Indiana Grand Racing & Casino offered a special Saturday program filled with Quarter Horse racing Aug. 14. Included on the early afternoon program was Hot Diggity Dog Weiner Dog Racing with 31 Dachshunds taking to the track for the event. Two trials set up the final group of 10 dogs vying for the $500 total prize money with Champion living up to his name and claiming the title.
Owned by Richard Rackley III of Indianapolis, Champion earned the win in his trial and was favored for the final. The seven-year-old, whose favorite toy is a ball that was trackside with Rackley III to encourage him to head to the finish line in the 50-yard dash, was a dominant winner in the final from post five to take home the top prize of $250 and the Weiner Dog trophy.
“My family has had Dachshunds for a long time, and we’ve had a lot of dogs over the years,” said Rackley III, who was joined by many friends and family members for the winner’s circle celebration. “I’ve had Champion since he was a puppy. Several years ago, I thought it was time to give him a shot to live up to his name, so we entered some Weiner Dog races and he’s lived up to his name.”
The win for Champion in the Hot Diggity Dog Weiner Dog competition was his third title. He also won the Rathskeller Weiner Dog race during German Fest along with the Golden Bone Weiner Dog race over the ice at the Indy Fuel game, making him a veteran in the winner’s circle.
Rackley III also had another entrant in the opposing trial and then in the final. Addie, an eight-year-old Dachshund, won her trial. However, she became distracted in the final and took a break during the race and missed a prize for the top five dogs.
“We have puppies from Champion and Addie,” added Rackley III.
Rackley III is an electrician by trade and owns his own electrical company in Indianapolis, Rack’s Electric LLC. He is also the assistant varsity wrestling coach at Franklin Central, recently joining the Flashes for their upcoming wrestling season.
Other dogs making the final for the first Hot Diggity Dog Weiner Dog race included Theo, owned by Erin Keys of Indianapolis; Dasher, owned by Curtis Tackett of Indianapolis; Poppy and Daisy, both owned by Matt Worton of Morristown; Judge, owned by Lauren Benbenek of Indianapolis; KJ’s Belle, owned by Keli Eggleston of Scottsburg; Walter, owned by Mitchell Fairbrother of Indianapolis; and Minnie, owned by Brittany Rutledge of Greenfield. Dogs entered in the competition came as far away as Michigan to compete in the trials held on the racetrack over the dirt course.