"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

Thursday, September 24, 2009

'World' needs better attention in Breeders' Cup

Given my recent apprehensions about the 2009 renewal of the Breeders' Cup World Championships, what makes it great — as has always been the case — is that it truly is a WORLD championship.  

With horses bred from every nook on the Earth converging on North American soil to settle just who is best in the world is its best sell.  Unlike how we call our baseball, football, hockey, and basketball teams "World Champions" when it would be a slam dunk for other countries to beat these teams (save football, but give them time).  Could the Lakers beat Argentina?  Phillies beat Cuba?  Penguins beat Japan?  

But with the Breeders' Cup is different.  When English Channel defeated Dylan Thomas on that bog at Monmouth he became the world's best turf horse.  See you at the Eclipse Awards.  That's the beauty.

Still, the problem doesn't rest with the denomination of "world champion," rather we don't know who half these horses are.  Who knew who Henry the Navigator or Raven's Pass was last year?  Maybe some folks who frequent the Bunbury "Pub" at Saratoga knew, but who else?  

If the Breeders' Cup is to still remain a championship of the world, its appeal has to increasingly come from marketing the stars of the world:  horses, trainers, owners, the same way (if even that can be said) in North America.  At least people here have heard of Jess Jackson and Jerry Moss, Bob Baffert and Nick Zito.

There must be a call in the industry to bridge the business from other continents because, yes, it is HUGE over THERE, wherever there happens to be.  Perhaps if Americans saw the zeal of racing in Japan, France, and England, and could pick out a horse's name from overseas, then maybe there can be a greater grasp of pride for our equine stars beyond a Rachel Alexandra or Smarty Jones.  

The Breeders' Cup has it right in that it is a global championship and for that it should be proud.  But as is often the case, the United States is so myopic such that our teams and our flag wave above all others.  

Just think, if we knew more about the global horses as a whole and our horses stomp them into the Pro-Ride, how much more gratifying will that be?  

Just think how much MORE embarrassed we would've been when had we known who Raven's Pass was when he beat the world's fastest horse, and my love interest, Curlin.

Just think.


Anonymous said...

Great post. Check out www.breederscup360.com. They'll be preparing you for the Intenrational onslaught as we get closer to the event.

Anonymous said...

If you are doing historical research stop by the history room at the library- they are great.

Anonymous said...

"World Championships"? Are you kidding? Maybe in your next article you can compile a list of BC runners that didn't predominantly train or race in countries other than the US, Canad, England and France. There are other areas where racing is still prominent that don't send their best for the one race "World Championships". In 25 years how long is the list of starters from Austaralia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Germany, Italy, Chile, Argentina, Middle East (besides Darley/Godolphin), Central America/Carribean nations, etc..? Numerous American based horses have gone to HK, Japan and Dubai lately for one race but I don't see their horses coming here for one race and then shipping back home. "World" can be very subjective at times.