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View Full Version : Any place we can find HONEST reviews of handicapping methods, techniques, & systems?


CappinForGold
06-07-2011, 07:23 PM
Hello. Never really used one of these boards before, so heck...I'd appreciate any insight or source on using forums, too. But was just wondering if anyone knows of ANY newsletter, site, or forum where there are honest detailed reviews regularly done of horse racing handicapping methods and systems, whether in book or software format. I am familiar with Phillips Racing Newsletter, but know of no other sources. I saw one decent-looking site in the UK for UK racing, however it only turned out to be a guy who looks at very few systems and only markets affiliate crap via email. Any worthwhile input would be appreciated. For those that enjoy replying to such inquiries with sarcasm or technical criticism, well...please just refrain.

I will add that, in spite of the flaws and problems with Phillips Racing Newsletter, I would still be interested in acquiring past editions of these; primarily to input any worthwhile information into a database of systems and methods I've started. Not sure if I can post my email address here for such an inquiry or not, so I'll refrain from that now. I won't pay much for these and might prefer to work out some form of trade, and that is simply because of the various phases that newsletter has gone through as is evident in the very worthwhile posts around THIS forum. Though I enter their "ratings" in my database, I do not put much stock in them as a true method or system rating tool. However, I sometimes find some worthwhile tidbit to put in my summaries section.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post, and kudos to those who individuals who take the time and energy to keep a forum like this decent, informative, and honest.

CappinForGold
06-07-2011, 07:55 PM
I guess I'll reply to my own thread. (Not sure if I have to add a title to my reply, but I'll find out! Yeah, THAT new at these forums.) For those like me interested in adding to their arsenal of handicapping information, and are looking for honest reviews of handicapping books, I did find some good reviews on the Chalk Eating Weasel site. By good, I mean honest evaluations. What are now known as the "tuttle books", making fantastic claims on Amazon and other sites to draw people like me in, are a good example of why honest reviews are necessary.

However, he alluded to a problem I have myself in one of his reviews of a Tuttle book (which, by the way, is not the author's real name...a huge red flag), and which I know explains my desire to have a more complete database of these systems!

"I buy these books because I can't help myself. Use my addiction to your benefit and stay as far away from this book." Though his reviews are limited, they are honest and in depth. So if anyone knows of similar sites that honestly evaluate some of these "handicapping" books or systems, fantastic claims or not, please post that info here for others as well as me.

Robert Goren
06-07-2011, 08:17 PM
While I wasn't addicted to online poker, but I did become addicted to books about poker for a while. I bought a lot of them for a while.
There aren't a ton of new handicapping books out there. What few there are out there are nothing new. The last good idea was probably in some book written in the 80s or early 90s. Everything since then is a rehash or a slightly different spin. The trend is to buy a program that allows you search a your own data base to find something that works. There are several people who sell them who post here. I have not bought any of them, but several posters who use them swear by them. If you are serious about making big money at this game, it probably the way to go.

CappinForGold
06-07-2011, 09:07 PM
Thanks for the reply, Robert. However, I guess I should clarify that my own database is a database of methods I've purchased, read about, or seen advertised elsewhere. As we all know, many of these are useless or even blatant rip-offs sold by system mills or writers who are no less con artists than the snake oil salesmen of old. I put all the stuff I bought in file crates, and then one day I decided to put all these systems into a database, and after that, started adding systems I'd read about but had not yet purchased. So, essentially, this became a library catalog of sorts. Some would call this a waste of time, but for me it's more worthwhile than spending the time in front of the TV or aimlessly surfing the internet.

I agree with what you said about the trend being a program that searches your own database for worthwhile selections and creating a selection process from that, but it sounds like you are mistaking my own database of systems and methods for what sounds like a database of old past performances, like a large database of brisnet files or the like. Anyway, thanks for the input.

thaskalos
06-07-2011, 09:28 PM
Try trpublishing.com...which is Barry Meadow's website.

There you will find past issues of Barry Meadow's ground-breaking newsletter MEADOW'S RACING MONTHLY...the ONLY racing newsletter with HONEST system and method reviews that I have ever seen or heard of.

njcurveball
06-07-2011, 10:15 PM
Though I enter their "ratings" in my database, I do not put much stock in them as a true method or system rating tool. However, I sometimes find some worthwhile tidbit to put in my summaries section.




There are basically two ways to be profitable in this game. The first is to just be that much better then everyone else. Very few are, though I have seen some players that are wizards with whatever they are using. They can pick the DRF, or the sheets or a computer program and pretty much win with anything.

I would say in a crowd of 10,000 there are maybe a handful of that type. The other 1,500 or so "good" handicappers are battling it out for about 95 profitable spots.

Using the same tools, systems, methods, will put anyone in that scrum. Maybe with simulcasting, the number is closer to 2,500 or 25% of the bettors.

Half or more of that number loses consistently because they are trying to catch winners. "Better a short price then a long face." or "A win is a win" resonate with that crowd. They push the money in at 45-1 or 4-5. And usually they push a lot more in at 4-5.

It is just human nature to want to cash tickets, brag to your friends, and feel good you are a winner. I have seen players in the Sartin group win 6 of 9 and still lose money for the day. But they felt "oh so good", their win percentage was close to 70%. In case you are not familiar with that group, they usually bet 2 horses per race.

Back on topic, any general system is going to lose money in the long run. If you are that good to be in the handful of "the best", you would simply stay quiet and probably never post here. Since I am posting, that means I am not in this group.

I have found that profitability comes from difference. But the difference has to be based in sound fundamentals. HTR has many factors that are a "gold mine" when combined and bet correctly. I am sure it is the same with HSH and Jcapper, among others.

Using the same data as everyone else and looking at in the same way will just put you in the scrum. 3,4, maybe even 5 winners on cards and still not making any money.

I would say along the lines of what you asked the best "general" Newsletter would be the old C&O Reports. Back when Cramer was with Olmstead. There were some good nuggets in those issues and many went anti-mainstream.

The HTR Newsletters are now protected for the last 365 days, but there are many golden nuggets in them as well. Dick Mitchell said that the best way to show a profit was to use factors that are not available to the general public. And that was 30 years ago. Still holds true today!

best of luck,
Jim

CappinForGold
06-07-2011, 10:41 PM
thaskalos...yes, I've seen Barry Meadows' site before, but when I looked at it thought the info was a bit dated and got the impression he was no longer doing the newsletter. But I'll check again. I have a lot of respect for Barry, not only for his knowledge, but also for his forthrightness when it came to disclosing what he uncovered with regards to the Phillips' newsletter.

thaskalos
06-07-2011, 11:02 PM
thaskalos...yes, I've seen Barry Meadows' site before, but when I looked at it thought the info was a bit dated and got the impression he was no longer doing the newsletter. But I'll check again. I have a lot of respect for Barry, not only for his knowledge, but also for his forthrightness when it came to disclosing what he uncovered with regards to the Phillips' newsletter.
Yes...Barry is no longer publishing his newsletter, but I wouldn't say that his information is dated.

After all...most of these systems and methods sold through the mail have been around forever.

CappinForGold
06-07-2011, 11:53 PM
thaskalos...by mentioning the info being a bit "dated" on the Meadows site, I meant that it didn't appear THEN that the site had seen much updating in awhile, not that Meadows' information itself is "dated." Anyway, I don't care how old the information/publication/system is...ANY system out there, or book or computer program is entered in my database. It is not a database of handicapping information, per se, it's rather a database which catalogs a vast library of basically any system or book out there ever published about horse racing/handicapping, at least where betting on them is concerned.

Like I said, I do add the Phillips "rating" when I know it or can find it out, but don't put much stock in their evaluation, since a numerical grade really tells little about the worthiness of any method, and also since I've heard too many bad things about PRN and the reliability (or lack thereof) of these "ratings." If there were another source of a rating or grade for ANY method, I would add that to my database, as well. But even if some method, system or book that goes on the market is evaluated poorly, I try to put some idea of what that method or book is about in the summary section of my database.

So I guess if you can imagine someone somewhere not necessarily looking to beat the game with some system or method, but just putting together a LIBRARY of all those methods and systems over the years, then you'd have a better idea of what I'm doing. However, I'm putting the library CATALOG together for my own purposes first, and yes, the vast, vast majority of these books, programs and methods/systems will never be purchased.

I am a bit of a collector, and am very analytical in nature. And one day, I just started cataloging this information and decided to take it further. Eventually, I hope to pull some useful information from all of this, but part of me wanted to catalog this stuff, too...at least for now.

I think it would be great if there were a sort of national library of handicapping somewhere where all the horseplayers could go and see every book, system or methodology ever created about the game, both good and bad, but such an animal doesn't exist and most likely never will.

My database includes Title, Author, Publisher, Company addresses, Publication Date, Cost, Number of Pages, and a few other things like a PRN rating, if any, and a summary of what the method discusses (or tries or claims to discuss). I just like to have the information handy to get some idea of what is out there now, as well as what WAS out there in the past, both good and bad. And it's kind of humorous to see how some of these "systems" evolved over the years with title changes, author changes, different company names and the like. My own theories about the game and success at it are irrelevant to what goes into this particular database/catalog. It doesn't take much time to keep up or add to now, but I posted here to see if there were any other publications or sites out there that REVIEW these materials and publish their findings. Even if they give no real rating, there's a good chance I can put something in the summary section. I've done that numerous times with what some guys posted here in the Handicapping Library about their findings after purchasing something a lot of us have seen ads or marketing for.

I added the above hopefully to stave off some questions or misdirected replies. It was not really aimed at you particularly. However, since you seem to be familiar with Barry's newsletters, did he offer a "grade" or "rating" in his evaluations? Just curious. Again, I've been adding the PRN rating when I know it or can find it out for anything in my database, but these don't mean a lot to me. If I found a rating or grade anywhere else, I would add that one also, no matter where it was from. I know some system mills now from putting info into this database, but if some of these outfits had their own "rating", I would put that in too. Of course I would not assign any credibility to these ratings, but they would be there in this library catalog of sorts.

While I'm writing such a lengthy reply, it might interest you to know, Robert (Goren), that I usually do most of my "data entry" while playing a tournament in online poker. I do pretty well, too, because I don't waste time playing sub-par opening hands and fold riskier hands so I can finish some of the data entry.

thaskalos
06-08-2011, 12:06 AM
No...Barry Meadow did not provide "grades" for his reviews; he just tested them in order to see if he could substantiate the impressive claims that the system sellers - and Phillips Racing Newsletter - were making about them.

The systems failed the test every single time...and none of them were even remotely profitable in the long run.

BlueShoe
06-08-2011, 05:39 PM
There you will find past issues of Barry Meadow's ground-breaking newsletter MEADOW'S RACING MONTHLY...the ONLY racing newsletter with HONEST system and method reviews that I have ever seen or heard of.
There was one long before BM, but unless you are a real oldtimer, it will only be of historical interest. In the 60's and early 70's the late Louis G. Holloway published a monthly racing newsletter that often reviewed racing systems. In that era mail order racing systems that claimed to produce steady long term profits were common, and usually came with a slick promotional pitch. Old LGH was very hard on the offerings of the system sellers, and his reviews often had the sarcastic comment "the advertising is the best part" when debunking them.

cj
06-08-2011, 07:05 PM
The obvious answer to the original post is here at PA. If anyone has tried something, they will certainly give an opinion, good or bad.

Tom
06-08-2011, 08:28 PM
Search the archives here in the Handicapping section or the Books/software sections. They go back a lot of years and have a lot of information/opinoins/complaints/blather......worth the time. I suggest a nice 6 pack on ice and your comfy slippers - make a night of it!

CappinForGold
06-09-2011, 10:28 AM
The obvious answer to the original post is here at PA. If anyone has tried something, they will certainly give an opinion, good or bad.

Yep, cj, that sure was an OBVIOUS answer, but such reply could be directed to my first paragraph in the request at the head of this post, last sentence. Guess that's why you have thousands of posts to your credit, but when people do this it just makes more information to wade through without really adding more value to the post. How many times have we witnessed this here? I'm sorry if this was sincere, but it just doesn't look like that and I've seen such comments countless times and some make the matters worse (not yours, in this case) by then taking the forum topic into a whole new direction or even completely off course.

To Tom, I've done that of sorts, but not sure if I've been "searching the archives." By that do you mean there is an archive on this forum I'd have to go to to do such a search, or can I just search under the search function, and the archives will come up with all the other findings? Occasionally I run into a book I enter into the database, but didn't find anything, and performed a google search, and some of these led me to PA, which is how I ended up here in the first place. And, yes, some of this information made it into my comments when it was worthwhile or offered some insight into the "method."

BlueShoe...that was good info for me. The name rang a bell, and I looked in my database and he came up under a system from 1957 he wrote. Yep, will be hard to find these newsletters, but I didn't know about them and like to check out that older stuff when I can. Thank you.

Jim (njcurveball)...I've seen the HTR newsletters, and think they have great information in them, but seems to me to pertain primarily (if not exclusively) to their software program. The Cramer/Olmstead newsletter info was helpful, though, so will also be looking for older copies of these. I found one section of one in pdf format, and looks like the stuff I was looking for. So thanks for that tidbit of info. By the looks of things, it appears there're very few newsletters or sites out there that do what PRN or the UK site claim to be doing, and I guess it stands to reason. Takes a big chunk of time to really give some method a test and publish the findings, and the market is probably not that big for such materials.

I honestly appreciate the replies, so thanks to all at this point.

cj
06-09-2011, 11:01 AM
Yep, cj, that sure was an OBVIOUS answer, but such reply could be directed to my first paragraph in the request at the head of this post, last sentence. Guess that's why you have thousands of posts to your credit, but when people do this it just makes more information to wade through without really adding more value to the post. How many times have we witnessed this here? I'm sorry if this was sincere, but it just doesn't look like that and I've seen such comments countless times and some make the matters worse (not yours, in this case) by then taking the forum topic into a whole new direction or even completely off course.



It was sincere...if you wanted to know about something ask here. You won't find a larger group of bettors and experience with systems, books, software, etc. Since you were new posting, I was simply saying it is ok to ask.

castaway01
06-09-2011, 11:59 AM
By that do you mean there is an archive on this forum I'd have to go to to do such a search, or can I just search under the search function, and the archives will come up with all the other findings? Occasionally I run into a book I enter into the database, but didn't find anything, and performed a google search, and some of these led me to PA, which is how I ended up here in the first place. And, yes, some of this information made it into my comments when it was worthwhile or offered some insight into the "method."



Addressing this part of what you wrote, if you do a search with the search function, that covers the forum as far as it goes back---there is no special "archive". I believe the only limit is you can only get 20 pages of results. So, if you searched for, say, "speed figures", there are probably hundreds of pages of posts about them, and you'd only get the 20 pages of most recent posts (of course that's still plenty of info to look over). However, if you use the "advanced search" feature, you can look for the threads with the most replies, limit what sections of the board you search, etc. It really helps you find the most possible information that addresses what you're looking for.

RaceBookJoe
06-09-2011, 12:00 PM
There was one long before BM, but unless you are a real oldtimer, it will only be of historical interest. In the 60's and early 70's the late Louis G. Holloway published a monthly racing newsletter that often reviewed racing systems. In that era mail order racing systems that claimed to produce steady long term profits were common, and usually came with a slick promotional pitch. Old LGH was very hard on the offerings of the system sellers, and his reviews often had the sarcastic comment "the advertising is the best part" when debunking them.

LGH came out with a book that had 1000 systems in it, he didnt tell you who wrote them, just gave them stars with 3 stars being the best. Also, he was the first editor of Systems and Methods ( Gamblers Book Club publication ) , and in each issue they reviewed a handful of systems in each issue..both horse and gambling. Instead of stars they rated each system with horseshoes haha.

I would say its next to impossible to find his monthly newsletters, but i have a bunch of them, so you best bet if interested would be to search for his big book of 1000 systems. If you do find some of his old stuff, the most interesting thing you might find is how much study he did not only on systems, but on money management using receding due column with a takeout and multiple column plans....not perfect but interesting. You will also find that he was one of the earlier writers of both using variants and speed figures...funny enough i still start my handicapping process by putting his figures on horses....guess its just a habit. rbj

llegend39
06-09-2011, 12:07 PM
Hello. Never really used one of these boards before, so heck...I'd appreciate any insight or source on using forums, too. But was just wondering if anyone knows of ANY newsletter, site, or forum where there are honest detailed reviews regularly done of horse racing handicapping methods and systems, whether in book or software format. I am familiar with Phillips Racing Newsletter, but know of no other sources. I saw one decent-looking site in the UK for UK racing, however it only turned out to be a guy who looks at very few systems and only markets affiliate crap via email. Any worthwhile input would be appreciated. For those that enjoy replying to such inquiries with sarcasm or technical criticism, well...please just refrain.

I will add that, in spite of the flaws and problems with Phillips Racing Newsletter, I would still be interested in acquiring past editions of these; primarily to input any worthwhile information into a database of systems and methods I've started. Not sure if I can post my email address here for such an inquiry or not, so I'll refrain from that now. I won't pay much for these and might prefer to work out some form of trade, and that is simply because of the various phases that newsletter has gone through as is evident in the very worthwhile posts around THIS forum. Though I enter their "ratings" in my database, I do not put much stock in them as a true method or system rating tool. However, I sometimes find some worthwhile tidbit to put in my summaries section.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post, and kudos to those who individuals who take the time and energy to keep a forum like this decent, informative, and honest.

Check your inbox for a private message

Tom
06-09-2011, 01:42 PM
http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=7&page=42&sort=lastpost&order=desc&pp=25&daysprune=-1

At the bottom of the threads, in the LH corner, main page, there is an option to show thread back X amount of time. This link is to the oldest page of the Handicapping Library....42 pages. Just select "From the beginning."

I do this every so often, because a topic will come up that was discussed previously and I go back to check it out with the new idea or information fresh.


Gee, what a coincidence.....look who started the oldest thread here! :cool:

CappinForGold
06-11-2011, 08:41 PM
LGH came out with a book that had 1000 systems in it, he didnt tell you who wrote them, just gave them stars with 3 stars being the best. Also, he was the first editor of Systems and Methods ( Gamblers Book Club publication ) , and in each issue they reviewed a handful of systems in each issue..both horse and gambling. Instead of stars they rated each system with horseshoes haha.

I would say its next to impossible to find his monthly newsletters, but i have a bunch of them, so you best bet if interested would be to search for his big book of 1000 systems. If you do find some of his old stuff, the most interesting thing you might find is how much study he did not only on systems, but on money management using receding due column with a takeout and multiple column plans....not perfect but interesting. You will also find that he was one of the earlier writers of both using variants and speed figures...funny enough i still start my handicapping process by putting his figures on horses....guess its just a habit. rbj

Thanks, Joe. This is the sort of info I was looking for. I don't want to get bogged down with a bunch of this stuff...it just became a sort of interesting hobby. I've gotten some good ideas from this posting, and appreciate all the help everyone has offered, or will continue to offer. I would enter the system names in my database, and look up the author or publishers later for a book like this, so I'm gonna have to search for this one. And heck yeah, I want to see all the work he did with due columns. I know due column wagering is dangerous, but never really saw concrete figures related to horse racing to demonstrate this. Also, would be interesting just to see the other methods out there for this type of wagering.

Thanks again. The stuff I was looking for here.

Al

CappinForGold
06-11-2011, 08:44 PM
Castaway01 & Tom: Thanks for the forum use assistance. Much appreciated and will save a lot of search hassles down the road. This is the first forum I've belonged to, and may likely be the only one. So, takes some getting used to.

RaceBookJoe
06-11-2011, 10:55 PM
Thanks, Joe. This is the sort of info I was looking for. I don't want to get bogged down with a bunch of this stuff...it just became a sort of interesting hobby. I've gotten some good ideas from this posting, and appreciate all the help everyone has offered, or will continue to offer. I would enter the system names in my database, and look up the author or publishers later for a book like this, so I'm gonna have to search for this one. And heck yeah, I want to see all the work he did with due columns. I know due column wagering is dangerous, but never really saw concrete figures related to horse racing to demonstrate this. Also, would be interesting just to see the other methods out there for this type of wagering.

Thanks again. The stuff I was looking for here.

Al

LGH kind of gives you the hints to his 'receding due + takeout' in one of the chapters of his book "Full Time Gambler"..which is still available. I used the plan through the 70's and 80's all the time, and when am in the mood to hit the casinos an dplay craps or baccarat I still use it, but not as much on horses anymore. I have adapted it a bit for stock options trading and use it on certain strategies. If you have any questions on his stuff just let me know. rbj

Enigma
06-13-2011, 06:20 PM
I would like to correct some of the information given so far. Barry Meadow did not check the validation of any of the methods, the work was done by Jim Bayle of SPORT STAT based in Las Vegas. Jim produced a soft cover book evaluating 50 Spot Plays and methods. The best performer in Meadow's Racing Monthly was "Hurrel Research Project" it produced a High Win Percentage + a Small Loss, probably a decent method to play for the rebates today.

A few years back I did advertising packages for a system mill in Reno, the golden rule was to show a profit of no less than 80.0% anything less would not sell. The gullible racing public are continually searching for the infallible system and the system mills churn out such promises each and every day.

BMeadow
06-15-2011, 03:20 AM
Enigma wrote, "I would like to correct some of the information given so far. Barry Meadow did not check the validation of any of the methods, the work was done by Jim Bayle of SPORT STAT based in Las Vegas. Jim produced a soft cover book evaluating 50 Spot Plays and methods."

The tests in Meadow's Racing Monthly were done on large databases not only by Jim Bayle, but also by Jim Cramer of Handicappers Data Warehouse and Bob Purdy of Synergism. We tested more than 30 of the most popular commercial system on these databases. Many of the tests consisted of 20,000 plays or more--the only objective, unbiased tests using large numbers that I have ever seen (before or since).

Not a single one of the systems came close to matching the claims in the sales letters.

Robert Goren
06-15-2011, 11:04 AM
I would like to correct some of the information given so far. Barry Meadow did not check the validation of any of the methods, the work was done by Jim Bayle of SPORT STAT based in Las Vegas. Jim produced a soft cover book evaluating 50 Spot Plays and methods. The best performer in Meadow's Racing Monthly was "Hurrel Research Project" it produced a High Win Percentage + a Small Loss, probably a decent method to play for the rebates today.

A few years back I did advertising packages for a system mill in Reno, the golden rule was to show a profit of no less than 80.0% anything less would not sell. The gullible racing public are continually searching for the infallible system and the system mills churn out such promises each and every day. Does anyone have a copy of the "Hurrel Research Project" that they would be willing to share. I know it doesn't work and probably doesn't even do as well today as it did back then, but from academic stand point it might be interesting to look at something came close once upon a time.

speculus
06-15-2011, 06:25 PM
Does anyone have a copy of the "Hurrel Research Project" that they would be willing to share. I know it doesn't work and probably doesn't even do as well today as it did back then, but from academic stand point it might be interesting to look at something came close once upon a time.

Found this in internet search. See if it is of any help.

The issue of May 1998 should be of interest to you as it mentions the Hurrell Research Project.

http://www.trpublishing.com/p0000058.htm

speculus
06-15-2011, 08:50 PM
.....The best performer in Meadow's Racing Monthly was "Hurrel Research Project" it produced a High Win Percentage + a Small Loss, .....

Barry just informed me that the Hurrell system picked 31.6% winners, surely that is not "High Win Percentage", is it?