Last week, The Professor answered David L’s question on Irish track’s pools and odds. This week, The Professor explains the keys to handicapping distance races.
While handicapping longer distance races can certainly vary from track to track, depending on the distance and the position of the box in relation to the turn, one thing is sure, early speed is the key. A lot of people surmise that because the race is longer, this is an advantage for the late speed hounds, but this is not the case. I am not saying, of course, that the early leader wins every race, but there is a major advantage to being in the lead. The late speed dogs may have more time to make up the deficit, but the speed dogs they are trying to catch are stronger than dogs on the lead in a sprint.Post position is also more important in the longer races, especially at tracks where the starting box is actually on the turn or just off it. Being on the inside with speed is a huge advantage and a major handicapping factor. Think of the 440-yard races in the Olympics, where the inside positions actually start behind the outside runners to even out the advantage of being on the inside, and not having to run as far. Dogs on the outside at the start have to run farther than the dogs on the inside. So to sum it up, look for speed dogs positioned on the inside, and use the late speed hounds for exotic bets behind the speed.
One tip: You can sometimes get a good price on a speed dog who is positioned in the middle or even on the outside, if the inside dogs have little or no speed, and that hound can get on the lead, as some may eliminate that dog because he is not on the inside.
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