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Thursday, October 11, 2018

 

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Lester Raines kennel’s B Norman Noel and LK’s Crush N It of Lashmet kennel enter the championship race of the $20,000 Gold Trophy Juvenile with plenty of momentum. Both greyhounds remained undefeated in qualifying Wednesday and will be among the eight-dog field to compete for the $9,000 first-place prize.

B Norman Noel and LK’s Crush N It closed the two-round qualifying series in convincing fashion, both as the wagering favorites in their respective races, as the top four finishers in each event earned berths to the 550-yard finale.

Trained by Jennifer Richardson for owner Edward Bolton, B Norman Noel overtook pace-setter RTR Wildfire of Capabal kennel on the final turn and won by six lengths in 30.80 seconds. It was the eighth lifetime victory from 19 starts for the 22-month-old male from a litter by Djays Octane and B My Merlot.

RTR, which had an early three-length advantage, finished ahead of Flying Groom (Everett Racing kennel) and LK’s Ferdinand (Lashmet).

“(RTR Wildfire) needs to get out and get in front,’’ Capabal assistant Guddy Scheider said. “He doesn’t like traffic too much. In his races, I hope no one gets in his way.’’ RTR Wildfire’s effort surpassed his first-round qualifying finish of fourth place, ensuring his first stakes final appearance.

In the other qualifier, LK’s Crush N It continued the impressive start to his career with a box-to-wire seven-length victory in 30.64 seconds. He paid $2.40 as the heavy wagering favorite. Seven minutes before post time, the LK’s Crush N It’s odds on the tote board were 1-9, while his other seven competitors all were 99-1.

The 22-month-old son of LK’s Now R Never and LK’s All In has won seven of his first eight lifetime starts for kennel owners and breeders John and Jill Lashmet. LK’s Crush N It is trained by Ken Deacon.

Chapman (Porter kennel) was second followed by BD Wells (Everett Racing) and LK’s Hi Pockets (Lashmet).

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.