Handicapping a greyhound program can be overwhelming. There’s so much information that it’s hard to take it all in, never mind analyze it and use it to pick winners. For instance, there’s post position. Many people think it’s more important than any other factor. Then you bump into someone who thinks it doesn’t matter at all and you wonder why you’ve been putting it first when you go over the program.
Well, post position IS important. But it’s only one factor amongst several that you need to really compare as you analyze races. I think the hardest part of handicapping is knowing which of the many things that matter will matter the most in this race. That’s one of those things that’s a lot easier to figure out AFTER the race, of course. When you watch the replay where the 3 broke and immediately took a right and also took out the 4 through the 7, which left the 8, which broke out fast, to head for the rail, which the 1 and the 2 had abandoned to run midtrack, so that the winner – at 6-1 – was the 8, even though the 5 was the big favorite because it had just dropped down from stakes races.
If you managed to follow all of that, you’ll see that the most important things in that race were the way the 3 broke and slashed over to the right, the fact that the 8 would outbreak everyone and also the fact that the 1 and the 2 ran midtrack, not inside, so they left the rail open for the fast-breaking 8. The reason I remember all these details is because I bet on this race. I had the 8 to win but I also had it in a quiniela with the 7, because I thought they might break together. So, for a $2 bet, I got $14 for the win and that’s not shabby.
However, if I had really analyzed the race and paid more attention to that 3 and its running style, I would have saved myself $2. That was easy to see after the race. Not so easy to see before it. This will happen to you many times, if you go to the track often. You’ll miss something like this and beat yourself up for it after the race, especially if it costs you more than $2. Don’t let it get to you.
If you want to make money at the dog track, you have to risk money. You’ll lose more times than you win, no matter how good you get at handicapping. The goal is to make more money than you lose. Don’t ever lose sight of that. Keep poring over races, looking for what will really influence the dogs in that race. If you do it often enough, you’ll get better at spotting situations that can make you money – or lose you money if you miss them and bet the wrong dog.
(This is an excerpt from Book 5 of Greyhound Handicapping Books 1-6 available in paperback, Kindle on Amazon)