Dog Racing Tips – Winning in the Summertime

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If you like to watch live greyhound racing, summer is probably your favorite time to go to the track. But have you noticed that you seem to lose a little more in the summertime? Have you ever analyzed why that is? I have and I think it’s a combination of things that you have to be aware of if you want to do something about it.

For one thing, the crowds are bigger in the summer at a lot of tracks. People go out more and that includes going to the dog track. So, one thing you have to be aware of is that there may be longer lines for everything at the track, including betting.

Don’t wait until the last minute to get that complicated trifecta part-wheel bet in, because you may be stuck behind a first-time bettor when the bell goes off. If you can, go over your program at home and have your bets written down, ready to bet.

Better yet, make your bets all at once when you get there, so that you won’t have to worry about getting shut out. There’s really no reason not to make your bets early, as soon as you know if there are any scratches. That way, you can’t change your mind and talk yourself out of betting something that you liked, only to see it come in and pay well.

Another thing that can happen in the summertime is distractions. Dog tracks tend to have things going on to encourage people to come out to the track. Prize giveaways, local celebrities, handicapping contests and even live music can all take your mind off the real point of the dog track, which is handicapping and winning.

Summertime is great and a good time to take advantage of some good stakes races, but don’t let its distractions and lines interfere with winning. Make sure that you don’t get burned by keeping your cool and playing it smart.

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Handicapping Dogs and Horses – Are You Up To Date?

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I have a friend who handicaps by meditating. Honest! She’s into Zen and living in the Now, whatever the heck that means. I haven’t figured out how to live in the Past or the Future, myself, so I don’t see how you can do anything BUT live in the Now. So what does this have to do with handicapping, you’re probably wondering?

Now, is really important to dogs and horses when you’re looking at their form. While statistics can be helpful, there’s one thing you have to keep in mind when you’re looking at stats. What really matters isn’t what a contender has done over its career, although it’s nice to know that. What matters is what a dog or horse has done recently, which is likely to tell you what they’ll do in the race you’d like to make some money on.

You can find statistics for almost anything on the track web sites or on the net. Sometimes, nowadays, there are so many stats that I get lost trying to figure out which ones matter. I can find a chart that will tell me the winning percentage for every position in every type of race at Palm Beach for all of 2011, for instance, but will that really help me now?

What if last month was particularly rainy or very dry? Any handicapper knows that weather affects the track. So, maybe it would be a better idea when I handicap today’s race, to look back a couple of weeks or a month, instead of back to January when the weather was very different in Palm Beach from how it is today in September.

Dogs age. So do horses. Knowing that a greyhound’s best time was just under the track record two years ago, doesn’t tell us how fast the older dog will be today. The same goes for harness horses who had a 156.4 when they were 4 yrs old at Harrington. If they’re 7 and they’re running at Scarborough Downs today, the old Harrington information is pretty much irrelevant.

The message I’m getting at here is that stats and information are good things, but you have to lean more heavily on the most recent info. I look back a couple of weeks with dogs and no more than a month for harness horses, when I’m looking at form. Thoroughbreds, with their layoffs, are harder to handicap, but I still give more weight to their last 35 days of racing. I may not know how to live in the Now, but I do know how to handicap to make money now and that’s what counts.

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