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Old 08-31-2005, 09:10 AM   #1
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What should I read next?

Been basicaly lurking around and learning a lot from this site. I'm fairly new to this and am slowly getting confused with all the info out there. I just finished reading Brad Free's Handicapping 101, and have Davidowitz's Betting Thoroughbreds, Beyer's Picking Winners, and Scatoni/Fornatale's Six Secrets of Successful Bettors. I thought Free's book was pretty good but I'll have to read again because I'm not sure I fully understood all the concepts. I've gone through the first few chapters of both Beyer's and Davidowitz's book and just confused myself. Need some help getting pointed in the right direction. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 08-31-2005, 10:25 AM   #2
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You might want to read this recent thread:

My recommendations are (in no particular order): Modern Pace Handicapping (Brohamer), Commonsense Handicapping and Winning Thoroughbred Strategies (Mitchell), Money Secrets at the Racetrack (Meadow), Winner's File (Kuck), Thoroughbred Cycles (Cramer), and the good handicapping threads on this board. Excellent 'cappers here.

I've gotten a lot out of the Blog and archived items about pace at Randy Giles' site

Good luck.

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Old 08-31-2005, 10:29 AM   #3
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What should I read next?

If you participate in this forum, I, (as would many) suggest "Modern Pace Handicapping" by Tom Brohammer.

Always Be Closing...
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Old 08-31-2005, 11:13 AM   #4
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Dr. William QUirin's 1979 book, WInning at the Races is a must-read in my opinion.

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Old 08-31-2005, 11:16 AM   #5
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What topic do you want to read about? Pace, Class , Form, Energy, Jockey/Trainers, Computer capping, money management, figs, value, ?

I suggest using the search key here on Pace Advantage and read to your heart's content. In my opinion, some of the best ideas are right here on this board.

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Old 08-31-2005, 07:27 PM   #6
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I appreciate all the replies. Again, I'm basically a newbie, and am trying to learn as much as I can from this forum. Just getting frustrated with trying to assimilate all the info. Biggest hang-up right now (after reading Handicaping 101) is after analyzing pace, form, etc. how do you turn that information into a worthwhile bet at the window? I'm about to post another related topic in the "General Handicapping" section is about past performance charts: which one to use?
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Old 08-31-2005, 07:31 PM   #7
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Dick Mitchell's Commonsense Betting (in addition to his Commonsense Handicapping and Winning Thoroughbred Strategies, which were mentioned earlier). I also heartily second Dave Schwartz's recommendation of Quirin's Winning at the Races.
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Old 08-31-2005, 07:37 PM   #8
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Any of Joe Takach's books about physicality would be a good choice, IMO.
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Old 08-31-2005, 08:37 PM   #9
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Your next book

Quirin's Winning at the Races would be my first choice. You'll come back to it again and again as your handicapping skills develop. You will also be able to develop a method of analysis by using his Early Speed Points and combining them with Brohamer's E/S/P running styles.

You'll need to make a decision sometime about whether to use a computer, and to what extent. This forum is the best place to find out that kind of info. Dig into the archives. Good luck.

P.S. You need to do some self-analysis too. Do you need to understand a race completely before you bet it (and bet fewer races), or do you want to use a minimal number of handicapping factors and apply yourself more more intesively to wagering decisions spread across many races? On this board you'll find 1-2 minute handicappers who bet 20 to ?? races a day and those who spend an hour on analyzing one or two races.

-----Being unable to assume an initial premise with any tolerable degree of accuracy, I am loathe to assert a conclusion, fearful lest I should err.
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Old 08-31-2005, 09:09 PM   #10
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Steve Davidowitz's book Betting Thoroughbreds is a good read.
Who does the Racing Form Detective like in this one?
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Old 08-31-2005, 09:44 PM   #11
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Steve Fierro's "Four Quarters of Horse Investing" and Barry Meadows "Money Secrets at the Racetrack" so you will know what you are up against.
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Old 08-31-2005, 10:55 PM   #12
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James Quinn

Quinn's "Handicappers Condition Book". I loved the original it really gave an understanding of how certain races are written up to favor a certain type of horse. Quinn himself stated an a Handicapping Expo that he didn't feel his book was as relavent today as in the past. I say it's needed reading for any new handicapper.
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Old 09-01-2005, 12:42 AM   #13
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You have already checked out Davidowitz and Beyer. This is good. Davidowitz's book is an excellent overview of horse racing, while Beyer's book gives the theory behind figures. Both touch on pace. To get a good handle on the fundamentals, look for a book that specializes in each. For example:

Pace - Pace Makes the Race (Schmidt, Hambleton, Pizzolla)

Speed - Beyer

Betting Theory - Money Secrets at the Racetrack

The other thing I would strongly suggest is that you study and learn how to handicap each type of race one at a time. You will find that they are not all created equal. You could start with maiden races and work for there, or maybe you like races on the grass better, so start there. You can ask questions of people. For example, I have always avoided turf sprints, but have resolved to learn how to handicap them. The natural place for me to go was Pace Advantage. So, I posted a thread called Turf Sprints and basically put out a call to the handicappers here to lend me their insights into these races. Somebody else did that for maiden races. There is truly a wealth of knowledge available right here at PA.

Good luck.
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Old 09-14-2005, 05:23 PM   #14
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I wouldn't read any more books for the time being, but would suggest you pick a track and follow it.

1) Pick a track you have some interest in.
2) Learn how to use your preferred set of past performances.
3) Save the daily charts from that track and learn how to analyze them to make your own speed and pace figures.
4) Pick at least one day a week you will handicap and watch the races, make it the same day of the week each week. Pay attention to all the horse as best you can in the paddock, post parade, and race itself.**
5) Learn something about how the track plays with regards to speed horses and closers. Learn for your track which speed horses can win and which can't, and which closers can win and which can't. Learn how a fast track and sloppy track affect peformance for your track.
6) Learn which trainers and jockeys are competent and which aren't. Which trainers run a horse forever at the wrong class level? Which jockeys are punctual and bring home the chalk, which are impatient and move too wide or too soon? Which never win on closers?
7) Learn where the good shippers come from and where the weak shippers come from.
8) Learn to make a simple odds line and determine what kind of wager offers the best value and suits your temperment and bankroll in any given situation: is it one horse to win, a 2 horse exacta box, a pick 3 with two wide open legs...? Be able to read the tote board quickly and make a decision on how to play the race. Get a feeling for when a 5-2 shot at ten minutes to post is going to wind up 7-5 or 3-1.

Try to go one step at a time on the list, and use the books you already have as references. As you start to get some experience working with entire race cards, you will see which races you understand and which you don't. But, it will take some time. Once you start to see the same horses again and again you will pick up on how well a particular horse actually runs. One of the biggest problems people have is overemphasizing a horse's finish position in its last race. If the horse won it should win again, no? If the horse finished 5th how can it possibly win today? etc...

**Probably the first skill you should learn, and this is mentioned in Davidowitz's book, is how to assess the race as the horses exit the turn. Once you can see for yourself that the leader is about to cave in or draw off you will have taken a big first step.

Last edited by sparkywowo; 09-14-2005 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 09-14-2005, 10:07 PM   #15
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I disagree with buying any more books.

Re-read and study Free's book until you fully understand it. If you try to move on to advanced or specialized topics before you understand the fundamentals, you'll only get more confused.

Once you understand Free's book, you should try to grasp the stuff in Davdiowitz's book. Once you get that down, get to understand the concepts behind "Six Secrets". After that, you might want to try "Winning at the Races" by Quirin, as Dave Schwarts suggested.

What you need to understand about learning from books is that they often have contradictory information. One book says speed is the way to go, another says pace is. A third says weight is meaningless, and a fourth says it's all important. The general strategy to reading handicapping books is to take everything with a grain of salt and learn from all the different viewpoints and perspectives, deciding for yourself what works for you.
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