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Derby Lane, originally named the St. Petersburg Kennel Club, is the oldest continuously operating greyhound track in the world.
Derby Lane sits on the edge of Tampa Bay, carved out of palmetto and pine forests. A lumber entrepreneur named T. L. Weaver expanded his timberland holdings and lumber operations to St. Petersburg, Florida during the land boom of the 1920s. He sold one pine tract to a group of local businessmen who constructed a greyhound track. Unable to pay their outstanding balance, the businessmen gave the track to Weaver's lumber company.
Derby Lane offers year-round greyhound racing betting and you can watch and wager on all of the action by setting up a free account with OffTrackBetting.com - US Legal Online OTB.
The club's inaugural race was held on the afternoon of January 3rd, 1925. Derby Lane, along with the Weaver family has been showcasing legendary champions to this day. Baseball Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Mickey Mantle watched the competition at Derby Lane during Spring Training season.
For decades, a live band entertained crowds as they cheered champion greyhounds competing for high honors.
Over the years, Derby Lane has embraced technological changes in odds computation, race draws, judging, and simulcasting to modernize the industry.Gaming options have also advanced with the addition of the Poker Room.
Derby Lane has welcomed a variety of entertainment other than greyhound racing, from concerts and beer tastes, to on-location shoots for major motion pictures. Award winning director Steven Soderbergh unleashed a trifecta of Hollywood celebrities at Derby Lane in 2001 to film scenes for his blockbuster movie, Ocean's Eleven. Superstars Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Carl Reiner turned heads for their scenes that included Derby Lane employees as film extras. in the box seat area. The circus tent scene featuring Clooney and Pitt, dubbed California, was actually staged in the Derby Lane parking lot.
Derby Lane is not only known for its 15 minutes of Hollywood fame. The star athletes that have performed here are the ones who truly deserve to be in the spotlight. In 1986, Derby Lane's Keefer was the most popular Greyhound in the nation. Greyhound Hall of Famer, Keefer, drew the largest crowd on track (12,779) for his victory in the 1986 Distance Classic. Keefer's story was featured in several magazines including the Wall Street Journal. Years after Keefer's passing, a book was penned in his honor.
Historic Hall of Famer, Rural Rube, graced the track oval and was so beloved that the industry named an award after him. The coveted Rural Rube award is presented to North America's most accomplished sprinter each year. Derby Lane athletes are the only ones to date that have captured the sport's Triple Crown. In 2000, Dominator lived up to his name and brought in the new millennium with a new award. Dominator was named All-America Team Captain (best greyhound in North America), received the Rural Rube award (best sprinter), and the Flashy Sir award (top distance) becoming the first North American Triple Crown champion. In 2004, Cayman Went became the second Triple Crown Champion, and in 2010 Flying Coal City became the third greyhound to have the Triple Crown honors bestowed upon him.
Derby Lane greyhounds remain a favorite among canine breeds. The Discovery Channel's Animal Planet featured a show about greyhounds, called Breed All About It. The Breed All About It story was voted most popular in the series.
Greyhound racing history has unfolded at this track. Derby Lane athletes are revered around the globe, and their popularity is unsurpassed.
Derby Lane offers races in two distances - 550 yards (5/16 of a mile) and 660 yards (3/8 of a mile). The track is 21 feet wide, features a straightaway of 243 feet and the length of the stretch is 458 feet. The track's surface contains regulated and maintained white sand.
A fountain and small manmade lake can be found in the middle of the infield. A small island of 5 palm trees on sand is in the middle of the lake, connected by a narrow bridge the short distance back to the mainly grassy infield.
There is a path which weaves through the middle of the infield, but it is not used very often, most often it is the photoshoot location for winners of major stakes races. Behind the winners circle there is a small warehouse type of building used for tote-board, lure, and gate electronic operations.
The lure is a standard inside rail lure known as an Alldritt lure, named for its inventor, Roy H. Alldritt. It runs on electricity. Originally named the Wonder Lure, it revolutionized oval track greyhound racing in 1937 - it was both reliable and kept the dogs interested in chasing it.
The lure at Derby Lane is called 'Hareson Hare' by the race callers. The announcer positions on the track are held by two people, however only one will work the day's races. Jim Peake has been the main track announcer since 1995 and performs most of the announcing duties.
The winner's circle is only used for major and stakes races, and weights and post positions are announced and filmed on track. The paddock is only used for dressing and weighing the dogs.
Jan 01 to Dec 31
Evenings: 7:00pm Friday and Saturday
Matinees: 12:30pm Monday - Saturday
10490 Gandy Boulevard
St. Petersburg, FL 33702
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