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Friday, March 19, 2021

 

“SLEEK 16” SET TO FACE OFF MONDAY

After two rounds and 48 greyhounds eliminated, the “Hound Madness” Stakes whittled down to 16 greyhounds remaining after action on Thursday at Southland Casino & Racing.

The West Region still has #1 seed AIR ACE in the mix, after the black male advanced in the opening round by beating #16 seed WHAT COMES NEXT and then winning his match against #8 seed BUG BRUSH to set up a match with the Cinderella story of this part of the bracket, #13 seed RAFE UP THERIVER. “RAFE”, racing for Bussmann-Balakas, LLC and trained by Kelly Everett squeaked by in the opening round by defeating #4 seed ATASCOCITA KERNS and followed that up by beating #5 seed MONSTER BOX to set up the show down on Monday with the region’s top seed.

The other matchup in this region will be a “chalk” battle as #2 seed ARKANS PHERKAD (Darren Henry Kennel) rolled to victories over #15 seed GOOD WIN BOB in the opening round and then followed that up by beating #10 seed CTW OREO TRUFFLE. The #3 seed, PAT C RAM ROD coasted over #14 seed BGR SPOTTED COW and #11 seed OSHKOSH TOYE. Unless there is a major upset with the top seed on Monday, this side of the bracket is guaranteed to have no worse than a #1 vs. a #3 seed for a spot in the Furry Four.

The Midwest Region has been the scene of upset carnage, with only the #1 seed, CRAIGIE DELAGATE looking like the best greyhound in the region after two rounds. The sixty-nine pound male trained by Monte Hoopes has won 7 of his last 8 races overall and cruised over #16 seeded AB ON THE ROCKS and #9 seed GONZ CANELO. He will face a dangerous #13 seed in AMF URUGUAY who dispatched #4 seed L’S BOZ in the opening round and #5 seed ARKANS ZINC in round 2.

The bottom half of the Midwest region will be a battle of two middle seeds in #6 seed TMC’S SWEETCRAIG and #10 seed BOOTS RANDOLPH. The former took care of #11 seed KEY PLAYER in the opening round before pulling off a bit of an upset victory over #3 seed JS PRETTY FLY in round 2. BOOTS RANDOLPH’s opening round victory over #7 seed SUPERIOR PARKER didn’t raise many eyebrows, but the victory over #2 seed FGF MATHIAS in round 2 definitely perked some interest.

The right side of the bracket containing the East and South Regions have been havens for “madness” with plenty of upsets. No #1 seeds remain in those regions, but both #2 seeds are hanging on strong. In the East, the biggest upset of the second round came here when #8 seed CTW CHIP N DALE (Robert Thorne, LLC) knocked off #1 seed and multiple stakes champion JS FLAMIN ACE to advance to the round of 16. He will face #5 seed ELIZA FRASER (Gloria Dorsey, LLC) who took care of business by knocking out #12 seed GONZ DANDELION in the opening round and #13 seed BARTS WILD GOOSE in round 2.

The bottom half of that bracket will see #11 seed KB’S ROGUE (A Ray Kennel), who knocked out #6 seed HUMBLE YOURSELF in the opening round and got by #14 seed GO BON MAYHAM in round two get to go head to head against #2 seed JS KEEPHOPEALIVE (Lester Raines Kennel). Interesting note that in the first round, KB’S ROGUE actually won by a head over JS KEEPHOPEALIVE in the overall race of eight they were in together, but they were not bracketed against each other at the time. With just a four dog field for each of the four races in this upcoming round, this could prove key to a possible upset once again.

The South Region will have at least one guaranteed Cinderella in the “GREYT 8” round as #9 seed KB’S MC QUEEN (Charter Kennel) will face off against #13 seed XM STRIDE N (T and T Kennel). Both these greyhounds were helped some along the way, with KB’S MC QUEEN getting to face #16 seed BYNGE DRINKIN after that greyhound pulled pff one of the greatest upsets in “Hound Madness” history when he knocked off #1 seed ARKANS RB TAZ in the opening round. XM STRIDE N got to face #12 seed WAGGING THE DOG when that greyhound pulled off an upset of #5 seed FLYING RAPIDFIRE in the opener. If XM STRIDE N advances on Monday, it will be the highest seed in the GREYT 8 round in the past six years.

The other half of the South Region is more “normal” as two chalks set to battle it out. #2 seed ARKASKA KAREN (Darren Henry) breezed through #15 seed MR. MONEY BAGS and #10 seed IMARK BOOG in the first two rounds, while #3 seed ALADDIN (A Ray Kennel) took care of #14 seed KB’S AXELROD and #11 seed GUTHRUM to set up a good race between them next round.

Catch all the action of this year’s “HOUND MADNESS” Stakes, with the “SLEEK 16” round this Monday. There will be four races of four greyhounds each with simple win and exacta wagering on each of those four races.

The “GREYT 8” round will feature four match races on March 27 with the winners of those four races comprising the “FURRY FOUR” round on April 2. The “Hound Madness” head’s up match race for the championship will be contested on Friday, April 9th.

Shane Bolender