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Monday, May 14, 2018

Mick D’Arcy put his two greyhounds on the stage Saturday in the $20,000 Remembrance Stakes. Both received proverbial standing ovations. Cal Holland did likewise, and his dogs received similar applause.

The two veteran Derby Lane kennel owners stole the show in first-round qualifying, combining to win all four races as the track’s final 550-yard stakes kicked off.

D’Arcy’s duo started the surge with My Mate Tom-iu and Over Zealous scoring wins. Holland’s dogs, Jiminy Reno and Kentucky Leo, prevailed in the final two races. All four male sprinters were favored at 2-1 odds or less, and earned 16 points entering the second round Wednesday – when the 32-dog field will be cut to 16. The championship race is May 28.

Over Zealous turned in the most sensational performance. Making his 19th lifetime start, the 25-month-old dog from a litter by SH Avatar and Blackstone scored a box-to-wire 6-1/2-length victory in a sizzling 30.14 seconds – his career best. It was the quickest clocking of 87 greyhounds that competed on the evening card, and equaled the fifth-best time of the meet.

“He surprised me with the time,’’ D’Arcy said. “That was just phenomenal. . . . The best race I’ve seen him run, without a doubt.’’

It was Over Zealous’s seventh win overall for owner Robert Hardison.

My Mate Tom, a 26-month-old from a litter by Barcia Bale and Goldilocks, rallied for a 1-1/2-length victory in 30.67 seconds. Owned by D’Arcy, My Mate Tom-iu collected his 11th lifetime victory. D’Arcy is the trainer for both greyhounds.

Jiminy Reno entered the Remembrance with the longest win streak in the field at four. He extended that streak with a four-length victory in 30.30 seconds. Jiminy Reno has prevailed by a combined 23 lengths during his win streak. The 24-month-old from a litter by Alivefortomorrow and Oceania has 17 career victories.

Kentucky Leo, whose second birthday is Sunday, rallied for a one-length win in 30.48 seconds. Owned by Helen Godby, Kentucky Leo is from a litter by Pat C Clement and Kentucky Fire. He has 15 overall victories. Holland trains the two 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.