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Not by a Long Shot: A Season at a Hard Luck Horse Track

Thornton, T.D.

Editore: PublicAffairs, 2007
ISBN 10: 1586484494 / ISBN 13: 9781586484491
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Titolo: Not by a Long Shot: A Season at a Hard Luck ...

Casa editrice: PublicAffairs

Data di pubblicazione: 2007

Legatura: Hardcover

Condizione libro: New


Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Once host to turf champions such as Seabiscuit and boisterous throngs of 40,000 spectators, Suffolk Downs, arelentless urban betting factory on the outskirts of Boston, now struggles to survive. "Sufferin' Downs" is wheregrizzled Thoroughbreds come to end their careers, hopeful jockeys and talented young trainers aspire againstdaunting odds to begin them, and a small but steadfast legion of diehard fans grinds and gambles in collective desperation against the vagaries of logic, luck and life. Decidedly more blue-collar than blue-blooded, these bit players are not just the cogs of a single, struggling horse track. They also function as the unseen supporting cast for America's $15 billion betting industry. Long-time racing writer and aficionado TD Thornton worked at Suffolk Downs for a decade, first as a reporterfor The Boston Globe and The Racing Times, and then as its media director. He was granted behind-thescenes access to racetrack life usually off limits to the general public, from the stable shedrows to the jockey's locker room to the company boardroom and, during the course of one recent racing season, finally decided to write it all down. Contemporary racing literature is full of fawning portrayals of high-profile horses and humans who have achieved success in high profile events. Yet in reality, the sport's most gripping tales come from obscure characters who toil in anonymity at under-the-radar racetracks everywhere: Minimum-wage stable-hands chopping ice from frozen water buckets in pre-dawn winter darkness; grooms who sleep in stalls and cry over sick steeds that aren't worth much more than a saddle; jockeys who starve themselves for the privilege ofpiloting nothing but losers, and - above all - the fragile yet immeasurably tenacious Thoroughbreds running asfast as they can, as hard as they can, simply because they can. Not by a Long Shot tells their stories. Organized around the story of a troubled comeback jockey who ends upparalyzing a good friend in a horrific racing accident, it is a deeply textured portrait of an industry where even the best in the business lose 75 percent of the time. Codice inventario libreria ABE_book_new_1586484494

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Riassunto: The great myth of horse racing is that the game is the regal and royal Sport of Kings. It isn't. Not by a long shot.

Anyone who doubts this need look no further than Suffolk Downs, a once-proud racecourse graced in its glory years by boisterous throngs and champions such as Seabiscuit. Now the blue-collar East Boston track is one of many that have fallen on hard times. These days "Sufferin' Downs" is where grizzled Thoroughbreds come to end their careers, hopeful young jockeys aspire against daunting odds to begin them, and diehard fans cheer, curse and gamble on the entire fascinating spectacle. These bit players are not just cogs of a single, struggling horse track. They are the unseen supporting cast for a $15 billion betting industry.

In fifteen years as a racing reporter and press box personality, T.D. Thornton gained access to remote corners of racetrack life off limits to the general public. He got to know the raucously Runyonesque characters and the quirky personalities of the horses; he learned the tricks of the trade from trainers, owners, and jockeys; he witnessed the tragedies and small triumphs of racing lives lived below the radar. One recent season, he finally decided to write it all down.

Not by a Long Shot is a deeply textured portrait of an industry where even the best in the business lose 75 percent of the time.

L'autore: T.D. Thornton has written for several newspapers, most notably The Boston Globe and the national Thoroughbred daily The Racing Times. His work has appeared in an array of literary journals, and he often comments on racing on television and radio. He lives outside of Boston.

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