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Gaming Guru

 

Davidowitz, Keppler offer horse players new ideas

3 January 2007

Two new books for by Steve Davidowitz and Dean Keppler should make 2007 a more interesting year for thoroughbred handicappers looking for controversy and new ideas. Davidowitz, known for his classic Betting Thoroughbreds (revised in 1995), and considered one of the all-time best sellers for horseplayers, has penned The Best and Worst of Thoroughbred Handicapping (324 pages, hardbound, $24.95), while Keppler, employed by the Daily Racing Form has produced Trainer Angles -- Maximizing Profits Using Formulator And Advanced Trainer Stats (154 pages, paperbound, $14.95).

His phenomenal memory and fantastically-detailed research make the Davidowitz book a great argument-creator and reference source. There's a little bit of everything here, including great screw-ups by track stewards (affecting pari-mutuel payoffs); who made the greatest contributions to the sport; great upsets; best trainers and jockeys; greatest horses; what's wrong with the sport (use of medications, lack of industry oversight) and what the sport's future may hold.

This is a book the promoters, track owners and industry leaders should have on their library shelf.

Two of the most interesting sections involve who the greatest race callers were and why, and which individuals made the most important contribution to the art of handicapping. You may disagree, but while doing so, you'll get some fascinating reading, a lot of nostalgia and history, plus controversy and opinion. Yet that's what the whole game of handicapping is all about -- opinions and rationale. A fine gift for the history buff or the beginner who wants to know more about what has made the sport as challenging as it's been.

Keppler's Trainer Angles is designed to train handicappers how to capitalize on performance improvement and to identify favorable trainer maneuvers. Few books have focused on the subject. In 1990, John Whitaker wrote Handicapping Trainers (In Search of the Long Shot Winner) . Since then, many books have had a section or chapter on the subject but none have made the topic a major focus.

Keppler's new book focuses on eight areas: trainer form; the Formulator (a unique handicapping software) designed to give on-line horseplayers the ability to customize and manipulate the Daily Racing Form's past performances while creating race lines to their specifications); claiming races; last racing date; grass races; equipment changes and medication; first-time starters; two-year-olds and maidens and key jockey-trainer combinations.

Using charts; examples; past performances and analysis, Keppler continues to alert and sharpen handicapping skills, teaching you what to look for and how to keep records. He names people who win in various situations and tips you to potential opportunities and ways of identifying value bets.

For the price, there's nothing better on the market, nothing fresher. Of course the Formulator software reminders remain constant throughout the book. You may assume the book is a great "pitch" to sell you the program. For some, it may well be the wave of the future.

Any item reviewed here is available from Gambler's Book Shop (Gambler's Book Club). The store's web site is www.gamblersbook.com. You may order there using MasterCard, VISA or Discover (no CODs please) or by phoning the store any day except Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time at 1-800-522-1777. Orders usually shipped the next working day. The store, now in its 40th year, is located a mile from downtown Las Vegas, a block west of Maryland Parkway, just off Charleston Boulevard at South 11th Street. You may view the store's complete array of books, videos and software via the Web site or request a hard copy of the catalog be mailed free and first class. The store's address is 630 S. 11th St., Las Vegas, NV 89101.

Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com
Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com