Women in Racing



From the first moment that I started talking to Karen Hyde, her love and admiration for the greyhounds was apparent.

Karen retired from the corporate world in Dallas and was a Paralegal and Courtroom Administrator for a Federal Judge. She had always dreamed of having a little place in the country so she could have all the animals that she wanted. When she retired she bought a small farm and it started out as a hobby, but then she needed a little extra money, so she went to work for a local television station, as the producer of a talk show, where she met Robert Stokes nephew, a professor at TxA&M. He would come on her show as a regular and as she got to know him she found out that he had an uncle who raised greyhounds. Unfortunately the television station closed down and she was looking for something to do. She called Mr. Stokes nephew and asked him if he would introduce her to his uncle who had a greyhound farm. She was absolutely intrigued with greyhounds and had never seen one before. In 1985 she set up an appointment with Mr. Stokes and was given a tour of his farm and told him that she would love to get into raising them. Mr. Stokes told her to research and get as much information as possible on the breed, which she did. Soon after this she started building pens, runs and a whelping house for her broods and puppies. Bettyme and ValentineMr. Stokes gave Karen her first female, Bob’s Jenna, who was already pregnant with her first litter that produced the 1st generation, Bob’s Nicole. Nicole was the mother of *Sakkara Zen, who became the 1st stakes dog at Gulf Greyhound Park that she owned. *(Winner 1996 Gulf People’s Choice, Ye Crown Royal Race, Greyhound Partners Champions Race and 1997 The Big KO. 2nd 1996 Gulf Super Dog Countdown. 1997 Gulf Texas Roundup finalist and also on the GGP Wall of Fame).

Shortly after Bob’s Jenna had her first litter; Karen decided to travel to Egypt in 1987 to get firsthand information and research greyhounds and their origin. She was so intrigued with Egypt and received a great deal of information from the locals. When she showed them pictures and explained what she was doing, they began talking to her about the history of greyhounds. She learned that they were owned exclusively by the pharaohs and royals as companions and for hunting. While in Egypt she visited the step pyramid and the Temple of Djoser at Sakkara, which is a vast, ancient burial ground for the pharaoh and sacred animals of Egypt, and at that moment decided on the prefix for her greyhounds.

Karen also spoke proudly of Sakkara Maya, who is the granddaughter of Bob’s Nichole and great-granddaughter of Bob’s Jenna and who won the Night of Stars at Gulf Greyhound Park in 2003. She still has Maya and she will be 15 years old this year. She loves her toys and still tries to run in the yard.

Her most recent litter that includes Sakkara Travis and Sakkara Bowie, have both been Gulf Greyhound Park’s Greyhound of the Week and also qualified and competed in the June 2014 Diane Whiteley Stake Race.

Karen talked about the retired greyhound program for prisoners in Florida at the Hardee Correctional Facility. The greyhound program is unique in that they are fostered and trained by State inmates. This teaches inmates patience and responsibility, relieves idleness in the prison facilities, and allows the inmates to experience unconditional love. In turn, the Greyhounds are provided a foster home, one on one attention by the foster inmate, and the training necessary to complete the Canine Good Citizenship testing. Upon graduation some of the greyhounds continue their training at Hounds 4 Heroes to become service dogs for war veterans.

Karen has been a member of the NGA & the TGA since 1986 and continues to raise some of the best greyhounds in the business and is an advocate for greyhound welfare and adoption. She is definitely an asset to the greyhound business.


Our second spotlight shines on Phyllis Mangold.  When you’re speaking with this Woman of the TGA, you’re reminded of talking to your Grandmother—sitting in her kitchen, having her tell you stories about the good old times—preferably with a glass of cold milk and a batch of her homemade cookies.

In fact, when she heard that the TGA was on the phone to interview her, she came to the phone with “I wish I still had a greyhound, they are the smartest, most loving dogs, always trying to please you.”

Phyllis Mangold is truly a remarkable woman, who started out raising greyhounds at the ripe old age of about 20, having watched her uncle, W. D. “Gig” Viola successfully breed greyhounds for years.  “Gig” was inducted as a Pioneer into the National Greyhound Hall of Fame in 1987.  She grew up around Abilene, Kansas and so watched greyhounds all her life.  In fact, with permission from her parents, she skipped school every year during the Nationals in Abilene.  When Sports Illustrated magazine heard her story, they wrote an article about the girl who skipped school to watch the dogs compete.

Mangold, Phyllis

Phyllis started her own business with one of Gig’s dogs, which he sold to her for $600.00.  At her peak, she had 50 dogs, and she learned to do everything for them—breeding, delivered puppies, even some limited veterinary work.  Once one of her pregnant females developed ecampsia and she desperately tried to contact her vet in the middle of the night.  Her vet was several states away, and was forced to lead her through the procedure over the phone.  It involved giving the dog a shot in the vein of her ankle, of course a very difficult and small spot.  Phyllis said it was either give the shot or let the dog die, so she had no choice.  Determined to save the dog, she said she did the best she could even in that small area of the dog’s ankle, and the dog lived to deliver the pups.  She says the men in the world of greyhound racing always gave her lots of respect, mostly because she earned it, teaching herself the business.  She raced dogs in Massachusetts, Florida, Colorado, and on and on.  She worked many a night and helped to get signatures to help get racetrack betting approved by the Texas Legislature.

Phyllis served on the TGA Board of Directors from 2000 – 2004 and was a force to be reckoned with!  She took her job as a Director very seriously and made decisions solely on what was best for the greyhounds & breeders of Texas.  She was definitely an asset to TGA.  The men in greyhound racing always gave her lots of respect, mostly because she earned it, teaching herself the business.  She raced dogs in Massachusetts, Florida, Colorado, and on and on.  She worked many a night and helped to get signatures to help get racetrack betting approved by the Texas Legislature.

In her 60’s she gave away her last greyhound (she didn’t have the heart to sell it) to someone she knew who bred good stock.   Now at nearly 85 she still loves animals, in fact still has a place in her heart for dogs, and recently adopted one scheduled to be euthanized from the Hondo, Texas animal shelter that she named Black Jack.  She spends time with her grown children and grown grandchildren, taking them all on a trip to Italy recently.  (Phyllis on the right in the pic, doing what she loved to do, judging the races at the TGA Spring Meets).



Our first spotlight shines on Joy Martin, the TGA’s very first Secretary-Treasurer in March 26, 1988.  She originally held the same title in the Lone Star Coursing Association, and when that organization merged and became the TGA, she took on the same responsibility for our current group.

When asked what got her interested in greyhound racing, she replied that her husband Richard and his father had owned field dogs, and gotten into the business in the later 1950’s.  She began in the 1960’s and continued in the industry for 40 some years until 2007.  When her husband had some serious health problems in 1984, they began phasing out of the business.

During their busiest years, they had their breeding business and owned a kennel as well, and raced dogs at  Birmingham Greyhound Racing, and Greenetrack in Eutaw, both in Alabama; and of course in Texas at Corpus Christi, Valley Race Park, and Gulf Greyhound.  So they spent plenty of time traveling across the southern states with their dogs.

Joy reminisced about some of her favorite dogs, which tended to be coursing dogs and how she loved the beautiful, graceful greyhounds in general.

Although she tried not to get close to many, she said sometimes certain puppies “just captured my heart—one of my favorites was ‘Spooky Demon’, who became beloved by the whole family.  But I had some others too: ‘Just A Moment’ and ‘Racing Fever’, were also particularly great dogs.”

These days, Joy and Richard live in Burleson, enjoying their retirement.  The Holidays are a busy time around their house, since they have 2 daughters, 5 grandchildren, and 8 great grandchildren.

In case you’d like to get back in touch with Joy to say hello or reminisce, she can be reached by email at rjmartin7149@charter.net or by phone at (817)578-5535.