02/27/2009 8:04PM

The New Guy

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Badger Popeye needed another pal and so did we, so last night The Greyhound Formerly Known As "M's Giterdone" joined the household.Donny3 They were calling him "Donny" in the foster home where he spent the last few weeks transitioning from the racetrack, but he doesn't respond to the name and we're not entirely crazy about it, so maybe he'll sort of name himself something else in the days ahead.

As advertised by the adoption agency, he's a big (racing weight: 73 pounds) and very affectionate guy whose primary non-food desires are to lean against you and be stroked. He and Popeye exchanged some snarls and slaps over a snowgoose squeakytoy and are still negotiating a truce, but these things take a little time.

Donny is a fawn-colored 4-year-old by Big Boy Baggio out of Snitch Who. He appears to come from a litter of just three pups, all with dopey, undignified racing names -- M's Giterdone, M's Getyasome and M's Got Money. His lineage includes the two star dogs of the late 1970's who first attracted me to the sport -- Rooster Cogburn five generations back, and Downing top and bottom six generations back. (This was a nice surprise after we got him, not the reason we did.)

From what I can tell through dog racing's somewhat sketchy databases, he did most of his racing on the west coast of Florida, winning 11 of 95 starts including some Grade B races at Tampa, but most recently was running at Ebro farther up the Florida panhandle -- think a New York-bred campaigning at Aqueduct and making his final few starts at Finger Lakes.

Donny The story from the adoption people was that a sister agency went to Ebro in December, scheduled to pick up 14 dogs for adoption, but when they arrived there were 15 and they had only a 14-crate trailer. Donny was #15 and going to be left behind, but then they took the two smallest females, doubled them up in one big crate, and Donny got the last spot.

In any case, it's been chaotic but great fun welcoming him to the family, and it probably saved me a few bucks as I was otherwise engaged during yesterday's big and tough-to-hit Pick-6 carryover at Santa Anita. But it's back to betting tomorrow, my interest already piqued by a high-quality Gulfstream late pick-4 that includes the intriguing Fountain of Youth.

In the meantime, I wrote the Sunday column about this year's Hall of Fame nominees and went down a diverting but interesting rabbit-hole about Horse of the Year winners and the Hall. Here's the whole rundown since Granville won the first such award in 1936: