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Thursday, February 23, 2017

A number of changes will be taking place in the 2017 Wheeling Island live greyhound racing schedule, effective Wednesday, March 1.

Approved this week by the West Virginia Racing Commission, the two major changes involve the post time and days the track will be offering live greyhound racing.

Racing Director Ben Travis said the racetrack will have live matinee greyhound racing on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons with a 1 p.m. post time. The track will be closed on Monday and Tuesday for live racing, but simulcast will be available for local fans.

Previously, Wheeling was dark for live racing on Monday and Thursday and post time for the matinee performances was at 12:30 p.m.

Each matinee race card will feature between 15 and 20 races with an extra five races, called the “Lucky North 5 at 5,” on Saturday and Sunday only. The bonus five races will start at approximately 5:30 p.m. and be scheduled as an “E” event in tote and trackdata.

On Saturday and Sunday afternoon, the track will offer “In the Money” and “Lucky North 5 at 5” handicapping contests for local patrons.

Looking ahead, there will be no live matinee performance on Friday, March 10, but an evening card will be held that day – 15 races with a 6 p.m. post time for the United Way Night of Stars.

There will be special holiday performances and closures throughout the year. They include:

Memorial Day: Monday, May 29, 15-20 races at 1 p.m. with a “Lucky North 5 at 5”

Fireworks Extravaganza: Sunday, July 2, 15-20 races at 2 p.m. with a “Lucky North 5 at 5”

Independence Day: Tuesday, July 4, 15-20 races at 2 p.m. with a “Lucky North 5 at 5”

Labor Day: Monday, Sept. 4, 15-20 races at 1 p.m. with a “Lucky North 5 at 5”

Thanksgiving: Thursday, Nov. 23, closed

Christmas Eve: Sunday, Dec. 24, closed

Christmas Day: Monday, Dec. 25, closed

Special “After Christmas” performance: Tuesday, Dec. 26, 15-20 races at 1 p.m.

New Year’s Eve: Sunday, Dec. 31, 15-20 races at 6:30 p.m.

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.