Saturday, May 6, 2017

Books to Read About Horse Racing

While others love to watch and bet on the horse races, I also enjoy reading about them - the history behind the horses, the farms, the trainers, the mystery, the drama, and the "great" stories behind the horses like the tale of Seabiscuit.  The Times has their own list today, you can read about it here.  My list, however, is very different.

I love Joe Drape's book "The Race for the Triple Crown" which chronicles a year in the race horse world following the trainers and the horses who are competing for the sport's top prize.  It starts in June 1999 and follows the big names in the sport for entire season.  You feel like you really get to know the horses, the owners and the trainers. A great read even if it's "old news."  I could not put it down.

This is also a very good read, "Wild Ride" is the story of Calumet Farm's fall from grace. It's reads like a soap opera and has all the elements of a great story - greed, avarice, money, fame, and then failure. 

"In the Winner's Circle" is the story of The Jones Boys of Calumet Farm. This is an out-of-print book that may be hard to find but it's a great story that chronicles the trainers that made history during Calumet's total dominance of the horse racing world.  Citation, Coaltown, Ponder, Two Lea, Iron Liege are some of the names you may know - all trained by the Jones Boys at Calumet.  

"I Ride to Win" is the story of jockey Eddie Arcaro.  This is on my "to read" list.  See it here.

 "Country Life Diary" is one of my favorite horse books and chronicles daily life on a breeding farm north of Baltimore for three years.  It provides an intimate account of what life is like on a breeding farm.  This is no ordinary breeding farm, but the one that bred the infamous Cigar.  See it here.

The world of horse racing is fascinating.  There's so much to learn, there's so much history.  Enjoy Derby Day! 

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