"Fabulous" Fraulein Morgan Victorious in Epic St. Pats Final
*St Pats Champion Fraulein Morgan*
We knew the conclusion to the Big 3 stakes series at Palm Beach was going to be something we would never forget. I don't think any of us could have envisioned this though.
In what turned out to be one of the closest finishes in Finals history, Fraulein Morgan from the Janie Carroll Kennel turned on the jets late to steal the $50,000 St Patrick's Day Invitational on Saturday afternoon at PBKC. Morgan was able to survive a less then stellar opening rush and maneuver her way to the perfect position coming for home to win her first major title.
Whirlin Toodlelu from the Douglas Kennel took 2nd by just 0.01 seconds in a photo finish that is almost too close to believe it wasn't a dead heat. Toodles' teammate Barts Big Bang finished third with Janice Dean "The Weather Machine" rounding out the superfecta in 4th.
Team kennel owner/trainer Crystal Carroll was stunned by the result.
"We're really proud of her," Carroll told me after the win. "We were hopeful for a board finish, but certainly didn't expect a win. I thought she ran 2nd and nearly fainted at the finish line when they hung her up on top. If (trainer) Alvin Rink wasn't standing there to catch me, I'd have went completely down."
A redeeming win as well for owner Monte Jacobs, who was so agonizing close to winning the Daytona 550 National Championship with Kinda Cruel Red in January & last months Derby with Morgan, finishing 2nd in both.
"Her age and experience won the race for us," Jacobs told us after the win. "I thought she ran a very smart race. She stayed on the rail and benefited a little and made a nice move on the backstretch. She got outside coming home where she allowed herself room. She's one of the most consistent dogs I've owned."
Did Jacobs think he had the win initially?
"I thought she originally got beat." Jacobs says.
What will the plan be for the "Bachelorette" after this huge win? Jacobs plans to run her at Palm Beach until this summer and then retire her back to his his farm in Claflin, Kansas.
Winning In The Face of Adversity
We heard the naysayers all week long going into this Final. Morgan shouldn't be in this Final because she was a 660 yard runner, she's going to goof up this race, someone else should be here, this is a sprinter race only etc. etc. Even though she has been the season wins leader by a mile for months now. Even with Morgan having 10 more wins than any other racer at Palm Beach this season and has been the most consistent greyhound of them all, the chatter didn't stop.
Morgan's team heard it and it didn't stop them from staying quiet. They chose to stick to their plan and let their superstar prove her worth on the track Saturday with the world watching. Mission accomplished.
Anybody that says that a middle distance runner shouldn't be in this race in the future will quickly be stopped in their tracks with one simple response....."Fraulein Morgan."
Here's a replay of the 50K St Pats Final:http://www.trackinfo.com/video-box.jsp?raceid=gPB%2420170318A12
No Triple Crown But What A Ride It Has Been
The majority of greyhound fans watching this race were rooting for Janice Dean. How could you not? She was trying to accomplish something that had been done only once in 36 years by winning the Triple Crown. She brought positive attention to a sport that badly needed it with her Fox & Friends story last month and bringing new fans to the game.
Even though she wasn't able to pull the historic triple on Saturday, this has been a story only told in fairy tales. A journey that will be told to greyhound enthusiasts for generations. The story of the 57 pound little girl who put the entire sport on her back and helped put a smile back on her grieving trainer who had recently lost his wife.
Thank you "Weather Machine" for the last three months. It's been a pleasure to follow and something this columnist and fans around the country will surely never forget.
Look for Janice to make her national television debut on Fox & Friends in the coming weeks.
Spring Puppy Stakes Up Next!
Think the action stops after the Big 3 is now over? No worries because on deck is the 51st Annual Spring Puppy Stakes Tournament! Qualifying starts in the next few weeks, with the Final being held Saturday afternoon April 29th.
Congratulations to Fraulein Morgan and her entire team on her "fabulous" run in the Big Green Dance!