Tuesday, July 20, 2010

For the New Fans - Eb Netr - Two Races One Lesson

Author: Eb Netr

I watched the races from Palm Beach the other day. They were all interesting, because I love watching greyhounds run. But two of the races were a good lesson in handicapping. One was an M race were there were two dogs that looked much faster than the rest. They also looked like they'd outbreak everyone else and because one was in the 8 box and one was in the 1 box, I didn't think they'd get into trouble. They didn't and they were the quiniela, although it only paid $8 and change.
Like I said, they got out well and were first and second to the wire, but not without some near misses along the way. One of them went wide on the turn and the other one checked the turn and almost got run into by a dog from behind. They recovered well though and regained their speed and position. They're still young and learning and will probably be very good dogs to bet on some day when they get up into the higher grades.

The other race was a Grade A and it contained two of the best dogs on the track. Oddly enough, they were the quiniela in this race and paid even less at $6.20. From the time the boxes opened, there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that these two would outrun every other dog in that race, even though some of the other dogs were really good and had raced well at that level before. As I watched the race, I noticed the difference between that race and the Grade M race.
In the M race, a couple of the dogs got out awkwardly. They'd been barking their heads off and for one of them, it was his first race, so he was just a little bit clueless about what to do when the door opened. The 3 came out and took a right, which took out the 4 and the 5, who were a little slow to break. All 3 dogs ended up on the far outside of the track and bumped a couple more times before they got sorted out enough to resume the chase.

It was hard to tell which dog was fastest, because some of them ran so wide or erratically that they might have won the race if they'd hugged the rail and focused on the lure like the two dogs who were the quiniela did. It was obvious that they need a few more races and maybe some schooling races to season them.

There was none of that in the A race. Every dog in that race ran its best race. They broke well, hugged the inside if that's where they ran, or ran midtrack down the stretch and then went inside to save ground on the turns. There was almost no bumping and you could tell just by looking at them that every one of those dogs knew exactly what to do at every point in a race.

Why is this a lesson when we know that dogs in M aren't as experienced as dogs in A? Who at the track doesn't know that? Well, apparently a lot of people don't know it. I can tell by the way they bet on Grade M and Grade A races. They bet M races as if all the dogs are consistent and predictable. If there's a dog with a fast time, even in a schooling race, it's the chalk and the bettors are amazed when it doesn't win.

If there's a dog that's had several races and hasn't done better than 2nd, it's underbet, because it's disappointed a lot of people who thought it had potential. The things is, it DOES have potential and will win as soon as it figures out how to do that. If a dog can come in second in an M race, most of the time, it'll eventually come in 1st. Why people expect puppies to win their first or second time out is beyond me.

With Grade A races, a lot of people bet against the favorite because "you can't make money with favorites." Well then, don't bet A races, because the favorites win a lot of the time. Grade A dogs are much more consistent than the other grades. They have to be or they wouldn't get all the way up the ladder to be in A. The accidents and inconsistencies of lower grade dogs don't influence A races as much. Look for class and speed in Grade A and you'll probably find the winner.

In M, look for dogs who are steadily improving or who come from a litter that has some proven puppies. Yes, this means that you have to do some homework, but it's worth it. Look at the good younger dogs in the higher grade races and then look to see if they have litter mates in M or J. If they can run well enough to advance to a higher grade, there's a good chance that their brothers and sisters will too.

I like both M and A races. I like the enthusiasm of the puppies and I like the experienced skill of the dogs in the higher grades. Just remember though, when puppies move up from M through the higher grades, they're running against dogs that have the edge over them in experience. It's a whole different racing environment and it often takes them time to find their best races.

About the Author

Greyhound handicapping systems that work at all US tracks. Download one now at www.ebnetr.com

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