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    Posted byadmin on Sunday, October 10 @ 09:49:32 EDT
    Contributed by admin

    By Steve Sigafoose

    Talk about a dream come true. “(Assistant trainer) Darrell (Holt) told me,” Harlan Brothers trainer Lori Fortune explained, “this morning she had a dream that Emerald would win.”

    The explanation came moments after Fortune had leaped into the air and thrust her arm across her body as Slatex Emerald had crossed the finish wire to win the $60,000 Fall Futurity at Bluffs Run Saturday, Oct. 2.

    There was a lot of confidence in the kennel for its greyhound.
    “(Assistant trainer) Joe Bloom,” said Fortune, “told me she was going to win. Ali Buda did the post position draw for us and she drew the one box. We wanted the one or the eight. She likes those boxes; they give her a little extra elbow room. She runs like she has an extra afterburner with the one box.”

    Her handlers confidence was a bit of a secret, the patrons sent Slatex Emerald off as the fifth favorite as the greyhounds left the boxes. Emerald broke third behind Keeper Wedgewood (Keeper-Red Rock) and All Access Pass (Plum Creek).

    Emerald and Keeper Lenox (Keeper-Red Rock), the qualifying round’s top point earner, beat the field to the first turn and in the process, squeezed out Keeper Wedgewood. Slatex Emerald took charge in the first turn and took command of the race entering the backstretch. Astar Tru Beauty (River Bluffs-Brian Smith) broke sixth from the seven box, worked her way to the rail and took over second from Keeper Lenox entering the backstretch.

    It was Slatex Emerald’s show in the backstretch despite a good push from Astar Tru Beauty.

    “I felt,” said Fortune, “if she got on top, we had one hell of a chance.”
    Beauty closed to within a half-length in the far turn before Emerald found another gear and opened up the lead in the top of the homestretch.
    “She can close,” said Fortune. “So I felt good in the homestretch.”

    The lead went out to four lengths before Emerald settle for an official win of 2 ½ lengths. “Emerald is part of a good litter (out of Kiowa Sweet Trey-Slatex Station),” said Fortune. “All four that we entered in the Fall Futurity won races. When we schooled them in the morning, Emerald was the poorest of the four, but she grew up the last two months.” Still smiling broadly, “I love winning a stakes,” said Fortune. “We love the competition. It’s the chance to win that keeps us going.”

    Love Bites (Legg) broke seventh, had some early trouble, then made up ground throughout the race. She made a terrific homestretch rush to grab second by a half-length. Astar Tru Beauty had to settle for third after her far turn challenge for the lead.

    Im Still A Guy (Legg) shook off first-turn trouble to rally late and grab fourth. Guy was eight lengths out and a half-length ahead of All Access Pass.

    The Keeper-Red Rock Kennel had a race to forget. Its three greyhounds finished sixth, seventh and eighth.

    Keeper Lenox, the favorite, was second in the first turn, then continued to lose ground to finish sixth.

    The highly-touted San Tan Superman broke last, went wide in the first turn and made no move in finishing seventh.

    Keeper Wedgewood popped the three box to start the race, but after being squeezed out of the lead early on, she was hit and dropped to last in the first turn. She never recovered.

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