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Thursday, March 30, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – D’Arcy kennel’s Ethanol had plenty of fuel in her tank Wednesday night with a scintillating performance in second-round qualifying of the $75,000 Distance Classic at Derby Lane.

Breaking from the No. 4 box, Ethanol broke on top early and never trailed as she clocked a career-best time of 37.11 seconds on the 660-yard course. It was the meet’s fifth best clocking behind Somerset Roy of Cal Holland kennel at 37.03.

Ethanol, a 26-month-old female from a litter by Djays Octane and Jet Force, finished ahead of Burk Greyhounds’ Bella Fruitzy. Ethanol earned 16 points to tie Bella Fruitzy for second place in the standings at 26 apiece.

Kennel owner Mick D’Arcy, who won the 2016 Distance Classic with O Ya Cruiser Max, trains Ethanol for owners Robert and John Hardison. Ethanol paid $7.80 to win.

Fiesta Destroyer of ABC Racing remained the only undefeated greyhound with a victory in 37.40 seconds. He paid $5 and improved his points total to 32. Joy Burk trains Fiesta Destroyer for owner Jeff Blair.

Penrose Evamarie of Cal Holland clocked a lifetime-best time in 37.44 seconds to score her first qualifying victory for owner Nick Desalvo. She paid $11.40 and raised her point total to 24.

Abernathy kennel’s PJ Big Ben also collected his first qualifying win in 37.42 seconds and returned $8.40. The Claudio Lopez trainee now has 17 points for kennel owners Jim and Kayruth Abernathy. PJ Big Ben is owned by Jay Rangel and Paul Bitterman.

The field of 32 greyhounds was whittled to 16 for Saturday night’s third round in Races 6 (8:39 p.m.) and 10 (9:47).

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.