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Thursday, February 22, 2018

The second round of qualifying in the $64,000 Sprint Classic Wednesday at Derby Lane resembled the first one: All four winners prevailed in box-to-wire fashion.

John Valazquez of Capabal kennel started the trend and joined RT’s Bo Jangles of Cal Holland kennel with repeat wins. Both greyhounds share the top spot in the point standings with 32.

John Valazquez clocked 550 yards in 30.32 seconds. He paid $5.20 to win.

RT’s Bo Jangles clocked the fastest qualifier in 30.15 seconds and returned $2.60 to win.

Imark Keefer of Abernathy kennel won his first race in the four-round qualifying series in 30.57 seconds. He paid $6.80 to win.

The other first-time winner was Kaias Blackjack of Floyd kennel. He returned $7.60 to win after a 30.47 clocking.

Imark Keefer and Kaias Blackjack are tied for third on the leader board with 26 points apiece along with Light Her Up of Abernathy kennel.

The field was reduced from 32 to 16 for Saturday’s third qualifying round.

After Wednesday’s final qualifying action, eight greyhounds with the most accumulative points advance to the March 3 finale.

The winner receives $25,000 in Derby Lane’s richest 550 stakes race.

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.