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Greys Calibrator dame of the Derby Million
By DON JENSEN
Published March 5, 2006
ST. PETERSBURG - The Mick hit another home run, the grandest of all slams.
A trainer and kennel owner known for winning big stakes races, Mick D'Arcy captured the biggest win of his career Saturday night as Greys Calibrator notched a box-to-wire victory in the Derby Lane Million at Derby Lane.
The first-place check of $500,000 is the richest in greyhound history.
Derby Lane posted season highs in attendance (9,343) and handle ($1.2-million).
Greys Calibrator, the only female in the eight-dog field, broke alertly from the No. 2 box and ran with Sas Mason Jar to the first turn, where she pulled away for good. The 33-month-old red brindle greyhound won by four lengths. The Wheeling (W.Va.) Downs invader was timed at 29.90 seconds for 550 yards.
Owned by Jack and Mary Butler of Abilene, Kan., Greys Calibrator returned $5.80, $3.40 and $2.60 as the 9-5 favorite. Ebony River (Magic City) paid $3.60 and $2.80 for second. Sas Mason Jar (Thorne/Herron) returned $3.20 for third.
The remaining order of finish was Kiowa Cruzechamp (Thorne/Herron), Bob's Skeet (LaRosa Enterprises), Joe Hearns (Floyd & Porter), Cajun Cain (Brumage/Filipelli) and Jack Whistler (C & C).
D'Arcy has a knack for showing up in the winner's circle at big moments.
He has won some of Derby Lane's top races, including three Distance Classics (Greys Mardigras, 1995; Greys Betsy Ross, 1998; and Greys Free Style, 2000) and three Sprint Classics (Greys Flamebeau, 1998; Greys Outbound, 1999; and Greys Starquest, 2000).
"This is the biggest (win) in history," D'Arcy said. "Nothing compares to this. "I thought she broke bullish enough and she came with a great run down to the bend. I thought when she was pushed a little bit wide off the bend, she might be in trouble. I looked to see where the 1 (Ebony River) was because that's the dog I feared if he was close. But I saw him back a little bit."
Mary Butler said Greys Calibrator is for sale.
"We haven't had any offers on her yet, but it's early," she said.
The Butlers own a farm in Abilene, Kan., and plan to retire to Ocala.
In the Million Consolation, Extruding Dream set a track record and earned $16,000 for Magic City Kennel.
The Doug Flint trainee broke quickly from the No. 4 box, pulled away from Em's Darla entering the first turn and cruised to a five-length victory. His time of 29.77 seconds for 550 yards topped the mark of 29.80 set by Greys Calibrator earlier in the series.
Extruding Dream paid $9.60, $5.60 and $5.00. Greys Huntington (Lester Raines) rallied to finish second, returning $4 and $3.40. Em's Darla (Floyd & Porter) paid $5.80 for third.
A 25-month-old black male by Impossible Dream and Iwantthattrophy, Extruding Dream is having a sensational meet for kennel owner Randy Finegan of Jacksonville. Extruding Dream leads the win standings with 21 from 38 starts and has captured two stakes, including the $100,000 Distance Classic on Feb. 4.
The remaining order of finish was Your Lucky Charm (Magic City), Oh Well Whocares (C & C), Mayor Daley (Ryan Farms), Flying Nitrogen (McAllister) and Kiowa Cruze Thru (Thorne/Herron).