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Pedigree Handicapping Paperback – November 2, 2004

3.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Daily Racing Form (November 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972640134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972640138
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,062,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'm a big pedigree fan and I bought this book 4 mo's before it was released. The price is right and I appreciate the paperback format (unlike most new horse-racing books). I was initially disappointed that Lauren dove right in with random example races before building a base on information to arm the reader. If you are not already a pedigree player, you'd have been lost. But then, she lays out every new sire with their predicted success (i.e. 2yo races! Turf!). This is the reason you want this book and should keep it handy. It's simply an adjunct to your already acquired handicapping knowledge. The info should easily pay for the cost of the book in no time.
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Format: Paperback
Lauren Stich, Pedigree Handicapping (DRF Press, 2004)

I hate to say this. I really do. I have found Lauren Stich's posts on @derby and her column in the Daily Racing Form very, very valuable over the years, and I admire her handicapping prowess to no end. But this book just doesn't work on so many levels.

The main problem with the book is it lacks explanation. It's packed with examples, which is always a good thing, but the reasoning behind those examples is rarely, if ever, made clear. Instead, the book has two very long lists, one of sires whose offspring do well on certain surfaces, and another of freshman sires for 2004-05. While Stich contends that the freshman sires list is timeless, and it's certainly the case that offspring of a horse who was a freshman sire in 2004 should perform the same way as those offspring in later years, what's missing is an explanation of how she comes to the conclusion that sire X's offspring will perform better at distance Y or on surface Z. It's easy to figure out if you've followed discussions on pedigree handicapping over the last twelve years, as I have, but I can't imagine most of this book's prospective readers would fall into this category.

Also, Stich's examples fall into the "selective examples" trap-- every example fits perfectly. Which is okay for illustrative purposes, but tends to bias the reader's perceptions a great deal. (This is why most modern handicapping authors will go through a full day or two-- or in the memorable case if William Scott, a full week-- to show the places where their handicapping failed as well, or races that simply couldn't be handicapped with the methods presented.
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Format: Paperback
Stich is a fantastic mind on pedigrees and analysis. However, this book doesn't quite live up to the potential that it should for a few reasons:

(1) Spending a chapter or two on a primer as to why certain lines (Bold Ruler, Northern Dancer) do better than others (Man O'War, etc.) would give the reader a real foundation for the information contained inside. The book becomes a list of "here's who's good for x, y, and z", without any history or exposition to back it up.

(2) There's a fair amount of material in the book (including an entire chapter) that's pure regurgitated material from her Racing Form columns. They're useful material, but nothing really new if you've followed racing at all.

(3) The chapter on pedigree in the Derby doesn't really work because she boldly declares which horses did or did not have the pedigree to win the Derby, with no explanation attached. Yes, this would've made for a longer book, but it would've been more informative than by simply putting together a laundry list of horses that did and did not make the grade. (She also admits herself that Derby pedigree analysis may be useless at this point, which makes one wonder what the entire point was.)

So yes, there's a lot of good info in the book, but it could've been much, much better. Color me disappointed.
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Format: Paperback
You have to be a devout pedigree analyst or become one for this book to be effective in the daily war handicapping horse races. In that event the book is 5 stars but outside that

it is almost useless.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
She kind of lost me with the Bold Ruler, Mr. Prospector, etc... lines going back but the individual sires were helpful. I've also read some of her DRF articles and those are probably better than the book. She obviously knows her pedigrees.
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