Man o' War

A Legend Like Lightning

Dorothy Ours

St. Martin's Press

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His trainer said that managing him was like holding a tiger by the tail. His owner compared him to “chain lightning.” His jockeys found their lives transformed by him, in triumphant and distressing ways. All of them became caught in a battle for honesty.
Born in 1917, Man o’ War grew from a rebellious youngster into perhaps the greatest racehorse of all time. He set such astonishing speed records that The New York Times called him a “Speed Miracle.” Often he won with so much energy in reserve that experts wondered how much faster he could have gone. Over the years, this and other mysteries would envelop the great Man o’ War.
The truth remained problematic. Even as Man o’ War---known as “Big Red”---came to power, attracting record crowds and rave publicity, the colorful sport of Thoroughbred racing struggled for integrity. His lone defeat, suffered a few weeks before gamblers fixed the 1919 World Series, spawned lasting rumors that he, too, had been the victim of a fix.
Tackling old beliefs with newly uncovered evidence, Man o’ War: A Legend Like Lightning shows how human pressures collided with a natural phenomenon and brings new life to an American icon. The genuine courage of Man o’ War, tribulations of his archrival, Sir Barton (America’s first Triple Crown winner), and temptations of their Hall of Fame jockeys and trainers reveal a long-hidden tale of grace, disgrace, and elusive redemption.
 

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Book Excerpts

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Chapter One 
TWO WARS BEGIN
 
In the green hills of Kentucky, nine days after riding his first winner, an apprentice jockey named John Patrick Loftus got an offer to sell his soul. Fourteen years old, still wearing knee pants when not in jockey uniform, he entered the fifth race at Latonia on Friday, June 24, 1910, with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. His mount, a classy colt named Boola Boola, could win easily. But Johnny would be far richer if he made Boola Boola lose. Thursday night, during a streetcar ride, a stranger had propositioned him: two hundred

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Reviews

Praise for Man o' War

“Written with an effortless command of history and language, Man o’ War frees Thoroughbred racing’s greatest icon from nearly a century of mythology and mystery. In its pages, Man o’ War lives in all his complexity: emphatic, breathtaking, maddening, both a blessing and a curse to those who cultivated his superlative talent. Man o’ War is a riveting work, researched meticulously and told brilliantly.”
---Laura Hillenbrand, New York Times bestselling author of Seabiscuit: An American Legend
 
“You take twenty-two chapters, mix in one spectacular Thoroughbred racehorse, and gently blend in just enough inscrutability, dishonesty, and plot---voilá! One must-read book that equals hours of unadulterated pleasure.”
---George M. Steinbrenner III
 
“The golden era of racing and its greatest star come to life in the vivid pages of Dorothy Ours’s outstanding retrospective on Man o’ War.”
---Joe Hirsch, Daily Racing Form

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About the Author

Dorothy Ours

A lifelong horse enthusiast, Dorothy Ours grew up in the history-rich states of Virginia and West Virginia. She worked for seven years at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York, while researching Man o’ War and has been cited for research contributions to several books on Thoroughbred racehorses. Her other fascinations include music, art, and ghost stories.

Dorothy Ours

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Available Formats and Book Details

Man o' War
A Legend Like Lightning
Dorothy Ours

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
April 2007
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429907774
ISBN10: 1429907770
352 pages
$7.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
May 2007
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312341008
ISBN10: 0312341008
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 368 pages, Includes sixteen pages of black-and-white photographs
$17.99
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