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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Patriot/Taplin Kennel’s GF Taras Tango tops all qualifiers after two rounds of the $35,000 West Virginia Greyhound Owners and Breeders Association Juvenile Stakes at Wheeling Island.

GF Taras Tango followed up a second place finish in round one with a closing victory in the second qualifying round Wednesday afternoon. One of the favorites going into the stakes event, GF Taras Tango has accumulated 25 points.

In addition to GF Taras Tango, the other two winners in the second round were Grim Beavers (Steve Sarras Kennel) and DKC Mud Dauber (Wayne Ward Kennel).

The semifinals will be held during the Sunday matinee card on Sept. 18. The championship final will be held on Friday afternoon, Sept. 23.

Following are capsule reviews of the second round races:

Even money race favorite GF Tara Tango cleared the first turn in third before closing strong in the homestretch to overtake the front running Lady Sasquatch by 2 lengths at the wire in 29.85. RS’soutofcontrol finished third in a Patriot/Taplin Kennel trifecta sweep.

Grim Beavers, sent to post at 4-1 odds, posted a box-to-wire 4-length victory in 29.94 to jump right back into the stakes picture after a first round fifth place finish.DKC Mud Puppy finished second and GF Ginne Da Lute got up for third.

DKC Mud Dauber, an 8-1 choice at the window, flew by littermate DKC Muddy Waters on the backstretch and pulled away for a 3-length victory in 29.76. CET Dirty Nicki settled for third.

The point breakdown after the second round of the WVGOBA Juvenile Stakes follows:

GF Taras Tango (Patriot/Taplin), 25 points

DKC Mud Puppy (Wayne Ward), 22 ½ points

DKC Mud Dauber (Wayne Ward), 22 points

CET Dirty Nicki (Steve Sarras),22 points

GF Street Song (Patriot/Taplin), 20 points

DKC Muddy Waters (Wayne Ward), 20 points

RS’soutofcontrol (Patriot/Taplin), 19 ½ points

Grim Beavers (Steve Sarras), 18 points

Lady Sasquatch (Patriot/Taplin), 17 points

GF Zelda (Patriot/Taplin), 15 points

GF Ginne Da Lute (Patriot/Taplin), 12 points

GLS Big Bucks (Jacobs Racing), 10 points

Mac’s Claridge (A Ray), 9 points

DKC Love The Mud (Wayne Ward), 9 points

Wild Ghoul (Steubenville), 8 points

DKC Your Man (Wayne Ward), 8 points

RP McMurphey (Steve Sarras), 6 points

CET Big Jeff (Steve Sarras), 4 points

CET Dirty Debby (Steve Sarras), 4 points

GF Kirou (Patriot/Taplin), 3 points

Marvelous Mystic (Steve Sarras), 3 points

GLS Steppinout (Jacobs Racing), 2 points

DKC Muddy Paws (Wayne Ward Kennel) was scratched after Wednesday’s second round. Two greyhounds were ruled out of the stakes event after the first round – Mac’s Cambridge (A Ray Kennel) fell and did not finish while GLS Moneymaker (Jacobs Racing Kennel) graded off.

I was introduced to greyhound racing by a friend in the late 1970s at Wheeling Downs and fell in love with the sport and the athletes immediately. Throughout the years, I have developed a deep passion for racing. In the mid 1990s, I started writing a weekly greyhound column and shortly thereafter became a writer for The Greyhound Review.

I have enjoyed watching and writing about these wonderful competitors, including All-Americans DD's Nelson, Kiowa Sweet Trey, Gene's Champion, WW Apple Jax, Greys Royalcrown, Nimby TP Jan, Hi Noon Hero, Gable Sour Cream, KB's Ruckus and Cry Case.