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> Horse and Dog Racing > All Horse Racing > BETTING MAIDENS AND TWO-YEAR-OLDS

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Dan Illman
Product Reviews
The book's back-cover description gets to the point quickly: Readers will learn about first-time starters and experienced maidens on dirt and turf, paddock inspections, trainer/jockey combinations, Beyer Pars. Illman covers everything from yearling auctions to form cycles for older maidens, taking you from the first baby races of the spring all the way through the Breeder's Cup and Juvenile Fillies. The work contains 17 chapters and is well-priced at $14.95. Illman seems to know what bettors want. He delivers interesting tips on workouts and how to spot a star in the making; he tells you what body language to watch for when they're on the track (although I'd like to see some illustrations along with the text); and he underlines the importance of record-keeping. One important chapter delves into turf maidens (leading turf-debut sires and trainers) where an astute handicapper might find some double-digit payoffs if he or she is patient enough; and for those who see pedigree as a major factor, he offers many examples of who to watch for among sires and dams. Illman loves the game. You can see it in his writing and the energy he imparts--there's a sense of optimism and enthusiasm. The chapter titled Projecting Drastic Improvement With Angles is one of the more interesting, describing situations to watch for like Second-Time Starters; First-Time Lasix; Trip Handicapping; First-Time Fast Track; First-Time Routing when to raise the red flags in regard to older maidens (translation: when to eliminate them as contenders). 212 pages, paperbound, 2005.
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