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AGTOA NEWS STORY LINKS
Enjoy the news from across the country about the best thirty seconds in sports, greyhound racing.

Loads of in depth articles, from several of our partner racetracks, and from different greyhound related websites around the United States.

Check out the Feature of the Month below and click on the titles to the right for great stories throughout the greyhound industry.
AGTOA Conference Rescheduled
2016 All-American Team
2015 All-American Team Announced
All American Fat Lady
bestbet Derby
2014 All-American Team Announced
Lee Opera Hit 16 Sweet Notes
Gronk Breaks Own Track Record
Art Laughlin Honored with AGTOA Lifetime Achievement Award
Rob Gronkowski Team Captain
   
   
   
All American Fat Lady
 
Proving once again that some of the best greyhounds in the country call bestbet Orange Park home, Lee Opera (Soprano Drive – Lee Devin) was a well deserving addition to the 2014 edition of the AGTOA All-American Team.

Running for the Lester Raines Kennel, Trained by Mike Gerard, and Owned by Gene and Rob Gurley, Lee Opera was the queen of the court at bestbet Orange Park during the 2014 calendar year. Her most impressive stat was that she won four stakes races on the year including, the 2014 $50,000 James J Patton Silver Cup, the 2014 $12,500 JGR Puppy Stakes, the 2014 Sweet Sixteen Stakes, the 2014 Anniversary Special, and she finished 3rd in the finals of the 2014 Holiday Extravaganza. Not only did she get it done against the best when she needed to, she out right dominated most of the time against anyone that wanted to strap on a muzzle and provide her a challenge. She won 40 races in 66 starts and was among the win leaders for the entire country for 2014. During that run she had some impressive win streaks as well. Her best streak was 10 races in a row that was compiled over a stakes final and several other stakes qualifying rounds, but that was not her only streak. She finished off the year strong with 6 wins in a row, and she also had a run in the middle of the year of 5 straight, including the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and finals of the JGR Puppy Stakes. She also put together several runs of smaller victories including three different times where she posted up back to back to back win.

So what set her apart from the rest of the greyhounds on the circuit? What makes her a champion? From this laymen’s perspective, it was her desire and her smarts! She had a will that was unmatched by anyone that she ran against. When she was really on, she would just hit the lid and dominate the race throughout for the win, but her true talent shown through best when she did not see the front end early on. This greyhound would not give in, give up, or surrender just because she didn’t get her way out of the starting box. I have seen her run down greyhounds and take the heart right out of them as she pulled alongside and then just jetted by to steal away the victory. Her smarts also played into the her winning so many races too. She always seemed to take the best route through the turns, and at times it seemed like she knew what was going to happen even before it did. She didn’t have just one running style and would adapt it to fit the situation. If the rail was open and the outside was jammed up, she would take it. If it was congested on the inside, she would swing around the outside and find room to challenge down the backside. The total package was seen on several occasions at bestbet Orange park in 2014 and we all know, that she was never out of a race, and would do whatever needed to challenge, even if she didn’t get up late to secure a victory.

Showing no signs of slowing down, Lee Opera has won a couple of races, and been close in many more, to start off 2015. She was recognized as one of the top sprinters in the country and was invited to participate in the Daytona 550 race in January, and even though she didn’t fair well in that effort, she is still a force to worried about every time she head onto the track. Creepy every closer to the 50 win plateau, Lee Opera is just 3 wins shy of joining some elite company who have raced over our oval. Plenty of time for her to tally up some more victories as she won’t turn three until later this month. More stakes races are on the horizon for this 2014 track champion, including a chance to defend her title in the 2015 James J Patton Silver Cup.

From everyone here at bestbet Orange Park, we will like to say a whole hearty CONGRATULATIONS to one of the best greyhounds in the country, along with thanks and congrats to her owners Gene and Rob Gurley, her trainers Mike Gerard, her kennel Lester Raines, and everyone else connected with this fantastic greyhound. Here’s to hoping that 2015 is a bountiful as 2014 was, and if she can win 40 more this year, she has a chance at joining the all time win list and maybe even another campaign for another flag wrapped award come January!
   
 
   
   
     
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