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Feature article part 1 of 2

Racing Greyhound Magazine part 1
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Feature articles part 1 of 2

Volume 8, number 1 January 1995

Meet Marcel, the man who plays the dogs for a living.

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When I opened this magazine, I saw his ad. It stopped my eye. I had to call. And this is how I met Marcel, one of the best handicappers in the world. We clicked right away on people, dogs and systems. Marcel assured me that he was one of the best, and in April I went to Daytona Beach to find out for myself.


As Marcel began to seriously play the horses, two important rules evolved, "First, you must be selective in which race to wager or you will go broke. Second, the wager must be right. It makes no sense to pick the winner then miss the bet."


With 23 years of experience at the time, Marcel is the best. He teaches greyhound racing in a 30-hour, 4 to 5 day training session. The session begins with the client, then covers the program, speed, handicapping, unique betting techniques, files, money management and much more.


With Marcel's friendly approach, you learn without knowing it. Except for the training session (which is recorded), Marcel doesn't lecture. What captures your attention is his honesty.


Upon arriving at the track, lots of people said hello to Marcel. We went to our reserved seats right by the wire. As the races began, I found out it was a hard card. I couldn't hit a thing. I felt like a rookie starting his first pro game....

What a record, 0 for 4. So then in the fifth I decided to change from 3/78/all to 3/1/all, and wouldn't you know it, the results were 3-8-6. Marcel smiled,"Didn't you catch this?" Yikes! I had changed my bet and lost while Marcel won....

Marcel just laughed and continued to wait for his play. Then in the seventh Marcel started to yell,"Go 6!" Afterwards, I noticed my quiniela was worth $32.20. "Marcel, I won!" Marcel smiled. He won too. But instead it was the trifecta. Marcel won $695.20 on a $1 ticket. I was losing my shirt while he was winning.


With a handle of $75,518.00, Marcel caught over one percent of it with a total of $807.70 won ($112.50 + $695.20 = $807.70).

"I'll pick you up same time tomorrow night," Marcel said with that confident smile. "I'm glad you finally hit a couple of quinielas." Back in the room, I shook my head, "$373 gone- while Marcel is up $807. Another four days like this and I'll be broke!"


Marcel's method is selective. "If you only have enough money for one race, which race will you choose?" Before meeting Marcel I would try to win each race. However, Marcel had taken some time to show me that speed rules. "If the dog is first or second by the 1/8th pole, then there is no way that he can get bumped by the slower dogs behind him."


Marcel's best play is a young dog that breaks quickly with faster times each outing, such that his fastest time has yet to be recorded. I put this one aspect of Marcel's method to work and the races did seem easier to visualize.


We took our seats and things got off wildly. As Marcel watched the "red star" in the post parade, his eyes became determined and he left for the automated teller. Meanwhile, I made friends with Mr. Price Honadle, an excellent, human teller, instead. While Marcel was working his wager, I played #4 Rosie's Sweater for show, place, quiniela, perfecta and one tri key. Rosie's Sweater won! The trifecta paid $36.70 and Marcel had it 10 times for $367.00. Plus, in that race there was also a superfecta, which I stayed out of, but Marcel wagered it and he won $599.20 from this pool- just 80 cents under an IRS "signer."

I was happy- I had pulled some capital back- and Marcel was grinning from ear to ear. "This is easy, isn't it?" I was starting to catch on. But again, a little knowledge can be dangerous. For as I seemed to win on some tickets, I was losing on others.


What's interesting is that Marcel doesn't say "Here, play the 6," nor does he structure the wager for you. Of course, I was too proud to ask for help-especially on how to lose, as by the eighth, even with some quinielas and a tri win in the sixth, I was nowhere near even. Between races I began to ask questions. Slowly I began to feel what Marcel is living- that he has a distinct advantage over the crowd. And that bypassing on junk races and house number betting he was getting ahead.

"Tommy, you must visualize the race. No, there isn't any short cut to this other than being selective with races, playing speed and betting at an expert level in order to get multiple tri and super wins."


Later, in the 14th, Marcel invested just $9 and hit the tri for $138.70. His total for the night was $1,104.90 minus a $300 budget for a net profit of $804.90. In two days he had grossed over $1,912 costing $400, for a net profit of $1,512. And I still had three full days with him. My damage? I cashed $320.60 that cost $74, leaving $246.60 in winnings. But I also had $489 worth of losers, so I was actually down $243. In just two days I had lost over $700. With air fare and motel I was out $1,300!


Up came Marcel's other stardog race. I let Marcel play the tri, and I concentrated on the quiniela and perfecta, as maybe the pool wasn't deep enough for both of us to hammer on. Besides, I didn't want to change his win payout by betting it down, too. However, at the last minute I played a $20 tri key on the 7 dog also. She jumped out. Because she had never raced at Daytona, the odds on her were 4-5. Not a lot, but since the rest were slow closer, 1-9 would have been a lock. Of course I hit the perfecta and quiniela several times, but lo and behold, the trifecta paid $53.00 on a $1 ticket, and Marcel had it 10 times.


Daytona's ninth- Marcel hit the tri with a pick for $174.20. It was the fourth dog in the super that no one would have guessed that blew the man's chance to win the huge pool. In the 14th both Marcel and I hit for $178.90. By the end of the performance Marcel had won $530.00, $174.20 & $178.90 for a total of $883.10 minus $272 to leave a tidy profit of $611.10.


Marcel played $30 on a race and won $180, while I was betting races from three different parks, and I was losing! Soon I realized that speed from just the form was not enough. I was going under again. In the very next race Marcel calmly played his "red-star" dog and, sure enough, he hit the $40.50 tri 20 times for $810.00.

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