How to Read a Greyhound Program

By John Lindell

Many people would like to try their hand at handicapping greyhound races, but they find deciphering a greyhound program too daunting. However, if you know what you are looking at, you can quickly come up with the key info you need to make a well-educated wager. This article will walk you through some of the harder aspects of reading a greyhound program.

How To Read A Greyhound Program

There are eight greyhounds in a race, each corresponding to a section of the program that lists their racing information one through eight. There will be large numbers on the left side of the program that show which dog is coming out of what hole in the starting box. The greyhound's name will be in bold letters to the right of that number.

Under the greyhound's name you will find data that tells you what color it is, its gender, its birthday, and finally its parents and who owns it. For instance, a brindle and white colored female born on April 18th, 2006 sired by A Bar Tahoe with Aberfan as a mother and owned by James Allen will have the following listed below its name: W.BD. F, 04/18/06. A Bar Tahoe-Aberfan<James Allen>. This allows you to quickly calculate the dog's age, which for a handicapper is the most important part of this information.

To the right of the dog's name you will find two capital letters with a number below it. The letter indicates the high and low grade the greyhound has been in while at the track, the number is a time in seconds: the fastest time this particular dog has run over the distance the race is at. This is a valuable tool when trying to figure out which dog is purely the fastest among the eight in the race and if it has had success in the past moving up in grade.

The large two digit number in the middle top of the program is the greyhound's set weight. This is vital for those who feel that some dogs run better at a certain poundage. A greyhound must be within a couple pounds of its set weight either way when weighed in prior to the races. If it too light or too heavy, it will be not allowed to run. This protects the public from any hanky-panky, where a dog could theoretically run one race at 61 pounds and then be fed heavily so that it won't perform as well.

The actual racing line contains all the statistics from a dog's effort in a race. Consider the following:08/13A6 HI 550 F 31.15 61.This shows that the dog ran on August 13th. The A means it was in the afternoon or matinee performance that day as opposed to an E which shows it ran at night. The 6 indicates the dog ran in that card's sixth race. HI is the abbreviation for Hinsdale greyhound Park, the track at which it ran. 550 is the distance in yards the race was contested at while F means it was a fast track as opposed to an M which shows it was muddy. The 31.15 is the winning time of that particular race and the 61 is what this dog weighed for that event in pounds.

The next set of figures is what confuses most people but are actually quite simple to understand once you know what they mean. An example you might find is this: 2 3 4 2 12. This shows that in this race the dog broke from the two box. It came out of the box third out of the eight greyhounds and went to the first turn call in fourth place. At the stretch call it was now second and when the finish line was crossed it was in first by two lengths over the second place finisher. This set of numbers will always be followed by the greyhound's actual time of the race and a dollar figure which indicates what the dog was paying on the dollar when the race went off. A capital letter corresponding to the grade of the race is followed by a brief comment describing the dog's effort.The first three dogs over the line finishes the greyhound program's information for that race.

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