This Week With The Professor:

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.”

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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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Do you have a question for The Professor? Leave a comment below and you could receive a $2 wagering credit to your Greyhound Channel account if your question is featured! Tune into our podcast, Catch the Action with Greyhound Channel, for news and more greyt tips from The Professor.

Blog Spotlight: Winner (By Bonus Bandit)

 

Woof! Hey guys, it’s me again! That’s right, your good ol’ pal, Bandit! Greyhound Channel mentioned that they were doing a special article on my new, adopted brother, Winner. Being his bro and all, I figured, “Who knows him more than me?” so I convinced Greyhound Channel to let me take the lead on the leash again and do the honors of writing about one of my favorite pups! Look at this lug, isn’t he cute?

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Winner dressed up for Halloween.

Alright, so a little about Winner. Let’s start with before he found his way to my home. Winner raced by the name TF Winner and is a son from Rythmless and KB’s Shady Lady. He was your typical greyhound racer – Nothing amazing (I can say that because I’m his brother), but not terrible either. Winner started out at Ebro in July of 2013 before heading to Gulf in October of 2013, where he spent most of his racing career. With the closure of Gulf Greyhound Park at the end of 2015, Winner ran a couple races at Caliente before taking on retirement life. This is where it gets exciting! My tail starts wagging just thinking about it!

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Winner squirrel watching.

Through Greyhound Pet Adoption Northwest (GPA Northwest), Winner kicked off retirement life and his quest to find his forever home. GPA Northwest does this really cool thing where their pups are fostered with families so that they can understand each hound’s personality. As the saying goes, every dog has its day and that day had arrived for Winner. My family had decided to foster and Winner ended up at our home! I adore my new brother and all, but I won’t lie, it wasn’t all sunshine, roses, and puppy dog tails at first. In the beginning, naturally, I was a little jealous… OK, a lot jealous! I mean, here was this cool, new pup with a cool racing history (unlike me) and he was getting all this attention. Inc didn’t help either. Always loving everyone, he was instantly buddies with Winner so I may have felt a little left out.

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Winner and Inc, two peas in a pod!

As the days passed, though, I too began to see how special Winner was. Next thing I knew, he had raced his way into my heart and was there to stay. I mean, what’s not to like? Winner is a super sweet, all-around great pup, who also happens to put up with my crazy antics. Once I realized this, I knew I had to find a way for him to stay. No way was he leaving me and Inc. We were the three amigos now! Woof! Well, turns out my whole family felt the same way because I received the BEST Holiday gift on December 5th. Winner was officially added to the family!

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Winner, me, and Inc – The Three Amigos.

It’s all history from there. Winner hasn’t been in our family very long, but boy do we have fun! We enjoy racing each other in the back yard and Inc and Winner love to stare down squirrels. Sometimes I think those squirrels end up in our tree just to torture those two. Boy, it gets me howling just thinking about it. Anyway, I’m so glad that I was able to bark at you guys again and I hope you enjoyed learning more about my brother, Winner. Till next time!

Always,

Bandit – Woof!

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This Week With The Professor: Weather and Distance

Today, we will answer two questions sent to us by Jeff.

Jeff asked, “Do dramatic changes in weather, particularly bitter cold, affect a dog’s performance?”

I have found that cold weather does not make a difference when attempting to handicap a greyhound’s performance. I trained dogs in Colorado on a couple of occasions and did not see any difference in the performance when running in cold weather. The weather can be a huge factor in rainy weather, however. Many times the rail can be puddled up because the bank of the track can cause the water to drain to the rail. As in thoroughbred racing, some greyhounds do not react well to running in mud and some do not mind. The only way to find that out is to go back and find their form on a wet track. Speed usually does better in the mud, as they do not get mud in their faces or body. The general accepted rule of thumb is to give the wide running, larger, speed dogs an advantage on a muddy track.

Jeff then asked, “What things do you consider when handicapping a race with runners coming off of longer/shorter distances in their most recent competition?”

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There are a few things to consider here. If a greyhound is running a distance race after sprinting, there are two things to keep in mind. If it is the first ever try at the middle distance from sprinting (and no schooling race), I would be very hesitant to play that greyhound. The dog is used to a certain look and can become confused and get into trouble by hesitating, if only slightly. On the other hand, if the dog has been sprinting and is returning to the middle distance, that would be a plus for me as the dog is well rested and should break sharply and run their best race.

If a dog is going to sprints from middle distance, you can expect that the dog will not show as much early speed as they did in distance because they are used to running longer, and they are now running against dogs that are faster early. My theory was to always use these type of dogs on the bottom of the ticket and not key them, as I usually like to key dogs who are going to be on or near the lead. One caveat would be a top sprinter who tried the longer races a few times and is now returning to their favorite distance. This could be a positive, as the hound may have a little more bottom than he would have had in the past.

Thank you for the questions, Jeff! I hope this helps.

Do you have a question for The Professor? Leave a comment below and you could receive a $2 wagering credit to your Greyhound Channel account if your question is featured! Tune into our podcast, Catch the Action with Greyhound Channel, for news and more greyt tips from The Professor.