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!

Blog Spotlight: Festival of Stakes

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There has been much anticipation for the $1.2 Million Festival of Stakes Championship at Southland Greyhound Park. Today, October 1st, will crown nine champions, one each for the Crittenden Super Sprint, Arkansas Bred Juvenile, Glen Fenter Super Marathon, Arkansas Bred Sprint, Ansel Styles Marathon, Barry Baldwin Juvenile, Ness Sechrest Middle Distance, Darby Henry Female Sprint, and Darby Henry Male Sprint. For each of the nine divisions, there will be a consolation race, totaling 18 races in the matinee card starting with an early post time of 1:00 EST/ 12:00 CST. Whether you’ll be at the track or at home, catch the action with us. In addition to the consolation and championship races, there will be other Jackpot specials running throughout the card, with guaranteed $5,000 Pick 4 beginning in race 2 extending into race 5. Followed by a  $5,000 Pick 5 running from races 6 through 10. Another $5,000 on a Hi-5 Wager where you want to select the first five finishers of race 9.  And finally, a $10,000 Pick 6 Jackpot, starting out in race 11 and finishing off in race 16. Where today only any 4 or 5 of 6 would generate a payoff! Whether you’ll be at the track or at home, catch the action with us. With so much up for grabs, it’s an event you won’t want to miss.

Two members of our team, Alicia and Ryan, will be at Southland live tweeting the entire event, chatting with customers and kennels, and giving away free Greyhound Channel merchandise. If you live near the track, swing by- they would love to touch base with you. If you don’t live near the track, but want to get in on the Festival of Stakes action, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. We’ll be posting pictures, video, and live updates of picks and winners. Bringing the live experience to you!

 

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To add to the excitement of today, our In The Money contest is coming to an end in unison with the Festival of Stakes. Like Southland, we are also upping the fun, with double the points accumulation for this final round! The winners of our contest will be announced Sunday, October 2nd.

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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…

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.

LHS

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:
5-7-16LHS_top5

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.