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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Flyin Honor Code didn’t have the experience of his seven rivals Friday night in the $70,000 Holiday Distance Challenge at Derby Lane.

It didn’t matter.

Breaking first from the No. 3 box, the McAllister Racing kennel greyhound turned the 660-yard event into a one-dog race for his first stakes victory in the track’s final stakes event of 2016.

Flyin Honor Code, who won the Challenge’s first qualifying race on Dec. 7 by leading at every call, gave a carbon copy of that performance in only his 32nd – and biggest – career start. He was never challenged, winning by five lengths in a lifetime-best clocking of 36.96 seconds as the fourth wagering choice. He paid $18.40 to win.

“(The race was over) at the break,’’ said kennel owner Malcolm McAllister, who collected his 26th stakes win at Derby Lane – all since 2007. “You’re not going to catch him on the front. Honor Code’s game is (get to the) front. . . see you . . . goodbye.’’

Flyin Honor Code has led at every call in four of his 10 lifetime wins, and he has never been caught when he takes an early lead. The 75-pound greyhound was one of four McAllister athletes in the finale. St. Petersburg Derby winner Oya Stan The Man (D’Arcy kennel) was second followed by Bella Bulgari (Burk Greyhounds), 6-5 favorite Flying Dynomite (McAllister), Kiowa Spin A Web (McAllister), Flyin Joni Ernst (McAllister), Wendy Rhoades (Alabama Racing) and Tempo Ringer (Patriot).

Flyin Honor Code, a 2-year-old male from a litter by Kc And All and Flying Chattaroy, earned $32,000 for breeder-owner Vince Berland of Abilene, Kan.

Flyin Honor Code’s win was a December delight. The dog was whelped on Dec. 13; McAllister celebrated his 70th birthday on Dec 5; and trainer Louis Amaral turned 59 on Dec. 8.

Amaral, who said he has won “about 30’’ stakes races previously in Florida, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, claimed his first stakes championship at Derby Lane.

“I finally broke the ice (at Derby Lane),’’ Amaral said.

McAllister, whose last stakes win came with St. Petersburg Derby winner Tiger Boy in 2012, surpassed $900,000 in lifetime stakes-added purse money at Derby Lane.

“I’m relieved,’’ McAllister said. “Back in the winner’s circle.’’