HENDERSON, Ky. (Saturday, August 26) — Winning for the second time in a row, Gretta is Ellis Park’s top dog for 2017.
The 10-pound blonde Dachshund bested seven rivals, touring the course in 11 seconds flat to nip Milo Seals to capture the Wiener Dog Derby. It was quite the turnaround from a year ago, when Gretta went the wrong direction out of the gate and didn’t finish the race. Gretta also prevailed in her Aug. 12 qualifier for the final.
Daphne Rose Haynes and Ellie Smiley established a commanding lead over the field but veered off the track late and didn’t cross the wire. Gretta inherited the lead, with Milo closing late to make it a dog race.
“All the dogs were much faster this time,” said winning owner Becca Patton of Evansville. “It was unclear who crossed the finish line first, so I couldn’t believe it was actually her. I had no idea. When I heard she won, I was like, ‘Oh, wow. This is a great day.’ I was just happy to be here. I think everybody is hoping to win, but I just never thought she would actually win. It’s just a lot of fun. We’ve had a great time.
“We practiced a little more this year, and it paid off.”
Asked by Ellis paddock analyst Joe Kristufek how Gretta would handle her newfound fame, Patton said, “She’ll probably just see sleep a lot. Still.”
Molly and Tyler Seals of Mt. Carmel, Ill., said they were proud of Milo, who had been second in his Aug. 5 qualifier to make the championship title.
“He’s worn out,” Tyler said.