by Steve Sigafoose 5/7/13
Switching gears in smooth style, Killer Dare of the Harlan Brothers Kennel rolled to the championship in the final of the $60,000 3-8 Mile Derby at Bluffs Run on Saturday, May 4.
How Killer Dare got to the provided just as much drama than the 82 pounder’s title run. The son of Gable Dodge-Slatex Sarah Liz, born Oct. 16, 2010, was enjoying an exceptional career as a sprinter. He was a second team All-American on the 5-16 mile course, collecting $170,990 in earnings in 2012.
However “Alan Hill (one of his owners) loves the 3-8 races,” explained Harlan Brothers trainer Lori Fortune. “He urged us to try Killer Dare in the 3-8.”
It wasn’t an easy decision.
“We struggled with it,” said Fortune, “so much so that he got his second start, he needed to have two starts in 3-8 to qualify, on the day the entries for the stakes were due.”
Killer Dare opened the Derby stakes with a 13-length win then had the kennel worried with a fifth and a fourth.
“He got tangled up when he finished fifth,” said Fortune, “and he got stepped on before he rallied for the fourth. We had to baby him before the semifinal race.”
Killer Dare faced a win or go home situation in the semifinal. Getting the one box, Dare exploded in the homestretch for a decisive six-length win.
“We want him,” said Fortune, “in the one or the eight box.”
“He had the one box,” added assistant trainer Joe Bloom, “when he missed setting the track record (at Bluffs Run) for the 5-16 course by only three one-hundredths of a second.”
Fate helped again as Killer Dare drew the one box for the championship run.
Killer Dare broke well in the championship race, second just behind Copy Cat (Plum Creek), who came out of the two box. It was critical for the pair to break well considering the short run from the 3-8 boxes to the first turn in the race.
Joining the pair was SH Limitless (Hardison), the top point earner in the four rounds of qualifying. He broke from the six box. Just behind the trio was Vision Revision (Plum Creek). Vision Revision, who won in each of the first three rounds of qualifying, broke from the eight box.
Swinging out of the first turn into the homestretch for the first time, it was Vision Revision taking the lead with Killer Dare second. Down the homestretch and entering the escape turn, Boc’s Steelforce (Boeckenstedt) claimed second from Killer Dare.
But the champion retook second as the field hit the midway point of the backstretch. That left Vision Revision to overtake and Killer Dare did that in the far turn. Once Dare took the lead in the far turn, the homestretch drive was a one greyhound show as Killer Dare pulled away for a six-length decision in a time of 39.18 seconds.
Killer Dare moves to 24-8-4-3 on the year.
Vision Revision, 17-6-3-4, easily took second.
SH Limitless, 22-6-3-3, rallied in the homestretch for third, 10 lengths behind. Boc’s Steelforce, 22-4-5-3, had to settle for fourth.
Nuts O (Plum Creek), 17-3-4-3, broke seventh, dealt with traffic and wide turns in a fifth-place finish. Kl’s Nessa (Legg), 21-6-4-4, broke last, was blocked early, stumbled, but rallied to take sixth.
VJ Splittin Aces (Legg), 19-3-3-2, was crowded early and blocked in the first turn on the way to settling for seventh. Copy Cat, 19-4-5-2, stumbled in the first turn and went wide in the far turn in finishing eighth.
As far as the purse goes, Killer Dare earns $30,000; Vision Revision $15,000; SH Limitless $6,000 and Boc’s Steelforce $3,000. The bottom four greyhounds each earn $1,500.
Now the debate goes on whether to run Killer Dare in the 5-16 or 3-8 races.
“We’ll just have to decide,” said Fortune while noting the 3-8 races do pay a bit more, “but we want to have him in the 5-16 stakes races, especially in the ($500,000) Iowa Breeders Classic.”