Blog Spotlight: Sarah Kinsella Continued…

Last week, we featured Sarah Kinsella, trainer and greyhound racing writer for the Irish Daily Star. This week, we continue our Blog Spotlight on Sarah Kinsella, delving further into her experiences in the Irish greyhound racing industry.

Thinking back on previous greyhound races, Sarah said that her favorite memories include Brewers Tune and Accordello, who was mentioned in the last blog as not much of a looker but fast. Accordello won impressive races and came close to winning one of the biggest races.

“Accordello got beaten on the line in the Dundalk International, the richest race in the world. I was gutted; it looked like he had won.”

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A win by Accordello

Even though Accordello didn’t win the Dundalk International, it is still one of Sarah’s favorites because it shows how impressive of a racer Accordello is. All of his big wins, along with Brewers Tune, make the top of her list.

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Brewers Tune at Harold’s Cross in 2002

“[Accordello] also made it to the final of the Cesarewitch in Mullingar, which was won by a dog called Definite Opinion who is the sire of the Irish Derby winner, Good News.”

The Irish Derby, ran on September 23rd, was lining up to be quite the race this year. A favorite greyhound of Sarah’s, Clares Rocket, was a running favorite in the Irish Derby, but had to drop out of the running. As one of the fastest greyhounds Sarah had ever seen, his withdrawal from the derby shook things up to make the Derby final a very exciting race.

“The Derby final itself was a huge success. The place was packed and the roars were so loud from the stand when Good News won the Derby. I have never heard anything like it in all my years going to the Derby.”

Sarah’s love for greyhound racing doesn’t stop with the sport itself. Sarah took in two of her racers, Accordello and Brewers Way, as pets once they retired. With greyhounds being such loving animals, that are often given the nicknames of ‘45 mph couch potatoes,’ they make great pets.

“I would recommend anyone to adopt a retired greyhound. They are fantastic dogs and easy to keep. They love attention and interaction.”

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Winning the Dog of The Year award at Harold’s Cross in 2009

Though Sarah loves the greyhound racing industry, it has gotten more tough over the years as Sarah mentioned that greyhound racing has become much more competitive, especially in the graded greyhound races. Sarah’s frustrations extend to the times that greyhounds have been caught with substances in their systems.

“It’s very sad to think that not everyone is honest… It makes you think twice about training and they ruin the game for everyone else and attract bad publicity.”

While this is something that happens from time to time, Sarah also discusses how much the greyhound racing industry has improved in testing the dogs frequently and with better ways to determine whether substances are present.

“Our industry is super. The dogs receive the best care, love, and attention. Over the last few years, the standard of racing on Saturday night in Shelbourne Park has been sublime. The best in the country all head to Shelbourne Park.”

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Accordello earns a win at Shelbourne Park

As someone who has been working with greyhounds since she was a kid, we asked Sarah what she recommends for those who are interested in getting into the greyhound racing industry. Sarah recommends getting involved with the heart of greyhound racing: the kennels and tracks. Helping out with the dogs at the kennels and asking the trainer questions will help expand your greyhound racing knowledge. At the track, taking notes of pups you like and certain things you notice about them will help you to improve your skills at picking out greyhounds.

“You will soon develop a love. The work with greyhounds can be very therapeutic, especially when the dog you have been walking and looking after starts winning, it’s some buzz and you will be sucked in. When I was being bullied in school, I always remember racing home to change my clothes and go outside to the kennels to help my parents. It was a great escape for me and greyhound racing has helped me through many bad times.”

Sounds like our kind of therapy!

We would like to thank Sarah Kinsella for sharing her story with us and her experience in the greyhound racing industry. You can follow her on Twitter at @SarahKinsella3. One of our main goals is to promote the greyhound industry. Do you work in the greyhound racing industry or know someone who does? Would you be interested in being featured in our blog or podcast? Contact us at custserv@greyhoundchannel.com.

Blog Spotlight: Sarah Kinsella

As many of you know, last weekend was the Irish Greyhound Derby final at Shelbourne Park. If you’ve ever watched an Irish greyhound race, it is easy to see how passionate they are about the sport. With our recent coverage of the Irish Greyhound Derby, we thought it would be great to speak with someone involved in the industry. We were fortunate enough to touch base with Sarah Kinsella, a greyhound racing enthusiast who races greyhounds of her own and writes about greyhound racing in The Irish Daily Star.

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Sarah Kinsella became interested in greyhound racing as a child through her grandfather. Her grandfather loved animals, owning jack russells and greyhounds. Sarah’s grandfather and his family got their start in greyhound racing by racing some greyhounds at flapping meetings. Though flapping meetings are no longer around, they played an important role in launching Sarah’s family’s role in the greyhound racing industry.

“The flapping meetings stopped years ago, but judging by the way my father explained them to me, they sounded like great fun.”

Sarah’s father, along with his cousin, began training and racing greyhounds for Navan Co Meah, Dundalk Co Louth, and Harolds Cross. Sarah and her father’s racing interest doesn’t stop with greyhounds though. Both also love horse racing and enjoy heading out to the horse tracks whenever they get the chance. Though Sarah has been to many of the horse racing festivals, some stick out more than others.

“We adore horse racing and my favorite meeting is Cheltenham by far, but in Ireland I love Punchestown and Leopardstown at Christmas.”

Don Cossack is one of Sarah’s favorite race horses and A.P. McCoy was her favorite jockey. She currently loves watching Davy Russell, Lisa O’Neill, and Mark Walsh ride.

Growing up, Sarah always worked with her parents and helped train the greyhounds. At one point, their family trained over 15 greyhounds and worked with about 10 different owners. At 16 years old, Sarah went to work for a family friend named Martin Lanney who ran a bigger training operation with over 40 greyhounds and 20 pups.

“I worked a whole summer with Martin and looked after all the dogs with him, and went racing nearly 6 nights a week. We had over one hundred winners that summer. I loved working with him, but sadly had to go back to school.”

As one door closed, however, another door opened as the ending to Sarah’s summer work lead her to her next opportunity: the race track. As part of a school work experience, Sarah became involved at Harolds Cross greyhound stadium. The Manager, Pat O’Donovan, took Sarah under his wing and hired her when her work experience was completed.

“I had a burning desire to learn everything I could and he could see that in me.”

Working a variety of different jobs at the track from the turnstiles to the photo finishes, Sarah absorbed everything she could about greyhound racing. It wasn’t too long, though, before Sarah was able to fulfill her dream of working at Shelbourne Park, where she received a full time gig in the booking office. When the booking office moved to a different location, Sarah then took a job at Betdaq, an online betting exchange, where she continues to work to this day. Her love for Shelbourne Park hasn’t faded as she continues to do some work there. Sarah also writes for The Irish Daily Star with her weekly column on greyhound racing at Shelbourne Park.

“I’m very lucky. I get to write about what I love most.”

Though Sarah is fully enjoying her career right now, she hopes that someday she can return to full time work at Shelbourne Park.

Sarah and her family currently operate a small kennel that runs about three race dogs. In addition to their race hounds, they keep a retired stud, a brood bitch, and two pups they plan on racing soon. It takes about a year to get a pup trained and ready to race, and it can be hard to tell whether they will be a good racer.

“You could spend a year rearing them and they might not turn out to be good, but that’s the chance you take with them. Sometimes, you find a good one and the rare time a very special one.”

If you take a chance on a pup, you never know where they might take you. That is exactly what happened with Sarah’s greyhound Accordello, who won over €60,000 in prize money ($78,414). He was a small black and white dog that Sarah said was not very attractive, but that didn’t matter because he was fast. Accordello’s biggest win was the Ladbrokes 600 Competition.

“I will never forget that for as long as I live; it was the best day of my life.”

Accordello now enjoys the retired life where he lives with Sarah and her family. Having been a stud for a bit, speed must be in Accordello’s genes because he has produced some great winners.

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Accordello winning the Ladbrokes 600

Besides greyhound and horse racing, Sarah loves farming and lives on a small farm in North Co Dublin where they own cattle. She loves her social media and having fun.

“I am addicted to Snapchat and Twitter and love the craic and a sing song. I am single and have no intention of getting married anytime soon; I’m not sure where I would find the time (haha)!”

On her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with her family, including her parents, brother, sisters, nieces, and nephews. Sarah’s best friends, Jess and Grace, aren’t too far away so she tries to see them whenever she can as well. Her travels with Jess and Grace have taken her to Indonesia, Malaysia, and Portugal.

“There are not many girls my age in the racing industry and I met them through horse racing, so it’s great that we have that in common.”

Of course, as Sarah and her father share a special bond over racing, they spend a lot of time going to the races. They also enjoy watching Dublin in the GAA, Gaelic Athletic Association, matches. Both of Sarah’s parents have helped her to become the person she is today.

“My dad is my mentor in life and has taught me everything I know about racing. My mam is my inspiration and she always pushes me to be the best person I can be and to always dive into everything I do and give everything 100%. I would be lost without my parents. They are the reason I am successful today.”

Sarah’s love for greyhound racing shines through in her work and conversation. Check her out on Twitter @SarahKinsella3. She provided so many great details of the greyhound racing industry in Ireland that we will continue our blog spotlight on Sarah, so stay tuned for part two next week!

Blog Spotlight: Irish Greyhound Derby

The following is written by George Quinn of Greyhound News. You may know him from his blog or his twitter page. George recently visited Ireland to experience one of the biggest events in international Greyhound Racing: the Irish Greyhound Derby at Shelbourne Park. Mr. Quinn was nice enough to write up his thoughts and allow us to feature them in our blog for everyone to enjoy.

2017 Irish Greyhound Derby Final at Shelbourne Park:
My fourth and final night at Shelbourne Park started earlier than the others. It was time for the “big” night and I wanted to get the full experience. Just a 15 minute walk from my hotel, I arrived at 4pm to collect my ticket and enter the stadium. Live music was scattered throughout the building starting at 4:30pm to entertain early arriving patrons like myself. As I wandered around the different levels, employees were feverishly putting

“As I wandered around the different levels, employees were feverishly putting on the finishing touches to an already immaculately staged venue.”

Judging by the amount of employees, this was going to be a busy night and it was time to think ahead. I grabbed a bite to eat in the food hall and started making my selections for the night. Next it was time to pick up a set of rosettes commemorating each of the derby finalists. All proceeds benefited the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust, 30£ well spent. Favorites Sonic and Good News sold out early with only a few of the others left towards the end of the night.

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Rosettes of Finalists in the Derby

With the crowd swelling, it was 7pm and time to place my bets. At Shelbourne Park you have 2 options, betting with the tote (like U.S.) or betting in the ring (bookie) with fixed odds. The dining experience is a big part of racing at Shelbourne Park, you can wager via table-side Tote service.

“On this night, betting in the ring reminded me of images from the floor at the New York Stock Exchange on a busy day.”

Wagering in Ireland is a little different from the U.S. since there are only 6 greyhounds per race. Wagers include: Win, Place, Forecast (Exacta), Trio (Trifecta), Pick 4, and Pick 6. *all 1£ minimum

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The Crowd at the Derby

It’s 7:20pm, time for the off (post time) of Race 1. No slot machines, no poker and no simulcast wagering to preoccupy patrons.

“Over 5,000 people in one place to watch greyhound racing! That was the scene for the Irish Greyhound Derby Final night.”

Similar to the finals of Southland Park’s Festival of Stakes, the race card is chock-full of top grade races from beginning to end. With the buzz increasing in the stadium after each race, ComeTwoPass takes the Derby Plate Final in Race 7 (basically a derby consolation with multiple rounds) and we’re on to the 2017 Irish Greyhound Derby Final!

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Ready to Take Off!

Greyhounds are on parade for Race 8 and Shelbourne Park is electric! After being placed in traps (boxes), the customary deafening roar of the crowd starts as the hare goes into motion. As we all know by now, Good News cleared the first bend (turn) and never looked back holding off Black Farren who finished second. In 29.37 seconds it was over, the crowd was crazy as Good News made his way past my spot on the rail to a very large group of connections in the infield waiting for the new champion.

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The Champ, Good News!

Since I only got into greyhound racing in 2004, I was never able to experience the heyday in the United States. Now I know how it might have been at Hollywood, Wonderland, Flagler, Raynham and others for their most prestigious races. If you love greyhound racing, the Irish Greyhound Derby Final needs to be on top of your bucket list.

We want to thank George Quinn for sharing his experience with us – we felt that much closer to the action! We always appreciate the work George does to better the greyhound racing industry, through his tireless efforts on social media and patronage of the tracks.

Blog Spotlight: Paul Wheeler

Paul first became interested in greyhound racing after his friends dragged him to Hinsdale Greyhound Park in 1980. Little did Paul know that he would fall in love with the sport. So much so that Paul ended up getting involved with the greyhound racing industry by racing greyhounds with his father-in-law, Ed Piziak.

Having owned 30 greyhounds over the years, each one has provided a learning experience for Paul and Ed. Paul got his first greyhound from a farm and just tried to “w it.” He waited and watched the whole 18 month process of training only to find that the greyhound didn’t have the right temperament for the track.

Those experiences have made them knowledgeable in the racing industry. Striking up a professional relationship with Monte Jacobs has been a great decision for Paul and Ed. When they first purchased a hound from Monte, he said that the pup would “make Southland or he would come and get him himself.”

“I just loved Monte’s passion and his honesty”

Sure enough, Ernie McCracken was a great AA racer at Southland. Monte evaluates greyhounds really well, and knows where they will perform best and how well they will race, which has helped Paul and Ed place their dogs at tracks and keep them there without shipping them all over. Monte’s passion and talent have led to a wonderful professional relationship with Paul and Ed. They now, exclusively make purchases with Monte.

Though greyhound racing is more of a hobby for Paul and Ed, that doesn’t mean that they are not competitive. Paul and Ed have raced impressive hounds, some of which that have stood out in their eyes more than others. Not surprisingly, All-American Kinda Cruel Red is one of the best they’ve owned so far.

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Kinda Cruel Red Post Parade at Wheeling Island

Kinda Cruel Red took second in the 2015 Daytona 550 and has been a stakes finalist multiple times. He continues to tear up the track at Wheeling with 13 Wins, 7 Places, and 4 Shows out of 32 starts this season. Paul also mentioned All Hail Eddie, Aye Doctor Run, Wayne Cleary, and Ernie McCracken as other notable greyhounds they have raced.

“Kinda Cruel Red’s first schooling race gave me chills… I knew then we had a very special greyhound”

Paul and Ed’s Wayne Cleary (Who is Kinda Cruel Red’s brother!) has also been racing well in AA at Wheeling. Having recently returned to racing after an injury, he has managed to rack up 10 wins, 5 Places, and 4 Shows out of 30 starts this season. It is always exciting to see a hound perform so well after an injury. He has even made the United Greyhound Racing’s top 25 list from July 5th through September 4th! Monte said he’s only worked with two or so dogs who have come back from an injury with this kind of success.

Paul loves the thrill of the sport, but his favorite part of greyhound racing has been enjoying retired racers as pets. Each retired greyhound Paul has owned has enriched his and his family’s lives. Paul and Ed’s racer, All Hail Eddie, ended up coming home with Paul after his racing career, which was one of the best decisions Paul had ever made.

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AllHailEddie and Hailee’s Girl

“Eddie was a tremendous pet and funny and loving. He gave more to us than he did on the track”

Hailee’s Girl also made her way into Paul’s home and heart. She was from a litter they owned and they were offered a chance to breed her, but Paul declined and decided to keep her. Noting this as the best greyhound decision he has made yet.

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Hailee’s Girl

“She’s the most intelligent dog I’ve ever owned… She’s intelligent, fun, and part of the family”

 

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Hailee’s Girl Being Silly

 

Both All Hail Eddie and Hailee’s Girl have made huge impressions on Paul’s family after their racing careers ended. We here at Greyhound Channel respect Paul and Ed for their humility and their contributions to our Industry. We have enjoyed getting to know Paul and his family and look forward to seeing continued successes from Kinda Cruel Red and Wayne Cleary!

This Week With The Professor: Evaluating Early Speed

In my opinion, the most important factor in greyhound handicapping is being able to decipher who is going to make the lead in a particular race. The reason this is so important is that, if you look at results charts, you will see the leader of the race will finish first or second in the major majority of the races. So, that being said, how do you evaluate who is the fastest greyhound in any race?

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There are a number of factors to take into consideration. One is the post position. Does the dog like to run from the post he is in? You can evaluate this by looking back at the performance of the dog in previous races from this post, or close to this post.

Second, how many times has the dog made the lead in his last six races, and did he make the lead in this grade or a lower grade? For example, a greyhound may have made the lead in three or four of his last races, but won his last race, so now he or she must be able to outrun dogs in a higher grade. The reverse is also true. The greyhound may not have been able to make the lead in a higher grade, but is now dropping, hence running against dogs that are not as fast to the turn.

Can a particular dog make the lead in a race with other speed dogs or do they need a race with less early speed to get clear? Don’t be fooled into thinking a particular greyhound is now quick to the turn because he or she made the lead in a race. The race may have been lacking early speed and the dog made the lead because of that. If you utilize these tools, you will be able to identify the true early speed hounds from the counterfeit ones.

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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! Tune into our podcast, Catch the Action with Greyhound Channel, for news and more greyt tips from The Professor.

 

Women Of Greyhound Racing: Facebook Auction

It’s the time of year when the summer weather begins to fade and the cooler weather rolls in. Before we know it, fall will be here and, with it, October, also known as breast cancer awareness month.

Each year, the Women of Greyhound Racing honor breast cancer awareness month by raising funds to donate to a non-profit charity of their choice. The Women of Greyhound Racing is just that — a group of women involved and interested in the greyhound racing industry. Helping support the breast cancer awareness platform is a wonderful way for the Women of Greyhound Racing to support women and the community.

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Auction item: Breeding to Highly Classified. Donated by Monte Jacobs.

A large portion of the funds raised comes from the Women of Greyhound Racing’s annual Facebook auction. This auction includes many items, often revolving around greyhounds and the racing industry. This weekend, September 9th-10th, is the Women of Greyhound Racing’s Facebook auction. All the proceeds from the auction go toward the Women of Greyhound Racing’s donation to a breast cancer awareness charity.

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Auction item: Fortune cookie necklace stating, “You will love a greyhound.” Donated by Greyhound Channel.

From jewelry to breeding to dog accessories, the Facebook auction provides an array of items for everyone. Check out the auction to get something greyt for yourself while helping such a wonderful cause.

If you would like to make a donation to this greyt organization, please make checks payable to the NGA and send to:

Women of Greyhound Racing
℅ Penny Wick
4593 Kennedy Rd.
Cottage Grove, WI 53527

This Week With The Professor: Q and A

Today, The Professor will answer a question submitted by Joe C. Joe asked, “In the Daytona Beach greyhound track program, there is a column following the finishes and before the arts with numbers ranging between 6.00 and 7.00 +. I assume this registers the dogs’ times at the 1/8 call. Is this correct and, if so, how are such figures obtained? Is there a device on the dog’s muzzle that triggers the timing?”

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You are correct. The time listed on the program is the time recorded when the dog reaches the first turn. The time is recorded the same way a final time is recorded. There is a device that takes the greyhound’s photo as it crosses a certain point, and the times are listed on the photo.

That brings me to the age old question: Does time matter, whether it is to the first turn or the final time? In my opinion, not much. I can honestly say that when I am handicapping a race, I do not even look at the times of the greyhounds. Why, you ask? There are many reasons. For one, the track condition varies from day to day. Unless you are doing a complete study of the track variants from day to day, it can be misleading. Second, a greyhound that can make the lead in a lower grade race may run a faster time than a greyhound winning a race from behind in a higher grade race. If you put that greyhound that won that lower grade race, in a higher grade race with faster early speed greyhounds, he won’t make the

Second, a greyhound that can make the lead in a lower grade race may run a faster time than a greyhound winning a race from behind in a higher grade race. If you put that greyhound that won that lower grade race in a higher grade race with faster early speed greyhounds, he won’t make the lead and be able to duplicate that time. At Daytona, the time recorded in the run to the first turn may be slightly helpful in evaluating the dog’s speed to the turn, but again the track variance and the set up of the race (crowding, etc) plays a major part in the time. I still abide by the old expression used by old time greyhound handicappers, “time is only a factor if you are catching a plane.”

Thanks for the greyt question, Joe!

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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! Tune into our podcast, Catch the Action with Greyhound Channel, for news and more greyt tips from The Professor.

Blog Spotlight: Don Johns

Southland Greyhound Park is well known for their greyhound racing action. Adding to that excitement is the energy of the track announcer. Continuing our Track Announcer series, we spoke with Don Johns about his career and greyhound racing.

Don Johns was working in radio in Rolla, Montana, in 1987 when he realized he wanted to make a career switch to announcing races. Interestingly, Don had no experience calling races, nor had he even seen a greyhound race. That, however, didn’t stop Don from applying for an announcing position at Hinsdale Racetrack in New Hampshire. It’s a good thing he did because he got the job.

“I was thinking and saying, “I’d like to be a race track announcer,” for about a year or so.”

Don worked at Hinsdale Racetrack on and off with some long gaps in between. At one point, Don worked at Wisconsin Dells for their opening season before returning to Hinsdale, where he stayed till 1997. Don took a break from announcing to pursue some other careers, but returned in 2001 when he moved to Colorado to work the greyhound racing circuit at Cloverleaf Kennel Club, Wembley Park (Mile High), and Post Time (Rocky Mountain). In 2006, however, Cloverleaf ended their live greyhound racing.

“When Cloverleaf ended live racing in 2006, I thought my career in racing had run it’s course, but as a wise man once said, ‘You never know.’”

Don was right. Sometimes things have a way of working their way out. In 2013, an opening became available for Don to bartend at Sportservice and Delaware North. In January of 2015, a track announcer position became available at Southland and from there, it’s all history.

Over the years, Don has seen some amazing races. One that stands out from the rest is when Cognac Cappucino, from Cloverleaf, set a track and state record. It has been the only 5/16ths race for Don to call that was under 30 seconds. Currently, Don is enjoying watching Bar Gin race and recommends keeping an eye on this stakes winning pup. Bar Gin won the 2017 Southland Derby and has earned nine wins, eight places, and eight shows out of 40 starts this season, so far.

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Winning Circle for Bar Gin’s 2017 Southland Derby win.

Besides current racing star Bar Gin, Don’s true favorite greyhounds are those he has owned himself. He adopted DJ’s Taffy in 1989, who loved playing with her best friend, a yellow lab named Sandy.

“I think she only raced 3 times, but all she ever wanted to be was a good girl.”

She may have only raced a few times, but DJ’s Taffy was a winner in Don’s eyes. Not stopping there, Don also had Satin, Rocker, and Patches, who all had the same dam, LL Voir Dire.

“LL Voir Dire was the prettiest dog I’d ever seen. She was a blue fawn and just beautiful.”

Those who have had a greyhound in their life know how special they are and Don had no exception in the four greyhounds he had. They were all amazing dogs and hold a special place in his heart.

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LL Voir Dire

Working at Southland, Don has experienced some great stakes events, one of his favorites being The Festival of Stakes. The Festival of Stakes is a 1 million dollar multi-stakes event that includes nine stakes races, each of which race their championship race in a single day.

“There’s nothing else like the Festival of Stakes, in all honesty, my job that night isn’t much different than any other. For all the hard work and all the prep, I take my hat off to the Racing and AV departments. They go above and beyond and make it all come together.”

We completely agree Don. The Festival of Stakes takes racing to the next level, making it the “Breeders’ Cup” of greyhound racing. The Festival of Stakes action kicks off in just a few weeks on Saturday, September 9th, so make sure you don’t miss out on this incredible stakes series.

Southland is also unique because they are the only greyhound track in the United States to offer races with nine dogs. While they don’t run every race with all nine boxes filled, Don recommends playing the nine dog when the opportunity is available.

“I’d tell people, ‘take a good look at that 9 dog.’ Does it benefit from that outside post? With that extra dog, the pools can really grow, especially the .10 supers.”

Don’s energy allows him to quickly and effectively call races. We are very happy that, off of a whim, Don formed a desire to announce greyhound races because we enjoy listening to him at Southland Park. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from Don it’s to chase those desires because you never know where they may lead.

We would like to thank Don Johns for speaking with us and sharing his story. We would also like to thank Shane Bolender for providing the a picture of Don. Don’t forget to catch Don at Southland Park Wednesday through Sunday for great greyhound racing. One of our main goals is to promote the greyhound industry. Do you work in the greyhound racing industry or know someone who does? Would you be interested in being featured in our blog or podcast? Contact us at custserv@greyhoundchannel.com.

This Week With The Professor: Post Position Myths

A lot of handicappers put too much emphasis on post position when handicapping a race. I am not saying that post postion is not an important factor, it is, but the myth that a greyhound needs the one post if it likes the rail, or the eight post if it runs wide, is just that, a myth. If a greyhound likes to run the rail, the thing to look for is whether it is positioned to get to the rail early. One example would be if a speed dog draws the four or five post and the dogs in the 1, 2, and 3 post have little or no speed. This means that the dog is positioned well in the race to get to the rail. In addition, the odds will be better because the public thinks the dog wants the rail post and did not get it.

If a greyhound likes to run the rail, the thing to look for is whether it is positioned to get to the rail early.

The same can be said for a wide runner who draws the middle or inside. The main thing is whether the greyhound can get to their preferred position on the track, no matter the post. Another thing to consider, when playing a late speed hound, is whether the post is less important than the way the race sets up. It is favorable if there are a lot of speed dogs in the race because they run best on the lead, and only one will make the lead; therefore, the others who do not make it, will not be running as hard, making it easier for the late speed dog to make their way through the race.

Also, there are certain dogs who will only run hard on the lead and, when they get it, will not lose. The post is not important to these kind of greyhounds, just if the race sets up for them to get the lead. An an example of this was a greyhound many years ago named Pestered who, when he cleared on the lead, ran record fast times, and when he did not, he ran last. He had run last in about four straight races and then drew the five post in a race where he was the only early speed. I told a friend of mine, kiddingly, that the dog always won when he drew the five post, and he was going to win tonight because he had his favorite post. In reality, he had a great chance of winning because he was the only speed and would most likely make the lead. Turns out, he did win, by many lengths at a good price. My friend said, you were right, he loves the five hole, when in reality the post was not the reason. The next time “Pestered” drew the five post, he ran last because there was a lot of speed in the race and he could not make the lead. My friend lost some cash on that one, and I explained to him the real reason that he won from the five post the first time.

So, in conclusion, use the post position as a factor, but not just because they may draw the one or eight post.

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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! Tune into our podcast, Catch the Action with Greyhound Channel, for news and more greyt tips from The Professor.

Blog Spotlight: Jerry Echemann

If you’ve ever watched the greyhound racing at Wheeling Island Downs, you’ve certainly heard Jerry Echemann calling the races. Continuing our Track Announcer series, we spoke with Jerry about his start in announcing and his love for his awesome career.

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Jerry describes himself as never having the “gift of gab,” nor does he wish he did. Instead, Jerry enjoys and prefers quiet conversation. How did someone who isn’t very chatty get into a speaking career? Well, despite having a preference for quiet conversation, Jerry had become interested in announcing when he was a young boy.

“As a boy, I would watch the Cincinnati Reds on TV and pretend I was doing radio play-by-play.”

This interest lead Jerry to announce for his high school diving team when the position became available. With announcing of some sort still on Jerry’s mind, he headed to Ohio University after high school to study radio and television, which kickstarted his 31-year career in television news. Throughout this time, Jerry would visit Wheeling Island a couple times a year for fun. One day, he noticed a help-wanted ad in the local paper for a back-up announcer at Wheeling and Jerry applied for the gig.

“It would be many months before they called. Other guys tried out before me and could not make the grade. The work-weary full-time guy, upon hearing me call my first race, thrust his arms skyward, spun around and said, ‘I’m going to get a day off!”

Jerry enjoyed being a reporter for WTRF-TV in Wheeling, West Virginia, but his announcing spot at Wheeling Island was becoming more appealing to him. After about ten years of working as a back-up announcer, Jerry decided to leave TV and switch to full-time announcing at Wheeling.

“I had become tired of covering fires and stabbings and being put outside to go ‘live’ in the predawn hours of 5 degree below zero mornings.”

This career change ended up being a great decision for Jerry as he loves his job at Wheeling Island.

“I tell people I have the best job at the track.”

The great thing about calling races for Wheeling Island is that Jerry gets the best of both worlds; he is pursuing his childhood dream of announcing and gets to enjoy the greyhound racing action. Jerry’s favorite greyhounds often consist of the pups with creative names. If he likes a name, you can bet that Jerry is a fan of that dog. Run-together names like Benicetoafireman are names that catch Jerry’s interest.

Barts Outofmyway
Barts Outofmyway

This season, at Wheeling so far, Jerry is keeping an eye on Barts Outofmyway (Pictured) and Barts Buymeaboat, who has been doing a great job tearing up the track. Barts Buymeaboat has 8 wins, 7 places, and 11 shows in 42 starts this season so far. Jerry really appreciates the greyhounds that can break out of the box really fast, which we have seen a few times from Barts Buymeaboat.

“They bust out of the box to take big leads and it’s exciting to see if they can hold on at the wire.”

Jerry’s favorite races to call are the championship stakes races, which are full of excitement. This makes announcing the races even more fun. The event that Jerry enjoys the most at Wheeling is their Fourth of July Party on the Apron, which consists of music, food, fireworks, and dancing on the apron after a day of greyhound racing.

Working so long as a track announcer, we asked Jerry what his most memorable call has been over the years. For Jerry, this consisted of the first time he was alone in the announcing booth. He had the nerves and excitement of calling his first race alone, but the thing about starting out is that you lack experience and one thing that Jerry hadn’t experienced yet was calling out prices of a dead heat. Naturally, Jerry’s very first time alone in that booth to call a race, a dead heat came in. Fortunately, Jerry got through it and has now called a ton of races, some of which have included dead heats.

We are so glad that Jerry was able to push through the learning curve of calling races because we enjoy listening to him at Wheeling Island. His energy and love for announcing shines through when he calls races. We couldn’t agree more with Jerry when he says that he has the best job at the track.

We would like to thank Jerry Echemann for speaking with us and sharing his story. Make sure to tune into greyt greyhound racing and announcing by Jerry at Wheeling Island Wednesdays through Sundays. We would also like to thank Stan Pawloski for providing us with pictures. One of our main goals is to promote the greyhound industry. Do you work in the greyhound racing industry or know someone who does? Would you be interested in being featured in our blog or podcast? Contact us at custserv@greyhoundchannel.com.