"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, October 8, 2009

Stink, Stank, Stunk

Summer Bird's win the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup was a stylish, great win.  He looked like Curlin coming down the lane, same color, same build, same mud, wonderful.

Quality Road can't seem to catch a fast track, but he ran a great race too.

But, man, the older horses stink, stank, stunk, and not just in the JCGC.  And it's not their fault.  Many of these horses would be picked last in a lineup for dodgeball.  

The problem is that the older horses stick around because they were never that good to begin with.  The brilliant horses, the ones fans would love to see run — oh, let's be edgy, 13 times —start their retirement a tad early.   So let's mandate that all horses run into their fourth year, at least.

The breeders will have a problem with this, and certainly owners who are sitting on pocket aces waiting to cash in on their BIG HORSE, may find fault in this.  But what if we re-calibrate the compass?  What if we said that, 'Hey, a loss in this race will not compromise his value at stud.'  Or put in long-term racing incentives that reward breeders and owners who keep a future stallion in training.  What are you losing in that one year?  A dollar sign could be put on that easily, but think about the long term payoff:

1.  Keep the stars around longer, thus giving the sport a better chance to draw in more fans.
2.  By drawing in more fans you may get more owners down the road that remembered when a Curlin ran as a four year old.  Little race fans make big race fans who might own a horse some day.
3.  It makes the product of the older classic races much more appealing.  And in so doing makes racing palatable outside the Triple Crown for the fringe fan.  
4.  The more horses that are recognizable, the better the Breeders' Cup will be since an increased number of horses will be in the vernacular.

Otherwise, more and more people won't touch this sport with a .... 39 and a half foot pollllllle!


Anonymous said...

Hey O'meara! You're a rotten banana with a greasy black peel!

But don't worry, I'm a toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce!

But how bout that Cindy Lou Who!

I call dibs on her when she's 18!

jlein said...

Given the choice between the two of you I'd take the seasick crockodile.