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Hello, fellow horse racing fans! "Ils sont partis" is French for "They're off," and it's what the track announcer says at the start of every race at Evangeline Downs in Lafayette, Louisiana. (I used to make a lot of money there, but only because I worked there. ;))

Anyway, I requested this board because I remember back in the days of the 9600 baud modem and the great Prodigy bulletin boards... the horse racing board was *extremely* active and informative. I learned an awful lot about handicapping from those folks. I hope we can rekindle that and build up the racing community here at the Fool.

Feel free to talk racing, breeding, betting strategies, money management... anything connected to horse racing.

Cheers,

Rex
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Anyone want to recommend any books on handicapping?

Cheeze
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Cheeze,

There are a million, Quirin and Beyer come to mind but for a true fool the only place to start is...

"Kinky Handicapping" by Mark Cramer

If you have to ask *why*, you don't deserve to be a handicapper or a fool.

Cramer tells people to zig when everyone else is zagging, and that is the true key to paramutuel wagering. Gotta run because if I was *really* any good at handicapping, I wouldn't have to get back to my pesky day job.

Mrs4*
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Also, never had the pleasure of investing in Louisiana, but do they change it to Elles sont partis for fillies and mares?
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Of course I meant "elles sont parties"
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Cheeze, I've read a lot of handicapping books over the years, so I'll have to go from memory here until I get all my boxes unpacked from the move.

Andy Beyer's "Picking Winners" got me interested in handicapping many years ago. You should know beforehand, however, that the speed figures he teaches are now available for anyone because they're published in the Daily Racing Form. And since everyone has them, that diminishes their value. However, IMO the book is still a must-read.

I learned a lot about pace from "Modern Pace Handicapping" by Tom Brohamer.

Mrs4* mentioned Quinn, and I know I've read one of his books and it was good. ;)

Cramer is known for his superior money management techniques (i.e., how not to walk away a loser when you've had a good day picking winners). Haven't read "Kinky Handicapping," but I will eventually. Along those same lines, I've heard that Barry Meadow's "Money Secrets at the Racetrack" was excellent.

Finally, the best complete overview of handicapping is Tom Ainslie's "Complete Guide to Thoroughbred Racing." It goes over all the aspects that a beginner should be familiar with.

All in all, though... I think Beyer's the best writer out there.

Rex
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There are a million, Quirin and Beyer come to mind but for a true fool the only place to start is...
"Kinky Handicapping" by Mark Cramer



I found this review of "Kinky Handicapping" online at:

http://www.winsports.com/ATM/books/kinky.htm

I have to admit that, given the amount of time I spend lurking on the Berkshire Hathaway board, the phrase "value-based handicapping" jumped out at me when I read the review. Oddly enough, it sounds like a very Buffettesque approach to playing the horses, with lots of respect for knowing about probabilities, and searching for real strength behind the numbers and odds everyone else takes for granted:

In one of the most valuable chapters in the book, "The Management of Lust," the author tackles the emotional-financial polarity of betting high-percentage, low-priced horses versus lower percentage, high-priced horses. His concept of More Big Action (MBA) is a pragmatic, step-by-step approach to wagering reform, enabling the player to gradually direct more of his bankroll toward the higher value plays that lead to the big scores which are the real basis for a year-in, year-out profit at the races. His advice here can help both overly-conservative bettors and "hyper promiscuous" players (those who swing for the fences on every race) achieve a middle ground where big scores can be maximized gradually without abandoning the safety net or lower-priced traditional plays.

Buffett at a racetrack? Ouch -- there's an oxymoronic image for you). But I suspect that a lot can be learned by looking at the parallels between investing and horse wagering. Given Buffett's penchant for numbers, it wouldn't surprise me if he found the horse track an intriguing scene for a mental experiment. I might almost expect the phrase "margin of safety" to be cited in the passage quoted above.

I probably deserve a spanking now from those who hold Buffett in especially high esteem. I wouldn't argue with anyone who objects to these observations. It's just that since I'm only beginning to look at racing, and given that I spend so much time hanging out at an investment website, the analogies come naturally to me. Whether you're investing or playing the horses, you're searching for strengths that the rest of the crowd is overlooking.

Cheeze
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Also, never had the pleasure of investing in Louisiana, but do they change it to Elles sont partis for fillies and mares?

I'm definitely not a French expert, Mrs4*, but I think the "Ils" has no gender. But I can ask my 10-year-old son tonight, he'll know. ;)

Rex
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Ha! Turns out I'm not the first one to mention horse racing and value investing in the same breath:

Stock market and horse racing: two of a kind
GEORGE CHAMBERLIN
North County Times

Warren Buffett and Jim Kostas have probably never met, yet they have something in common. They are both value investors. Buffett does his investing on Wall Street and Kostas does his investing at the racetrack....


The rest is at:

http://www.nctimes.com/news/072600/cccc.html

I love Google.

:-)

Cheeze
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Uh huh. I thought something was fishy. Here I find y'all talking French and discussing stuff like: "In one of the most valuable chapters in the book, "The Management of Lust..."

I'm very disappointed, go to your rooms :/
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I used to be on the Prodigy Horse Racing board, and it is to this day one of the best I have ever seen.

I used the moniker The High Desert Fox. If there are any questions on horse racing here, feel free to ask.
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I am partial to Kinky Handicapping myself. Mark mentions some of my exploits is his chapter titled "The Red Light District." I believe it is page 81.
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Hajck (or anyone)... are you still lurking around these parts?
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I'll add that I can't believe I've found someone else who used to be on the Prodigy boards... and the name "The High Desert Fox" is very familiar!
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