The 27th Breeders' Cup, thoroughbred racing's most prestigious global event - currently consisting of 14 races held over two days with purses totaling $25.5 million - will be run on Friday, November 5, and Saturday, November 6, 2010. Since the inaugural running at Hollywood Park 26 years ago, the Breeders' Cup has established itself as the season-ending championship of thoroughbred racing. It is now firmly entrenched in American racing lore with a history and tradition all its own. Though the fame of Secretariat precedes the Breeder's Cup, what do you think? Would he win? Secretariat (March 30, 1970 - October 4, 1989) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse, who in 1973 became the first U.S. Triple Crown champion in twenty-five years, setting new race records in two of the three events in the Series - the Kentucky Derby (1:59 2/5), and the Belmont Stakes (2:24) - records that still stand today. With a new movie about Secretariat just out this fall, here are a few books that cover the story of the 1973 Triple Crown-winning thoroughbred.
Secretariat's Meadow: The Land, the Family, the Legend by Kate Chenery Tweedy presents the story of how the Chenerey family came to breed and race Secretariat along with the history of the family and the land in which they bred racehorses.
The Horse God Built: The Untold Story of Secretariat, the World's Greatest Racehorse by Lawrence Scanlan tells Secretariat's story from the perspective of Eddie Sweat, Secretariat's groom (he's the one in the porkpie hat and loud checkered trousers, often holding Secretariat's halter, in the winner's circle photos). Sweat is one of the thousands of behind-the-scenes workers in the thoroughbred racing industry who over the years have kept the horses racing through their dedication, but receive little in the way of recognition. Scanlan's take is that Secretariat may not have done as well as he did without Sweat providing the care that kept him happy, since a happy horse is more likely to run his best.
Secretariat by Raymond G. Woolfe Jr. is a coffee table book packed with photos of Secretariat's racing career. It adds a lot of material covering Secretariat's breeding career and the racing careers of his offspring as well. Woolfe is the son of a leading trainer with ties to Secretariat's Claiborne Farm home, and so he had the opportunity to cover Secretariat almost from the start, as part of a deal with Secretariat's owner and trainer to document the horse's life. He speaks the language of a seasoned railbird and makes the world of thoroughbred training and racing accessible to casual racing fans.
Submitted by Chris G. @ Bay View & Tippecanoe