Quitters Can Be WinnersBy Eb Netr
We've all heard the old saying, "A winner never quits and a quitter never wins." Like many old sayings, there's a grain of truth in it. But there's another old saying, "Never say never." That's true when it comes to a lot of dogs that racing fans call quitters. (Often the bettors call them a lot of other things too, when they're swearing and throwing their programs on the floor.)
Dogs who "quit" don't actually stop running. They just stop trying to get to the lead. There's a reason for this and if you know what it is, you can handicap these dogs and catch them on the occasions when they come in. This can give you some nice payoffs.
Most of them stop trying because of two reasons. One, they can't see the lure. Two, they have to get the lead right out of the box to spark their competitive instinct. If they get the lead, they're alpha dogs and will run their hearts out. If they don't, they slip into beta mode and just run with the pack, probably mumbling under their breath and complaining that everyone jumped out ahead of them.
When you see one of these dogs on our program, you'll be able to tell. Their lines tell the story. When they win, there are all 1's from the start to the finish line. When they don't win, they may have 4's and 5's or even 7's and 8's. This kind of pattern makes a lot of people think that "they" give the dogs something to "juice them up" in the races where they have the fast breaks and wins.
It's not that. It's just that, in those races, the so-called quitter got the break, got out ahead of all the other dogs and stayed ahead of the other dogs. Maybe it's the pressure of the dogs behind it or maybe it's just the sight of the lure in front of it with no other dogs between it and the "prey", but whatever it is, the dog wins when it gets the lead right out of the box.
So, don't just count them out. When there's a dog like this in a race you're handicapping, the most important factor in that race may well be early speed. Figure out if that dog will get the break. If it looks like it has a very good chance, don't count it out. Use it in exotics, but be careful. Dogs like this have another quirk. They either win or they don't come in at all in most of their races. Look at some old programs and you'll see that this is true. There's money to be made with "quitters", if you know why they quit and find races where they won't.