How To Win With Dogs That Get Blocked

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This is an article from Book 1 in the Greyhound Handicapping Series Books 1-6 available in paperback or on Kindle. You can read all 6 books for free with Kindle Unlimited and each book has 3 bonus mini systems.

When you handicap your program, what do you do about dogs with lines like this: blocked, early speed blocked on rail, blocked after break, traffic no gain? Those lines are on every program, although some dogs seem to have more of them than other dogs.

Some dogs have almost no lines that say that they were blocked in a race and I call these dogs “eels.” These are the dogs that somehow manage to slither through traffic jams that stop other dogs in their tracks. Many times, it’s the smaller females that do this, maybe because they’re able to fit into tight spots that the larger dogs can’t fit into.

But most dogs get blocked sooner or later and you’ll have to learn to handicap them if you want to go home with more money than you came to the track with. Here’s how I look at these dogs and handicap them. Of course, you have to use your own judgment, but you might want to consider this approach.

First, I look at the class. If the dog has been running in higher grade races than the race its in today, I consider it a contender. Then, I look at the odds it was being bet at in the races it ran before it got blocked. If the bettors thought it was a good bet in the higher grade until it had the race where it got blocked, I do too.

While most people lose at the track, the odds on dogs are usually a pretty good indicator of whether they have a chance of making the board, especially in the higher grades. So, if the bettors thought this dog was a contender but lost faith in it when it got blocked, I figure it has a shot at coming back and surprising everyone.

Also, I believe that some dogs get frustrated when they get blocked in a race and do everything they can to keep it from happening in the next race. Sometimes, this makes dogs that don’t usually break that fast, come out of the box like they were shot from a cannon. I’ve seen this happen many times.

So, if you’re going over your program and spot a dog that was blocked in its last race, check it for class and then for odds. Then figure out if it has an advantage because of its current position or because of the running style of the dogs around it.

If it does, you’ll know that the dog has a better than even odds chance of coming in and making you some money. And, because many other people will be put off by the fact that it “let itself get blocked” in a previous race, you may find that the odds are better than they should be for a dog of this class.

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1 Favorite You Should Never Bet

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Favorites come in at the track, but that doesn’t mean you should always bet them. While it’s true that the crowd is pretty good at picking winners, it’s also true that they often make favorites out of picks that shouldn’t be better than a longshot.

For instance, many times, you’ll see a favorite that has just come back from a layoff and has had an impressive non-betting race. For greyhounds, it’s a schooling race. For horses, it’s a conditioning race to make sure that the horse can run the pace.

Watch what happens when one of these contenders runs a really fast race. In its first real race afterwards, the crowd usually picks it for the favorite. Early money goes down on it and then the punters fall into line like dominoes.

99 times out of 100, the favorite runs a lousy race and the crowd is baffled. “How can this be when it had such a good time in the non-betting race?” they wonder. Well, how many other contenders were there in the non-betting race?

What were the conditions of that race, if you can even figure that out? What post position was it in and who was running beside it? Was the race set up to suit its running style, unlike the real race it’s in today? All of these factors can make a so-so entrant look better than it is.

The bottom line with contenders that are coming back from a layoff is this: Give them one good race before you bet them, no matter how much of a favorite they are. Sure, you’ll miss a couple of favorites that come in. But you’ll lose a lot less money that you would have lost on the many favorites that don’t run in the money in their first race back after a layoff.

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