Greyhound tracks have to compete with a lot of summer time activities. People are out enjoying the nicer weather. They can go to the beach, picnic or take in a movie without contending with icy roads or cold weather.
So, to get them to go to the track, many venues offer rewards or special promotions. Some of these may include prizes as big as new cars or as small as free sodas, cheap beer and food. All of it is designed by their publicity people to get more people to come to the track.
Sometimes, someone gets the bright idea that music will get people into the track. Why this is, I’ve never been able to figure out. If I want to listen to music, I turn on the radio or put my MP3 player’s earbuds in. If I want to handicap dogs, I sit down where it’s quiet and go over my program.
But someone, somewhere, came up with the idea that dog racing fans will show up in bigger numbers if you offer them a more “carnival-like” atmosphere. That’s why you’ll find booths and umbrellas with radio dj’s broadcasting live and NASCAR drivers signing autographs in the clubhouse.
This is all well and good, but if you’re smart, you’ll ignore it and get as far away from it as you can. This is all designed to attract people who don’t usually go to the track. It’s not of any use to the serious handicapper, who is at the track to make money.
When the carnival comes to the dog track, the best thing you can do is remember to keep your eye on the center ring, where you can make money by picking the winner out of 8 dogs. Ignore the sideshows and glitter and focus on why you’re there – to make money.