This is an article from the Greyhound Handicapping Series Books 1-6 available on Amazon in paperback or on Kindle. You can read all 6 books for free with Kindle Unlimited and each book has 3 bonus mini systems. Book 1 is only 99 cents!
I’ve always been more of a “word” person than a “picture” person. I’m not artistic and even my stick figures make my kids laugh. That’s why I have to struggle with something that can really help you pick winners. When I look at a program page for a race, I have no problem looking at the dogs’ lines and their percentages of wins and in the moneys and figuring out whether that makes them a good bet in this race. But that’s not all there is to successful handicapping.
If you’re a visual person – someone who can picture things in your mind – you have a big advantage at the dog track. That’s because predicting what will happen in this race, based on what happened in the past, is all very well and good. But having a good idea of who the contenders are in this race by picturing it in your mind is even better.
The best handicappers I know can actually “run the race” in their head and see what each dog will do in the race. They can picture where they’ll be when the boxes open, “see” which one will get the jump on the other dogs and leap out to take the lead. They “watch” as the dogs vie for position and then enter that crucial point in the race – the first turn.
Will the 8 blow the turn or outbreak the pack and get to the inside, where he likes to run? Which dogs will be in the lead after the turn and who will be closing on the leaders in the stretch? Which dog might turn its head to fight and which dog might have trouble keeping up because it’s out of its class or just doesn’t have the speed?
I can get an idea of all that by reading the program, but try as I might, I just can’t visualize it until it happens. I can remember a lot of races and what happened in them. But trying to conjure up a race from what I read in the program just doesn’t work for me. Basically, I see the dogs running around the track like they did in some other race I watched, which gets mixed up with what I know about today’s race, which makes picturing things useless to me.
If you’re good at visualizing, try it the next time you handicap a dog racing program. Try to “see” where each dog will be at the important points in the race. Look at the comments beside each dog’s lines and do your best to imagine how that dog will act in today’s race. If it fights, will it fight today? If it needs the inside, will the other dogs let it get the inside today? Where will they be just before the first turn and just after they come out of the first turn?
Write down what you see when you handicap the race and visualize it, and then see how close you were when the race runs. Watch the replay too, as many times as you need to, stopping it at the points I mentioned. The start, right after the start, going into and coming out of the first turn. See how much playing races in your head, before they actually run, helps your handicapping.