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McAllister Kennels breaks meet wins record

Malcolmand Barbara McAllister often stand by themselves on the second level of the Derby Lane grandstand. It is there, several steps from the Gallery Lounge entrance, where they have a perfect view of greyhounds racing into the first turn.

By DON JENSEN, Times Correspondent
Published February 2, 2008


ST. PETERSBURG - Malcolmand Barbara McAllister often stand by themselves on the second level of the Derby Lane grandstand. It is there, several steps from the Gallery Lounge entrance, where they have a perfect view of greyhounds racing into the first turn.

McAllister Kennels also stands alone in Derby Lane lore.

The track's leading kennel, operated by Malcolm with wife Barbara as the trainer, etched itself into track annals on Jan. 26 when McAllister set a meet wins record and its star sprinter, Flying Stanley, captured the Matinee Idol for his eighth lifetime stakes.

Flying Stanley's effort was a microcosm of the kennel's year. He started quickly, raced to a huge lead and set a record. His career-best 30.11 seconds at 550 yards eclipsed Dodgem By Design's stakes mark of 30.36 in 2002.

"It's very unreal," Malcolm said. "We've got the best kennel of dogs ever assembled in the three years we've been here and gotten more than our fair share of results. We could set a record that may not be broken for a long, long time. We're pushing the envelope until June 30 (final day of meet)."

With Derby Lane racing year-round for the first time in 83 years, records were bound to fall, including Magic City Kennel's 378 wins in 2005-06. Magic City set the mark in 2,550 starts (a win every 6.74 races); McAllister attained its 379th victory in start No. 1,817 (4.79 average).

McAllister has benefited from quality greyhounds, many supplied by Vince Berland of Abilene, Kan. When it tied and surpassed the record, Berland-owned dogs Flying Kiska and Flying St. Paul were responsible. They were among four consecutive winners and five overall for McAllister on the evening performance, matching Nova Kennel this season for most wins on one card. McAllister finished the two-performance day with seven wins.

"Our goal is 600 wins," McAllister said.

Now, McAllister is focusing on the $85,000 Sprint Classic from Feb. 16 to March 1. He is hoping the traditional 32-dog field for the 550-yard event will be expanded.

"We have 25 Grade A dogs, and 15 can win if they get loose," said McAllister, who has won five of the meet's six stakes.

Said track spokeswoman Vera Filipelli: "If racing determines there are enough quality sprinters to warrant a larger field, it's a possibility. We did it in September for our Fall Sprint, when we went up to 40 entries from 32. Our stakes are for every kennel, and all 18 will be asked to submit at least one entry."

The Sprint may be Flying Stanley's final stakes at Derby Lane.

McAllister said the 37-month-old red brindle male out of a litter by Kiowa Sweet Trey and Flying Rimes will defend his title in the $75,000 Hollywood World Classic on March 12-29 at Mardi Gras Racetrack in Hallandale Beach.

Berland, owner of the 84-pound dog, said his standout will then go to Kansas for breeding purposes.

"We'll be looking at his stakes options after that," he said.

Flying Stanley's stud services have been sought from as far away as Australia and Ireland.

Flying Stanley is the sport's richest greyhound with approximately $640,000 in earnings. Five of his stakes wins, topped by the 2007 Derby Lane Million, have come at Derby Lane.

TAMPA BAY DOWNS:Minaret Stakes winner Taylor Madison goes for her second straight stakes win today in the 7-furlong $65,000 Manatee Stakes (4:37 p.m.) at the Oldsmar thoroughbred facility. ... Intown for the Day ran a 1:09.1 in the 1989 Pelican Stakes, and Lookinforthesecret ran 1:09.30 on Jan. 12. Because the 1989 stakes is accurate only to one-fifth of a second, the track said, it has adjusted the times to share the record.

.FAST FACTS

Russell Baze's path to 10,000 wins

1974: At 16, rides his first winner, Oregon Warrior, Yakima Meadows, Wash.

1995: 5,000th, Cyrus Says, Sonoma County Fair, Santa Rosa, Calif.

1999: Enters thoroughbred racing's Hall of Fame

Dec. 1, 2006: Passes Laffit Pincay Jr. for first on career victory list with his 9,531st, Butterfly Belle, Bay Meadows, San Mateo, Calif.

Friday: No.10,000, in a photo finish in a three-horse duel;Two Step Cat wins by a nose in a mile race, Golden Gate Fields, Albany, Calif.