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Saratoga and other great race tracks
Saratoga Tales: Great Horses, Fearless Jockeys, Shocking Upsets and Incredible Blunders at America's Legendary Race Track by Bill Heller Saratoga Tales: Great Horses, Fearless Jockeys, Shocking Upsets and Incredible Blunders at America's Legendary Race Track by Bill Heller

First Sentence: "If it can happen, it happens at Saratoga," 74-year-old George Cassidy, the long-time starter for the New York Racing Association, said, August 8, 1980.

Graveyard of Champions : Saratoga's Fallen Favorites by Bill Heller Graveyard of Champions : Saratoga's Fallen Favorites by Bill Heller

This book explores the phenomenon of Saratoga Racecourse through the stories of the great horses that have fallen victim there, from Man o' War to Secretariat.

Saratoga : The Ultimate Racing Experience by Frank R. Scatoni Saratoga : The Ultimate Racing Experience by Frank R. Scatoni

In a town that lives and breathes Thoroughbred racing, this title brings to life the total Saratoga racing experience. From the backside, frontside, cultural monuments, and after race-day social gatherings, racing aficionados will treasure this unique keepsake. For any fan who has visited Saratoga, or for any fan of Thoroughbred racing, Saratoga: The Ultimate Racing Experience is just that-the ultimate experience for anyone who wants to relive the splendor of the finest racing season America has to offer.

Saratoga Days by Sean Clancy Saratoga Days by Sean Clancy

From the Author: I've been living Saratoga days my whole life. Finally, I wrote a book about them. A day in Saratoga is a lifetime anywhere else, I chronicled 42 of them in a row. Everything from incredible triumphs to life-altering defeats. More about life than horse racing, I think you'll like it.

The Big Horse by Joe McGinniss The Big Horse by Joe McGinniss

'The big horse,' in racing vernacular, is the animal that brings fame and fortune to a stable. He's the heavyweight champion, the All-American quarterback, the four-legged Michael Jordan of the barn. Seabiscuit was once Tom Smith's 'big horse.' A generation ago, Secretariat was Lucien Lauren's. In 2003, Funny Cide was Barclay Tagg's. In sixty years as a trainer, P. G. Johnson had never had one -- until Volponi. P. G. Johnson was a blue-collar wizard, a hardscrabble tough guy who had come east from Chicago, determined to make his mark on New York. And he did. He became leading trainer at all three New York tracks -- Saratoga, Belmont, and Aqueduct -- as well as at Florida's Tropical Park. And he did it without ever winning a Triple Crown or Breeders' Cup event, or having 'the big horse.' 'I never knew how to kiss rich people's asses, and I got too old to learn. If no owner was going to give me a big horse, I figured I'd have to find one myself,' he said. He did that, in his seventies, buying a mare for $8,000, breeding her to a $20,000 stallion, and in 1998 producing Volponi, the horse that would change his life. In October 2002, weakened by surgery and radiation treatment for cancer, P. G. watched Volponi -- the longest shot in the field at 43 to 1 -- bring home more than $2 million by winning the Breeders' Cup Classic, the richest race in America.

Del Mar Racetrack by Kenneth M. Holtzclaw

"Where the Turf Meets the Surf" entered horseracing lore after the 22nd District Agriculture Association (DAA) established a 241-acre fairground at Del Mar that included a stadium and one-mile oval racetrack in the 1930s. The venue gave an enterprising trio the impetus to bring thoroughbred racing to the San Diego County coast. The Del Mar Turf Club was led by Harry Lillis 'Bing' Crosby, Pat O'Brien, and Bill Quigley. A DAA contract to hold a 55-day annual racing season was secured, and on opening day, July 3, 1937, the velvet-voiced 'Der Bingle' greeted the first patrons at the gate. Racing established the Del Mar name beyond California, but it was suspended in 1942 for World War II. The Marines moved in and the Del Mar Turf Club Aircraft Division formed to manufacture wing ribs for B-17s. Racing reopened in 1945 to continued success under the direction of Del Mar Thoroughbred Club president Joe Harper.

They're Off!: Horse Racing at Saratoga by Edward Hotaling They're Off!: Horse Racing at Saratoga by Edward Hotaling
Real Stories about Horse Racing
A Fine Place to Daydream : Racehorses, Romance, and the Irish by Bill Barish A Fine Place to Daydream : Racehorses, Romance, and the Irish by Bill Barish

Barich, a former New Yorker writer, moves to Dublin after falling in love with an Irish woman, but shortly after his arrival he develops an (arguably) even stronger passion for gambling on Irish horse races. This obsession is an extension of his longstanding infatuation with the racetrack (which was the basis for his 1980 classic, Laughing at the Hills). But the steeplechase popular throughout Ireland and the United Kingdom is an entirely different type of race, where a horse's jumping skills matter as much as speed. Barich follows a steeplechase season from October to March, culminating in a weeklong series of races at Cheltenham, England, and consults as many horse trainers, jockeys, bookies and fellow fans as he can find to get the inside dope on how he should place his bets. His narrative is simple but elegant, and his language is erudite without being pretentious. (When he slips in an allusion to Ulysses, for example, it's so casual that it won't stop readers who don't catch it.) The book's setting may be exotic to American readers, but the sheer joy of being a sports fan will be familiar to many.

Diary of a Dream: My Journey in Thoroughbred Racing by George Rowand Diary of a Dream: My Journey in Thoroughbred Racing by George Rowand

First Sentence: Standing in the aisle behind the box seats at Hollywood Park on the first Sunday in June in 1991, I was trying to shake off my nervousness.

The 10 Best Kentucky Derbies by The Staff and Correspondents of The Blood-Horse Magazine The 10 Best Kentucky Derbies by The Staff and Correspondents of The Blood-Horse Magazine

What makes a Kentucky Derby among the best of all time? Secretariat's record-setting effort? Regret's achievement as the first filly to win the vaunted classic, or legendary jockey Bill Shoemaker's misjudgment of the finish line that cost his horse the race? And what about the famous 'Fighting Finish' or Black Gold's 'dream-come-true' victory? The eagerly anticipated showdowns between Affirmed and Alydar and between Citation and Coaltown made those respective Derbies unforgettable to those who were around to experience them. And who could discount the near-disastrous stumble by Alysheba and his remarkable recovery? With 130 runnings to choose from, a panel of racing experts selected these Kentucky Derbies as the all-time greatest, most exciting, and riveting first Saturdays in May. These stories, recounted by a diverse and talented group of Turf writers, await the reader, along with a kaleidoscope of vibrant images only the Kentucky Derby can produce. The 10 Best Kentucky Derbies contains the individual race charts and photos from each race, including rare and seldom-seen images.

Old Friends : Visits With My Favorite Thoroughbreds by Barbara D. Livingston Old Friends : Visits With My Favorite Thoroughbreds by Barbara D. Livingston

When famous racehorses retire from the track, some remain in the spotlight while others eventually fade into obscurity. But the fondness that racing fans feel for some of these horses never dies.

Finished Lines: A Collection of Memorable Writing on Thoroughbred Racing by Frank Scatoni Finished Lines: A Collection of Memorable Writing on Thoroughbred Racing by Frank Scatoni

In this book, author and editor Frank Scatoni captures the essence of the sport that is both exhilarating and breathtaking, frustrating, and cruel.

A Year at the Races : Reflections on Horses, Humans, Love, Money, and Luck by Jane Smiley A Year at the Races : Reflections on Horses, Humans, Love, Money, and Luck by Jane Smiley

The Pulitzer Prize winning author of A Thousand Acres gallops into territory she first explored in her acclaimed best-selling novel Horse Heaven with this irresistible account of her lifelong love affair with horses. Smiley draws upon her firsthand knowledge of horses, as well as the wisdom of trainers, vets, jockeys, and even a real-life horse whisperer, to examine the horse on all levels: practical, theoretical, and emotional. She shares not only 'cute stories' about her own horses, but also fascinating and original insights into horse and human behavior. To all this she adds an element of drama and suspense as two of her own horses begin their careers at the racetrack. As the sexy black filly Waterwheel and the elegant gray colt Wowie aspire to the winner's circle, we are enchanted, enthralled and informed about what it's really like to own, train, and root for a Thoroughbred. A Year at the Races is charming, funny, and a bit outrageous: a candid exploration of the abiding bond between humans and horses, told with panache, intelligence, and humor.

Racing Through the Century : The Story of Thoroughbred Racing in America by Mary Simon Racing Through the Century : The Story of Thoroughbred Racing in America by Mary Simon

Horse racing in the twentieth century embraced excitement, wonder, disappointment, riches, and speed. The Sport of Kings reflected the changing times, mirroring the economic and political climate of the United States. The story of racing is as much about the people who habit the sport as it is about the horses. Mary Simon's rich narrative chronicles the history of racing and its relationship to a changing America. Until now, no other book has captured the thrills and defeats, the culture and the business of Thoroughbred racing over the past one hundred years. Filled with dramatic historical photographs capturing the sport's greatest moments, this book will catapult you into the fast-paced and exciting world of racing.

The Race for the Triple Crown: Horses, High Stakes, and Eternal Hope by Joe Drape The Race for the Triple Crown: Horses, High Stakes, and Eternal Hope by Joe Drape

Joe Drape, award-winning New York Times sportswriter, sweeps us into the rush of the horse-racing season, giving a step-by-step look at the Triple Crown races and a no-holds-barred view of the sport's most illustrious participants. Through his vivid storytelling, he captures the sights and smells from the bush-league tracks of the Bayou, to the twin spires at Churchill Downs, to the winner's circle at historic Belmont Park, and all the stops in between. The stories that Drape unfolds are of the riders, the owners, the jockeys, and the horses themselves; these are stories of the incredible wins, the painful losses, the exuberances of money, and the deep love felt for one of the oldest, most thrilling, and most majestic sports in the world. Rich in detail and crackling with wit, The Race for the Triple Crown is a personal narrative that captures the affecting stories of the Thoroughbred racing world. It begins in June of 1999 in a moment that shocked the nation. A large chestnut colt named Charismatic fractured his foreleg just half a mile from the finish line in the Belmont Stakes, losing his chance to win the Triple Crown, not won since 1978.

At the Track : A Treasury of Horse Racing Stories by Richard Peyton At the Track : A Treasury of Horse Racing Stories by Richard Peyton

An anthology of twenty-three winning tales from the race track, a place that consistently spawns good writing. AT THE TRACK showcases the very best racing thrillers of the past 150 years and includes renowned authors such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling, Ellery Queen, Damon Runyon, and Dick Francis.

Betting on Myself : Adventures of a Horseplayer and Publisher by Steven Crist Betting on Myself : Adventures of a Horseplayer and Publisher by Steven Crist

Whether you're a casual fan tuning in to the Kentucky Derby or a dedicated horseplayer trying to turn a profit, says the author, racing and betting today are completely different than they were in the days of Seabiscuit and Secretariat. The author has been at the forefront of many of these changes and in this long-awaited memoir, he chronicles his unique adventures in racing journalism, politics, high finance and, closest to his heart, betting on horses.

Great Horse Racing Mysteries : True Tales from the Track by John McEvoy Great Horse Racing Mysteries : True Tales from the Track by John McEvoy

Examines several unsolved mysteries of the racing world-- murder...suicide...arson...fraud....Definitely some of horse racing's strangest, most fascinating tales.

Racelines: Observations on Horse Racing's Glorious History by Philip Von Borries Racelines: Observations on Horse Racing's Glorious History by Philip Von Borries
Horse-Racing's Strangest Races: Extraordinary but True Stories from over 150 Years of Racing History by Andrew Ward Horse-Racing's Strangest Races: Extraordinary but True Stories from over 150 Years of Racing History by Andrew Ward
Three Strides Before the Wire : The Dark and Beautiful World of Horse Racing by Elizabeth Mitchell Three Strides Before the Wire : The Dark and Beautiful World of Horse Racing by Elizabeth Mitchell

'Charismatic, a colt nobody wanted, is ridden by Antley, a jockey everybody doubted. That either could be a mere mile and a half from winning the Triple Crown would be astounding; that the two of them together are so close to racing immortality would be a figment, a fantasy, a fantastic improbability . . . except that it is real.' So ran a story in the Boston Globe days before jockey Chris Antley and his horse Charismatic attempted to make history by winning the third and final race of the Triple Crown, the Belmont. After bouts with depression, drug and alcohol abuse, Antley had made a surprising comeback by riding the unknown Charismatic to victory at both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness races. Friends and family members viewed Antley's newfound success as symbolic of the new path he was forging in his life, but his story, and his horse's, would not have a fairy tale ending. Journalist Elizabeth Mitchell takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the world of horseracing by tracing the intertwined lives of jockey Chris Antley, trainer D. Wayne Lukas, owners Bob and Beverly Lewis, and '99 Derby winner Charismatic. The adventure brings us behind the scenes of America's racetracks, revealing the colorful history of horse racing, while also exposing the underbelly of racing scandals. Three Strides Before the Wire captures the triumphs and tragedies that are part of the fabric of horseracing, and illuminates a world wherein one day at the track can mean the difference between the fulfilled promise of the winner's circle and the shattering of one's dreams.

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