CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Related Links
Recent Articles
Best of Howard Schwartz

Gaming Guru

 

Quinn's Best of Thoroughbred Handicapping Back in Print with Something for Everyone

21 November 2003

In the almost 40 years Gamblers Book Shop (Gambler's Book Club) has been in existence, the name James Quinn has been among the most respected names. Quinn, whose first work, The Handicapper's Condition Book was recently updated and republished by The Daily Racing Form, now brings to his fans and potential fans The Best of Thoroughbred Handicapping (Leading Ideas and Methods) (326 pages, hardbound, $29.95).

Getting your hands on a copy this latest title is like having access to the best ideas of more than two dozen different books and 21 authors who are also top handicappers. Indeed this new edition has 13 new handicappers, and their essays (ideas) who came along in the late 1980s to the 2lst Century. (The original book was published in 1987.)

The book looks at changes and updates to the Sport of Kings since the late 1980s in regard to handicapping. How has The Form changed? How important is early speed and the concept of Speed Points?

Quinn compares the contributions of William Quirin to that of Tom Brohamer.

Huey Mahl's great analysis of money management techniques (also called Optimal Betting), is covered, along with how he discovered and polished the concept from J.L. Kelly a math whiz with the Bell Telephone Co. of the 1950s. It was Kelly who came up with the "Kelly Criterion" and Mahl who translated it into readable, understandable material.

The book looks at the Acceptable Form Standards handicapping factor including the impact of long layoffs and then recent action; Beyer's Speed Figures as a handicapping concept are explained; and the angle called "among the most significant of all the scientific discoveries yet produced by probability studies of handicapping (the absolute correlation of speed and class)" or pars is examined in yet another key chapter.

Tom Ainslie's pioneer work and his contributions; the development of what is called "equine body language" by the late Bonnie Ledbetter is here, along with Quirin's breakthrough material on turf handicapping and William Scott's monumental research on ability times; plus Mark Cramer's marvelous work on the impact on horse and jockey switches.

Those of you looking for Ray Taulbot material will find a bit of his theory in a chapter titled Pace Analysis Beats Pace Ratings; and if you missed the pioneer works of the great Robert Saunders Dowst, here's your chance to get an important section. The book does not neglect the major work done by Dr. William Ziemba (Dr. Z), keyed to how well the public bets and why an "inefficiency" (betting error) might occur.

Steve Roman's contributions to The Dosage Index (the ratio of speed to stamina) get important attention here as does the Age of Exotic Wagering (Dr. Z, Barry Meadow, Gordon Jones and Dick Mitchell are the focus point in that chapter); and Meadow gets special attention in a following chapter in reference to making a betting line.

A sharp, respected newcomer to handicapping is Mark Fierro (author of The Four Quarters of Horse Investing). He sees handicapping thoroughbreds successfully on a similar plane as sound business principles and the chapter explaining it all is major. Gibson Carouthers, a Minneapolis pro is not a household name, but the chapter on his approach to betting and beating the Pick Six is a real eye-opener.

Rounding out the book are chapters on How to Handicap The Kentucky Derby; Beyer on Speed (20 Years Later); Brohamer on Pace; Quinn's Figure Handicapping on The Turf; Davidowitz Redux. Plus, Dave Litfin Pattern Recognition; Charles Carroll and Real Speed; Cary Fotias and his breakthrough work on the Xtras (numbers or figures that give context and meaning to final time figures and which are intended to help handicappers relate performance to the form cycle).

Again, this is like two dozen books in oneā€¹some of the best material from a variety of sources. It is a great reference, idea book, one which may again trigger a new generation of young, energetic thoroughbred handicappers to apply a combination of proven and unproven ideas at the track or on the Internet.

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