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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Poweroftraction of Nova kennel won her first stakes title in her first attempt Monday, capturing the inaugural $20,000 Remembrance Stakes at Derby Lane.

Trained by Miguel Valenzuela for owners Dr. Rodger Barr and wife Donna Barr of Minneapolis, Minn., Poweroftraction broke alertly from the No. 7 box and scored a box-to-wire win as the fifth betting choice. She paid $23 to win.

The only female in the eight-dog field, Poweroftraction clocked 550 yards in 30.53 seconds on a fast surface. She won by three-quarters of a length over 21-1 shot David Lopez, one of three finalists for Capabal kennel.

None of the 120 greyhounds that competed on the Memorial Day 15-race performance clocked a better time than Poweroftraction at that distance. It was the fastest time in her past 12 starts since Jan. 4. She was sidelined more than three months with a shoulder injury before returning in April.

“She broke in front, and was gone,’’ Valenzuela, 63, said.

Poweroftraction, a 28-month-old female from a litter by Djays Octane and Kiowa WW Reyna, won for the 13th time from 35 starts. The first-place paycheck of $9,000 topped her previous career earnings of $6,472. She tied for sixth in the four-round qualifying series, including second-place efforts in her first three races. She qualified for the finale by only two points.

“This dog is going to stay in St. Petersburg the rest of her life,’’ Nova kennel owner Hans Limmer said.

Even-money favorite RT’s Bo Jangles (Cal Holland kennel) finished third followed by Jeff Sessions (Farmer Racing), Brian Ernst (Capabal), Fiesta Ironman (Burk Greyhounds), John Valazquez (Capabal) and Ozark Mike (Burk Greyhounds).

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.