Just in time for Breeders Cup

Oct 10, 2006 4:33 AM

Breeders’ Cup time always seems to bring out the best horses, the ones that are worth betting. Moreover, it also seems to generate new books for the handicappers. That’s the story this year as four new titles for horseplayers are just out and each has specific strong points.

The 10-Cent Superfecta Betting Guide by Paul Lambrakis (46 pages, paperbound, $14.95) is a pocket-sized gem, more a pamphlet than a book, that fits the needs of players who love this economical bet, a takeoff on the traditional $1 bet that buys you one single combination of four numbers, providing there are at least eight entrants in the race. Since many tracks have reduced the minimum bet for superfecta to 10 cents, players now get more action, and when they win, they get a proportionally smaller payback. For example, if a dollar superfecta pays $1,000, then the 10-cent superfecta would pay $100.

The first 17 pages describe ideas, strategies, thoughts on building a combination and money management ideas. From page 18, the author reproduces charts that show anywhere from five to 12-horse combinations that will help ensure you don’t miss a combination. Endorsed by several individuals including James Quinn, author of several books including the Handicapper’s Condition Book and Figure Handicapping, the book fits neatly into a shirt or jacket pocket for quick reference, is easy to read and could make exotic betting a lot more fun for a lot less money.

Karl Johan Ljungberg is another new author with a book titled More Bang for Your Buck: Multi-Race Strategies for the Good Handicapper Who Wants to Be a Better Bettor (81 pages, plastic spiral-bound, $19.95.) Three different multi-race strategies get the focus: The Key; The Block and The Designated Hitter.

The Key involves the horse or horses you have decided will most likely win or at least guarantee a solid payoff. The Block asks you to designate which are your first, second and third choices and applies to two races; the Designated Hitter involves many more choices and races.

This book offers a systematic approach to betting exotics, and the author says the principles can be applied to harness racing and the quarter horses as well. Those who like betting the daily double, pick 3 and pick 4 may find the strategies presented extremely helpful.

David Johnson’s Value Betting at the Racetrack (268 pages, paperbound, $29.95) teaches the beginner or experienced bettor how to avoid negative betting angles and in nine comprehensive chapters promotes what he calls his Valuline method of betting. He debunks factors such as body language, class, form cycle analysis, pace analysis, pari-mutuel pool analysis, speed rating analysis, track bias, trip analysis, workouts. This chapter alone should make for fascinating reading. Johnson, who holds a doctorate degree, loves to swim against the current with his own theories of wagering and handicapping.

He gets his contrarian views going full bore from page 139 on, including an explanation of what Valuline betting is, which in part says, "It is a list of win contenders which are bet when their track odds are higher than their fair odds. You make value bets by betting only on overlays.”¦

"It scientifically evaluates the important factors in all the past performances of each horse in every race. It determines each horse’s true chance of winning and converts the horse’s win probability into a betting line."

Packed with examples, formulas and results, it’s geared for the horse player who wants a new approach and is willing to toss away many other preconceived notions about thoroughbred handicapping.

These books and more are available from the Gambler’s Book Shop (Gambler’s Book Club) in Las Vegas. The store’s web site is www.gamblersbook.com. You can call toll free at 1-800-522-1777.