Blog Spotlight: Dave Bullock

Early November kicked off the start of Naples-Fort Myers 2017/2018 season, bringing with it the great announcing calls full of fun and energy that we love to listen to. Continuing our Track Announcer series, we spoke with Dave Bullock about his start in greyhound racing and his announcing gig at Naples.

Dave became interested in the greyhound racing industry through his dad who loved the sport and owned a kennel with his friend. Heading to the track as a teenager, Dave instantly became interested in greyhound racing.

“I went to Sarasota greyhound racing track at 15 years old and was hooked from there.”

Dave got his first taste of announcing as a teenager when a friend of his, who commentated on baseball games, asked Dave if he wanted to give it a try. Dave provided commentary on a few baseball games that season and enjoyed it. Throughout high school, he worked at a supermarket where he was designated as the salesperson over the microphone. This helped Dave to learn how to speak well on a mic.

DaveBullock_Edit
Dave Bullock at Naples. Photos provided by Mike Coppola.

Over the years, Dave continued to work and play the hounds. His late wife worked at Naples-Fort Myers and one day she was asked if she knew someone who could fill in as announcer for a few races. Thinking of Dave, who was then retired, she told the general manager, Larry Baldwin, to ask her husband. It was from that moment on that Dave started calling the races at Naples and it’s where he’s been for the last 19 years.

Discussing his tough, but fun job, Dave explained that announcing the races isn’t for everyone. Many people get spooked at the thought of speaking over a microphone and it can be difficult to follow the action and read the program. It’s a skill that you need to have that can then be fine tuned.

“Either you can do it [announcing] or you can’t do it.”

Dave brings energy and fun to his announcing that you definitely hear when you listen to him call races. One thing he likes to start off with from time to time is “Who let the dogs out?” and his favorite call he has ever said was during one of the Night of the Stars stakes where he said, “If you don’t have the 7 on top, you might as well get naked and climb through a barbed wire fence.” This is the fun and quick-witted statements that Dave brings to the table that attendees and viewers gobble up.

Video provided by Greyhound News of Dave recreating his favorite calls for the audience.

Having the best view in the house, Dave continues to enjoy wagering and seeing the action as it happens. Loving the crowd and people involved in the sport, Dave also enjoys heading down from the announcing booth to walk around and mingle with those watching the races. He’ll sometimes have a wireless mic on and ask attendees if they would like to call a race. Well not everyone possesses the skill needed to announce, it has sure made for some interesting calls.

19 years is a long time to be dedicated to one job, and the key to sticking with a job for so long is to enjoy what you do. Dave truly loves greyhound racing, announcing, and having fun, all of which show in the races he calls.

“I love doing it. You’re never going to get rich doing it, but I love greyhounds. I love all kinds of animals… And I enjoy being around the action.”

We would like to thank Dave for speaking with us and sharing his story in the greyhound racing industry. Head down to Naples-Fort Myers or tune into our live coverage of the races to hear Dave for yourself. One of our main goals is to promote the greyhound industry. Do you work in it or know someone who does? Would you be interested in being featured in our blog or podcast? Contact us at custserv@greyhoundchannel.com.

This Week With The Professor: Q & A

Today The Professor will answer a question submitted by David N.

“A friend of mine and I were discussing over the past weekend at BestBet Orange Park whether it is better to concentrate on one track (easier to remember track biases, individual greyhound running styles, etc.) or try to “hit” races on several different tracks.”

David, it was my personal experience that if you are interested in turning a profit while betting on greyhounds, concentrating on one track is your best chance to do that. That doesn’t mean that you cannot look at other tracks from time to time, but not when your chosen track is running. It is a difficult task to win consistently and it requires all of your attention to do so. If you get to know the greyhounds at that track, you can visualize how the race may be run. It has been my experience that people who try to wager on more than one track at a time, are destined to lose in the end. If you are just out to have a good time and are not really concerned about making a profit, then sure, knock yourself out.

When I was betting on greyhounds for a living, there was no simulcasting, so you had no choice but to stick to your home track. The beauty of that was that the pools were a lot bigger, and hence more money to be made. When simulcasting came, you had more choices, and more chances to be distracted, and the pools at the home track shrunk.

In conclusion, it is my opinion that you should stick to one track. Maybe I am just not smart enough to concentrate on more than one thing at once! 🙂

Thank you, David, for the greyt question!

pawprints

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: Gary Samuels

Gary Samuels is a greyhound racing enthusiast, wagering on the dogs and co-owning them. In this year’s National Greyhound Association (NGA) Fall Meet, Gary, along with Norm Rader of Rader Racing and Mike Dawson, purchased TWPA Harper, as well as his litter mate, TWPA Hope. We recently spoke with Gary to hear his story in the greyhound racing industry, learning about his start in ownership along the way.

Harper_Hope
Gary Samuels with TWPA Hope (left) and TWPA Harper (right)

Gary learned about greyhound racing at the young age of 12. When Palm Beach Kennel Club raced seasonally, Gary’s dad would take him to the track to watch the schooling races. During this time, Gary was able to play the dogs with “funny money,” giving him the opportunity to learn a lot about wagering on greyhounds. Over the years, Gary enjoyed heading to the track to wager on the hounds, but in 2006 his joy for greyhound racing extended past the gambling side. It was then that Gary ended up co-owning a few pups with his friend, who was involved in owning and racing greyhounds. The greyhounds ended up doing quite well and, just like that, Gary was bitten by the dog owning bug, having now co-owned 75-100 pups.

“When you get your first dog and he is one of the best dogs at the track, you get the itch back.”

Nobooth for Gary was Gary’s first hound, who was a stakes winner of Palm Beach Kennel Club’s 2007 Bob Balfe Puppy Stake, Night of the Stars XX, and the 75th Anniversary Hot Box Feature. His resume also includes being a finalist in the 2007 Grand Classic and he was Win leader at Palm Beach for the 2007-08 season. Nobooth for Gary is one of Gary’s favorite pups, not only because he was his first dog, but also because he was a fantastic racer. A couple other favorites include KB’s Clear Rock and Hereforagoodtime.

NoboothForGary
Top pictures are of Nobooth For Gary. Bottom Picture is from the 2007 Bob Balfe Puppy Stakes. Included in the photo is Gary Samuels, Yong Rader, Norm Rader, Mike Labetti, and Nobooth For Gary. Photos provided by Greyhound-Data.com.

Over the years of co-owning greyhounds, Gary has learned a lot. The first thing being to not try to make decisions on what the dog should be doing. Gary explained that should be left to the trainer, who really does know what is best for each pup.

KBsClearRock
KB’s Clear Rock, solely owned by Gary Samuels. Photo provided by Greyhound-Data.com.

When purchasing hounds, Gary looks for certain racing styles that will fit specific tracks. When purchasing TWPA Harper and TWPA Hope, Gary and Norm felt that they had the potential to be great racers who could end up at Southland. As of now, both the pups have broken in well, excelling in their schooling races and currently moving their way up the grades at Palm Beach Kennel Club. In fact, TWPA Hope is live in Palm Beach’s Dick Andrews Futurity. She will be racing from the 4 box in Monday’s Semi-Finals in race 12 of the matinee card and we can’t wait to see how she does. Additionally, Gary explained that he has early speed dogs that race well at Palm Beach because their track is a little shorter and tends to favor early speed.

“There’s a term in horse racing called ‘horses for courses.’ Yesterday, was the Breeders’ Cup and Arrogate does not like to run at Del Mar and ran really bad; just doesn’t like that track. When I purchase a dog, it’s called hounds for grounds. You want to buy a dog that has the style to run at a specific track. Now, does it always work out like that? Of course not, but that’s what you’re looking for.”

Currently, Gary and Norm have three or four greyhounds actively running at Palm Beach, Jacksonville, and Southland. They also have a litter on the farm of about four dogs that are 11 months old. Having a great relationship with Norm, Gary really enjoys co-owning hounds with him, as well as one of his other friends.

“It makes it fun because we’re all friends so it gives us something to talk about when we’re all partners with the dogs.”

This is the key for Gary and the reason why he enjoys co-owning greyhounds. He loves the joy that comes from owning greyhounds and the camaraderie formed with those he co-owns them with.

“If I make a few bucks, even better, but I really do just enjoy the fun of it.”

We would like to thank Gary Samuels for speaking with us and sharing his story in the greyhound racing industry. One of our main goals is to promote the greyhound industry. Do you work in it or know someone who does? Would you be interested in being featured in our blog or podcast? Contact us at custserv@greyhoundchannel.com.

 

Day16_BlogImage

This Week With The Professor: Q & A

Today, The Professor will answer questions submitted by David L. and
Paul W.

“Now that you have answered the day and night question how about hot or cold weather?”

– David L.

Dog_Question_FacingLeft

David, it has been my experience that this is not a big factor, with a couple of exceptions. When the weather is cold, the older greyhound’s performances do seem to suffer somewhat. The reason for this is obvious. When one gets older cold weather tends to make any aches and pains the greyhound may have seem to have a negative effect on them, just as it does with humans (personal experience with this!). the other factor is rain, which makes the track muddy. It has long been said that you want to play the bigger, early speed dogs in the mud. This makes total sense as the late speed dogs would get mud in their face and pick up mud on the balnket, which would bother them greatly. I think the early speed factor is more important than the actual size of the dog.

Is there any truth to the quality of racers being superior at night? I always thought so.

– Paul W.

Dog_Question_FacingLeft

Paul, you would have been correct years ago, but now the opposite seems to be true at a couple of tracks. Palm Beach for example, runs their higher grade greyounds during the Matinee programs. Also Southland runs their stakes races during their Twilight programs. Most of the other tracks do run their stakes eliminations and top grade hounds on their night programs.

Thanks for the questions, David and Paul!

pawprints

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.

Remembering Rastro Ricky

Rockdale, Texas, with a population of 5,800 and located in Milan County, is named after a rock standing twelve feet high two miles north of the present day town. Although not incorporated until 1878, the community swelled in 1874 as the Great Northern Railway roared its way to and from Rockdale. The passenger depot built in 1906 stands as a landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A little more than a century after the town’s founding, it would become a hotbed of canine velocity, rivaling the muscle and surge of the long ago locomotives. C & C Greyhound Farm is now home to only two broods, brindle Hookem Shakee, an iron horse herself starting 163 times, and Home Made Money, a speedy stakes placed black streak. It wasn’t always this way…

image(2)

Buddy Scitern was born in Monahans, Texas, to full time homemaker Shirley and father Cotton, who owned and ran four Ideal Pump and Supply stores that catered to the demands of the petroleum industry. Buddy, an oil industry veteran, began inserting rod pumps at age twelve, and is currently working at Endurance Lift Solutions as an ALS representative. He graduated from Devine High School, but not before landing a fourth place finish in the 1982 state high school golf championship AND his future wife Carrie.

Buddy And Carrie1
Buddy and Carrie Scitern

Buddy and Carrie married January 8, 1983, and honeymooned in Rockdale, establishing a store for Cotton and soon settled there permanently. Buddy’s interest in greyhounds developed years ago at the late Bo Titsworth’s farm in Cameron, Texas, where he fell in love with the dogs circling the training track. With a little help from their Bay State pal in Penbrook, David Jeswald, Buddy, and Carrie founded C & C Greyhound Farm in 1987. On nineteen acres, including a training track, two kennels, thirty-six runs, and a five acre sprint field, it hosted 250 greys and employed three helpers at its peak. Once associated with legendary stakes winner and sire Trent Lee and sprint monster Craigie Whistler, Buddy remembers the best dog to ever lay a paw on the farm, Rastro Ricky.

Buddy Carrie Greyhound Lets Go Joe11
Buddy, Carrie, and Let’s Go Joe

Owned by David Jeswald, Rastro Ricky was whelped in May of 1991 on Roland Cordiero’s farm in Swansea, Massachusetts, and sent to the Sciterns at four months old to be finished. When returned, Nostradamus couldn’t have forecasted the shock waves the handsome white male with a brindle ear and temple would send the New England circuit.

FRMgrey11

Rastro Ricky broke his maiden in a 5/16 race in his second start as a member of the Nanci Caswell Kennel, and begged for more real estate as shorter trips barely allowed him to stretch his legs. When started at 3/8 and 7/16, his longer distance win record would have made even 2017 New York Marathon winner Shalane Flanagan take notice. As victories accumulated, Rastro Ricky ran the 7/16 distance at Lincoln setting a record in 43.38 seconds shattering the old one of 43.90. Soon, David Jeswald advertised for national contenders to challenge Ricky at the 7/16 distance as the dog literally ran out of competition. This challenge produced three match races.The first match race held at Lincoln on 11/11/93 ended in a 20 length drubbing of Bay Point Kennel’s Boligee Roospur and Boligee Gunny. A second match race held 02/25/1994 at Hollywood pitted Rastro Ricky against home court favorite Ready To Rave of the Dick Andrews Kennel. Ready To Rave was left reeling in the wake of Ricky’s 6 1/2 length victory. Match race #3 returned to Lincoln on April 1 of 1994 against King Cameron, track record holder of Bluffs Run’s 3/8 and 7/16 distances. The representative of the Jandylor Kennel was shown the door and who was boss, after a 7 length thrashing courtesy of Rastro Ricky. Historically, in post race celebration, more often than not with no need for male enhancements, Ricky would find the closest female in cool out, and assert himself in an overtly amorous way that might result in public outcries and lawsuits if exhibited by human counterparts.

David_RastroRickyEDIT
David Jeswald and Rastro Ricky

Rastro Ricky’s racing career was abruptly cut short by an injury while schooling for a rematch with King Cameron at Bluffs Run in April of 1994, but not before accumulating 37 victories, 11 seconds, and 3 thirds in 60 lifetime starts, including Raynham All American Triathalon Finalist honors. During his stud and retirement years, he lived with trainer Angelo Marchione, a gentle and reserved man. Although never able to duplicate himself as a runner, he did throw a useful distance competitor, Tylers Ruff, whelped April of 1995. After Rastro Ricky passed, trainer Marchione left us way to soon three months later. In his honor, David Jeswald proudly attended the annual $5,000.00 Angelo Marchione Juvenile Stakes held at Lincoln until its closure in 2009.

FRMgrey9

David Jeswald doesn’t own dogs any more but as he continues handicapping greyhounds, Rastro Ricky is never far from his thoughts. Carrie Scitern holds down the fort caring for broods, puppies, and also former Caldwell, Texas, mayor Billy Broaddus who is now in his late 80’s. Buddy, often away on business or serving as a judge for USA Boxing, officiating amateur and professional matches, doesn’t have much time for golf anymore. However, he’s happy his fondness for fairways continues through sons Carson, who won the Best in the West Classic in San Angelo at age 15, and Cameron, winner of the Starburst Jr. Classic at age 16. Cameron, an alumni of Tennessee State University, started four years on the golf team and served as captain for three. Now, club pro at the Devine Golf Course, he looks forward to restoring the course to its previous glory and placing it back on the map. Cameron believes Devine has really good talented players and to get them through the doors regularly, he must think outside the box. A box he works to avoid is one that C & C Greyhound Farm graduates strive to break when they turn 18 months old. Just because Buddy and Carrie have downsized, don’t think their glory days have ended. After producing 77 stake winners including 8 track record holders, the results of their labor speaks volumes and continues with future litters. Honesty, a rare quality currently at a high premium, is what Buddy values most and C & C Greyhound Farm has no plans of going anywhere. Kinda like that rock two miles north of town.

We would like to thank Buddy Scitern and David Jeswald for speaking with us about their story and the wonderful Rastro Ricky. One of our main goals is to promote the greyhound industry. Do you work in it or know someone who does? Would you be interested in being featured in our blog or podcast? Contact us at custserv@greyhoundchannel.com.