The Horse God Built

The Untold Story of Secretariat, the World's Greatest Racehorse

Lawrence Scanlan

Thomas Dunne Books

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He was the perfect horse, it was said, “the horse God built.”

Most of us know the legend of Secretariat, the tall, handsome chestnut racehorse whose string of honors runs long and rich: the only two-year-old ever to win Horse of the Year, in 1972; winner in 1973 of the Triple Crown, his times in all three races still unsurpassed; featured on the cover of Time, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated; the only horse listed on ESPN’s top fifty athletes of the twentieth century (ahead of Mickey Mantle). His final race at Toronto’s Woodbine Racetrack is a touchstone memory for horse lovers everywhere. Yet while Secretariat will be remembered forever, one man, Eddie “Shorty” Sweat, who was pivotal to the great horse’s success, has been all but forgotten---until now.

In The Horse God Built, bestselling equestrian writer Lawrence Scanlan has written a tribute to an exceptional man that is also a backroads journey to a corner of the racing world rarely visited. As a young black man growing up in South Carolina, Eddie Sweat struggled at several occupations before settling on the job he was born for---groom to North America’s finest racehorses. As Secretariat’s groom, loyal friend, and protector, Eddie understood the horse far better than anyone else. A wildly generous man who could read a horse with his eyes, he shared in little of the financial success or glamour of Secretariat’s wins on the track, but won the heart of Big Red with his soft words and relentless devotion.

In Scanlan’s rich narrative, we get a groom’s-eye view of the racing world and the vantage of a man who spent every possible moment with the horse he loved, yet who often basked in the horse’s glory from the sidelines. More than anything else, The Horse God Built is a moving portrait of the powerful bond between human and horse.
 
 

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Book Excerpts

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Chapter One
Red Horse, Black Angel
Eight in the morning north of Lexington under a bright summer sun, and this corner of the sprawling theme park in Kentucky already has the feel of a lively small-town fair. A long row of white domed tents—spires on top, blue pennants flying—offers shade to the peddlers setting up their wares. Strange to say, given the breakfast hour, but the smell of grilled burgers and hot dogs is in the air, the sno-cone sellers are doing a brisk business, and it seems like every hawker of Secretariat memorabilia in America has booked kiosk space here under that hot

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Reviews

Praise for The Horse God Built

"Scanlan is a compassionate reporter ... the author is an amiable companion on the road."
--Bill Barich, The New York Times
 
"...this volume bulges with insight into and sensitivity toward the world of Thoroughbred horse racing.... Scanlan's scope is encyclopedic."
--Publishers Weekly
 
"The author’s tribute is heartfelt, and Sweat is a worthy subject."
--Kirkus Reviews
 
"Scanlan makes a convincing case."
--Booklist

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About the Author

Lawrence Scanlan

Lawrence Scanlan is the author of six bestselling books, including Wild About Horses and Little Horse of Iron. He is the coauthor, with Ian Millar, of Riding High, and has written three books for younger readers: Big Ben, Horses Forever, and The Horse’s Shadow. Scanlan worked closely with Monty Roberts on his acclaimed book The Man Who Listens to Horses. Winner of three Canadian National Magazine Awards for his journalism, Scanlan lives in Kingston, Ontario.

Lawrence Scanlan

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Horse God Built
The Untold Story of Secretariat, the World's Greatest Racehorse
Lawrence Scanlan

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
Thomas Dunne Books
April 2010
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429968089
ISBN10: 1429968087
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 352 pages, Includes sixteen pages of black-and-white photographs throughout plus one 15-page black-and-white photo insert
$9.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin/Thomas Dunne Books
June 2008
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312382254
ISBN10: 0312382251
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 352 pages, Includes 16 black-and-white photographs throughout/Index
$15.99
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Thomas Dunne Books

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