Speed Figures
        In case you're looking for some last minute items to add to your Christmas List, we've compiled a list of our best recommendations for some very good books on handicapping and horse racing.
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     We get a lot of email asking us if there are any places to get more information on using pace figures and how to better read our speed reports so we have compiled this list of books that represents the best information available on pace handicapping. If you want to find more information about pace figures and applying pace handicapping to your own methods, put these books on your reading list.

     We are not affiliated with the authors or publishers of these books so we have no financial stake in hyping these particular book titles but we have read them all and recommend them to anyone interested in becoming a better handicapper. We have been able to meet a few of the authors and can tell you that they are very good handicappers and very nice guys as well. There is a direct link to each book below through Amazon.com if you want more information than what we've given you or if you want to purchase one of the books. Amazon offers the very best prices I've seen on any of the books.

Comments on the books provided by Matt Matuska.


Modern Pace Handicapping - by Tom Brohamer
Modern Pace Handicapping, Tom Brohamer

I haven't seen the newly updated version of this book yet but the original printing was certainly a handicapper's classic. This book is a great tool for pace handicappers and provides a good explanation for many of the underlying principles and methods of how I calculate the speed figures that are contained in our reports.

Brohamer devotes full chapters to the topics of making par charts and Quirin-style speed figures. He does a great job of explaining how to make and use speed figures and the information can directly benefit anyone using our speed reports. There are also chapters on "turn times" and running styles (we use his ESP terminology in our daily race analysis). This is probably my number one favorite on the list.

More info and a direct link to this book through


Handicapping Magic - by Michael Pizzolla
Handicapping Magic, Michael Pizzolla

This is the latest book I have been reading and even though I'm not finished yet I can already tell you it's one of the most interesting books on this list. The author has written a very informative book that covers new territory in using pace figures when handicapping a race. Unlike the books by Tom Brohamer and James Quinn, the pace figure analysis in Handicapping Magic does not apply directly to the figures on our reports, but Pizzolla still provides some very valuable information. (I believe he is affiliated with ITS Data who also provides good data and reports).

In addition to the work on pace figures, the book is guaranteed to make you re-examine the mental side of the handicapping process. Pizzolla has an entertaining writing style and is definitely tapping into theories that I want to spend more time exploring. His attitudes and assertions about handicapping are right on the mark. This is a very good book.

More info and a direct link to this book through Amazon.com


The Handicapper's Condition Book - by James Quinn
The Handicapper's Condition Book, James Quinn

James Quinn has probably written more books on the subject of horse race handicapping than any other author. All of his books are well worth reading, but many of the older ones are now out of print so you have to find them at the local library or through a used book service.

The Handicapper's Condition Book is now updated with more material than its original printing and is available through bookstores. I own the original version of this book and it's a solid source of info on how to evaluate different class levels at any track and has an interesting section on how to gauge class in top 3 year olds as they move through the Derby preps in early spring. Quinn's books deal directly with the type of pace and speed figures that we provide in our speed figure reports.

More info and a direct link to this book through Amazon.com


Bet With the Best - Andrew Beyer (editor), including chapters from various authors such as Tom Brohamer, James Quinn and Steve Davidowitz
Bet With the Best, Andrew Beyer

Each chapter of this book features a different author who tackles a different handicapping topic. The list of authors is a list of some of the most respected handicappers in the game of horse racing. Andrew Beyer is the main editor of the book, but is joined by Tom Brohamer who wrote the chapter on "Pace Handicapping" and James Quinn who wrote the chapter on "Class". Other contributors are Steve Davidowitz, Steven Crist, Dave Litfin and Mike Watchmaker.

After mentioning who the authors are, I probably don't need to say much more. It's a good tool for anyone interested in handicapping. It doesn't cover any of the individual topics as extensively as you would get in some of those authors' books, but it has a lot of great information packed into a small space.

More info and a direct link to this book through Amazon.com


Betting Thoroughbreds - by Steve Davidowitz
Betting Thoroughbreds, Steve Davidowitz

Steve Davidowitz practically invented the familiar handicapping terms like "track bias" and "key race". This is another book that has been re-released with lots of new material. I can certainly vouch for my original copy which is now pretty worn from all the times I have picked it up and re-read a chapter on a rainy afternoon. Davidowitz is an entertaining writer who includes some good anecdotes and writes a regular column in Horsplayer magazine. This should be one of the original titles you put on your handicapping bookshelf.

More info and a direct link to this book through Amazon.com


Seabiscuit, An American Legend - by Laura Hillenbrand
Seabiscuit, Laura Hillenbrand

This book isn't directly related to handicapping, but it's still worth a look. It paints an interesting picture of the horseracing scene of the 1930's and tells the story of Seabiscuit from his initial racing problems to his brilliant Santa Anita Handicap win.

More info and a direct link to this book through Amazon.com


 

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