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Jul 7, 2021

Some days, things don’t go well until the end.

That would sum up the Fourth of July for Copper Kettle trainer Jake Ungs.

It took until the final of Iowa Greyhound Park’s King and Queen stakes to have a good day.

“None of our dogs were running very well today,” Ungs said. “All of a sudden Big Iron made the day.”

KB’s Big Iron grabbed an early lead and wasn’t threatened to claim the championship. He posted a 31.66 for a 5½-length victory over JW Montego.

“He had a fabulous break,” said co-owner Joe Fusaro. “He hit the lid and was out first. I thought he had a chance.”

Fusaro owns Big Iron with Joe Frenette.

BGR Wide Open, of Boeckenstedt Kennel, broke even with Big Iron, who had the four box. But Big Iron, from Lonesome Cry and Boc’s Hall Baby, held a lead entering the first corner. Wide Open slid out a bit and slowed the field, providing an edge for Big Iron.

JW Montego, of Jackson Greyhounds, tried to close the gap and got within four lengths, but Big Iron hit the gas and cruised to the title.

“The four box is what we wanted,” Ungs said. “He’s all about running his race and hitting the lid. He likes the middle.”

Big Iron almost didn’t make the field.

“We have lots of A’s,” Ungs said. “He was technically my last king entry. Everyone (in the kennel) is equally matched.”

RF Juanita, of Superior Kennel, showed and Vino Val, of Copper Kettle, closed into fourth. Juanita was second in qualifying in the queen’s side. Vino Val was tied for second in king’s qualifying.

Big Iron paid $26.60,$12.80 and $8.40. He was fourth in the king’s bracket qualifying, and Montego was tied for second.

The top qualifier in the King’s bracket, KW Carlo Gambino, of Jackson Greyhounds, was fifth. Superior Bonnie, of Superior Kennel, was top seed in the Queen’s bracket. She was seventh.

The rest of the field’s finishes were: BGR Wide Open, sixth, and JD Tonic, of Stidham & Brindle Kennel, eighth.

The purse was $30,000, with $12,000 to the winner, $6,000 to the runner-up and $3,000 to third. Fourth place earned $2,400, fifth $,2100, sixth, $1,800, seventh, $1,500 and eighth, $1,200.

The win tied the stakes series with the queens. Both have 18 victories through the years.

Gonz Dandelion, of T&T Kennel, a king, won last year.

Picture left to right: Brian Carpenter, General Manager; Charles Browning, Assistant Trainer; Jake Ungs, Trainer for the Copper Kettle Kennel; Joey Helminiak, Leadout; Jarrod Dura, Racing Secretary; Joe & Jill Fusaro, partners of KB’s Big Iron; KB’s Big Iron, King & Queen Champion.

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