So…Magic Penny Ante won the 2008 renewal of the American Derby

So…Magic Penny Ante won the 2008 renewal of the American Derby.

Dennis McKeon

Fitting, as it turns out.

Nowadays, as the animal rights barbarians tighten their noose of ignorance, deceit and elitist prejudice around the neck of the sport, it is simply the height of irony that Magic Penny Ante comes up roses in the oldest, most hallowed and revered of American open stakes races. The American Derby, introduced in 1949 by Taunton Dogtack owner Joseph Linsey was, in its original incarnation, from 1949-1982, the most prestigious and the first “big money”,  open-to-any-greyhound, Derby race in the US. If greyhound racing had a counterpart to the Kentucky Derby, the American Greyhound Derby was it.

Over the course of the decades, the winners of the American Derby and close relatives of American Derby champions, have had a hugely disproportionate influence upon the racing greyhound breed. Because the American Derby always attracted many of the highest quality greyhounds in the country, it proved to be an especially acute indicator of which greyhounds and which greyhound families were on the cutting edge of performance and competitive adaptation. Well-adapted and highly evolved greyhounds are the greyhounds that responsible breeders select to carry on with the breed, to keep it on an adaptive curve which assures future generations of greyhounds will be supremely functional and able to perform a simulation of what their prehistoric ancestors did to survive in nature.


Magic Peeny Ante’s  sire, Ben Awhile is a son of Greys Flamebeau, who was out of the Molotov daughter, Bistro Queen. Greys Flamebeau carries 2-time American Derby winner, Dutch Bahama, as his 2nd damsire. Dutch Bahama’s damsire is Woodward, a sibling to American Derby winner LGs Ada.

Molotov, the damsire to Ben Awhile, is a paternal great-grandson of American Derby winner, Downing. Downing carries the winner of the very first American Derby, Oklahoman, as his 3rd damsire.

Molotov, carries Blendway as his own damsire. Blendway is inbred 3×3 to the cross of American Derby winner SS Jeno and Lucky Terra. Lucky Terra is a daughter of American Derby winner Lucky Bannon. Lucky Bannon’s damsire is Great Valor, a littermate to American Derby winner Clydesdale.

Snookered, the dam of Magic Penny Ante, carries Blendway’s littermate, Bartie, as her damsire—-which brings in 2 more crosses of of American Derby winner SS Jeno/Lucky Terra,  by American Derby winner Lucky Bannon.

Bannon’s King, the 3rd damsire to Magic Penny Ante, is also by American Derby winner Lucky Bannon, out of SS Joni—-who just so happens to be a littermate to American Derby winner SS Jeno. Bannnon’s King carries American Derby winner On the Line, as his 4th damsire.

Solitary Runner, the damsire to Magic Penny Ante, like Molotov, is a son of HBs Commander—-who contributes another dose of American Derby winner, Downing.

Solitary Runner also carries American Derby winner, Cactus Noel, as his 4th damsire.

Quite a remarkable testament to the value of selective breeding, the legacy of the American Derby, and the critical need for racing at the highest of open stakes level, so that there is an objective method and media, by which the best potential breeding prospects can be identified.

The next time some anti-racing ignoramus tells you that racing isn’t necessary for the future of the breed—-just show them the pedigree of Magic Penny Ante. Even well more than half a century after the American Derby was first introduced, the most recent winner is literally steeped in the blood of past winners. And that, when it’s all said and done, is why we race them.

Congrats to Magic Penny Ante and all her connections, for winning the American Derby. You’re in some great company…and, not too coincidentally, as we have seen, many of those great past winners are your direct ancestors.

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