Palm Beach $20,000 Futurity Tournament Preview
*2013 Champion JS SpeedyPebbles*
The wait is over.
The beginning of the most wonderful time of the greyhound racing year finally is upon us, as the 18th running of the $20,000 Dick Andrews Futurity kicks off Wednesday afternoon at Palm Beach. 40 of the most talented puppies in the country will square off in their first ever stakes competition and will look to become an instant superstar with this tournament win.
The Final will be contested as always the day after Christmas. Which one of these up and comers will be hoisting the silverware like last years champion Kay Beowulf?
Here's our tourney preview for the Futurity competition at "The Beach."
O Ya Sunflower ~ Lester Raines Kennel
Can Lester Raines win their first Palm Beach Stakes event in their very first season here? It would surprise nobody if they did.
Raines sends in the most Grade A battle tested hound of them all into the Futurity with Sunflower. One of the only greyhounds in the tourney that has a top grade A victory and has been running against the best of the best for over two months. Solid rush and tough to catch on the lead.
Wicked Twista ~ North Shore Kennel
Another top class veteran. Twista is owned, trained and professionally photographed by Brianna Burkhart, who if you remember went on the ride of a lifetime last year in the 50K He's My Man pulling the stunning upset with Xtenshun. Twista owns the fastest split of any greyhound in this field (29.42 secs) and brings a lethal close to a tournament that lacks late burn.
Tc Carlos Gomez ~ Douglas Kennel
The most experienced racer in the field with 31 starts. Experience usually helps in these puppy stakes events. With how hot Douglas has been this season, don't be stunned if Gomez is one of the top point earners the next few weeks in this tourney.
Jack The Rat ~ Agganis Kennel
Comes in on a roll. Just advanced to Grade A last Saturday and has smoked the stopwatch in his last three starts (29.63, 29.72 & 29.71). Trained by veteran Bob Dawson, Rat will look to end the drought of stakes victories for their kennel and take home the Futurity for the very first time in team history.
JS Outlaw Legend ~ Koppe, Staats & Collins
Would send a worldwide fanbase into euphoria with a victory in the Final for owner Shannon Henry. One of the best rushers in the tourney, which many times can be enough to win stakes titles.
Too Tall Bobbied ~ Agganis Kennel
This has to be the best greyhound name in this field.
Blu Too Kersplat ~ Royal Racing
Royal Racing has done a tremendous job taking in the Blu Too athletes this season and would be quite a story if Kersplat or brother Blu Too Kapow could strike gold.
BallyWho Mary ~ B & B Racing
B & B has become quite familiar with hoisting trophies the past few seasons. Can Mary have their team screaming hallelujah for the very first time in the Futurity?
Amf Preposterous ~ B & B Racing
Has won three of four coming into the tourney and is Grade A certified.
AllAboutTheFame ~ Janie Carroll Kennel
Only has 5 starts this season under her belt, but has shown some blazing early speed already in her young career.
Longshots To Watch
Scooby's Velma ~ B & B Racing
Royal Fling ~ Royal Racing
Dutch Jackie ~ Lester Raines Kennel
Jesse Vargas ~ Rader Racing
"The DogFather" Tc's Todd Frazier ~ Douglas Kennel
Experience, speed, motivation. Wicked Twista & their team seem to have the right mojo heading into this tournament. The North Shore Kennel wins their first ever Futurity title and gives me one heck of a story to write about for the holidays.
Here's more predictions from our friends around the country in the industry.
Mike Bal - Host of The Backstretch Show on 95.9 FM The Palm
"Despite a tough matchup with Sunflower in Round 1, I'm going with Too Tall Bobbied to bring home the Dick Andrews hardware!"
Jeff Prince - Palm Beach Kennel Club Handicapper
"Of all the entries, I think O Ya Sunflower has the early speed and experience to win the championship."
Randy Birch - International Host of BigJackpotBetting.com
"Jack The Rat, love the name and really loved the game last weekend."
"Fastrack" Dale Simons - Palm Beach Track Announcer
"JS Outlaw Legend."
Steve Lesser "Paige" - Palm Beach Track Announcer
"Jack the Rat looks good coming into his own, just praying he gets the inside."
Benny The Boot - Backstretch Show Handicapper at 95.9 FM The Palm
Ramon Cadavieco - Palm Beach & Hollywood Track Announcer
"O Ya Sunflower for me."
Enjoy the tournament race fans and good luck to all greyhounds and owners!