By BOB PUTNAM, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 6, 2002
ST. PETERSBURG -- A patron asked Paul Caple, owner of Capabal Kennel, to give him some tips on which greyhound to bet in Saturday's Puppy Preview at Derby Lane.
"Don't forget the No. 5 dog," Caple said of his kennel's greyhound, WMS Stay Away.
Caple's prognostication turned out to be a good bet, though the greyhound went off at 17-1 odds and he said there were faster littermates.
The 1 1/2-year-old red male, which ran out of the No. 5 box, won the Puppy Preview in 31.28 seconds.
"I knew the dog had a good shot to win if it got out in front," said Caple, who won his first stakes race at the St. Petersburg track in three years.
"It's a great front-runner."
WMS Stay Away kept the lead after the first turn and beat runner-up Plain Mocah of the Ryan Farms Kennel by 2 1/2 lengths in the 5/16 race. The greyhound paid $37.20 to win.
Husker Saint, winner of one of the semifinals and the betting favorite, was squeezed back in the first turn and finished seventh.
As expected, Kiowa Sweet Trey from E&M Kennel won the 77th St. Petersburg Inaugural.
The red brindle male, who won 16 of 18 races at Wheeling Downs in West Virginia last season, drew the No. 1 box. He maintained the lead and won in 31.18.
On Friday, Talentedmrripley won his first official schooling race with a time of 30.91, becoming the first greyhound to run a 5/16 of a mile race in less than 31 seconds.
The race does not count toward season records because it came in a schooling race.
Talentedmrripley of Bahama Mama Kennel was the Speed Classic winner at Tampa, set a track record in a 5/16 race and was the season's win leader.
"It was good to see the dog run the way it did in Tampa," said Francesca Field, owner of Bahama Mama Kennel. "The injury appears to be minor. We call it a warming up period."
The greyhound was injured when it moved to the three-eighths-mile course to qualify for the Tampa Derby.
Talentedmrripley will compete in its final schooling race Tuesday before entering competition.