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Handicapping Magic

4.0 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0967987026
ISBN-10: 0967987024
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Editorial Reviews


...more useful information that is thoroughly explained and illustrated with examples than any handicapping book that I have read... -- J.H.

I ... can honestly say it is the best teaching tool I have ever seen on the subject of thoroughbred racing! -- Bob Harris, Reno NV

This book is the culmination of the pace handicapping movement of the ‘80s and ‘90s, but far more than that. -- Charles Carroll, author of Handicapping Speed

About the Author

Michael Pizzolla is an attorney by training and an avid professional-level handicapper. Michael has taught seminars on handicapping throughout the country, showing thousands of players a simpler way to handicap. Michael is recognized as one of the pioneers of computer handicapping and has with his colleague Eric Langjahr, created state-of-the-art computer software packages for handicappers.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Intl Thoroughbred Superhighway Inc (August 8, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0967987024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0967987026
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 6.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,129,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was informed of this book in a on-line newsletter about horse racing, and the authors were describing the successes they were having with some of Michael's methods. I am a seasoned handicapper, and the last thing I thought I needed was another handicapping book, but I was intrigued. After reading the book, I found the rating techniques described simple to anyone who has handicapping experience and is serious about the game (for the novice, it is very helpful to be good with numbers and calculations).
The techniques also seem to be quite effective. I usually handicap multiple tracks at an simulcast facility, looking for good bets (i.e. longer-priced horses that have a chance to win). The first 2 days I tried Michael's methods, I was pointed to a total of 4 longshot winners that I would have otherwise passed over using my current handicapping methods. Not bad....
Michael details his background in the book to some extent, and the reader will realize that he did not come up with these techniques overnight - years of experience and refinement have brought him to the methods he describes. Any serious bettor and student of the game can appreciate the effort. If anything, the techniques described in the book will help you find overlooked horses, as the methods seem to be very good at quickly ferreting out 'hidden ability' - ability not apparent from looking at the past performances in the public's generalized way. If the methods and rankings point to the logical favorites, pass the race. Otherwise, be prepared to play!
This book is an excellent supplement to anyone's current method of handicapping, and gave me more tools to add to my 'handicapping toolbox.
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Format: Paperback
I have read well over 20 books on handicapping, plus programs and this one actually can be understood and makes sense. Needless to say is that these tools that are presented in the book really work and I have made money with it on B C day without finishing the book !! I use it with my handicapping and it is easier to make decisions for betting. There are no stories to make the book fatter, just good stuff that works. Pizzolla's concepts are brilliant because I use the same concept only his are more effective than mine. After this book you won't need to buy any others. His ideas are used to SUPPLEMENT your handicapping but maybe used as a stand alone method. I bought this book because I have been to his seminars and they are honest and informative. You will agree that this is the best book you have ever read because this information will make you a winner !!!
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Format: Paperback
The software is easy to use and the book does not teach any new principles of pace handicapping. The two simple pace rating is as good as any pace rating which one can create. The problem with the software is that it picks the last paceline of the horse for dirt races, and on turf races, it selects all the turf pacelines for the horse. This leaves the user with the task of proper contender and paceline selection. The author provides guidelines to contender and paceline selection; however the user will still need to make analysis of the race in order to succeed, if one follows blinded to the computer output, one will be greatly disappointed. It's not a black box, judgment and thinking is required to interpret the numbers. The section on money management is a little vague, the author shows in his book that he makes most of his money in exactas and trifectas betting rather than straight win bets. Unless, one has a big bankroll for exotic betting, be ready to go through a roller coaster ride in exotic betting.
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Format: Paperback
Michael Pizzolla, Handicapping Magic (ITS Press, 2000)
It's impossible to write a review of a handicapping book just after reading it, really, and comment on what the mechanics of the writing are all about. I'll be back in a year or so to cogitate on all that and whether it works or not. Or you can take a look at other reviews, which look like, well, reviews of almost every other handicapping book out there. Works for some folks. Not for others. We shall see.
From the standpoint of logic, clarity, theory, and understanding, though, Handicapping Magic is simply the holy grail of handicapping books. I've probably read two hundred books on handicapping in the past ten years, ranging from the sublime (Brohamer, Quinn, etc.) to the ridiculous (any book whose handicapping method is based on "smart money", etc.), and despite having read all those and more, there were still some great unanswered questions about handicapping. I've asked them, at the risk of sounding like a rank beginner, on for a far and wide over the course of those ten years, to weekend warriors and professional handicappers alike, to those who author handicapping books and those who run handicapping websites, to the guys in thousand-dollar suits in the clubhouse and the guys in tattered shorts on the apron. Ask a hundred people you get a hundred answers, at least ninety-five of which will be "I don't know" in some dialect of horse. They're simple questions, too, or seem so. "How can you tell if a horse is in good form?" "What IS good form?" "How can you tell where a horse is in his form cycle?" "How do you tell what horse in a race is most likely to be on the lead?" "If a horse isn't on the lead, what are the chances he'll still manage to run well?
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