By BOB PUTNAM
© St. Petersburg Times, published April 8, 2001
ST. PETERSBURG -- Nine months ago trainer James Campbell predicted his greyhound, BD's Robin, would make it to the final of the $100,000 Distance Classic at Derby Lane.
But Campbell never could have predicted the performance his 21/2-year-old fawn female turned in Saturday.
Running out of the No. 8 box on the outside, BD's Robin, a long shot to even qualify for the season's richest stake race, won the 42nd Distance Classic with a time of 37.23 seconds.
The mark for the three-eighths-mile race set the season record and was BD's Robin's first win in a stakes race. It was the second time Campbell has trained a winner, the other coming in 1999 with Tomoka Penny. BD's Robin and Tomoka Penny both race for the Alderson Kennel.
"I feel like a psychic," Campbell said. "This sure was something."
The only thing Campbell forecasted at the beginning of the race was trouble. He said he wanted BD's Robin to pace herself and come from behind to win.
But BD's Robin surged ahead after the first turn with Reward Green and Courageous Nicky quickly charging.
BD's Robin's led wire-to-wire and her time was faster than Tomoka Penny's season-best 37.30 seconds in the 1999 Classic.
The Alderson Kennel won $32,000 plus purse earnings. The payout was $17.60 to win and $5.80 to place.
BD's Robin's record time and win are just part of her meteoric rise. The greyhound debuted at Tampa last season and had 10 wins heading in Saturday.
She was going up against four greyhounds -- Courageous Nicky, Boot Scootin Gal, Greys Free Bird and Flying Waterford -- who had won stakes races.
"I was looking at all these big-time dogs in the field," Campbell said. "Then there's my dog. It's really quite amazing."
In the fifth race, Stan's Boy Flyer broke his season-best 30.42 seconds, winning the five-sixteenth-mile race in 30.37.