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    Greyhound Racing 2013 BLUFFS RUN TRAINER OF THE YEAR
    Posted byadmin on Monday, February 17 @ 17:27:34 EST
    Contributed by admin

    by Steve Sigafoose

    “All” Monte Hoopes did in 2013 was direct the Plum Creek Kennel to the top of the kennel standings at Bluffs Run.

    “It was nice to hear (about the honor),” said Hoopes. “It was nice that my fellow trainers voted for me.”

    Plum Creek finished 2013 with 436 victories and $1,197,880 in earnings, both totals the best among the 15 kennels at Bluffs Run. This is the second Trainer of the Year award for Hoopes, who won the honor in 2010.

    “That was a surprise,” he said about the 2010 award. “It was my first year at Bluffs Run and I didn’t know about the award.”

    Hoopes had plenty of competition for the award.

    Darren Flahive led the Hardison Kennel with its powerhouse duo of Greyhound of the Year SH Avatar and All-Bluffs Run team selection Dk’s Flow Meter.

    Joe Osborne, a former Trainer of the Year selection, led the Bean & Stout Kennel, which had $500,000 Iowa Breeders Classic finalist DS Libra.

    Lori Fortune, another former Trainer of the Year selection, led the Harlan Brothers Kennel. She had a pair of stakes champions in $60,000 3-8 Mile Derby king Killer Dare and $60,000 Juvenile winner L Tootie.

    Hoopes did his magic with depth. His best greyhound, Top Of The Pile, had a great year without “winning a stakes,” explained Hoopes.

    “I hope he can still be considered an All-American,” said Hoopes about his All-Bluff Run team greyhound. He’s won $260,000 without winning a stakes because he’s finished in the money 51 out of 55 races. If we had taken him to another track, he would have won some stakes.”

    Top Of The Pile got to the final four in the grueling $60,000 Team Survivor to open the 2013 stakes schedule then took seconds in the tough $60,000 Bluffs Run Open (which had seven of the top 20 greyhounds in the final), the $60,000 Secretary’s Choice and the $500,000 Iowa Breeders Classic.

    Credit for Plum Creek’s success comes from top to bottom.

    “I have great owners,” said Hoopes, “in David Robinette and Mark and John Phelan. They keep bringing up to the kennel good greyhounds.

    “I have two good helpers in Shane Wilkinson and Robert Reeves. When you have good help, it goes a lot smoother.”

    Taking care of the greyhounds, explained Hoopes, is a matter of “keeping them active and healthy. We try to keep them sprinting between starts.”

    Hoopes started in the business as a lead-out at age 16 and has been a trainer for 30 years. “I love the greyhounds,” said Hoopes, “and I am a competitive person. You try to do your best.”

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