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Friday, June 3, 2016

Husker Magic can wrap up another history-making week on Saturday in the $8,000 T.L. Weaver Memorial Challenge at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The event, now in its 20th year, is named after Derby Lane’s late founder. It is the track’s final 550-yard stakes race of the 2015-16 meet. Post time for the featured Race 10 is 9:47 p.m. EDT. First place pays $3,200.

Husker Magic, who will start from post-2, became the first greyhound Wednesday in Derby Lane’s 91-year history to record 100 career wins at the oval with a box-to-wire four-length victory. The 2015 Rural Rube winner, All-America captain and national win leader has 101 lifetime victories – including a triumph at Daytona Beach (Fla.) Kennel Club in 2015 when she won the inaugural $35,000 BetAmerica Daytona 500 National Championship, her first of two stakes titles.
“She’s a once-in-a-lifetime dog,’’ said kennel owner Jim Abernathy, who handles the operation with wife Kayruth Abernathy.

Husker Magic’s time of 30.29 seconds on Wednesday was the fastest in her past 25 races. Trained by Claudio Lopez, the 50-month-old female out of a litter by Rhythmless and Casino Zada has earned more than $105,000 from 163 starts for owners Arthur Kaufman of Sarasota, Fla., Terry Haber of Grapevine, Ark., and Jim Abernathy.

Kentucky Kat, who drew the No. 1 box, will attempt to give Cal Holland kennel its second consecutive T.L. Weaver title after winning last year with Penrose Lobo. The rest of the field in post-position order: Angel’s Game (D’Arcy kennel), Lk’s Crazee Boyz (Lashmet), Yolo Swag (Alderson), Wacka Doodle (Nova), Hallo French Gig (Pauline O’Donnell), and Dt’swildestdream (Capabal).
Lk’s Crazee Boyz won Wednesday’s other qualifying race by seven lengths with a career-best clocking of 30.35 seconds.


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.