SI Vault
Richard L. Drinon Jr.
March 01, 1982
Robert Duck walked up to the starting line, placed his pet duck, B.F.D. Express, in front of the 16-foot-long, caged-in racing lane and waited. "On your mark!" said the starter. "Get set!"
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March 01, 1982

Duck's Ducks Were Just Ducky In The Duck Races, And That's No Quackery

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Of the eight ducks in the final, four belonged to Duck. He remembered the time when two of his obedience dogs were involved in a three-way tie for first in a trial. He recalled how bad he felt when the other dog won. He didn't want to feel that way today. He kept a low profile.

The race organizers held a Calcutta just before the last race. "That's something they do in horse racing," says Duck. "They auction off 'ownership' of the ducks to build a pot for the race. The actual ownership isn't transferred, but those who 'buy' the winning duck make money." One of Duck's ducks was auctioned for $650. None of them went for less than $450.

Of his four finalists, Duck decided to take B.F.D. up to the starting line. The other three ducks, Molly, Lydia and Rollin', were raced by Kathy, Duck's brother-in-law, Robert Develice, and Dinerstein.

Duck waited at the starting line. He fidgeted with his yellow baseball cap and wiped dust and feathers from his Daffy Duck T shirt. The ducks from Bosque Farms were ready to roll. He clutched B.F.D. Express with both hands. The duck squirmed and tried to break free. The bugle blared.

Duck dug his fingers into B.F.D.'s ribs and pushed him onto the track. He watched the bird streak toward the finish line. Feathers flew as, beak to beak with Rio Grande Queen, B.F.D. burst across the finish line. Could Duck's duck have won? It was up to the judges who reviewed the videotape. Duck waited anxiously until finally the announcement came: "With a record time of 1.576, the world's fastest duck—B.F.D. Express!!"

Robert went bananas.

"I was so happy," he says, "I wanted to hug B.F.D. all night, but my wife wouldn't let me. You know what they say about having quackers in bed!"

"Mr. Duck? What did you whisper in the duck's ear before the race?" asked a reporter.

"Be a winner or be dinner," said Duck.

None of Duck's ducks wound up on the dinner table. The seven that he entered won 13 heats. B.F.D. Express collected $1,500.

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