Twelve-year-old Christina Reese is the luckiest girl in the world. She lives at the Whitebrook Farm with her dad, Mike, and her mother, Ashleigh Griffen, one of the most famous jockeys ever. And when Christina asked for a horse for her birthday she got Wonder's Legacy, the last foal of her mom's famous racehorse, Wonder.
But Christina doesn't feel so lucky. Everyone expects her to become a jockey, but Christina wants to be an Event rider. All she needs is the perfect horse. Then she sees Sterling Dream, a beautiful gray mare who's being forced to race against her will. Will Christina risk everything she has to take a chance on a Dream?
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Joanna Campbell appears here with her six-year-old Thoroughbred, Meyersville Magic, known around the barn as CC. He's a son of Horatius out of Northwich by Timothy's Champ and is owned by Cathy Day. Formerly trained for racing, he is now being trained for eventing. Last Year he was the Maine Entry Level Champion in Combined Training.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Twelve-year-old Christina Reese leaned against the fence surrounding the oval training track at Whitebrook Farm. Her cheeks were cold in the early morning air, but the March sun felt warm on her back. It glinted off her strawberry blond hair and highlighted the reddish coat of the horse trotting down the far side of the track.
Christina pulled the sleeves of her jacket over her fingers, rested her chin on her folded arms, and watched her breath steam out in the chilly air. Far down the track she could see tiny, twin puffs of steam come from the colt's nostrils as he rounded the turn and headed toward her. He tossed his head, impatient at being held to a brisk trot. Let me run, he seemed to be saying. Christina felt as impatient as the colt. She just wasn't that interested in watching a workout, no matter how impressive the horse. She would rather be grooming her pony, getting him ready for her jump lesson.
January and February had been unusually cold and snowy for Kentucky, but March had come like a sunny apology for the harsh winter. Today the ground would be soft enough to jump outside, and Christina could hardly wait for ten o'clock so she could go down the road to Gardener Farm for her riding lesson, but she had promised her mother she would watch this horse's workout.
Christina studied the beautiful colt as he trotted past. His name was Wonder's Legacy, and his shiny, chestnut coat gleamed over his firm muscles and excellent bones. Like his dam, Wonder, he had four white stockings and a broad white blaze on his handsome face, but Wonder had been small and fineboned. Legacy was big for a just-turned-two-year-old, and the look of fierce determination in his eyes spoke for his future as a racehorse.
"What do you think? Our boy's looking good, isn't he?"
Christina turned and saw the head trainer of Whitebrook Farm, Ian McLean. Christina nodded in agreement. "He looks great," she said.
"That colt's going to be Whitebrook's next champion for sure," Ian said matter-of-factly. He leaned against the rail next to Christina.
Christina's parents, Ashleigh Griffen and Michael
Reese, were the owners of Whitebrook Farm. Together with Ian McLean, they had worked for the last several years to make Whitebrook Farm a superior Thoroughbred breeding and training facility. The farm had become well known for producing winning animals, not just around Lexington, but all over the country.
There was a sudden burst of hoofbeats on the track and the horse was off. "Look at him go!" Ian said, grasping Christina's arm in his enthusiasm. "Just look at him stretch! He loves it! That's a fine colt right there-he's quality through and through, just like his dam," Ian added, giving Christina a knowing wink.
Ian was talking about her mother's first horse, Wonder. Ashleigh's Wonder had been a Kentucky Derby winner and many-time champion in her younger days. Now she was old and hollow-backed, but her coat still gleamed and the look of steady courage in her large brown eyes had never faltered. Wonder's racing and breeding days were over, but she had thrown many champion colts and fillies.
Christina had grown up playing in the paddocks and barn aisles of Whitebrook, surrounded by foals who grew up to become famous racehorses. One of her earliest memories was of sitting upon Wonder's back, her mother encouraging her to pet the mare's soft coat. But unlike her mother, who had tirelessly tended Wonder when she was a sickly foal and brought her along until her racing days, Christina just didn't have the same passion for racehorses. She loved horses and she loved living at Whitebrook, but she couldn't seem to get excited about watching a horse gallop around a dirt track. Christina loved to jump.
Wonder's Legacy flashed past her then, a look of keen intensity on his face. The clocker punched the button on top of his stopwatch with a triumphant gesture and the heads of all the onlookers turned. All except for Christina.
Christina's eyes were no longer on the stellar colt in the training oval. Instead her gaze had drifted upward, to a hillside beyond one of the pastures. She hugged the top rail of the fence, looking with interest at a good-sized tree that had come down in an ice storm that winter. She was thinking that if she could get up there later and clear away some of the branches and debris, the trunk of the fallen tree would make a perfect jump.
"Did you see that?" Anna Simms, Legacy's sixteen-year-old exercise rider, had trotted over to Christina on the pretty colt. She pulled her goggles off and beamed at Christina, her brown eyes shining with delight. "He was flying down that last furlong and I was just sitting there. He's got more in him-I can feel it!" Legacy pranced in place, obviously proud of himself. Anna's face glowed from the exercise and exhilaration of her ride.
Christina nodded politely. She was trying to remember where she had last seen an old hand saw. Maybe in the toolshed? She wondered if it would be sharp enough to trim away the branches sticking up from the fallen tree.
"Helloooo, Christina. Are you still sleeping?" Anna joked.
"Hmmm?" Christina murmured absently.
"What was the time on that, Joe?" Ian asked excitedly.
"I got him at a minute flat," the clocker called back.
"And I wasn't pushing him at all, Ian," Anna added. "He's got much more in him than that."
A small smile crossed the trainer's face "If he gets an even break in his first race, he'll be the horse to beat," Ian declared, his green eyes sparkling with excitement. "The horse has class."
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Book Description HarperEntertainment, 1998. Mass-market paperback. Book Condition: New. Mass market (rack) paperback. Glued binding. 176 p. Thoroughbred (Paperback), 24. Audience: General/trade; Children/juvenile. Bookseller Inventory # Alibris_0009971
Book Description HarperCollins, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110061067970
Book Description HarperCollins, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0061067970
Book Description HarperCollins. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0061067970 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0014972
Book Description HarperCollins, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0061067970