McAllister ready for first stakes win in Fla.

Published October 14, 2006

TAMPA - Kennel owner and trainer Malcolm McAllister said he moved to Florida to make a living. He would like to make a statement tonight at Tampa Greyhound Track, where McAllister Kennels has three of the eight finalists in the $15,000 Tampa Speed Classic.

Leading point qualifier Flying Britt, Flying Da Man and Kay V Rutledge - all owned by Flying Eagles Kennel - give McAllister an excellent shot at his first stakes victory in the state.

"I've won stakes races everywhere but Florida," McAllister said. "I don't know what it would mean to finally win one here, but it would be nice for the dog's owner. I'm just here to make a living."

McAllister has been a force on the area greyhound scene since moving from Texas two years ago. His kennel entered Friday with a 142-139 win lead over Cal Holland in Tampa's standings after tying LaRosa Enterprises for the 2005 track title. McAllister also was second to Magic City this past season at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg, and has advanced greyhounds to stakes finals at both tracks.

Flying Britt is McAllister's best shot at the first-place prize of $7,500 in the 550-yard championship race. The 27-month-old red male of My Rooster and Wise Talent was the top performer in three qualifying races with 42 points, based on two wins and a second. Flying Britt owns a stakes win, capturing the $365,000 Great American Greyhound Futurity at the Woodlands in Kansas on May 29.

Brady Thomas (Floyd & Porter Kennel) is the only other entry with two qualifying victories. He is joined by kennelmate Joe Hearns, the meet win leader with 16. Bd's Guido (Alderson), Fast Tide (Cal Holland) and Jacque Episode (Connell) complete the field.

Post time for the featured ninth race is approximately 9:45 p.m.

MORE DOGS: Unbeaten Dreamy Blossom of D'Arcy Kennel sought his seventh consecutive victory Friday night after registering a perfect graded ladder climb (maiden through A). ... Tampa Shootout winner Greys Huntington of Lester Raines Kennel (37.78 seconds for 660 yards) and LaRosa Enterprises' Kaias Sequoyah (30.25 seconds, 550 yards) have the meet's best times.

HORSES: With Tampa Bay Downs preparing for its 2006-07 meet that opens Dec. 9, the track's top three finishers in the win standings from last season are enjoying success elsewhere this year. Among the jockeys, Downs riding leader Jose Lezcano ranked second at Monmouth Park, Daniel Centeno is seventh at Calder, and T.D. Houghton is first at Great Lakes Downs. Downs training champion Kirk Ziadie is second in the Calder standings, Lynne Scace 10th at Meadowlands and Kathleen O'Connell sixth at Calder. Others performing well with Downs connections are jockeys Winston Bennett (first at Suffolk Downs), Thomas Pompell (first at Hoosier Park), Jesse Garcia (second at Canterbury Park), Huber Villa-Gomez (second at Mountaineer Park), Mike Allen (third at Great Lakes Downs), Vernon Bush (third at Suffolk Downs), Derek Bell (fourth at Canterbury Park), Jose Ferrer (sixth at Arlington Park), Joseph Rocco (seventh at Delaware Park) and Juan Umana (ninth at Delaware Park), and trainers Gerald Bennett (first at Great Lakes Downs), Ronnie Allen (fifth at Great Lakes Downs) and Robert Raymond (fifth at Suffolk Downs).

- DON JENSEN, Times correspondent