Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hidden Factors in Handicapping

Winning with Eb Netr...
Quick! How wide is your favorite track? Don't know? Well, if it's Twin River (formerly Lincoln in Rhode Island) it's only 17 feet wide, the narrowest track in the US. So, I hear you say, what difference does it make how wide the track is? The dogs don't race across the track; they race around it.
True, but on a narrow track, those turns can be much harder to get around without bumping and getting in each other's way. This is why there seem to be more accidents on the turns at Twin River, something I noticed when I went there last time. Can you imagine what a dog coming from Southland, where the track width is an amazingly wide 34', would think as it got jammed on the first turn at Twin River?

This is a good reason to find out how wide your track is. And while you're at it, why not find out how long the track is, how long the stretch and the straightaway are too. Each of these figures varies widely from track to track. While many tracks have a length of 1,320 ft, some have much longer tracks - all the way up to 1,485 at Southland, which may account for that 34' width.
So, when a dog ships into Southland from Twin River say, then schools and gets put into a race, I'm definitely going to give it a good look. If it has any class at all, but maybe had trouble on the turns at Twin River, it might be able to do much better at Southland, due to the wider track. Southland is also a good place for dogs who take a little longer to get going, due to the longer track, stretch and straightaway.
If you're a serious handicapper, I think you have to give these factors strong consideration. While I know some of the track statistics from memory, I have a little chart that I can take with me, so that I can check on the track a dog ships in from. I don't know how many times this has helped me see that a dog is a contender because moving to this particular track has given it an advantage it didn't have at its former track.
Some of the advantages:
* Moving from a track with a longer stretch can give an early speed dog an advantage
* Moving to a wider track can give dogs who have trouble on turns an advantage
* Moving from a shorter track to a longer track can give dogs who close an advantage
* Moving from a longer track to a shorter track can give breakers who fade an advantage
I'm sure there are other things you can figure out for yourself, so I won't go into any more detail. Suffice it to say that the more you know, the more of an advantage you have and the more you win at the dog track.
Find out more of what you need to know to win at the greyhound track at

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