The sound of “here comes Buddy” will echo through the air west of Abilene at the National Greyhound Association’s racetrack next week.
The NGA’s Fall Meet starts at 9 a.m. Monday with young track dogs getting an official race for the first time.
So far 176 greyhounds are entered in the meet, with 161 of them consigned to the NGA’s auction to be held Friday at the Greyhound Hall of Fame.
Last fall there were 258 greyhounds consigned to the auction which resulted in $1.3 million in sales.
Final deadline for the track stakes is noon today.
Abilene, once considered the Greyhound Capital of the United States, is home to both the National Greyhound Association, the official registry of greyhounds in North America, and the Greyhound Hall of Fame.
On Tuesday legendary owner, trainer and racetrack owner Wayne Strong of Abilene will join his greyhounds Miss Gorgeous, Rooster Cogburn and Representation as an inductee of the Greyhound Hall of Fame.
Strong will also receive a Lifetime Achievement Award which was to be presented last spring but was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and partial shutdown.
Also being inducted Tuesday is greyhound Djays Octane, whose pedigree traces back to Strong’s racer and sire Rooster Cogburn.
Octane was raced and trained in Abilene by Jay Rangle and was co-owned by former NGA President Herb “Dutch” Koerner and is now co-owned by Joann Koerner.
The greyhounds schooled at the track this week.
The finals will start at 9 a.m. on Thursday.
“The auction will be at the Greyhound Hall of Fame on Friday,” said Jim Gartland, executive director of the National Greyhound Association.
He said there will be two nights of awards at the Hall of Fame this week.
Tuesday is the day of the Hall of Fame inductions of Strong and Djays Octane. Also Leonard Houser who raced greyhounds in the late 1800s will be inducted into the Pioneer Section of the Hall of Fame.
“We missed the spring inductions so Thursday night we will have the Rural Rube and Flashy Sir awards,” Gartland said.
Salud Raindrop, owned by Jeff Blair of Abilene and Mike Montoya of Salina and raced by the Gloria Dorsey Kennel, was named the fastest sprinter of 2019, receiving the Rural Rube Award.
Sarkazum, owned and raced by Billy O’Donnell, was the winner of the Flashy Sir award as the best distance greyhound of 2019.
The spring meet, historically held in late April or early May, was delayed until June this year because of the pandemic.
The NGA is also bringing back the golf tournament which will tee off at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Great Life Golf and Fitness.
A meeting of the Board of Directors and the business meeting will be held on Wednesday.
Contact Tim Horan at email@example.com.