"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

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Obsession with the old and the young

The following is a press release from the New York Racing Association about Cool N Collective, a 13-year-old gelding running down at the Big A today.

Our culture is obsessed with two things.  1.  The younger you are to be performing, the more you are heralded.  2.  The older you are to be performing, the more you are heralded.

On the one hand is Macauley Culkin.  On the other is George Foreman.  One hung with MJ.  The other makes grilling machines.

On the young end you're too young to appreciate your spoils.  On the old end there isn't enough time to appreciate the spoils because of the Reaper.

The middle gets screwed in all of this.  And I suppose the aged, depending on ones affinity for living, which, at this time, may be fleeting at best.

OZONE PARK, N.Y.  – On Wednesday, the 13-year-old Cool N Collective will try again to become what is believed to be the oldest horse ever to win a flat race on The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) circuit when he faces seven others in the fifth race at Aqueduct Racetrack

In his first start at age 13 (January 1 is the universal birthday for all thoroughbreds) Cool N Collective finished second in a 1 1/16th mile race on January 31 at the Big A. 

The veteran gelding is one of the oldest thoroughbreds to run at a NYRA track and last won at Aqueduct two years ago, at age 11. He was then claimed and taken to Suffolk Downs for most of 2009, but in the fall, was purchased privately by former owner Mike Repole and sent to trainer Bruce Brown.
Wednesday’s race, a one-mile claimer, will be Cool N Collective’s 81st lifetime start. 

He will break from post number 4 as the 3-1 second choice on the morning line for jockey Mike Luzzi. Overall, Cool N Collective has 15 wins, 27 seconds, and 13 thirds in his career for earnings of $679,480.

No one can remember a 13-year-old horse having won a flat race at any of NYRA’s tracks, which include Aqueduct, Belmont Park or Saratoga Race Course. According to the Thoroughbred Times, the oldest horses to win since 1976 are Behavin Jerry, who did so at age 17 in 1981 at Commodore Downs in Pennsylvania , and Golden Arrow, who won in 1978 at the Great Barrington Fair, also at age 17.

In 1979, a 16-year-old horse named Silver Fir won a race at Finger Lakes in Farmington , New York .
Cool N Collective made the very first start of his career at Aqueduct ten years ago while in the care of Reade Baker. Since then, he has raced at more than a dozen tracks, from Keeneland to Hoosier Park , the Fair Grounds to Woodbine, before being returned to his roots.

“He is doing great,” said Brown. “If you didn’t know how old he was, you would never guess. He loves training, loves going to the racetrack. Some older horses get a little sour, but he practically runs into the starting gate.  Hopefully, he’ll win, and then we can retire him.”


Anonymous said...

Cool N Collective set pace and gave way...Time to go be a gelding - have fun with that.

Brendan O'Meara said...

What a loser ...