In The Ghost Horse, Joe Layden tells the inspiring true tale of a one-eyed, club-footed thoroughbred racehorse and a journeyman trainer, Tim Snyder, who scraped together every penny he had to purchase the broken and unwanted filly. Snyder helped the horse overcome its deficiencies, eventually naming her in part after his deceased wife, Lisa, the great and only love of his life—a bright and sweet-tempered woman whose gentle demeanor seemed eerily reflected in the horse. The trainer (and now owner) was by nature a crusty and combative sort, the yin to his wife’s yang, a racetrack lifer not easily moved by new-age mysticism or sentiment. And yet in those final days back in 2003, when Lisa Snyder lay in bed, her body ravaged by cancer, she reassured her family with a weak smile. “It’s okay,” she’d say. “I’ll see you again. I’m coming back as a horse.”
Tim Snyder did not then believe in reincarnation. But he acknowledged the strangeness of this journey, the series of coincidences that brought them together, and the undeniable similarities between the horse and his late wife. And so did those who knew the couple well, and who could now only marvel at the story of the filly, Lisa’s Booby Trap, and the down-on-his-luck trainer who apparently had been given a new lease on life.
The Ghost Horse is a powerful horseracing story of underdogs and second chances.