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APBA SADDLE RACING SEASON CARD SETS

My favorite replay horse racing game (but it doesn't
have a lot of competition!) is the APBA Saddle Racing
game produced by the APBA Game Company from the early 70s until the late 80s, at which time it was
discontinued. Even though the last official APBA set
was produced based on the 1987 racing season, now you can get APBA Saddle Racing season sets from a few different years from Gary Stishan.

I had been thinking about buying one of these sets for
what must be like 6 months now, from when I first
heard about them. I finally placed the order this
month and I am extremely happy with the product and
service I recieved.

First off, you HAVE to have a copy of the original
APBA Saddle Racing game. These are NOT standalone
games or card sets. Each year, APBA would produce a
card set based on the previous year's racing results.
These card sets would include the following: 112 horse
cards, 70 rated jockeys on a sheet of paper, and a
sheet of paper with 20 feature stakes races from that
year, including the Triple Crown races.

Gary offers a base card set for the following seasons
for $9.95 (plus shipping) that includes the same
things as the APBA sets. 112 horses, 70 rated jockeys,
20 races. He has the following seasons available:
1968, 1988, 2000, and 2001. 2002 will be along
sometime next month. These sets are produced with the
full blessing of the APBA Game company.

The horses come on 67 lb. card stock and you have to
cut them out yourself and they are in black and white,
not the familiar APBA black printing, red results
format. However, Gary states all these caveats up
front, no surprises here. I found the cardstock to be
of a decent weight and the printing is very clear and
legible, black on a greyish card stock. Other than the
cards being a slightly smaller size than the orginal
Saddle Racing cards, they are still laid out in the
same format as the original cards so results are easy
to find and read. The cards even include some NEW
information that APBA never included, such as money
winnings, win, place and show results, and a brand new
rating called Endurance. (See below for more on that.)

Instead of jamming the 20 race lineups on one big
crowded sheet as APBA used to do, Gary provides 10
pages with 2 races to a page. There is also a lot more
detail included on each race compared to the
originals. This is a big improvment to the APBA
version. The rated jockeys (and the list of included
horses) are printed on sheets that double as results
sheets with places to record the jockey's (and
horse's) finishes.

Along with everything else, Gary also provides a "Year
in Review" section, and some optional rules, some of
which I've already decided to incorporate into my
races. One limits the number of moves you can "save
up" (a very unrealistic part of the orginal game
rules) based on the jockey's ability. A very nice,
clean way to handle it. Also, as mentioned above, all
horses have a brand new rating called Endurance.
Basically, if a horse races a distance it is not
accustomed to racing, there is a chance it will tire
out at a given point in the race. Another great
addition.

Now, if this was the only thing Gary offered, the
season set with 112 horses, etc. for $9.95, I would be
(and am) very pleased. But what's even better is for
$9.95, you can also buy a Supplemental Yearbook. (If
you buy the main Yearbook and the Supplement together,
it's only $17.95.) One problem with APBA's list of 20
races that they included in the game was that often,
many of the horses who raced in the real life race,
were not included in the 112 card main horse card set.
So you either had to run a limited field or fill in
with other horses who did not really run in that race
in real life.

The Supplement to the Yearbook fills in all those
missing horses, every single one. BUT, not only that,
the Supplement also comes with 30 MORE races you can
run, AND all the horses that raced in those races. In
the 2001 Supplement I purchased, that was over 220
MORE horses (340+ with the Yearbook and Supplement
together). More jockeys are also rated in the
Supplement as well. So buying the Yearbook and
Supplement together would give 340+ horses, 50 races,
100+ jockeys, expanded and optional rules and Year in
Review. All for $17.95!

If you own any of the original APBA Saddle Racing card
sets, Gary also produces Supplement yearbooks so you
can race ALL the horses from all the races for those
original card sets too. Right now, Gary has
Supplements for the Original cards seasons of: 1969,
1970, 1975, 1976. (I'm trying to get him to do 1977
Seattle Slew year as that is the card set I have. :))

But you can ALSO buy another supplement for just
running the Breeder's Cup races (which would include
All the Breeder's Cup races and all the needed horses
- Gary told me another 90 or so horses in the BC
supplement). OR you could buy the Euro/Far Eastern set
of about 36 horse for those horses who ran majorly
different overseas.

You can mix and match all these sets together in any
combination. The whole shooting match for a given year
(Yearbook, Supplment, Breeder's Cup, Euro/Far East
sets) is available for a package price of $19.95. VERY
reasonable for over 450+ horses, 50+ races, 150+
jockeys and everything else.

Gary also makes a set of 114 famous TV, movie and
fictional horses in a Wild, Wild, West and Beyond set.
Heck, there's even some donkeys, zebras and mules in
that set! :)

I paid for my order with a Money Order and recieved my
shipment within four days of Gary getting the money
order on his end.

About the only negative things I have to say is that I
wish the cards had been the exact same size as the
originals (but then he probably would have not been
able to fit six to a page) and the fact that ALL
horses are rated exactly the same for Good, Slow,
Muddy, and Sloppy tracks. The original APBA game had
some horses who would be better than others on Sloppy,
Muddy or Slow tracks. Here, all horses are affected
equally by track conditions. Still, if the trade off
for that flaw is the new Endurance rating, I can live
with that. :)

All in all, a nice product with a GREAT value to price
ratio in my books.


Added:  Monday, March 17, 2003
Reviewer:  Dave Arlington
Score:
Related web link:  Gary Stishan's email address to order
hits: 9564

  

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