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Back to News » Kickoff party held for Wheeling Island National
Friday, April 22, 2016

The winner of the $140,000 Wheeling Island National will earn roughly $2,100 per second in the futurity-style stakes final on May 30 (Memorial Day).

Wheeling Island Racing Director Jim Gartland detailed the specifics of the upcoming event during a kickoff party Thursday, April 21, in the Wheeling Island Showroom. The first round of the stakes kicks off on Friday afternoon, May 6.

“The Wheeling Island National is unique and different from any other stakes race as owners and trainers make their intentions to race known before their greyhound pups even begin formal training,” Gartland said. “It goes back to the roots of racing where one owner would challenge another, ‘My pup can outrun your pup.’ The owners are putting up their own money which shows how much faith they have in their pups.”

The stake is for pups whelped between July 1, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2014.

“It looks like a great field. All of the greyhounds are young and improving,” Gartland said. “You never know who will be there at the end.”

Video replay clips of many of the 65 entries were shown during the kickoff party attended by local media, trainers, owners, kennel operators and track personnel.

“Without the participation of the kennels, trainers, owners and nominators this would not be possible. I want to thank them as well as track management for putting on the stakes event,” Gartland said. “I am very pleased with the number of entries for the inaugural Wheeling Island National. Hopefully it grows year after year.”


Photo: Looking over the list of the entries for the upcoming $140,000 Wheeling Island National during a Kickoff Party Thursday, April 21, are from left, Rico Racing Kennel operator Ricardo Pacheco, Valor Racing Kennel trainer James Roche, Racing Director Jim Gartland and Lester Raines Kennel trainer Joel Roden. (Photo by Stan Pawloski)


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.