She may be up against the odds on the track in the Lew Dorsa Memorial Final at Cannington tomorrow night, but greyhound trainer and owner Steve Shinners loves Miss America.
A daughter of Fabregas, Miss America qualified for tomorrow night’s feature by running third to West On Augie in her heat last weekend.
Miss America, which Shinners is the sole owner, has won six of 17 starts in a promising career so far, and it was the litter she came from that got Shinners’ wife Krystal, who trains Miss America, hooked on the sport.
“This was the first litter she whelped down,” Steve said.
“She’s become very attached to greyhound racing.”
Another one of the Shinners’ talented chasers Yuup is the litter brother to Miss America, a litter that has been prosperous for the kennel.
Steve met Krystal, originally from California, while holidaying in Bali with friends.
The couple met up regularly after the Bali trip, which led to Krystal deciding she wanted to call Australia home, and she has now joined Steve as a greyhound trainer.
The name Miss America also carries significance for the Shinners’.
When Krystal first arrived in Australia, greyhound racecaller and TABradio’s Peter O’Neill mistakenly called her Canadian.
Steve was also on the receiving end of some friendly jibes from fellow greyhound trainers at how lucky he was to be married to Krystal.
“They used to call Krystal Miss America at the track when she first moved over,” Steve said.
“She loved it, since she’s from California.
“So when Loxie [Miss America’s kennel name] broke in, we named her Miss America.”
The Shinners’ are no strangers to naming their dogs creatively.
Yuup is named after one of the mannerisms of an auctioneer on the reality TV show Storage Wars.
Steve explained the auctioneer would yell out “Yuup” when acknowledging a bid, a name he then thought it would be a for the greyhound.
Steve has a big role to play in the training of Miss America on racenight, as Krystal regularly works night shifts in the emergency department at Fiona Stanley Hospital.
Miss America has had to overcome her fair share of battles to break into the $30,000 Lew Dorsa Memorial tomorrow night.
Steve said it had not been an easy road for the chaser over the past few months, having to overcome a hip injury.
“She just wasn’t driving through in her races,” he said.
“She was still running good races and often into the placings.
“It was one of those injuries that you wouldn’t know how it feels until you raced her.
“It was often a case of one step forward and two steps back.”
Tomorrow night, she faces a fresh challenge when she comes up against some of the quickest greyhounds in Perth including West On Augie, Astrozone and Max Profit.
Steve conceded it was likely going to be too difficult of an ask for Miss America to match it with the star-studded field, but said a top three finish would be the aim.
“She’s not in the same class as some of those dogs,” he said.
“She jumps well, but she has a flat spot from the first corner to the back straight.
“She always tries her best and gives 100%, against those dogs you can’t have a flat spot though.”
Both Krystal and Steve hope Miss America will be able to step up to the 600m trip down the track.
The Lew Dorsa Memorial Final jumps at 8.32 tomorrow night.