Most casual racegoers rely solely on past performance lines in either the track program or the Daily Racing Form to decide on which horses to bet. Despite the amount of detail each line appears to have, it is far from a complete description of the race in question. Daily Racing Form's quality assurance analyst Nick Borg sets out to demonstrate this fact in his new book, Off The Charts, the second book in DRF's Elements of Handicapping series.
Borg walks the aspiring handicapper through his system of chart annotation and recall. Put simply, his method involves storing charts of every race on the circuit you are playing and highlighting the best horses from each race, which preferably didn't finish in the money. Then, looking for those horses over the next few weeks, betting them at juicy prices. These horses can go off at double digit odds when by his method the horse should have been the favorite, but because of data missing from the past performance lines the public made the wrong choice. Since the majority of the public does not research charts, overlays are common. In fact, Borg's method is an extension, if not an improvement, of the classic "Key Race" method that many still use to some extent. He includes lessons in running-style evaluation, post position and track bias analysis, understanding pace and its application to charts, and proper utilization of the Winner's Book, a key component of DRF Simulcast Weekly, a publication Borg strongly recommends.
Borg writes, "Within the realm of each chart lies the most comprehensive, insightful racing information published. [Charts are] the purest, most factual report in all of Thoroughbred publishing." Which is why past charts and not past performance lines are his weapon of choice in the battlefield of pari-mutuel wagering.
This book is recommended to racing fans who are considering taking their handicapping and betting to a more serious level. Advanced players who don't currently include chart analysis in their arsenal of weapons may find Borg's methods worth exploring for an added edge. Borg says, "Race result charts can uncover valuable edges in several areas which can lead to many old and newly introduced racing angles and handicapping principles." Recreational handicappers may find Borg's methods too labor-intensive, but after reading Off The Charts, may find that the potential profits would make it worthwhile.
Off the Charts has a list price of $14.95 and is available from Amazon.com for $10.47.
Books in the Elements of Handicapping series:
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