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The latest edition of this classic work is an extremely detailed work with benefit to both beginner handicappers and those with substantial expertise. Although many of Steve's commentaries about the game in general are an interesting read, the most valuable portions of the book deal with strategies for making money at the track.
The chapters entitled "What's He Doing in Today's Race" and "The Mystery of Allowance Races" offer extremely valuable lessons in trainer intent and class, two factors that get downplayed in the current climate where the focus tends to be on speed figures, pace figures, and computer generated statistical analysis.
The chapter "To Bet or Not to Bet and How Much" is an integral walk through money management, a skill that even the most saavy handicapper often lacks.
In my opinion the book is not meant to be read from front to back, but instead better utilized by focusing on particular concepts, carefully reading and applying the same to your handicapping challenges.
I have read Steve Davidowitz' "Betting Thoroughbreds for the 21st Century" and find it to be a FIVE STAR piece of work by a terrific writer, who explains very well the way the game of horse racing has to be played in the modern era. . .Davidowitz gives precise, careful guidance to horseplayers of any age or experience on how to deal with the new synthetic tracks; how to catch winners trained by the group of trainers who are winning at unprecedented rates, and how to play the game effectively in the world of nationwide simulcasting and greatly expanded exotic wagering menus. Fact is, Davidowitz' insights helped me pick a 9-1 winner trained by Todd Pletcher at Belmont Park on Sept. 16, a horse I would have missed without his profile of Pletcher's best winning tendencies in one of several chapters on the importance of trainer patterns in today's game.
The past performance illustrations are quite legible and easy to read, (which makes me wonder if Fat Philly needs glasses). . .The book also contains updated lists of potent turf sires, off track sires and some of the sires who have been producing high percentasge of winners on synthetic surfaces. There is so much good information in this book and it is so clearly presented that BETTING THOROUGHBREDS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY IS THE ABSOLUTE BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ ON THE SUBJECT OF HANDICAPPING.
It is even stronger than Davidowitz' prior two editions and more comprehensive than anything on the market. (I love the way he blended old illustrations with new ones here). . As a player of more than 1o years myself, I could not recommend this book more highly. Frankly, if you are hoping to improve your game or learn how to win, this is probably your best bet of the season. . .Larry Pick 6.
This marvelous book, which was first published in 1977, has undergone a multitude of changes, all for the better as the betting game has evolved. Davidowitz offers 25 solid chapters covering virtually every pertinent topic on handicapping including: track bias, synthetic track handicapping, the trainer, allowance races, Beyer Speed Figures, pace handicapping, workouts, pedigree handicapping, use of drugs, exotic wagering, watching replays, how to read the Daily Racing Form, & speed and pace figures.
Horseplayers will love this latest edition for its clarity and balanced approach to the subject. With its many charts, tables, race examples, and past performance summaries this book is a must-have, must-read item for any serious horseplayer.
Books on playing the races are best when written by dedicated and successful practitioners of the art and no finer example can be found than Betting Thoroughbreds for the 21st Century by Steve Davidowitz. The third edition of a standard that traces to 1977, no less, Davidowitz was roundly and rightly applauded especially for three telltale contributions in the original book: the key-race method, comprehending trainer patterns, and the author's signature discovery, the overarching importance of identifying track biases, a term the author coined. Now Davidowitz has returned with extensive treatment of the newest challenging developments in the contemporary game: synthetic surfaces (the author relays profiles of every track with artificial surfaces), the supertrainers (who they are, what to look for), a definitive chapter on the elusive topic of workouts (and how to intepret them), and an extensive treatment of pace analysis and using pace figures in combination with the Beyer Speed Figures. Davidowitz is excellent on pace analysis, in particular on the use of "race shapes" to identify the running styles that might be advantage and disadvantaged in a specific race. As the effective use of pace figures (or fractional times) persists as one of the few remaining edges in the information age, handicappers that have devoured the original edition or its first revision should grab this third edition too. This book probably represents the most current book in the market with various appeals to novices and regular players as well. A long exhaustive book, users are encouraged to read its chapters in small doses instead of huge bites, as Davidowitz tends to be meticulously comprehesive on all topics. As has been the author's playing experience, the book is comprehensive, diverse, and successful in its descriptions of the handicapping ideas and tools. I give it five stars and you will too. James Quinn, Los Angeles