2013 Floridian Championship First Qualifying Round April 15, 2013 at Mardi Gras Greyhound Park

Eb Netr

April 15th, 2013

Marathons - those 770 yard races where stamina and tactics count as much as speed - are usually few and far between. But at Mardi Gras Casino and Greyhound Park, formerly Hollywood, we'll have a chance to watch them in the first three races of Monday night's program.

The Floridian Championship will continue on April 19th and 22nd, with the finals on April 26th. With $10,000 on the line, and some of the best distance dogs running, this is bound to be an exciting series with plenty of chances for handicapping gold.

Many of the dogs have been running in 660 yard route races, so it's difficult to know how they'll handle the added distance and different starting box position. However, some of the runners have done well at the 770 yard distance, including #2 Lucky Betty, #4 Lucan Wolf, #5 KR Connie and #8 Wine N Greece in the 1st Race, who have all won at that distance. Their competitiveness and experience at the distance should make for a very interesting race.

Race 2 has #8 Noah's Ark, a dog who has done very well in 770 yd races, although you can't see that from the lines in today's program. I remember him winning by 8 lengths, back in February, and he did it in spite of getting blocked and bumped. He was in the 8 box then and I think he can do it again in this race, so he's my pick for the winner. I like #3 Santa's Ward and #1 Girl Name Sue to be right there with him.

In Race 3, Santa's Clifton looks tough. Apparently, Let's Winendine's puppies inherited the marathon gene, because they're well represented in this stakes series. They do well in 660 yd races, but seem to really shine when they get to go the extra distance. One of my favorite greyhounds, #3 Wannadobadthings, no slouch at any distance, should be chasing Santa's Clifton, or maybe it will be the other way around. And if #1 Casper Van Dien, can carry his winning form to the 770 yard distance, he might be in the exotics too.

Don't miss this chance to watch three 770 yard races on one program. And, as always, safe trips and good racing luck to all the runners.