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Jockeys & Trainers



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Jockeys

From current greats like Jerry Bailey and Gary Stevens to the all but forgotten black jockeys of 100 years ago, all of these men and women have two things in common - courage and athleticism. Read the stories of their on-track accomplishments and off-track lives.

Also take note of some of the limited availabilty books listed at the bottom of this page, including autobiographies by Julie Krone and Bill Shoemaker and biographies of Affirmed's jockey Steve Cauthen ("Kid"), Britain's greatest jockey Lester Piggott ("A Jockey's Life" by Dick Francis), and Robyn Smith, one of the first female jockeys to gain prominence in the U.S.

Against the Odds: Riding for My Life by Jerry Bailey Against the Odds: Riding for My Life by Jerry Bailey

A remarkable narrative of failure and redemption, the fiercely candid autobiography of the world's greatest jockey, depicting not only the intense inside story of professional racing but his greatest victory of all-against himself.

'I had hit bottom. My descent into alcoholism had been slow, but now I was lying at the bottom of the ocean, searching for a ray of light. I needed to breathe again. I needed to live again. . . . It was up to me.'

He is considered the leading rider of his era, one of the greatest jockeys ever to break from the starting gate. He has won every major race there is, and then won it again; set earnings and stakes records; and entered the Racing Hall of Fame. But none of it was possible until he defeated his demons.

Astonishingly frank and vividly detailed, Against the Odds chronicles the making of both a man and a champion: the years of drinking, cruelty, anger, despair; the moment of truth, with the help of his wife, Suzee; the dramatic rise to the top. It takes us into the racing world as only someone who has lived it can-the joys and dangers, the adrenaline highs and controversies, from the stables to the stretch drive. It is a new classic of the literature.

Triple Crown Winner: The Earl Sande Saga by Richard J. Maturi Triple Crown Winner: The Earl Sande Saga by Richard J. Maturi

Triple Crown Winner: The Earl Sande Saga, 350 pages, 100 images, table of Triple Crown Winners, glossary of racing terms, horse racing statistics appendices, bibliography, index, hard bound. National turf historian and the leading authority on the history of horse racing, Tom Gilcoyne, captures Sande’s importance in the racing world, 'Few jockeys were as good as Sande and certainly nobody was ever better.'

Climb aboard for a terrific ride. Triple Crown Winner: The Earl Sande Saga is filled with adventure, love, tragedy, and triumph. The characters would make a Hollywood casting director envious. Meet Burr Scott, who entices Earl to quit school and join the racing game; Arizona’s Doc Pardee, who rode the rodeo circuit with Tom Mix and tutors Sande on the fine points of riding to win; Commander Ross, a Canadian war hero, who invades the American racing world and captures the first Triple Crown and ranks as the leading horse racing owner; Harry Sinclair, owner of Sinclair Oil and the famed Rancocas Stables; sportswriter Damon Runyon, who immortalizes Sande in many poems, noted trainers Sam Hildreth and 'Sunny Jim' Fitzsimmons, Sande friend Will Rogers, and many more interesting characters.

Don't wait for the movie, pickup a copy today for a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Wink: The Incredible Life and Epic Journey of Jimmy Winkfield by Edward Hotaling Wink: The Incredible Life and Epic Journey of Jimmy Winkfield by Edward Hotaling

He was a giant of a man who stood barely five feet tall; a fierce competitor with a gentle manner; a gifted jockey whose outstanding accomplishments made him a pariah in his native land. At age twenty-three, two-time Kentucky Derby winner Jimmy Winkfield was forced from American horseracing by a virulent combination of racism and hard times. He could have become one more victim of Jim Crow injustice, but Jimmy never allowed himself to be anyone's victim. Instead he launched himself on an amazing adventure through the epochal events of the twentieth century, and in Wink, Ed Hotaling weaves that story with rich historical detail to tell a page-turning tale reminiscent of E. L. Doctorow's Ragtime.

The Perfect Ride by Gary Stevens The Perfect Ride by Gary Stevens
Ride of Their Lives : The Triumphs and Turmoil of Today's Top Jockeys by Lenny Shulman Ride of Their Lives : The Triumphs and Turmoil of Today's Top Jockeys by Lenny Shulman

Pat Day, Jerry Bailey, Corey Nakatani, and other jockeys reveal how they deal with the pressure of riding horses at top speeds day in and day out, the reality of injury, and the issue of weight.

Great Black Jockeys by Edward Hotaling Great Black Jockeys by Edward Hotaling

More than a century before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in major league baseball, black athletes were dominating America's first national sport. The sport was horse racing, and the greatest jockeys of all were slaves and the sons of slaves. Cheered by thousands of Americans in the North and South, they rode to victory in all of the major stakes, including the very first Kentucky Derby. Although their glory days ranged from the early 1700s to the turn of the 20th century, the memory of these great black jockeys was erased from history. Who were these athletes and why have their names vanished without a trace?

Yankee Doodle Dandy: The Life and Times of Tod Sloan by John Dizikes Yankee Doodle Dandy: The Life and Times of Tod Sloan by John Dizikes

In the 1890s, when jockey Tod Sloan first assumed a low crouching position over the neck of his horse, he precipitated a revolution in horse racing. This entertaining book recounts the story of the feisty jockey, famed throughout the U.S. and Great Britain at the turn of the century. Award-winning author John Dizikes evokes the turbulent, colorful world of racing and gambling and in the process illuminates such topics as the lionizing (and demonizing) of celebrities and the democratization of sport.

Great Women in the Sport of Kings: America's Top Women Jockeys Tell Their Stories Great Women in the Sport of Kings:

America's Top Women Jockeys Tell Their Stories

Black Winning Jockeys in the Kentucky Derby by James Robert Saunders Black Winning Jockeys in the Kentucky Derby by James Robert Saunders

Oliver Lewis was champion jockey of the Kentucky Derby in 1875 with a winning race time of two minutes and 37 seconds. Jockey Willie Simms won in 1896, bringing his horse in at two minutes and seven seconds. James Winkfield was the winning jockey in both 1901 and 1902 with winning race times of two minutes and seven seconds and two minutes and eight seconds, respectively. Each of these men possessed the skill and power necessary to spur a horse to glorious victory. All are members of the small, select group of Derby-winning jockeys who were African Americans. The stakes were high: Black jockeys who won a race in the late 1700s and 1800s sometimes won freedom from slavery as well.

This work examines the presence of black jockeys in the Kentucky Derby, from the first instance of slaves working as stable hands and tending their masters' horses to the first black jockey to win the prestigious Kentucky Derby in 1875 and the continued participation of black jockeys in the Kentucky Derby. Black owners and trainers in the Kentucky Derby are also discussed. Three appendices list black winning jockeys, black trainers and black owners of Kentucky Derby horses.

Trainers

The stories of four great trainers can be found here - biographies of Charlie Whittingham and D. Wayne Lucas, and autobiographies by Bob Baffert and Woody Stevens (limited availability).

Whittingham: The Story of a Thoroughbred Racing Legend by Jay Hovdey Whittingham: The Story of a Thoroughbred Racing Legend by Jay Hovdey
D. Wayne: The High-Rolling and Fast Times of America's Premier Horse Trainer by Carlo DeVito D. Wayne: The High-Rolling and Fast Times of America's Premier Horse Trainer by Carlo DeVito

The first biography of the most successful - and controversial - horse trainer of all time

His methods have been ridiculed, his business tactics declared questionable, and his plans derided. Yet, not even the most stiff-necked Southern patrician can deny that D. Wayne Lukas is the most successful horse trainer in history. In 1999, Lukas became the first trainer to surpass $200 million in earnings. He has won 12 Triple Crown events (including 6 in a row)13 Breeders' Cups, 4 Kentucky Derbies, 5 Preaknesses, and 3 Belmonts. If horse racing is the sport of kings, then D. Wayne Lukas is surely its emperor. Now, in D. Wayne--the first book-length biography of D. Wayne Lukas--sportswriter Carlo DeVito tells the riveting life story of the man known throughout the sports world as the 'Vince Lombardi of horse racing.'

He reveals the unorthodox business tactics D. Wayne used to wrest control of thoroughbred racing away from the handful of wealthy families who had held it for two centuries and to change the business forever. And with the help of candid interviews with Lukas rivals and fans, colleagues and competitors, and others, Carlo DeVito paints a fascinating portrait of the man who embodies Americans' most cherished images of themselves--self-made man, innovator, and cowboy.

Baffert : Dirt Road to the Derby by Bob Baffert Baffert : Dirt Road to the Derby by Bob Baffert

Winning the Kentucky Derby two years in a row has made Bob Baffert the most visible trainer in America. His wit and silver-haired good looks have made him the most popular. Luck and charm have played a role in Baffert's meteoric rise to the top. But he also is acknowledged as a consummate horseman.

In his candid and often hilarious autobiography, 'Dirt Road to the Derby', Baffert recounts growing up in a tiny Arizona border town, where he peddled eggs after school and started riding his families Quarter Horses. His early exploits as a jockey provide a fascinating glimpse of racing at the 'bush tracks' of the Southwest, complete with shoot-outs and rigged races. After college and a fitful start as a Quarter Horse trainer, Baffert finally hits the big time in that sport.

Out of Print - Limited Availability

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