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Ruby Begonia wins first leg of turkey race

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
Sept. 16, 2013 at 4:16 a.m.

Ruby Begonia, Cuero's celebrity turkey, won the first leg of the Great Gobbler Gallop against Paycheck, of Worthington, Minn., on Saturday in Worthington. They will finish the race at Turkeyfest in Cuero on Oct. 12.

IF YOU GO:

• WHAT: 41st annual Turkeyfest in Cuero

• WHEN: Oct. 11-13

• WHERE: Parade in downtown Cuero; remainder of events in the municipal park

• MORE INFO: turkeyfest.org

Ruby Begonia's legs are extra tender this week - especially after winning the first heat of the Great Gobbler Gallop.

On Saturday in Worthington, Minn., Ruby ran a successful race against Worthington's prize turkey, Paycheck, completing the block-and-a-half run at 1 minute and 18.12 seconds with zero penalties.

Cuero's turkey team, Clint Clark, Terri Warwas, Mary Beth Finney and Clayton Lantz helped coax their famous bird across the finish line.

Paycheck finished in 5 minutes and 56.3 seconds with multiple penalties.

Turkeyfest's entertainment director, Cory Thamm, said he's proud of Ruby's early achievement. As a previous race team member, he knows how crucial the first heat of the race can be.

"This year's Ruby came from the same nest that raced last year, so there must be something in the bloodline," Thamm said. "Coming back down here with a lead that big is definitely an advantage. As long as she does here what she did there, we're going to win."

Ruby and Paycheck will race again at Turkeyfest at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 12 before the parade.

"Ruby has a lot pride, a lot of celebrity to her," Thamm said. "I think she knows she's more special than the other birds."

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