Slatex Slaton leads way in Whiteley

On Wednesday afternoon June 12, two important scratches of SOS Awesome from Currid Racing and Golddust Hades from D.Q. Williams Kennel reduced the number of Texas-bred competitors to twenty two and creating a mad scramble placing a premium on earning points in search of making the finals of the $50,000 Diane Whiteley Memorial Sprint Championship.

Leading the way into the all-important third round was Slatex Slaton of Bone Man Racing Kennel, the lone remaining unbeaten athlete in the stakes series drawing a more difficult #4 post position for her rail running style in race #10. Similar to her performance in round number one, the 62-pound black daughter of Trent Lee – Slatex Isabell surprisingly jumped out quickly from the 550-yard starting box to seize the lead ahead of speedball #2 Algoa Big Red of Currid Racing and #1 Kells Wild Bill of Libby Racing Kennels. Building a three length advantage around the first turn, this little girl means business and is peaking at the right time running away to an impressive 7½ length victory in the fastest time of the day at 29.86 seconds. Using the benefit of the #1 rail position again for the third consecutive race, Kells Wild Bill gave chase but had to settle for second best on this day while last year’s champion, Spry Derosa of K-Rod Kennel, gave an even effort for a third place finish but came up just shy of making the cut for the finals.

The thirteenth race finale was reduced to a field of six with the aforementioned scratches of SOS Awesome and Golddust Hades. With the absence of these two early speedballs, Kells Carlisle of Lingle Kennel took full advantage of the situation breaking to the front sporting the yellow colors of the #6 post position. With a slight one length lead around the first turn, the 74-pound fawn brindle son of Gable Wyatt – Tipp Violet turned away the early challenges of Also Rebel of K-Rod Kennel and Golden Star of Rader Racing, LLC and created some daylight to a two length margin at the top of the stretch. Refusing to be caught, Kells Carlisle earned a very important victory by two lengths propelling him into the championship finals. BWG Frankthetank of Big Water Kennel took advantage of the #1 post position to close ground and challenge in the stretch to finish in the place spot earning just enough points to also land a spot in the finals. Golden Star raced evenly throughout to finish in third place for the third straight occasion but failed to advance.

Atascocita Gray of Libby Racing Kennels followed up his eye opening 29.52 second round performance with another front running winning effort in race #5. Drawing the blue colors of the #2 post position for the third consecutive outing, the 76-pound fawn son of Lonesome Cry – Atascocita Sofia broke in the middle of the pack from the 550-yard starting box but used a furious rush passing early traffic to obtain a three length lead around the first turn. The remainder of the journey went unchallenged for the futurity champion from Southland Greyhound Park in West Memphis, Arkansas coasting home to a two length victory. Also Rainbow of K-Rod Kennel was in hot pursuit scoring a second place finish to advance into the championship finals. K-Rod Kennel kennelmate Ruff Flame chased the leaders to land in the show spot and also earning enough points to advance to the finals.

The $50,000 Diane Whiteley Memorial Sprint Championship final on Sunday afternoon June 16 is set as follows:
(1) Slatex Slaton – Bone Man Racing Kennel, trainer John Mitcham, Jr., owner Harlan Brothers Kennel, Inc.
(2) Kells Carlisle – Lingle Kennel, trainer David Lingle, owner John Dalton
(3) Atascocita Davy – Libby Racing Kennels, trainer Troy Tinney, owner Atascocita Racing
(4) Ruff Flame – K-Rod Kennel, trainer Cindy Unrein, owner Charter Kennel, Inc.
(5) Atascocita Gray – Libby Racing Kennels, trainer Troy Tinney, owner Atascocita Racing
(6) BWG Frankthetank – Big Water Kennel, trainer Sissy Sabell, owner David Dickson
(7) Also Rainbow – K-Rod Kennel, trainer Cindy Unrein, owner Charter Kennel, Inc.
(8) Kells Wild Bill – Libby Racing Kennels, trainer Troy Tinney, owner Kevin Muckleroy

Good luck to all of the participants
By Ron Godfroy