Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Don't Bet This Dog in Grade "A" Races

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To pick winning dogs in A and AA races, you have to be pretty good at greyhound handicapping. Even if you are though, they're tough to call, because sometimes the dogs are just too darned good. They may even be dogs who have raced in stakes races.

Of course, dogs who are coming up win top grade races too, which is how the new crop of top dogs come from. It's important though, when you're handicapping these races, to understand exactly how likely it is that a dog who's moving up will be in the money in an A or AA race.

It's very unlikely that a dog will win in the top grade at a track the first time he runs a race in A or AA. Even a really good young dog usually gives way to the tough competition in the highest grade. Whether it's because the other dogs intimidate him or because it's such a jump from mid-grade to top-grade, I never bet a young dog the first time it breaks into the top grade.

That said, there are a very few dogs who win their way right up the grade ladder from M to AA without losing. But in my 30 year handicapping career, I can only remember less than a handful. It takes a true national stakes grade champion to overcome all the obstacles a dog meets moving through the grades so quickly.

So, next time you handicap a top grade race, save yourself some trouble. Eliminate the dogs who are racing for the first time in A or AA and concentrate on the more experienced dogs. 99% of the time, that's where your winner, quiniela and trifecta will come from.

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