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Best of Howard Schwartz

Gaming Guru

 

Pedigree Handicapping By Stich Solid Research For Serious Bettors

19 November 2004

Millions of horseplayers key much of their handicapping time to bloodline research. Many credit their success at picking winners to the understanding of what is called "pedigree handicapping."

Lauren Stich, now a Las Vegas resident, is one of the most respected names among handicappers in this country--for that matter, internationally. When she speaks or writes, most intelligent handicappers listen.

Now her long-awaited work on the subject is available. Titled Pedigree Handicapping, (also the title of her columns in the Daily Racing Form,) (202 pages, paperbound, $14.95), it should be read by anyone who believes this factor is an essential part of picking winners--and she says...."whether in multi-race exotics or in the ever-growing world of handicapping tournaments. Invariably, maiden special weight races and/or turf races are part of multiple wagers, and more and more, serious players are arming themselves with a fundamental knowledge of pedigrees."

She emphasizes this is also a tool to be used beyond maiden races, offering the examples of horses trying different distances or surfaces for the first time, and especially valuable for use in big races like the Kentucky Derby or Breeders' Cup day.
For those unfamiliar with the concept, Stich presents a clear, easy-to-understand chapter on how to read a pedigree, since many players have not mastered the art--isolating how vital the role of the sire and the dam are.

Just as the respected William Quirin focused on grass sires in his works more than a decade ago, here Stich presents an updated section titled Hidden Turf Sires.

The book does a solid job of explaining how to separate "those stallions who are expected to be good turf sires from those who are hidden turf sires." Stich rightfully emphasizes "Pedigree handicapping is at its most powerful when it is the sole source of handicapping information, and the only way to understand how to play the offspring of freshman stallions (which often produces boxcar payoffs) is through pedigree analysis. Without some knowledge of pedigrees, horseplayers are betting blind--the worst way to play racehorses."

There are seven major chapters to this book. You'll need a blank notepad or book, file cards or a means of entering her research onto a special database to effectively be able to call up the material you need it, but it'll well be worth the effort.

Packed with race examples, situations where knowledge of pedigree was imperative and more than 30 years of experience as a writer and handicapper herself, Stich has produced a wonderfully researched, well-priced reference and tutorial for every handicapper--whether beginner or seasoned pro. Buy it, read it, apply her principles--it should help you wait for your spots and make you a more disciplined, patient and confident bettor.

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