Who'll Get The Next Star At Palm Beach?
The Palm Beach Kennel Club in November of 2013 put an addition on to their historic venue by adding the Greyhound Walk of Fame, which honors the greatest athletes that have ever run here since the Club opened in 1932. Thousands of tremendous greyhounds have sprinted on this historic track in the last 83 years, but only 5 were chosen to be inducted in the initial ceremony.
What does it take to be inducted into this very prestigious Walk of Fame? Lets look at the 5 inductees that are already enshrined here at Palm Beach:
Westy Whizzer- The Hall of Famer won 107 career races, which was a record at the time in 1967.
Izz A Champ - Was the biggest superstar in South Florida in 1971, as he won 27 of 29 starts and was an All-American. This includes a 21 race winning streak, which was a record at the time until a girl named Pat C Rendezvous came on the scene.
He's My Man- 1988 North American Wins Champion and won an unbelievable 32 out of 40 starts. The prestigious $50,000 He's My Man Classic is one of the top sprint titles in the entire country and is named after this fabulous greyhound.
Pat C Rendezvous - Gripped the nation in 1994 by winning a world record at the time 36 consecutive races. This is still a record for the 3/8ths Mile. Owns the all time wins record at Palm Beach with 85 career W's. The 660 yard track at Palm Beach is currently named The Pat C Rendezvous Course. One of the greatest greyhounds this sport has ever seen without a doubt.
Here's a replay of Rendezvous breaking the all time win streak on June 4th, 1994:
Ozzie The Man- Won 26 consecutive races in 2005-2006. Was the national wins leader that season with 51 victories. Won 79 of 104 career starts (76%).
You'll notice if you ever get the chance to see this Walk of Fame that there is a star that doesn't have a name on it yet. This is being reserved for the next amazing athlete that will join the 5 heroes from the past. I have debated with many greyhound fans since 2013 who the next star should go to. Lets take a look at the best candidates that could be enshrined in the near future at "The Beach:"
In my opinion, the greatest greyhound athlete I have ever seen in my lifetime period. Captain of the 2013 All- American Team, prompting track announcer Mike Jameson to give him the name "Captain America." Also won the Rural Rube Award for the Top Greyhound of 2013 for owner Steve Sarras and his Kennel Rader Racing. An 83% winner in the 2013-2014 season, taking 25 of 30 starts. Owns the three fastest times ever on the 545 Yard Royal Palm Course, the quickest a 29.01 secs blazer on March 3rd.
Here's the replay of Gronkowski's record setting run: http://www.trackinfo.com/video-box.jsp?raceid=gPB%2420140303A15
Kb's Like A Fox
The two time season wins champ at Palm Beach is historically the greatest super sprinter this place has ever seen. The current 64 time winner is one of only 4 greyhounds ever since 1976 to win back to back Track Championships (He's My Man, DV's Midnight & Ozzie The Man.) Shares the super sprint course record of 16.38 secs with former Kennel mate Bae Sang. Fox will be 4 years old on August 6th, but may be able to put together another run next season because super sprinters can tend to have longer careers. Could "The Fox" challenge Rhonda's record of 85 with another superb season?
Replay of Fox's course record race on January 4th, 2014:
Put together one historic run this season winning the 2015 $50,000 He's My Man Classic, Runner-Up in the Inaugural Daytona 550 National Championship & winning the $50,000 St. Patrick's Invitational for owner Steve Schlachter.
I believe if Storm had won the National Championship, he would no doubt have a Star in the Walk of Fame. He is currently retired, but fans will never forget the unbelievable season that he put together and is assured of having our #1 Ranking for the season when the final poll comes out in July.
Replay of Storm winning the St Patrick's Invitational on March 14th :
Probably a big long shot to make the Walk of Fame, but she has been quite the athlete here since arriving in 2013. Has the Palm Beach record for winning her first 8 starts in her career and has 53 career wins currently. Also was a National Championship finalist last year in the Daytona 550. "The Queen of Palm Beach" has one of the biggest worldwide followings this sport has seen in quite a while.
Here's a replay of Pebbles record breaking run to start her career on October 25th, 2013:http://www.trackinfo.com/video-box.jsp?raceid=gPB%2420131025A14
I'm not sure we will ever see a greyhound quite like Rob Gronkowski. He brought national attention back to our sport and amazed fans with what he accomplished in his career. I do believe in the near future, you will see that blank star given to "The Gronk."
Who do you think the next Star should go to? Send responses to me on Twitter : @JasonPalmBeach
On Facebook: Palm Beach Jason
~Walk of Fame photos provided by GreyhoundNews.co
~All other photos provided by PBKennelClub.com