Palm Beach Weekly Wrap Up 4-16-2017
A week full of great racing, but a week where Palm Beach had to say goodbye to one of its longtime owners. Along with the 51st Annual Puppy Stakes getting started, certainly a lot going on at America's favorite greyhound destination.
Here's the top stories we saw in the past 7 days at "The Beach."
A tough week for the NFL & the Palm Beach Kennel Club, as longtime owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers & co-owner of PBKC Dan Rooney passed away Thursday at the age of 84. The Rooney Family who bought the Kennel Club in 1970 have kept this sacred greyhound track at the top of it's game ever since and have meant the world to the people of South Florida for almost a half century.
Palm Beaches official statement after the passing:
"All of us at Palm Beach Kennel Club are saddened to learn of the passing of track co-owner Dan Rooney....Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dan's family and many friends."
Our thoughts and prayers also go out to the entire Rooney Family on the passing of a legend.
How To Honor Mr Rooney? Stakes Idea
Palm Beach has always done a sensational job of honoring the people that have meant so much to their business by naming stakes tournaments after them. Bob Balfe, Dick Andrews, Jim Gallagher, Buck Kinnaird and of course "The Chief" Arthur J. Rooney. How about naming a stakes after Dan Rooney?
My idea would be to rename the 4th of July race the Daniel M Rooney Firecracker 545. Make this into a bigger stakes event like the St Pats Invitational with 8 of the top sprinters of the new season competing for a nice payout (20K maybe?). It would be a fantastic way to honor their former owner and to spruce up the summer racing schedule.
Condolences again to the entire Rooney family. A life well lived for a person that was loved from one corner of the globe to another.
Spring Puppy Stakes Takes Off
One of the sweetest tournaments in the sport kicked off last Wednesday, as the $20,000 Bob Balfe Puppy Stakes got underway. 64 puppies with their youngster eyes on the prize competed in the first round and came right back on Saturday for the second round in the Matinee.
Three greyhounds remained undefeated in the tournament, JS Hot Pocket & Barts Upfront from Rader Racing and B Allstar Garth from the Lester Raines Kennel. Hot Pocket used her great combo game of solid rush and close to take stay unblemished, while Garth had the thunder rolling with all that front end world class speed to take his victories. Upfront did just that in the first two rounds, get to the front and never look back.
Also impressive was Char Vallon from the Douglas Kennel, who ran one of the fastest Puppy Stakes splits in tournament history on Wednesday with a 29.41 secs smoker to kick things off.
Look for the tourney to return this Wednesday in the quarterfinals, as the field has now been cut down to 32.
Greyhounds Bringing In Huge Money For Florida
Further proof that the greyhound racing industry is a big time business for the state of Florida was shown this week when Jeff Kottkamp of the Sunshine State News released an article showing just how much money the dogs were bringing in. The business is bringing in billions of dollars (yes billions) to the state and the industry actually brings in more profit than most professional sports teams. Doesn't seem like a "dying" industry to me.
A news story that every fan, owner or state of Florida resident should read.
The Weather Machine Makes A Return To The Winners Circle
The forecast last Saturday called for clear skies, warm temperatures and a return to the winners circle for the two time stakes champion.
Janice Dean "The Weather Machine" from the Brindle Kennel found her winning groove back in the evening racing portion on Saturday, coming back for the 38.08 secs win. Dean named after the Fox News meteorologist and followed by millions around the globe was in a drought leading up to this, picked up her first win in the last five weeks with this victory.
Dean who will be featured in this Spring's Greyhound Review still would love to come visit the Fox News studios to meet the woman she is named after soon.
That's all we have for this week. We'll see you next time for the Wrap Up!