Feature article part 2 of 2

Racing Greyhound Magazine part 2
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Feature article part 2 of 2

Volume 8, number 2 February 1995

Meet Marcel, last month we met professional handicapper Marcel, this month learn about his handicapping lessons.


"Tommy, for only one year's experience, you are excellent, not many people with even five years' experience know the game as good as you,"

"Well, thanks Marcel. I've been doing good. At least before I came to Daytona."

"Don't worry, you will do much better from now on." "Do you think that speed will make that much of a difference?"

"Yes, but it's more than that. Please tell your readers not to expect overnight success from these simple steps. I've got almost 25 years of racing experience. But yes, I can safely say that with speed, your readers will win more races."

You know, I made $160,000 in the last three months. And that includes 3 Twin-Tri's and 3 Tri-supers. Do you know how hard it is to hit a Twin-Tri or a Tri-Super just once in your life, much less 6 times in just the last 3 months?

In order for you to be successful, you must be totally selective about which race you choose to put your money into and which race you decide to leave for the Saturday night house number crowd to bet on instead? Do you see?" "Yes!"

Tears almost came to my eyes. A thousand bucks blown on races. But man, was it worth it. I know that if Marcel would have just told me this in a lecture, I would have missed the point and continued to lose forever. It took my own green cash to see it turn into worthless tickets-in order to understand that I had played numerous races in my own quest for self- esteem these past four days. And it took this honest man, with tons of patience, to help show me that I must never forget the lesson.

And that you, and only you, must decide if the race has a distinct advantage for you. And this is something that neither the crowd, nor your buddy, nor the tote board or tip sheet can do for you. "Does the dog have speed to get out ahead of the pack, ahead of the spills and bumps of the slower dogs behind him so that, once ahead, he can beat any and all closers to the wire?" This is the only question that counts.

"Marcel, thanks for teaching me this lesson."

"It was my pleasure."

Marcel had given me years of insight in just four days. At 12:45 the next afternoon, I made my last Daytona show, the Monday matinee. In the first race, with a last-minute hunch, I played the 1-3-7 with the 2 with 1-3-4-7-8 and the 2 with 1-3-7- with 1-3-4-7-8 and the 5 (the favorite) got bumped because of a slow break from the box, I won the trifecta for $388.80.Having learned my lesson, I then watched the rest of the races as now, with almost half of my losses back, it was a good place in this story to quit racing and go home.

As Marcel and I said good-bye, I promised to stay out of the cage forever. When I got back to Milwaukee, I noticed that Agent Geno was still winning at Dairyland. And then, as I looked over the form for speed, and I noticed that a new shipper had just arrived, a dog from Daytona, so I called Marcel.

"Marcel, guess what? We've got a shipper from Daytona. He went to Palm Beach for one race and now he's here. He looks to have speed in a field of trucks in the eighth tonight-our super."

"What's the dog's name? I'll tell you if he's any good."

"His name is Prototype..."

"Prototype Drive! He's a rocket. He'll win by six!"

"Then I'll play him $210 All/All/All."

"No, don't do that. Who else do you like?"

"Well, the 4 and 7."

"Then go Prototype with 4-7, All, All and Prototype with All with 4-7 with All for $120. Then throw both of those out and key Prototype with the other five remaining dogs for $60. If the 4 and 7 come in second and third, either way, then you will win the $2 price instead of the $1, do you understand? Good, then good luck."

So that night I patiently waited through seven too-hard-to-call races and then in the eighth... I went to the window and plunked down the cash to structure the wager just as Marcel had advised me to do. And then, because the pool was there, $10,000 deep and counting, and it is my job to do as much with it as I can, I also played seven $6 keys with Prototype Drive on top, plus $50 to show and the quiniela too!

It was a minute before post and suddenly I got cold feet. "Oh my, $320 on one race-quinielas, supers, even a $50 show ticket. What if Marcel is wrong? I hate to watch this. What if I'm a loser again? Not now! Not in this race, with his speed dog from Daytona!" Scared to the bone, I hurried out the exit. The security man gave me a weird look. "Can't stand to watch this race," I said with a weird look on my own.

Thank God you can't hear the announcer outside Dairyland, because I wanted no part of this race. "What a handicapper! Chicken liver, gut-sucking juke I am." But as the cool breeze from the Wisconsin spring night crossed my face I began to settle down. " Well, who else in that race has speed enough to catch him? No one. And do you think that at least one of the other two greyhounds, the 4 or the 7, should at least come in second or third? Yup. Then what are you worried about? After all, it's only money."

And I walked back, I heard the announcer say, "And the results are official. The winner is Prototype Drive." I heard that #6 Mr. Postman had finished second and #4 Little Traveler had come in third. I won the race! And, as I came off of the escalator and looked out at the tote board from the clubhouse, I saw that Prototype Drive had not only won the race, but he helped create an IRS ticket worth $804.40 when the #3 Hardtrack, a 23-1 dogs, came in fourth. I was in heaven. "Thank you, Marcel, Thank you!"

And then I browsed through my tickets for my show bet and saw that on top of my $19.20 quiniela, which I had hit six times, one of my small, $6 keys had also won and now, my friend, instantly my Florida trip was paid for with another $804.40 IRS winning ticket. That's $1,608.80 in just 30.73 seconds!

The following Saturday, Prototype Drive was entered into a 3/16ths stakes race. He was in the #1 box again, but this time all the dogs were fast. But I won with him once, so I played him again, this time with #3 Riviera Dawn, who was the second favorite. Prototype Drive won, but the 3 didn't come in. But then, in my last wheel of 1/all/236/all I saw that the #6 came in third and I hit $684.60 (another IRS signer) as Prototype Drive set a new 1994 3/16ths speed record at Dairyland with a time of 17.91 seconds.

Yes, It's been a great month since I met Marcel-and it's going to be a great forever!

He taught me so much, (even though I didn't take his course) including money management to never cash those big winning tickets right then but to consider them money and not winnings and to collect the money some other time, when you are more cool and rational, as after a big win, we all get cocky, and we try to win again in the next race, which unfortunately is a too-hard-to-call race. And then we start to lose again.


Don't get in the cage. Selectivity, early speed, and STARDOG criteria are your advantages! 


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