This Week With The Professor: Over Handicapping

One of the most common and most difficult faults to overcome is over handicapping. There can be a fine line between being thorough in your analysis of a race and being so thorough that you become paralyzed and unable to make a rational decision on what to play. I wish I had a magic pill for this malady, but I don’t. I can think of many times early in my handicapping career where my initial thinking of a race was correct, but I started doubting myself because of the odds or discussions I had with others. Typically, this would end up changing my mind and I would then regret it.

My best advice is to trust your initial thoughts when looking at the program. By saying that, I don’t mean that you should do a quick look and just go with it. You should have a fairly good idea of what you think the race looks like and then expand on that. It is not necessary or wise to try and make a case for every greyhound in the race because if you do that, you will end up confusing yourself and not having confidence in your wagering. The old saying “go with your gut” is a good one.

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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: Rex Ryan

Rex Ryan, born July 20th, 2015, is out of the ever-popular KC And All and Windy Reba. This 71-pound pup has recently been gaining attention at Wheeling Island. At the NGA Fall Meet, Rex Ryan was purchased by Steve Sarras, starting his racing career at Naples Fort Myers in November of 2016. In April of this year, Rex Ryan made the move to Wheeling Island where the track has been treating him well.

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Rex Ryan photo provided by Steve Sarras

Out of Rex Ryan’s 6 starts, he’s taken home 3 Wins and 1 show. Watching Rex Ryan race, you can see that he loves the inside, hitting the board more times than not from the inside boxes. Rex Ryan has shown this in Wheeling Island’s National Futurity Stakes where he usually gets a kick of late speed in the stretch to pass the competition and take the win. While he didn’t place for round 4 yesterday, May 19th, if Rex Ryan can get an inside box for the semi-finals on Wednesday, May 24th, we can see him hitting the board again.

Revised: As luck would have it, Rex was able to get into the 2nd box in race 13 on Wednesday. We will see if he is able to capitalize on his position!

With Rex Ryan so early into his racing career, we look forward to watching him grow and can’t wait to see what he brings to the track in the future.

 

This Week With The Professor: All About Those Odds

Today, The Professor talks about odds and how you shouldn’t let them scare you, even if the hound you’re betting isn’t getting any action.

I have seen, over the years, friends of mine who may handicap a race well, find a greyhound with high odds that has a great chance, then get scared off wagering on that dog because nobody else is playing them. What? Is that not the whole point – to be able to see something in a longshot that few others see

My theory on why this happens is that this person also plays the horses, where if the horse is not being played as much as they should, it is said they are “dead on the board.” Many believe that this means the smart guys, or stable money, is not being played on the horse because the horse may not be sound. This is not an issue with greyhounds. Greyhounds grade themselves by their performance; whereas, in horse racing, the owner or trainer decides what class the horse runs in. Trust me when I say that the owners or trainers of greyhounds are the worst bettors on the track, so the fact they are not betting on them means nothing.

The point I am trying to make is have confidence in your handicapping and if the odds are high on your selection, all the better, bet more. There are no “wise guys” when it comes to greyhound racing, which is the beauty of it.

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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.

2017 National Greyhound Association’s Spring Meet

Abilene was all the buzz the last week of April as the National Greyhound Association (NGA) held their 2017 Spring Meet from April 24th to the 29th. The NGA is a voluntary non-profit association that acts as the sole registry for racing greyhounds on the North American continent and has been a part of the Abilene community since 1945. They have two auction events every year, The Fall Meet and The Spring Meet to boost the greyhound industry and surrounding economy.

The first-round races ran April 24th and April 25th with the top finishers racing again in the finals on April 27th and 28th. Once again, Greyhound Channel was a proud sponsor of a major stakes race run during the Spring Meet. PEPPERMINT MANDY was the victor in our race that ran on Monday, April 24th, as well as the final champion on Friday, April 28th. Congratulations to her and all connections! View the final race below:

This year’s NGA Spring Meet included over 300 greyhounds and more than 70 races over the course of the event, with over 130 sold from consignment during the auctions. The largest purchase price being $70,000 for the DJAAYS OCTANE-BOC’S SWEENEY pup, PJ HIGHWAYROBERY.

The meet recognized and celebrated William O’Donnell’s achievements within the greyhound community by awarding him the National Greyhound Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award during the Greyhound Hall of Fame awards ceremony on April 27th. O’Donnell’s interest in greyhound racing started while he was in High School and carried on later throughout his life as he became more involved in the sport through his kennels and even politically to help raise purse prices. He has since passed his love for the industry to his grandson, who manages his farm in Abilene.

Two Greyhound Hall of Fame scholarships are also awarded during the Spring Meet every year. This year’s recipients were Myranda Patrick, a resident of Abilene, and Adam Abrams-Flohr from Colorado. The ceremony also included presenting the prestigious Rural Rube Award to OAKS MADDY and the Flashy Sir Award to SHOW ON THE ROAD, as well as recognizing the 2016 All America Team: Captain – Seldom Told, Oak’s Maddy, Need My Moneynow, Oshkosh Kid, Oya Stan The Man, Husker Magic, Kinda Cruel Red, and Boc’s Tony Romo.

Congratulations to everyone that was awarded during this year’s Spring Meet, as well as everyone involved at the NGA for putting together yet another exciting and successful event! You can view all of the results and race replays from this year’s Spring Meet on the NGA website.

This Week With The Professor: Nobody’s Perfect

Today, The Professor discusses how to wager effectively and that, no matter how well you have handicapped a race, to remember that nobody is perfect.

I have noticed, while reviewing my selections from the last few podcasts, that my selections boxed in the Trifecta and Superfecta have been hitting. This reminded me that bettors will sometimes try to be too good or perfect when handicapping and especially when wagering. Picking winners

Picking winners is extremely difficult to do, so it is essential that you spread a little when playing exotics such as trifectas and superfectas. Boxing and part-wheeling are great ways to do that. Your top selection is not always going to win, but if you have handicapped well, the pick has a great chance to run first, second, or third. If three of your top four picks in a trifecta,  or even all of your top four make the superfecta, you can still turn a profit. Another advantage to this wagering method, is if your top pick is the favorite and runs second or third, the payoff is even better.

I don’t know how many times  I have asked a friend what he likes, and he may tell me, “I like the 3 with the 2,4,7.” The race runs and the result is 4-3-2-7. I see my friend and ask him, how many times did you hit that? He will say, “I missed it, I only put the 3 on top.” This is another example of great handicapping and poor wagering. Don’t be that guy that lets your ego get in the way of turning a profit. After all, nobody’s perfect.

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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: A Retired Racer Adoption

As promised, we are continuing coverage on Greyhound Adoption Month with an adoption story. Previously, we mentioned that Greta Conroy had fostered a retired pup with the call name of Carlos. Carlos went through Bay Area Greyhound Adoption (BAGA) and was placed in the Hardee Hero Hounds program, where he learned basic and difficult commands. Carlos was able to perform his commands perfectly, earning him the “top dog” award upon his graduation of the training program. Carlos went into Greta’s foster care before being adopted by his forever family.

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Carlos during training and upon graduation of the Hardee Hero Hounds program. Photos provided by Greta Conroy.

Carlos had first been brought to our attention when Catherine D’Arcy of D’Arcy Kennels sent some photos of him racing as Next Addition at Derby Lane. We loved the images so much that we put them on one of our merchandise items, as well as our sign-up banner. Carlos became a part of Greyhound Channel and, without us having never met him, we became attached to him and continued to follow his racing career. When we heard that Carlos had retired, we were interested in how retirement life was treating him. Enter Greg, one of Carlos’ owners, who filled us in on the retirement of one of our favorite racers.

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Carlos racing at Derby Lane. Photos provided by D’Arcy Kennel with permission by Juppi Scheider.

Carlos, now known as Comet to his forever family, is Greg, Terry, and their son, Jacob’s, first greyhound. We asked Greg what made them decide on a greyhound since they had not previously owned one. Greg explained that, while training their german shepherd pup back in 2002, they saw greyhounds, who were also in their training classes, and instantly became interested in the fabulous breed. It was then that Greg knew he would want a greyhound some day. Well, that time had finally arrived late in 2016 when Jacob became obsessed with the idea of owning a dog.

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Carlos enjoying time at his foster home with Greta Conroy.

Around December, Greg started to think that it was time to get his son a dog. “The day after Christmas, I started looking for a greyhound and Comet popped up. It was a long time coming for us to get a greyhound.”

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Comet enjoying a walk.

Greg and his family would soon find out that the wait was well worth it. Greg mentioned that they loved Comet’s profile and his personality. While they weren’t specifically looking for a greyhound that had been through training, it was a great bonus that Comet had received training through the Hardee Hero Hounds program.

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Comet and Jacob snuggling in bed.

Upon arrival at his new home, Comet quickly adjusted, enjoying his forever family and adoring his new best pal, Jacob. Comet, like many greyhounds, is always right behind someone as he enjoys following them everywhere they go, including room to room throughout the house. Terry, Greg’s wife, mentioned that a cute quirk of Comet’s is to “collect stuffed animals and lay them in and around his bed.”

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Best friends, Comet and Jacob.

Comet isn’t the only one to become smitten with his newfound relationship. Jacob loves Comet completely. He has a special corner of his room dedicated to Comet, including Comet’s “Top Dog” award and pictures. Greg explained that they wanted to give their son the opportunity of having the responsibility of caring for Comet so they put Jacob’s name on the paperwork as the owner of Comet. Greg mentioned that, as the owner of Comet, Jacob feeds him and enjoys teaching Comet new tricks.

“I have my son do the majority of the feeds and then we work on obedience at home.”

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At an event picnic by BAGA, Jacob made Comet’s costume, earning them first prize in the costume contest.

According to Greg, Comet loves food and is a counter surfer, something that those of us who have greyhounds can fully understand. Greg explained, “He is a butter eater! Oh, it’s crazy. If you leave the butter out, it is gone!” Yep, we’ve been there too, Greg.

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Comet and his family at a greyhound event. Photos provided by Greta Conroy.

As our chat came to a close, Greg talked about how Comet is always so happy and explained that Comet has a small, heart-shaped spot on his hindquarters. This is no surprise to us as we believe it fully embodies him and his sweet, happy personality.

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Comet’s heart spot.

We would like to thank Greg, Terry, and Jacob for sharing their adoption story with us and giving us a peek into Comet’s retirement life. We would also like to thank Greta Conroy and Catherine D’Arcy for helping us contact Comet’s new family. We wish all the best to Comet and his forever family.

This Week With The Professor: Greyhound Interference

Today, The Professor will answer a question submitted by Jasper P. on greyhound interference. Jasper P. asked, “My question has to do with on-track greyhounds who interfere with other greyhounds while racing. How many races are they allowed by the racing judge to interfere before having to be re-trained or re-schooled. Just recently I noticed a greyhound at Derby Lane that would actually stop right past the finish line to interfere with other dogs behind it. Would this greyhound be ticketed since the interference was past the finish line? Is it indicated in the program? This happened twice in a row by the same greyhound after crossing the finish line. The greyhound finished fourth in both races.”

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The answer to the first question is as follows: There are generally three judges, two work for the track and one works for the state. In order for a greyhound to receive a “ticket” (it is called a ticket because the trainer will receive written notice of this decision) for interference, two of the three judges need to deem it as interference. When a greyhound receives a “ticket,” the greyhound must school successfully twice (generally) in order to be permitted to race at that track again. If the greyhound then interferes again, they are ruled off the track. There are exceptions depending on the track. Some tracks will permit the greyhound to school again after 30 days and be given another chance. Some kennels may choose to send the greyhound to another track to race after the first “ticket,” as to not have the dog have a ruled off ruling on its record.

In regards to the second question, the answer is no, a greyhound cannot receive a “ticket” for interference once they have crossed the finish line. Anything that happens after the race is over cannot be held against the greyhound, so there would not be any notation in the program.

Thanks for the great question Jasper!

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: Greyhound Foster Parent Greta Conroy

For many of us, April means the arrival of Spring, but it is also an important month in the greyhound industry because it is Greyhound Adoption Month. In honor of Greyhound Adoption Month, we spoke with Greta Conroy, a greyhound foster parent for The Bay Area Greyhound Adoptions (BAGA), located in Florida. BAGA matches retired greyhound racers with their forever homes, with most of the pups being placed in foster homes before their adoption so that BAGA can begin to understand the greyhound’s personality and help start the transition from the track to home. BAGA also works with the Greyhound Advancement Center’s Hardee Hero Hounds program, where certain retired racers are trained at the Hardee Correctional Institution Work Camp before being adopted. Through the Hardee Hero Hounds program, greyhounds are trained in home basics and commands while the inmates receive the wonderful opportunity to work and grow with these greyt pups.

We always love to hear a greyhound love story, meaning that moment when someone learned about greyhounds and fell in love with them. For Greta, it was after her family moved to Florida and came across a greyhound adoption group while shopping. It was love at first sight and Greta knew that she wanted to get involved with greyhounds. After doing a lot of research, Greta and her family found BAGA, where they have been helping foster pups ever since.

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Meet and Greet event

“We went to a meet and greet, within a week had a home visit with a greyhound who licked my 5-year-old son for hours, and received our first foster in two weeks.”

Once their first foster pup was adopted and had left for their forever home, Greta and her family knew they needed a greyhound of their own, a feeling so many of us who have adopted a greyhound can fully understand.

“The right dog was foster number 4, Rusty, in January of 2013,” said Greta. “Our second foster ‘failure’ was Charlie, a year later, to keep Rusty from being lonely after the fosters were gone. We [have] fostered 40-50 dogs in the 4 years.”

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New life at the house

Clearly, Greta and her family had caught the greyhound love bug. Greta explained that she usually receives about 10 foster dogs a year. We often don’t know too much of the actual process of greyhound adoption, besides the part where the new owners receive their retired racer, so Greta was nice enough to explain the process at BAGA. Once an owner decides to retire a racer, BAGA picks up the dog(s) and takes them to a foster home, where they begin their acclimation into pet life. Some go to BAGA President Linda Lyman’s home till they are spayed or neutered before they head to their foster home. The pups remain in their foster home for two weeks, to adjust to home life, before they are adopted.

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Retirement Florida style

“Some dogs get acclimated to a family life right away and could get adopted faster,” said Greta. “Some need more time. I am a stay at home mom and I love getting the shy ones that need special attention. My Rusty has been a big help in getting the dogs used to living in a home”

Sounds like Rusty is quite the special pup. Greta further explained that “BAGA has meet and greets every weekend and we bring our fosters and own greyhounds to socialize. That’s usually when the potential adopters get to meet them.”

Having meet and greets is essential for most greyhound adoption organizations as they allow people to get to know and learn more about these amazing retired racers. They are, often times, the first steps into the adoption process for many families.

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Meet and Greet event

While most of the greyhounds go from the track, to their foster home, to their forever home, some of the greyhounds make another stop for the Hardee Hero Hounds program. This special training lasts 8-10 weeks, followed by a graduation. During the pups’ graduation, they show off what they have learned, during their training, through commands and tricks. Greta explained that, most of the time, all of the pups in the training program are adopted before they graduate, meaning that they get to head to their forever homes after graduation.

Clipper at graduation from the Greyhound Advancement Center

“At the graduation, the new families get a bag with an info packet, notes from the trainers, a toy, ball, muzzle, belly band (diaper that helps with house training). The adoption paperwork gets signed after the graduation, and dogs go to their new homes.”

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Proud graduates from the Greyhound Advancement Center

Perhaps reading all of this, you have found that you are interested in adoption or would like to know more about greyhounds as pets. You can always call and/or visit your local greyhound adoption organization for further information. Most of the time, the adoption process involves filling out an application, followed by a background check, and a home visit with your matched greyhound. Through the home visit, families can get to know their prospective pup a little more and determine whether they are a good fit.

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Since falling in love with greyhounds about five years ago, Greta has helped many dogs find their forever home, some of which she has adopted herself.

“Now, I have three greyhounds of my own. The last one is Cortez and he graduated the prison program in October 2016. He was not adopted at the time of his graduation, and while in training, his trainer found out he was blind. He touched mine and my husbands’ (who was at the graduation as well) hearts. we officially adopted him that weekend.”

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Greta’s Cortez finished the prison training program with Carlos, a classmate, now known as Comet by his forever family. Coincidentally, Greta also fostered Comet. Comet is a retired racer from Derby Lane whose racing name was Next Addition. We will be continuing Comet’s story in our next adoption feature article on April 22nd, so stay tuned!

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We would like to thank Greta Conroy, Linda Lyman, and Bay Area Greyhound Adoptions for speaking with us, as well as Catherine D’Arcy with D’Arcy Kennels for connecting us with these wonderful people. It is our pleasure to learn the experiences of greyhounds as they go from the farm, to the racetrack, and then on to retirement.

Bay Area Greyhound Adoptions works with many greyt kennels, owners, and trainers from Derby Lane, Sanford Orlando, Daytona Beach, and Palm Beach. They include: Capabal Kennel, D’Arcy Kennel, Jan Alderson, Randy Floyd, Victori Hounds, Cal Holland Kennel, occasionally Abernathy Kennel, Ed Bolton, Waverider Kennel, and Blu Too Kennel.

This Week With The Professor: Post Positions

Today, The Professor answers a question submitted by David L. on post positions. David L. said, “I found a very exciting race to wager on. The long shots to me seemed to be perfectly boxed while the favorites appeared to be in a more difficult situation. This is exactly what a smart bettor looks for. I went deep with my dollars and was confident on a nice return. Yes, sure enough my long shots ran one two three while the two favorites were off the board. Then the slap in the face. The price of my trifecta was only about $50. The numbers that came in were 1-2-8. That combination probably comes in more than any others. I assumed that the other players had simply pounded that combination and it was over-bet. When handicapping, should I probably avoid races where my top picks are in statistically better posts, regardless of the tote board odds? Or was I making a good wagering choice and just had the bad luck of someone blindly making a $20 trifecta box?”

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There are no easy answers to this question. I can’t really comment on the specific instance that you are referring to for several reasons: One, the odds that you are seeing may be win odds and may not reflect the play those dogs are getting in the exotic pools. Second, maybe several larger bettors have seen what you have seen in these longshots and played them in exotics only and not in the win pool, not wanting to tip off the public. Third, when you see a payoff lower than what you anticipated, it is most likely the second scenario and not some random person betting numbers, as those bettors tend to make small wagers.
While not knowing what happened in the race that you are referring to, it is true that the #1 and #8 post positions will be over bet; that does not mean that you should shy away from wagering on greyhounds that are in those post positions. As always the key to winning wagering is getting value for your play. To get value on a key dog that you know will be over bet means that you may have to be more precise in finding the right dogs to play behind or with the hound that you like.  You should keep in mind the fact that these greyhounds will be over bet and adjust your expectations accordingly. That being said, I have written before about these posts being over bet, and the value of trying to find false favorites who are in these posts. The name of the game is beating favorites (most of the time), and if you can find false favorites and they happen to be in the one post, all the better.
Thank you for the question, David L!

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: Rural Rube and Flashy Sir Awards!

The NGA’s 2016 Rural Rube and Flashy Sir awards were announced on Friday, March 17, 2017, with both awards going to amazing greyhounds at Southland Greyhound Park. With the NGA’s yearly Rural Rube and Flashy Sir awards highlighting the best sprinters and distance racers since 1971, let’s take a look at these two prestigious greyhound racing awards before discussing this year’s winners.

The Rural Rube Award is a throwback to the Rural Rube, a powerhouse sprinter from Wonderland Park in Massachusetts. He had an amazing career record, winning the Wonderland Inaugural twice, the Wonderland Juvenile, the Bay State Derby, and the Wonderland Futurity. Rural Rube set four records on the Wonderland oval and won 41 of his 83 starts, of which 20 were a straight win streak. He was inducted into the Greyhound Hall of Fame in 1963. In honor of Rural Rube, the Rural Rube award is presented to an outstanding sprinter each year.

Like the Rural Rube award, the Flashy Sir is in honor of the monster hound from Kansas. He was nicknamed “Mr. Greyhound” and won 60 wins out of 80 starts at 13 tracks, 13 of which were straight wins. Along with Rural Rube, Flashy Sir was also inducted into the Greyhound Hall of Fame in 1963. The Flashy Sir award recognizes the best distance runner each year.

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The 2016 Rural Rube award went to sprinter Oaks Maddy (Pat C Clement – Oaks Gem Brandy) from Southland Greyhound Park. Racing for Gloria Dorsey Kennel and owned by Mick Hymes, Oaks Maddy has had quite the impressive racing year, winning the 2016 Festival of Stakes Arkansas Bred Sprint and the 2016 Kings and Queens Stake, which got her an invitation to the 2017 Daytona 550 of which she also won. She has won 43 races out of 116 starts and continues to be a powerhouse on the Southland 583 yard oval.

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Also from Southland, distance racer Show On The Road (KC And All – Closin In Onawin) was honored with the 2016 Flashy Sir award. Having never won a stakes race, Show On The Road is so impressive in his distance races that he couldn’t be overlooked for the Flashy Sir. Racing for Plum Creek Kennel and owned by David Robinette, Show On The Road has shined in the 703 and 820 yards, finishing first and second in 27 straight races, 18 of which were wins and 14 of which consisted of a 14 win streak. Show On The Road has won 35 races out of 88 starts and is still on fire with a recent 8 race win and place streak.

Congratulations to Oaks Maddy, Show On The Road, Southland Greyhound Park, and all connections. We look forward to watching Oaks Maddy and Show On The Road continue to tear up the track and can’t wait to see what the future holds for these two greyt hounds.