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Shane Bolender

Apr 12, 2021

And then just one remained. Trainer Monte Hoopes had a chance to make it an “all Lester Raines” championship race in the “Hound Madness” Stakes finale on Friday evening, but super pup CRAIGIE DELEGATE was bested by PAT C RAM ROD (Gloria Dorsey Kennel) in the semi-finals.

He kept hope alive though with a fast little female named appropriately, JS KEEPHOPEALIVE as she bested ALADDIN (A Ray Kennel) to set up not only your typical one on one matchup, but a male versus female gender duel as well. After dodging most of the thunderstorms in the area up until the 13th race championship, the contest occurred under a “fast track” with only some spurts of light rain occurring.

While most of the betting money was placed on PAT C RAM ROD, the crafty 60 pound red fawn female used a quick burst from the #6 post position to grab a quick two length lead entering the first turn. As it turned out, she would need almost the entire length of that early lead at the finish line.

PAT C RAM ROD was known to have a tremendous late kick and most everyone thought he had enough to catch just about anyone. That started becoming apparent entering the far (and final) turn as the early lead nearly evaporated as the duo entered the homestretch. As simple as it seemed, one easy move made by JS KEEPHOPEALIVE proved to be a championship winning move.

The speedy girl kept tight to the inside part of the track while PAT C RAM ROD floated a bit towards the mid portion of the track. That brief pad to her lead helped her survive her rival’s late rush again near the wire. She won by a mere neck worth of distance, or three hundredths of a second. It was enough to earn Monte Hoopes and the Lester Raines Kennel the first stakes race championship of the season and her backers at the pari-mutuel windows doubled their money on her as an extra treat.

JS KEEPHOPEALIVE is owned by Shannon Henry and Lester Raines.

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