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Pedigree Handicapping Paperback – November 2, 2004
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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.Read more ›
(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.
it is almost useless.
You will be seeing me at the track carrying this book (now becoming a dog-eared copy!) to assist in my handicapping.
I was told by one handicapper that I was a "closet pedigree handicapper." Now, I'm out of the closet thanks to this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
She kind of lost me with the Bold Ruler, Mr. Prospector, etc... lines going back but the individual sires were helpful. Read morePublished 19 months ago by J. FRITZ
OK, the author clearly knows her matreial, but I was really looking forward to reading this book as I am interested in horse pedigrees and their usefulness as a handicapping tool. Read morePublished on April 12, 2006 by David Bridgforth
This interesting book has great merit as a handicapping tool. Written in clear concise language, the author shares her extensive knowledge of horse pedigrees with the reader. Read morePublished on January 2, 2005 by Arlene Millman