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.

This Week With The Professor: Female Racers

Today, The Professor will answer a question submitted by David L. He asked, “When a female comes into season, does she still race? Can this be disruptive and annoying to the males in the kennel. If so, is the female removed?”

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The answer to this question is no. If a female is in season she is not permitted to race. If a female comes into season they are generally removed from the racing kennel, either by sending them back to the greyhound farm for a few months or, if that is not possible, kept away from the other greyhounds in the kennel. That being said, most racing kennels give their racing females a small dose of male hormones, bi-weekly or monthly, to ensure that the female does not come in season while they are racing. While the “season” generally only lasts about 20 days or so,  the greyhound’s performance will drop off for up to three months, to such an extent, that they cannot compete during that time. With the profit margin being slim, the kennel cannot afford to have a lot of racers on the shelf for significant amounts of time. The practice of giving this small dose of male hormones has proven to do no harm to the female, and her cycle will almost always return to normal 6 months to a year after their racing career is over. The major majority of kennel owners and trainers are in the greyhound business because of their love for the animals,  not because they are going to get rich and would not think of doing anything that would cause any harm to the greyhounds in their care.

There are a  few kennels, who breed and race their own greyhounds, that allow their female racers to come into season and just send them back to the breeding farm until the cycle is over, or will breed them at that time. These breeders are more focused on breeding than racing, and have an abundance of racers to take up the slack.

Thanks for the question, David!

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: 2016 All-America Team

We waited in anticipation for the announcement of the American Greyhound Track Operators Association’s (AGTOA) 2016 All-America Team members and on Monday, March 27th, the team was officially announced.

We are proud of each athlete who made it onto the All-America first and second teams, with some returning from last year’s team. Jim Gartland, the Executive Director for the NGA and the Secretary Treasurer to the Board, wrote an article on the team members and their accomplishments that we would like to share with you:

Jacksonville Star Captains 2016 All-America Team – 3 Return From Last Year

Bestbet Jacksonville superstar Seldom Told has been named Captain of the 2016 All-America team, as announced Monday, March 27th, by the American Greyhound Track Operators Association (AGTOA).

The annual naming of the All-America team dates back to 1963. The program pays tribute to the top eight greyhounds nationally, as voted on by the member tracks of AGTOA.

Others named to this year’s squad are: Oaks Maddy (Southland), Need My Moneynow (Jacksonville), Oshkosh Kid (Southland), Oya Stan The Man (Derby Lane), Husker Magic (Derby Lane), Kinda Cruel Red (Wheeling), and Boc’s Tony Romo (Southland).

This year’s second team is comprised of: Chasmo’s Dutch (Southland), Martha Maccullum (Naples), Mike Huckabee (Naples), Ethel Is Here (Palm Beach), Joeslittlepebble (Naples), Varoom Esme (Wheeling), Lego Andrew (Derby Lane), and Mega Revelation (Derby Lane).

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Seldom Told

Seldom Told (Trent Lee – Need A Date), is one of three repeaters on this year’s squad and is one of Jacksonville’s leading winners. He captured the $50,000 Orange Park Derby, the 550 Sprint Championship and Holiday Sprint Stakes and was a finalist in the Redemption Stakes. He put together win streaks of 8 and 7 (twice) races while compiling an impressive 43-32-4-1-3 record at the bestbet oval. Owned by Sharon Williams and racing for the D.Q. Williams kennel, the sleek black speedster flirted with track records all year long while winning an impressive 74% of his starts.

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Need My Moneynow

Another Jacksonville ace, and also from last year’s team, is Need My Moneynow (No More Loving – Need A Date). A half brother to Seldom Told, also owned and raced by Sharon Williams, he won the Daytona 550 Championship last January and the March Mayhem Stakes at Jacksonville as well as being a finalist in the Patton Silver Cup. He put together one 8 race winning streak and won 22 races on his way to a 34-22-6-1-2 overall record.

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Husker Magic

Returning to her third All-American team is Husker Magic (Rhythmless – Casino Zada). In an abbreviated 2016 campaign, the “Blonde Bombshell” finished 2nd in the Daytona 550 and captured the T.L. Weaver Memorial at Derby Lane. Owned by Imark Kennels and racing for the Abernathy Kennel, Magic won 10 races out of 16 starts for the year and capped off her career winning her 105th lifetime race prior to officially retiring in June.

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Oaks Maddy

Oaks Maddy (Pat C Clement – Oaks Gem Brandy), one of two females on this year’s team, was one of the top sprinters at Southland all year long. Owned by Mick Hymes and racing for the Dorsey Kennel, Maddy captured the King & Queens Challenge and the $100,000 Arkansas Bred Sprint Division Championship and was a finalist in the Southland Derby. She compiled a 60-22-5-7-6 record against grueling competition at the Southland meet and will definitely be in consideration for the Rural Rube award.

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Oshkosh Kid

Oshkosh Kid (Kiowa Mon Manny – Oshkosh Vani), owned by Larry Pollard may be the best middle distance greyhound in America. His 31 wins made him the track win champ at Southland in 2016. Along the way he picked up the $100,000 Middle Distance Championship (won same race in 2015) and was a finalist in the $50,000 Razorback Classic. Racing for the Charter Kennel, he had two six race win streaks running against the best at Southland. He will no doubt be a leading candidate for the Flashy Sir award. He finished the year with a 54-31-11-6-1 record.

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Oya Stan The Man

Another Derby Lane star, Oya Stan The Man (Defrim Bale* – O Ya Norma), joins the team for 2016. Stan took home the track win lead at St. Pete, notching 33 victories for the year. Owned by Gary Reicherts and raced by the D’Arcy Kennel, he won the St. Pete Derby, finished 2nd in the Holiday Distance Challenge, and was a finalist in the Distance Classic. His record was 33-10-6-3 in 63 starts, and he was the top 3/8 mile greyhound throughout the year.

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Kinda Cruel Red

Kinda Cruel Red (Bella Infrared – Cruel To Be Kind) joins the 2016 team as the only Wheeling representative. Owned by Ed Piziak, Jr. and raced by Jacobs Racing, Red managed to pick up the third most wins at Wheeling in 2016 while only racing there for about half the year. He managed a 38-20-7-4-1 record at Wheeling after starting his career at Palm Beach where he was 17-7-3-2-2 before heading north. He was also a late invite for the 2017 550 at Daytona where he finished 2nd.

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Boc’s Tony Romo

Rounding out the 1st team is Boc’s Tony Romo (Flying Penske-Boc’s Slim N Fit). Unlike his Cowboy namesake, this Romo had a distinctive 2016 hitting the paysheet 26 out of 32 times at Southland. He captured the $20,000 Hound Madness Stake and was a consolation finalist in the $100,000 Marathon Division of the Festival of Stakes. This talented athlete raced AND WON over four different distances at Southland ending up with a record of 32-14-7-2-3 for the year.

These eight represent the 1st team and will be honored with All-America plaques at the Greyhound Hall Of Fame awards ceremony on Thursday night, Apr. 27, during the NGA Spring Meet in Abilene, Ks.

Second Team:

Southland Derby Champ, Chasmo’s Dutch (Djays Octane – Chasmo’s Layla) leads the Second Team of All-Americans. He charted a 50-19-7-8-6 record at the track, while also finishing 3rd in the Darby Henry Sprint Championship. Dutch is owned and raced by Lester Raines.

Martha Maccullum (Flying Westover – Johara), owned by Anthony Napolitano and raced by Brindle Kennel, was win leader at Flagler with 16 wins in 24 starts and won 12 of 13 at Naples in 2016. Overall was 37-28-3-2-1 for the year. Invited to 2017 Daytona 550 Championship.

Ethel Is Here (Trent Lee – J’s Alyssa), owned by Jerry Simons, won the $50,000 James Paul Derby racing for the Janie Carroll Kennel at Palm Beach. Ethel was a finalist in the $50,000 Arthur Rooney Invitational. Track win leader at Palm Beach finishing on the pay sheet in 45 of her 50 starts.

Mike Huckabee (Trent Lee – Twinkies), owned and raced by Brindle Kennel, won the Naples-Ft. Myers Derby and was a finalist in the Naples Sprint. Compiled a 62-26-6-10-5 over the year.

Joeslittlepebble (P’s Gibbs – Joe’s Abby) won the $30,000 Dubuque Classic and made the finals of the $145,000 Iowa Breeders Cup for owner Joe Recker and the Copper Kettle. 2016 record: 38-7-6-6-8

Lego Andrew (Kinloch Brae – Danicas Go Daddy, owned and raced by Randy Floyd, won the $64,000 Derby Lane Sprint Classic and finished 2nd in the Inaugural as well as the Matinee Idol Feature. Ran the two fastest times of the season at Derby on his way to a 63-27-11-5-7 record.

Southland standout Mega Revelation (Bella Infrared – Primed Az Mailie) was the winner of the $50,000 Razorback Classic for David and Jeff Blair. He was the hottest 3/8ths greyhound over the summer at Southland winning 8 of 9 starts. Ran the fastest time of the year over the 660 course. Ended 2016 with a 28-16-4-5-1 record.

Completing the 2nd team is Dean Miner’s Varoom Esme (Kiowa Mon Manny – Flying Bassey). Racing for the Cardinal Kennel at Wheeling, Esme was the track win champion with 23 victories and had an overall record of 48-23-11-3-3 at the West Virginia track.

We would like to thank Jim Gartland and the NGA for providing a wonderful snapshot of each All-America first and second team members. Congratulations to the team members and all connections on this greyt achievement!

This Week With The Professor: Q and A

Today, The Professor will answer a question submitted by Hank P. regarding the number of greyhound runners per race compared to Irish greyhound tracks, and what the effect is.

Hank P. asked, “Irish Greyhound tracks use 6 greyhounds per race, US tracks use 8 to 9. Are injuries less at Irish tracks than US tracks because of fewer greyhounds in a race? If so, would US tracks consider using 6 greyhounds per race to help prevent injuries and to help curb anti-greyhound racing concerns? More races could be added to racing schedules to compensate for the use of fewer greyhounds per race. Yes, payoffs may be less to bettors using 6 greyhounds per race but US greyhounds would have a better chance of not being injured as much and having a longer racing life.”

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The answer to your question is no. Gamblers in the US, for the most part, do not like smaller fields in greyhound racing or in horse racing, and do not play as much when the fields are small. As evidence of that you can compare the pools in a race where there are one or more scratches and you will see they are considerably smaller. As you point out, the payoffs would be noticeably smaller. In the days where Multnomah ran nine dog races, the payoffs were huge, and when they went to the standard eight dog race, the payoffs took a sharp dive. Greyhound tracks are living with a small profit margin and they could not afford to take that hit. As for adding more races, that is really not an option. Even with short times between races, it is difficult to get 15 races in before midnight at most tracks.

As far as the amount of injuries go, I have no idea what the rate of injury is in Ireland, but over there racing is so different than ours, it is difficult to compare. Having trained and owned greyhounds myself, I found that the condition of the track is a much larger factor in injuries than bumping and collisions. Almost all of the major injuries occur when a dog hits a hole or takes a bad step rather than being hit by another dog. Your thought about appeasing anti-greyhound racing folks may be valid, but it is my experience that there is nothing that you could do to convince them to stop their anti-dog racing campaign, other than to ban greyhound racing, as most of their arguments have been proven false or greatly exaggerated.

Thanks for the question Hank!

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.