This is an article from the Greyhound Handicapping Series Books 1-6 available in paperback or on Kindle. You can read all 6 books for free with Kindle Unlimited and each book has 3 bonus mini systems.
Maybe you’ve noticed it or maybe you haven’t, but favorites seem to come in more on the weekend than they do during the week. I’ve always thought that the racing secretaries try to schedule the best dogs and the best races for the weekends, but maybe it’s just a coincidence.
For whatever reason, if you look at the charts for most Saturdays, a lot of low-priced chalk comes in. So, how can a handicapper make any money, if favorites keep hitting the board? If you play favorites, sooner or later, one fails to win and you lose more than you’ve won, in many cases. This is a recipe for disaster and doesn’t make for a fun Saturday afternoon at the races.
To avoid this, there are a couple of things you can do. First of all, you can go to the track on another day, a weekday, when you’re probably more likely to catch a few good longshots. Or, you can play favorites, but not to win. How about a double, some pick 3’s and trifecta keys with the favorite on top?
If you have the money, key the favorite for first and second with other dogs you like in trifectas or ten-cent superfectas. Of course, you should handicap the program, as well, but don’t ignore the crowd’s pick when you put together your bets. Exactas can pay if the favorite comes in second or comes in with a real longshot for second. It happens.
The two grades where you should definitely follow the Saturday crowd’s lead is in Maiden races and the top grade at the track. Very often on weekends, the crowd is good at picking the right dog in these grades. In Maiden races, it’s often the dog with the fastest speed in its last race. In the top grade, it’s often a dog that has a high ratio of wins in A.
One last tip… Just because favorites are favored on the weekend, don’t talk yourself out of playing a dog if you really like it, even if it’s at long odds. Even on Saturday, there are usually a couple of longshots that come in first, just to keep things interesting. If they come in first with a favorite second, and you have the winner and the exacta, you could have a very good Saturday, indeed.