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Friday, June 19, 2020

DUBUQUE, Iowa – Six greyhounds took the right first step with opening round victories in the $30,000 King & Queen Stakes at Iowa Greyhound Park on Thursday, June 18.

Starting with the Queens, Jill St. John, one of the early favorites, rallied from third in the homestretch to win by two and a half lengths. Jill St. John (Stidham & Brindle Kennel) is a 66-pounder, born Dec. 11, 2016 out of Djays Octane – Oakland Medusa. She is on a three-race win streak and stands 7-5-1-0 for the season at IGP.

L’s Kimberly (Boeckenstedt) came off three miserable starts to pull away nicely in the homestretch to post a five and a half length decision. L’s Kimberly is a 63-pounder, born March 27, 2018 out of Superior Panama – L’s Brina. The pup is only 7-2-2-0 on the season at IGP.

The other win in the Queens came from JD Tonic, a 62-pounder born Aug. 24, 2017 out of Pat C Clement - KC Set Em Up. Tonic hung on in the homestretch to win by a nose. Her time of 31.41 seconds for the 5-16-mile test was the fastest of the three Queens winners. JD Tonic is 7-3-1-0.

Switching over to the Kings, JD Blurred (Stidham & Brindle) held on late to win by a half-length. Blurred is a 76-pounder, born Aug. 30, 2017 out of KC And All –Jd Happy Tears. He is consistent with a 7-2-3-2 record.

Gonz Dandelion (T And T) pulled away in the homestretch for a five-length decision. His time of 31.28 seconds is the fastest of the six opening races. Gonz Dandelion is 75-pounder, born Nov. 15 2017 out of Bella Infared – Jedi Honey Rider. Gonz is only 4-2-0-0 on the season.

FF Lutch (Copper Kettle) completed the first round with a steady three-length triumph. Lurch is an 80-pounder, born May 6, 2018 out of Sh Avatar – Ff Lonely Blonde. This is Ff Lurch’s first win of the season, he stands 5-1-2-0.

The greyhounds will return for the second round on Wednesday, June 24. From there, the field will be trimmed for the Sunday, June 28, semifinals.

The King & Queen championship race is scheduled for Saturday. July 4.

The Queens hold an 18-16 lead in the series.

I'm a native of the Washington, D.C., area and a graduate of the University of Maryland. I'm now retired after a two-decade plus stint as the sports editor of the Council Bluffs, Iowa, Daily Nonpareil.