"Six Weeks in Saratoga" available! Go get it!

"Six Weeks in Saratoga: How Three-Year-Old Rachel Alexandra Beat the Boys and Became Horse of the Year" published July 1, 2011. Keep it locked here, at The Carryover or go to SUNY Press to order your copy ... right now! Or head on down to your favorite bookseller.

Praise for "Six Weeks in Saratoga"

“Going behind the scenes of three-year-old filly Rachel Alexandra’s 2009 triumph … O’Meara makes her story gallop and gleam.” — Chronogram

“The [book] is one of enjoyable promise, and as the author recounts little moments and inside conversations, he provides an intimate glimpse into the lives of the figures he covers. The narrative keeps game pace with outside literary standards and features bursts of brilliance, and I found it a refreshing change from the selection of racing-themed volumes available today. As O’Meara brings his subjects to life, you find yourself thinking this is the kind of guy whose work I want to follow.” — Claire Novak, ESPN.com

“O’Meara … provide[s] a tremendous amount of detail from behind the scenes that the reader would not have otherwise enjoyed … Six Weeks is essentially a Rachel book, but it’s told without neglecting the always rich backdrop of a Saratoga meet. That means there’s history, surprises, characters (human and equine), great racing, foggy mornings and sun-splashed afternoons—plenty of material through which O’Meara could exercise his descriptive abilities.” — Schenectady Daily Gazette

“O’Meara fell for a magical place and magnificent horse, which is a lovely malady that often befalls horse people, and with a great deal of heart he tells us how and why. You’ll never forget his Six Weeks in Saratoga, either.” — Joe Drape, author of Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen

“Brendan O’Meara tells the story of this proud horse with verve and great historical insight. Six Weeks in Saratoga marks the debut of an exciting new talent.” — Wil Haygood, author of Sweet Thunder: The Life and Times of Sugar Ray Robinson

“Brendan O’Meara’s Six Weeks in Saratoga is a victory to be savored by those who treasure good writing in general and tales of the track in particular. Horses may win races, but they also win hearts as this impressive book proves beyond doubt. A memorable, sure-footed debut.” — Madeleine Blais, author of In These Girls, Hope Is a Muscle

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Eight days away

A week from today the Grade 3 Schuylerville for 2-year-old fillies will be wrapping up, bringing a close to the first day of the 2008 Saratoga meet.

It comes at a good time, as racing hits a lull at this moment in the season. For six weeks, horse racing springs to life again, but this time it is under a higher level of scrutiny.

In the coming week, I'll be writing a series of stories for The Saratogian, one of which will be dealing specifically with the "State of the Union." Only this will be the state of horse racing. I'll take a look at where racing is and where it seems to be heading. The sport is at a crossroads with the death of the great filly Eight Belles and the controversies swirling around the use of performance enhancers in the equine athlete.

As trite as it may sound, racing is truly at a fork in the road. One way will lead to the gradual re-building of its reputation and acceptance from a general public soured by drugs and destruction on the track. The other will undoubtedly lead to its continued revival, allowing these animals to showcase their innate athleticism on racing's greatest platforms.

Either way, the Saratoga season is one to embrace with the quality of animal that resides in its barns and the pageantry on display every morning and afternoon.

Hopefully we will not only see new life, but a conitinued renewal for months and months, and years and years.


himellie said...

so no matter which of your described 'forks' racing takes, you feel that it is on the upswing. do you think there is a path that horse racing could take that would lead to its demise?

Brendan O'Meara said...

I do feel with ESPN having a major interest in racing, that it's at least reaching more people.

The number one facet that needs to be worked on is horse safety, and the new safety committee is working hard on that. Were the industry to ignore this and say, 'Well, it's part of the game,' then I'm afraid the sport would decay.

The issue with giving horses performance enhancers such as anabolic steroids and lasix should be banned across the board. A cleaner sport would certainly be more inviting to everybody from horse players to animal rights groups.

If racing takes a strong stand in favor of these broad topics, then it's going to be all right.

Should it not and let these hot-button issues persist and remain forever unresolved, the sport will hardly have a future to hang its memories on.

Thanks for the comment!