D. Runyon, a Champ, is One Fast Hound

Damon Runyon

The Evening News (Harrisburg, PA)/April 1, 1927

That good hound, Damon Runyon, has established himself as one of the fastest canines in the land, a champion, no less. I quote you from the Greyhound Racing Form of a couple of weeks back, relating a remarkable event down Miami way:

“Another world’s record went crashing at Hialeah Park Saturday night, when Damon Runyon, as flashy a thoroughbred as ever came across from England, ran rampant and tore around the. quarter-mile oval in the sensational time of 25 seconds flat,, breaking the mark set by old Skookum in Tulsa, Oklahoma, six years ago.”

It shows you that there is something in a name, after all. I have always disregarded that crack about a rose by any other monicker smelling as sweet. It is inconceivable that as Hype Igoe, for instance, or as Grantland Rice, the good hound, Damon Runyon, could have tore around that old oval in the manner depicted above. No, it took a Damon Runyon.

THIS STORY IS briefly told,” says Racing Form, “for it was all Damon Runyon—one fawn streak from break to wire, with seven speedy greyhounds trying valiantly to match foot with him but unable to get close. Royal Meadows, the nearest one at the end, did himself proud by running second in such fast time, and Professor, the Miles juvenile which has been running so well, took no discredit upon himself by finishing third.”

I believe that this performance makes amends for the shortcomings of the famous race horse, Damon Runyon, and in part for the ingloriousness of the setter dog, Damon Runyon.

I have just received a letter from O’Neill Sevier, the turf expert, owner of the setter dog Damon Runyon. and of 685 other setter dogs in various parts of Maryland, and he informs me that Damon Runyon is certainly a setter, that he sets all the time.

As to the famous race horse, Damon Runyon, I have no information at this time. He was named by John E. Madden, the noted breeder, who has recently announced his retirement. I do not know that Mr. Madden’s retirement is due to mortification and chagrin over the fact that he bred the famous horse, Damon Runyon, but the fact remains that Mr. Madden is retiring. You can draw your own conclusions.

I believe that the race horse, Damon Runyon, also has retired. The last I heard of him he was owned by Mr. McMillan, head of the Thistledown track in Cleveland, and after viewing a few of Damon Runyon’s performances on the turf, Mr. McMillan tossed a coin to see whether he would retire the horse, or shoot him.

Heads won. Damon Runyon Is in dignified retirement.

The trouble with Damon Runyon was that he was bred for three furlong races, and it seems there are no races that short. He would win all his races for three furlongs, but thereafter would seem to meet with defeat. If ever they shorten up the races I shall purchase Damon Runyon and bring him out of retirement.

THE RETIREMENT OF Damon Runyon was of economical value to me, at that. Before I learned that the standard race was too long for him, I used to have a small sentimental wager on him any time he started, say two dollars. Had he raced to a ripe old age, I would have been a pauper. You know you can finally two-dollar yourself into the poor house.

Only yesterday I came upon Billy McCarney, the well known ol’ clo’ man of Fistiana, standing on a Broadway corner, peering at a racing extra with deep interest.

“There’s a horse called Billy McCarney running down south,” he explained. “I’ve had a bet on him every time he started because I appreciate the compliment of his being named for me, but so far he’s been a bust. You know I have to keep three good fighters working every week to provide me with dough to bet on Billy McCarney, the horse, and they’re getting sick of it.”

Still, a man ought to.be reasonably safe betting on a champion of the world like Damon Runyon, the hound. If he can run faster than any other dog in the world, there is practically no risk. I note that he paid $3.60 in the dog mutuels the day he broke the world’s record.

My one regret in connection with Damon Runyon, the world’s champ, is that he isn’t a home bred. He was born in England in 1924, the son of Jerron and Hilda XV, and came to this country in the steerage. He belongs to Cal Miller. I do not know Mr. Miller personally, but I realize that he must be a man of great discernment to give a dog a good name. The popular custom, I believe, is to give ‘em bad names.

IT SEEMS THAT there are other world’s records for racing greyhounds besides that established by Damon Runyon at Miami. These records may interest the reader as showing how fast the dogs can run the different distances as compared to race horses.

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