They're Off! Horse Racing Saratoga: Horse Racing at Saratoga (New York State Series)

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9780815603504: They're Off! Horse Racing Saratoga: Horse Racing at Saratoga (New York State Series)
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This is the story of how one of America's first national resorts gave birth to the first national sport of horse racing. It introduces a parade of champions and their spectacular supporting characters.

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Here, for the first time, is the story of how America's first national resort gave birth to, then nurtured, its first national sport, introducing the country to a parade of champions and their spectacular supporting characters. To experience this adventure is to see why the Saratoga Race Course, America's oldest major sports facility remains one of its most beloved and most successful. They're Off! is as much a social history as it is sports history. Edward Hotaling opens with a little-known visit by the first famous tourist, George Washington, who tried to buy the place he called "the Saratoga Springs". Soon the pursuit of happiness at our original vacationland helped redefine America. Even at the height of the Civil War, the country's first organized sport was launched on a national scale.

From Publishers Weekly:

The first thoroughbred race in the U.S. was held at Saratoga Springs in 1847, and the first national thoroughbred race took place there during the Civil War, when the upstate New York town began to establish itself as the country's prime resort. Throughout the Gilded Age, Saratoga lured Astors, Vanderbilts, Belmonts and other millionaires and became known for its huge and lavish hotels, its gambling houses and, very incidentally, its restorative waters. Its 42-day season was short, but it still lured the top horses for flat and harness racing and even steeplechasing. Among the great mounts that raced there for the Travers Stakes, begun in 1864, or the Saratoga Cup, started a year later, were Longfellow, probably the best thoroughbred of the 19th century, Man o' War, who suffered his only loss there, Whirlaway and Secretariat. Saratoga's two-legged visitors included presidents and gangsters, writers and movie stars. Television director and scriptwriter Hotaling tells its exciting story well, and the 95 illustrations are worthy of the text.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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ISBN 10:  0815604394 ISBN 13:  9780815604396
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