By Eb Netr
Shippers, dogs who go from one track to another, are often mysteries. Sometimes you can see a little of what they did at their former track in the lines from their last races there. But, that was at that track. Now, they're at your track. They may not like the track, or they may like it even better than their former track and run better. It's impossible to tell by looking at their past record. So how do you tell if they're a good bet or not?
Many people wait until the dog has had a few races at the new track. That might seem to make sense, except that by the time the dog shows that it's a winner, everyone will be betting it down to low odds. You can't make money on it that way. The way to make money at the dog track, like with almost anything else, is to be first or know something that the rest of the crowd hasn't figured out yet.
A better way to figure out if a shipper is worth betting on, is by knowing a little about the caliber of the different tracks. This isn't hard to do. Go online and look at the handle at the different tracks, or look at the times compared to your track. A little research can tell you what you need to know to classify each US track.
Then, when the dog ships in from Wheeling, for instance, one of the best tracks in the country, see what your track's racing secretary does about grade. That's right. Grade is the secret to finding good shipper bets before the crowd finds them.
Many times, for reasons I don't understand, dogs are put into the same grade at a lower class track as they were at a higher class track. While it seems obvious to me that a dog that was running in B at Wheeling should be put into A at a lower grade track, that doesn't always happen. Maybe it's because the racing secretary just doesn't realize that the dog should be moved up a grade at the new track.
Many times, I've seen Grade B Wheeling dogs put into Grade B and then win for fun at tracks with slower times and dogs that aren't as good. Watch for this little glitch at your track and you can make some nice change before the crowd realizes what's going on.
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