WW Headliner Staging Historic Run in Birmingham
by Kip Keefer
The sport of greyhound racing, has been an American parimutuel attraction and mainstay for nearly 100 years. Out of the tens of thousands of speedy, talented, magnificent four-legged stars of the show that have blazed around North American tracks, only 48 have reached the century mark milestone in wins. Now, a new Queen, in the Sport of a Queens, is rocketing toward membership in that exclusive club.
WW Headliner, owned by Julia Ward, kenneled and trained by Eric Griffin, captured her 98th career win Monday afternoon at the Birmingham Race Course. She is expected to shoot for 99 Friday night which could set up the historic bid for 100 early next week.
A look inside the numbers reveals that this red fawn daughter of Kiowa WW Brother and WW's Blue Bonnet is authoring a run that is astounding and unprecedented. Just this month, Headliner, a March 2011 product, is three years old. In the middle of her prime, barring injury, and at her current pace, she can completely rewrite the record book. She's already set the record for most wins in a single year with 65 in 2013. Her to date, 98 wins have been achieved in 138 starts. In her last 115 races, she has rung up 90 wins! In that stretch, she also has 16 seconds and 7 thirds.
Despite the numbers (86-65-13-6-1) and the record for wins in a year, WW Headliner was not voted to the AGTOA first team of All Americans?? As if she is aware of the snub, her 2014 tirade on the track has even been more spectacular. Going into Friday's start, she has posted 17 wins and 2 seconds in her 19 new year starts.
Like the NCAA basketball tournament where strength of schedules are argued, there are those who may dismiss this star's achievements citing her lack of quality competition. WW Headliner has beaten all comers for 18 months. Many of the vanquished have moved on too other, high level tracks and enjoyed success. She is defeating racing greyhounds, no malamutes or Border Collies have been entered. Consistency and unbelievable track savvy are her weapons. She goes to the lead or comes from behind. Inside, outside, rain or shine, blazing hot or freezing cold.
This greyhound is a phenomenon. She is rewriting the record book and the show that this Headliner is starring in, is a Smash Hit!!!