Thursday, June 2, 2011

NGA News - 2011 JGR Puppy Stakes Bios

NGA News

Locall Torino - Points (54)
Career Totals (43/17-6-6-4)
F – M April 2009 Fuzzys Cannon – Fast Date
Owned By – Terry Williams or Shawn Pfannenstiel
Runs for the PTL Kennel
Trained by Jim Rae
No big surprise here for the leader in points for the 2011 JGR Puppy Stakes. Locall Torino had to be one of the pre-race favorites and he did his best to support his backers in qualifying. He was dominate in 3 of the 4 round that he competed in and took home wins in each of those efforts. His only blemish on a perfect run thru the rounds came in the second, as he stumbled at the break and had to run a huge race just to rally for the final spot in the superfecta. Throughout he has shown a superior break in his races, and that has gotten him in control from the get go. He is the only greyhound in this field with previous stakes experience, but he too will head into his first final round competition on Saturday Evening for the PTL Kennel. Torino should have a distinct class edge over the rest of this field and this veteran has more grade A wins, 12, than any of the other finalists have normal wins at the Orange Park Kennel Club. In fact if you tally the other 7 greyhounds grade A victories, they only come to 10, alone Torino beats them. Everything in his corner for this effort, he just needs to show up and run his race. Breaking quickly will be the most critical part of this effort, but post could play a role too. He can run from almost anywhere on the racetrack, but something on the edges would be a great place to start from. With 3 wins in qualifying, and 4 in his last 5 efforts, Locall Torino is going to be the race time favorite. If this field wants to upset him, they are going to have to work really hard to get it done tonight.

Gs Emma - Points (44)
Career Totals (17/8-2-3-0)
BD – F September 2009 Kelsos Fusileer – Steffie’s Mandy
Owned By – Gary Or Sharon Willis
Runs for the Willis Kennel
Trained by Brandy Willis
Gs Emma is one of three littermates in this final from the Willis Kennel. Emma ranked highest among the three as she won 2 rounds and finished a close third in another. In the semi’s she didn’t break to her normal standards, ran into trouble at the 1st turn, and finished out of the money in 5th. Emma’s best attribute is her breaking ability. She is oh so tough on the early lead and that might be the reason that we saw her jump up thru the ranks to grade A in just 7 career starts. Even though she has a limited number of starts, she didn’t let the stakes rounds intimidate her at all. She just kept on keeping on and that was enough for her to find the finals of the very first stakes event that she has ever competed in. Emma loves the inside part of the racetrack and especially the rail. Don’t women always look better in red? Well Emma sure thinks so and I believe that she would be out of her mind if she could drape on the little old red number for the start of this race. If she wants to win this effort and take home a stakes title, she is going to have to come out running, steal the early lead, and show all the greyhounds chasing her that she can hang on late for the win.

PDX Bruno - Points (44)
Career Totals (24/4-4-8-2)
BK – M March 2009 Tommy Commander – Bello Bingo Nanc
Owned By – Luke Cullen
Runs for the B & J Racing Kennels Inc
Trained by Jeramiah Haislip
Pdx Bruno might just be hitting a career high at the right time. This B & J Racing Kennel might have taken a long time to get to grade A, 21 races, but since he has looked amazing at the Orange Park Kennel Club. A win in round one was his entrance to top grade racing, and he backed that up with three efforts, a pair of places and a show effort, in a row in the money in grade A. Bruno’s best ability might not even come from his legs or his head, it comes from his heart. Kind of like the name says, Bruno is all about giving his all in each and every effort. He has a solid break and rush, not the best, but solid, and he can come on late too to challenge as the greyhounds approach the finish line. Even though he seemed overmatched in all of the rounds, Bruno found a way to acquire enough points to secure him a spot in his first ever stakes final. Like most greyhounds that come from off the pace, Bruno would like to start from somewhere that has little traffic or opportunity to cause traffic. The far edges of the racetrack seem to be the best starting post of him and if you taken any credence in his maiden win by almost 14 lengths, the one box might be the best box for him tonight. Bruno gets a shot to win here if he can come out close, find room around the racetrack, and show off that great desire in the deep stretch.

No Moamy - Points (42)
Career Totals (30/6-6-4-4)
BK – M August 2009 Where’s Hardhead – Lonesome Darlin
Owned By – Amy Isgette
Runs for the Mo’s New Horizon
Trained by Audrey Anderson
No Moamy was definitely a surprise finalist in my mind. It took her 8 races to break her maiden and 23 starts to get to grade A, but someone must have forgotten to tell her about it. Unlike most she started out the journey in grade A and was just overlooked and forgotten about. That came to a quick end as she took the lead in rounds one and two and posted up a win and a strong second place finish. Heading into the quarter finals this Mo’s New Horizon pup held the lead in points over the rest of the field. She just kept on using what got her there and capped off the qualifying rounds with third and a fourth place finish to keep her in the superfecta for all 4 starts. This was good enough to land her in the finals of her very first stakes race. Breaking is the key to her success and without the early lead she is just not the same greyhound. Good news for her is that most of the time she is the best breaker around and can see the early lead in her races. Her favorite spot to start from has to be the inside part of the racetrack. Anywhere on the rail and on the inside, she comes out running and once in front everyone else has to catch her. Her drawback to all that early speed is in the stretch she is short and probably will be again late in this effort. For a chance to win, she needs to fly from the box, seize control on the lead, and get some late help behind her.

Lk's Mystifier - Points (40)
Career Totals (6/3-0-3-0)
R BD – F December 2009 Em’s Mac Attack – Boyzmiraclemagie
Owned By – Jill Lashmet
Runs for the Lashmet Kennel
Trained by Tom Artzer
What more can you say about Lk’s Mystifier than WOW! Can you really believe that a greyhound with just two official starts was entered into a stakes race? We’ll they were both wins and the Lashmet Kennel must have know something that the rest of us didn’t as here she sits in career start number 7 in the finals of the 2011 JGR Puppy Stakes. Obviously this will be her first final round appearance and how she got here is a story in itself. In the first three rounds she closed well throughout, but all she could muster was a trio of third place efforts. So if she wanted a chance at the finals she was going to have to put up a huge effort in the semi-finals, and that is just what she did. Breaking way to close, she chased the pace to the stretch, and turned on the turbo at the right time to power by the leader late and steal away all 16 points, and the win, at the finish line. Only in grade B, this greyhound has never finished out of the trifecta in her entire career against some very tough competition. Mystifier likes to race midtrack to outside and might be feeling more at home from those post position at the start of this race. Tough to say though as there are not that many races to look at. In order for him to put up back to back wins and take home the trophy in unprecedented fashion, Mystifier needs to break, be way close early, and use that late speed to his advantage in the deep stretch.
Gs Uncle Harry - Points (38)
Career Totals (20/5-4-2-2)
R – M September 2009 Kelsos Fusileer – Steffie’s Mandy
Owned By – Gary Or Sharon Willis
Runs for the Willis Kennel
Trained by Brandy Willis
Gs Uncle Harry is the second of three littermates from Willis that are contending for the crown in this stakes final. Harry might not have won a round, like the other two have, but he did give his all in each and every effort. Harry was sort of playing horseshoe in the first three rounds as he must have thought that it was close enough for a victory. He finished 2nd just off the leader in each effort, including two efforts behind leader in points Locall Torino. He was not just slacking either as his second place times were faster than a bunch of the winning times of different stakes qualifying rounds. Unlucky might be a better word for it, but everyone better take note and he might have had the toughest route to this, his first, final round field. Harry is getting better with every start and unlike his sister Emma, Harry has closing speed to burn at the end of the race to go along with his solid rush to the turn. Harry likes to race in the midtrack to wide side of the racetrack and might be well suited for a post position that would aide him in his effort. Peaking at the right time, Harry posted up some of his quickest trips during the stakes rounds. Harry could be saving his best run for the finals, and if he gets it all together, the break, the rush, the drive, and the close, he has an outside shot at the win tonight.

Cruel To Be Kind - Points (36)
Career Totals (42/8-5-4-7)
BE F – F March 2009 Farloe Black* – Lil Misschevious
Owned By – Jacobs Racing Kennels, Inc.
Runs for the Falcon Kennel
Trained by Brent McKinnies
Cruel To Be Kind finds a way to sneak into the finals without a win showing on the stakes racing card. To her credit though, she finished in the money in 3 of 4 efforts, including a pair of 2nd and a 3rd place finish. In the semi’s she ran into trouble and had to settle for a 5th place finish. It was good enough though to find a spot in her very first stakes race final. Cruel To Be Kind really has to be the underdog in this final round race. She has not reached grade A yet and has competed in almost the most races of any finalist. Big things were expected of her early on though as she jumped up to grade B in just 5 career starts. She never took it to the next level though, but the more starts she gets, the more experience she has to bring to the table. Closing is her best attribute and she might be getting it all figured out at the right time. Her second round clocking of 30.95 seconds was the best so far in her career. Cruel To Be Kind likes the inside part of the racetrack and is a whole different greyhound inside of the 5 box. She has run the majority of her best races from in here, and if she could pull off a good starting box that might go a long way in helping her out in this final round race. With nothing to loose, I’m sure this Falcon runner is going to let it all hang out in this stakes final. In order to have a chance, she needs to do simply 1 thing, break! She needs to be close enough early to use her late speed and challenge at the finish line.

Gs Uncle Henry - Points (35)
Career Totals (20/8-3-2-2)
BD – M September 2009 Kelsos Fusileer – Steffie’s Mandy
Owned By – Gary Or Sharon Willis
Runs for the Willis Kennel
Trained by Brandy Willis
Now for the inconsistent third brother of the Willis trio, we arrive at Gs Uncle Henry. Henry might easily be the quickest and the fastest of this litter, but if he wants to have that title he is going to have to stay on top of his game. In four rounds of qualifying we saw flashes of it as he took home a pair of wins, but he also had a pair of out of the money efforts. Those 32 points to start with were enough to give him a spot in his very first stakes final event. Henry looked the best of the bunch breaking in too and he cruised to grade A in just 5 races, and he didn’t miss a bit at the top level either. He might not have been winning right away, but he was a threat too and that is sometimes good enough for a young pup. Like Emma, and unlike Harry, Henry is all about the early speed and taking quick command of a race. Once in front Henry has been very tough to catch and has only lost on the front end once in his 8 race opportunities. Henry likes the inside part of the racetrack, but also performs well from the middle boxes too. He likes the extra room they provide and if the 4 or 5 box is left for him in this 8th spot, I don’t think he is going to complain too much. If he wants to win, what does he need to do? Easy answer, BREAK! He is not the same greyhound without the lead, or at least close to it, in the early stages of the race. If he can see his nose free on the clean air on the lead, he will have a shot to take home the title tonight.
By Kelly Clark

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