The game is not just surviving but thriving, and it is probably only a matter of time before the horsemen in the equine strongholds of New York and California have to contend with greyhound racing. "I hope not," says Berg-stein, "but anyone who says you'll never see dog racing in [those states] could be deluding himself."
Legislators love the game, and fans enjoy the clean, well-lighted tracks and the exotic bets. But something is definitely missing. " Oshkosh Juliet" just doesn't have the same ring to it as "Secretariat" or "Sunday Silence." Stand close to the rail when the dogs go by and instead of the thunder of hooves down the stretch, there is the irritating scratching of nails. There are no manes and tails blowing, no bright silks, no sweat, no bloodlines going back centuries, no My Old Kentucky Home.
To be sure, dog racing's lack of majesty doesn't bother everyone. Complain about it to George Eckert, business manager of Hollywood Greyhound Track in Florida, and he'll smile and say, "You can't eat tradition."