2016: A Year In Review

As we look ahead to 2017, we also look back at memorable moments from 2016. Let’s take a journey through those greyt moments in greyhound racing and at Greyhound Channel as we reflect on 2016.

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We kicked off 2016, here at Greyhound Channel, with our Contest of Champions. This was a special handicapping contest, revolving around our Track of the Week, that included all the “champions” of our handicapping contest from 2015. Mark P. won crowning him as our handicapping champion for 2015.

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The All-America Team for 2015 was announced early in the year. Husker Magic of Abernathy Kennel was made captain of the following members: Flying Fired up (Lester Raines Kennel), Need My Moneynow (Sharon Williams), B’s Headliner (Everett Kennel), Seldom Told (Sharon Williams), Boc’s Hank Jr. (Boeckenstedt Kennel), Highlyclassified (John Farmer Kennel), and Storm Control (B & B Racing).

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Husker Magic and Highlyclassified were awarded the 2015 Rural Rube and Flashy Sir awards.

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The National Greyhound Association (NGA) Spring Meet took place in April. We sponsored one of the stakes races and Donald R. Ryan was awarded the NGA 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award.

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We started our bi-weekly Catch the Action Podcast at the end of April and recently recorded our eighteenth episode. Our Podcast covers everything from greyhound racing and special horse racing events to Greyhound Channel promotions. You can find future podcast episodes here.

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In May, we saw Derby Lane’s Darling Diva hit her 100th career win and said goodbye to the blonde bombshell when she retired on June 22nd. Husker Magic finished her racing career with 105 wins out of 167 starts.

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Gary Guccione retired from the NGA after 45 wonderful years.

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We watched in awe as the 2016 Summer Olympics took place in August. We also had fun with the creativity of the #GreyhoundOlympics, with notable events in Synchronized Snoozing, Roaching, and Squirrel Watching.

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The Women of Greyhound Racing held their yearly fall auction in support of breast cancer awareness. This year’s proceeds of $12,000 were donated to the Lee Ann Foundation in Wheeling, West Virginia.

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October 1st held Southland Greyhound Park’s $1.2 million Festival of Stakes consisting of nine stakes in one day. Members of Greyhound Channel visited for the day to hand out merchandise, live tweet the whole event, and get in on the greyhound racing action. We gave away tickets to the event and were joined by two of our customers, David L. and Eddie B. Craigie Hey You won the Crittenden Super Sprint, Bar Gin won the Arkansas Bred Juvenile, Super C Redman won our sponsored race: the Barry Baldwin Juvenile, Oaks Maddy won the Arkansas Bred Sprint, Oshkosh Kid won the Ness Sechrest Middle Distance, VJ Hit The Board won the Ansel Styles Jr. Marathon, PJ Fully Loaded won the Glen Fenter Super Marathon, Flying Bosnian won the Darby Henry Female Sprint, and Boc’s Doubleshot won the Darby Henry Male Sprint.

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The NGA Fall Meet took place in October. We sponsored one of the races and participated in the raffle for the NGA Pup Giveaway. Howard Korman of Jacksonville, FL won the pup donated by Bob Hardison and Dennis Mleynek. Jan Vasquez of Buffalo, New York won the pup donated by David and Brenda Petzold. Winner of the third pup, donated by Monte Jacobs, was Ronald Crispino of Delray Beach, FL.

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Valley Race Park began a new racing season in November for the 2016/2017 season, after the track had only two limited live meets in 2011 and 2013 during the last seven years. It was also announced that racing would return at Gulf Greyhound Park for the 2017/2018 season and Gulf Coast Racing would have greyhound racing for the 2018/2019 season.

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Rounding out the year, we added a special new member to our Greyhound Channel family, Winner. He has fit right in and we have all enjoyed getting to know his personality. Bandit and Inc are over the moon to have another brother to race around the yard with.

2016 was an eventful year, full of moments that we were happy to share with you. We would like to thank all of our wonderful readers and customers. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to do what we love. We hope you have a wonderful 2017.

This Week With The Professor: Questions Answered

Today, The Professor will attempt to answer questions sent to us by David L. and Steve M.

Let’s start with David L. He asks,”Have any tips on handicapping 9 dog races at Southland or 6 dog races in Ireland? I’m so used to 8 and I prefer a field of 8. I don’t like 9 simply because of fewer lines in the program. Although I realized taking the time to research deeper I could find some values. I’ve always felt that with a smaller field, closers have a better chance.”

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I have had a lot of experience in handicapping nine dog races, as my greyhound racing experiences began at Multnomah Kennel Club in Oregon, which ran nine dog races for many years. When you add an extra dog in the mix going to the first turn, there are bound to be more jams and trouble, so we need to find either the top early speed or a greyhound who will be able to take advantage and benefit if the early speed gets jammed up. This is usually a dog who runs the rail and can benefit on the turn. My method was picking the top speed and using that for the key. You can only determine that by watching many races and comparing speed. Southland is not as speed oriented, as the sprint is longer than most, but the theory still works. Post position is also more important because of the possible jamming, so the #1 and the #9 posts become more valuable. The advantage to nine dog races is that the payouts are always higher, as the average bettor cannot cover as many spots in the exotics; therefore, there are fewer winning tickets.

As far as the six dog races at Ireland, I have no experience wagering on those tracks, so my knowledge is limited. I do know that there is less trouble, as the dogs are seeded by their running style (rail runners put on the inside, wide runners put on the outside) and therefore smaller payouts are the result.

Now a question from Steve M. He asks, “If you could only choose one, what do you consider to be your most powerful handicapping tool: form, class, speed, early speed, post position, or something else.”

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It has been my experience that early speed is the most important thing to decipher when handicapping a greyhound race. If you can figure out who is going to be in the lead coming out of the first turn, you are way ahead of the game. Just check out the charts and you will see that the leader runs in the top two 75% of the time. I always say “speed kills.” My theory is to key the speed and do not throw out the late speed. I would say class is the next important thing, as this ties in with speed, as a hound who cannot make the lead in one grade, may be able to when they drop in grade. Form is important, but unless the dog shows a rapid decline in performance, I usually assume that the dog is just going through a slump and can recover quickly. Hope that helps.

Thank you David L. and Steve M. for such greyt questions and feedback! 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 Letter From Bonus Bandit

Woof woof!

Hi, fellow friends! It’s me, Bonus Bandit! Can you believe it? It took quite some persuading, but after lots of puppy-eyed faces and promises to not chew my family’s socks for awhile, I finally got Greyhound Channel to let me take over their blog for the day! Woof! Many of you know that I have my own promotions with Greyhound Channel and they let me have a Twitter, too. Now, I’m writing my very own blog post! Soon, I will have my paws in everything at Greyhound Channel. You wait and see. Alright, there is so much I’d love to share with you, but let’s move on to what I came here for – to fill you in on my Greyt Gifts Giveaway promotion!

Last year, Greyhound Channel let me take the reins to bring you fun gifts for my Greyt Gifts Giveaway and I am so excited to be back for another round! For those of you who have not participated in my Greyt Gifts Giveaway, you can still take advantage of this barktacular promotion for its remaining days.

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I kicked off this year’s Greyt Gifts on December 1st, giving you 24 days of promotions and giveaways. Head over to my Twitter, Greyhound Channel’s Twitter or Facebook, or the Greyt Gifts page on Greyhound Channel’s Contest Site to view that day’s gift. If my gift for the day includes a promotional code, don’t forget to apply it to your wagering account by entering the code at Greyhound Channel.

You all have been so greyt to me, playing my Fetch 5 and Play Ball promotions every week. It is a super treat to have nearly a month long promotion where I get to take the lead on the leash and treat you guys to something fun every day! Nothing makes me happier than giving gifts. Well, except maybe running loops in the backyard. Boy does that just get my tail wagging! Speaking of my tail, what is the deal with that? Sometimes I see it, sometimes I don’t… And, I can never catch it! So frustrating. What was I saying again? Oh yeah, besides racing in the backyard, I really love what I do here. It has been an amazing four years working with my Greyhound Channel family and all of you.

Alright, I know you’re probably itching for today’s gift. For the seventeenth day of my Greyt Gifts, I am giving away $2 wagers to anyone who enters the promotional code JINGLE17 today, December 17th. All that I ask for in return is that you tell Greyhound Channel how much you adore me. I mean let’s face it, I am pretty awesome. Maybe then, they’ll let me bark (Er.. I mean talk) at you guys more often! Sound like a deal? OK, enjoy your free wager!

Always,

Bonus Bandit – Woof!

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Questions!

 

Today we will attempt to answer questions sent to us be David L. and Hank P.:

David L. asks,

“Has there ever been an error when two greyhounds were mixed up in a kennel before the races?

Also, “how many races must a Grade D dog finish 5th or higher before they are graded off?”

First question: Yes there have been instances, though rare, of the wrong greyhound running in a race, or the wrong race blanket being put on a greyhound. In these cases, the error was caught and the race declared a no race. There are safeguards in place to prevent this from happening. Before a greyhound may race, a Bertillon card is completed by the paddock judge, with the color, markings and the ear tattoos recorded on the card. When the greyhound is brought out to race from the lock out kennel, the dog is checked to make sure that everything matches the card. The leadout is then given the racing blanket to put on the dog. Sometimes the tattoos are faded and difficult to read and a mistake could be made, but it is rare.

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Second question: The grading systems are different at every track, so this is a tough one to answer. Some tracks have grade E, so that would be the grade off grade. As a rule of thumb, a greyhound must finish worse than fourth four times before they are graded off. At some tracks, these greyhounds may re-qualify after a period of time. In Grade M, a greyhound will usually have to run worse than fourth six times before being disqualified.

Hank P asks: “Do kennels make any special changes for greyhounds in stakes races, especially for those who are already A or AA grade, to increase their speed and stamina even more?

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The answer to this is a bit complicated. Having trained a kennel of greyhounds myself, the goal of the trainer is to have their greyhounds running at their best at all times. This being said, if you know a stakes race is coming up, you may give the dog a little more rest between starts, or if the distance is changing, give them a start at the new distance, You may take them for a walk the day of the race, but basically just keep the same routine, because if the dog has made the final, he or she is obviously sharp and you do not want to do anything to throw them off.

 

Thank you, David L. and Hank P. for the questions and feedback.

 

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: Valley Race Park

Thanksgiving kickstarted the Holiday season with good food, shopping, and lots of greyhound racing. Among the racing excitement, we saw two Thanksgiving stakes at Derby Lane and bestbet, the championship race of the WVGOBA Sprint at Wheeling Island, and round one of the Naples Ft. Meyers’ New Sensations Puppy Classic. But, possibly, the most exciting greyhound racing event Thanksgiving weekend was the return of live racing at Valley Race Park in Harlingen, Texas. Friday, November 25th, started the 2016/2017 season at Valley Race Park.

During the last seven years, Valley Race Park ran two limited live meets in 2011 and 2013. Besides those two meets, Valley Race park ran on simulcast racing and special events. In April of this year, it was announced that Valley Race Park would return again with live greyhound racing. Their 2016/2017 season will run through February 4th, 2017. Live greyhound racing, at Valley Race Park, currently takes place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday each week, with Wednesday being added into the mix, beginning December 28th, for four days of live greyhound racing. That totals to 36 race dates, each beginning at 8 PM EST.

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With a little over a week into their season, there has been an exciting buzz around Valley Race Park here at Greyhound Channel. With live greyhound racing ending at Gulf Greyhound Park in La Marque, Texas, last year, it is nice to have greyhound racing back in Texas. When the season ends, it is unclear as to when we will see greyhound racing at Valley Race Park again, but live racing will continue in Texas as Gulf Greyhound Park will pickup greyhound racing for the 2017/2018 season.

In a time when greyhound racing rarely returns to a track once it has left, it is greyt to see Texas bringing the sport back to these fantastic tracks. We look forward to enjoying the rest of the greyhound racing season at Valley Race Park, as well as the return of live greyhound racing at Gulf Greyhound Park next year.