Your Insight: Best Horse Related Book

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TwinSpires Staff

February 7th, 2013

In last week’s newsletter offer we asked you to tell us which horse related book you would recommend the most. There wasn’t a clear overwhelming favorite amongst your responses, but you wrote several responses that went above and beyond passionate…

“Ruffian was my favorite book. It was very down to earth and informative about a great horse on and off the track.”

“Seabiscuit: The nonfiction story of an unknown horse who became a champion when he teamed up with an unknown trainer and rider. A great read.”

“I have read many books on Horse Racing and handicapping, but the one book I continually go back to reread is Secretariat: The Making of a Champion, By Bill Nack. Brilliantly written by a very skilled author, it captures the most important moments in my development as a racing fan. I still remember clearly coming home on a June day in 1973, can it really be 40 years ago, and sitting with my family to watch the Belmont Stakes, hoping against hope that Secretariat would be able to avoid the failures that we had similarly watched by Kauai King, and Canonero II. When the horses hit the backstretch, that long seemingly endless backstretch at Belmont Park, this 16 year-old boy and his parents were screaming at the television, screaming at Turcotte, "What are you doing?" and watching as he edged away from Sham. As a family we were now, holding our collective breath and wondering, can he do it? Then Chick Anderson uttered those words that have stayed with me ever since, "Secretariat is moving like a tremendous machine!" It felt as though every step Secretariat took was matched by one of our own as we closed in on the television, our emotions growing with every stride. As he entered the stretch, my father and I, who usually had a small bet on each of the Triple Crown races but chose not to bet on this one, hugged in near disbelief. It is a day I will never forget. Here it is 40 years later, my father is long gone but whenever I want to relive those moments, I pick up Nack's book and he magically transports me back to that day in front of a 19" television screen, because this brilliantly written book captures that moment so perfectly. I have worn out two copies of this book just by reading and rereading it.”

“The Black Stallion by Walter Farley is my favorite horse related book. Maybe it's because it's one of the first books I remember reading as a child. It has a moving story of the bond between a young boy and a horse and their adventure on the deserted island.”

“Beyers book on handicapping is so much more. The way of thinking, preparing and using speed figures, is just part of this great book. The travels and ups and downs, the horses, and how they were played and some names that only veteran players would acknowledge.. Check it out. It will change the way you think about the horses themselves.”

“My favorite horse related book is actually Handicapping Speed by Charles Carrol. It’s been around a long time (1996) but it’s very thorough and relevant to quarter horse. It’s non-fiction (academic). I refer to it and reread it frequently and it’s easy to get a copy on eBay.”

“My favorite horse book is "Hot Money" my Dick Francis. Dick Francis is a prolific writer of whodunits that take place in England and all are related to the great sport of Horse Racing.  In Hot Money, there is a brief section of when the hero's father comes to the United States and gets involved with American horse racing.  The ending of the book when the culprit is revealed is a shocker.  Didn't see it coming at all and I usually am able to figure most of them out before the murderer is revealed.”

“Dan Patch. The story of the most famous pacer around in the early (1900's) was fascinating to read. I had a chance to meet the author and speak with him briefly. He was autographing each copy you purchased at the state fair in Springfield, Illinois. If ever you are a standard bred enthusiastic, I highly recommend reading this book.”

“My favorite horse book is Black Beauty, which is fiction. My best friend had a horse called blackbird that did very well winning first 6 of 7 races at Canterbury under his ownership.  I would recommend this book to someone else as it is an all-time classic and I think it’s a must read even for those not interested in horses.”

I thoroughly enjoy reading your responses each week, but I have to say this week was one of my favorites so far. Thank you for your enthusiastic recommendations, and for sharing your personal stories.

Look out for this week’s issue of Inside Insight to participate in the next exclusive newsletter offer. We’ll be featuring your responses in a “Your Insight” blog post each week, so don’t forget to check back because your response just might be featured.