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Monday, December 9, 2019

A stakes race that was designed to show how tough and talented you have to be to win against the best, the “Two For The Money” stakes was expected to truly be a two greyhound showdown. The bottom line to win this championship is, beat the field twice. No “shocking the world” once if everything goes right. And while those two haven’t disappointed, the rest of the field hasn’t made it easy for either one of them.

JS FLAMIN ACE (Lester Raines) cruised to win the $175,000 Darby Henry Male Sprint Championship during the Festival of Stakes about two months ago and turned around and won the Kings Vs. Queens Challenge just short of a week later. Bottom line, for the past two months he has been racing against the best and fairing very well. Although he has been short of dominating, he made the final field in the Two For The Money stakes with room to spare.

CHILLAXIFCIATION (Northshore) is one of the rawest, late speed juggernauts Southland has seen in some time. He is expected to be flat out deadly in longer distance races in his near future, but his current situation on the 583 yard course is pretty breathtaking as well. He recently beat a field during qualifying for this stakes race by 11 ½ lengths. While that is more rare than his normal “come at get you at the wire” history will tell you, the bottom line is you don’t want to be looking in your rearview mirror with 50 yards to go and find him on your heels.

So the first two rounds played out for the big boys of the field. JS FLAMIN ACE won the first of a potential seven heats from the seven post by two lengths. CHILLAXIFICATION was closing hard and ran second despite trouble in the race and starting from the #5 post. In the next round, CHILLAXIFICATION nearly salivated starting from the far outside post while JS FLAMIN ACE got to start from the comforts of rail post #1. This was a classic duel with JS FLAMIN ACE rolling to a three length lead late, only to see him get caught (maybe the first time ever) from behind to lose by a length by the white ticked and black freight train known as “CHILL”.

We have a race ladies and gentlemen. For sure, the next round would have one of those two win for sure. Not so fast my friend.

Round three threw in a curveball, with family getting involved. JS FLAMIN ACE’s sister, JS MAKIN WAVES didn’t perform well in the first two rounds of action, finishing fifth and sixth respectively, but had not so favorable post positions in the process. In round 3, it was her turn to start from the rail and she pulled a surprise, although not really an “upset”, when she went box to wire on Thursday to extend this series at least one more race. She had to sweat it out at the wire though, as CHILLAXIFICATION was closing hard and fast and just missed ending this stakes race by a head. JS FLAMIN ACE was only a length and a half back in third, making things really interesting for round 4 which will be contested on Wednesday, December 11th.

So now we have 3 different greyhounds needing one more win to capture the final stakes championship of 2019. Will someone new pop in and make things interesting in a few days, or will we finally put an end to the series?? Make sure to tune in and see yourself on race 11 that day.

Note – Should the series continue, round 5 would be Sunday, December 15, round 6 would be Saturday, December 21, round 7 would be December 26 and if somehow all eight greyhounds would win one race, it would have to occur on New Year’s eve. That would be the first time ever that scenario played out in this stakes and, if it occurs, would be decided in early 2020 (January 5).

Shane Bolender