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Monday, November 11, 2019

Three greyhounds posted box-to-wire victories as the $65,000 West Virginia Greyhound Owners and Breeders Association Keystone Championship kicked off Sunday afternoon at Wheeling Island with a field of 31 middle distance racers.

RS’s Buckeyebuck (Lester Raines Kennel), Mac’s Murdoch (A Ray Kennel) and MO’s Live Oak (Abrahamson Kennel) each posted box-to-wire efforts while CET Sassy (Steve Sarras Kennel) closed in the stretch to record a first round win.

Each accumulated 15 points.

The second round will be held on Thursday afternoon, Nov. 14, and the semifinals will be contested on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 17. The championship final is scheduled for Saturday matinee, Nov. 23.

Points after the first qualifying round follow:

RS’s Buckeyebuck (Lester Raines), 15 points CET Sassy (Steve Sarras), 15 points Mac’s Murdoch (A Ray), 15 points MO’s Live Oak (Abrahamson), 15 points

CET King Cobra (Steve Sarras), 10 points GLS Spicnspan (Jacobs Racing), 10 points CET Hellen Ann (Steve Sarras), 10 points Mac’s Trudeaux (A Ray), 10 points

CET Earthquake (Steve Sarras), 7 points Bustin BJ (Steve Sarras), 7 points Lanes Last Ride (Steve Sarras), 7 points RS’s Glory Girl (Lester Raines), 7 points

RS’s Hammerdown (Patriot/Taplin), 5 points RS’s Mightymouse (Lester Raines), 5 points

Bigmacswish (Patriot/Taplin), 3 points CET Little Razz (Steve Sarras), 3 points TS Amanda Nunes (Steve Sarras), 3 points TS Tito Ortiz (Steve Sarras), 3 points

Mac’s Ferrari (A Ray), 2 points TS Shaq (Steve Sarras), 2 points CET Macho (Steve Sarras), 2 points

Mac’s Gee Tee (A Ray), 1 point CG’s St Pete (Abrahamson), 1 point

CET Sunny (Steve Sarras), 0 points TS Faith Hill (Steve Sarras), 0 points

Six greyhounds were disqualified from the stakes event – CET Georgia (Steve Sarras), CET Patches (Steve Sarras), Mac’s Kip (A Ray), Mac’s Maarteen (A Ray) and CET Daisy Duke (Steve Sarras) – all were given checked tickets in the first round while TS Rocky Balboa quit racing.

The WVGOBA Keystone Championship is alternated each year between Wheeling Island and Tri-State Greyhound Park.

In the 2017 West Virginia-bred Keystone Championship, A Ray Kennel’s Mac’s Finn broke sharp, outrushed the early inside speed and never looked back in posting a 5-length victory in 38.03. Hit Me Chief (Steve Sarras) took runner up honors while Bo Bo Bruiser (Steve Sarras) and GF Taras Tango (Patriot/Taplin) finished in a dead heat for third.

In 2015, A Ray Kennel’s Mac’s Bonita took command early in romping to a 6 ½-length victory. Rico’s Manofsin (Rico Racing Kennel) and GLS Wild Thyme (Jacobs Racing Kennel) rounded out the trifecta ticket while Take Off Tug (Steve Sarras Kennel) finished fourth.

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.