Stakes Preview: $25,000 George Kellas Memorial Sprint Stakes Round 1 at Wheeling Downs on June 18, 2013

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Eb Netr

June 18th, 2013

The six races of the Sprint Stakes start in the sixth race on Tuesday afternoon at the WV track. The stakes is named for George Kellas, one of the founders of the "Round Up the Hounds" radio show and a friend to greyhound racing for many years until his death in 2009. Forty-eight greyhounds will compete for a berth in the next round and there is a lot of talent on display here.

In the 6th race, there are two greyhounds with three wins in their last three races and they're side by side. CTU Famous Rose in the 2 box and WW's Fuzzy in the 3 box will probably be the two favorites and for good reason. WW's Fuzzy would be my top pick, but they'll also have to fend off SE's High Octane, who will be closing on them and WW's Kay Quarter who is always in the mix early and late.

The second stakes race on the card, Race 8, isn't easy to figure out. The dog with the best breaking advantage and most class is Go Bon Coaltrain in the 8 box. With 14 wins and 3 seconds out of 27 races, it's obvious that this guy will be gunning for the lead and will probably get it and keep it. WW's Grover, one of the young guns at Wheeling, might be on his heels, closing at the wire. CTW Ford Deluxe is where he likes to be and will also be closing in the stretch. Then there's Whiskey Annie, who placed in the recent 3/8ths stakes here. Will she do as well in the sprint stakes?

Race 10 has WW's Tear Down, third place finisher in the 3/8ths stakes races at Wheeling. He's been schooled in a sprint with a good showing and should be able to handle the shorter distance. Cry Poseidon, who has been off since January, is a complete mystery but was a solid AA dog before the layoff.  WWK Spain Yellow and RC Outlaw can close and are always in contention in the stretch, given running room.

There's a lot of early speed in the 12th race and most of it is on the outside or midtrack. Flying Lone Wolf, Kiowa Apple Tiki, RC Lone Sum and Jumper Jack will want the lead, which might make for some bumping and a shake up on the first turn. Look for a closer to take advantage of this, maybe WW Blarney Stone or AMF Ex President.

Whiskey Ash and AMF Can Can look to be the ones to beat in the 13th race. Another solid AA entrant, Cry Comal, is in the 6 box to their left and may make the trifecta an outside one if she holds true to the winning form she's been showing in most of her AA races.

In the 14th race, Kebo Greta Garbo wants to be alone - at the wire - and does just that in most of her races. CTW Esteban, WWK Win Day and Tango might try to join her though. And if WW Kay Boxer, who has had outside boxes in most of his last 6 races, takes advantage of the inside box, he might be the surprise winner of this round.

The second round of the stakes will take place on Sunday, June 23rd. The semifinals are on Friday, June 28th and the final will be held on Thursday afternoon, July 4th.

Remember that you can play and watch this series on Bet America where greyhound programs are always free. Good racing luck and safe trips to all the runners on Tuesday's card.