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Wednesday, May 11, 2022

The national single day handle record for greyhound racing at one racetrack was broken Saturday afternoon (May 7) at Wheeling Island.

The total wagered on-track and off-track last Saturday on Wheeling Island greyhounds was $1,487,335, surpassing the $1,457,609 bet on greyhounds at The Woodlands in Kansas on March 11, 1992.

For the week from Wednesday, May 4, through Sunday, May 8, Wheeling handled nearly $5 million – $4,910,233.

In the first quarter of 2022 (January through March), the amount wagered on greyhound racing in West Virginia continued to climb.

Wheeling Island handled nearly $56 million in the first quarter of 2022 compared to almost $53 million last year – an 8 percent increase. At Tri-State, $33 million was bet on racing this year in the first quarter compared to $27 million in 2021 – a 24 percent hike.

The following numbers validate the popularity of greyhound racing at Wheeling Island:

- The Wheeling handle increased this year despite less racing days in the first quarter – 63 days in 2021 and only 60 days in 2022 – and less races this year – 17-race cards in 2022 compared to 20-race programs in 2021.

- In the first quarter of 2021, Wheeling had five $1 million plus handle days while in the first three months of 2022 Wheeling had 18 days handling more than $1 million.

- This year, Wheeling has had 18 consecutive Saturday handles topping $1 million. One Saturday card was canceled due to flooding.

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.