"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 1, 2010

A Stout for the Lady?

The 60 Minutes profile of Zenyatta aired last night and as a fan and follower of the sport, I loved it. Sure, there were those discrepancies that only a fan of this sport would notice like Bob Simon calling Zenyatta a filly and asking trainer John Shirreffs why he didn't run her in the Kentucky Derby as a three year old. (of she could, but, in all likelihood, she would've been an Oaks horse)

And what does Zenyatta have after a long day of work? A Guinness! I want to party with her. Also, she doesn't strike me as the type of mare that's going to make a drunken mockery of herself, dancing on the bar, and vomiting on the sidewalk and calling it a good night. Zenyatta has such poise that she will quietly sit in the corner, have her stout, give you a wonderful conversation about Dickens, kiss you on the cheek and walk into the night on her own. You'll watch her leave and ask, 'What just happened?' with the biggest grin on your face.

I suppose jockey Mike Smith thought his chair was going to buck him onto the floor. Not since first baseman John Olerud has there been someone wearing a helmet where no helmet had been worn before (at least Olerud had an excuse. He has a plate in his skull. Smith ... just a skull.).

What else was there to take away from the piece? Shirreffs is an amazing fellow. His demeanor, his look, how he composes himself is so heartfelt. He's like a grandfather, a proud grandfather. The way he said how he speaks to his horses and speaks to Zenyatta was so, I don't know, nice.

Zenyatta's pre-race antics and showboating made Mrs. Carryover laugh. She asked if Zenyatta was doing that on purpose.

Smith said that he hasn't seen Zenyatta's fastest gear. When he turns her for home on Saturday there is no reason to hold back, no reason to win this race by a nose, no reason to give us a damn heart attack. Zenyatta knows how to perform. Let her put on a show. Turn this mare loose and let the world feel fall to her feet.

I can drink a Guinness to that. Cheers!

4 comments:

Brian said...

She drinks Guinness? Looks like I have a new favorite horse.

Brendan O'Meara said...

Oh, yes, she laps it up like a champ. And Shirreffs has tried different beers with her and she cares only for the stout. I think I agree with you, Brian, I too have a new favorite horse.

Anonymous said...

I hope upon hope that the track surface, late post, and lights only make the big Z dance her way to the Winners Circle !

Anonymous said...

And what about Any Rooney talking about all the great horses that he saw in Saratoga ? And he mentioned how better it was to see a race in person!