Herstal Wins 770 Challenge

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Kelly Clark

November 30th, 2016

The finals of the 2016 Thanksgiving Marathon Challenge were a highly-contested race made up for the greyhounds that finished 1-4 in their qualifying heats. Loads on talent was on tap, with the track record holder and former 770 stakes winner in the mix, along with several other tough grade A competitors. Previewing this race, we said it might come down to who wanted it more, and that is exactly what happened when the box opened on Friday evening November 25th at bestbet Jacksonville.

As the lure bounced through the escape turn and up the backstretch, the box popped open in the finals of the 2016 Thanksgiving Marathon Challenge, and the track record holder, Herstal, made the lead. Driving up the backside, the closer was in command, but it was not going to stay that way for long. Chasing right alongside was the always breaking and running threat Atascocita Warm, and the 2nd time over the distance runner Lk’s Centuria. By the far turn Herstal had been outrushed and Centuria took over command of this race. Running free on the lead, she stretched out her margin and by the finish line the first time around, she was 5 lengths clear of the rest. Atascocita Warm was next best as Herstal was now in third and was followed closely by 770 stakes winner Barts Risingstar and Lee Sally. On through the escape turn the greyhounds went and Lk’s Centuria was in complete control, but the big dogs had started their run and this race was taken shape to be a lot closer at the wire than what it appeared just seconds ago. Down the backside, Centuria continued the lead, but Herstal and Risingstar were making up ground on the lead. But the far turn that 5-length margin had evaporated and Herstal was just a length off, and Barts Risingstar was behind by 3 as they rounded the corner for home. In the stretch Centuria dug in deep and gave it everything she had, but you should remember who was behind her. Half way home the undeniable thing happened. Herstal slipped past on the rail and drove by just far enough for the slim win at the wire. Centuria gave a great effort up top and was just off in second place at the wire after surrendering in the stretch. After a slower start, Risingstar made up a big amount of ground throughout in this race and had to settle for show. Lee Sally chased the leaders for most this race and gets the best of the rest card in 4th position at the wire. Completing the field was Se’s Draft Pick in 5th, Island Magic in 6th, early threat Atascocita Warm in 7th, and Braska Smoothie in 8th .

Watch the replay HERE.

For the betting public, everyone seemed to be dialed in on this race. The top three favorites finished in the trifecta, as the Quiniela paid $13.60, the Prefecta paid $53.70, the Trifecta paid $82.00, and the Superfecta paid $138.70.

Congratulations head out to Herstal, owners Bob Hardison and Harrision, Trainer Jim Rae, the Clear Lakes Racing Crew, and everyone else connected with this quickest of the quick runner of all time over the marathon course here at bestbet Jacksonville. Showing up when she needed to, I guess the 5th time was the charm for this little lady. Finally, she got the job done in the finals of a stakes event. Plenty of more distance races will be on the horizon of this fantastic runner and who know, maybe even some more stakes titles in the future.