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Stan Pawloski

Jan 17, 2022

In late 2020 after making the final of the $100,000 Mountaineer Classic Sprint Stakes, AD Black Falcon moved to the longer 3/8th distance at Wheeling Island.

When the Xtrem Hess Racing youngster won two out of his first three 3/8th races by 12 ½ and 11 ½ lengths, it was just a prelude of what was to come in 2021.

Fueled by a blazing start from January into April in 2021, AD Black Falcon went on to capture the track win championship with 20 victories. A trio of sprinters – Abbi’s Gusta Win, Oshkosh Heart and JS Slush Fund – all were just a single win behind with 19 apiece.

AD Black Falcon’s accomplishments earned him top greyhound honors at Wheeling Island for 2021.

Xtrem Hess Racing Kennel operator Jason Hess couldn’t be prouder of his standout.

“Black Falcon exceeded all of our expectations and I am so happy and proud of him for what he achieved last year (2021). I never expected him to be among the track’s win leaders,” Hess said. “To be the win leader at Wheeling is a very nice accomplishment. Just a hard-trying greyhound and I’d love to have more like him in the kennel.”

A July 2018 greyhound out of SH Avatar-Hey Hey Mamma, AD Black Falcon is the first 3/8th racer to wear the win crown at Wheeling Island since WP’s Cameo in 2010. Distance greyhounds Kiowa Power Pak (2009) and TK Quick Strike (2008) also were tops in victories.

Although a sprint stakes finalist in 2020, it was getting tougher for AD Black Falcon to beat top grade sprinters to the first turn, Hess noted.

“It was our hope Black Falcon would be able to go to the front in 3/8th and have enough left to hold on in the stretch,” Hess said. “After his first couple starts, he proved to us he could go the distance.”

In a stretch of 12 races from mid-January to early April last year, AD Black Falcon had 9 wins, 2 seconds and 1 third. He won four in a row during the hot streak, including victories by 7 ½ and 4 lengths.

“Black Falcon was popping the box, he had his timing down,” Hess said.

In the summer months AD Black Falcon cooled off a bit, but in late September into October he won five out of eight starts to move into contention for the win championship.

“He was a streaky greyhound,” Hess said. “Sometimes his timing was off.”

AD Black Falcon’s front-running style was the key to his success in 2021. In his 20 victories, he was first at the escape turn 16 times and went on to win; three times he was second at the escape turn and closed late in the race to win; and once he was fourth at the escape turn before getting up by a length at the wire.

“Black Falcon really must have been feeling good the day he closed from fourth,” Hess said. “To be successful, he needed to be near the front early in his races.” Hess credited trainer Jill Spicer and her crew for playing a huge role in AD Black Falcon’s special season.

“They did a great job with Black Falcon and deserve all the credit. I know he was one of Jill’s (Spicer) favorite greyhounds in the kennel and she was really happy he was the track win champion,” Hess said.

AD Black Falcon, owned by Allan Ertl and Dennis Curry, was retired in December. He has been adopted by a family in North Carolina.

In 84 career Wheeling races, AD Black Falcon had 30 wins, 13 seconds, 11 thirds and 4 fourths – a 70 percent mark on the pay sheet. “What stands out is the 50 percent mark on the quiniela ticket,” Hess said. “That’s hard to beat.”

While AD Black Falcon topped the leader board with 20 victories, 17 other greyhounds won at least 13 races in 2021 at Wheeling Island.

The 2021 Wheeling Island win leaderboard and kennel follows:

20 – AD Black Falcon (Xtrem Hess Racing)

19 – Abbi’s Gusta Win (Jacobs Racing), Oshkosh Heart (Charter), JS Slush Fund (Lester Raines)

17 – Frappe (Blanchard)

16 – Abbi’s Frontman (Jacobs Racing)

14 – O Ya Trisha (Lester Raines), RS Big D (Lester Raines), RS’s Dark Night (Lester Raines), JS In The Money (Rangel), JS Saltythursday (Lester Raines), CTW Black Forest (Steve Sarras), KB’s Copy Kat (Charter)

13 – Kells Xterra (Steve Sarras), JS Rob Stone (Blanchard), Mega Felipe (A Ray), Bart Superbowl (Charter), Craigie Deuce (Lester Raines).


Xtrem Hess Racing Kennel’s AD Black Falcon was the track win champion at Wheeling Island in 2021 with 20 victories. The middle distance racer is held by Rhea LaCuesta. (Photo by Stan Pawloski)

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