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Monday, June 20, 2016

Kennel owner Mick D’Arcy was all smiles Saturday night when Oya Stan The Man and O Ya Cruiser Max won first-round qualifying races in the $40,000 St. Petersburg Derby 660-yard series at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The field was cut from 32 to 16 with the top four finishers in each of four events advancing to Wednesday night’s two final qualifying races. The top four in those races move on to the $30,000 St. Petersburg Derby on Saturday night, and the remaining greyhounds compete in the $10,000 Consolation Derby that same evening.
Oya Stan The Man, who took over the meet win lead with his 17th victory since Jan. 1, clocked the event’s fastest time at 37.03 seconds to prevail by four lengths. The 4-5 wagering choice was the only favorite to win in the opening round.
O Ya Cruiser Max, winner of the $80,000 Distance Classic – Derby Lane’s richest race – on April 9, held on to defeat 2015 Flashy Sir award winner and All-America first-team choice Highlyclassified of Farmer Racing by a nose in the event’s closest finish.
Highlyclassified is one of three entries for kennel owners John Farmer and son Sean Farmer to move to Wednesday’s action. The others are Fraulein Lexus, who won the first qualifier by a half-length in 37.52 seconds, and Rck Blazen Fast, who was fourth to Oya Stan The Man.
Noelles Bella of Floyd kennel scored the biggest upset of Round 1 with a seven-length victory and a $25.40 payoff to her supporters. Her winning time of 37.17 seconds was a career best.


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.