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Derby Lane favorite heads field
A five-time stakes winner blessed with outstanding box speed, Extruding Dream has been the dominant greyhound the past two seasons at Derby Lane.
By DON JENSEN Times Correspondent
Published June 23, 2007
ST. PETERSBURG - The mechanical lure moves along the rail with a squealing sound. It passes the starting box and, before you can blink an eye, Extruding Dream has raced to an early lead.
A five-time stakes winner blessed with outstanding box speed, Extruding Dream has been the dominant greyhound the past two seasons at Derby Lane. He has set records, captured awards and accumulated more than $112, 000 in career earnings for Magic City Kennel owner Randy Finegan.
But as the dual-distance standout begins defense of his crown in the 81st annual St. Petersburg Derby that begins tonight at the St. Petersburg track, the 40-month-old black male out of a litter by Impossible Dream and Iwantthattrophy may be making his farewell appearance.
"It's a possibility, that's for sure, " trainer Doug Flint said.
Extruding Dream is one of 32 entries in the 660-yard series. The top four qualifiers in Races 4, 6, 8 and 10 advance to Wednesday's second round, where the first four finishers in the two races earn championship berths. The remaining ones go to the consolation event which, like the championship race, is scheduled for the meet's final performance on June 30. Extruding Dream will be in Race 6 and start from the No. 4 box.
After the St. Petersburg Derby, Extruding Dream will be taken to Ocala for breeding purposes. Thirty days later, his future is expected to be determined by Finegan. The 71-pound greyhound will either return to run at Derby Lane's first year-round season or be retired to stud.
"Randy has told me it is pretty much 50-50 right now, " Flint said. "You sure hate to lose a dog like that, but time marches on."
Today marks the two-year anniversary of Extruding Dream's racing debut. He began at Tampa Greyhound Track, then became the dog to catch at Derby Lane.
During the 2005-06 campaign, Extruding Dream won three stakes (Distance Classic, Derby Lane Million Consolation and St. Petersburg Derby), set a meet record for wins (37) and became the first greyhound in the track's 81-year history to establish records at two distances (550 and 660 yards) during the same meet. Both marks have since fallen. Extruding Dream capped the year winning the Flashy Sir award (distance dog) and receiving All-America honors for owners Joe Ametrano, Bruce Caldwell and Finegan.
This season, Extruding Dream has added the Inaugural and T.L. Weaver Memorial stakes to his resume, winning seven of 25 starts. He raced only twice in a 10-week span after finishing seventh in an All-Star Kennel Preview qualifier on Jan. 17.
"He had some cramps, so we gave him time off, " Flint said.
Extruding Dream has won 56 of 123 career races, taking 41 of 83 starts at 660 yards and 15 of 40 at 550. Forty-eight of his past 51 victories have been against Grade A and stakes competition.
"When he gets out there in front, he's determined that he's not going to let anybody pass him, " Flint said. "To me, that's the difference between really good greyhounds and just the mediocre greyhounds."
Extruding Dream faces a quality field in the St. Petersburg Derby, including Distance Classic winner Flyin Bridgeport of McAllister Kennels, Greys Touch Gold of D'Arcy Kennel and Greys Blak Smith of Lester Raines Kennel. Phenomenal Dream, a brother to Extruding Dream, also is entered by Magic City. Racing secretary Jerry Miller said Tampa Consolation Derby winner Wsr Oh Yummy of Scheele Kennel and Tampa Juvenile champion Dermatophyte of Campbell Greyhound Racing can't be overlooked.
"Yummy is a real trooper, and Dermatophyte is fresh and rested, " he said.
The St. Petersburg Derby champion earns $13, 000; the consolation winner receives $4, 400. Last year, a format change caused by a kennel cough outbreak canceled the consolation.
MORE DERBY LANE: Magic City leads kennels with more than $250, 000 in purse earnings. ... Kb's Sifter, which set a track record at the National Greyhound Association spring meet in April in Abilene, Kan., is schooling for Campbell Greyhound Racing.