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Beyer on Speed (.) Paperback – May 1, 1995

4.4 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A wonderfully entertaining and informative book . . . All race fans should read it.” (Daily Racing Form ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

ANDREW BEYER thoroughly revolutionized handicapping when he created
his "Beyer Speed Figures," a measure of how fast a horse has run in a given
race, and an indispensable tool for horseplayers. Making the necessary
calculations to develop a set of figures for each horse in each race was too
time-consuming for most horseplayers, so in 1992 the Daily Racing Form
commissioned Beyer and his associates to provide his speed figures for
every horse competing in North America. Beyer has been a columnist for the Washington Post since 1978, and contributes regularly to the Daily Racing Form. He is considered one of the leading experts on horse racing.
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Product Details

  • Series: .
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (May 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395735238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395735237
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,478,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading Andrew Beyer is at once informative and entertaining, which anything on handicapping has no excuse not being. While his first book introduced speed figures, and his second mixed the application of them with an appreciation of other aspects of handicapping, this book revisits the holistic approach - always emphasizing speed figures - in an era when everyone has access to more information than ever, and many even know how to use it. What makes reading Beyer so fascinating is that one is made to see, vividly, the endless testing and working out of new ideas and approaches, in the stories - one might call them lessons - he recounts (the chapter on turf betting is a classic of sports writing). Beyer, like Bill James, is a scientist, and thinks like one, to the edification of all who choose not to keep recycling the same old bromides, and making the same old mistakes. People like Beyer and Steve Davidowitz are largely responsible for the ever-escalating arms race which parimutuel bettors are fighting amongst themselves. It's a wonderful game, but if you don't want to get left behind, better read this.
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Format: Paperback
I had had winning days at the racetrack before I read this book. I knew how to watch races, to look for troubled trips, to read the information in the Daily Racing Form, and to keep an eye out for sharp trainers and the patterns they employed with horses. I knew how to do just about everything but win.
After reading this book, I went to Hollywood Park on a Friday night and won. It didn't win because of some shocking new revelation, but because Andy Beyer stresses where the handicapper's attention should be, what information is crucially important and what is not. After reading this book, I felt as though I could see the way a race would take shape in my mind, who would go to the lead, who would go four wide on the far turn and make a move. Everything suddenly made sense. I have a lot to look forward to the next time I go to the racetrack, and most of the credit for that is because of this book.
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Format: Paperback
This book should come with a warning that it's not intended for people just learning about betting on horses or even novices for the matter. Many of the concepts in the book are complex and could be used a study guide for a class in advanced handicapping. The best part of the book comes when Beyer shares highlights (very few) and lowlights (many) about a three-month handicapping trip in Australia. Beyer cleverly uses the trip as a primer for the importance of pace in handicapping. The encore for the book is Beyer sharing the success he had in Las Vegas on a simulcasting binge. Beyer's prose and writing style is both clear and clever. So enjoy!
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Format: Paperback
"Beyer On Speed" was the first American book I read on horserace betting. Many would consider the content irrelevant to British horseplayers, but the reverse is true. American racegoers have access to so much more material than their British counterparts, that those who care to avail themselves of the methods of those such as Beyer have a huge advantage in the quest for profit. Beyer himself refers to a "benighted era" of racing, where his speed figures were so little used that he could make money on blindly backing his top figure horse, an advantage which has all but been eroded in American Pari-mutuel wagering since the inclusion of Beyer speed figures in the Daily Racing Form. In addition to the information contained within, the book is written in pithy and perspicacious style. Beyer is a great anecdotalist; many of his stories are salutory as well as entertaining.
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Format: Paperback
Beyer's book is entertaining and enlightening at once. The book gives the reader the theory behind speed handicapping and is full of examples, but even if you never cash a ticket, Beyer is so entertaining you won't care. He is not only a shrewd bettor, but a masterful storyteller. It's a great book, and not "stuffy" like some of the more conservative handicapping books we've all read.
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Format: Paperback
Shhhh.....don't tell anyone, but I'll give you a tip based on some recent observations; the early speed at Tampa Bay Downs is holding up in a number of races. I recently joked with someone while watching simulcast racing at Thistledown that Tampa Bay is Keeneland south (that is, before the synthetic track that was recently installed has taken most of the speed bias out of that Kentucky track).

But how can a handicapper - from a casual fan to a serious player - get an understanding on what runners - especially the ones who may have decent odds - in certain races have the type of pace to hold up from gate-to-wire, with you cashing a nice ticket & others tossing their tickets away?

Andrew Beyer takes the reader through the blueprint of effectively using speed figures as an effective betting strategy. He introduces such topics as pace, track bias and track conditions into the equation and provides a highly-readable plan that a handicapper can immediately utilize.

Since the 1995 reprint, the greatest change in Thoroughbred racing in the U.S. has been the introduction of synthetic racing surfaces that are replacing dirt tracks. The book is still a great resource - coupled with this unique variable - if the reader follows the action at these "new" tracks.

There are numerous books available to assist the handicapper, but Beyer On Speed has held up over the years due to its practical application of an important angle that can get lost in the shuffle of handicapper's "overload" when trying to figure out how to wager on a race.
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