Blog Spotlight: Wolf Pack Captains 2017 All-America Team by Jim Gartland

Multiple stake winner and Southland win leader, Flying Wolf Pack, has been named Captain of the 2017 All-America team, as announced today 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: Real Good Feelin (bestbet Jax), RT’s Bo Jangles (Derby Lane), Janice Dean (Palm Beach), Magnetic Drive (Flagler/Naples), Fire Blitzen (Naples), Tip Top (Palm Beach) and Barts Outofmyway (Wheeling).

This year’s second team is comprised of: Dutch Casey (bestbet Jax), Fraulein Morgan (Palm Beach), Martha Macullum (Naples), TMC’s Zoomba (Southland), WW’s Nextbigthing (bestbet Jax), Craigie Renegade (Southland), WW’s Odessabeach (Derby Lane) and Konomi (Wheeling/Dubuque).

First Team All Americans

 

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Flying Wolf Pack winning the 2017 Festival of Stakes’ Darby Henry Male Sprint

Flying Wolf Pack (Flying Lone Wolf – PJ Aces Up), was an obvious choice for All American as well as Captain of the team. He captured the $20,000 Best of the Best Series, the $25,000 Hound Madness Stake and the $200,000 Darby Henry Sprint at Southland. In addition to those wins, he made the finals of the Southland King & Queens, the 2 for the Money Challenge and the Sprint Derby. He put together numerous win streaks along the way including ten in a row at one point, all while racing against the very best in the country! His overall record for 2017 was 61-30-9-7-5. His 30 wins were enough to give him the 2017 win championship at Southland. Owned by Vince Berland and racing for the Lester Raines kennel, the Red and White racing machine is the odds on favorite to pick up the Rural Rube award for 2017.

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Real Good Feelin winning the 2017 Sprint Classic

One of two females on the roster, Jacksonville’s win leader, Real Good Feelin (TMC’s Remedy-Need A Date) joins the 2017 team making it the third year in a row a pup out of the female Need A Date has made the All American team. Half brothers Seldom Told and Need My Moneynow made the team in 2015 and 2016. Owned and raced by Tina Williams, she won the bestbet Sprint Classic and was a finalist in the Patton Silver Cup. In June, she set a new track record at 29.95 while picking up 37 wins along the way to make her track champion at Jacksonville. She has accumulated 97 wins in her career and will most certainly break the 100 win mark before it’s all over.

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RT’s Bo Jangles winning the 2017 Thanksgiving Stakes

RT’s Bo Jangles (Kiowa Mon Manny-Penrose Karrie) picks up All American honors after an amazing year at Derby Lane. Owned by Randy Toler and raced by Cal Holland, this speedster won Derby’s Howl-O-Ween and Thanksgiving stakes while cruising to a 71-45-10-4-3 record making him not only track champion but giving him National Win Honors as well! He dominated racing at the St. Pete oval often winning by large margins and putting together win streaks of 3, 4, 5 and 8 in a row.

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Janice Dean winning the 2017 James W. Paul 3/8ths Mile Derby

Janice Dean (Rhythmless-Audra Barkley) owned by Anthony Napolitano Jr. & Brindle Kennel, was the talk of the industry early in the year after winning the He’s My Man Classic and James Paul Derby at Palm Beach, all the while garnering much national attention as the namesake of Fox weather anchor, Janice Dean. She ended up running 4th in the Rooney Stakes missing her chance at Palm Beach’s Triple Crown, but nonetheless had a great year going before being injured in April finishing with 9 wins in 22 starts during 2017. She is one of only two females to make this year’s team.

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Tip Top

An emerging Palm Beach star, Tip Top (Barcelona Boss-Kiowa Starz Sage) joins the team for 2017. Tip Top has taken Palm Beach by storm. Breaking his Maiden in July, he quickly climbed the ladder straight to Grade A and ran 2nd in the Gallagher Puppy Stake in just his 11th lifetime start. Following the stake he went on a tear winning 16 of 17 (finishing 2nd in his only loss) including a stretch of 14 wins in a row! He is owned by Just Win Enterprises and raced by Norm Rader. This pup and his littermates have bright futures ahead of them.

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Magnetic Drive winning the 2017 Marathon Championship

Magnetic Drive (Flying Westover-Johara) joins the 2017 team representing Naples. Another White & Red male, he dominated the Naples meet in 2017 winning 27 races. He won the $20,000 Naples Marathon Championship and ran 2nd in the Naples Derby. He ran the fastest times of the meet for 3/8ths and 7/16ths at Naples and reeled off two 6 race wins streaks. Just to show off he also won a couple of 5/16th races at Flagler before moving on to Southland near the end of the year. Magnetic Drive is one of two All Americans on the team owned by Anthony Napolitano, Jr. and raced by the Brindle Kennel in Florida.

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Fire Blitzen winning the 2017 Derby at Naples

Fire Blitzen (Dragon Fire-Cry Heather) makes the 2017 All American roster coming off a great year in South Florida. Starting off the year in sprints, he captured the $30,000 Naples Sprint in January. He immediately switched over to 3/8ths and rolled on to a victory in the $50,000 Naples Derby in the midst of a nine race win streak at the distance. His 2017 record was 36-18-7-3-3 between Naples and Flagler. Records need to be checked, but Fire Blitzen may be the only, blue greyhound to make All American. He is owned by Sharon Williams and races for the D.Q. Williams Kennel.

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Barts Outofmyway

Last but not least on the first team of All Americans is the only Wheeling representative on the team, Barts Outofmyway (KC And All-Seadon Enchanted). The big red male, was one of the best sprinters at Wheeling winning 21 races. He dropped out of AA only once (and only for that one start) through all of his 47 starts in 2017. Unfortunately, there was no stake money to run after in Wheeling, but this greyhound is deserved after compiling a 47-21-4-3-7 against tough Wheeling competition day in and day out. He is owned by Rick Bartley and runs for the Lester Raines Kennel.

These eight will be honored with All-America plaques in ceremonies at the Greyhound Hall Of Fame Thursday night, Apr. 19, during the NGA Spring Meet in Abilene, Ks.

The Second Team

Orange Park Derby Champ, Dutch Casey (Djays Octane-Djays Im A Star) leads the Second Team of All-Americans. He charted a 73-11-18-11-9 record at the track, while also finishing 2ndd in the Marathon Challenge and 3rd in the Holiday Marathon. He is owned by Jo Ann Koerner and races for the Ocala Kennel.

Fraulein Morgan (Kiowa Mon Manny-Fraulein Kaci), owned by Jacobs Racing and raced by Crystal Carroll, won the $50,000 Arthur Rooney Stakes and ran 2nd in the James Paul Derby. She finished an abbreviated year with a 24-13-6-2-0 record. She retired in June after sustaining an injury.

Martha Maccullum (Flying Westover-Johara) A returnee from last year’s second team, Martha started out the year running 5th in the Daytona 550. She then returned to Naples and won 14 of her next 15 starts (finishing 2nd in her only defeat). Owned by Anthony Napolitano, Jr. and raced by the Brindle Kennel, she compiled a 22-15-1-2-0 record while missing 6 months of racing in 2017.

TMC’s Zoomba (Craigie Whistler-TMC’s Moneymaker) owned by Eddie McDonald and raced by Darren Henry won the Two for the Money Championship (beating Flying Wolf Pack among others) and was 2nd in the Barry Baldwin Juvenile at Southland. Her career only started in May, but she finished the year with a 41-17-6-2-1 record racing against the best at Southland.

WW’s Nextbigthing (Bella Infrared-WWK Big Money) won the Orange Park Puppy Stake, was 2nd in the Patton Silver Cup and a finalist in the Orange Park Battle of the Sexes. Adept at either 5/16 or 3/8, she racked up 15 wins at Orange Park before moving to Southland in July. Her overall record for the year was 70-19-12-3-5. She is owned by Julie Ward.

Craigie Renegade (KC And All-Toni Works) owned by James Zawisa and raced by Steve Sarras, may be the best super sprinter in the country. He captured the Crittendon Super Sprint at Southland and won 50% of his starts for the year. He had an amazing streak of races between April and October where he finished worse than 3rd just three times in 28 starts. He finished the year at 40-20-6-6-3.

WW’s Odessabeach (Djays Octane-WW’s Gucci) was the winner of the $20,000 Derby Lane Holiday Distance Championship. Racing both 5/16 and 3/8 this greyhound competed against Derby’s best all year finishing with a 38-15-4-2-2 record. He is owned by Julie Ward and raced for the Patriot Kennel at Derby Lane.

Rounding out this year’s 2nd team is Bob Hardison’s Konomi (SH Avatar-Money Maid). Racing at four different tracks in 2017, Konomi was the winner of the $100,000 Wheeling Island National and runner up in Dubuque’s King and Queens and Iowa Breeder’s Cup races. He broke in at Melbourne, moved on to Wheeling, had a lot of success at Dubuque and is currently racing at Southland. Overall he was 44-31-7-1-1 for the year.

Congratulations to these great greyhounds and all their connections!

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!

A Day in the Life of a Greyhound Kennel

When greyhounds aren’t running around the oval, they spend time at their home kennel. Wondering what exactly life entails at a greyhound kennel, we have gathered a general schedule of day-to-day activities for trainers, kennel staff, and the beloved greyhounds.

A greyhound trainer’s day typically begins bright and early around 6:00 am. Starting off the day, the kennel caretakers let the greyhounds stretch out and run around in large pens. The kennel staff will use this time to clean and disinfect the kennel and the crates that the greyhounds live in. This generally takes around 45-60 minutes, giving the greyhounds plenty of time to play. After the kennel and crates have been disinfected, the greyhounds are then put back in their crates to enjoy their freshly cleaned homes. These pups love their kennel spaces; it’s where they feel most comfortable and relaxed to sleep and rest. Some greyhounds love their crate so much that they prefer to spend most of their time in their home. Husker Magic, captain of the All-America Team, greets her kennel mates for about 10 minutes of their play time before she is wanting to head back to her crate for blanket snuggles.

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Once the pups are back in their crates, the trainer and helper will take the greyhounds who need exercise out to a “sprint path” to run. A “sprint path” is exactly how it sounds- a path utilized for greyhounds to sprint for racing practice, conditioning, and other various reasons. Greyhounds are typically “sprinted” every other day between races. When the greyhounds have completed their sprints, they are weighed and groomed.

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After grooming, the trainer will prepare and mix the greyhounds’ food. While food may differ from kennel to kennel, in general each pup’s meal consists of 1 ½ pounds of meat, 1 pound of meal, corn oil, and a vitamin. Sometimes the trainer will include fruits or a stew as well as honey for flavor. This is mixed together in a very large bowl with water to help with consistency. The greyhounds who are not racing eat a full meal and those who are racing receive a snack, which is half the portion size of the meal. After eating, the pups enjoy more time outside before heading back to their kennel to relax and nap.

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Greyhounds who are racing that day are taken to the track kennel where they wait till it’s their turn to race. Once a greyhound has raced, a caretaker will “cool them out.” This means the greyhounds are cooled down and walked. There are many different ways a trainer can cool down a greyhound: dip tanks, hoses, walk through tanks, etc. This helps relax the racing greyhound’s muscles and cools down their body temperature after the exertion of racing.

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After the day’s racers have run, they are taken back to the kennel and fed. All of the greyhounds are then turned out again for 30-45 minutes to stretch out and play. The pup’s racing that night are then taken to the track kennel for their races. After the night’s races have ran, all the greyhounds are let outside for one more romp before heading back to their crates for bed. Once the pups are put up for the night, the kennel is locked up and the caretakers head home.

Playing, sprinting, and resting are all a part of the kennel life for a racing greyhound. While the schedule we have outlined may slightly differ between locations, each kennel has a strict regimen they follow to help keep the pups happy, healthy, and race ready. Tons of care and love from the trainers, kennel staff, and owners allow the greyhounds to race at their full potential.

We would like to thank Catherine D’arcy from D’arcy Kennels for providing kennel life information for us to utilize. Check out her “Day in the Life of a Racing Greyhound” from a greyhound’s perspective.

The Week with The Professor: Grade Theory Q & A

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Last time, The Professor discussed the influences of race distances on greyhound running styles, and gave us good tips to remember when handicapping.

We received a great question from Pete T. who asked, “I generally handicap by grade first, and I read somewhere that the higher the grade, the wider the ability gap between grades. For instance, according to this theory, it would be easier for a greyhound to move from D to C than from B to A. Do you agree with this theory, and if so, how does it affect your grade handicapping? Thanks!

Thanks for asking, Pete! Let’s check in with The Professor for his thoughts.

Good question! Pete, I do agree with this theory. I believe that the higher the grade, the more difficult it is for the greyhound to succeed in that higher grade.

The difference between grade D and C is not as large as the difference between grade B and A. You regularly see greyhounds moving from D to C and finding success, but less regularly doing well when going from C to B grades.

I have found that the biggest difference in talent and success is between grade B and grade A. Hounds that are solid in B struggle mightily when raised to A. The greyhounds that are what we call solid A dogs will consistently run in the money in that grade and usually win right away when they drop to B.

This is especially noticeable when a pup goes up the ladder quickly and then runs in grade A. It takes an exceptionally talented pup to succeed in A right away. It usually takes some time for them to adjust to the speed of those greyhounds.

I would say that this is a major factor when I handicap, and have made some nice scores by beating a hot pup who will always be overbet when reaching grade A.

 

Thanks for your question, Pete! Do you have a question for The Professor? Leave a comment below and you could be like Pete and receive a $2 wagering credit to your Greyhound Channel account if your question is featured!

For more greyt tips, tricks, and handicapping knowledge, be sure to tune in to our podcast, Catch the Action with Greyhound Channel!

 

 

HUSKER MAGIC: Retired!

The official word came out on Wednesday, June 22nd: HUSKER MAGIC has retired! She finished her career with 105 wins out of 167 starts. She was on a 5 win streak before announcing retirement.

We have had the privilege of reporting on Derby Lane’s Darling Diva many times. Her career accomplishments are impressive: she was the 2015 Rural Rube Award recipient. She was the captain of the 2015 AGTOA All-America Team. She was the winner of the 2015 Daytona 550 (2nd 2016), 2015 Derby Lane Sprint Classic, and 2016 T. L. Weaver Memorial. She was 2nd in 2014 for Derby Lane’s Gold Trophy Juvenile, 2015 Inaugural, and T. L. Weaver Memorial. She was 3rd in Derby Lane’s 2014 Fall Sprint.

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Don Jensen of the Tampa Bay Times wrote a dedication to HUSKER MAGIC:

“Husker Magic, who won 105 races from 167 starts — the only Derby Lane dog in history with at least 100 victories— was retired from racing Wednesday, kennel owner Jim Abernathy said. She ranks tied for 33rd on the sport’s all-time win list. The female is expected to spend several months at the Abernathy residence in St. Petersburg before going to Grapevine, Ark., to begin a breeding career.”

We’re proud of her because the Blonde Bombshell is retiring at the top of her game.  Congratulations to HUSKER MAGIC; she has had a truly historic racing career and we feel lucky to have had the opportunity to share her accomplishments so often.

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HUSKER MAGIC keeps it cool in her cooling pool. Photo courtesy of Kayruth Abernathy.

2015 All-America Team: Where Are They Now?

It’s been four months since the AGTOA announced their 2015 All-America Team! We have enjoyed following the progress of the first team’s eight pups. Most of the first team pups have continued on to racing greatness; a few have chosen to retire.

These eight greyhound athletes were honored during the NGA’s 2016 Spring Meet held in Abilene, Kansas in April, where they celebrated their 2015 achievements. It has been a pleasure to follow their racing stories. Where are they now? Let’s find out!

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Derby Lane’s Darling Diva, Husker Magic, has certainly owned up to her Team Captain title of the 2015 All-America Team. Since she was announced team captain, Husker Magic has racked up 104 career wins, an accomplishment managed only by the best of the best of greyhound racing and put her as 34th on The All Time Wins List. She was also announced the Rural Rube winner for 2015 in March of this year. On June 4th, the Blonde Bombshell won Derby Lane’s T. L. Weaver Memorial Challenge, adding another title to her already impressive resume. With no signs of Husker Magic slowing down, we look forward to watching her continue to work her magic on the track.

FlyingFiredUp

Flying Fired Up has seen continued success at Southland. He’s remained competitive through the S, SA, and AA grades with consistent in-the-money races. Flying Fired Up is currently on layoff due to a minor injury. We look forward to seeing him come back into action once he’s recovered.

NeedMyMoneynow

Previously the star at Gulf Greyhound Park, Need My Moneynow has adjusted nicely at Orange Park. Consistently finishing in the money, he has 14 wins and 5 places out of 19 starts since March 18th. Need My Moneynow also added bestbet’s $1,500 Sweet Sixteen title to his resume in March. He is currently on a 4 win streak and we will be cheering him next time he races to make that a 5 win streak.

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As both an excellent sprinter and long distance runner, B’s Headliner was nominated for both 2015 sprint and distance awards: the Rural Rube and Flashy Sir. Being nominated for both awards is a feat only few greyhounds achieve. B’s Headliner retired in February of this year to dam in Abilene, Kansas. We wish her the best in her retirement.

SeldomTold

After the closure of Gulf Greyhound Park, Seldom Told moved to Orange Park, where he adapted to the track very quickly. “Seldomly” does he not win, finishing first in 49 out of 66 starts, 10 of which have been out of his total 12 races at Orange Park. We last saw him running in the James J. Patton Silver Cup in March, winning the first round and placing in the second, but he had to withdraw from the stakes due to an injured toe. Seldom Told has spent the last few months nursing his injury, but he’s ready to return to the track. He’s scheduled for a schooling race on Monday, June 20th at Orange Park. D. Q. Williams Kennel hopes to have him entered in the upcoming bestbet Spring Classic. With Seldom Told’s consistent first place streaks, we can’t wait to see him tearing up the track again.

BocsHankJr

After the closure of Bluffs Run, Boc’s Hank Jr moved to Southland where he has been racing since March of this year. He recently had a three win streak in May and has settled in nicely at Southland, where he is currently participating in the $50,000 Southland Derby. Watch this pup for more exciting racing action!

HighlyClassified

Highlyclassified earned the Flashy Sir award this year in March, one month after the announcement that he was on the All-America first team. Since then, he has continued to race at Derby Lane and will run in the $40,000 St. Petersburg Derby, with round 1 kicking off tomorrow, June 18th. After the St. Petersburg Derby, Highlyclassifed will retire to Kansas where he will stand as a stud, not surprising with his impressive resume. We wish Highlyclassified all the best in his future retirement.

StormControl

In April of 2015, Storm Control retired due to an injury, but that didn’t stop this greyhound from making the All-America first team. While this may seem surprising, you wouldn’t think so once you checked out his impressive racing history. In those 3 short months in 2015, Storm Control had finished first 18 of 28 starts at Palm Beach, winning the 2015 He’s My Man and the 2015 Arthur J. Rooney Sr. St. Patrick’s Invitational. We look forward to seeing his lineage on the racetrack.

Whether on hiatus, retirement, breeding, or racking up the wins at their racetracks, the Greyt Eight are still on our “watch” list. We anticipate seeing even more exciting feats from these pups through the rest of the year. Thanks to the greyhound owners, kennels, and tracks for hosting these athletes.

We look forward to seeing what the future holds for these hounds and the next generation of racers. Who will be on AGTOA’s 2016 All-America teams? Only time will tell.

Greyhound Genetics

GreyhoundGenetics

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.

This Week with The Professor: Running Time a Major Factor?

TP-GreyhoundRunningTime

Seeing a pup’s race time on a program can give you a general idea of their performance. But is a greyhound’s running time a major handicapping factor? Here’s what The Professor has to say about it.

Generally, a greyhound’s running time is not a major handicapping factor. There are a few reasons that this is not a major, or even an important, factor when handicapping a race. The next time you’re handicapping and trying to make heads or tails of the greyhound’s race time, keep the following in mind.

Reason one: The greyhound’s time will be affected by the track racing surface. The surface varies from one day to the next, depending on weather or how the track was conditioned by track maintenance.

Reason two: The greyhound’s time will be affected by how the race is actually run. In a race with a lot of trouble or maneuvering, the time will be slower than a race would be without trouble. It is common to see a lower grade race being run faster than a higher grade race because of how the race was run.

Reason three: Early speed dogs will generally have faster times than pups who are closers because they do not have to maneuver around other dogs during the race.

A common saying among top greyhound handicappers is, “Time is only a factor if you are catching a plane.”

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 in to our new podcast, Catch the Action with Greyhound Channel, for news and more greyt tips from The Professor.

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.

Husker Magic Blanket.jpg

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…