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Ainslie's Complete Guide to Thoroughbred Racing Paperback – March 15, 1988


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Ainslie's Complete Guide to Thoroughbred Racing + Picking Winners: A Horseplayer's Guide + Betting on Horse Racing For Dummies
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 3 edition (March 15, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671656554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671656553
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #613,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

He writes in a simple, concise, easy style -- easy on the eyes, easy to absorb.
J. Wolf
This book was recommended by the tour guide at Old Friend's Farm in Lexington KY near Keeneland...which by the way is well worth the visit for all horse lovers.
Carolyn
While there may not a lot in here for experienced players, if you're just starting out then this should be the first book you read.
John Macri

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Hancock on January 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
I checked out the 1967 version of this book in the library when I first became interested in horse race handicapping. It was so full of information that I ended up buying it. A few years back, I loaned it to my brother and later asked for it back so I could review some stuff. But, his dominating wife had thrown it away. Well, enough of this boring stuff. This book does a good job of introducing a new, novice, or disorganized horseplayer to the fundamentals of handicapping--a fancy way to say picking winners at the track. Ainslie covers distance, speed, class, form, track conditions, breeding, and jockeys and trainers very thoroughly. The reader should avoid the laundry lists of specific qualifications for horses that appear periodically in the book. This book was published before the advent of Beyer speed figures and other new concepts in handicapping. Also, as in most how to pick winners books, Ainslie has sections of the Daily Racing Form from races where he made a big score. Racing authors seem to never have DRF examples of races where they lost their shirts. But, it is a useful treatise to learn the fundamentals of handicapping though even the lastest edition (1988) is a bit dated. I would advise the reader to learn the general concepts in the book and to avoid the specific criteria for picking horses. It is an excellent place for a new horseplayer to start. Now, if someone could write a book for my brother telling him how to stand up to his wife.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John Macri on November 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
I read the original version many years ago and can say with absolute certainty that this book is a must read for novice handicappers. The section on the form factor alone is worth the price of the book as it will steer the beginning player away from many false favorites and towards logical overlays.
While not in itself a guide to instant profitability (no book is) this book provides a solid foundation of knowledge on which to build. The insights contained in this book would take many years (and dollars) to learn through trial and error handicapping and will put the player way ahead of other novice handicappers.
A seminal work in the field of horse race handicapping, this book provides a lot of useful info on a wide range of topics. While there may not a lot in here for experienced players, if you're just starting out then this should be the first book you read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Wolf on December 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
I had read nearly a dozen books on horserace handicapping before I read Ainslie's book. This should have been the first book on horseracing that I read. Ainslie covers every aspect of handicapping and the racing game imaginable. He writes in a simple, concise, easy style -- easy on the eyes, easy to absorb.

It is well-organized. Each chapter covers a specific aspect of the game. Perhaps what I enjoyed the most (and have put to good use) is Ainslie's 60 item list on how to handicap a race --what to look for: angles to be aware of in class, form; speed; jockey/trainer angles .. and on and on and on. The beauty of this book is that the reaader is exposed to so many different topics and subject areas that he will able to find his nich, his own style in handicapping. If you are like me, after you read this book, you will have a list of several more books that you will simply have to have. Thanks to Ainslie.

Ainslie doesn't tout any particular handicapping style; he simply informs the reader of all the many different angles there are instantly adding to the reader's knowledge of the game and providing instant improvement to his handicapping. This is the racing book you would keep on your bedside table; this is the book that you will be referring back to time and time again -- there is that much in this book. Tell you one thing, I envy Ainslie's friends who are able to get tips and suggestions from the author.

If the reader is buying this book in paperback, perhaps he should buy two copies. Surely, he will wear this book out. I have.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By I. Lozada on February 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
Let's start with the obvious. Ainslie wrote in a different time: before exotic wagering, which he considered a gimmick, became 70+% of the daily handle. His specific advice about WPS betting and money management, as a result, should be discarded. Likewise, his advice about which trainers and jocks to follow has aged poorly.

At the same time, there's information in here that's invaluable, such as the sections on understanding trainer intent, and on post parade and paddock behavior.

This book has a special place in the history of handicapping, and for that reason alone, is worth having, but in the modern player's arsenal, it should be an added coloring and not the central philosophy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By NSharif on October 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
As a long-time horseplayer, I was sceptical that this book could teach me much that I did not already know. To my surprise, however, I learned a great deal about the track from this book. Ainslie goes into each of the book's topics in depth and writes with great clarity. I now find myself going back to the book often, using it like an encyclopedia or reference work. Most importantly, this book is helping me take home profits that I never would have earned before. A must read for anyone who wants to know what they're doing at the races.
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