Greyhound Handicapping With Advice From Einstein
Albert Einstein once said, "Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler." The great man knew what he was talking about when he said that. I think about that quote when I talk to my friend, Freddie, aka Fast Freddie. He got the nickname because he does everything fast. Patience and thoroughness aren't his longsuits, that's for sure.
Freddie and I often play the same tracks and compare notes via text. He's always asking me what I like, but when I tell him and start to tell him why, he cuts me off. He doesn't want to know why. He wants to know who and says that - if Eb knows why - that's good enough for him. The other day, we both played Tri State and talked about the races. We had gotten to the fourth, where I liked the 8-JA's Redsox Fan.
"Ah," Fred said, "You like her because of her name and the Sox are playing tonight, right?"
"No, Fred," I told him, "I like her because she made an early move last time out and she had good FTT's in C. She also won in D by 5 and a half lengths."
Fred was quiet for a few clicks and then shot me a text asking how I knew all that and what does FTT mean?
"FTT is First To Turn time. It's in the program, Fred," I told him. Don't you have the program in front of you?"
He said he had downloaded it and was looking at it online, but he didn't read all the numbers on the page, because he just gets confused if there's too much information in his head. Personally, I think Fred could use MORE not LESS information in his noggin, but that's just my opinion.
"FTT is to the left of the time of the race," I went on, "And at Tri State, it really does make a difference. It's maybe more important than final time even. I look at the dogs that have consistently faster First To Turn Times there and I often get a nice priced winner that gets to the turn first and runs away with the race. I like the 2-Kaymar Boom and 3-Scarlet Oconner for the same reason and because the 3 won by 5 lengths in its last race. That can inspire it to win next time out. So I'm playing them in a quiniela box with the 8."
Fred was silent until after the race was over, but he wasn't idle. He played what I had told him I liked and we both were happy when the winner 8-JA's Redsox Fan won and paid $8.20 and the 3-Scarlet Oconner came in second for a quiniela that paid $37.80.
Before the next race, I advised Fred via text that he should start paying attention to things like First To Turn at Tri State and Daytona Beach, where they're printed in the program. I also advised him to look at CSR's at Southland and Wheeling.
"You lost me there, Eb," he answered. "What's a CSR when it's at home?"
"It stands for Consolidated Speed Rating," I told my clueless friend. "It takes track bias and other things into account and gives the dogs a speed rating for each of their races and an average overall speed rating. It's a good way to rank the dogs by class within their grade."
"You're speaking gibberish, Eb," Fred said with a "tone" to his text. "Class within their grade. What the heck does that mean? They're all in the same grade. It says so at the top of the page. It's a Grade D."
Call me a glutton for punishment, but I texted Fred an explanation of how, even though all the dogs are in a Grade D race, some of them are classier than others, because they've been running at higher speed ratings in races where they had to compete at a higher level, which is why some dogs have higher CSR's than others. I told him that I don't just play the dogs with the highest CSR or the highest CSR in its last race, but I DO look at the CSR's for each dog and use them as a handicapping factor.
"It's an extra piece of handicapping information that Wheeling and Southland give you that the other tracks don't," I texted. "Ditto for the FTT at Tri State and Daytona. It's just another way of ranking the dogs."
"Well," Fred said, "I rank them too, but I don't have to use all that crap you use. I have my own system and it's a lot simpler than yours."
I knew I shouldn't ask, but I couldn't help myself.
"And what IS this simple system that you use, Fred, since you don't use half the information on the program? What information DO you use to pick dogs?"
"Simple," Fred replied, "I just ask you and three other people I know that can pick dogs what they like. Then I play the dogs they agree on. Works for me. And I hardly have to look at the program. Saves a lot of time. You know me, I hate to spend too much time on anything if I can get away with spending less time."
I may be a little slow on the uptake, but I get there eventually. Next time Fred asks me what I like at Tri State, I'm going to tell him that I like the dog with the lowest average FTT in its last 3 races in a quiniela box with the two that have the next two lowest average FTT's in their last 3 races. By the time he figures out which dogs they are, I figure the race will be over and I'll be looking at a higher balance in my ADW and Fred will be looking for a new sucker to get his free picks from.
Don't be a Fast Freddie. Be a Thorough Thomas and go over the program, getting every piece of information that can help you pick winners. Tip sheets and friends who can handicap are all well and good. But nothing beats being able to sift information and come up with winners, yourself.