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Monday, January 23, 2017

Whatever the reason, the warm weather or maybe even the majestic palm trees, Oaks Maddy certainly enjoyed her two week vacation in Florida. The black female out of Pat C Clement and Oaks Gem Brandy won all three of her races over the Daytona Beach Racing and Card Club track. It was her last victory, however, that turned out to be the biggest of her outstanding career. Maddy’s determined win on Saturday night in the $45,000 BetAmerica Daytona 550 earned her the National Championship crown. It is the first national championship for a greyhound from Southland Park Gaming and Racing in the three year history of the race. Breaking from the No. 1 box, Oaks Maddy went box-to-wire winning by one length over Kinda Cruel Red. Her 29.98 time was just off the track record, and marked her second consecutive sub-30 second performance. It was not an easy win, as Wheeling Island’s Kinda Cruel Red also turned in an impressive performance, and was challenging Maddy throughout the race.

Oaks Maddy, trained by Bill Nihan and Brett Goucher of the Gloria Dorsey Kennel, is undefeated over the last month. The three year old Maddy captured the Festival of Stakes Arkansas-bred Sprint Championship in October, and then won the BetAmerica Kings vs Queens the following week defeating the best at Southland. Her victory in that race earned her trip to Daytona. In fact, throughout the 2016 year Oaks Maddy faced, and defeated many of the best greyhounds in the country. Mick Hymes is the breeder and owner of Oaks Maddy.

The 2017 BetAmerica Daytona 550 field included an All-American, classy seasoned veterans, and some outstanding younger greyhounds. The 2015 All-American Seldom Told broke slowly from the No. 5 box but rallied to finish third. The youngster JD Accomplish rushed smartly from the outside to the turn and captured fourth. Kentucky Kat and RFRiver rushed well to the first turn, but Kat was squeezed back and River bumped in the turn. Following Accomplish, the order of finish was Martha Maccallum, RF River, Kentucky Kat and GT’s Gin N Juice.

The race continues to grow, as handle at the Daytona track topped $215,000 on Saturday night. Previous winners of the national championship race have been Husker Magic in 2015 and Need My Moneynow last year.

Michael Frino