ST. PETERSBURG - After two weeks of qualifying rounds, the much anticipated showdown between Cayman Went and WW Apple Jax occurred in the final of the $85,000 Sprint Classic at Derby Lane on Saturday night.
The suspense, however, ended after the first turn.
Cayman Went broke cleanly from the No.7 box to win by 4 lengths in 30.29 seconds.
It was Bahama Mama Kennel's first win in the Sprint Classic, the largest payout for a five-sixteenths-mile race during the season. Kennel owners Francesca Field and Donna Marie Moore received more than $27,000.
WW Apple Jax, out of the No.2 box, ran 30.57 to finish second, followed by Flying Newport (No. 3 box) and Rhett A Tet Tet (No. 8). Cayman Went paid $4 to win, $2.60 to place and $2.40 to show. The 7-2-3 trifecta paid $13.90, and the 7-2-3-8 Superfecta paid $38.90.
"(Cayman) is a superdog," Field said. "He's the best dog in the country and proved it tonight."
After running 30.02 to break the track record in his first qualifying race two weeks ago, Cayman Went struggled to maintain his dominating pace. The fawn brindle male had to weave his way out of a crowd in his past two races, rallying to win one and barely losing the other to snap his 16-race win streak.
With Cayman Went's loss, WW Apple Jax vaulted to the top of the standings.
The box-to-wire win Saturday night was Cayman Went's third stakes victory this season. The greyhound also won the St. Petersburg Inaugural and the All-Star Kennel Preview.
Attendance for Saturday's showdown was 2,526, a season best. But the rivalry between the dogs is over.
Wayne Ward sold WW Apple Jax to Hal Gill for more than $100,000, one of the highes prices for a greyhound. WW Apple Jax still will run for Wayne Ward Kennel but will head south to race in the Hollywood World Classic in three weeks.