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

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Reporter Elizabeth Mitchell introduces readers to the mysterious, mercurial world of horse racing in a book that's as fast-paced and colorful as a day at the track.

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RaceFan

Sep 11, 2008

Triumph and Tragedy

Elizabeth Mitchell is a gifted writer and her account of the rise (and fall) of long shot Kentucky Derby/Preakness winner Charismatic is deeply moving. Charismatic's unlikely success story is woven through Ms. Mitchell's beautifully drawn sketches of the lives of his breeder, owners, trainer and his jockey, the ill-fated Chris Antley, There were so many powerful moments in the book - the image of a stunned D.Wayne Lukas cradling the doomed filly Landaluce in his arms still makes me cry. Ms. Mitchell's personal connection to the Charismatic story infuses the whole with a level of genuine feeling that is (unfortunately) lacking in most of the many books I've read about racing and race horses. This one is different. I loved this book.

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