"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

Monday, September 14, 2009

Hello, friends

After the meet, and my immersion reporting of it, I took a mini-vacation of sorts, without Ms. Carryover (sorry ... ). While I was still transcribing recordings and typing up the last of my notes, I got some much-needed reading done, as well as some R&R. I finished up Adrian Nicole LeBlanc's Random Family and started Tracy Kidder's Strength in What Remains.

For the past weekend I was down on the Cape visiting my father and watching he and his senior slow pitch softball team compete in the Cape Cod Senior Classic in Harwich. For a few years now I had been deeply interested in catching a tournament and this one did not disappoint. Dad played in the 65+ AA tournament for a team called HarborOne. And you know what happened? They went out and won the damn thing! In pool play they went 2-2, 2-0 on Friday, 0-2 on Saturday before heading into the Single Elimination Sunday, as legend would have it. HarborOne, the No. 6 seed, slayed the 3, 2, and 1 en route to improbable triumph. Think 2001 New England Patriots, it's exactly like that.

Of course I had my notebook because I wanted to write some sort of magazine piece and parlay that into a book about this little tournament. The kicker being that it is the child watching the parent play ball. That is what will make it stand out.

I filled a notebook front to back for the seven games HarborOne played, noting the commentary and the overall mood of retired men re-claiming, and in some cases claiming, glory between the lines.

There was Dad (Walter), Bobby, Tom, Russ, John (left fielder), John (scorekeeper), Steve, Freddy, Dave, Peter, Gary, Joe, and Dick. They all had their hand in it from coaching bases, to scouting the wicked Jim Parmalee of the Windham Elders, to picking up loose balls from warms ups, to clutch hits, and coaching moves.

A band of brothers with some 800 years of life experience. Not a bad follow up to 6 Weeks in Saratoga, eh?

At one point Dad complained that the long day that was Single Elimination Sunday cut into his beer drinking spate of NFL games. I somehow think that when we toasted an October Fest at the Lost Dog Pub to HarborOne when it was all said and done that it was somehow worth it.

Championships, no matter the size or scope, are, and always will be, rare.

There will always be more beer.


Glenn Craven said...

I can't believe I'm late to the party in reading this and that I'm the only comment so far.

Congrats to your dad and his teammates. And to you for getting to be there and being smart enough to take notes. I think that could be a great magazine piece. Heck, make it a movie!

All Hail, HarborOne!

Brendan O'Meara said...

The hope is that this will be a magazine piece. I've wanted to write a baseball memoir about my career and my dad's involvement with baseball for a while. This seems like a neat way to thread the narrative: around this little tournament.

It is a great little story.

Talk to you soon, Glenn! All Hail, HarborOne!