meet win champion and win leader at the ongoing meet, had the most impressive victory. The 29-month-old male from a litter by Kiowa Mon Manny and Penrose Karrie won by six lengths in a time of 30.61 seconds as the even-money favorite.

Brian Ernst scored a four-length triumph in 30.67 seconds as the 7-2 second-wagering pick.

SE’s Wepon X rallied for a four-length win in 30.81 seconds as the 9-5 betting favorite.

Kaias Pogo, the 5-2 favorite, held on for a half-length victory in 30.85 seconds.

For SE’s Wepon X, it was his first win against stakes competition in three attempts.

“I have trust in this dog,’’ Nova trainer Miguel Valenzuela. “He likes the 7 or 8 hole (he started from box 7), and likes to run outside. The box is very important in these stakes races.’’

SE’s Wepon X, a 33-month-old male from a litter by Pat C Clement and Demo Classy, entered the Husker Magic off a five-length Grade A victory on Aug. 25. He has 18 lifetime wins from 59 starts for owner Steven Ward of Ellis, Kan.

Winner of the Husker Magic, named after Derby Lane’s all-time win leader and a three-time All-America first team selection for kennel owners Jim and Kayruth Abernathy, earns $22,000.

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.