Any book that has been published and then revised three times over a thirty-two year period must be providing a lot of value, or else people would not continue buying it. Betting Thoroughbreds for the 21st Century by Steve Davidowitz was initially published in with revised editions brought out in , , and During this period of time, Mr. Davidowitz is well qualified to do the analyses and provide the advice contained in his book. His career has included stints covering horse racing for several major newspapers. Most of the chapter titles and appendix titles give a sense of what they are about.
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It has sold , copies worldwide in more than 20 printings while influencing generations of horseplayers. All were reasons why I decided to revise and substantially update my book. Here are just six of the most important changes:. Some have begun to run fewer racing dates and fewer races, but there still is too much racing in too many places.
Coincidentally perhaps, but the modern era of racehorse fragility can be traced to the introduction of the drugs Lasix and Butazolidin for racing purposes in the 70s. While American trainers and vets say these drugs are needed to keep horses in action, this flies in the face of fewer starts per horse and shorter racing careers. It also contrasts with the fact that virtually every other racing country prohibits these drugs.
This is a good thing, not bad. While there are too many races each year, there is nothing wrong with having dozens of daily wagering options to plan a good play, including exactas, trifectas, superfectas, pick threes, pick fours and the pick six. When I got into the game there was just win, place, show and a single daily double, and you had to be at the track to play.
Frankly, however, New York City OTB has proven to be the weakest, least efficient of all these options and no other state has copied the New York model. This gives both horsemen and horseplayers reasons to stay in the game well into the fall. These new outlets provide horseplayers and casual fans with an incredible amount of good handicapping and historical information. Even during Derby week, we can watch all the prep races and most of the Derby week workouts on our home computers.
As stated, there have been many changes, some quite positive and others, such as the introduction of synthetic racing surfaces at some of our most important race meets, that have radically impacted the game.
Many horseplayers do in fact find synthetic racing surfaces difficult to handicap. Do you have any advice? But here are some handicapping hints:. How do you deal with trainers who suddenly start to win as many as 40 percent of their starters? I try to find out what their best winning approaches are and which approaches do not live up to their high strike rates. Getting a handle on the way a trainer sets up a winning performance by reading between the past performance lines is — as it was 30 years ago — the best way to catch nice-priced winners.
For more info, please E-mail me at davidwtz aol. I did it for several years without any other real income and know about a dozen players personally who are way ahead of the game. There are others who I am sure are winning in every region of the country. I still show modest profits in most years that are supplemented by my writing, editing and consulting work; or perhaps I should say that my writing and consulting work supplements my betting income.
I also have personally helped teach several winning players through the years, including Andy Beyer, who graciously gives me credit for that, although the truth is we helped each other quite a bit.
I love teaching and researching handicapping issues and exchanging ideas with players at every level of skill and experience. I am firmly convinced that far from a game of pure luck, horse racing is the most interesting, the most intellectually challenging, the very best gambling game man has ever invented.
I actually have three that stand out and give me confidence when I lose my concentration, or just have no idea what is happening out there:. I loved him off of a workout pattern that was jumping off the page of the Racing Form. That was a great thrill and a validation of my methods beyond few other experiences in my handicapping career.
I loved Eskendereya until he started to train so gingerly over the track. It was a warning sign and no surprise that he was going to be scratched last Sunday. There is so much early speed in this Derby that I think we will see a stretch-running winner. This Derby, like several others in recent years, essentially is a roulette wheel on horseback. Yes, of course; but as always it will take a very special thoroughbred with the talent, the stamina and the people behind him who can avoid trying to rack up big wins in prep races and just try to get him percent ft for the mile-and-a-quarter Kentucky Derby; hold him at that level of form for the mile-and-three-sixteenth Preakness and have him reach a slightly higher plateau for the longest and most demanding of the series: the mile-and-a-half Belmont Stakes.
We are now approaching a year drought since Affirmed in , but there have been several near misses too. See next articles. Michelle Riordan Steve Davidowitz is a professional handicapper, reporter, editor, consultant, author and columnist.
Q. and A. With Steve Davidowitz
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BOOK REVIEW OF BETTING THOROUGHBREDS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
Published by Daily Racing Form. Seller Rating:. About this Item: Daily Racing Form. Condition: Fair. A readable copy. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact. Pages can include considerable notes-in pen or highlighter-but the notes cannot obscure the text.
Betting Thoroughbreds for the 21st Century