The purpose of the UGR Top 25 Poll was to recognize those greyhounds that performed at the highest level at their home track over a designated period of time. Approximately 80 greyhounds appeared in the UGR polls and received the recognition they deserved. However, as in any sport, there are always those athletes who stand out among the rest. As the saying goes...the cream always rises to the top… and it is no different in greyhound racing. The UGR TOP 10 list for 2012 spotlights those ten dogs that achieved high rankings and made multiple appearances in our polls. A point system was utilized to again rank those greyhounds for the 2012 year (through October 31st). Points were given based on the greyhound’s previous rankings with 25 base points awarded for each #1 ranking, down to 1 point for a dog that was ranked 25th in any poll. Bonus points were also awarded… 10 points for a greyhound ranked 1st in any poll, and 10 points for each multiple appearance in the polls. Here is an example:
Bella Infrared was 1st in two of the UGR polls and 2nd in another. He receives 25+25+24 base points plus 40 bonus points (20pts for two #1 rankings and 20pts for his three poll appearances). Bella Infrared’s total score is 114 which easily earned him the UGR top honors for 2012! Now let’s take a look at the UGR Top 10 greyhounds for the year.
So there it is…ten of the top greyhounds in 2012 based on the results of the four United Greyhound Racing Top 25 polls. I think few would argue with Bella Infrared (Kiowa Mon Manny-Bella Ionic) was the most talked about and top greyhound of the year. The Southland Derby winner won 76% of his races, including a 19 straight win streak, and is the current win leader at the premier track. Congratulations to the David Blair Kennel, trainer Natalie Duncan and, of course, Bella Infrared.
We can also say about each of the dogs in the top 10 that they were either dominant at their home track, a stakes winner, and or a consistent winner of top grade races throughout the year. Consequently, the resume for each of these greyhounds is also impressive. CTW Bronze Drake is the win leader at Wheeling Island, and gradually ascended to the top of the UGR poll from 20th to 7th and now 1st. J’s Robin...ranked in three of the polls… was dominant at Orange Park winning 42 races, and set the 5/16ths track record. She was also in the money in three major stakes including a race over the 660 course. Slatex Titanium was the winner of the RLC Championship race and a three time winner over Bella Infrared. Venus Espinosa is Derby Lane’s win leader and winner of the Fall Sprint Classic. Slatex Plutonium won the Southland Hound Madness, was 3rd in the Southland Derby and has won about 50% of his races. Boc’s Sweeney is Greyhound of the Year at Dubuque, and was 2nd in both the Queen and King and Iowa Breeders Cup. TDS Jackie is among the top winners at Tri-State and appeared in three of the UGR polls. MW’s Morrigan also appeared in three of our polls, and has been a consistent winner at Gulf Greyhound Park. Morrigan also shipped to Naples and won the Naples-Fort Myers Sprint. Optimus Prime from Tri-State…a talented greyhound with an 11 race win streak to his credit. No doubt these greyhounds are among the finest athletes in our sport. They are certainly well bred- and if you look at their sires- four are by Lonesome Cry, three by Dodgem by Design, two by Kiowa Mon Manny and one by Coldwater Torres.
Of course there were many other outstanding dogs that appeared in the UGR polls. Bluffs Run is the home of some of the most talented greyhounds in the country. Chasin The Richs, P’s Gibbs, Boc’s Coleena, and now Mamas Pastorjoel and SH Avatar, all ranked in the top 5 in one of the UGR polls. None of those greyhounds, however, made multiple appearances in the polls…maybe an indication of the overall top grade strength at the Iowa track.
As stated earlier, this is the final poll for 2012. There will not be a poll in the January/February Greyhound Review, so our next poll will in the March/April Review and ranks the top performing greyhounds for early 2013.
Finally, I would be remiss not to thank each of the UGR poll members who gave us their time and expertise. I would also like to thank United Greyhound Racing for their support. The goal is that we all work together to promote and market the sport, and recognize our main asset…the greyhound athletes.