Dog Racing's Final Lap at Palm Beach Kennel Club. – All Around the Bend (2024)

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Dog Racing's Final Lap at Palm Beach Kennel Club. – All Around the Bend (1)

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere Comes Rusty is a familiar sound to anyone that loves dog racing at The Palm Beach Kennel Club. Rusty is a mechanical rabbit that is sent around the track for the dogs to chase. It is the “Ready, Set, Go at a dog racing track as they open the gates to 30 seconds of excitement. Rusty is so famous, there have even been movies made about this “rascally rabbit.” But the furry bunny that has never been caught is about to take his final lap around the track at the Palm Beach Kennel Club.

Dog Racing's Final Lap at Palm Beach Kennel Club. – All Around the Bend (2)
Dog Racing's Final Lap at Palm Beach Kennel Club. – All Around the Bend (3)

The Glory Days of Dog Racing Excitement at The Palm Beach Kennel Club

Greyhounds have been racing at The Palm Beach Kennel Club since 1932. The track was a popular tourist destination in Palm Beach County in the sixties, seventies, and eighties. In its glory days, the track drew thousands. Famous movie stars, sports figures, and politicians have attended at times. In fact, Martin Scorsese filmed parts of his epic The Irishman (2019) here at the track. The movie is about the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa and stars box office heavyweights like Robert Deniro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci. The setting of the film took place in the seventies. You can watch it on Netflix. This is all part of the history of The Palm Beach Kennel Club as they take their final lap at the end of December.

Dog Racing's Final Lap at Palm Beach Kennel Club. – All Around the Bend (4)
Dog Racing's Final Lap at Palm Beach Kennel Club. – All Around the Bend (5)

Dog Racing has seen a steady decline over the years. Para mutual wagering on dogs is about to end for fans at the Palm Beach Kennel Club, the greyhounds, and for Rusty, who will take his final lap before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Dog Racing's Final Lap at Palm Beach Kennel Club. – All Around the Bend (6)

I attended a matinee race and was surprised to see the stands near empty. There were just a few folks there longing for the past that reminds them of “Old Florida.”

Dog Racing's Final Lap at Palm Beach Kennel Club. – All Around the Bend (7)
Dog Racing's Final Lap at Palm Beach Kennel Club. – All Around the Bend (8)

One Last Chance to See Dog Racing at The Palm Beach Kennel Club

I have attended dog tracks in the past in Jacksonville and Sarasota. For the sake of nostalgia, I wanted to visit one last time. I studied the matinee program carefully. I saw dogs with names like “Buzz Lightyear” and “Amazing Gus.” And how can you go wrong with a name like “Cash Cowboy”?

Dog Racing's Final Lap at Palm Beach Kennel Club. – All Around the Bend (9)

My confidence was building. I tried to stay cool. How do I bet again? I felt like a dog without a bone. (I know, sorry!) Did I remember the betting protocol? Fortunately, there are explanations in the programs to help. I also got some friendly reminders from the tellers at the betting window. Meanwhile, the dog handlers were walking the dogs to the starting gate for the big race. I had to get my bets in.

Dog Racing's Final Lap at Palm Beach Kennel Club. – All Around the Bend (10)

The Push to End Dog Racing

All dog tracks in Florida must stop live racing on December 31st because of a voter amendment that passed back in 2018. Due to concerns about the welfare of greyhounds, a campaign stressed what greyhound advocates described as harsh treatment of the dogs causing injuries and even death. Groups also pointed out that some dogs were given drugs. Arguments still occur when the topic of animal treatment arises.

What happens to the Greyhounds?

The Palm Beach Kennel Club works with Greyhound Adoption Agencies that look for loving homes. The dogs have to be walked three or four times a day, they have to be fed twice a day, they have to be watered, and they have to be loved. Retired Greyhounds make great pets that are gentle, friendly, affectionate, and are easy to care for. If you are interested in adopting one of these dogs, I have included some links for you to explore.

Awesome Greyhound Adoptions

Hounds and Heroes

Dog Racing's Final Lap at Palm Beach Kennel Club. – All Around the Bend (11)
Dog Racing's Final Lap at Palm Beach Kennel Club. – All Around the Bend (12)

Greyhound Pet Adoption

Greyed A Greyhounds

Dog Racing's Final Lap at Palm Beach Kennel Club. – All Around the Bend (13)

Simulcast Wagering & Poker

The Kennel Club has stayed ahead of the game by adding a popular poker room and live streaming services that allow players to bet on dog and horse races across the country. The club provides the best in simulcast wagering. Whether you enjoy betting on thoroughbreds, greyhounds, harness racing, or jai alai, there are lots of ways to win and over 500 screens to view all the action.

Dog Racing's Final Lap at Palm Beach Kennel Club. – All Around the Bend (14)
Dog Racing's Final Lap at Palm Beach Kennel Club. – All Around the Bend (15)

Play in one of Florida’s largest Poker Rooms featuring no-limit poker for the expert and easy to learn, play and win Three Card Poker and Ultimate Texas Hold’em just right for the beginner.

One Last Hurrah!

The Palm Beach Kennel Club will celebrate New Years’ with a celebration planned for December 31st. It will be a day to celebrate all the wonderful greyhound racing highlights from the past 88 years. This will mark the last day of greyhound racing in Florida as they cross the finish line. It will be the end of an era.

Dog Racing's Final Lap at Palm Beach Kennel Club. – All Around the Bend (16)

OK, I know I’m missing something, but what is it? Oh yes. It is the $50 I lost at the track. You should probably know that my luck was not with me for my last trip to the track. I have always said to the eyebrow raisers that it is just a fun day at the races. I could have spent that $50 anywhere. Maybe I should have gotten that fish pedicure instead.

Dog Racing's Final Lap at Palm Beach Kennel Club. – All Around the Bend (17)

If you want to experience live dog racing, the dogs run at 1 p.m. every day and 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights. You have until the end of December to experience a night at the track.

Dog Racing's Final Lap at Palm Beach Kennel Club. – All Around the Bend (18)
Dog Racing's Final Lap at Palm Beach Kennel Club. – All Around the Bend (19)

Plan your visit.The Palm Beach Kennel Club is located at:
1111 North Congress Ave, West Palm Beach, 33409

If you love animals, another place to visit in Palm Beach County is the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary or the Palm Beach Zoo. You can view my posts on these if you click the links.

Dog Racing's Final Lap at Palm Beach Kennel Club. – All Around the Bend (20)

Dog Racing's Final Lap at Palm Beach Kennel Club. – All Around the Bend (2024)

FAQs

Dog Racing's Final Lap at Palm Beach Kennel Club. – All Around the Bend? ›

Beginning in roughly 1990, and continuing over the next three decades, the vast majority of greyhound tracks have closed due to declining betting revenue, encroachment by Native American gaming and commercial casino gambling into states with greyhound racing, the legalization of sports betting and concerns over the ...

Why did all the dog tracks close? ›

Beginning in roughly 1990, and continuing over the next three decades, the vast majority of greyhound tracks have closed due to declining betting revenue, encroachment by Native American gaming and commercial casino gambling into states with greyhound racing, the legalization of sports betting and concerns over the ...

Does the Palm Beach Kennel Club still race dogs? ›

Palm Beach Kennel Club no longer hosts live greyhound racing, despite its name. The practice ended in late 2020 after a 2018 statewide voter referendum to ban live dog racing.

How many dog tracks are still open in Florida? ›

On November 6, 2018 Florida citizens voted 2-1 to prohibit dog racing and thousands of greyhounds got the second chance they deserved! GREY2K USA Worldwide was the chief sponsor of Amendment 13, a constitutional amendment to prohibit dog racing and close down the twelve tracks of Florida.

Who owns the Palm Beach Kennel Club? ›

The Rooney Family has owned and operated the Club since this time and has introduced many new entertainment options and received numerous community awards and honors.

Why did Florida get rid of dog racing? ›

Dorchak said the campaign's ultimately decisive, strategic goal was to inform the voting public about the sport's "corruption and cruelty." She said, in general, a dog died every three days and suffered devastating injuries from broken legs to severed necks running in circles to enrich bettors and dog-track owners.

Why did they stop dog racing? ›

This continuing decline is due to increased public awareness about the cruelty of dog racing, a decades-long legislative fight and competition from other forms of gambling. Visit our state-by-state page for more information.

When did dog racing end in Florida? ›

The final race in the state will take place at Palm Beach Kennel Club on New Year's Eve at 11:59 p.m., the very last minute allowed by law. In November 2018, Floridians voted overwhelmingly to pass Amendment 13, which would ban greyhound racing in the state by the end of 2020.

What states still allow greyhound racing? ›

Today, the only states that still allow greyhound racing and have active tracks are Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Texas and West Virginia. There are four states that do not have active racetracks, but still have laws legalizing greyhound racing. Those states are Wisconsin, Connecticut, Kansas, and Oregon.

What is the most popular breed of dog according to the American Kennel Club? ›

French Bulldogs

How many states is dog racing illegal? ›

Greyhound racing is cruel and inhumane

Dog racing is illegal in 43 American states plus the US Territory of Guam. At racetracks across the country, thousands of greyhounds endure lives of terrible confinement and many suffer serious injuries.

Can you watch greyhound racing live? ›

WATCH EVERY RACE FROM CRAYFORD

In addition, every PGR race will be streamed live and soon, with all replays online, on the new greyhounds.attheraces.com website which you can access below.

Do they still race dogs at Wheeling Downs? ›

Live greyhound racing at Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack is a year-round gaming option. Our racetrack is open 7 days a week with live racing Wednesday through Sunday and Simulcast racing available during live races.

What is the Kennel Club controversy? ›

Disapproval towards the Kennel Club stemmed from a 2008 BBC documentary, 'Pedigree Dogs Exposed' The programme uncovered startling facts about the dog show world and its showing and breeding practices. Many individuals, experts and welfare organisations were outraged.

What is the largest Kennel Club in the USA? ›

The American Kennel Club, founded in 1884, maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world, and currently registers 200 breeds, representing a wide variety of sizes, colors, coats, temperaments and heritages.

What is the oldest Kennel Club? ›

The Kennel Club was founded on 4 April 1873 by Mr Sewallis Evelyn Shirley MP, along with twelve other gentlemen. The purpose of The Kennel Club was to have a consistent set of rules for governing the popular new activities of dog showing and field trials, it was the first national kennel club in the world.

Is the dog track closing down? ›

The iconic Henlow Stadium has shut it's doors for the final time, with the Bedfordshire dog track now set to be demolished. The track, which has been in operation since 1927, held its final race on Sunday. It comes after attempts to renew the lease of the race track with the site's landowner of had failed.

What happened to the dog track in Tampa? ›

Originally named the St. Petersburg Kennel Club, it was the oldest continuously operating greyhound track in the country until the discontinuation of greyhound racing on December 27, 2020. However, it remains open for simulcasting and has a poker room.

What happened to the dog track in Hudson Wisconsin? ›

The owners quickly ran out of money and people took issue with the treatment of the dogs and gambling in their community. The track closed in 2001 and sat empty ever since. Attempts at trying to create the space into something usable failed over the years.

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