He was the perfect horse, it was said, "the horse God built." Most of us know the legend of Secretariat, the tall, handsome chestnut racehorse whose string of honors runs long and rich: the only two-year-old ever to win Horse of the Year, in 1972; winner in 1973 of the Triple Crown, his times in all three races still unsurpassed; featured on the cover of Time, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated; the only horse listed on ESPN's top fifty athletes of the twentieth century (ahead of Mickey Mantle). His final race at Toronto's Woodbine Racetrack is a touchstone memory for horse lovers everywhere. Yet while Secretariat will be remembered forever, one man, Eddie "Shorty" Sweat, who was pivotal to the great horse's success, has been all but forgotten---until now. In The Horse God Built, bestselling equestrian writer Lawrence Scanlan has written a tribute to an exceptional man that is also a backroads journey to a corner of the racing world rarely visited. As a young black man growing up in South Carolina, Eddie Sweat struggled at several occupations before settling on the job he was born for---groom to North America's finest racehorses. As Secretariat's groom, loyal friend, and protector, Eddie understood the horse far better than anyone else. A wildly generous man who could read a horse with his eyes, he shared in little of the financial success or glamour of Secretariat's wins on the track, but won the heart of Big Red with his soft words and relentless devotion. In Scanlan's rich narrative, we get a groom's-eye view of the racing world and the vantage of a man who spent every possible moment with the horse he loved, yet who often basked in the horse's glory from the sidelines. More than anything else, The Horse God Built is a moving portrait of the powerful bond between human and horse.
The world of horse racing is brought to life by Larry Scanlan, following the career of Secretariat and looking at the relationship between the horse and his beloved groom. Scanlan introduces young readers to the hierarchy of the track, from the hot walker to the owner to Secretariat, the fastest horse of the twentieth century. Secretariat was good - and he knew it. He didn't tolerate fools, and his groom knew just how to handle him, with lots of love and a firm hand. Eddie Sweat loved that horse, knew every muscle in his body, knew how to calm him down, and knew when to hold firm. He drove him to races and flew with him to his ultimate home, the stud farm. Following Secretariat from the time he was born to the time he died, Scanlan presents a fascinating and engaging look at the partnership of Secretariat and Eddie Sweat - and at the racing world in general, complete with fun trivia facts about Secretariat.
A true horse legend, Secretariat still inspires new generations of fans 30 years after his incredible Triple Crown victory. This book honors the great racehorse who ran with such breathtaking speed, beauty, and power. 40 photos.
Author: Nicholas Clee
Publisher: The Overlook Press
Release Date: 2012-03-29
Genre: Sports & Recreation
A chestnut with a white blaze is scorching across the turf towards the finishing post. His four rivals are so far behind him that, in racing terms, they are "nowhere." Watching Eclipse is the man who wants to buy him. An adventurer and rogue who has made his money through gambling, Dennis O'Kelly is also companion to the madam of a notorious London brothel. While O'Kelly is destined to remain an outcast to the racing establishment, his horse will go on to become the undisputed, undefeated champion of his sport. Eclipse's male-line descendants include Secretariat, Barbaro, and all but three of the Kentucky Derby winners of the past fifty years.
His trainer said that managing him was like holding a tiger by the tail. His owner compared him to "chain lightning." His jockeys found their lives transformed by him, in triumphant and distressing ways. All of them became caught in a battle for honesty. Born in 1917, Man o' War grew from a rebellious youngster into perhaps the greatest racehorse of all time. He set such astonishing speed records that The New York Times called him a "Speed Miracle." Often he won with so much energy in reserve that experts wondered how much faster he could have gone. Over the years, this and other mysteries would envelop the great Man o' War. The truth remained problematic. Even as Man o' War---known as "Big Red"---came to power, attracting record crowds and rave publicity, the colorful sport of Thoroughbred racing struggled for integrity. His lone defeat, suffered a few weeks before gamblers fixed the 1919 World Series, spawned lasting rumors that he, too, had been the victim of a fix. Tackling old beliefs with newly uncovered evidence, Man o' War: A Legend Like Lightning shows how human pressures collided with a natural phenomenon and brings new life to an American icon. The genuine courage of Man o' War, tribulations of his archrival, Sir Barton (America's first Triple Crown winner), and temptations of their Hall of Fame jockeys and trainers reveal a long-hidden tale of grace, disgrace, and elusive redemption.
Author: Linda Carroll
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2014-04-22
Genre: Sports & Recreation
A gripping look at the great duel between Affirmed, the last horse to win the Triple Crown—comprised of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes—and his archrival, Alydar. From the moment they first galloped head-to-head in Saratoga Springs, the two chestnut colts showed they were the stuff of racing legend. Alydar, all muscle with a fearsome closing kick, was already the popular favorite to win the Kentucky Derby. Affirmed, deceptively laid-back streamlined elegance, was powered forward by his steely determination not to settle for second place. In the Sport of Kings, the Triple Crown is the most valued prize, requiring a horse to win not just one race, but three: the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. And 1978 would not be just for the record books, but also one of the greatest dramas ever played out in the racing world. There were names to conjure with, worthy of the Sport of Kings. The bloodline of Native Dancer. The teen wonderboy jockey Steve Cauthen. The once unbeatable Calumet Farm—the Damn Yankees of the racing world—now in eclipse and hoping for a comeback. The newcomer Harbor View Farm—owned by brash financier Louis Wolfson, who wouldn’t let even a conviction and a prison sentence for securities violations stand in the way of his dreams of glory. And the racetracks themselves: Belmont, Saratoga, Pimlico. And, of course, Churchill Downs. It has been thirty-five years since Affirmed and Alydar fought for the Triple Crown, thirty-five years when no other horse has won it. Duel for the Crown brings this epic battle to life. Not just two magnificent Thoroughbreds but the colorful human personalities surrounding them, caught up in an ever-intensifying battle of will and wits that lasted until the photo finish of the final Triple Crown race . . . and Alydar and Affirmed leaped into the history books.
Author: Jane Schwartz
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: 2007-12-18
"A colorful story...Ruffian was nothing if not a heartbreaker. Her story, dramatically recounted by Jane Scwartz, epitomizes both the adrenaline-pumping glory and gut-wrenching ruthlessness inherent in the sport of horse racing." THE WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD Here is the story f the exceptional filly, a horse so dominating, she was likened to legend. Beginning with her earliest days in Kentucky, the book follows Ruffian at every stage of her career and through the agony of her final hours--venturing behind the scenes of the racing world, and exploring the politics and personalities that came together to shape this exroardiinary filly's life. From the Paperback edition.
The definitive work on this rare coronation, this book delves into the history, personalities, and subplots of each of the 12 Triple Crown champions. From Sir Barton in 1919 through American Pharaoh in 2015, each Triple Crown winner has exhibited a true personality and charisma befitting of super stardom and renowned author Marvin Drager's prose brings to life these 12 remarkable stories. The Most Glorious Crown is a unique and fascinating inspection of each champion, their jockeys, owners, and trainers, as well as a riveting account of each race and the events leading up to each historic event. This magnificent oversized book includes more than 150 archival, authentic black-and-white photographs of each thoroughbred throughout different stages of its career. It also includes actual racing forms from each race for the Triple Crown. This new, updated edition features chapters on the 37 year gap between Triple Crown winners and 2015 champion American Pharaoh.
""Secretariat" is an elegantly crafted, exhilarating tale of speed and power, grace and greatness, told with such immediacy that the reader is lost in the rush of horses and the clatter and ring of the grandstand." --Laura Hillenbrand, bestselling author of "Seabiscuit" Updated with a new preface by the author In 1973, Secretariat, the greatest champion in horse-racing history, won the Triple Crown. The only horse to ever grace the covers of "Time," "Newsweek," and "Sports Illustrated" in the same week, he also still holds the record for the fastest times in both the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes. He was also the only non-human chosen as one of ESPN's "50 Greatest Athletes of the Century." The tale of "Big Red" is an enduring and inspiring classic, more than thirty years after its initial publication.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER History was made at the Belmont Stakes in Summer 2015 when American Pharoah won the Triple Crown title, the first racehorse to achieve the momentous feat since Affirmed in 1978. Pharoah was the crowd favorite, as spectators had anxiously anticipated the American Thoroughbred's victory, already a proven winner at the year's earlier Kentucky Derby and Preakness races. By all appearances, American Pharoah has led a successful career, unmarred by any controversy as he was the undisputed champion-only twelve horses total in American history have won the Triple Crown. Unfortunately however, his training team has not fared nearly as well. With accusations ranging from sour business transactions to poor gambling practices to active litigation with bankruptcy courts and other legal cases pending, his owner Ahmed Zayat has many rooting against him. The flamboyant Egyptian-American businessman has been leading a double-life that has threatened to overwhelm his small empire. Victor Espinoza, the famed racehorse's relentless jockey, left rural Mexico only to face harsh conditions on a farm where he had to overcome his fear of horses before learning that he had a gift for race riding. Finally, Bob Baffert, American Pharoah's trainer, has an interesting arc that includes tremendous wins, personal losses, and controversial medication violations. Beginning with American Pharoah's modest showing at his first maiden race in 2014, New York Times sportswriter Joe Drape recounts the winning thoroughbred's explosive racing career by weaving in details of Zayat's questionable business practices, Espinoza's heartbreaking loss with California Chrome last year, and Baffert's temperamental, unreliable track record. By interviewing the parties involved and taking readers behind the scenes of the making of America's latest Triple Crown winner, Drape unfurls a tale "that transcends athletics, a story of adolescence and small-town life" (Publishers Weekly), and all the corruption, illegal gambling, and secretive business practices that can flourish in the shadows of greatness.
Author: Elizabeth Letts
Publisher: Random House Digital, Inc.
Release Date: 2012
Traces the story of a champion equine jumper and the Dutch farmer who rescued him from the slaughterhouse, recounting how the farmer discovered Snowman's jumping talents and trained him to compete against the world's thoroughbreds.