From the Inside Flap
For centuries, horses have raced exclusively on dirt or grass, but many of today's Thoroughbreds are now running over various mysterious mixtures of polypropylene fibers, recycled rubber, wax-coated sand, and even something called jelly cable. Synthetic surfaces are already in place at major racetracks such as Keeneland, Del Mar, and Arlington Park, and for the first time ever, the Breeders' Cup will be run over a synthetic surface at Santa Anita in October 2008. It's a new era in American racing. And while it may seem strange and perplexing to horseplayers, veteran racing writer and handicapper Bill Finley tells us how to cope--and profit--in Betting Synthetic Racing Surfaces. What impact are theses new surfaces having? How will they affect Thoroughbred owners, breeders, trainers, jockeys--and the horses themselves? What new handicapping riddles will they create for even the most seasoned horseplayers? Finley is the first author to tackle all of the necessary handicapping adjustments and angles. The good news is that these new tracks might not be quite as difficult to decipher as many people feared. While the fundamentals of basic handicapping still apply, synthetic tracks definitely have their own nuances and quirks, and Finley examines them in detail. His thorough research and expertly outlined statistical data, gathered from thousands of races, arms the handicapper with a much better understanding on how to wager and win in the synthetic-surface era. He describes the differences among various brands of surfaces in relation to track biases, running styles, pedigrees and sire lines, the "bounce" factor, and horses making surface switches: synthetic to dirt, dirt to synthetic, turf to synthetic, etc. The modern handicapper cannot afford to ignore the synthetic revolution.
From the Back Cover
"Leave it to one of America's most experienced racing journalists to be the first to tackle the synthetic revolution in an honest and informative way. Bill Finley's statistical analysis and interviews with racing insiders about the sport's newest surfaces will benefit all horseplayers--and especially those intimidated by Polytrack, Cushion Track, or Tapeta. Finley proves that new doesn't have to be confusing." Randy Moss, Thoroughbred-racing analyst for ESPN and ABC, and creator of Moss Pace Figures