It was a night of crazy eights during the 19th running of the Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals, as four of the 10 trial winners on the night won from starting post number eight on Saturday at Los Alamitos Race Course. The winning wiener in the championship race also started from post number eight; as Luis and Lois Hernandez’s Mr Schnitzel of Newbury Park overcame a bump from a fellow rival on his rear-end to win the title of Fastest Wiener in The West in front of a total crowd of over 11,000.
Mr Schnitzel became a two-time winner of the event after adding this title to his first triumph back in 2012. Lois Hernandez was surprised at her dark-chocolate colored doxie’s performance on Saturday, as he came into this race in not the best of physical shapes.
"My husband and I were on vacation and only came back into town last Thursday," she said. "Mr Schnitzel stayed home with his human grandma while we were away and all she did was feed him cookies. He was a pound heavier when we got back and had not been training. We scrambled to get him some training and he did the rest."
Mr Schnitzel with owners Luis and Lois Hernandez
Mr Schnitzel broke on top in the 50-yard dash for dachshunds, but then was nearly knocked off strides by one of his rivals. Mr Schnitzel took a look back at his foe, snarled at him, and then hit a higher gear on the way to an easy win. The victory earned the fast wiener dog a $1,000 first place prize, a doghouse in the shape of a Wienerschnitzel Restaurant, a crystal trophy naming him the Fastest Wiener In the West and a commemorative racing blanket.
Melissa Tuchalski’s Havoc of Paramount finished in second place and earned $500. Havoc was one of four trial winners to start from post number eight. In fact, four consecutive winners came from that post position.
Josh Snook’s Finn of Lawdale was a fast closing third. The rest of the finalists were Tamara Elenes’ Elle of Cypress, Kelly Garcia’s Sunny of Anaheim, Bobby and Sherry Monje’s Ellie of Ventura, Monica Gyokeserova’s Molly of Redondo Beach, Trina Taylor’s Mia of Buena Park, Dianne Richardson’s Hildegarde of Mission Viejo, and D. & S. Knitz’s Katniss of Mission Viejo. In addition to Mr Schnitzel and Havoc, the others to also win from post number eight were Molly, Ellie and Mia.
The racing action also included the Big vs. Little match race pitting Jose Marquez’s large-sized wiener dog Kobe of Redlands and Laura Scully’s pint-sized pup Tootsie of Long Beach. Tootsie flew out of the gate in this event and had a huge lead on the slower breaking Kobe early on, but then Kobe woke up and unleashed a big finish. However, Tootsie’s early heroic proved to be too much for Kobe as the little one took the match race by two lengths.
The Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals benefits the Seal Beach Animal Care Center, a non-kill shelter dedicated to caring and finding homes for lost and abandoned pets. For more info on the SBACC please visit www.sbacc.org.
Plans are already underway for the 20th running of the Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals at Los Alamitos Race Course. For information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.