We were asked over the weekend about the names of the lures at Greyhound race tracks. Yes, at most of the tracks, the lure has a name. Some are shaped like a rabbit and some are shaped like a bone, but as far as I know they're all made out of fleece.
Many tracks have lures named Switfy. Barney ran the lure at Dairyland. One is named Harrison Hare. Several go by the name Lucky. At Hinsdale it's known as The Colonel. Woodlands calls their lure Woody. Hambone ran from the Greyhounds at Seminole. Tri State has twin lures named Sparky and Spunky. Several tracks including Tampa and Orange Park call their lure Rusty. Some tracks also call their lure Bucky.
The reason the lure has a name is that the announcer calls it out as the race gets started. It's an old tradition to announce the lure at the beginning of a race. If you're curious, it sounds like this.
Sometimes, when a track replaces the lure, the old one is given to someone for an auction. Usually the auctions benefit Greyhound adoption in some ways. We have several old track jackets and racing posters, but so far, I haven't been lucky enough to win a lure. They usually go for big money in auctions.
We were also asked about how long Greyhounds race. That varies a lot. We've had dogs here from both ends of the spectrum. Bunny is the youngest Greyhound we've ever adopted and she was eighteen months old. She went through schooling, but never raced. We are pretty sure that she was deemed just too little for the track. Greyhounds rarely race past the age of five. It's like any other sport, there is always somebody younger and faster than you are who comes along. Hawk came to us at four and a half and he had a fairly decent career as a racer. He loved to run. Lilac was our oldest adoption at seven and a half years old. After she retired from racing, she went on to be a brood mama to two litters of puppies. We've also seen Greyhounds adopted out as puppies either because they were born with a genetic flaw that prevented them from racing, because they sustained an injury when young, or because they were from an accidental litter that couldn't be registered.
Hopefully that satisfied your curiosity about a few things!