Today, The Professor covers lure issues during a race to answer a question submitted by David L. He also explains how unofficial schooling can play a part.
David L. asked, “After seeing the lure get shut down early on the second turn of an 820 yard race at Southland, I got to wondering how this affects the dogs that run these marathon races? With the brakes slammed on the lure, some dogs stopped while others kept on racing. Not only does this mean a dog won’t have a line in the program, they won’t earn any purse money, and their racing routine has been messed with. Are these dogs at a disadvantage when running their next race? Will they be raced again soon so their is not a two week space between official races? Seems to me it’s only fair to the handicappers that there be a line in the program saying the race was declared a “no race” so the bettor knows the dog hasn’t been on vacation.”
I have seen this happen numerous times in my 40+ years of watching greyhound races. The answer is a definite maybe. I say that because each greyhound is different and they will react in different ways to this. Some may become leery of getting too close to the lure the next time they run, anticipating a stoppage; others may not react at all. Unfortunately, there is really no way to tell. I know that the racing secretary will attempt to run the race again as soon as possible, so that the kennel owner is not punished for an incident out of their control.
This gives me a chance to discuss “unofficial or morning schooling.” All tracks offer morning schooling on the track, usually twice a week. The trainers have the opportunity to run any of the dogs they choose at any distance, either by “hand schooling” or regular box schooling at any distance they wish. This is an invaluable tool for the trainers to get their animals in shape, if they have been off because of injury or illness and they need to run short to get back into shape. They may also want to give a greyhound who has been getting into a lot of trouble, what is called a “front end,” or let the greyhound run by themselves to get their confidence back up. In a case like the one that David cites, the trainer may want to take the dog out and run him around the track once, chasing the lure so the dog knows the lure will not stop. This schooling is open to the public, but you will have to get there early as it usually begins around 6 am.
As far as the “no race” being listed on the program, that is a good idea and maybe something like that could be incorporated in the program, but that would be up to the tracks to make that decision.
Thank you, David L., for the greyt question!
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