DS LIBRA $60,000 TEAM SURVIVOR CHAMPION
by Steve Sigafoose 4/6/14
DS Libra took the early lead then responded to a hard challenge late in the homestretch to secure the championship in the final of the $60,000 Team Survivor Saturday, April 5, at Bluffs Run.
Left to Right:
Dale Bean, Sam and Lynn Walsh, Mark Pendgraft â€“ Racing Coordinator, David Sullivan, Alex Osborne, Katherine Steel, Greg Steel, Martin Espinoza â€“ Leadout, Christy Osborne â€“ Asst. Trainer, Ray Smith â€“ Kennel Helper, Ray Falanga â€“ Kennel Helper.
The rugged stakes, which started with 120 greyhounds, had been pared to two after six rounds of survive and advance racing.
Left to compete in the title race was DS Libra from the Bean & Stout Kennel and JD Happy Tears from the Hardison Kennel.
Coming from the three box, Happy Tears broke on top, but Libra, out of the six box, took the lead half way down the front stretch.
Libra reached the first turn ahead by two lengths. She maintained that margin though the backstretch and into the far turn.
Then JD Happy Tears made a move.
â€śShe ran a really good race,â€ť said Hardison Kennel owner Bob Hardison. â€śComing up the stretch, I thought she would catch Libra.â€ť
As the two ladies moved into the top of the homestretch, Happy Tears sliced into the lead. The difference was narrowed to three-quarters of a length, then half a length as the pair reached the middle of the homestretch.
â€śWe didnâ€™t underestimate Happy Tears,â€ť said Bean & Stout trainer Joe Osborne, â€śbut in a two-greyhound race, there is an advantage to late speed.â€ť
Libra â€śfound another gear,â€ť acknowledged Hardison, and moved back out to a two-length margin at the wire. She won in a time of 30 seconds flat, half a second faster than any other winner at the track during the Saturday performance.
Nobody expects a title but â€śwhile she is young,â€ť said Osborne, â€śwe knew she has a lot of talent and we did expect her to win a few races.â€ť
All DS Libra had to do was beat her one opponent in each round of the Team Survivor to advance. What she did was win in five of the six rounds leading up the title run. The one round she didnâ€™t win, Libra placed second, still good enough to beat her opponent and advance. For the season DS Libra is 17-8-7-0.
â€śWeâ€™re extremely proud of her,â€ť said Osborne.
JD Happy Tears, 18-2-4-4, played the survive and advance game to the hilt to reach the title run. She finished second, third, fourth and fifth, three times, in the rounds leading up to the championship. But, in each case, it was better than her opponent and Happy Tears advanced.
â€śHappy Tears,â€ť said Hardison, â€śis one of our stronger greyhounds.â€ť
â€śI want to congratulate,â€ť said Osborne, â€ś(Hardison Kennel trainer) Darren Flahive and Bob Hardison for a very competitive race.â€ť
DS Libra went off at 1-9 odds and paid $2.20 to win in the win only wagering race. JD Happy Tears went off at 9-5.
Breaking down the purse, DS Libra gets $30,000 for the win and JD Happy Tears gets $15,000 for second place.
For making the Final Four, Pat C Sabbath (Filipelli/Miner) and Akiyama (Hardison) each received $4,500.
For making the Elite Eight, VJ Flip Flop (Seastrom-Lovely), Killer Roc (Harlan Brothers), Runningshoeson (Plum Creek) and Princess Maddy (Seastrom-Lovely) each received $1,500.