NEW YORK -- Ch. Brunswig's Cryptonite, the top-winning Doberman pinscher in the breed's history, cleared the first barrier last night in his bid for the best-in-show award at the 116th annual Westminster Kennel Club fixture.
The 5-year-old known as Kafka was named best of breed as Westminster opened its two-day run at Madison Square Garden.
Kafka is owned by Sam and Marion Lawrence of Orlando, Fla., and has been guided to 118 top awards by his handler, George Murray.
Last year, he defeated a total of 100,867 dogs to finish second in the Science Diet Winners' Circle competition, which keeps a yearlong tally of dogs' individual performances.
He also won 109 blue rosettes, and for the second year in a row received a Ken-L Ration award as the top performer in the workinggroup. In all, he has triumphed in 242 groups.
Kafka won the Doberman Pinscher Club's specialty in 1990 and 1991, the first time in 32 years a Dobe won that prestigious event two consecutive years.
"We prepared for the show this morning by both jumping into the shower together," Mr. Murray said.
Patricia Laurans, who judged the breed, had 13 Dobe champions facing her, a half-dozen of whom had been previous best-in-show winners. It took a half-hour before she made her decision, pointing to the big red dog.
"I was thrilled to have such quality in the ring," she said. "Dobes were my original breed in 1963. The dog I chose for best and the two for awards of merit all exemplified the standard, and each had such proud elegance. The winner is an excellent showman."
Another dog owned by the Lawrences, Ch. Registry's Lonesome Dove, a wire fox terrier, also was a breed winner yesterday.
The perky bitch, known as Lacey and who became 4 years old nine days ago, was the nation's top winner last year, showing the way to 116,886 dogs in the Science Diet competition.
Handled by Mike Kemp, she was best in show 82 times in 1991, an all-breed record for one year. She also won 120 groups during the year, more than any other terrier and received a Ken-L Ration award.
The crowd was five-deep around the Scottish terrier ring, primarily to see Marjorie Carpenter's Ch. Brookhill Morning Edition, handled by Peggy Ozorowski.
Lola, as she is called, is a house pet and had not been shown since the Philadelphia show in early December. She has 18 top awards and 65 groups to her credit.
Ruth Winston's Ch. Tobe's Re
turn of the Jedai, won the Akita breed for the fifth year in a row, the longest winning streak of any of the 2,568 dogs in the Garden.
For the second year in a row, the best boxer was Ch. Kiebla's Tradition of Turo, owned by Bruce and Jeannie Korson, Sandy Roberts and Kitty Barker.