There is no "Magic Wand" that can be waved and then someone can deduce what dogs
are going to be successful in EVERY race. Yet, there are basic rules for success, and if you follow along closely
and apply the rules, then you CAN be successful when handicapping/wagering on races!
THE FIRST RULE of Handicapping is Race Selection, and ALL Professional Handicappers apply this
MOST Important of Rules. It is the Professional Handicapper's FORTE to determine which races have dogs that
stand out from the pack AND which races
are "Playable". Race Selection is simply criteria applied to a race to see if it's a playable race.
Because not every race is "Playable", our handicappers use a race rating system referred to as "Rate".
If the rate shows *** (3 stars) or more
then the race is considered very playable, and is to be strongly considered. If the rate shows between * and ** (1-2 stars)
then the race deserves much closer scrutiny, as it is a better than average handicappable race. If there are no stars
then the handicapper suggests passing the race,(or at LEAST playing it VERY inexpensively). We use other symbols as well Click here to check it out.
The basic Factors of Successful race selection are, Early Speed,
Late Speed, Class, Potential Speed and Form. In a Card of Greyhound Races there are many dogs and just about everyone of
them have their own unique blend of the basic Racing Factors. It is your goal as a Handicapper,
to find dogs that are FAR Superior in at
Least one of these factors for each race, and Preferably at least two.
If you can find a dog that REALLY stands out in a race because it is much better than the
other dogs in the race in at least Two of these factors, you have a race that is worth handicapping. The basic factors
are listed below in what is generally considered the order of importance. The more predictive the factor the higher on the
list it is.
There are two types of early speed greyhounds. One shows a strong break out of
the starting box, and the other tends to break in the middle of the pack and rush to the first turn,
driving all the way through until about the 3rd turn. Both of these running styles tend to "benefit" by
trouble in the first turn.
The class of the race is very important. Generally the class of the
race is determined by the Grade of the race. Usually the higher the grade of the race the more
consistent and fast are the dogs. In the lower grades it is important to be aware of dogs who
are "down in grade". These dogs may of had trouble in a higher grade that they may not be subject to
by running against dogs of a lesser class or grade. For a nice little Class Calculator Click here to Download!
The Class Calculator is not meant to be a replacement for the Class Factor shown on our sheets.(which takes into account other factors such as TrackClass DistanceRatios and the like as well)
It is however, a nice little program we designed and made to show how Class can be calculated using a fairly simple method yet using a somewhat complex little matrix.
The Class Matrix is derived from a perfect proportional relationship between AVERAGE TIMES for each GRADE's particular actual FINISH.
The following example is the actual Grade to Finish to Time ratio for Gulf Greyhound Park:
AA A B C D J M
1 30.37 30.59 30.67 30.76 31.43 31.13 30.78
2 30.9 31.06 31.17 31.26 31.35 31.36 31.57
3 31.04 31.19 31.3 31.39 31.48 31.53 31.75
4 31.15 31.31 31.41 31.5 31.59 31.66 31.9
5 31.27 31.42 31.52 31.62 31.7 31.79 32.06
6 31.37 31.53 31.63 31.73 31.81 31.92 32.22
7 31.5 31.66 31.76 31.87 31.94 32.06 32.39
8 31.63 31.81 31.91 32.03 32.11 32.22 32.57
In the Average Time for Grade and Finish Matrix above,
the AVERAGE TIME a dog runs who wins "AA" is 30.37.
The AVERAGE TIME for a dog running 4th in "C" is 31.50.
The way the Class Calculator works is you look at a dog's last 6 or so lines...
you click on the corresponding button that matchs his GRADE and FINISH for each of his last 6 lines.
example; if in his last six races he finished 2nd in "A", 3rd in "A", 4th in "A", 1st in "B", 2nd in "B" and 1st in "C"...
you click on the A2, A3, A4, B1, B2, and C1 buttons. Write down the resulting score, then "CE" to clear...
Do this for each dog in the race... the dog with the highest score is the dog with the highest Class.
Important note... do not mix different distances, different finishes/grades from different Tracks.
Use only lines from the same track and distances...
the little example Class Calculator program does not account for those variances in it's matrix, like our sheets do.
Late speed greyhounds generally have a slow break out of the box.
They usually get to the first turn behind the pack. From there on is where they tend to start
running their race. Some may show a gradual gain throughout the race, while others, wait
until the 3rd turn or even the stretch before they make their move. A truely late speed dog, will
quite often benefit by trouble in the first turn by running "under" it.
Basically a person trying to determine the Potential Time a dog will run... will do so by averaging a series of times a dog has run in recent performances.
The average Times a dog has run over a number of performances is an important factor in determining which dog may be the
actual fastest dog in the race. It is also widely used as a stand alone factor by many many people in an attempt
to determine which dogs are the best ones to bet on in a race.
For our tipsheets, we convert the times from each line a dog ran in it's recent history to FPS ("Feet Per Second" traveled). FPS is used instead of times so that compensations/corrections can be made easier for distance, box and track variance changes.
Examples of compensations made to the FPS factor are...
Two dogs are in a race... both ran a flat 31.00 last time out in a 5/16 , on the same day... however, one was in the 8 hole and the other was in the 1 hole. Which is actually faster???
In EVERY race a dog coming out of the 8 post will travel a minimum of 14 feet further than a dog from the 1 post. So if a dog ran a 31.00 from the 1 post in a 5/16 race, it's 1650 feet divided by 31.00 which equals 53.22 FPS. A dog running 31.00 from the 8 post ran faster, because it's 1650' + 14' = 1664 feet divided by 31.00 = 53.67 FPS.
This is an example of one small fact that must be compensated for.
Now to carry it further, there's 1650 feet, 550 yards or 503 meters... in a 5/16 mile race.
For every 330 feet further than 1650' the dogs tend to slow down a little more than about 1 FPS (on average) The slower the track surface, the higher the number.
At Tampa the average "A" 3/8 race (1980 feet) runs in around 38.04 seconds. So that's 1980' divided by 38.04 = 52.05 FPS
The average "A" 5/16 race (1650 feet) runs in around 30.93. That's 1650/30.93 = 53.34 FPS
That's a difference of 1.29 FPS.
Different distances from today's distance are automatically compensated for in this manner... when there are not an adequate number of lines that match the distance the dog is running in today. IF there are enough lines that match the dog's current distance, the distance compensated lines are not needed or used!
So if a dog is newly moving up or down in distance for a race and there are not any races in his past you can use for an even/easy comparison... NOW you WILL have it, since this baseline compensation was made.
if a dog has been running only 3/8 races and then is moved to 5/16 or vice versa... you can tell whether he will be running within acceptable parameters.
Another compensation to AverageTime/FPS made is track variance.
Some days (due to weather or differences in maintenance) the track is faster or slower than the average. It's important to know the baseline averages for each grade and distance so that they can be compensated for as well. And of course they are.... by using a Class/Time matrix, like in the earlier example for Class, day to day variances are easily recognized and compensated for!
We believe average FPS/Time in itself is very important, and used as a predictive and determining factor by itself, it can be VERY useful tool.
When used in conjunction with the MANY of the other factors on our sheets... you get to have the benefits of a VERY EFFECTIVE SYSTEM
Since the greyhound doesn't have a rider, if a dog's performance is getting progressively
better or worse, it becomes an Important Predictive factor.
A way to look at Form is the F.A.T. system (Form + Ability = Talent). If a dog is showing to be in exceptional Form he/she may possess enough Ability to present a more Talented performance than what may be generally expected. Conversely if a dog is out of Form but shows tremendous Ability he will quite often turn a less Talented performance.
The way we use Form is basically as a measurement applied to the dog in relation to the other dogs in the race. It helps to determine and predict whether the dog is improving or declining in it's performance. By using charts for each dog, and a few calculations we try to find the dog/dogs who have the best chance of doing well in the race.