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Monday, May 9, 2016

DUBUQUE, Iowa – Mark Saturday, May 14, on your calendar. That’s the opening date, 1 p.m. post time, for the 2016 Iowa Greyhound Park season.

This should be quite a season at IGP.

“With Bluffs Run closing,” pointed out Mike Jackson of Jackson Greyhounds, LLC, “it makes more of a guessing game out of everything.”

All of the 10 kennels will have a full compliment of 56 greyhounds on hand when action begins for real.

Here’s a quick look at each kennel with some greyhounds to watch in the early going.
The newcomer to the kennel lineup T and T Kennel, Inc. has Andy Owen as the trainer. It has a nice litter out of Iruska All-Star – Gable Karen. Two of the pups, XT’s War Games and XT’s War Bucks (twice) won early schooling races. AT’s Frednbarney, who also won an early schooling race, is worth watching.

The Clayton Black Kennel has Brett Entas as the trainer. In the kennel is a big litter, about 10, of pups with names starting with “Go Lucky.” Go Luck Tango and Go Lucky Danny won their schooling races. Jason Sartori’s litter shows promise. Monkey Way had a second in her schooling.

At the Xtrem Hess Racing LLC, Brad Hess will be the trainer.

DS Rumba is the anchor. He ran in Grade A at Bluffs Run and won a stakes race at Naples. XT’s War Bucks has been impressive, winning both of his early schooling races. Overall, suggest the folks at Xtreme, there is the makings of a pretty good kennel.
At David Ungs’ Copper Kettle Kennel there is disappointment as Wild Bill Reeves, the IGP’s 2015 Greyhound of the Year, suffered a career ending injury. A promising pup also went down, Ungs reported. Mark Dunnuck is the trainer.

Coming up is Joe Recker’s Joeslittlepebble, who won her schooling race. Also coming up is a nice collection of pups from Florida.

Jackson Greyhounds, LLC, will be anchored by a couple of 2015 stars from the Iowa Greyhound Park. AJ’s Callie won the Iowa Breeders Cup and Slatex Elvis won on the final day of the 2015 season to capture the track win title.

One pup to keep an eye on is Jahas Tornado. John Shaver is the trainer.
In the Pat Collins & Melissa Schmidt Kennel, there is a youth movement going on/ Collins is bringing in 21 pups and Schmidt 15 with more on the way. One pup of note, Joe Caputo, out of Amf Ex President – Flying Bassey, won his early schooling race.
“Bassey,” noted Schmidt, “has had some standout pups.
Jessica Hughes is the trainer.

Stidham Racing, LLC, is bringing in greyhounds from almost all over. JD Bombshell ran at Buffs Run; JD Dignity comes up from Florida; JD Independence (“he was named that,” explained Jon Stidham, “because he was born on July 4.”) was a stakes winner at Wheeling, West Va. and JD Tight Fit is also coming over from West Virginia.
Alicia Bushey is the trainer.

The reigning track champion, Superior Kennel, has a pair of littler mates, Hilco Magnum and Hilco Sonic, which show promise. Another greyhound of note is Superior Crush. Jerry Cole, the 2015 Trainer of the Year, returns to handle the kennel.

At the Boeckenstedt Kennel, Phil Stapleton who handled the Boeckenstedt Kennel at Bluffs Run and earned Trainer of the Year honors, moves over to take up the chores at IGP.

Overall, the kennel is balance with lots of pups. One litter out of Bluffs Run Hall of Famer KC And All – Boc’s Snow Queen, a litter of all females, shows promise. Out of that litter Boc’s Queen Faye Diva, Boc’s Queen and Boc’s Queen Gina won early schooling races.
The Wayne R. Ward, Inc. Kennel has Jeff Wilcox has its trainer. On one of the busy early schooling days O Ya Jiffy, O Ya Can U C and Classy Memphis won races while the kennel saw two greyhounds finish second and six greyhounds finish third.
The IGA Inaugural Stakes will highlight the opening day card. On Sunday, May 15, the card will be spiced by the Maiden Debut Stakes. Post time