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Jim Gartland

Mar 12, 2021

Southland superstar JS Flamin Ace has, once again, been voted as a 2020 All American and has been named Captain of this year's team as well.

The annual naming of the All-America team, dates back to 1963. The program pays tribute to the top eight greyhounds nationally. The pandemic shortened racing year made for an unusually tough selection process to compile the 2020 team but nonetheless, a stellar group was chosen.

Others named to this year’s squad are: Chillaxification (Southland), World Ruler (Southland), Air Ace (Southland), CG's Penny Shoe (Tri State/Wheeling), LK's Santorini (Derby Lane), Flying Zulu (Southland) and FGF Mathias (Southland).

This year’s second team is comprised of: Rasta (IGP/Southland), LK's Crush N It (Derby Lane), Killer Tolstoy (Naples/IGP/Southland), JD Elegant (IGP/Southland), Bug Brush (Palm Beach/Southland), L's Luv It (Wheeling), FGF Avenger (Southland) and Abbi's Frontman (Palm Beach).

Heading up this year's team is it's Captain, JS Flamin Ace (Superior Panama-CH Sweet Honey) who returns to the team for the second year in a row and is the only repeat All American from last year's team. Perhaps the most steady and consistent greyhound racing over the last two years, Flamin Ace made the finals of seven stake races over that period and won 44 races all while racing against the very best the nation has to offer day in and day out. This past year he won the Southland Derby and won 3 of 4 qualifying rounds in the Festival of Stakes Male Sprint Championship only to be knocked around and run 7th in the finals. He would come back after that to win 3 more races in his last 7 starts of the year finishing with a 31-16-6-2-3 record and the well earned reward as Captain of the 2020 AA team.

Chillaxification (Shonn-Wreckuhlect) Breaking in at Southland in mid 2019, Chillaxification was tabbed for greatness early in his career, making 2nd team All American in 2019. He fully lived up to the billing in 2020. The shortened racing year and a couple of minor injuries didn't prevent the star from winning 17 races, 3rd most at Southland, and finishing in the money 32 out of 38 times, 26 of those in the quinella. His come from behind style made him a real crowd pleaser as he was the betting favorite in 95 percent of his races. He won the King & Queen Stake after finishing 3rd in the Male Sprint Championship on Festival Day.

Another Southland star, Air Ace (Need My Moneynow-Fly Miley Cyrus), makes the team coming off and 18 win season and making the finals of two major Southland stakes; The Derby and Male Sprint Championship. Bad racing luck accounted for his finishes in those stakes but making the finals of both was quite the achievement. Ace put up the 2nd most wins for the year at Southland and had several win streaks throughout the season. He finished the year on a high note winning his final race on December 30 on his way to a 40-18-3-4-6 overall record.

A littermate to Air Ace, World Ruler (Need My Moneynow-Fly Miley Cyrus) makes the 2020 team as another dominant sprinter from Southland. The big red male made the final of the Southland Derby and won the Male Sprint Championship during the Festival of Stakes in his final start of the 2020 year. He was able to garner 15 wins in just 29 starts, good for 5th most at the West Memphis track. A factor in every race he enters, World Ruler finished the year hitting the pay sheet in 27 out of 29 starts going 29-15-4-5-3.

Flying Zulu (Barcelona Boss-Classy Senza) is the only true distance star to make this year's team. He won the Marathon Championship on Festival of Stakes Day and ran only distance races after coming to Southland from Derby Lane. His win in the Marathon Championship came in the middle of a seven race win streak over the grueling 703 yard distance. He put together several three and four race streaks along the way, finishing up with a 38-19-5-2-5 record. His 19 wins were the most of any greyhound and earned him win leader honors at Southland for 2020.

The only female and oldest greyhound to make this year's team is LK's Santorini (LK's Vespar-LK's Chardonnay). This little lady represents the 2nd All American for owners John & Jill Lashmet in the last two years (LK's Crush N It was AA in 2019). Santorini won more races than any other greyhound in North America last year(33). That total included wins in the Derby Lane Inaugural and the $30,000 Grand Finale on Derby Lane's last day. She had numerous win streaks throughout the year including an 8 race streak just prior to the Grand Finale. She ended the year with 33 wins, 11 second place finishes and 7 thirds, obviously capturing the win title in Derby Lane's last season as well.

A West Virginia racer makes the team this year as CG's Penny Shoe (Jax Oxford-CG's Marla), joins the team for 2020. The Tri State standout dominated racing at the Charleston oval before moving up the road to Wheeling to capture the $100,000 Mountaineer Classic. Penny Shoe would stay at Wheeling long enough to make the finals of the West Virginia Greyhound Breeder's stake, but finished a disappointing 5th. He won 24 races at Tri State including 12 in a row at one point and finished the year with a 46-26-6-8 record and the Tri State win title.

FGF Mathias (SH Avatar-FGF Jamboree) joins the group as the youngest member of the 2020 All American team. Mathias broke in at Southland in March and after just 7 starts was entered into the Great American Greyhound Futurity where he won 4 of the 6 qualifying rounds on his way to a come from behind victory in the stake final. It was then on to the Festival of Stakes and the Barry Baldwin Juvenile where he would just miss out on the finals but go on to win the Juvenile Consolation. Shortly thereafter he would switch over to 3/8ths and continue his winning ways before moving on to the longer 703 yard course where he would find a home with 4 wins and 2 seconds in his first 6 starts at the distance. He finished the year at 30-15-9-4, winning 15 races in his first, albeit short, year of racing.

These eight represent the 1st team and will be honored with All-America plaques at the Greyhound Hall Of Fame awards ceremony on Thursday night, Apr. 22, during the NGA Spring Meet in Abilene, KS. 

Dubuque Classic Champ, Rasta (Nashapelli-Fansome) leads the Second Team of All-Americans. He charted a 31-15-8-2-0 record at IGP, finished tied for the meet win lead and was named Greyhound of the year. Rasta is co-owned by Joe Frenette and Joe Fusaro.

LK's Crush N It (LK's Now R Never-LK's All In), makes this year's 2nd team after receiving 1st team honors last year. The "old man" still had it winning two more stakes, including the Husker Magic and Derby Lane Sprint as well as 29 total races even while turning four this past December. Crush N It is a product of the Lashmet Farm in Colorado .

JD Elegant (JD Titanium-JD Bombshell) won the $200,000 Iowa Breeders cup this past year, with littermates finishing third and fourth, after breaking in at the meet in June.He finished the year with a 31-12-5-5-4 overall record. Elegant is owned by Jon Stidham.

Bug Brush (SH Avatar-Flying Lipstick) owned and raced by Lester Raines dominated at Palm Beach winning the Invitational and making the finals of the Palm Beach Grand Legacy after shipping in from Southland. He compiled a 40-14-13-5-1 record between the two tracks.

Co-owned by Krik Harland and Alan Hill, Killer Tolstoy (Superior Panama-Killer Torina) won the IGP Inaugural, was tied for the IGP win lead and finished 2nd in the nation with 31 total victories. He raced at Naples, IGP and Southland over the course of the year garnering a final record of 65-31-10-6.

L's Luv It (KC And All-L's Morgan) owned by Kenneth LeFebvre, had 44 starts and won 14 races at Wheeling. Even after turning four years old in August she won 3 of 4 qualifying rounds in the Mountaineer Classic before stumbling in the final and finishing back. She ended the year at 44-14-9-5-7.

Southland standout FGF Avenger (SH Avatar-KF's Newsmaker) was one of the best distance dogs at Southland last year, winning the Sechrest Distance Championship on Festival of Stakes Day and finishing in the quinella 15 times in 30 starts after switching to 3/8ths after just 7 lifetime starts. He is owned by Kevin Fulton.

Completing the 2nd team is Jacobs Racing's Abbi's Frontman (Kiowa Superior Panama-Abs Almighty). In his maiden season he went right up the ladder on his way to a 21 win year including a victory in the Palm Beach Grand Legacy in his last start of the meet. The youngster finished 36-21-6-2 for the year.

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