The Belmont Stakes & You

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Did you know that you can bet the last jewel of the Triple Crown with us? As you sit down to handicap for the big festival of racing, do you know the full history behind the Belmont Stakes?

Imagine the year’s biggest horse racing events as a fancy, royal crown you can wear on your head. The Triple Crown has three spots for brilliant jewels: the first jewel is the Kentucky Derby. The second jewel is the Preakness. The third and final jewel is the Belmont Stakes. These elite horse racing days truly bring the best of the best–horse racing royalty. This year’s Belmont Stakes is no exception as the racing field is full of well-known contenders. The morning line favorite is Exaggerator (Jockey: Kent Desormeaux / Owner: Big Chief Racing, LLC / Trainer: J. Keith Desormeaux) at 9/5 odds.

Even though the Belmont is the third jewel in the Triple Crown and happens last in the horse racing extravaganza, it’s actually one of the oldest stakes races in North America. It’s also the oldest of the Triple Crown events: the Belmont Stakes first ran in 1867, the  Preakness in 1873, and the Kentucky Derby in 1875.

The tradition of betting the Belmont first started in 1867 thanks to the son of a 19th century banker and racing enthusiast. The banker, named August Belmont Sr, passed along his money and love for the sport to his son, August Jr. Among other things, August Jr. went on to be the chairman of the Jockey Club for 30 years, founded Belmont Park, and was the head of New York’s first Racing Commission.

The winner of the Belmont Stakes is the recipient of not just prestige, fame, and airtime on NBC, but also some fabulous gifts from Belmont Park. The winner is draped in the iconic Belmont Stakes white carnation blanket, which is made up of over 700 single carnations. The white carnations represent love and luck, and as such, are the traditional flower of the Belmont Stakes. The winner also gets to take home the awe-inspiring Belmont Trophy.

Known as the August Belmont Memorial Cup, it was first presented by the Belmont Family in 1926 to that year’s winner, Crusader. Each year that trophy is handed down to the next winner. The winning owner, trainer, and jockey receive a silver miniature Belmont Trophy.

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Jockey Mike Smith receiving the Belmont Cup after his win with Palace Malice, 2013. Photo courtesy of Belmont Stakes.

Specially crafted by Tiffany & Co, the trophy is a gorgeous silver bowl and cover with some distinctive features which set it apart from every other trophy out there. On the top of the trophy’s cover is a figure of the 1869 Belmont Stakes winner, Fenian, who was rode to glory by August Belmont himself. The cover sits on top of the bowl. Underneath it, the bowl is supported by three silver horses. These silver figures represent Herod, Eclipse, and Matchem; the three grandsons of the historic forefathers of thoroughbred racing.

These three horses pay homage to the three thoroughbred stallion grandfathers: Byerly Turk, Darley Arabian, and Godolphin Arabian. It’s said all thoroughbreds descend from these three bloodlines. From the three horses represented on the Cup, the lineage of Eclipse is predominant in the modern thoroughbred.

This weekend will be one to remember! Join in the excitement of the Belmont Stakes festival of races by taking advantage of our 10% Belmont Deposit promotion! Make a minimum deposit of $50.00 on Saturday, June 11th and you’ll receive a special 10% bonus (up to $50.00). After you’ve made your deposit, enter promotional code BELMONT into your account to receive your bonus same day. Remember, this promotion is good for ONE transaction only and you’ll need to wager the entire bonus and deposit before you may withdraw funds.

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Staying in the Belmont spirit, we published a very special Belmont Stakes podcast episode in this week’s installment of Catch the Action with Greyhound Channel! After checking in with greyhound current events and promotions, Alicia and Katie sat down with The Professor to glean tips and other insights on the Belmont Stakes. They learned quite a bit!

The Professor discussed his favorite Belmont Throwback experiences which included watching Secretariat, and also the memories of Affirmed boxing out Alydar in all three 1978 Triple Crown races. Before American Pharoah earned his Triple Crown bragging rights last year, Affirmed was the previous champion who most recently won the Triple Crown.

Do you have any favorite experiences or memories of the Belmont Stakes? We’d love to hear them! Share your experiences with us by replying to our Twitter and Facebook posts regarding the Belmont Throwback and you’ll be entered to win one of our two American Pharoah t-shirts!

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And don’t forget: the main event this weekend is to have a good time! We have all of the Belmont Stakes action; this is your chance to be included in this year’s Belmont Stakes legacy! Place your wagers online or with one of our friendly wagering representatives.

Greyhound Genetics

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Greyhounds are bred for speed and athletic ability and are not limited to breeding simply for attractive coat and eye color combinations. Because of this, greyhounds can have a variety of coat and eye color combinations, some of which you may not see in other common dog breeds. Officially there are 18 colors of greyhound coats with a total of 55 variations available.

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Image courtesy of Recycled Racers.

We know the pup’s coat and eye color depend on their parents; specifically, their genetics. There are three “main” greyhound colors: black, red brindle, and red. The greyhound receives one of these three genes from each of their parents, which is the basis for their coat color. Then, a gene modifier is passed down from both parents, which is what allows for the different coat variations.

One of the rarer genes passed down from greyhound parents to pup is the blue gene (a recessive modifier on the black gene). In order for a greyhound to have a blue coat or any variation of blue, the blue gene must be passed down by both parents. This unique gene makes blue greyhounds a rarity.

If you’re not familiar, “blue” is the term used when a greyhound has a gray coat.

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ETHEL IS HERE. Photo courtesy of Jeff Prince, Customer Service Manager at Palm Beach Kennel Club.

Recently in the racing spotlight, ETHEL IS HERE (TRENT LEE X J’S AIYSSA), is a beautiful blue greyhound. Her sire TRENT LEE is a black pup and dam J’S AIYSSA is blue.

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TRENT LEE. Image courtesy of Greyhound Data.

TRENT LEE (BRETT LEE X SAN TAN GEM) has sired 3,860 puppies, of which 337 (8.7%) are blue. Interestingly, TRENT LEE’s sire and dam were both black. From this information, we know TRENT LEE passes down the blue recessive gene modifer, which is something he received both from his sire and dam. The same goes for J’S AIYSSA’s dam and sire, since she herself is blue.

Without going into the finer points of genetics, it makes us wonder what ETHEL IS HERE’s litter coloring would be. This hypothetical litter would depend on the sire, too, of course.

Speculation aside, the sire statistics can tell us one thing: greyhounds’ coat and eye color are not factors when it comes to racing. We were unable to find any scientific indicators that link a pup’s athletic prowess directly to the color of their eyes, or coat. However, we did find several articles on the science of greyhound genetics and would like to share with you one of our favorites.

We perused Greyhound Articles Online, a resource full of greyhound-related articles. The article on the subject of coat coloring was incredibly interesting and it related all of the genetic science, too. If you get a free moment, we encourage you to check it out here: Rainbow Colors – Rainbow Greyhounds. This article first appeared in the Spring 1999 issue of Celebrating Greyhounds Magazine and was written by Patricia Gail Burnham.

As breed enthusiasts, we can fawn (no pun intended) over our favorite colored pups. At the end of the day, we know that all greyhounds have one thing in common: they love to run.

 

Be sure to check out the greyt resource, Greyhound Articles Online. GAO is home to seemingly endless articles written by well-known folks in the field, spanning through many years. They host material from many greyhound-related publications (with permission, of course). Thanks also to Greyhound Data for all of the photos and information on greyhound lineage and sire statistics.

Sorceress of Sprint: Husker Magic

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.

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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.

Team Abernathy Kennel

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…

She Did It: HUSKER MAGIC’s 100th Win!

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SHE DID IT!

Are we surprised? No. Are we thrilled? Absolutely.

We’ve long been supporters of Derby Lane’s Darling Diva, having featured her throughout the years in our Inside Lure newsletter and here in our blog. Last week we talked about the Blonde Bombshell in our Catch the Action podcast and speculated about her 100th win–but wow, she did it!

From Imark Kennels and racing for the Jim Abernathy Kennel, the 2015 AGTOA All-America team captain and 2015 Rural Rube award winner, HUSKER MAGIC, is in the spotlight again having earned her 100th career victory on Monday, May 16, 2016 at Derby Lane. Although, can we say she’s in the spotlight again when she’s really never left it?

Now more than ever before, HUSKER MAGIC truly is among racing royalty. She now belongs to an elite group of greyhound athletes, both active and retired, who have individually managed to earn 100 career wins.

After HUSKER MAGIC’S 100th win accomplishment, we chatted with Kayruth Abernathy and got the inside scoop on what’s next for the accomplished sprinter. Stay tuned to the blog this coming Friday, May 27 for our exclusive interview!

Be sure to watch for her racing tonight at Derby Lane’s evening card, race 10. We’re crossing our fingers for her tonight; here’s hoping for HUSKER MAGIC’S career win 101!

Podcast Announcement & Last Handicapper Standing Update

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Have you heard? We are the proud creators of a brand new greyhound racing related podcast! Catch the Action with Greyhound Channel, a podcast dedicated to the people, community, and all aspects of greyhound racing, launched on Saturday, April 30. We had a greyt time talking about current events and even had a segment with The Professor!

Our podcast episodes are only 10 minutes long, so you can catch the action at your leisure: commuting to work, running errands–even while downloading free programs from our site and handicapping. Last week The Professor gave some greyt picks for stakes races last Saturday, both of which were in the money with impressive payouts.

Be sure to tune in and Catch the Action with Greyhound Channel! Our next episode will air on Saturday, May 14–we hope you tune in!

Want to see what it’s all about? Subscribing and listening to our podcast is completely free! You can find our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and Spreaker. We have a link directly on Greyhound Channel (click on the podcast icon at the top), and you can also find our podcast on our contest site.

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We are 12 rounds through our Last Handicapper Standing contest! What started on April 13 as our spring contest has burst into an action packed handicapping challenge. With only 15 rounds left in the competition, we are nearly halfway through!

We’ve seen some exciting stakes action, from round 1 to final.

The exciting conclusion of Palm Beach’s Bob Balfe Puppy Stakes:

The Spring Futurity Championship at Southland:

 

Derby Lane’s Gold Trophy Juvenile Final:

 

 

Here’s our current Last Handicapper Standing Leaderboard Top Five as of May 7:
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The next Last Handicapper Standing round will be on Sunday, May 15 for the round 1 action at Southland’s Razorback Classic. The very next day on Monday, May 16 we’ll have another Last Handicapper Standing qualifying event in the bestbet Puppy Stakes round 1.

Do you have what it takes? Who will be the Last Handicapper Standing?

 

Stay tuned! We’ll be sure to keep our contest site up-to-date with the latest information with race programs and contest standings! You can count on us to keep you connected via our Facebook and Twitter, too.

Did You Know: Greyhound Channel ACH!

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In April we announced PINpocket will be going away in the near future. In its place, we’ve created a brand new funding method: the Greyhound Channel ACH!

Greyhound Channel ACH is a fast, safe way to make deposits to and withdraw funds from your wagering account–with ZERO fees! You’ll be saying “bye-bye” to PINpocket’s $2.00 cash out fee because Greyhound Channel ACH is completely free to use for deposits and withdrawals!

Setting up your Greyhound Channel ACH is easy. If you haven’t already, take a moment and set up your Greyhound Channel ACH today!

Deposits: first, log in to your Greyhound Channel account. Once you’re logged in, click on Account Options, then Funding Options.

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What’s great about our new ACH processor is the system is able to see whether you have a PINpocket account and if so, it’ll offer to Link Your PINpocket Account details to save you a step.

If you have a PINpocket account, here’s what you’ll see:

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All you need to do is type in “I Agree” and click on “I want to import my PINpocket information.” After you’ve done that, you’ll receive an email notification with details advising you’ve successfully imported your banking information and settings from PINpocket, and that your Greyhound Channel ACH has been created!

You’re all set: simply log in to Greyhound Channel and select Greyhound Channel ACH as your funding option. Upon initiating a deposit, you’ll receive another email when the funds clear into your Greyhound Channel account.

Even if you don’t have a PINpocket account, it’s still easy! After clicking on Greyhound Channel ACH on the Funding Method menu, you’ll be taken to a screen where you may directly enter your bank account information.

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From this point you’ll enter your banking information and continue. The next screen should advise you’ve successfully linked your bank account. Before you can begin using the ACH system, you will need to verify that you are the owner of the bank account that you provided. Within 1 – 3 business days, you will receive two small deposits of less than $1.00 to your bank account. Once you see these deposits you’ll need to enter them into the verification page. After completing this process successfully, you’ll be able to use your newly linked bank account. That’s it, you’re done!

Withdrawals: alternatively you may utilize the new Greyhound Channel ACH for withdrawing funds from your wagering account and sending them to your bank account.

Log in to your Greyhound Channel account. Click on Account Options, then Funding Options. This is where we go for funding, and we’ll also head here for withdrawing funds. On the right side, click on Greyhound Channel ACH.

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If you haven’t linked your bank account (as described earlier for making a deposit), be sure to go ahead and do that now. Fill out the screen and proceed with the following steps:

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Fill out the form with the amount you’d like to withdrawal, and enter your four-digit PIN for your wagering account. Next you’ll see:

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Be sure to check the box to AUTHORIZE the withdrawal, and click on Continue. The next page will confirm the information you’ve entered. Make sure everything is correct on the screen, and click Continue.

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And just like that, the funds were deducted from your wagering account! Once cleared, the funds will be transferred into your bank account within three business days and will show on your statement as Greyhound Channel.

No fees, no confusing steps. Just easy money management! And as always, if you have any questions please call in and speak with one of our friendly customer service representatives. We’re here to help you!

 

Do you have an idea for a future “Did You Know” featured segment? Leave us a comment! If  your idea is featured, we’ll credit your Greyhound Channel wagering account with $2 as our way of saying thank you. We’d love to hear from you!

The Last Handicapper Standing

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Back again for its third year, the Last Handicapper Standing Stakes Challenge is a popular contest designed to test your handicapping skills. The LHS will have you competing against your fellow handicappers each round to achieve the highest mutuel payout total for WPS over the course of several stakes races.

This contest is all about embracing the challenge of handicapping with the excitement of multiple stakes series. Handicappers new and old have brought out the pens, scratch paper, and programs to figure out which pup will come out on top each qualifying round with the best WPS mutuel payout total.

Throughout the duration of the contest, we’ll be handicapping Palm Beach’s Bob Balfe Puppy Stakes, Southland’s Spring Futurity, Derby Lane’s Gold Trophy Juvenile, Southland’s Razorback Classic, bestbet’s Puppy Stakes, Southland’s Southland Derby, and Derby Lane’s St. Petersburg Derby. Not only will you submit your selection per round on the Greyhound Channel contest site, but you also put your money where your mouth is by placing a $2.00 WPS on your handicapping entry. (Note: the $2.00 WPS bet is required in order for your handicapping entry to count toward the LHS contest. Any entry without an accompanying $2.00 WPS bet for a handicapping selection will not count towards the contest.)

We kicked off the first round of LHS on Wednesday, April 13, which featured the qualifying races of Palm Beach’s Bob Balfe Puppy Stakes round 1 (races 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, and 15).

Palm Beach – Bob Balfe Puppy Stakes Round 1: Race Number, Winner, WPS Payout

  • Race 4: FLYING RUSSIAN ($19.80, $6.00, $3.40) – Early lead on the inside.
  • Race 6: JS SWEET REVENGE ($8.20, $4.80, $3.80) – Breaks on the inside, all the way.
  • Race 8: JS INSTA GATOR ($25.60, $14.00, $7.80) – Without trouble maintained lead.
  • Race 10: SENTINEL ($5.00, $3.20, $2.40) – Late speed to close the front-stretch.
  • Race 12: KINDA CRUEL RED ($2.60, $2.20, $2.20) – No trouble down the middle.
  • Race 14: BLU TOO ATAREE ($2.80, $2.40, $2.10) – Early speed and lead.
  • Race 15: WIKI RAY DONOVAN ($3.00, $2.40. $2.10) – Box to wire.

As always, you can catch race replays absolutely free under our Watch All Races Live section. (Click on Watch All Races Live then click on Race Replays. Select the track, month, day, and race number and you’re in the action, any time!)

Here’s the Last Handicapper Standing leaderboard as of April 14:

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Seems like something up your alley? You haven’t even seen our contest prizes:

  • 1st Place                         $500.00
  • 2nd Place                       $250.00
  • 3rd Place                        $150.00
  • 4th Place                        $100.00
  • 5th Place                        $50.00
  • Runners-up 6-10          GHC merchandise

Just for playing, every participant will receive 1,000 points for our Greyhound Channel contest site that they can redeem for merchandise! Winners will be based on total overall cash accumulated by the end of the last stakes race listed. In the event of a tie, the winner will be selected by a random drawing. Winners will be notified by email or phone and will be required to wager the total amount awarded to them at least once prior to withdrawal.

It’s not too late to play! The next qualifying round of LHS is tomorrow, Saturday, April 16 at Palm Beach’s Bob Balfe Puppy Stakes Round 2. Then on Sunday, April 17 we have another LHS qualifying round at Southland’s Sprint Futurity Round 1! The last qualifying round of LHS will conclude on July 1, with Southland’s Derby Championship. You can check out the official contest race schedule here.

Be sure to submit your LHS selections via the Greyhound Channel contest site’s LHS enter here link. After submitting your LHS picks prior to the qualifying race, don’t forget to wager your $2.00 WPS to confirm your selection either over the phone with a Greyhound Channel wagering agent, or via our online wagering system.

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Do you have what it takes? Who will be the Last Handicapper Standing?

 

Stay tuned! We’ll be sure to keep the Greyhound Channel contest site, Facebook, and Twitter up-to-date with the latest standings and news. Get in the Action with Greyhound Channel!

Spring is Here!

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It seems like it was just yesterday we were cheering everyone on during our Exotic Howliday Jackpot and December Greyt Gifts promotions. Spring has finally arrived and we can’t wait for better weather! There’s nothing like a day of fun in the sun followed by an evening shared with friends, both human and greyhound alike.

The changing of the seasons also means added performances at our favorite tracks. With the increase in action, we can’t help but wonder: what might be in store for us this year? What thrills will we experience this greyhound racing season?

Better weather means more stakes excitement from the tracks you know and love. Currently we’re in the middle of bestbet’s March Mayhem Sweet Sixteen Stakes with Round 2 Part 1 today and Round 2 Part 2 tomorrow, Saturday March 26.

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Every greyt athlete knows how important it is to stretch before a busy day. Our Bonus Bandit prepares for this Saturday’s stakes action by enjoying a luxurious stretch.

Tomorrow is shaping up to be quite the exciting day with plenty of stakes action with international excitement: Saturday is World Cup Day at Meydan Dubai! We will also be following the action during the semi-finals at Naples’ Marathon Championship Stakes; the final round at Tri State in the WVGOBA Juvenile, and the first round of Derby Lane’s Distance Classic! In just a few short weeks Iowa Greyhound Park’s live racing season will be starting up on May 14, 2016!

Be sure to stay on top of it all by viewing our Racing Calendar with post time schedule. You can count on us to keep you up to speed with the latest information.

 

Get in the action with Greyhound Channel! If you haven’t already, sign up for our Inside Lure newsletter, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter, and check back here often.