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Monday, May 13, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The first round of the $20,000 Remembrance Stakes on Saturday at Derby Lane turned into a family affair.

Son Shine and Wide Open, female littermates for ABC Racing kennel, scored victories in the 550-yard event for young greyhounds.

Abernathy kennel’s Imark Hershey and CBJ Buttercup of Xtrem Racing also registered wins.

The second of four qualifying rounds is Wednesday, when the 32-dog field will be divided in half for the final two rounds. The championship race will be held on the Memorial Day matinee performance on May 27.

All four winners are females and came from off the pace to prevail. Each earned 16 points.

Son Shine produced the most impressive showing, a 5-length win in a series-best 30.58 seconds. She paid $6.20 and was the only wagering favorite to win. It was her first career top-grade victory. Wide Open won by 2 lengths in 30.93 seconds. She paid $24.60 to win.

Son Shine and Wide Open are 25-month-old daughters from a litter by SH Avatar and Jennah. They are trained by Shannon Shull for breeder-owner William O’Donnell and his North Shore Kennel of Lynn operation in Massachusetts.

“Son Shine is the better of the two,’’ ABC Racing owner Don Burk said. “They’re very quiet around the kennel, and they’ve gotten better as they’ve gotten older.’’

Imark Hershey also claimed her first top-grade victory with a 3-length triumph in 30.70 seconds. She was the longest shot in the field and returned $29 to win for kennel owners Jim and Kayruth Abernathy, the dog’s trainer. Imark Hershey, a 23-month-old female by BD’s Grayson and Kit Kat Kathy, is owned by Imark Kennels.

CBJ Buttercup rallied to win by a neck in 30.66 seconds. Owned by Carmen J, Inc. and trained by kennel manager Blane Armstrong, the 25-month-old daughter of Kiowa Mon Manny and CBJ Treat paid $6.20 to win.

First place in the Remembrance pays $9,000.

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.