Horsing Around: Brush Up on Your Thoroughbred Knowledge Before Saturday’s Preakness Race with These Great Titles

In honor of the Preakness—the second stop for Derby winner California Chrome on his run for the Triple Crown—on Saturday, here are a few horse country titles for you to enjoy.

The Prince of Jockeys: The Life of Isaac Burns Murphy
By Pellom McDaniels III

Isaac Burns Murphy (1861–1896) was one of the most dynamic jockeys of his era. Still considered one of the finest riders of all time, Murphy was the first jockey to win the Kentucky Derby three times, and his 44 percent win record remains unmatched. Despite his success, Murphy was pushed out of Thoroughbred racing when African American jockeys were forced off the track, and he died in obscurity. READ MORE

Never Say Die: A Kentucky Colt, the Epsom Derby, and the Rise of the Modern Thoroughbred Industry
By James C. Nicholson foreword by Pete Best

A quarter of a million people braved miserable conditions at Epsom Downs on June 2, 1954, to see the 175th running of the prestigious Derby Stakes. Queen Elizabeth II and Sir Winston Churchill were in attendance, along with thousands of Britons who were all convinced of the unfailing superiority of English bloodstock and eager to see a British colt take the victory. They were shocked when a Kentucky-born chestnut named Never Say Die galloped to a two-length triumph at odds of 33–1, winning Britain’s greatest race and beginning an important shift in the world of Thoroughbred racing. READ MORE

Bluegrass Renaissance: The History and Culture of Central Kentucky, 1792-1852
Edited by James C. Klotter and Daniel Rowland

Originally established in 1775 the town of Lexington, Kentucky grew quickly into a national cultural center amongst the rolling green hills of the Bluegrass Region. Nicknamed the “Athens of the West,” Lexington and the surrounding area became a leader in higher education, visual arts, architecture, and music, and the center of the horse breeding and racing industries. The national impact of the Bluegrass was further confirmed by prominent Kentucky figures such as Henry Clay and John C. Breckinridge. READ MORE

The Kentucky Derby: How the Run for the Roses Became America’s Premier Sporting Event
By James C. Nicholson foreword by Chris McCarron

Each year on the first Saturday in May, the world turns its attention to the twin spires of Churchill Downs for the high-stakes excitement of the “greatest two minutes in sports,” the Kentucky Derby. No American sporting event can claim the history, tradition, or pageantry that the Kentucky Derby holds. For more than 130 years, spectators have been fascinated by the magnificent horses that run the Louisville track. Thoroughbreds such as Secretariat and Barbaro have earned instant international fame, along with jockeys such as Isaac Murphy, Ron Turcotte, and Calvin Borel. The Kentucky Derby: How the Run for the Roses Became America’s Premier Sporting Event calls this great tradition to post and illuminates its history and culture. READ MORE

How Kentucky Became Southern: A Tale of Outlaws, Horse Thieves, Gamblers, and Breeders
By Maryjean Wall

The conflicts of the Civil War continued long after the conclusion of the war: jockeys and Thoroughbreds took up the fight on the racetrack. A border state with a shifting identity, Kentucky was scorned for its violence and lawlessness and struggled to keep up with competition from horse breeders and businessmen from New York and New Jersey. As part of this struggle, from 1865 to 1910, the social and physical landscape of Kentucky underwent a remarkable metamorphosis, resulting in the gentile, beautiful, and quintessentially southern Bluegrass region of today. READ MORE

The Kentucky Thoroughbred
By Kent Hollingsworth foreword by Ed Bowen

Kent Hollingsworth captures the flavor and atmosphere of the Sport of Kings in the dramatic account of the development of the Thoroughbred in Kentucky. Ranging from frontier days, when racing was conducted in open fields as horse-to-horse challenges between proud owners, to the present, when a potential Triple Crown champion may sell for millions of dollars, The Kentucky Thoroughbred considers ten outstanding stallions that dominated the shape of racing in their time as representing the many eras of Kentucky Thoroughbred breeding. No less colorful are his accounts of the owners, breeders, trainers, and jockeys associated with these Thoroughbreds, a group devoted to a sport filled with high adventure and great hazards. READ MORE

Kentucky Horse Country: Images of the Bluegrass
By James Archambeault

Renowned photographer James Archambeault captures the natural beauty of Kentucky’s Bluegrass region and the thoroughbred industry for which it is famous. Kentucky Horse Country contains 165 full-color images, from tender scenes of mares and foals grazing, to the excitement of race day at Keeneland, to gorgeous landscapes of white fences enclosing lush rolling hills. The book also includes rare photographs of some of the legendary horses that have made horse racing so exciting and popular: Affirmed, Spectacular Bid, Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and others. The photographs in Kentucky Horse Country are accompanied by captions and narrative descriptions by Archambeault, as well as an informative introduction to the history of thoroughbreds in the Bluegrass by preeminent racing historian Edward L. Bowen. The book also includes a foreword by Kentucky native Steve Cauthen, the youngest jockey ever to win the Triple Crown. Archambeault’s latest work is a Kentucky treasure, both for fans of horses and horse racing and for lovers of the beauty of the Bluegrass. READ MORE

Heroes and Horses: Tales of the Bluegrass
By Philip Ardery

Heroes and Horses presents a series of delightful vignettes evoking a way of life almost beyond recall. Bourbon County, the touchstone for Ardery’s life, is the center that holds together the tales in the collection. Stories about Ardery’s family home, “Rocclicgan,” boyhood activities on the farm, and the servants’ kitchen gossip paint vivid portraits of a lost time in Kentucky’s history. READ MORE

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s