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Artex Pumbaa named Captain for 2023 NGA All Star Team

James Gartland

Mar 14, 2024

Wheeling co-win leader Artex Pumbaa, has been voted Captain of the 2023 NGA All Star team.  The annual naming of an All-America team dates back to 1963, but the format changed somewhat this year, as a result of far fewer eligible greyhounds and less racing opportunities. This year, the program pays tribute to some of the top greyhounds racing in West Virginia as voted on by the NGA's Board of Directors.

Others named to this year’s All Star Team include: JSP Rayzendacash, Florentine,  Tenacity, JSP Burninmoney, CET Dirty Dilly, CG's Sun Storm and JS Comin Undone.


Heading up the team is it's Captain, Artex Pumbaa  (Flying Hydrogen-Arkans Cancer) who was the co-win leader at Wheeling and finished in the money in 82% of his starts.  Perhaps the most steady and consistent greyhound at Wheeling in 2023, Pumbaa competed against the best, day in and day out, and closed the year winning six in a row. He would finish the season with a 51-22-8-6 record and the well earned reward as Captain of the 2023 AA team.


Florentine (Rob Gronkowski-PJ Sour Diesel) is a return honoree from last years' All American team.  Florentine continued her winning ways in 2023, finishing tied for 2nd in wins at the Wheeling oval. Early speed is her game and although she may have lost a step, she was still tough to beat once on the lead. A couple of three and four race win streaks helped contribute to her overall record of 58-21-11-8-6.


Joining Artex Pumbaa on the team is kennel mate Tenacity (Tip Top-JW Arrietta). The second youngest member of the team, Tenacity broke her maiden in March of 2023, reached AA in May, and never looked back picking up 17 of her 21 wins in the AA ranks. Her 21 wins tied her with Florentine for 2nd most at the meet. She could win from the lead or come from behind and when clear of traffic was perhaps the fastest greyhound at the track. Her final record was 50-21-10-5-6 for the 2023 season.


The 4th member of the team is another Wheeling sprinter, JSP Rayzendacash (Superior Panama-Gonz Mani) who's 22 wins tied him for the win lead at the meet with Artex Pumbaa, many of those wins coming in dominant fashion. He finished the year with a 54-22-4-9-5 record including a couple of three and four race win streaks.


CET Dirty Dilly (SH Avatar-CET Dirty Nicki) receives national honors, once again, making it three straight years as a recognized All Star in the greyhound industry despite racing only half the year. "The Queen" retired in June of 2023 finishing with a 14 race win streak including the WBGOBA Sprint Championship. Her twenty two wins were good enough for 2nd in the final standings even though she had roughly half the starts of her competitors. She ended the year early with a 26-23-2-0-1 record.


The only distance star to make this year's team, JS Comin Undone  (Show On The Road-CH Keepin Faith), dominated 3/8ths mile racing at Tri State during 2023. He won 19 races over the 660 yard course despite missing an entire month of racing and finished in the money in 30 of his 37 starts. His record for the year was 37-19-5-4-2 and included 5 in a row in a September stretch winning one of those races by 12-1/2 lengths!


The youngest member of this year's squad is CG's Sun Storm (Jax Yardley-CG's Lady Bug) who broke in at Tri State in May and soon after became one of the top sprinters at the track. He won 24 races in 2023 including a couple at Wheeling. He finished 2nd in the WVGBOA Juvenile stake at Wheeling to littermate, CG's Honesty. He ran out of the money only once over the course of the year finishing with an outstanding 34-24-6-3-0 record.


The final member of the team is Tri State and American win leader, JSP Burninmoney (Show On The Road-Gonz Mani). His 34 win in 2023 were, by far, the most for any greyhound racing in the U.S. and ten wins ahead of the 2nd place finisher in the Tri State standings. He put together win streaks of seven and eight races during the year while dominating top level competition at the Charleston track. He finished in the money 45 out of 49 times with a final record of  49-34-6-4-1.


These eight representing the team and will be honored with All-Star plaques at the Greyhound Hall Of Fame awards ceremony on Thursday night, Apr. 25, during the NGA Spring Meet in Abilene, KS.


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