Gary Samuels is a greyhound racing enthusiast, wagering on the dogs and co-owning them. In this year’s National Greyhound Association (NGA) Fall Meet, Gary, along with Norm Rader of Rader Racing and Mike Dawson, purchased TWPA Harper, as well as his litter mate, TWPA Hope. We recently spoke with Gary to hear his story in the greyhound racing industry, learning about his start in ownership along the way.
Gary learned about greyhound racing at the young age of 12. When Palm Beach Kennel Club raced seasonally, Gary’s dad would take him to the track to watch the schooling races. During this time, Gary was able to play the dogs with “funny money,” giving him the opportunity to learn a lot about wagering on greyhounds. Over the years, Gary enjoyed heading to the track to wager on the hounds, but in 2006 his joy for greyhound racing extended past the gambling side. It was then that Gary ended up co-owning a few pups with his friend, who was involved in owning and racing greyhounds. The greyhounds ended up doing quite well and, just like that, Gary was bitten by the dog owning bug, having now co-owned 75-100 pups.
“When you get your first dog and he is one of the best dogs at the track, you get the itch back.”
Nobooth for Gary was Gary’s first hound, who was a stakes winner of Palm Beach Kennel Club’s 2007 Bob Balfe Puppy Stake, Night of the Stars XX, and the 75th Anniversary Hot Box Feature. His resume also includes being a finalist in the 2007 Grand Classic and he was Win leader at Palm Beach for the 2007-08 season. Nobooth for Gary is one of Gary’s favorite pups, not only because he was his first dog, but also because he was a fantastic racer. A couple other favorites include KB’s Clear Rock and Hereforagoodtime.
Over the years of co-owning greyhounds, Gary has learned a lot. The first thing being to not try to make decisions on what the dog should be doing. Gary explained that should be left to the trainer, who really does know what is best for each pup.
When purchasing hounds, Gary looks for certain racing styles that will fit specific tracks. When purchasing TWPA Harper and TWPA Hope, Gary and Norm felt that they had the potential to be great racers who could end up at Southland. As of now, both the pups have broken in well, excelling in their schooling races and currently moving their way up the grades at Palm Beach Kennel Club. In fact, TWPA Hope is live in Palm Beach’s Dick Andrews Futurity. She will be racing from the 4 box in Monday’s Semi-Finals in race 12 of the matinee card and we can’t wait to see how she does. Additionally, Gary explained that he has early speed dogs that race well at Palm Beach because their track is a little shorter and tends to favor early speed.
“There’s a term in horse racing called ‘horses for courses.’ Yesterday, was the Breeders’ Cup and Arrogate does not like to run at Del Mar and ran really bad; just doesn’t like that track. When I purchase a dog, it’s called hounds for grounds. You want to buy a dog that has the style to run at a specific track. Now, does it always work out like that? Of course not, but that’s what you’re looking for.”
Currently, Gary and Norm have three or four greyhounds actively running at Palm Beach, Jacksonville, and Southland. They also have a litter on the farm of about four dogs that are 11 months old. Having a great relationship with Norm, Gary really enjoys co-owning hounds with him, as well as one of his other friends.
“It makes it fun because we’re all friends so it gives us something to talk about when we’re all partners with the dogs.”
This is the key for Gary and the reason why he enjoys co-owning greyhounds. He loves the joy that comes from owning greyhounds and the camaraderie formed with those he co-owns them with.
“If I make a few bucks, even better, but I really do just enjoy the fun of it.”
We would like to thank Gary Samuels for speaking with us and sharing his story in the greyhound racing industry. One of our main goals is to promote the greyhound industry. Do you work in it or know someone who does? Would you be interested in being featured in our blog or podcast? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.