Induction

Ken and Janet Allen, formerly of Abilene, will be inducted into the Greyhound

For the first time in history, a married couple will be inducted at the same time into the Greyhound Hall of Fame this Fall. 

Kenneth and Janet Allen will join the racing greyhound Lonesome Cry as honorees being paid tribute during a 7 p.m. ceremony on Thursday in the Hall’s Cowperthwaite Gallery.

The Allens join only one other couple listed in the Hall of Fame, O.P. and Hannah Smith. O.P. Smith was inducted in 1973 and was one of the first two men who joined the elite group; his wife, Hannah, was so honored in 2004 and was the first woman to receive the distinction. 

Janet Allen becomes only the third woman to be listed, the other being Kay Smith, who was inducted in 2009.

 

Greyhounds

Ken and Janet Allen have been breeding, raising and racing greyhounds for over 35 years at tracks in several states including Alabama , Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Oregon and Texas, winning stake victories, setting track records, and garnering All America Team awards.

 

First date

Ken introduced Janet to the greyhound industry by taking her to the races at Phoenix Greyhound Park on their first date. The two married in 1976, blending their family of four children, and  moving to Yuma, Ariz. where Kenny continued his employment with the railroad and Janet managed a medical clinic.

The couple watched greyhounds race at the Yuma track and became acquainted with several individuals in the industry at a tavern where people migrated after the races. One of those involved with greyhounds, Jack Haselwander, borrowed money from Kenny, which Haselwander later paid back in the form of a greyhound named Steady Mist. Injured during schooling, the greyhound was bred and the Allens later placed her for adoption as a pet, a practice the two continue to promote.

The Allens then purchased other greyhounds and joined the National Greyhound Association. 

 

Off and running

Janet studied each issue of The Greyhound Review magazine, where she found for sale a litter of puppies sired by Pecos Cannon, a Rural Rube Award winner in 1974. They purchased the litter and each of the greyhounds became a Grade A racer.

Their inaugural booking was at Phoenix Greyhound Park, and the couple soon moved to Phoenix to manage their greyhound operation. They learned the business and raced greyhounds for other owners, including the talented racer Wigwam Wag owned by Wally Keeter. Several years later, they purchased and moved to a greyhound farm near Keota, Okla.

Their “San Tan” prefix became synonymous with quality racing greyhounds beginning in the 1990s and included such greats as San Tan Smash, San Tan Savage, San Tan Rampage, San Tan Bloomer, and San Tan Gem.

Their female Steves Stones produced San Tan Gem, the mother of Trent Lee. Named to the 2002, 2003 and 2004 All-America Teams was EA’s Itzaboy, out of San Tan Bomber, who was out of San Tan Baby. The bloodlines they established continue through many of the great greyhounds of today.

 

Board members

Dedicated to the overall betterment of the sport, Ken and Janet both served on the National Greyhound Association’s Board of Directors. Kenny was on the board from 1998 to 2006, serving for two years as president and also was vice president for three terms. Janet served on the board from 1985 to 1996, which included four terms as vice president; she was the first woman to hold an office on the board. Both also served on the executive board of the American Greyhound Council.

Both also have been involved on local levels in such states as Arizona, Oklahoma, Kansas and Wisconsin, representing and supporting breeders and kennel operators through legislative processes and financially. 

In fact, Janet once testified before the United States Congress on behalf of the National Greyhound Association.

Janet received the National Greyhound Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award during the Spring Meet in 2019. She also has been a board member of the Greyhound Hall of Fame for over 10 years and both she and her husband have been instrumental in ensuring its ongoing operation.

 

Lonesome Cry

The greyhound to be inducted in the Hall of Fame alongside the Allens is Lonesome Cry, out of Jabbering Jackie and Gable Dodge, who was inducted into the Greyhound Hall of Fame in 2010.

Whelped on June 9, 2001, Lonesome Cry began his racing career at Derby Lane in January of 2003, where he won the Puppy Preview and the next five races he entered, including two Grade A events.  He finished the season that year as the win leader with 21 at Derby Lane, missing the pay sheet only four times in 35 starts.

 After suffering two injuries that sidelined him for most of the first half of the 2004 racing season, he was nursed back to health and returned to racing in May of that year, winning four races in a row at four different tracks, Derby Lane, Tampa, Southland and Wheeling. He also won the $50,000 Couch Potato Championship during the Night of the Stars Program at Wheeling Downs, even though he was the oldest greyhound in the field at the age of 3 ½ years. 

Lonesome Cry rose to the top of the Sire Standings in 2013, producing 10 All Americans, the second most of all time behind Kiowa Sweet Trey, who was inducted into the Greyhound Hall of Fame in 2011. Lonesome’s All American offspring include TMC’s Remedy and Yahoo Omar, both named in 2009 as well as 2010, Where’s Big Cash in 2010, Tuff Stuff in 2011, CTW Bronze Drake and J’s Robin in 2012, Flying Lone Wolf in 2013, and Storm Control in 2015.

Other notable offspring include Makin Bakin, 2007 Wheeling Greyhound Park Win Leader and All America Second Team member; Coach Enrique, named to the 2012 All America Second Team; Gil’s Cuero, Orange Park record holder; and Here Comes Danny, Daytona Beach track record holder. 

Outstanding second generation offspring include Husker Magic, the Rural Rube winner in 2015 who was also named to the All-America teams in 2014, 2015, and 2016; and All Americans Duxbury in 2018, Janice Dean, Flying Wolf Pack and Real Good Feelin in 2017, and  Lee Opera, Flying Titanium and Boc’s John Luke in 2014. 

TMC’s Zoomba was named to the All America Second Team in 2017. Tip Top, a Lonesome Cry third generation offspring, was named to the All America Team in 2017 and 2018.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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