"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

Friday, July 17, 2009

Why horse racing sucks

There are many, many reasons why, but this is possibly the biggest reason. Tune your ears to this fine quote from Papa Clem trainer Gary Stute, who is pulling his Arkansas Derby winner out of the Haskell to avoid Rachel Alexandra.

"That would probably be our last choice to be honest. We don't want to race against her, not if we don't have to. I mean, it's a pretty big purse and like I told Bo (owner Bo Hirsch), if worse comes to worse, even if he didn't win, as long as he hits the board, a Grade 1 placing would help the value of the mare (Miss Houdini)."

Isn't this nauseating?

"Daddy, Daddy, why isn't Albert Pujols in the lineup today?"

"Son, he's facing Tim Lincecum and he doesn't want to run the risk of lowering his batting average."

"Will we ever see him again?"

"I don't know, son. I don't know. If he hurts his elbow in the dugout, he may be retired to Three Chimneys."

Ironically enough, the most cavalier connections and horses in the business are the ones without balls.


Handride said...

There is no risk reward in horse racing.

Albert Pujols plays in every game possible so his team can go to the playoffs and maybe win the World Series, which would benefit AP. Losing 1 game isn't the end of anyone's season.

In horse racing 1 loss is enough to ruin a season and lower the breeding value of a stud. It's a shame I'd much rather breed to a horse who ran 12 times a year and did well (wins and losses) than a horse who went 4 for 4 but couldn't stand up in his stall after every race.

Horse racing needs standings. here

Handride said...

The problem is that there is no reward for racing regularly throughout a year. Albert Pujols plays everyday because he helps his team win more than lose, at the end of the season a team that goes .610 will go to the playoffs and might win the WS, which would benefit Albert poo-holes.

In horse racing, one can not suffer defeat. There is no truer statement, than if you ain't first you're last. A nose a neck a street, a loss is a loss, which is CRAP. Horses aren't machines and 1 race on 1 day at 1 distance doesn't confirm who the better horse is. But that's the way it is, breeders would rather have a horse who goes 5 for 5 than a horse who races 12 times and gets 5 wins and 7 seconds. It's all about risk reward. I don't blame Papa Clem I blame a system that doesn't reward racing.


Brendan O'Meara said...

Well said, Handride.

Wouldn't it be nice if horsemen took back the game and through their actions illustrated that it is infinitely more important to not just race, but continually race against the best. Then have THAT be what is rewarded in the end.

Alydar was no less cheapened.

Anonymous said...

You guys are both missing the point here - let's breed more mares to Albert Pujols! Everyone wins!