1996 Greyhound Hall of Fame Inductee
The owner of Lambert Printing Company in Falls City, Nebraska, Chuck Lambert knew little about Greyhounds until he was approached to print the National Coursing Association’s Coursing News and Stud Book.
After printing his first issue of Coursing News, Lambert decided to attend his first coursing meet and became interested in the business. While printing the advertisements, meet results and track stories in the Coursing News, Lambert noticed that certain bloodlines produced good Greyhounds. While setting an ad to be published in the News, Lambert learned Charlie Shanek of Odell, Neb., had a litter of pups for sale. Lambert purchased Honest Kay, out of Honest Hutch and Anna Cole, daughter of Never Roll.
Lambert’s mentor was Dennis Callahan who had been training a litter of pups in Falls City.
In the Spring of 1949, the Lambert family and seven Greyhounds moved to Abilene. Lambert trained two males, Black Goblin and He’s Magic for Dr. J.C. Gillespie and both Greyhounds were entered in the National Futurity. Lambert’s initiation into the competitive field of coursing was to run Black Goblin against a Greyhound owned by Paul Sutherland, owner of Beachcomber and No Refund and referred to as “Mr. Greyhound.” Black Goblin won and Lambert had begun what would be a successful career.
Lambert learned that Greyhounds needed conditioning for six to eight weeks before the meets. His program was organized and strenuous since the Greyhounds could race several times a day and for seven to 10 days straight for anywhere from 10 seconds to three minutes a race. Lambert’s conditioning program produced 20 first and second places in 11 years of coursing.
In 1951, he joined in partnership with Jack Herold. Herold provided a 40 acre farm on the northeast corner of Abilene and the Lambert family provided the labor. The plan was to raise 30 to 40 Greyhounds and Lambert would continue to print NCA publications. Before long, the farm had 100 Greyhounds and Lambert quit printing and devoted his life to the Greyhounds.
By January of 1958, Herold turned the farm over to Lambert who boarded Greyhounds for Paul Sutherland, Harry Stevenson, Paul Matrano, Bob Marriott and others, as well as raising Greyhounds himself. He leased Greyhounds to Art Bowser on the eastern circuit and to James Garber to run at Portland, Phoenix and Loveland.
In 1966 he took over the Garber kennel and the western circuit. In 1971 he went to Arizona to do his own training and while racing there his was always one of the top kennels. During the strike in 1975, he dissolved his kennel and moved to West Memphis to run the Duane Randle kennel. During Lambert’s final year there, the kennel broke the win record for one meet that had been held by O.K. Duke.
Lambert eventually moved to Miami to work for Barney O’Donnell where he trained Derek’s Cadillac who won the International Classic back to back. The O’Donnell kennel was a top contender at all times under Lambert’s management. At nearly 70 years of age, he agreed to run O.K. Duke’s kennel which was not meeting its potential. Lambert put the kennel on top in the standings and then retired.
One of the best known Greyhounds Lambert raised was Duke of Loup who won the most races of any Greyhound at his opening meet. He set the world’s record for the 3/8th mile at Portland that stood for five years. He won the Phoenix Derby and was a strong finisher in Grade A for his racing career which was cut short by a broken leg. He retired to stud and was the leading sire in 1969 and in the top five for several years. Duke’s sister, Dutchess of Loup, whelped More Ability and Sizzling Past who divided the 1964 National Sapling and went on to Grade A in four starts at Portland. More Ability was the youngest Greyhound to make the All America team.
Lambert served the NCA as a committee member for several years and as vice president. He also was the official slipper for numerous coursing meets and served the NGA in the paddock as judge for the National meets.
He was the honoree for the 1987 NGA Banquet because of his many accomplishments in the business, but he always stated his success was due to the help and support he received from his wife and children as the business was truly a family affair.
In 1997 the Greyhound Hall of Fame committee added the climax to the Lambert story. To complete his 50 years, ’47-’97, career with the Greyhound industry they inducted him into the Greyhound Hall of Fame. His entire family came from all points to help him celebrate the greatest moment of his career.