Learn What the Experts Know About the “Sport of Kings”
With its fast pace, beautiful animals, high stakes, and colorful pageantry, horseracing easily captures the attention of even first-time viewers. While recognizing horseracing as a fascinating sport, most fans know little about this billion-dollar business. Every racehorse and jockey goes through years of training, horses have natural cycles of conditioning, and each track offers its own challenges. Understanding what goes on behind the scenes will make every race more enjoyable profitable for those who wager.
Insider’s Guide to Horseracing is a quick and informative tour of the sport from the moment a foal is tapped for training and the kinds of equipment a horse wears to how wagering works and the different types of races. Written by an experienced horse industry professional and fully illustrated, this guide explains what to look for, understanding what you see, making sense of racing columns, and ways to make a trip to the track more memorable, such as visiting the saddling paddock. Here a reader will not find complex or magic formulas for picking winners or dry statistics; instead the Insider’s Guide to Horseracing gives readers exact information from an expert that will add to the excitement of racing and will allow readers to make better informed decisions all.
“An excellent book.”—Horse-Races.net
“Landers drew upon his longtime experience in various phases of the horse industry to produce this fan-oriented book, which he says is intended to ‘educate people on the workings of a racetrack and what goes on behind the scenes.’ It was inspired by the many questions he has been asked over the years.”—N.Y. Thoroughbred Horseman’s Association Newsletter
1. A brief history of the sport
2. What to look for in a horse
3. How to read track conditions
4. Understanding distance
5. Types of wagering, races, and handicapping
6. The jockey and trainer
8. Information on major races and racetracks in North America
Kelso: The Horse of Gold
Linda Kennedy Westholme Publishing, 2007 Library of Congress SF355.K4K46 2007 | Dewey Decimal 798.400929
The Inspiring True Story of One of the Most Successful and Beloved Thoroughbreds in Racing History
Praise for Kelso: The Horse of Gold:
“Ms. Kennedy has captured the grandeur of the horse in a simple, straightforward way that will charm and excite those who saw Kelso run and remember his stirring deeds. . . . Kelso's racing record through eight seasons is simply breathtaking.”—Wall Street Journal
“In this concise, entertaining account, Kennedy tells the story of Kelso, a scrawny ungainly gelding who just happened to be one of the greatest Thoroughbreds that ever lived.”—Publishers Weekly
“An excellent portrayal... so intense that one has the sensation of being right there with the crowd and cheering Kelso on.”—Tom Trotter, Former New York Racing Secretary
“He was the greatest horse I ever rode.”—Eddie Arcaro, rider of Triple Crown champions Whirlaway, Assault, and Citation
“He is unique... an athlete like Babe Ruth and Bobby Jones.” —Sports Illustrated
At his three-year debut in June 1960, no one could know that Mrs. Allaire DuPont’s small, deerlike gelding named Kelso would come to dominate American racing like no other horse before or since. For five unprecedented years, he would reign as Horse of the Year, setting records and endearing himself to millions of fans. Always considered among the top four horses of all time—with Man O' War, Secretariat, and Citation—for many, Kelso is the greatest racehorse, since he won at sprints and endurance races, won on turf and dirt, carried unprecedented handicap weights, and raced both foreign and national thoroughbreds. Kelso was crowned champion of the Jockey Gold Cup, one of the most prestigious racing events, an astounding five straight times. Like Seabiscuit, Kelso was not earmarked as a contender and missed the Triple Crown races. But Kelso's greatness was decisive: he regularly defeated Triple Crown race winners. In Kelso: The Horse of Gold, Linda Kennedy tells the remarkable story of one of the greatest athletes of the ages, recreating the excitement of "Kelly's" unique and brilliant career while placing his unparalleled achievements in the context of racing history.
Race Horse Men
Katherine C. Mooney Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress SF335.U5M66 2014 | Dewey Decimal 798.400896073
Katherine C. Mooney recaptures the sights, sensations, and illusions of America's first mass spectator sport. Her central characters are not the elite white owners of slaves and thoroughbreds but the black jockeys, grooms, and horse trainers who called themselves race horse men and made the racetrack run--until Jim Crow drove them from their jobs.
The spectacle of thoroughbred horses dashing powerfully and gracefully down the track is one of the most stimulating and beautiful of all athletic events. Yet despite its mass appeal, an elite group of men and a few women have traditionally controlled the sport. What are the origins and personalities behind the sport in America?
In The Right Blood, Carole Case examines the history of American thoroughbred racing, in particular the story behind the Jockey Club. Formed in 1894 by the nation’s richest, most powerful, and often most notorious men, the Jockey Club continues to this day to exert a formidable influence on this “sport of kings.”
Using Jockey Club documents and personal interviews, Case traces the history of how club members created and enforced the rules governing racing, from the first decades of the twentieth century to the present day. She tells of how club members once assigned racing dates, issued licenses, appointed judges, and dictated who could train, ride, and own thoroughbred horses. Case also describes how many of them exploited the poor to work their horses, defeated those who posed a threat to their interests, and excluded people of different backgrounds from horse racing ¾ all in the name of improving the breed and promoting the sport. The Jockey Club maintained this stranglehold on the sport until 1950, when an appellate court took away its licensing power. Perhaps most interestingly, the men of the Jockey Club became and continue as keepers of the registry of North American thoroughbred horses, The American Stud Book, determining which horses can ¾ and cannot ¾ be considered thoroughbreds.
Written for the general reader interested in the sport and its culture, The Right Blood is an engaging look behind the scenes of American horse racing.