Something extraordinary happened Monday afternoon, May 16th, at Derby Lane. It wasn’t that the 2015 Rural Rube award winner Husker Magic coasted to another 550 yard Grade A win, but in this event, she tallied victory number 100 in her 156th start. Just as rare is that this 72 pound four year old fawn female, when not romping in stake races, has never dropped from grade A company. Jointly owned by Jim and Kayruth Abernathy and Terry and Lisa Haber, the Sorceress of Sprint is a member of the Abernathy Kennel roster. According to Kayruth, Husker Magic has a sweet, laid back temperament and prefers to remain indoors. Her turnouts last about ten or fifteen minutes; just long enough to take care of business and greet kennel mates. Husker Magic, then, routinely stands facing the door waiting to be returned to her crate with a cookie in her mouth.
When asked about Husker Magic’s 100th career win, Kayruth said the achievement was “unbelievable!” Jim elaborated saying “how rare it is for dogs to reach the 100th victory mark.”
Abernathy Kennel is no stranger to campaigning champions or hypersonic runners, though. In 2014, distance specialist Odd Greyson claimed the Flashy Sir award, capturing 44 wins in 131 career starts while a potential stud pilgrimage to Ireland is under current negotiations.
Third generation dog man Jim Abernathy is quick to credit the kennel’s success to the joint efforts of wife and kennel co-owner Kayruth, trainer Claudio Lopez, and helper Jordany Rodriguez. Kayruth, a Venezualan national, graduated from University of the Andes in 1999 with a degree in education, later taught second grade, and also modeled in her native country. In 2001, she ventured to Florida to study English and that March, attended races at Derby Lane with a friend. There, she met Jim and they were married April 21, 2003. Ironically many decades ago, Jim’s parents, James, Sr., and Carol Abernathy also met at a greyhound track and exchanged vows shortly after. Fourth year Abernathy Kennel trainer, Claudio Lopez, born in Mexico, enjoys cooking and the beach almost as much as greyhounds. Introduced to Jim and Kayruth by their son, he started working in the kennel and has never looked back. Helper Jordany Rodriguez, who hails from Cuba, formerly employed as a Derby Lane leadout, joined Team Abernathy last November. Jim believes that Abernathy Kennel and its sixty-five charges are fortunate to not only have the most loving and dedicated staff in the compound, but possibly in the country.
As Greyhound Channel anticipates Husker Magic’s presence in upcoming qualifiers for the T. L. Weaver Memorial Classic to be run on June 6th, Jim Abernathy remains collected. He said she’ll run until she doesn’t want to anymore. He looks ahead to her career as a brood and speculates the Flying Penske line may prove a successful match. Flashing even further into the future, when she’s finished with motherhood, the Sorceress of Sprint will spend her “Golden Years” with the Abernathys inside their Orlando home with a stockpile of cookies. However, Kayruth, who converses in Spanish with her daily, hasn’t heard Husker Magic utter a word about retirement. How fortunate for racing fans that can’t wait for her to cast a spell before victory number 101…