Gordon's Dog Blog

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How to Categorize a Race to Improve Your Wagering

Recently we've been talking about how important it is to look at wagering strategies instead of handicapping strategies. The general idea here is that you make your money at the greyhound races by out-thinking the patrons rather than by trying to out-think the greyhounds! I've had a couple of people ask me about categorizing races, so I thought we could take that up in this edition of the Dog Blog.

The point in categorizing races is to find races where you can exploit problems with how the crowd wagers. You need to find inefficiencies. One of the biggest concepts is that most people handicap every race in the same way, and then they bet on each race in generally the same way. Note that I said "most people" and not "all people." But "most" is all you need!

One of the most effective tests I've found for categorizing races is to use the difference in average time between the fastest dog in the race, and the second-fastest dog. If you are working from the track's daily program pages, then just average each dog's time, and take the difference between the top two numbers. You'll get a spread like .051 seconds, or .029 seconds, or .149 seconds. The bigger this number, the better advantage the fastest dog has.

If you want to save yourself a huge amount of time, you can get these numbers easily using either the "average running time" column or the "variant adjusted times" column from our Stat Attack product. Just find the dogs ranked "1" and "2" in each race, and subtract 2 from 1. Easy as pie. I call this difference the "spread" here, as it is a measure of the spread of talent between the fastest greyhound and the rest of the field.

After you have the spread between the two fastest dogs, you still have to categorize the races. I do this by breaking the races into three roughly equal sets based on that spread. If the spread is less than or equal to .043 seconds, I categorize the race as type 1. If the spread is greater than that, but less than or equal to .119 seconds, I categorize those as type 2. And if the spread is greater than .119 seconds, those are type 3 races. These numbers are for 5/16ths races.

If you do your normal handicapping on the races, and then separate the races into types 1, 2, and 3, you'll see a radical change in your results between the groups. Not only will your winning percentage be different in each group, your ROI will also be different. And that's the trick. You want to find segments like this where you can exploit crowd weaknesses.

This division of races can lead to some startling numbers. For a quick demonstration, here are the raw winning percentage for these categorized race types at several popular tracks:

Mardi Gras
Type 1 races: fastest dog wins 19.54%
Type 2 races: fastest dog wins 22.59%
Type 3 races: fastest dog wins 32.90%

Derby Lane
Type 1 races: fastest dog wins 21.14%
Type 2 races: fastest dog wins 21.86%
Type 3 races: fastest dog wins 28.07%

Type 1 races: fastest dog wins 18.85%
Type 2 races: fastest dog wins 21.29%
Type 3 races: fastest dog wins 29.24%

Palm Beach
Type 1 races: fastest dog wins 19.17%
Type 2 races: fastest dog wins 21.09%
Type 3 races: fastest dog wins 29.28%

Orange Park
Type 1 races: fastest dog wins 19.01%
Type 2 races: fastest dog wins 23.44%
Type 3 races: fastest dog wins 34.79%

Wheeling Island
Type 1 races: fastest dog wins 18.70%
Type 2 races: fastest dog wins 19.76%
Type 3 races: fastest dog wins 29.10%

Type 1 races: fastest dog wins 20.48%
Type 2 races: fastest dog wins 22.45%
Type 3 races: fastest dog wins 33.56%

Aren't those numbers just amazing? By looking at the simplest little statistic--time spread--you can isolate a third of all races, and know that the fastest dog is going to win FAR more often than in the other two thirds of the races.

Then remember what I said about the crowd at the top of this Blog. The crowd tends to handicap and play every race the same. But all races ARE NOT the same! The simple process above shows just how NOT the same the races can be!

And best of all, if you study your results in each third, you'll find huge differences in your ROI as well. And that, of course, is the way to find profits. Take the time to check out the wagering ROI numbers for your own handicapping like this, and I'm sure it will pay big dividends for you. The crowd doesn't know or understand the concepts like this easy trick, and having knowledge not shared by the crowd is your advantage over them.

Happy hunting!

Gordon Waite

I worked at Gulf for two

I worked at Gulf for two years teach handicapping and my conclusion on speed was that they are all fast and the fastest do win most of the time. But are they going to get a chance to run all out? The answer to that can only be found in how you look at the set up of each race. The fastest dog may break slow on average and be an outside runner but in this race he will start in the one box and two other dogs from three and four box go to the rail. Using Stat Attack points this sort of information out for you.

Using Gordon's formula will pick out the speed dogs, then it is up to you to decide if that dog is going to have a path to run in. I love to find a speed dog that has several bad races because of problems, but in this race the door is wide open. He usually goes off at double digit odds and the pay off can send you to the tax window

categorizing a race

Appreciate your commentary. I have used first -> worst, & first -> median, and never considered first -> 2nd. A part-time lay person cannot develop a data base due to time constraints. Access to yours is a considerable time saver. Thanks again.

post bias, per grade,dogs win percentage from that box as well

i found that the most important factor no matter what,a breaker with speed&variant and post bias clean runner is a wonderful key dog especially if the sire and or kennel have strength.but if the dog is not winning 60% of the time from the box.he now does not qaulify for being a key dog. in most situations
i love this set up the dog above # 5 inside runner with advantage over 3,4 all most all the time the better of the outside do follow then depending on variant adj speed and box percentage again in alignment with post bias you will find strong 2nd third finishers you then factor in your three best breakers in third with one of them that outside dog you chose.

5/68/1268/all the best way to play a super in this example 56/568/12568/all 40buks

but the box win percentage especially inline with post bias per grade or this type dog is along a speedster look out this 20-30-1 will be firts second or third

the best wagering system i know is off shore show betting you then dont affect the pools and and make good money thoe it takes patients you can score 40-60 k a year depending on the units your betting.

lastly yesterday at palm race 15 dog,whats next in post 1. prince picks(which must be repected )has the race 1378 no da the 1 is your key by looking at stat attack 3.7 one of them should be there 2nd the moral of the story here is that beter play was a 10 tri. 1/37//all for a return 350.00 with an investmet of 120 profit more then the super paid 75.00 on dollar so when you see super dogs like these you can still make money it would of mast most sense to 1-3-all if you look a stat attack but its much safer to mix inside and outside dogs in your wager with all in third you will win more frequent and have edge on the crowd.