Greyhound Handicapping With Something To Show

Eb Netr

September 26th, 2013












When I first started playing the horses - thoroughbreds, that is - many decades ago, most serious players bet straight win bets. Most tracks didn't even have trifectas in every race. There would be a race or two with trifectas and the rest of the races had Win, Place, Show and Exactas. To me, at that time, trifectas were as exotic as tri-supers are now.

Nowadays, every greyhound race has a trifecta and many have supers, pick 3, 4, 6's, and on and on. It's no wonder that the Win, Place and Show pools have gotten smaller over the years. That makes it tough for those of us who are happier playing Win bets or Place and Show, rather than exotics.

I do play exotics, exactas and trifectas mostly, sometimes. But, unlike my friend, Earl, who plays trifectas exclusively, I don't put the bulk of my betting money on them. I've found that I'm just not as good at handicapping and then constructing wagers for trifectas, supers and multi-race bets, as I am at picking dogs that win and place. (I don't play show, but I used to when I was younger and poorer.)

Earl thinks that it's impossible to make money on Win bets and don't even talk to him about Place and Show. He says that people who play Place and Show shouldn't be at the track in the first place. They should leave it to people who have an idea of how to handicap and put together a trifecta key or wheel.

Earl continues to believe this, even though he's been with me many times when I've cashed double digit Win or Place tickets or a fat exacta with a two-dog box. I have yet to see Earl maintain a profit, playing his trifecta wheels and keys. He's just not that good at picking dogs, although he usually has two of them in his trifecta box.

Actually, come to think of it, Earl could hit exactas, because a lot of the time, his key dog and another dog in his trifecta key wheel are the exacta. So, why doesn't he play exactas? Well, Earl thinks that exactas don't pay diddly and are for old fogies. "The money is in the trifectas," Earl says. "I'd rather miss the low hanging exacta fruit and hit the golden apple at the top of the trifecta tree. I don't hit as many tri's as you do exactas, but when I hit, I hit a lot bigger."

Maybe, but I don't think so. I think that the bottom line is that it's better to hit something, more often, even if it IS smaller than a trifecta, rather than hit a big trifecta once in a blue moon. Of course, everyone looks at it differently and I suppose that, as long as Earl has the money and doesn't mind losing more than he wins, it's his business how he plays his bets. I'll stick with my Win, Place and Exacta bets though. They may not be exotic enough for Earl, but they sure do help my bank balance.