Greyhound News
Back to News » Derby Lane Distance Classic
Monday, April 3, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – If the $75,000 Distance Classic championship race were today, Fiesta Destroyer would have one of the eight finalist spots.

That is how well the ABC Racing kennel greyhound has performed so far in Derby Lane’s richest stakes race.

With Wednesday night’s final qualifying remaining, Fiesta Destroyer has already clinched a berth in the 660-yard finale after winning his third consecutive race Saturday. He has 48 points and appears to be the greyhound to beat for the $30,500 first-place prize.

Fiesta Destroyer registered a box-to-wire three-length victory over Noelles Bella of Floyd kennel in his last effort, clocking a career-best time of 37.19 seconds for kennel owner Don Burk and trainer Joy Burk, Don’s wife. He paid $6.40 to win.

The male from a litter by Pat C Clement and Kelsos Yes indeed who turns 2 in June has dominated in his first lifetime stakes race. Entering the Distance Classic, Fiesta Destroyer had not won a Grade A race in his first 43 starts. He is owned by Jeff Blair of Abilene, Kan.

In the other qualifying race, McAllister Racing kennel’s Flying Tidalwave overcame a five-length deficit to win by a nose at 9-1 odds. He earned 16 points and moved into contention for a finale spot with 28 points overall. Owned by Vince Berland of Abilene, Kan., and trained by Tom Artzer, Flying Tidalwave ran 660 yards in 37.32 seconds to overtake Kay AJ Hostak of Patriot kennel. This is the first stakes race for the 34-month-old male from a litter by Kiowa Myth and Flying Hall, who also entered the Distance Classic without a Grade A victory from 57 previous starts.

Bella Fruitzy of Burk Greyhounds and Noelles Bella each are tied for second in points at 34. Ethanol of D’Arcy kennel is next with 32.

Eight greyhounds with the most accumulative points after Wednesday advance to the finale on Saturday night.

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.