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Monday, July 20, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – As Derby Lane enters the third week of its new July-to-December meet, it is status quo at the 95-year-old greyhound track.

Lester Raines kennel, the reigning win champion, finds itself atop the victory standings again.

Under the direction of trainer Anthony Diaz, Lester Raines has bolted out to an 11-win lead over Nova kennel entering Monday’s 15-race performance at 38-27.

Lester Raines comes off a huge week, capturing 12 wins on the past six cards – including three Grade A scores. Lester Raines’ biggest day came on Wednesday with four victories. Lester Raines won the previous January-to-June season, defeating runner-up ABC Racing by a 195-175 margin.

Nova, under the direction of owner Hans Limmer and trainer Missy Kubitz, matched Lester Raines’ week with 12 victories, and was the only operation to post at least one win on all seven performances.

Abernathy ranks third among 16 kennels with 25 victories, boosted by 11 wins this past week for operation owners Jim and Kayruth Abernathy.

Capabal kennel is fourth in the standings with 25 victories for owner Henry Parker and trainer Belinda Parker, and Everett Racing is fifth at 24 for owner Kelly Everett and trainer Kelsie Gubbels.

A four-way tie for first place in the individual greyhound win standings exists between Lester Raines’ JS Hunny Bee, Farmer Racing’s Mr Highway Deva, Floyd’s Daddy Patrick, and Abernathy’s Imark Lida.

The Derby Lane schedule features matinee racing Monday through Saturday, with an evening performance on Saturday.

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.