Greyhound Handicapping: Get Litter-al

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Eb Netr

May 29th, 2013

Anyone who has followed my picks and articles for any length of time knows that most of my picks are in Maiden races. There are a couple of reasons for this. One reason is because I make most of my money on Maiden races, so I concentrate on them. Two, they're easier to handicap.

As a matter of fact, as far as I'm concerned, handicapping them isn't really handicapping, it's just research. It's not rocket science and it's not difficult. So, why don't more people do it? I think it's because it takes a lot more time than going over a program does. It's tedious and nit-picky and nerdy and who wants to do something with that description?

Well, if it could help you pick two $13.60 winners and a $28 winner within a few days, would you do it? I think most people would be interested, because those are decent payoffs at the dog track. I gave people the first winner, Daphne Zuniga, in my picks for Saturday. Here's what I wrote:

Greyhound Picks for Saturday 052513

Palm Beach Kennel Club

Race 1 Afternoon 5-Daphne Zuniga (6-1) Good schooling race and likes midtrack. Not a sure thing, but worth a bet at a price. Could be much trouble in this race and she looks like she'll be ahead of it. Play with 7-Kiowa Apple Tap and 8-Pat C Handsoff in exotics.

Results: Daphne Zuniga won and Pat C Handsoff was second. The quiniela paid $25.80 and the exacta paid $48.

Two days later, Needlesthetailor, Daphne Zuniga's litter mate, ran in the 2 box in the first race at Palm Beach. I picked Daphne Zuniga because she had had good schooling races and was out of a dam that had produced several litters of good puppies with different sires. This litter is out of Spiral Nikita and Kay V Sweet Kay.

In that particular race, I also liked that she ran midtrack and got out good in a race where the other dogs were slower out of the box and tended to get into trouble. I thought she'd beat the box to the wire and she did. I watched the race and then watched the replay twice.

She ran midtrack out of the box, but hugged the corners on the turns. And that's just what Needlesthetailor did when he won at 13-1 on Monday in the first race at Palm Beach Kennel Club. I didn't post him as a pick, because, to tell the truth, I wasn't sure that he would run as well as Daphne had. But I played him, because the odds made him worth the risk.

Today, as I write this, their littermate, Simonbarsinister, won from the 8 box at Palm Beach in the third race. Once again, it was a race where most of the dogs seemed to have trouble in their races. And, like his sister, Daphne Zuniga, Simonbarsinister paid $13.60.

There are two dogs in this litter that haven't won yet. One is Taptapdachiseler, who will have run by the time this newsletter comes out. The other is Sweetpolypurbred who had trouble with position and went wide in her first race in M. I'll be playing her in her next race if the odds are right.

I think the question I'm asked most often is, "How do you find maidens that win?" It's no secret. I read the programs every day. I watch schooling races every day. When I see a puppy that has a very fast time or wins by more than a length in a schooling race, I look it up at and see how its litter mates have done. I look up the litter mates of dogs that win their Maiden race first time out, or win with a fast time, or come in a close second to a good puppy.

It takes time and dedication and it's tedious, because I have to read a lot of dog's lines before I find one that is worth a bet. Most of the time when I find a dog that wins a maiden handily, I'll find that the rest of the litter is nothing special. But once in a while, I find a litter with two or three dogs that ARE special.

Daphne Zuniga, Needlesthetailor and Simonbarsinister may not go on to excel in the higher grades. Very often, dogs that shine in Maiden races don't. That's okay. They certainly don't owe me anything if they don't win when they get to the higher grades. I probably won't even be playing them then, because if they're very good, they won't pay that much.

One of the other nice things about playing Maiden races, is that you're more likely to get a good price on a good dog. When they win in M and then J, especially if they make it look easy, the crowd gets onto them and their price goes down. So, if you want to get ahead of the crowd and catch winners that pay, do what I do.

Watch the programs - they're free on Bet America. Watch the schooling races and all the Maiden races. When you see a dog win by a lot or with a fast time, look for its litter mates in future Maiden races. They usually start running around the same time.

Don't just play the dog once and give up if it doesn't come in the first time either. It might take two or three races for some of them to get the hang of things. But when they do come in at high odds, it pays for two or three bets and then some.