How to Win With Shippers

Shippers, dogs who go from one track to another, are often mysteries. Sometimes you can see a little of what they did at their former track in the lines from their last races there. But, that was at that track. Now, they’re at your track. They may not like the track, or they may like it even better than their former track and run better. It’s impossible to tell by looking at their past record. So how do you tell if they’re a good bet or not?

Many people wait until the dog has had a few races at the new track. That might seem to make sense, except that by the time the dog shows that it’s a winner, everyone will be betting it down to low odds. You can’t make money on it that way. The way to make money at the dog track, like with almost anything else, is to be first or know something that the rest of the crowd hasn’t figured out yet.

A better way to figure out if a shipper is worth betting on, is by knowing a little about the caliber of the different tracks. This isn’t hard to do. Go online and look at the handle at the different tracks, or look at the times compared to your track. A little research can tell you what you need to know to classify each US track.

Then, when the dog ships in from Wheeling, for instance, one of the best tracks in the country, see what your track’s racing secretary does about grade. That’s right. Grade is the secret to finding good shipper bets before the crowd finds them.

Many times, for reasons I don’t understand, dogs are put into the same grade at a lower class track as they were at a higher class track. While it seems obvious to me that a dog that was running in B at Wheeling should be put into A at a lower grade track, that doesn’t always happen. Maybe it’s because the racing secretary just doesn’t realize that the dog should be moved up a grade at the new track.

Many times, I’ve seen Grade B Wheeling dogs put into Grade B and then win for fun at tracks with slower times and dogs that aren’t as good. Watch for this little glitch at your track and you can make some nice change before the crowd realizes what’s going on.

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5 Greyhound Handicapping Tips To Pick More Winners

Greyhound handicapping is something that I think about even when I’m not at the track. Every once in a while, usually when I’m going over old programs or watching replays, I notice something that helps me pick better dogs the next time I go to the track.

I’ve gotten so that I write these down in a little pocket notebook. I take it out and go over it and sometimes it gives me ideas for articles that could help other people with the tips that have helped me. Here are some of my “Aha moments”, times when I realized something that helped me handicap better and cash a ticket.

  1. Post position is a lot more important to late speed dogs than it is to early speed dogs.
  2. Dogs who drop down and also change distance are often a better bet than they look.
  3. At the top tracks, never play a dog the first time it races in the top grade
  4. At the smaller tracks, check the shippers to see if they were shipped in because they were fighters or just not good enough to make it at a bigger track.
  5. Never bet a dog that demands the inside if it’s in an outside box

More about these tips;

  1. One reason I love Zenyatta, the race horse, is because of the way she came from behind to win in 19 of her 20 races. There’s just something about a late closer that makes it to the wire in time to win that gets me up out of my seat, yelling and waving my program and all excited. But even Zenyatta lost in her last race, because she wasn’t quite quick enough to start her closing run. In greyhound races, which are a lot shorter than horse races, there’s even less time to maneuver. Less time to close on the outside or get past a dog who’s blocking you on the rail. Unless a late closer is in exactly the position it likes, I think twice before betting it, especially if there are some good early speed dogs in the race in the post positions that they prefer.
  2. I know at least two trainers who use this move with their dogs who are dropping down. They put them in a longer race in a lower grade and, even though the dogs don’t look that hot, they win, place or show. I play them to win and place and in exactas, quinielas and other exotics.
  3. That would be Wheeling, Derby Lane and Palm Beach, but you might have a different opinion. They’re all top tracks and their top grades are tough to crack.
  4. See next week’s article about how to handicap shippers
  5. Post position isn’t everything, except to a few dogs. If a dog is determined to get the rail and won’t take no for an answer, it’ll spend its race time trying to get to the inside, instead of on trying to catch the lure. If it’s on the outside, unless it’s a really fast breaker with no competition, that’s just not going to work.

I hope these tips help you find a few more winners.

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