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Book Review

cover Bet with the Best
All New Strategies from America's Leading Handicappers
by Editors of the Daily Racing Form
from DRF Press
256 pages, hardcover

In Bet With The Best, nine of the most respected names in North American thoroughbred handicapping come together to produce a compact yet comprehensive guide to horse race handicapping and betting in the modern age. Unlike many of the other books on handicapping which often have the look and feel of school textbooks, this book was a surprisingly easy and entertaining read. Each writer used examples, most of which came from stakes races in 2000 and the early part of 2001, to demonstrate how their handicapping theory is used in practice. You are quickly exposed to handicapping angles you may not have considered before, and soon realize that although the game may have gotten tougher to beat, there are still overlays to be had. You just need to be more creative in finding them. As was said in the introduction, "The sport is constantly changing, and your opponents are getting better. If you don't keep up with those changes, you'll get left behind." The writers in this book set out to prevent that from happening.

Rather than confuse the reader with one large combined effort, each chapter is an individual essay which addresses a very specific topic in the game of handicapping, written by the Daily Racing Form's specialist in that topic:

Chapter 1: Andrew Beyer describes strategies to be used in today's world of full card simulcasting and year round racing.
Chapter 2: Tom Brohamer describes the importance of running styles and pace analysis to determine the outcome of races.
Chapter 3: Steven Crist explains that finding value is much more important than just picking the winner, especially in the age of higher takeouts and exotic wagering.
Chapter 4: Steve Davidowitz shows us that track bias, trainers, and key races play a vital role in predicting the outcome.
Chapter 5: Dave Litfin demonstrates how accurate record keeping of past results can yield overlay opportunities, with an initial investment of a $1.79 notebook from Wal-Mart.
Chapter 6: James Quinn gives a refresher course on the class ladder, updating it to today's game, and how to apply it in handicapping.
Chapter 7: Alan Shuback clarifies European racing to the uninitiated, and shows how to assess European shippers' chances relative to American competition when they arrive here.
Chapter 8: Lauren Stich uses many examples to dispel various myths about pedigree, and demonstrates turf overlays where the sire was generally thought to be a dirt specialist.
Chapter 9: Mike Watchmaker gives a quick lesson on handicapping the toughest events of the year, namely the Triple Crown and the Breeders' Cup.

With this layout, it's like getting nine books in one, making it excellent value for your money. Whether you're new to the game or have been grinding it out for years, you will find "Bet with the Best" to be a very useful and welcome addition to your personal reference library.

Bet with the Best has a cover price of $29.95 and can be ordered for only $20.97.

Bet With The Best 2: Longshots - second in the series published in 2008

Rating:     5/5

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