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The Horse God Built


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About the Author

Lawrence Scanlan is the author of six bestselling books, including Wild About Horses and Little Horse of Iron. He is the co-author, with Ian Millar, of Riding High, and has written three books for younger readers: Big Ben, Horses Forever, and The Horse's Shadow. Scanlan worked closely with Monty Roberts on his acclaimed book The Man Who Listens to Horses. Winner of three Canadian National Magazine Awards for his journalism, Scanlan lives in Kingston, Ontario.


In this rambling tale, author Scanlan (The Man Who Listens to Horses) declares his intention to explore the relationship between Triple Crown winner Secretariat and his long-time groom, Eddie Sweat. For Scanlan, the African-American Sweat is a symbol of the exploited, underappreciated workers who make the sport of kings run but receive a pittance of the winnings and even less recognition. Scanlan's mission is a noble one, but although he's right there in the subtitle, the groom is strangely absent from the text, and the quest becomes a McGuffin that allows the writer to travel to racetracks around the country. The journey is not without its pleasures, however. Scanlan has written over a dozen books on horses, and this volume bulges with insight into and sensitivity toward the world of Thoroughbred horse racing. He offers hundreds of racing anecdotes and endless minutiae about Secretariat's career. More interestingly, he introduces readers to the marginal figures-grooms, hot-walkers, exercise riders, smalltime trainers, breeders and owners-whose love for horses and hope for a lucky break outweigh their desire to make a decent living. Sadly, he also explains that all too many broken-down Thoroughbreds end their careers in the abattoir. In this backstretch meditation, Scanlan's scope is encyclopedic, but his narrative never finally coheres. (May) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"Scanlan is a compassionate reporter ... the author is an amiable companion on the road." --Bill Barich, The New York Times "...this volume bulges with insight into and sensitivity toward the world of Thoroughbred horse racing.... Scanlan's scope is encyclopedic." --Publishers Weekly "The author's tribute is heartfelt, and Sweat is a worthy subject." --Kirkus Reviews "Scanlan makes a convincing case." --Booklist

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