Blog Spotlight: David Strong

DavidStrong

After Greyhound Channel sponsored a stakes race at the National Greyhound Association’s (NGA) Spring Nationals, a letter of thanks was received from the owner / breeder of the winning dog. The signator was a well-respected, second generation dog man and the son of legendary Wayne Strong. Strong Sr.’s past charges includes Hall of Famers Miss Gorgeous, Presentation, and Rooster Cogburn, to name a few. Although David Strong now breeds and sells greyhounds, it wasn’t always this way.

David was born in Norfolk, Nebraska, but landed in Abilene, Kansas, to start third grade. The family settled a farm where David developed a vigorous work ethic learning that there is no clock for dog men. There, Strong Sr. established Wayne Strong Kennel, and mother Janet handled all things domestic including David, his brother and four sisters. She continues a thirty year career at the local elementary school serving special needs students.

David played football and wrestled before graduating from Abilene High School in 1980. After completing construction trade school and studying wind energy at Cloud Community College, he worked two years for Upwind Solutions. However, he eventually returned to greyhound racing because of his love of canine athletes and gambling. Perhaps it was due to genetics as he ran Sr.’s kennel full time, charged with handling the likes of Rooster’s Spur, another Hall of Famer. Under David’s care, the white and red brindle male scored over $162,000.00, spanning a ninety four starts career. Eventually, he established Blue Sky Kennel. He recalled that his favorite track to run was the now defunct Multnomah Greyhound Park in Wood Village, Oregon, because the staff was easy going and pleasant.

In 2003, David put his construction skills to good use, building his farm including a home in Solomon, Kansas. He keeps only five or six broods and his best litter picks compete and sell at Nationals while the rest are sold privately. He also owns and operates Kansas Transportation Company, a hauling business. Wife Marcie is employed at the same school as his mother. Sons Andrew and Carson, ages 28 and 26 years old respectively, are FedEx employees. For a nominal fee, David transports retired racers, broods, and studs to select adoption groups in the states and Canada for permanent placement because it’s the right thing to do.

With his down time, whenever that happens, he watches and pulls for the NFL Seattle Seahawks and his native state’s Big 10 Conference Nebraska Cornhuskers. Mark Twain once said, “Golf is a good walk spoiled”, but not for David who’s out on the course two or three times a week during the summer happy to score an eighty three or eighty four. Right now he’s pulling for Kansas native and monster driver Gary Woodland ranked 12th in the world to make the cut at the British Open. But what makes him most happy is the birth of his first grandchild, Kenley, born June 2nd of this year … Greyhound Channel hopes she grows up to carry the greyhound torch for a third generation of Strongs. Watch for her.

We would like to thank David Strong for taking a moment to speak with us about greyhound racing and his experience in the 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? Contact us at custserv@greyhoundchannel.com.

This Week With The Professor: Long Distance Decisions

LongDistance

The reason that trainers run greyhounds in longer distance races are because they are either good breakers but not fast enough to get clear in sprints, or they are slow out of the box and are finishing well in sprints. Unlike in horse racing, when a dog is finishing well, it is not because they are speeding up at the end of the race, they are just keeping up their speed during the race and not getting as tired as the other dogs. For that reason, if the greyhound is showing speed in a longer race, that does not usually mean that the dog will show enough speed in a sprint, against faster dogs, to get clear. They will have to outfinish the speed dogs to compete. This does not mean that they will not do that, but their front running style in the longer race will be different in the sprint.

Also, the reason the trainer is dropping the greyhound to the sprint is important. The dog may be tired and they are trying to freshen them up a bit. It may also be a tactic to get the dog lowered a grade, along with the rest, so that when they are put back into the longer races, they will be rested and lowered in grade to get a win. The exception to the rule is if the trainer has put the greyhound in the longer distance for a few races, to stretch them out a bit, and then puts them back into a sprint. This may drop them in grade and then they have a good chance of running well when swithched back to their normal distance.

pawprints

Do you have a question for The Professor? Leave a comment below and you could receive a $2 wagering credit to your Greyhound Channel account if your question is featured in The Professor’s blog article!

Blog Spotlight: Steve Schiferl

SteveSchiferl

If there is one thing we can all agree on it is that greyhounds are FAST, 45 mph fast to be exact. That means, capturing photos of greyhounds can be a difficult task and takes a keen eye. That is something that Steve Schiferl has, snapping amazing shots of greyhounds both during their racing careers and after. Speaking with Steve, it is clear that he truly loves greyhounds. Whether acting as Vice President of Greyhound Pets of America (GPA) or capturing gorgeous photos of greyhounds, Steve’s life seems to revolve around the hounds that we all love.

Steve’s love for greyhounds started 23 years ago when his roommate had adopted a greyhound. Steve was able to get a firsthand experience with a greyhound and fell in love with the amazing breed. About one year later, Steve adopted his first greyhound, Tom Tom. Being so smitten with greyhounds, it wasn’t long before Steve joined the GPA Wisconsin board to help find homes for retired racers.

 

“These people are just amazing…I fell in love with the industry and the people.”

Working with GPA over the years, Steve participated in many greyhound adoption events. It was at one event that a photographer was brought in to get pictures of the hounds. This was before digital cameras, so it was special to have a photographer capture wonderful pictures of the greyhounds at the event. That experience gave Steve a bit of an itch for photography. Once digital cameras and camera phones made an appearance, Steve and his colleagues had a lot of fun taking pictures of the pups. This, ultimately, led Steve into getting his first digital camera. As he gained experience snapping photos of the greyhounds and trying out various camera lenses, Steve realized that he wanted to take a shot at capturing pictures of the greyhounds while they raced. This opportunity opened up last year for Steve when he was able to get great photos of the hounds racing at Iowa Greyhound Park. Having such a wonderful experience at Iowa Greyhound Park, Steve also visited Wheeling Island where he was able to get action shots of the hounds racing.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When taking photos at the track, first thing Steve does is make sure that he has a program on hand so that he can note who he is taking photos of that day. He then sets up his camera and takes various pictures of the greyhounds before, during, and after they race. While Steve enjoys watching greyhounds race, he is not able to actually see the races while he’s taking photos because he is looking through a lens and is focusing on a certain point of the track or a specific greyhound. Once Steve is finished capturing photos for the day, he then goes through them to find the ones that turned out well. With Steve taking photos for up to twelve races, he can end up with 1,000 pictures from each visit, so this last step can take awhile. Seeing the photos is always fun for Steve, though, because he loves capturing the beauty and passion of a greyhound.

“To see the look in their eyes, the intensity, the love that they have… You can see it in the pictures.”

Being involved in the greyhound racing industry for so long, Steve has many memories that he treasures, but the very first greyhound he adopted would have to be his favorite. That decision and experience made Steve fall deeper in love with greyhounds, leading him to adopt 14 greyhounds over the years. In terms of memories taking pictures at the track, Steve’s favorite was a rainy visit to Iowa Greyhound Park on September 2nd of last year. Steve ended up capturing one of his favorite photos so far, an amazing shot of DS Rudolph running around the turn.

DSRudolph
DS Rudolph in race 12 at Iowa Greyhound Park on 9/2/18

Steve loves capturing the greyhounds in their racing element. Not only does he enjoy the experience of taking the photos and seeing the results for himself, but he loves giving the photos to those that will enjoy them too. For Steve, the best part of his photography hobby is giving the photos to those who share his love for greyhounds. Having a greyhound’s adopted family get to see their pup in action during their racing career through Steve’s photos is something special because it gives the adopters a peak at the previous years of their greyhound’s life that they did not get to see or experience. On the flip side of that, greyhound racing owners and trainers get to see the hounds they worked with and loved in their retired life via Steve’s photos of adoption events. Steve also hopes that his pictures will bring awareness to the public so that they can see the owners, trainers, and handlers walking the dogs out and loving on them. Perhaps it will pique people’s interest in the greyhound racing industry so that they visit a track or kennel and check it out, see it through their own eyes, and enjoy themselves.

“There’s a lot of big hearts in the industry.”

 

We would like to thank Steve Schiferl for taking the time to speak with us and share his wonderful involvement with greyhounds. Greyhound Pets of America is a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation founded in 1987, and is the largest single non-profit Greyhound adoption group worldwide. Since opening its doors in 1987, Greyhound Pets of America Chapters have worked together to adopt over 80,000 Greyhounds into loving homes. 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? Contact us at custserv@greyhoundchannel.com.

This Week With The Professor: Hot Kennels

HotKennels

One handicapping factor that is sometimes overlooked is the “hot kennel” factor. It is  a know fact that kennels get hot and of course vice versa. There can be many reasons that a kennel may get hot and it seems like all the greyhounds in that kennel run to their peak performance.

One reason may be that the trainer has wormed the kennel. This is done periodically (more frequently in warm climates) to rid the dogs of parasites that they may have picked up. A lot of times this leads to the greyhounds feeling better and running well. If the kennel had gone flat and then picks up, a lot of the dogs had gone down in grade and when feeling well again, quickly go back to their proper grade.

Another reason could be a change in feed, or training routine. This will often lead to the greyhounds uptick in performance. I can give you an example of this. I once had a kennel owner running a kennel in Florida ask me to take over his kennel because the greyhounds performances had fallen off dramatically. When I went into the kennel, I discovered that the trainer had been giving the greyhounds too many supplements in their feed. The kennel was quiet and the dogs listless. I immediately changed the feed to strickly meat and meal. Within a week, the dogs were more lively and noisy in the kennel. The greyhounds were all down in grade and immediately started winning and running at their top level. We were the leading kennel, by far, for a few weeks and I had several trainers come and ask me what we were doing to get the dogs to run so well. I said, “nothing, just went back to basics.” The dogs had been given so many vitmains that their body chemistry had become toxic. In conclusion, watch out when kennels get hot and use that knowledge to improve your chances of picking winners.

pawprints

Do you have a question for The Professor? Leave a comment below and you could receive a $2 wagering credit to your Greyhound Channel account if your question is featured in The Professor’s blog article!

Blog Spotlight: 2019 NGA Spring Meet

NGASpringMeet2019

The National Greyhound Association’s (NGA) 2019 Spring Meet took place April 15th through April 20th where we sponsored one of the Meet’s races. The Greyhound Channel Stake took place in race 11 on Thursday, April 18th, with the beautiful pup SR Swiss Caco, owned by David Strong and John Robinson, winning the race. The black female, born January of 2018, trailed throughout, but kicked in the late speed in the final stretch for the win.

 

SRSwissCaco
Pictured: Marlisa Jackson, Bubit Collins, Thomas Suggs, and SR Swiss Caco.

Overall, the NGA Spring Meet was a success with an impressive auction. The following is an article by Jim Gartland, detailing the auction action.

NGA Wraps Up Another Successful Auction

By the time the last bids were in and the 2019 spring auction was over, many long time attendees were shocked by the final numbers. Going into the spring meet, many thought this would be a small auction as the 159 total pups entered was one of the smallest groups in memory for an NGA meet.

After four days of racing, the consignors walked their charges into the ring at Sterl Hall beginning with the youngsters on Friday night and continuing with the older pups on Saturday morning. When the dust settled, 101 greyhound puppies had been sold for a total of $1,082,000!

The top selling greyhound was CTW Shadow Star who is owned by David Peck of Texas. Shadow Star went to Mr. Lester Raines for a cool $73,000. Overall, Texas breeders amassed a total of $869,750 in sales for the auction.

The top seller in the meet was Kenneth Biehle of Texas who sold 38 pups for a whopping $483,500 and who was last seen heading out of town with a big smile on his face. The biggest buyer at the meet was Tim Ertl of Iowa who bought nearly $135,750 worth of racing stock.

2019 NGA Spring Auction Stats

Pups Consigned: 159

Sold: 101

Total: $1,082,000.00

Average: $10,712.87

Online Activity

Individual Online buyers: 9

Total Lots Sold: 18

Total Sales: $109,000

GROSS: 101 lots, selling to 39 different buyers for $1,082,000

Auction results by lot

Silent auction results

JimGartlandJim Gartland, National Greyhound Association (NGA) Executive Director.

Blog Spotlight: Jenn Boswell

Banner

Our blog articles frequently discuss and take a look at greyhound racing, speaking with trainers, owners, track announcers, and others in the industry. Another big and important aspect of the greyhound racing industry is the amazing adoption groups involved in placing retired racers with their forever homes. We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jenn Boswell, the director of adoption for Alabama Greyhound Adoption Center (AGAC) and wanted to share her experiences and wonderful information about AGAC with you.

Jenn Boswell’s first experience with greyhounds was as a child through her Godmother who owned racing greyhounds. She fell in love with them so much so that her first job in 1996 was a leadout at Birmingham Race Course. When it was time to head to college, she left the track but found that she couldn’t stay away from the greyhounds. In 2009, she became the assistant director of the AGAC and then the director of adoption in 2015.

“I fell in love with them and loved their gentle demeanor.”

From Nova Scotia, Canada, on the East Coast all the way to Portland, Oregon, on the West Coast, the AGAC works with several adoption groups totaling over 40. With the adoption groups spanning the US and Canada, large and long hauls of greyhounds are typical. During these trips, many breaks are taken to feed and walk the pups. While they sleep on the road, at least one person stays in the vehicle with the greyhounds as a precaution to make sure everything is well throughout the night. Each haul usually has 20 to 30 greyhounds, depending on how far they are traveling.

One of the things that makes the AGAC unique is that they have a box truck as their transportation vehicle that they converted to house the greyhounds during their hauls. The idea began with former Director of Adoption Melony Cleveland and Jenn. Trailers carrying greyhounds are made with precautions to ensure that the greyhounds are comfortable and safe during travel. Melanie and Jenn took it a step further thinking how great it would be if they had something like an RV for transporting the greyhounds because then they would know right away if anything was off with the pups area and someone could head back to check on them. That idea grew and came into fruition when they raised funds to convert a box truck into their vision. That box truck was named Eleanor. Some of the amazing features in Eleanor include a sleeping space of a queen bed for resting during travel, a sitting space for extra passengers, heavy insulation throughout the truck, kennels for the greyhounds to stay in, and an AC unit, box fans, and oscillating fans for the space to stay at the perfect temperature. They also replaced the rolling back door of the truck with a wall and regular door to help insulate the space. All of these features have made travel much easier for the drivers and greyhounds and have allowed all to be comfortable during extremely high and low temperatures.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

At the AGAC, Jenn’s job can often be described as a hound traffic controller since she makes sure that all the adoption groups they work with can get some greyhounds in an appropriate time frame and in a specific rotation. Jenn also helps with local home placements of greyhounds and small pet testing to see whether a greyhound would be good in a home with a small dog or cat. The business aspect of her job is making sure that everything is running smoothly for all the greyhounds, her crew, and volunteers.

“We want to make sure that every greyhound has their chance at a couch.”

When asked what Jenn’s favorite thing about working at the AGAC is, she states that hands down it’s the dogs. Jenn was once told a quote by DQ Williams, “If you love it, you will never see yourself doing anything different.” That has rung very true for Jenn as she cannot imagine doing anything different than working with greyhounds. Jenn has found that as she takes care of the greyhounds, they seem to return the favor by taking care of her. It’s what made her fall in love with the breed and her job. Jenn has also been able to meet wonderful people through the greyhound racing adoption industry, some of which have become a family to her.

“Once you adopt a greyhound, you’ve been adopted into a family.”

With as many greyhounds as Jenn has placed in homes, estimating somewhere over 30,000 pups, it is hard to have a standout memory because there are so many. Two special moments did come to mind right away for Jenn, though. One case was with a greyhound named Ace. They had a family coming in with a paraplegic man who was unsure about adopting a greyhound because he thought they were too hyper. They decided to show him Ace who, as soon as he was let out of his crate, went straight to the man and gently rested his head on his lap. There was an instant connection between the two and the man looked at them and said that Ace was the one. Another instance was with Pat C My Biznes (Biz) who adored children. During a visit to a children’s hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, Biz would not leave one boy’s side. No amount of coaxing would take him away from the boy. When the child had to go back to his bed, Biz followed him to the elevator where the boy waved goodbye. Later, Jenn was told that the family was so grateful for Biz because they have that memory of their son happy and smiling with Biz, which occurred just a few hours before the boy passed away. It’s memories like these that make Jenn’s job so special.

Jenn_Greyhound

Jenn’s greyhound adoption experiences have also taken place on the personal side with her owning many retired racers herself. One greyhound, CTW Snorklunicrn (Moose), was named by Jenn. Jenn got to meet Moose at just a couple hours old, following him from birth to his first race, to his last race, and then into retirement where he came home to live with her. Though all of her own greyhounds have a special place in her heart, there is something extra special about having the experience of knowing your greyhound from birth through retirement.

As National Adopt a Greyhound Month comes to an end, it is wonderful to speak with Jenn to hear about her personal stories with greyhound adoption and the details of the AGAC. If you are interested in adopting, fostering, or volunteering your time to greyhounds, contact your local greyhound pet adoption organization for more information.

We would like to thank Jenn Boswell for taking the time to speak with us and share her wonderful experiences working with greyhounds. The Alabama Greyhound Adoption Center is a 501 C 3 non profit greyhound adoption center located at the Birmingham Race Course. They are a pro-racing greyhound adoption group dedicated to the re-homing of retired Greyhounds who work with several fellow pro-racing and racing neutral greyhound adoption groups across the United States and Canada. 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? Contact us at custserv@greyhoundchannel.com.

This Week With The Professor: Day or Night – Does it Matter?

DayOrNight

Absolutely! There are several reasons why you should consider whether the race you are handicapping is on a matinee or evening card. It is commonly known that early speed greyhounds fare better in matinee racing than night racing. the reason for this is hotly debated among racegoers, but not knowing the exact reason does not negate the fact that it is true.

It is also true that the inside greyhounds break faster in matinee races than evening races. The reason for this may be that the light is better in the day, or less glare from the lights to bother the inside hounds. The inside dogs should break better as they are the first to see the lure.

Another factor is that some greyhounds like to run during the day better than at night, or vice versa, which also may have something to do with the better light and their vision. Bottom line is, this can definitely be a factor that can help you to pick more winners, so be sure and take these factors into consideration when handicapping.

pawprints

Do you have a question for The Professor? Leave a comment below and you could receive a $2 wagering credit to your Greyhound Channel account if your question is featured in The Professor’s blog article!

 

Jiminy Reno and BGR Monster Top Vote Getters for Rural Rube & Flashy Sir by Jim Gartland

RuralRubeFlashySir2018

Derby Lane sprinter Jiminy Reno and all around distance star, BGR Monster have captured the NGA’s annual Awards; In a tight race, Jiminy Reno out nosed FGF Chisum for the Rural Rube while BGR Monster easily outpaced Cool It Now for the Flashy Sir in this year’s voting.

Voting was tight in the Rural Rube contest. In a very competitive race, three greyhounds received double digit votes. In the end Jiminy Reno won out over FGF Chisum and Konomi. 10 other greyhounds each received at least one vote in the balloting.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Owned by James Morgan and Kathleen Hastings of Colorado and raced by the Cal Holland Kennel, Reno picked up a couple of stake wins, was named Captain of the All American Team and captured the National Win Title to put a stamp on an outstanding 2018.

Not yet three years old, this fine greyhound out of Alivefortomorrow-Oceania started out the year a bit slow, actually dropping into grade B twice before settling in around mid-March. From there he took off and would never look back. He rattled of win streaks of 6, 12, 4 and 7 at various points throughout the year. The 12 race streak included a win in the Remembrance Stake on May 28.

In September he would win two rounds of qualifying on his way to a victory in the finals of the $50,000 Husker Magic Stake, winning by an easy four lengths. That win would put him over the $50,000 mark in career earnings.

As part of a seven race win streak would also capture the Howl-O-Ween Stake. The last win in that seven race streak turned out to be his last of the year, even though he would finish in the money six more times before a minor injury sidelined him in mid-December. He would, however, be invited to, and participate in, the Naples 550 in January as one of the nation’s best sprinters.

He finished the 2018 campaign with a record of 77-45-10-6-0 for a win rate of 58% as well finishing in the money nearly 80% of the time. His 45 wins were tops in the country for all individual greyhounds in 2018. Congratulations to all the connections of Jiminy Reno!

Voting wasn’t as close in the Flashy Sir contest as BGR Monster won going away as the nation’s best distance greyhound. The Monster more than tripled the votes received by second place finisher, Cool It Now.

 

BGR Monster
BGR Monster after winning the 2018 $40,000 Naples Derby.

 

BGR Monster is a black son of Boc’s Tony Romo-Boc’s Jennyfinch and is owned by Brad Boeckenstedt. He broke in at Naples late in 2017 and after winning his maiden and D races, struggled a little bit in sprint races. After just eight official starts he was switched over to the longer 3/8ths distance and never looked back. Just 10 starts later he was entered into qualifying for the $40,000 Naples Derby. Winning 3 of 4 qualifying rounds he would enter the finals as the third favorite and cruise to a two length win in the championship.

After the Derby win, Boeckenstedt packed him off to Southland to compete in the Great American Greyhound Futurity. He picked up four wins, a third and a fourth in qualifying to make the final field of eight. Drawing the dreaded eight hole in the final, he encountered trouble at the turn and finished fifth in the championship, won by Fiesta Mountain.

Immediately after the Futurity he switched over to the tough 703 yard course at Southland and picked up right where he had left off at Naples earlier in the year, picking up win after win leading up to the $125,000 Marathon Stakes in October. He would win three of four qualifying rounds (one by 11 lengths) and finish 2nd in the other. As the even money favorite he ran into early trouble and finished fifth to eventual champion, American Airdine.

The Monster would finish his year at Southland with 28 wins, tops among all Southland competitors. His complete record at Southland was 49-28-9-5-1, against the best competition in the country. He finished 2018 with an overall mark of 66-34-13-8-4.

Congratulations to Brad Boeckenstedt and all those associated with BGR Monster!

The 48th Annual NGA Rural Rube and Flashy Sir awards will be presented at the awards ceremonies program at the Greyhound Hall of Fame on Thursday night, Apr. 18, during the NGA Spring Meet.

JimGartland Jim Gartland, National Greyhound Association (NGA) Executive Director.

This Week With The Professor: Q & A

qa_2

Today, The Professor will answer a question submitted by Ken D.

“In general, do you feel it’s easier to handicap a certain grade or grades of dog races? Seems to me the top grade at any track (especially those with AA races) are easier to handicap as many dogs can get to a top grade – but can’t seem to win at those top grades. Also, Maiden races seem to have races where 3-4 dogs can be eliminated fairly easily. I find the middle grades are the most difficult as you have dogs moving up and down as well. Your thoughts?”

Dog_Question_FacingLeft

Hi Ken,

The answer depends on what the definition of the word “easier” is. If by that you mean that the top grade races are more formful, the answer is yes. The greyhounds in the top grade are there because they are not just fast, but usually have good race habits. This means less trouble in the race and the better dogs winning consistently.

Maiden races are again more formful for different reasons. As you pointed out, there are sometimes dogs that are not quite ready to run well and can easily be thrown out, and there are standouts who are just beginning a nice career.

With all of that being said, the races that I prefer to wager on are the middle grade races. The reason for that is that you can get more value for your money if the money wagered is more spread out, and therefore, the payoffs are better. The key to making money wagering, in my opinion, is beating favorites and getting value. The races are more difficult, but when you are correct, you get paid. Betting favorites on a consistent basis is not a recipe for success in the long run.

Thanks for the question, Ken!

pawprints

Do you have a question for The Professor? Leave a comment below and you could receive a $2 wagering credit to your Greyhound Channel account if your question is featured in The Professor’s blog article!

Blog Spotlight: Tom Taplin

TomTaplin

Having a prospective greyhound representing us on the track, we have been in contact with those involved in the process of preparing GreyhoundChannel for his racing debut. One of the people in GreyhoundChannel’s everyday life includes Tom Taplin, one of the owners of Patriot/Taplin Kennel and Taps Racing Greyhounds farm. We had the pleasure of speaking with Tom and wanted to share his experiences with you.

Tom’s interest in greyhound racing sparked at a young age with some of his early childhood memories involving the racetrack. Tom’s grandfather owned greyhound racers that his dad trained. For Tom, it was a big deal to be at the racetrack helping cool down the dogs in the back. When his grandfather passed away, his time with greyhound racing would take a break. Moving in 1982, he bought a meat packing plant that would later burn down. When this happened, Tom turned to the dogs.

For Tom, working at Taps Racing Greyhounds with his wife, Patty, and one of his sons, Brant, is a wonderful experience. Working with family helps with scheduling so that Tom and Brant can count on one another when one of them needs to go away. This same reason, however, is also why having a family business can be difficult.

“We do it because we love these wonderful, crazy dogs, but we can’t do many things together. We both enjoy hunting and it’s hard to take a hunting trip together because one of us has to be here to run the farm.”

Though they may not be able to go on many trips together, Tom and Brant certainly get to spend a lot of time together on the farm. With a family business, you can imagine that you would have to get along pretty well with one another, which is no problem with Tom’s family. With some family living really close, Tom gets to see them often.

“They bought land right across the road, so their house is 100 yards from me, and the grandkids can run back and forth across the road. We’re very family oriented and all of our kids are within an hour and a half from us, so we have a lot of family get-togethers.”

A general day at the farm begins with an early start of 6 AM when Tom and Brant arrive to turn out the greyhounds by letting the pups out while they refresh the beds. The rest of the staff arrives at 7 AM for feedings and putting the dogs back in their kennels. Around 8 AM, they start working the dogs in their various stages of where they are in terms of racing. Around noon, they take a couple hours at home before heading back to the kennel for another turnout. A crew goes in again at night for one more turnout. Patty takes care of all the small puppies up to three months old.

Tom_Brant_Pups
Tom (right) and Brant (left) with two greyhound pups.

Working on the farm, Tom explains that he breeds pups that would be a good fit for Southland and Wheeling. When it comes to naming, Brant usually gets the honor. They enjoy going off some sort of theme for the naming of the litter, and they have many lists they keep for naming ideas. With about 300 dogs on the farm and around 100 of them training, it’s good to have a working list of names. Tom also makes sure that part of the greyhound’s registered name is always part of their call name as to not confuse the pups.

Tom_GHC2
Tom with GreyhoundChannel.

Working with greyhound racers, Tom says that his favorite thing with being involved in the sport is simply being with the dogs. Tom has always loved animals and he can’t recall a time that he didn’t have some type of pup. Throughout the years, there have been many racing greyhounds that have stood out for Tom, but some of his favorites have included Flying Wolf Pack, winner of the 2017 Southland Hound Madness and 2017 Festival of Stakes Henry Male Sprint; Caravan Hildie, 1994 Raynham track champ and 99-race winner; and Tracy’s Fantasy, winner of the 1992 Hinsdale Invitational, 1992 Wonderland Inaugural, and 1993 Raynham-Taunton Blue Ribbon. Tracy’s Fantasy was also the 1991 Wonderland track champ and had 98 career wins. Highest on the list for Tom, though, is TNT Star Wars who holds a special place in his heart.

“When we’d exercise them, he would be standing on top of the dog house waiting for us to go by.”

More currently, at the time that we spoke to Tom, he was excited about TNT Mama Mia, TNT Mind Games, TNT Marchmadness, and TNT Mercuryrisin, all of which just kickstarted their racing careers.

Tom had a long-standing relationship with Bob Rider, known in the industry for raising and racing greyhounds. When Bob was diagnosed with cancer, he and Tom partnered up for breeding so that Bob could continue to be as involved as possible with the greyhound racing industry before he passed away on October 10th, 2018. This partnership resulted in our namesake pup, GreyhoundChannel, who came from one of the litters. We were happy to hear that GreyhoundChannel has been doing well in the pens and on his runs. He will begin formal training in April with a projected racing start in August or September.

Tom_GHC
Tom with GreyhoundChannel.

As our conversation with Tom came to a close, we spoke about the passing of Florida’s Amendment 13. Though Tom is disappointed and realizes that the amendment ultimately will hurt the entire industry, he is staying focused on his pups and plans to continue running their best at Southland, Wheeling, and Tri-State for as long as they can.

We would like to thank Tom Taplin for speaking with us about greyhound racing and his experience in the 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? Contact us at custserv@greyhoundchannel.com.