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Monday, February 3, 2020

Wheeling Island win champion GF La Duena has been selected captain of the 2019 all-Wheeling team.

The Patriot/Taplin Kennel super sprint star, owned by Tom Salem and trained by Joe Otto, won 32 races last year – the most by a Wheeling Island greyhound since Slatex Striker posted 34 victories in 2003. GF La Duena is the first 330-yard racer in Wheeling history to capture the track win championship.

GF La Duena came to Wheeling Island in June 2018 after opening her career at Tri-State Greyhound Park. She was an easy choice to head the 10-greyhound team.

The Blanchard Kennel had three all-Wheeling honorees – L’s Griz, L’s Luv It and High Wire Willy. Both L’s Griz and L’s Luv It are repeat selections from the 2018 team.

Rounding out the 2019 all-Wheeling team are JS Drinkmepretty, Lester Raines Kennel; DS Bubbles, Xtrem Hess Racing Kennel; JSK Roulette, Jacobs Racing Kennel; Mac’s Glightfoot, A Ray Kennel; WW’s Chewbacca, Wayne Ward Kennel; and Imark Grande, Imark Kennel.

The all-Wheeling team was selected by local greyhound historian Robin Reed and Pawloski.

The criteria used to determine the selections included number of wins, winning percentage, in the money finishes, win streaks, stakes performances and overall records.

Accomplishments of the all-Wheeling members follow:

GF LA DUENA, Captain (49-32-7-4-3) – track win champion; all victories in AA or TAA 3/16th; had a pair of 6-race win streaks, a 4-race win streak and three 3-race win streaks; 87 percent on the trifecta; 94 percent on the superfecta ticket.

L’S GRIZ (54-25-15-6-2) – second in wins, all in AA; had a 4-race and 3-race win streak; finalist Mountaineer Classic Sprint Stakes; 88 percent superfecta mark; 85 percent trifecta mark; 5 wins and 6 seconds in an 11-race stretch; 5 wins and 4 seconds in another 9-race stretch.

L’S LUV IT (59-19-11-8-7) – tied for third in wins, all but one in AA; had a 3-race win streak; fourth Mountaineer Classic Sprint Stakes; 76 percent superfecta mark; 64 percent trifecta finish.

JS DRINKMEPRETTY (66-19-13-13-7) – tied for third in wins, 14 wins in AA; had a 4-race and 3-race win streak; 78 percent superfecta mark; 68 percent trifecta finish.

DS BUBBLES (56-19-7-8-4) – tied for third in wins, all in Grade AA; had four 3-race win streaks; 67 percent superfecta mark; 60 percent trifecta finish.

HIGH WIRE WILLY (58-19-9-7-7) – tied for third in wins, all but two in Grade AA or TAA 3/16th; had a 4-race win streak; 72 percent superfecta finish; 60 percent trifecta mark.

JSK ROULETTE (38-17-8-4-1) – tied for seventh in wins, all but one in Grade AA; had three 3-race win streaks; 79 percent superfecta mark; 76 percent trifecta finish.

MAC’S GLIGHTFOOT (31-16-6-2-4) – most wins by a 3/8th racer, 13 in Grade AA or TAA; had a 7-race and 6-race win streak; 90 percent superfecta finish; 77 percent trifecta mark; won 51 percent of his races.

WW’S CHEWBACCA (22-9-3-3-2) – captured Mountaineer Classic Sprint Stakes; 77 percent superfecta finish; 68 percent trifecta mark.

IMARK GRANDE (21-12-1-1-0) – 9 wins in AA; had a 5-race win streak; 57 percent win mark; 66 percent superfecta and trifecta finish.

Past all-Wheeling selections include:

2018 – L’s Griz (Captain), AMF Loose End, Royal Daddys Boy, L’s Luv It, SH Rattler, CTW San Marcos, JS Kamikazi, JSK Lubbock, Boc’s Palat, Kelsos Ukulele.

2017 – Barts Outofmyway (Captain), KB’s Baymax, AMF Ex Quigley, Konomi, SH Rattler, Kinda Cruel Red, Varoom Bristol, Boc’s Jezebel, Dont Let Me Down, Flower Girl.

2016 – Varoom Esme (Captain), Super C Ariel, Barts Outofmyway, Atascocita Sig, Craigiepridenjoy, SE’s Solid Cash, Kinda Cruel Red, GLS Lover Boy, Boc’s Betty Jo, HS Ruby.

2015 – AMF Sleekstrangr (Captain), Ted Cruz, AMF Spamwich, Atascocita Santo, Heck Yeah, HS Ruby, Varoom Esme, Fortune City, PJ Pure Gold, Napa Know How, CTW Leona Brown, Whiskey Babe.

2014 – Kiowa Leer Loyd (Captain), Flyin Man Of God, Go Bon Coaltrain, Whiskey Annie, WW’s Ignite Fire, Kiowa Dash Fast, Atascocita Santo, Tigertown Roo, Glossy Glow, CTW Pipe Down.

2013 – Flying Lone Wolf (Captain), Go Bon Coaltrain, Go Bon Wego, KB’s Try This On, Kebo Greta Garbo, AMF Can Can, Jumper Jack, WWK Win Day, Whiskey Annie, Bob’s Cassie.

2012 – CTW Bronze Drake (Captain), WWK Win Day, Flesk Flyer, WW’s I Agent, AMF Ex President, Uhaul Woody, Hero Kal, RS’s Locomotive, Call For Help, Hallo Sugardaddy.

2011 – AMF Ex President (Captain), WW’s Dog Gone, WW’s Patriots, WW’s Kay Quarter, Flesk Flyer, Dakotas Alene, Bella Cubanaro, Cry Exxon, Red Rooster Bonz, Braska Hottie, Scott So Bright, HS Bolt.

2010 – KB’s Ruckus (Captain), WP’s Cameo, KB’s Nantucket, Gale WW Wanika, WW’s Dog Gone, CTW Speedy Trent, Cry Case, Its Orozco, Bonafide Speed, Flying Burgundy.

2009 – Gable Sour Cream (Captain), Hi Noon Hero, Kiowa Power Pak, Kiowa Magnate, Kiowa Lee Philli, Kiowa Myth, BD’s Grayson, Bella Leonidas, Kiowa WW Brother, TK Quick Strike.

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.