Are Tips Just for Losers?

At the dog track, everyone has an opinion and they give it loud and long. There’s no way you can escape getting other peoples’ opinion. Whether it’s which dog to bet on or which sandwich to avoid at the snack bar, you’ll get tips all day and night.

So, do you, like most people, ignore them? Or, do you, like some people, believe everything you hear and bet on every tip you’re given? Well, neither of those approaches is the one I recommend, but I DO think that tips can actually be worthwhile sometimes.

I never just blindly bet on a tip, but I do pay attention to them, all the while considering the source. Because I go to the track often, I know the good tipsters from the touts. When someone I’ve gotten good tips from in the past gives me a tip, I write it down on the program page that it applies to.

If I have the money and the inclination, I bet based on the tip, but never too much. Then, and this is what most people don’t do, I write down whether the tip was legit. That’s right. Right on the program page, I write down the tip, who gave it to me and whether the dog came in.

This way, when I’m going over my program at home, I use my notes to keep track of who’s worth listening to and who’s just blowing smoke. I’m no spring chicken and I don’t remember things as well as I used to. This system helps me remember who I should listen to and who I should just smile at and walk away from.

Tips can be a big help, but only if you know that they come from winners. They can help you win more and lose less. But the most important tip anyone can give you is to learn basic handicapping skills, rather than just depending on other people’s tips.

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

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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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