Greyhound Handicapping: Winning On the Way Down

Remember the old song, “Pick Me Up On Your Way Down”? Well, it comes into my head every once in awhile at the track when I’m cashing a winning ticket on a dog that went off at longer odds than it should have, but won for fun, as they say. I’m talking about droppers, dogs who have dropped down in class by at least one grade and maybe more.

I love these dogs when they’re in a particular kind of race, because I know something that most of the crowd I’m betting against doesn’t know. Dogs who are moving down in grade come in at a rate of 7 to 1 compared to dogs who are moving up in grade. It’s not hard to figure out why.

Dogs who win their way up to A and then fail to run in the money enough to stay there, drop down into B. If they’re stale or out of form or just not into running for a couple of races, they may move down into C. That’s the perfect scenario. The bettors who bet on them when they dropped into B and lost are not happy campers. Then when the dog drops into C, the bettors really lose interest in them.

So now, this formerly A class dog is in a C race with a dog who just won in D. Maybe the dog is a hotshot puppy who aced his first M race, moved into D and won by a couple of lengths, really impressing the bettors with his flash moves. They’re really betting him today and have him the favorite at less than even odds. This is when I bet the formerly A dog, who is at 6 to 1.

I might also bet the formerly A dog in a quiniela box with the hotshot and another dog that looks like a contender. Or not. It depends on how I’ve done that day and what my budget is. (I never bet more than I plan to bet when I walk into the track. I hate going home beating myself up for overspending.)

Well, the race goes off and the hotshot breaks and takes the lead, but then goes wide on the first turn, gets hit by a dog coming up on the outside and they get tangled up while the formerly A dog goes right up the rail and wins by 6 lengths. And is it my imagination or does he look kind of smug as he heads for a leadout with a clicker? I know I’m looking smug, because the other dog I had in my quiniela box was second.

At any rate, I’m cashing a ticket for $14 for the win and the quiniela is big, because the big favorite wasn’t in it. Is it any wonder that I’m singing that song again as I head to the window to cash? Look for droppers, especially in races where there’s a big favorite who just won at a lower grade. They can be very good bets if you know how to find them and bet them.

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