top of page


Stan Pawloski

Oct 22, 2020

Blanchard Kennel’s L’s Luv It heads up a stellar field for the Saturday afternoon final of the $100,000 Mountaineer Classic at Wheeling Island.

The 4-year-old sprinter had three victories and a third in the four qualifying round races to accumulate a leading 52 points. L’s Luv It was third in the 2018 Mountaineer Classic final and fourth in last year’s championship.

An August 2016 greyhound out of KC And All-L’s Morgan, L’s Luv It is the first Wheeling greyhound to make the final of the track’s featured stakes race three straight years. TK Quick Strike captured the Mountaineer Classic in both 2008 and 2009.

Completing this year’s championship final field are Atascocita Birma (Abrahamson Kennel), 43 points; Penrose Boss (Blanchard Kennel), 42 points; Craigie Pirate (Lester Raines Kennel), TNT Free Falling (Patriot/Taplin Kennel) and TNT Twister City (Patriot/Taplin) 39 points each; CG’s Penny Shoe (Abrahamson Kennel), 36 points; and AD Black Falcon (Xtrem Hess Racing Kennel), 35 points.

Blanchard Kennel’s Easi Lil Charlie also had 35 points but lost the tiebreaker to AD Black Falcon, who had a pair of victories in the qualifying rounds.

Post positions for the final, from the rail out, follow: 1—Craigie Pirate, 2—L’s Luv It, 3—AD Black Falcon, 4—TNT Free Falling, 5—Atascocita Birma, 6—CG’s Penny Shoe, 7—TNT Twister City, 8—Penrose Boss.

The winning greyhound in the championship final will earn $42,000. The complete purse breakdown is second, $18,000; third, $13,000; fourth, $10,000; fifth and sixth, $5,500 each; and seventh and eighth, $3,000 each.

The stakes final will be Race 12 on the Saturday matinee race card.

Following are capsule looks at the finalists:

1—CRAIGIE PIRATE (Lester Raines Kennel, trainer Joel Roden) – had a win, a second and two thirds in the qualifiers; youngster has been solid in his first year of racing, hitting the superfecta ticket in 20 out of 24 starts; will need to pop the box to outrush all the speed merchants; should benefit from the red blanket.

2—L’S LUV IT (Blanchard Kennel, trainer Sarah Blanchard) – had three victories and a third in the qualifiers, a mere length from sweeping all four early round races; caught fire as the stakes began and the 4-year-old hasn’t let up; prefers an inside post, can go to the front on occasion, has some closing ability.

3—AD BLACK FALCON (Xtrem Hess Racing Kennel, trainer Jill Spicer) – had two wins, a fourth and an eighth in the qualifying round races; has only missed the pay sheet four times in 22 starts this year after coming up from Gulf Greyhound Park; if near lead early, has some closing power to pick off the short early speedsters.

4—TNT FREE FALLING (Patriot/Taplin Kennel, trainer Joe Otto) – had a win, a second and two thirds in the preliminary round races; her game is box speed with a power rush to the first turn; early speed has carried her to nearly a triple double trifecta record this year – 9 seconds, 9 thirds and 8 fourths; needs to hit it.

5—ATASCOCITA BIRMA (Abrahamson Kennel, trainer Tom Engle) – had two wins, a second and a fifth in the qualifying races; has rocketed to the front in four out of her last six races as she’s become more consistent with her break; opened career at Palm Beach before moving over to Gulf Greyhound Park.

6—CG’s PENNY SHOE (Abrahamson Kennel, trainer Tom Engle) – had a win, two seconds and a seventh in the early round starts; not lightning fast out of the box, but possesses a power drive to the turn; captured 26 out of 32 races at Tri-State Greyhound Park this year, including 13 straight Grade AA trips.

7—TNT TWISTER CITY (Patriot/Taplin Kennel, trainer Joe Otto) – had a win, a second and two thirds in the preliminary round races; has rushed to the front early and maintained the lead until the homestretch in five out of his last six starts, hitting the trifecta ticket in each race; speedster needs to pop the box.

8—PENROSE BOSS (Blanchard Kennel, trainer Sarah Blanchard) – had a win, two seconds and a third in the early rounds; the only true closer in the championship final displayed his power in the semifinal round with a 6 ½-length win from a preferred midtrack box; opened career at Orange Park in Florida.


This year’s Mountaineer Classic is loaded with early speed.

The big questions: Which greyhound hits it out of the box and gets the front early in the final? If it’s a fast track, will the early leader go away and hide from the rest of the field? Will a greyhound with some bottom be close enough to overtake the leaders?

The field is solid from top to bottom. In the finalists’ 32 qualifying round races, they amassed a combined 12 wins, 8 seconds, 8 thirds and 1 fourth – only missing the superfecta ticket three times.

Look for TNT Free Falling to hit the lid and rush to the early lead, followed by L’s Luv It on the rail. Next in line will be Craigie Pirate and Penrose Boss.

With TNT Twister City slashing to the inside from the seven hole, he should seal off Atascocita Birma and CG’s Penny Shoe – giving Penrose Boss a clean rush to the turn from the outside box.

On the backstretch and far turn, TNT Free Falling will maintain her lead but pressure will be mounting in the stretch as L’s Luv It and Penrose Boss kick it into another gear. Could it be a dead heat winner?

Let’s go with a 1-2-4-8 trifecta and superfecta boxes.

bottom of page