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Thursday, January 12, 2017

BONITA SPRINGS, FL- Saturday matinee January 14 stakes racing begins early in the day at the Naples Fortmyers Greyhound race track offering one of the best 550-yard greyhound races in the nation. Six males and two females compete for this year's title in the $30,000 Sprint Championship. The stakes is the tenth race Saturday afternoon featuring an explosive eight-dog field. Xtrem kennel trainer Jill Spicer is seeking a kennel repeat. Last year DS Rumba danced his way to victory from post two. Spicer is hopeful for a sweet victory with DS Butterscotch (BD's Grayson x DS Mariah) that will seek the kennel repeat from the rail. Many of the finalists are posted well making the race even more exciting.

#1-DS Butterscotch came out swinging with victories in the first two rounds. The 64-pound female wrapped up the series with 47 points that topped the leader board in a two-way tie. The October 2013 female is also ranked the #2 sprinter this meet with just two wins behind the leading Martha Maccallum (Brindle). Butterscotch is owned by Katherine Steel who is also hoping for a stakes repeat. Steel owns last year's winner along with the track record holder DS Bronze that tied the track record time of 29.48 during the matinee performance on December 10 in race 10. Bronze's time tied with Suncoast kennel's 29.48 set February 2015. Bronze's track record is extra special for Steele, as DS Bronze is from a repeat breeding of Djays Octane x DS Babe that produced last year's sprint stakes champion.

DS Butterscotch is one of the two females in the race and will wear the red blanket. She also competed from the same post in two of the four qualifiers taking full advantage of the rail with wins in both. She also clocked her best time of 30.50 in the series from the one box. Butterscotch boasts a 93% money finish and 64% win record this meet. She is a solid threat and can win from the front or back of the field.

#2-Sadie Marquee is the second female in the final that turned in intense performances and was the only undefeated semifinalist. Her streak was halted in a troubled race, but she finished third high with 46 points. The 65-pound daughter of Atascocita Bowl and T's Chugginalong is among the top ten sprinters this meet with 7 wins. The May 2014 female drew post two for Oxbow Trow kennel owner/trainer Edward Trow that also owns Sadie Marquee. Like Butterscotch, Sadie Marquee has a perfect performance from the post she has drawn in the final. She has an 83% in the money record this meet. Sadie's best series time of 30.45 was also clocked from post two.

#3-JK Ace competed from the same number three post assigned to him in three of the four qualifying rounds. It should be an advantage for the 75-pound son of Trent Lee and Kiowa WW Ring when the box opens for the male racing from the Jimmy King kennel. Although drawing post three JK Ace's best series time of 30.53 was clocked in semifinals from the middle of the pack in post 5 for trainer Mike Curran. JK "aced" his entry into the final in fifth place with 38 points. The February 2013 male is owned by Jimmy King and Smith Greyhounds. Ace's 81% money record was accomplished from being in the hunt early.

#4-DQ Williams entry Fire Blitzen (Dragon Fire x Cry Heather) recorded his best series time of 30.49 in round three from the same four blanket he will wear in Saturday's race. Blitzen finished out of the money in round one, but rallied in the next two rounds that helped secure his entry into the stakes. The 74-pound blue male is trained by Claudia Quintero and collected 34 points that filled one of the last two posts for the stakes. The April 2014 male was rested for nearly two months after his meet at Flagler. He is the most rested with six starts this meet. The Sharon Williams owned male has recorded a 67% trifecta record since his return.

#5-Boeckenstedt kennel's BGR J Peralta drew post five. The March 2015 pup trained by Phil Stapleton may have found a home at Naples. The pup did not show well at Southland where he originally schooled for owner Brad Boeckenstedt. A trip back to the Boeckenstedt kennel in Iowa proved favorable, as he schooled well there. The decision to enter Peralta in the Puppy Stakes at Naples sponsored by United Greyhound Racing proved both favorable and profitable giving the pup a new home and the Puppy stakes title at Naples. Peralta dominated the 550-yard oval and reeled off seven in a row before joining the veteran racers in the Sprint series. The son of Vee Man Vane and Superior Pettini was under pressure to perform in the sprint semifinal. He was up to the task scoring the win from post five-the same post he will compete from Saturday. Peralta also clocked his best series time of 30.46 from the five in his thrilling semifinal victory by a nose. He finished sixth high in the series with 37 points. Peralta's 91% quiniela record will not go unnoticed by gamblers.

#6-Brindle kennel trainer Mike Roderick brings Mike Huckabee (Trent Lee x Twinkles) back to the stakes race final. Huckabee finished fourth in last year's final from post four. This year Hucklebee campaigns from post six. His series best time of 30.51 was clocked in round three from post seven. Brindle entered t he stakes with the favorite Martha Maccallum that is currently the track's sprint leader with 11 wins. Martha stormed the series with two in a row, but rounds three and four were troubled that forced her out of the final by just one point. Hucklebee just made the cut in a two-way tied to fill the final two slots with 34 points giving him a second shot at the Sprint title. The November 2013 male is also the largest entry at 80-pounds. Owned by Brindle kennel Mike Huckabee has finished in the trifecta 67% of his starts this meet and is always a fierce late threat.

#7-WW Flash Boy tied the top series points at 47 with DS Butterscotch. The April 2015 son of Last Outlaw and WW's Show is the youngest in the field. Julia Ward owns the youngster that entered round three undefeated seeking five top grade wins in a row for Steve Sarras kennel trainer Frank Pellittere. Flash Boy's winning effort to preserve his unblemished record resulted in a tough loss by a nose. Flash Boy wins from any post and recorded his series best time of 30.41 in round one in a seven and a half length-win from post eight. WW Flash Boy shares DS Butterscotch in sprint ranks as the #2 sprinter with 9 wins this meet. He has compiled a 73% quiniela record this meet.

#8-Where's Boogie can be found in post eight for Jacobs Racing on Saturday. He is another strong finisher that earned his shot at the stakes title in closing fashion. He scored 45 total points landing a stakes post and a fourth place ranking among his rivals. Owned by Melvin Drayton, Jr., the March 2014 son of Hi Noon Hero and Where's Thinmist was the greyhound responsible for halting Flash Boy's streak in round three by a nose from post eight. "The win was pretty exciting. I think that was his (Where's Boogie) best series race," said young trainer Jake Reeves. This is the first meet for Reeves as trainer at Naples and his second stakes entry in a final this season. His first was in the Puppy stakes final with Mallomar. "She had trouble at the break in that stakes," said Reeves. "I hope that Where's Boogie will have better luck in this stakes." Reeves could not have drawn a better position for Boogie during the post draw on Monday. Boogie recorded his best series time of 30.60 from the eight box, too. Boogie has only won two races from 14 starts this meet, but his 77% money finishes have kept him a top grade contender.

As the saying goes "you have to be in it to win it!" All eight finalists are capable of crossing first in this year's race. Post time for the 10th race stakes feature at Naples will be approximately 2:00PM. First post Saturday matinee is at 11:45AM. Entries, results, stats, live streaming video of the races and more available via the track's easy to navigate website

Vera Rasnake is an avid Greyhound racing publicist with over 30 years industry experience spanning all racing positions from backside to trackside. Vera is among the first group of women Greyhound Racing officials and has held prominent positions including Racing Secretary, Media Relations and Company Spokeswoman. She has written hundreds of articles and shot many Greyhound Review cover photos featuring Greyhound legends across North America. Vera is a former Night of Stars co-host and former guest color analyst at select Irish Derby events. In 2015 she was co-host of United Greyhound Racing's first invitational -the 2015 Daytona 550 stakes at Daytona Beach. Vera currently owns Evader-a racing greyhound she won at the Greyhound Hall of Fame raffle that races in Florida in the Oxbow Trow kennel. A former Greyhound trainer and an advocate for Greyhound Adoption are included in her portfolio.