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First heat of annual turkey race Saturday

Sonny Long

By Sonny Long
Sept. 11, 2012 at 4:11 a.m.
Updated Sept. 12, 2012 at 4:12 a.m.

Cuero Turkeyfest Association Ruby Begonia 2012 team members are, from left, Richard Weber, Clayton Lantz, Linda Nemec and Greg Nemec.

With the first heat of the annual Great Gobbler Gallop looming on Saturday, Paycheck and her team are playing it close to the vest.

"We don't really want to talk too much about our training regimen," said Pete Suby, coach of the Worthington, Minn., race team. "I'd hate to divulge anything that might give Ruby Begonia an edge."

The two turkeys will do battle on Saturday during King Turkey Day in Worthington.

Paycheck has won the Traveling Trophy of Tumultuous Triumph four of the last five years, including two in a row. Ruby Begonia last won in 2009.

"We almost set a record for margin of victory last year, but there's room for improvement," Suby added.

Greg Nemec, coach of the Ruby Begonia race team, is confident the Texas turkey can turn the tide.

An influx of turkeys this year to help re-enact the turkey walk that was originally part of the Turkey Trot has helped.

"We had a lot of birds to choose from this year," said Nemec. "And we've got a good one picked out. We have been running with her some and we feel good about our chances."

Increasing Nemec's confidence is the presence of team member Richard Weber, of Weber Motor Co.

"We've got the Ford Motor race team behind us this year," Nemec said. "Richard is giving us some great pointers on how to go fast."

And Ruby will need that speed if she hopes to break Paycheck's winning streak.

Race time is 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

The second leg of the Great Gobbler Gallop will be Saturday, Oct. 13, during the 40th annual Turkeyfest celebration. The times in the two races are combined to determine the winner.

The losing team takes home the Circulating Consolation Cup of Consummate Commiseration.

Joining Suby on the Paycheck team are Amanda Walljasper, Jami Cummings and Mike Furry.

Nemec's teammates on the Ruby Begonia team are Weber, Clayton Lantz and Linda Nemec.



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