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Aug 24, 2020

Soon after the starting box opens, Deco Colt Gun usually has his work cut out.

“He doesn’t get the break from the box, and he doesn’t have the rush to the turn like he used to,’’ Nova kennel manager and trainer Missy Kubitz said. “But once he gets around the turn and gets out, he drives hard.’’

Deco Colt Gun doesn’t shoot blanks very often. He is competitive, confident and consistent.

For the past two years, the 550-yard specialist has been among the best Derby Lane has to offer. Deco Colt Gun is a lifetime winner of half his races (43 victories from 86 starts), and possesses an in-the-money record of 86 percent with finishes of fourth place or better.

“He hasn’t dropped out of Grade A, and he’s very competitive,’’ Kubitz said.

The 73-pound sprinter won his first four races this month before finishing third this past Saturday.

Deco Colt Gun showed ability in his first career race at Gulf Greyhound Park in La Marque, Texas, where he has been twice before returning each time to Derby Lane. He broke first on that January 2019 day and led all the way in the 550-yard race for a 2-1/2-length victory at 9-1 odds.

That was only one of 16 times that Deco Colt Gun has left the starting box first among his rivals.

Excelling at Derby Lane is what the David Hays-owned greyhound does best. Forty-one of his lifetime victories have been at the Florida West Coast track, including 38 at either Grade A or against stakes competition.

Deco Colt Gun, a 3-year-old son of Deco Glen Lee and Tiger Girl, also has reached the finals in three of four stakes appearances - all in 2019. He was third in the $8,000 T.L. Weaver Memorial Challenge, sixth in the $50,000 Husker Magic Fall Sprint, and seventh in the $10,000 Howl-O-Ween. In each stakes sprint, Deco Colt Gun was defeated by an All-America first-team selection: LK’s Crush N It of Lashmet kennel (twice) and Flying Givenchy of Everett Racing kennel.

His career-best clocking on Derby Lane’s 550-yard course is 30.23 seconds in May 2019.

Deco Colt Gun’s resume includes a pair of five-race win streaks and three four-race win streaks.

“He’s a good boy and he loves to race,’’ Kubitz said. “He’s changed in the kennel, too.

“He used to be real quiet and never said a peep . . . . You didn’t even know he was there. Now, since we’ve been shut down (by the coronavirus pandemic from March 20 to May 7) and started racing again, he’s ripping up his rug and chewing on the water can.

“He’s a mess now. I think it’s because he got cabin fever. He’s so glad to be back racing.’’

The success of Deco Colt Gun and other Nova athletes has kennel owner Hans Limmer of St. Petersburg and son Peter Limmer of Rosebud, Texas, in contention for a kennel meet championship. Entering this week, Nova ranks third among 14 kennels with 80 victories - trailing reigning titlist Lester Raines (84) and Capabal (83).

Nova’s last title came in the July-to-December meet in 2016. Nova is the meet leader in Grade A wins by a 35-18 margin over Lashmet kennel.

“I win a lot of races on the love that I have for (the dogs),’’ Kubitz said. “I show up and (the dogs) give it back to me. I’ve always thought that I win a lot of races with the love.

“Hans and Peter are real happy with how the dogs are performing. Peter laughs and jokes about me being the Queen of the (Grade) A wins, and the King of the (Grade) B wins, because when we first opened back up (from the pandemic), I was winning all the B’s and then of course, the dogs go to A and they’re winning.’’

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