Like most long-time handicappers, I have a general idea in my mind as to which track is the best by my standards. I’d have to say there are three: Southland, Derby Lane and Wheeling. Southland has the biggest purses and Derby Lane is the oldest and classiest track in the US. Wheeling is just a track that I seem to be able to handicap well. I have no idea why. Maybe it’s because they run a lot of route races and I like route races.
This said, for some reason, those aren’t my favorite tracks to handicap. Maybe because I started out there, my favorite track to play was Twin River in RI. I seemed to be able to pick dogs there better than I could anywhere else. But I’ve gotten at least three emails lately from people asking me which tracks are the best or which track is easiest to handicap, so I’ll tackle the subject as it pertains to the average greyhound handicapper.
I’m sure there’s some site on the Net that ranks greyhound tracks, but I haven’t been able to find it. If you go by purse size, Wheeling is first. If you go by size of the facility, Gulf has more acreage than any track, last time I checked. But size isn’t everything, nor is purse size, although it’s purse size that attracts the best dogs.
If by best track, my email correspondents mean “which track has the best dogs”, I’d have to say Southland. If they mean “which track has the biggest handle” I’d venture to guess that that’s also Southland, but if someone knows better, let me know.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I think that the best track is the track that you can handicap best. For some people, that might be a smaller track like Ebro or Sanford-Orlando in Florida. While the caliber of the dogs isn’t as good, neither is the caliber of the handicappers during tourist season, so you might do better at a track like either of these.
If you like to bet favorites or if you go to the track to see Grade A dogs who are pretty evenly matched compete with each other, then Derby Lane, Palm Beach or Wheeling would work for you. It’s all in what you like. And, if you’re like me, what you like changes from time to time.
There are days when I’m really into winning money at a track like Wheeling Downs and days when I’m into watching the races while I sip a coffee and keep an eye on the ospreys flying over the ponds at Derby Lane. If you were to ask me while I was at either track, I’d tell you that track was the best track to go to on that particular day, at least for me.