Three Strides Before The Wire

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9781840189216: Three Strides Before The Wire
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'Charismatic, a colt nobody wanted, is ridden by Antley, a jockey everybody doubted. That either could be a mere mile and a half from winning the Triple Crown would be astounding; that the two of them together are so close to racing immortality would be a fantasy...except that it is real.' So ran a newspaper story days before jockey Chris Antley and his horse Charismatic attempted to make history by winning the third and final race of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes. After battling depression and drug and alcohol abuse, Antley had made a stunning comeback by riding the unknown Charismatic to victory at both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. Antley's success was viewed as symbolic of the new path he was forging in his life, but his story, and his horse's, would not have a fairy-tale ending. In Three Strides Before the Wire, journalist Elizabeth Mitchell takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the world of horse racing by tracing the intertwined lives of jockey Chris Antley, trainer D. Wayne Lukas, owners Bob and Beverly Lewis, 1999 Derby winner Charismatic, and the author herself, who placed a crucial bet on the race. The adventure takes us behind the scenes of the

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Review:

The day of the 20th century's final Kentucky Derby was perfectly brilliant, with a clear blue sky and pleasant, intoxicating heat. More magical than the weather, though, were the moments the Derby synthesized: the surprise victory of underdogs Charismatic and Chris Antley, and an unexpected love of racing for author Elizabeth Mitchell and her cancer-stricken companion, Chuck. The inspiration for Mitchell's engrossing Three Strides Before the Wire lies in those moments, when the couple's world was suddenly buoyed by the spectacular comeback of the talented but tormented jockey and the "tubby" chestnut saddled with the third-worst odds of any winner in Derby history.

Newly awakened to the mysterious forces at play in the sport of thoroughbred racing, journalist Mitchell retraces Charismatic's ascension from a well-bred underachiever draining his owners' bank account to a legitimate contender for the 1999 Triple Crown, a trajectory that ended with injury at the Belmont Stakes. Such a tale in horseracing is not without its personalities, and Mitchell deftly portrays the tough-as-nails trainer D. Wayne Lukas, the impassioned owners Bob and Beverly Lewis, and the gifted but drug-addled Antley, who felt an affinity for the stout colt because the first six letters of his name spelled "Chris A." Three Strides Before the Wire skillfully grafts history and anecdote in a rich narrative revealing both the pure glory and tough-luck hardships of thoroughbred racing, casting compassionate light on Antley's jagged path of fantastic success, drug abuse, and depression. Mitchell's astute observations of the industry's miraculous but destructive elements and the irresistible trickery of chance--which delighted her and Chuck that poignant day at the Derby--coalesce in an engaging, heart-wrenching read. --Rebecca Robinson

About the Author:

Elizabeth Mitchell is the author of W: Revenge of the Bush Dynasty. She was formerly the executive editor of George magazine and is currently a contributing editor for Newsweek. She lives in New York City.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780786886227: Three Strides Before the Wire: The Dark and Beautiful World of Horse Racing

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0786886226 ISBN 13:  9780786886227
Publisher: Hachette Books, 2003
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9780786867233: Three Strides Before the Wire: The Dark and Beautiful World of Horse Racing

Hyperion, 2002
Hardcover

9781840187175: Three Strides Before The Wire: The Dark and Beautiful World of Horse Racing

Mainst..., 2003
Hardcover

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