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Feb 24, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The chips are on the table in the $64,000 Sprint Classic at Derby Lane.

Not surprisingly, LK’s Crush N It of Lashmet kennel and Shoot The Breeze of Floyd kennel possess the biggest stacks.

As the 550-yard series enters its fourth and final qualifying round on Wednesday, both standout sprinters have already gained spots in Saturday’s championship race. And greyhound fans will receive a possible title preview, when LK’s Crush N It and Shoot The Breeze meet in Race 10 (9:47 p.m.) – the second of two qualifying races on the Wednesday evening performance.

Both sprinters are undefeated after three rounds in the Sprint Classic following solid victories this past Saturday.

Shoot The Breeze, a 28-month-old son of Trent Lee and Danicas Go Daddy, cruised to a seven-length victory in 30.19 seconds. He paid $2.80 to win. It was Shoot The Breeze’s lifetime-best sixth consecutive victory for owner Charles Haliburton. He is trained by kennel operator Randy Floyd.

LK’s Crush N It registered a five-length triumph in 30.28 seconds and returned $2.60 to win under trainer Ken Deacon. The 38-month-old male from a litter by LK’s Now R Never and LK’s All In won for the fifth time in a row for breeders and owners John and Jill Lashmet.

Shoot The Breeze and LK’s Crush N It each have 48 points, 14 more than third-place performer LK’s Santorini of Lashmet.

The point co-leaders have been dominant in the series, which pays $25,000 to its champion. Shoot The Breeze has won his three races by a total of 21 lengths; LK’s Crush N It’s combined win margin total is 15-1/2 lengths.

Shoot The Breeze drew box 2 for his final qualifier, while LK’s Crush N It starts from post 4.

Other starters with points in Race 10 from the rail: Flying Benelli (10), LK’s Pick Me Up (24), Where U Want Me (18), O Ya Hot Rod (25), Paco Lopez (15) and Ryeit (26). The field with points in Wednesday’s other qualifier in Race 6 (8:39): SE’s Punisher (14), Braska Rebel (12), BD Wells (28), O Ya Smack Down (24), Son Shine (20), LK’s Santorini, KB’s Twisted Tex (11) and Super C Casino (29).

Eight greyhounds with the most accumulative points after Wednesday advance to the title race.

LK’s Crush N It has four stakes victories, all in 2019. He finished fourth to LK’s Santorini in Derby Lane’s most recent stakes race, the $18,000 1928 Historical Inaugural on Jan. 4. Shoot The Breeze was third in that event.

“I guess it wasn’t meant to be,’’ Floyd said after the Inaugural had been completed.

It was Shoot The Breeze’s first stakes appearance, and the finale represented only his 21st lifetime start.

Shoot The Breeze has clocked times of a meet-best 30.00 and 30.07 seconds in his first two Sprint Classic qualifying races.

Last year, LK’s Crush N It joined 2007 champion Hometown Boy of Floyd & Porter kennel as the only greyhounds to win the Sprint Classic with perfect records of four qualifying wins and a victory in the title race.

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