Two greyhounds raced by Jay Rangel of Abilene had the fastest schooling times Wednesday morning. Racing greyhounds have been schooling all this week in preparation for the National Greyhound Association’s Fall Meet, which starts Monday.
Wednesday, a Rangel greyhound ran 30.09, the fastest of the day. Another pup raced by Rangel ran 30.11, the second fastest that day.
On Sunday a greyhound raced by Steve Ward of Ellis ran 30.39, the fastest time for that day.
On Monday a greyhound raced by David Peck of Stephenville, Texas had the fastest time of 29.85, the only schooling race timed under 30 seconds in four days of schooling.
On Tuesday a greyhound raced by Kenneth Beihle of Thorndale, Texas, stopped the clock at 30.02.
First round races start Monday morning with pups whelped in August, July, June and May of 2012. First round races will be held Tuesday for the pups in April and February/March stakes.
According to Gary Guccione, NGA executive director, the numbers for the fall meet may reach 500.
“Well up,” he said of the number of entries in the meet and auction. “Largest number of dogs we’ve had since the fall of 2011. It is looking very much the prospects of well over 500 pups, which is very good.”
He said the fall meet of 2012 had only 392 entries.
The NGA’s board of directors will be doing “routine business” throughout the week.
Track operator Karen Keelan will be the honoree of the NGA banquet on Wednesday night. That was scheduled for the courtyard of the Eisenhower Library which is currently closed as a result of the partial shutdown of the federal government. Guccione said the Abilene Civic Center will be a backup location for the event.
Kansas Rep. John Barker from Abilene will speak at the business meeting to address legislative issues in the state on Thursday afternoon. Barker has campaigned to bring pari-mutual greyhound racing back to Kansas.
An Abilene greyhound will be inducted into the Greyhound Hall of Fame on Thursday night.
Flying Penske (Oshkosh Racing-She’s a Natural) was whelped on Sept. 20, 1997 at Flying Eagles Kennel owned by Vince Berland of Abilene. Penske was later owned by Berland and H. Hal Gill of Valor Sires, Inc. and was a leading sire.
Also to be inducted Thursday will be Darby Henry, greyhound owner and breeder from Arkansas, and Bill Lee, racetrack operator from Colorado.
The racing finals will be held on Thursday and Friday mornings. The brood stock auction will be held Friday night at Sterl Hall followed by the first part of the racing stock auction. The second half of the racing stock auction will conclude on Saturday.