BEFORE THE RACE
A typical routine for a dog (and his trainers) on his scheduled race day will start with the first turnout, after which he's weighed and thoroughly checked over: nails, ears, checked for sore muscles, etc. Some trainers like to rub the dog down at this point with a liniment like Trainer's Choice, similar to Flexall that human athletes use. Then comes the morning meal, more lounging and turnouts.
About an hour and a half before the first post time they are taken to the paddock and given a tag, showing the race and their number, before weighing in. The weigh-in is overseen by a veterinarian (state or track employed), a judge and other officials. If the dog is not within the correct range of his set weight he will be scratched for the day. The vet will also be observing as the dogs are taken from the holding crates for a race and if any dog appears injured or sick he is scratched. They also are watching for fleas and ticks and if they find them all the kennels will be notified so they can be on the lookout for those problems.
The veterinarian assigned to the track is kept quite busy on race days. Along with supervising the weigh-in, he or she walks the track prior to the races to make sure the surface is safe, observes each dog leaving the track after a race and will look at any dog the trainers want checked. A kennel can't afford to have sick or injured dogs. The greyhounds is taken by the leadout from the trainer (or helper).
Following the weigh-in, the leadout (an employee of the track that is responsible for handling the greyhound before and after it races) will place the greyhound in the ginny pit, an area designated for greyhounds that are ready to race. Usually, this is an area of kennels that are isolated from the public.
The greyhounds will be collected by the leadouts to line up at the paddock and have their tattoos checked by an official and have their racing blankets fitted. This is the area that the public can view the runners for the next race. The leadouts will put the blankets on the dogs as well as the racing muzzles.
Then the greyhounds are lead out onto the track to the starting boxes. One by one, the greyhounds are placed into the boxes until it is post time. When the boxes open, the hounds bolt from the start and bound around the track to try and win their race. The white plastic on the racing muzzles aide in the photo finishes as they are easier to view and have a definite 'point'.