Today, The Professor will answer a question submitted by Greyhound Channel customer Jason M. Jason asked, “Why do dogs have a schooling race instead of a regular race as part of their normal racing schedule and how much should you take away from it when handicapping him the next time out?”
There are multiple reasons for greyhounds to be schooled. Some are voluntary (trainer or owner choice) and some are required schooling. First, the involuntary reasons. There are rules, which are different at each track, that are in place to protect the wagering public that require the dog to school satisfactorily before they may race again in an offical race. The trainer will receive a “ticket” from the judges, which requires the greyhound to run in a schooling race. A “ticket” may be received for several reasons. One would be if the greyhound interferes with another dog in a race. This usually requires two satisfactory schooling races to be eligible to race again. Another reason for a “ticket” would be if the greyhound runs a number of races without at least a fourth place finish (usually six races). In that case one satisfactory performance will allow the dog to go back to racing. One universal rule that requires a greyhound to school is if they have not raced for 10 days. In that case, one satisfactory schooling race is required.
Now for voluntary official schooling. A trainer may officially school a greyhound if they think the dog is discouraged from losing and could use lesser competition to get their confidence back. Another reason is if the greyhound is close to “grading off,” or being disqualified from racing (usually four times worse than fourth in four starts in the bottom grade), and they want to ensure that the greyhound is sharp before racing officially.
Thank you for the greyt question, Jason!
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