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Back to News » Rangel booked at Wheeling, thankful for opportunity
Friday, June 8, 2018

Jay Rangel has made a name for himself at the National Greyhound Association Spring and Fall Meets in Abilene, KS.

Year after year, Rangel has been at or near the top of the list for the number of greyhound pups sold during the NGA auctions. Many of the greyhounds he raised with the prefix ‘PJ’ have turned into stars at their respective racetracks.

Now, the Kansas breeder is switching gears.

In late May, the West Virginia Racing Commission approved Rangel for a booking at Wheeling Island. He hopes to be racing by mid-June and is looking forward to the opportunity.

“I’m excited to get started. I know it will be a challenge, but I have always liked a challenge,” Rangel said. “I love competing. I am friends with a lot of the current Wheeling kennel operators, so it’ll be fun.”

Rangel had a booking at Derby Lane for the past year, but ceased operations at the St. Petersburg, Florida, track in early June. Wheeling will be Rangel’s lone booking.

“We’ve been very successful breeding and selling pups at the NGA meets. A big reason for our success has been (Djays) Octane – he’s been a godsend,” Rangel noted.

“Now we want to concentrate on racing our own greyhounds and get away from selling them at the meets. We’ll be filtering our pups through the Wheeling kennel.”

Djays Octane has been the top sire in the country the last four years – 2014 through 2017, according to Greyhound-data.com.

In addition to his own pups, Rangel is taking approximately 20 greyhounds from the Rico Racing Kennel whose last day at Wheeling Island was May 27.

Rico Racing was booked in 2015.

“Ricardo (Pacheco) was associated with a lot of greyhound owners I know so we’ll see what greyhounds are a good fit for Wheeling and go from there,” Rangel said. “I know a few greyhounds in Ricardo’s kennel are Arkansas-bred, so those may end up at Southland.”

Rangel also will be bringing up greyhounds from his Derby Lane kennel and others from Southland.

One greyhound to watch is PJ Popshoveit, who opened his career at Derby Lane before moving over to Southland earlier this year. The sprinter won seven out of his 11 starts at the Arkansas racetrack.

Among the greyhounds coming up from Derby Lane are PJ Wildestdreams, PJ Tropicthunder, PJ Kindadontcare, PJ Drinkthedrink, PJ Bionic and PJ Backupoffme.

Training for Rangel at Wheeling Island will be Alex Hall, who handled the kennel at Derby Lane. At Wheeling, it will be called Rangel Kennel, Inc.

“Alex (Hall) was born and raised in Florida, but he’s ready for the move,” Rangel related. “I’m sure it will be an adjustment for him during the winter months.”

As for expectations for his new kennel at Wheeling, Rangel said there may be some early growing pains but expressed confidence.

“I will be disappointed if we don’t do well,” Rangel said.

Rangel is grateful for the chance to race at Wheeling.

“I would like to thank Racing Director Ben Travis and Delaware North for giving me the opportunity to race at Wheeling Island,” Rangel said.

 

I was introduced to greyhound racing by a friend in the late 1970s at Wheeling Downs and fell in love with the sport and the athletes immediately. Throughout the years, I have developed a deep passion for racing. In the mid 1990s, I started writing a weekly greyhound column and shortly thereafter became a writer for The Greyhound Review.

I have enjoyed watching and writing about these wonderful competitors, including All-Americans DD's Nelson, Kiowa Sweet Trey, Gene's Champion, WW Apple Jax, Greys Royalcrown, Nimby TP Jan, Hi Noon Hero, Gable Sour Cream, KB's Ruckus and Cry Case.