(This is an excerpt from my Greyhound Handicapping Series which is available in paperback or Kindle on Amazon.)
When young greyhounds leave the farm and go to the track where they’re going to run, they don’t just start out in Grade M. First, they have to school and show that they can handle the track and running with other dogs. Schooling races help them get the hang of racing in front of people, being weighed and paraded and put into the boxes.
Although they may have done all of these things at a training track or a farm, it’s not the same as racing at a “real” track. Pay attention to the ones that are fast out of the box, agile enough to get around the first turn without blowing it and smart enough to get through traffic without turning their heads to argue with another dog which takes their mind off what they’re doing.
Watch for dogs that take a little longer to get the hang of the whole racing thing too. If their trainers keep schooling them, they think that the dog has it in him or her to be a contender. Watch their times and the way they handle the break and the turns. If they get better at it, make a note of it and watch for them to start in M, where they might not look so good to the average bettor, because it took them so long to school enough to be ready to race.
When good dogs get to the top grades, it’s easy to see how good they are and the odds go down accordingly. Be smart and start at the bottom with Grade M where the odds don’t always reflect how well the puppies will run, because most people don’t watch schooling races or do their homework with the sires and dams.