The Wrong Horse: An Odyssey Through the American Racing Scene

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9780316591317: The Wrong Horse: An Odyssey Through the American Racing Scene
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An intimate portrait of the American horse racing scene by a savvy insider who has been a bettor, owner, winner, and loser explores the world of the track and its colorful characters

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From Kirkus Reviews:

An amiable, anecdotal memoir of a professional writer's perdurable, albeit oft-unrequited, love affair with thoroughbred horses. New Yorker regular Murray, author of the Shifty Anderson racetrack-mystery series (I'm Getting Killed Right Here, 1991, etc.) and other books, recalls how, as a preppy teenager, he contracted an unshakable case of horse fever once he was introduced to the pleasures of the track by a cousin's sporty husband. Having pursued his long-shot avocation while making a solid career for himself as a journalist and author, Murray (a well-born fugitive from Park Avenue) now offers a witty, often rueful account of life as an improver of the breed. A sometime owner, as well as inveterate bettor who appreciates the thrills of victory and agonies of defeat, he provides perceptive assessments of what makes individual punters, jockeys, trainers, handicappers, grooms, and a host of other racing denizens run. Nor does Murray scant the magnificent--if frequently frustrating and heartbreakingly fragile- -beasts on which the track's two-legged animals focus at world- class as well as also-ran courses on the county-fair circuit throughout the US. Covered in addition is the widely ignored reality that gambling underpins the industry that calls itself the sport of kings. An idiosyncratic tour of domestic racing likely to appeal to horseplayers as well as their civilian counterparts. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

New Yorker writer Murray, who also writes racetrack mysteries ( Tip on a Dead Crab ), here looks at offbeat aspects of the sport: competitions at county fairs, where the horses are generally of a fairly low caliber; the races at Agua Caliente in Tijuana, Mexico, where honesty on the part of owners, trainers and jockeys is far from a sine qua non ; and the problems of holding a winnng ticket, which include "breakage" and taxes (the IRS has representatives at the tracks to collect 20% of the big payoffs). Murray, himself a bettor and horse owner, provides such expected coverage as an encomium to jockey Bill Shoemaker, who rode in 40,351 races during his 40-year career. He also, unfortunately, feels constrained to add trite vignettes about the "characters" at the track, mostly seedy, unlettered types who spend their lives barely breaking even, in chapters that dig in ground long since brilliantly excavated by Damon Runyon.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780671767747: The Wrong Horse: An Odyssey Through the American Racing Scene

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ISBN 10:  0671767747 ISBN 13:  9780671767747
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 1992
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