ST. PETERSBURG - Mn's Island Anne was an island unto herself at the start of Derby Lane's season.
Four starts, four wins. So what's the big deal?
The 21-month-old brindle female by Kiowa Sweet Trey and Hi Candy Cain kept winning 5/16th-mile races while moving up in class each time. Within 13 days, the Cal Holland Jr.-trained dog defeated maidens and grades B, C and D dogs.
Mn's Island Anne was the first to reach four victories at the oval, with a best time of 30.66 seconds in a Grade C race. But the Floyd & Porter Kennel dog couldn't keep the streak going. In her first Grade A event Sunday, Mn's Island Anne got bumped on the first turn and finished eighth to Odd Blossom, 13 lengths off the pace.
Mn's Island Anne, owned by Stavros Racing, caught some fans by surprise after finishing no better than third in three schooling races in September. In her first maiden event Oct. 8, she got a half-length victory over Shapikie as a 10-1 long shot. Mn's Island Anne continued to pay off for supporters in a 4-length Grade D triumph over Wms Keep Away at 6-1 odds.
She followed that with a 3-length win over Se's Air Stream in Grade C and beat Comeback Lee by a neck in Grade B, both times as the betting favorite.
HERE AND THERE: One of Derby Lane's top kennels from last year, Charter Kennel, is competing at Wheeling Downs. Greymeadow Kennel, second to Bahama Mama Greyhounds in the 2003-04 win standings, dispersed its kennel and is leasing dogs to others, including D'Arcy Kennel at Derby Lane. C & C Kennel is back following a two-year absence. Another newcomer is McAllister Kennels of Texas.
CHANGES: The Gandy Boulevard track has had several changes. Clay has replaced sand and silt as the racing surface. Other renovations include the new Plaza Poker Room and the upgraded Derby Club 4 lounge, scheduled to open Monday along with Derby Club 6. The Greyhound Adoption Office has been moved from the mezzanine to the paddock.
Nightly post time is 7:30 Monday through Saturday. Sunday matinees have been added, and the Wednesday matinees return this week. All begin at 12:30 p.m.
BREEDERS' CUP WAGERING: The 21st Breeders' Cup at Lone Star Park will be available for simulcast wagering today at three area tracks: Derby Lane, Tampa Greyhound Track and Tampa Bay Downs. The first of eight races begins at 1 p.m. from Grand Prairie, Texas.
OPENING DAY PREPARATIONS: Tampa Bay Downs begins its 79th season Dec. 11 with a new winner's circle, receiving barn and stable gate access via Linebaugh Avenue. The meet will feature 25 stakes races totaling more than $2.1-million at the Oldsmar horse oval.