$50,000 Palm Beach Derby Final Preview
One of the greatest Stakes Finals in greyhound history is finally upon us, as the 85th running of the James W. Paul 3/8ths Mile Derby happens Saturday at Palm Beach! It's been quite a competitive Tourney, with many of the favorites making the Final, along with a few surprises that ran well enough to squeak in. Anything can happen once the box opens, especially when there is $50,000 on the line. The Final will take place in Race 12 of the Matinee in what is sure to be an all time classic.
Here is a breakdown of the field and the odds we believe each greyhound will be at come Post Time:
#1 Kay Beowulf ~ Rader Racing (5-1 Odds)
Beowulf's Team has to be ecstatic about the rail post position. The Futurity Champ won from this same box in December and has history on his side with the last two Derby Champions firing from the 1 hole. Beowulf would become the first greyhound to win they Futurity & Derby if he can pull the upset here. He's got a chance, especially with the solid break he possesses.
#2 Momma Tia ~ Douglas Kennel (18-1 Odds)
Will be the biggest long shot without question. Did hit the ticket in three of the four qualifying rounds and would light up the Tote Board if Momma can finish in the top 4 here.
#3 Ethel Is Here ~ Janie Carroll Kennel (9-5 Odds)
Will be the heavy favorite and she should be. The track record holder and leading point earner going into the Final has a solid 6 days rest and should fire out of the box in this one. Would become even more of a legend if Ethel can bring home the 50K top prize. An All-American honor would be locked up as well if she pulls this off.
#4 Flying Fala ~ Royal Racing ~ (7-1 Odds)
Another good long shot to take a second look at. Has hit the ticket in 78% of her starts this season and can rush the turn on occasion. Also took one of the classic Derby pics ever with the "derp" tongue hanging out!
#5 Kb's Sophia ~ Rader Racing (5-1 Odds)
The best closer in this field. If Ethel has any trouble and Sophia is near the front, Rader Racing will be hoisting another Stakes Title. Seems like a lock to finish in the top 4 here.
#6 Atascocita Dago ~ Suncoast Racing (15-1 Odds)
Has an awful winning percentage with only 2 W's on the season but did get three place finishes in the Tourney. Will get a huge price in all forms of wagering today, but a decent play would be putting Dago in a Place/Show bet.
#7 Peddler ~ Ryan Racing (9-1 Odds)
Is the second fastest in the Final (37.61 secs) but drew a tough spot on the outside next to Camry and also preferring a rail position. Will try and get it in to win for trainer Henry Chin.
#8 Atascocita Camry ~ Suncoast Racing (3-1 Odds)
Absolutely is the biggest threat to Ethel Is Here for this championship. The best fire out of the box has been outstanding all tournament long, with three straight victories coming into the Final. Was the only greyhound to top Ethel in qualifying. Not real thrilled with Camry's box position on the outside, but with the break she has it might not matter. Camry will try and win Suncoast's first Derby title since 2009 when Starz Kwik brought it home.
*Ethel Is Here*
I picked her from the beginning and I think she gets it done here. Ethel Is Here may have to run down Camry or Beowulf to take the top prize in what could turn out to be one of the closest Derby finishes in history. The track record holder adds a new title to her resume....Stakes Winner.
Who do you have winning the Derby? Send me your picks on Facebook to Palm Beach Jason or on Twitter- @JasonPalmBeach
Good luck to all the athletes and teams in the Final!