St. Pete’s historic Derby Lane hosts the last greyhound race

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s the end of an era for the world’s oldest working greyhound track.

Sunday was the last day of live greyhound racing at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg. People were lining up 30 minutes to an hour before the doors opened.

Greyhounds ran around the track to Derby Lane since 1925. But

But as of December 31, 2020, greyhound racing on Florida tracks will be banned. That’s because voters in Florida passed Amendment 13 in 2018, approving the Dog Race Betting Ban Amendment.

Bill Woodrow and his two sons are just a few of the hundreds who attended the story on Sunday. It wasn’t Woodrow’s first time at Derby Lane, but it was a first for his sons.

“I thought I would get them to see the history of St. Petersburg,” said Woodrow. “It’s part of the excitement to be here.

Jim and Jacqui Burkowsi came from Englewood.

“We want to see him last time here and have memories,” the couple said. “Today is the end of an era, I think.”

Marketing director Alexis Winning said there were only three states left where dog races is legal: Iowa, Arkansas and West Virginia. She said Iowa and Arkansas will phase out racing by the end of next year.

“(The) majority of the dogs that raced in Derby Lane were adopted,” Winning said. “Some will return to the farm. We won’t just demolish everything, it will take time.

Winning said there are no plans for the future of the property at this time, but the poker room and simulcast areas will remain open for off-track horse betting.

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