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Monday, June 10, 2019

Sarasota

Fans filled the Sarasota Kennel Club Saturday.

Many visited the Florida West Coast facility to wager on the Belmont Stakes from New York. Others were on hand to partake in simulcast wagering on greyhound and thoroughbred racing across the country. The rest were playing cards in the One Eyed Jacks poker room.

While enjoying their respective forms of entertainment, few noticed a part of history being taken away outside the Bradenton Road facility.

Around 2 p.m., a man driving a tow-motor picked up the track’s eight-dog starting box from the dirt track – removing it permanently from the 550-yard starting area. He did so by securing the box on the tractor’s forks, and transporting it in a clockwise direction.

Sarasota Kennel Club, which opened in 1929 and has been operated by the Collins family since 1944, ended greyhound racing on May 4 after voters in the state passed a constitutional amendment this past November to halt the sport by the end of 2020.

Sarasota Kennel Club continues to provide poker and simulcast wagering seven days a week.

Derby Lane in St. Petersburg, Fla. plans to continue to race greyhounds throughout 2020. Its dog-racing schedule features seven 15-race performances weekly. Poker and simulcast wagering also is available daily.

DERBY LANE NOTES

Stakes racing. Derby Lane kennels are gearing up for the track’s final stakes action of the 2018-19 season with the $25,000 St. Petersburg Derby and the $5,000 St. Petersburg Consolation Derby on June 19-29. The 660-yard series kicks off with 32 greyhounds competing in four first-round qualifying races on June 19. The top four finishers in each event advance to two races on June 22, with the first four greyhounds in each race advancing to the Derby while the others receive berths to the Consolation Derby.

The Derby champion earns $11,000, while the Consolation Derby gets $2,200. The events conclude Derby Lane’s 12-race, $375,000 program for the campaign.

Going for No. 50. Flamenco Dancer of Farmer Racing kennel goes for her 50th career victory on the Wednesday evening performance. She is the 5-2 morning line favorite in Race 10 at 9:47 p.m. and will start from box 8.

Trained by kennel operator John Farmer, Flamenco Dancer was denied her 50th win this past Friday when she finished second by a nose to Deco Colt Gun of Nova kennel. It snapped a two-race win streak for the 41-month-old female from a litter by Barcelona Boss and Lets Go Flying.

Flamenco Dancer has won six of her past nine races, finishing second in each of her losses by a nose. She has placed in the money 86.3 percent of the time with 113 top-four finishes from 131 starts. Flamenco Dancer has earned $55,209 for owners Sharon Dippel and Monte Jacobs.

A Crusher. LK’s Crush N It of Lashmet kennel attempts to add to his outstanding season on Wednesday’s matinee card when he starts from post 6 in Race 10 at 2:47 p.m.

The two-time stakes winner has all but clinched his first top-dog title for the January-to-June meet with 27 victories from 32 starts for kennel manager and trainer Ken Deacon.

The 30-month-old son of LK’s Now R Never and LK’s All In has not finished worse than third in any start this meet for owners and breeders John and Jill 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.