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.