by Gary Dura
Quite simply, it's the "big one."
The Iowa Breeders' Cup starts Thursday evening at Dubuque Greyhound Park. There are 14 races on the card, all stakes. It's open only to Iowa-bred greyhounds.
The purse: $200,000 for the final race, and $20,000 for the consolation race, both held on the final day of the season.
There is nothing like a card of stakes races. You've got younger pups, experienced runners, dogs moving from the long course to the sprint - everything to challenge the handicapper.
But, those challenges make for a great evening of watching the races.
The rest schedule is: Thursday, Oct. 13, Sunday, Oct. 16, Saturday matinee, Oct. 22 and Thursday, Oct. 27. The field will be cut to 48 after the second round and 24 after the third round.
The top eight after the fourth round reach the finals, and the next eight will run in the consolation race.
Points are the standard: 20-12-8-5-3-2-1-0.