Today we will attempt to answer questions sent to us be David L. and Hank P.:
David L. asks,
“Has there ever been an error when two greyhounds were mixed up in a kennel before the races?
Also, “how many races must a Grade D dog finish 5th or higher before they are graded off?”
First question: Yes there have been instances, though rare, of the wrong greyhound running in a race, or the wrong race blanket being put on a greyhound. In these cases, the error was caught and the race declared a no race. There are safeguards in place to prevent this from happening. Before a greyhound may race, a Bertillon card is completed by the paddock judge, with the color, markings and the ear tattoos recorded on the card. When the greyhound is brought out to race from the lock out kennel, the dog is checked to make sure that everything matches the card. The leadout is then given the racing blanket to put on the dog. Sometimes the tattoos are faded and difficult to read and a mistake could be made, but it is rare.
Second question: The grading systems are different at every track, so this is a tough one to answer. Some tracks have grade E, so that would be the grade off grade. As a rule of thumb, a greyhound must finish worse than fourth four times before they are graded off. At some tracks, these greyhounds may re-qualify after a period of time. In Grade M, a greyhound will usually have to run worse than fourth six times before being disqualified.
Hank P asks: “Do kennels make any special changes for greyhounds in stakes races, especially for those who are already A or AA grade, to increase their speed and stamina even more?
The answer to this is a bit complicated. Having trained a kennel of greyhounds myself, the goal of the trainer is to have their greyhounds running at their best at all times. This being said, if you know a stakes race is coming up, you may give the dog a little more rest between starts, or if the distance is changing, give them a start at the new distance, You may take them for a walk the day of the race, but basically just keep the same routine, because if the dog has made the final, he or she is obviously sharp and you do not want to do anything to throw them off.
Thank you, David L. and Hank P. for the questions and feedback.
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