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Pekingese 'Malachy' named Westminster champ

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New York, NY (Betting Express) - A four year-old Pekingese named Malachy continued his prodigious winning ways by taking Best In Show honors at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, earning the sport's top honor over six other champion group winners before an appreciative, near-capacity crowd at Madison Square Garden.

The top-ranked dog in the Toy Group over the past two years, Malachy won his group at Westminster last year and amassed 114 Best in Shows en route to Tuesday's crowning moment. He is co-owned by Iris Love of New York City, Sandra Middlebrooks of Mobile, Alabama, and David Fitzpatrick of East Berlin, Pennsylvania.

Malachy succeeds Hickory, the Scottish Deerhound 2011 Westminster Best In Show, who gave birth to nine puppies this past October.

With his momentous victory, Malachy will now retire to life as the house pet of Fitzpatrick, who has handled him through the two years of success. Just 11 pounds but captivating with a flowing tan coat and black mast, he notably won the prestigious Morris & Essex Kennel Club Dog Show in 2010.

"He gave me the vibration that he was very relaxed today," Fitzpatrick offered at the traditional winner's press conference following the show. "He's an extrovert in the ring and with all the noise and excitement, his adrenaline got going."

Malachy won his breed and then his group on Monday and waited 24 hours for his special moment, selected by Best In Show Judge Cindy Vogels of Denver, Colorado.

He bested Fifi, the Doberman Pinscher (Working Group); Chelsey, the Kerry Blue Terrier (Terrier Group); Emily, the Irish Setter (Sporting Group); Ian, the Dalmatian (Non-Sporting Group); Cinders, the Wirehaired Dachshund (Hound Group); and Cappy, the German Shepherd (Herding Group).

A total of 2,077 purebred showdogs, all champions, competed in the 136th edition of Westminster, America's second-oldest sporting tradition behind the Kentucky Derby. The international sport's pre-eminent competition included representatives of all 185 breeds currently recognized by the American Kennel Club.

On Wednesday, Malachy will spend the day on an unparalleled media tour, including "Today," "Fox & Friends," "Morning Joe," "Martha Stewart" and "The View" with visits scheduled to the Empire State Building, the office of Donald Trump, the American International Toy Fair and the Ronald McDonald House in New York City, where he will visit with pediatric oncology patients.

The signature event on the Wednesday media tour is lunch at Sardi's, the famous Manhattan restaurant, where he will be served "Steak on a Platter," befitting America's top dog and newest single-name celebrity.

Malachy and David Frei, the host for millions viewing six hours of live coverage on USA Network, will ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday morning.

February 15, 2012, at 12:20 AM ET
<-- Dalmatian, German Shepherd highlight Westminster's 1st night
Ex-UVA lacrosse player guilty of 2nd degree murder -->

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