"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, November 9, 2009

Let's keep it real

Thank you Tim Wilkin of the Times-Union for keeping Zenyatta's Breeders' Cup Classic win in perspective. Mind you, I wrote these very comments with a bit more beef in the debut of The Carryover 2.0, but it begs repeating.

What Zenyatta did (while stunning) is in the here and now and those who rush to judgment, those with attention deficit disorder and those who just plain lack any sense of perspective and scope will rush to say Zenyatta is Horse of the Year.

She's undefeated!

She won North America's richest race!

She's the first mare ever to win the Breeders' Cup Classic!

She's bootylicious!

Let's not forget she only had five starts this year, all on synthetic surfaces against mediocre-at-best California fillies and mares. Say it out loud.

She never left Arnold's juridiction whereas Rachel Alexandra won eight races all over the eastern part of the country.

Go watch the Fairgrounds Oaks, the Kentucky Oaks, the Preakness Stakes, the Mother Goose, the Haskell Invitational, and the Woodward Stakes and then ask yourself if Zenyatta surpasses that.

If you have any perspective the answer is clear.


Anonymous said...

While Rachel Alexander is good. She carried 5 pounds less then the other 3 year olds in the Preakness. Zenyatta carried 1 pound more than the same 3 year olds.

In the Carter Rachel was given an 8 pound weight allowance while Zenyatte had a 3 pound weight allowance in the BC Classic.

Both the KY Derby winner and Belmont winner traveled to the Breeders Cup and Racheal did not.

Racheal get 3 year old Zenyatta gets Horse of the Year.

Brendan O'Meara said...

A couple things — and this isn't to poke fun — but it's Rachel AlexanDRA. She was given an 8-pound break in the WOODWARD, not the Carter, and Rachel can only win Champion Three-year-old filly. She is not up for Champion 3YO Male.

Now, to your points, because Rachel is a 3YO and did what she did, it makes it all the more impressive, despite the weight allowances. Rachel did what she did on a number of different dirt tracks, while Zenyatta stayed home for only five races against mediocre company on a surface she prefers. Rachel was 8-for-8 against boys, girls, and older boys.

The Derby and Belmont winner have connections that are Pro-Ride-indifferent and needed to run in that spot to lock up their respective awards — Summer Bird getting the better end of that stick. They lacked the luxury the Jess Jackson camp had with Rachel.

So while many people are jumping on Zenyatta for Horse of the Year now, I feel that given some time to defuse, Rachel will win it.

Zenyatta will get votes, but not enough.