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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Patriot/Taplin Kennel’s GF Taras Tango tops all qualifiers for the Saturday afternoon, Nov. 25, championship final of the $65,000 West Virginia Greyhound Owners and Breeders Association Middle Distance 3/8th Stakes at Wheeling Island.

GF Taras Tango was consistent throughout the three qualifying rounds – posting a win, a second and a third to accumulate 32 points. The championship will be Race 20 on the matinee racing program.

Completing the championship field are Hit Me Chief (Steve Sarras), 31 points; GLS Chief (Jacobs Racing), 30 points; Billy Bibbit (Steve Sarras) and GF Street Song (Patriot/Taplin), 28 points each; Bo Bo Bruiser (Steve Sarras) and GF Calamity Kate (Patriot/Taplin), 27 points each; and Mac’s Finn (A Ray), 24 points.

Posting semifinal wins Sunday were Bo Bo Bruiser, GF Street Song and Lanes Last Ride. All three were in must-win scenarios to have a shot at making the championship final.

Following are capsule looks at the semifinal round races:

Bo Bo Bruiser jumped out to an early 3-length lead before holding off Billy Bibbit by a nose at the wire in 38.33. GF Taras Tango came from fifth in the stretch to get third – only a half length behind the winner.

GF Street Song posted a box-to-wire 2-length victory in 38.61. GLS Chief and GF Calamity Kate finished second and third – a photo needed to determine their order of finish.

Lanes Last Ride took charge early – driving out to a 3-length advantage – before holding on by a head over Strong Storch in 38.82. CET Fast Sydney got up to round out the trifecta ticket.

The complete point totals after the semifinal round follow (top eight greyhounds advance to the championship final):

GF Taras Tango (Patriot/Taplin), 32 points

Hit Me Chief (Steve Sarras), 31 points

GLS Chief (Jacobs Racing), 30 points

Billy Bibbit (Steve Sarras), 28 points

GF Street Song (Patriot/Taplin), 28 points

Bo Bo Bruiser (Steve Sarras), 27 points

GF Calamity Kate (Patriot/Taplin), 27 points

Mac’s Finn (A Ray), 24 points

The following greyhounds have been eliminated from the stake event. Bustin BJ (Steve Sarras), 23 points Crossfire Clyde (Steve Sarras), 23 points Lanes Last Ride (Steve Sarras), 23 points GF Booker Tee (Patriot/Taplin), 22 points GLS Jersey Girl (Jacobs Racing), 22 points CET Patches (Steve Sarras), 21 points Jason Martini (Steve Sarras), 20 points Strong Storch (Steve Sarras), 19 points Rico’s Megadeath (Rico Racing), 17 points CET Fast Sydney (Steve Sarras), 16 points Grim Beavers (Steve Sarras), 16 points CET Misty Boo (Steve Sarras), 15 points Mac’s Florence (A Ray), 14 points GLS Ronaldo (Jacobs Racing), 13 points Ryla Grace (Steve Sarras), 9 points Biltmore Boody (Steve Sarras), 9 points

I was introduced to greyhound racing by a friend in the late 1970s at Wheeling Downs and fell in love with the sport and the athletes immediately. Throughout the years, I have developed a deep passion for racing. In the mid 1990s, I started writing a weekly greyhound column and shortly thereafter became a writer for The Greyhound Review.

I have enjoyed watching and writing about these wonderful competitors, including All-Americans DD's Nelson, Kiowa Sweet Trey, Gene's Champion, WW Apple Jax, Greys Royalcrown, Nimby TP Jan, Hi Noon Hero, Gable Sour Cream, KB's Ruckus and Cry Case.