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Back to News » $100,000 Mountaineer Classic highlights 2020 Wheeling stakes schedule
Tuesday, August 4, 2020


In last year’s championship final of the $100,000 Mountaineer Classic at Wheeling Island, WW’s Chewbacca took charge on the far turn and never looked back in giving Wayne Ward trainer Ron Otto one of his sweetest stakes victory in his 20 years of handling the kennel.

The sprinter overcame an adversity-filled career to capture the track’s featured stakes race of the year. WW’s Chewbacca was sidelined twice for separate shoulder injuries – idling him for a total of nine months – before returning to the racetrack.

The $100,000 Mountaineer Classic is back this year and highlights the 2020 stakes schedule for Wheeling Island.

The racetrack’s featured stakes event is scheduled for October and is sandwiched between a pair of West Virginia Greyhound Owners and Breeders Association championships – a juvenile and a sprint stake. The stakes schedule has been approved by the West Virginia Racing Commission.

Just like last year, there is no start requirement for greyhounds coming in from other racetracks as well as Wheeling-based racers for the Mountaineer Classic. Greyhounds must only have one schooling race and need not have reached a certain grade to enter the stakes event.

The winning greyhound will receive approximately 40 percent of the total stakes purse – a check of $42,000. Runner up is worth $18,000 with the third place finisher receiving $13,000 and fourth place getting $10,000.

Fifth and sixth place will receive $5,500 each while seventh and eighth will get $3,000 apiece.

There will be three qualifying rounds – Sunday, Oct. 4, Friday, Oct. 9 and Wednesday, Oct. 14 – before the semifinals on Sunday, Oct. 18. The championship final will be on Saturday, Oct. 24.

The 2019 Mountaineer Classic had an opening field of 64 sprinters.

The $35,000 WVGOBA Juvenile Stakes (5/16th) will be held in September. The first round is set for Friday, Sept. 11, the second round on Wednesday, Sept. 16 and the semi-finals on Saturday, Sept. 20.

The juvenile stakes final is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 26.

The $65,000 WVGOBA Panhandle Championship (5/16th) starts on Friday, Nov. 13, with the second round on Wednesday, Nov. 18. The semifinals will be contested on Sunday, Nov. 22.

The Panhandle stakes championship is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 28.

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.