View Full Version : Cary Fotias:Blinkers Off?

01-08-2011, 10:45 AM
I have a gift certificate to spend and waqs wondering if i could get some feedback on this book?Is it worth buying or is it basically old stuff in a different package?

01-08-2011, 11:03 AM

01-08-2011, 11:05 AM
Good book.
If you use pace figures with your speed figs, it has some good stuff you probably have not seen before - pace tops, plunge lines, etc.

01-08-2011, 02:03 PM
I thought that even though the book was probably written to sell his figures, there was lots of good stuff in there if you use pace in your handicapping.

01-08-2011, 03:38 PM
I found the content thin, self-promoting, and poorly put forth.

01-08-2011, 09:34 PM
It is definitely self-promoting, in fact he says his methods only work with his figures. Of course that's fine if you'd like to buy his figures -- they are quite good.

Nevertheless, there is some good stuff in there that will get you thinking and I certainly made some discoveries. If you are a "I'll buy any handicapping book looking for a single nugget" kind of guy, then I don't think you'll feel cheated. If the fact that it is also a big commercial is going to bother you, don't get it...

01-08-2011, 10:52 PM
This book is revolutionary -- not according to just me, but to Mark Cramer, too.

I have made many nice scores on two speed/pace figure angles of Fotias'. He calls them "New Pace Top" and "Turf Decline Line".

In the interest of full disclosure, I am friends with Cary Fotias, so I may be biased. Although, I wouldn't recommend his product if it didn't work. But don't just take my word, listen to what three of the most respected handicappers from the United States have to say about the book.

From James Quinn:

The formulas that produce The Xtras are proprietary. The information is not available for public consumption and handicappers cannot learn how to construct The Xtras by inhaling Blinkers Off. Instead, the information is distributed through Equiform - a dotcom company that has published Blinkers Off and for which Fotias has been founder and president. A new and important author and book that can enhance handicapping proficiency is always cause for celebration. This one is cause for jubilation.

From Barry Meadows:

And though much of the book reads like an extended commercial, there is enough solid handicapping advice to make the book worthwhile even if you never buy a single one of his sheets.

The author goes on in a thoroughly professional and insightful manner to
discuss such topics as biases, jockeys, trainers, post positions, and form cycles.

Under all circumstances, Fotias recommends not playing the horse who just
ran a big final number but, instead, to go to the bigger odds horse who is likely to move forward. Certainly, nothing wrong with that advice.

From Mark Cramer:

Would you pay for a book whose intention is to plug a product? Can
the guy who sells the Equiform service approach the general subject of
horse race handicapping in a way that will benefit the reader who does
not decide to subscribe to his service?

Author Cary Fotias has two things going for him. His analysis of the
skill of handicapping in the 21st century is perceptive and on a cutting
edge. And his writing style is pleasant, often entertaining, and
consistently literate. Yes, the book is a tool for selling his service, with
the potential consumer apparently “paying” for the advertisement.
However, it happens to be a fine book, well worth reading. Let’s say I
buy the book simply for the knowledge it contains. The way Fotias
explains his concepts and how he devised them, I could conceivably
read through and then reconstruct the Equiform formula, not exactly
the way he offers it, but in a way in which I could put it into practice
without buying his service. For this reason, Blinkers Off can stand on
its own.

But above all, this book is worthy for its analysis of form cycles. For
example, his concept of the “new pace top” is exciting stuff. We’ve
written before that a horse that shows newfound early speed is
exhibiting signs of development, but Fotias has quantified the
assertion. In the pattern of a “new pace top (four furlong velocity)
accompanied by a final number that was not a significant top,
“approximately 70% of the time the horse will make a nice forward
move” in the next race.

I noticed that Steve Terelak “was a trusted guide” in this book project. Steve is a true pro, and this tells us Fotias was in good company.

01-08-2011, 11:16 PM
I do not use his figs, but the ideas have worked well with CJ numbers and with HTR pac/per numbers.

01-09-2011, 04:32 AM
I loved the book - a great read.
Self promoting? Yes.
Will it help you even if you don't buy the Xtras or Shorts? Yes.
A good addition to any handicapper's library? YES.

I've moved on to other software in the years since I first read this book. But prior to that, I spent several years using the Equiform numbers, and they were fantastic. The book is based around their numbers, but it is not necessary to use the Equiform numbers to pick up on most of the concepts presented in the book. They can be adapted to whatever numbers you use.

I remember way-back-when, I was actually able to reverse-engineer the Xtras - Fotias never reveals how they are calculated - it took me almost two years, but I was able to produce my own version that was basically in line with what they were doing. I don't think I could have done it without the book. There's some good stuff in there, and I would highly recommend it, no matter what numbers you use.

Actuallly, even if you don't use any numbers at all, or have moved on to other things, I would still recommend the book as a nice read and a good addition to a pace handicapper's library. It is just well written in general.

01-09-2011, 05:44 AM
It is just well written in general.

I agree 100%. It is one of the most well-written handicapping books ever. Fotias has a very nice style. He gives very clear and concise examples.

It's very well edited. I couldn't find a single typo in the whole book.

01-09-2011, 08:39 AM
thanks to all the reviewers who responded good and bad.very insightful....i love handicapping books and am going to buy it ...thanks