Dog Racing Handicapping With Pace

Most horse handicappers use pace in their formulas. Most dog handicappers don’t, although they’d like to if they could figure out how to figure pace in dog races. Actually, it’s not all that difficult.

Of course, there are people who tell you that there’s no such thing as pace in dog racing. They say that the races are so short that there’s no time for pace to develop. I beg to differ. Whenever runners compete, there’s pace. It’s the way the speed flows in a race and it’s very hard to predict, but not impossible, in greyhound races.

Some people think that you just have to find the dogs that break and have early speed, and that will be the pace of the race, because they’ll set the pace. That would work in an ideal world, but that’s not the world we live in. Sometimes the early speed dogs set the pace and sometimes they don’t.

Dogs don’t always get the same break. Other dogs have their own ideas about who’s going to take the lead. Too many variables get in the way of using the breaking dogs to figure out pace in many races. This is because the pace of a race often sets up just before the dogs get to the first turn.

That’s when the speed dogs either get to the lead or lose the lead because of accidents, shuffling or crowding. If they clear the turn, they often win or place. That’s the crucial point to watch for if you’re trying to figure out pace.

So, look at each dog’s last couple of races and see how well they got around the first turn and where they were in relation to the other dogs on the first turn. That will go a long way toward helping you figure out the likely pace of the race they’re running in now.

Look at the ratio of speed dogs to closers, dogs whose speed will show up at the end of the race. Sometimes, but not often in dog races, there’s very little speed, which makes for an almost “pace-less” race.

The dogs get out just about at the same time and reach the first turn around the same time. This can result in a race with a pace that is even from start to finish, and even a “blanket” finish, where three or more dogs are very close at the finish line, after running together all the way around the track. In these slow-paced races, it’s sometimes impossible to tell who the winner is until the photo finish camera reveals it to the judges.

(This is from Book 4 of Greyhound Handicapping Books 1-6 available in paperback, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited on Amazon)

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