Howard Henkin, The Dot System (Dot Enterprises, Inc., 1980)
[originally posted 4Nov2002]
The Dot System has achieved almost legendary status among handicappers not for its content, but for its rarity and the stupid price it normally goes for when a copy is found on ebay. I finally managed to pick one up for what passes for dirt cheap in the business of rare vertical-market publications, and found that “stupid” applies to more than the price.
As I mentioned in my review of Mr. Trifecta, there are handicapping tomes based on solid perceptions to be gleaned from the racing papers, and there are books that rely on more nebulous data. the Dot System takes a kind of middle-of-the-road approach; the basic idea here is to look at selections from a large number of handicappers and make your picks based on what they have to say. Don’t do any of the handicapping yourself; leave that to the so-called experts.
To be fair, this method is not without its merits. I “handicap” harness horses that way on my rare trips to see the standardbreds (because I have no facility for trip handicapping, which is a necessity with the pacers and trotters), and it’ll usually send me home a few dollars to the good. But as a way to make enough money to pay for a copy of this book? Not on your life, bub. **