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Best of Howard Schwartz

Gaming Guru

 

First-Time Starters; Breeding Theories Focus of Two New Thoroughbred Books

19 May 2004

Dan DiPleco's First-Time Starters (104 pages, 8x11 paperbound, $24.95) and Racehorse Breeding Theories by Frank Mitchell (325 pages, hardbound, $45) have arrived for horseplayers interested in those specific areas, along with Rollers (100 pages, paperbound, $15) by G.E. Koenig and D. Gallenberg, a collection of gambling cartoons which may remind you of the great originality of Gary Larson and his Far Side collection.

First-Time Starters looks at a specific racing situation and makes its conclusion keyed to a database of more than 76,000 races. The book examines what handicapping factors lead to first-time starters achieving a win. What this book does is to put the situation in a question format, then provide an answer and explain what the statistics show. As we all know, first-time starters can be highly profitable, yet quite deceptive, and therefore difficult to handicap. For example, Seabiscuit didn't win until his 18th start and others like Forego, Alysheba, Buckpasser all failed in their first try.

DePleco looks at speed ratings; breeding; age; distance; workouts; surface; equipment; medication; wagering; body language; maiden claiming price; trainer; track conditions; post positions; the starting gate; shoes and jockey. The horse's body language first time out (with illustrated examples) and how they performed to their odds are also covered.

RaceHorse Breeding Theories by Mitchell, also draws from research done by Steven Roman on dosage; Rommy Faversham on nicking; Jay Leimbach on inbreeding; Ross Staaden on evaluating breeding theory and David Dink on pedigree statistics.

Here you'll get solid material on birth rank; outcrossing; biomechanics; heartscore and the X factor; Laughlin formula; Brice Lowe family numbers. Mitchell is a freelance writer and bloodstock consultant from Lexington, KY.,and has written for virtually every important thoroughbred racing publication.

Although the book is directed primarily to thoroughbred breeding, there is a good amount of research devoted to the breeding of the standardbred. The book contains 16 chapters, a detailed index. One contributor to the book remains "resigned to the notion that the secret of horse breeding is and should remain a beautiful mystery," despite the fact he believes "breeding horses is pure art, and must be approached as the painter does a masterpieceā€¹one small stroke at a time."

Overall, this is one of the most important books ever published on the subject and this includes works by Tesio or Hewitt.

In a lighter direction, those with an eye toward a unique gift for a friend who enjoys the funny side of gambling or gamblers, Rollers by Koenig and Gallenberg are a collection of 100 cartoons with caption about slot players, casino players, high rollers, low rollers, bad beat players, the innocent types, the not-so-smart players and just about any type character you've ever imagined has walked into a hotel and gambling hall.

The two cartoonists, whose works have appeared in Poker Digest and Casino Player, truly have an eye and ear for the bizarre, the standout silliness and those who take themselves too seriously yet provide comic relief for the rest of us. If you enjoyed Gary Larson's Far Side cartoon collection in the past you'll enjoy the work of these two newcomers.

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