This Week With The Professor: Does Size Matter?

Does size matter when handicapping a greyhound race?

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Generally speaking, the size or gender of a greyhound is not a factor in handicapping a race. Unlike thoroughbred racing, the female greyhounds compete on an even footing with the males. There may be times when a smaller greyhound may find their chances compromised by having larger hounds pinning them in or pushing them out, but this is not common enough to be a major factor. It has long been a belief that the top sprinters are generally in the 65-80 pound range and that the top distance greyhounds are smaller.

There is some evidence that in high stakes competition you see females winning top distance races more frequently then sprints, but using it as a major handicapping factor can be tricky. One caveat is that some greyhounds are more nervous before the races and can lose considerable weight in the “lock out” kennels where the greyhounds are kept before racing. Sometimes, these hounds have a designation of WL (weight loser) after their name. These greyhounds will generally peform better in earlier races on the program, so keep an eye out for that.

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