Mr. Hotaling's latest horse-racing book is a must read for anyone who considers himself a true afficianado of the sport. It tells a story which far too many people, even serious horse players, know little about. Horse racing is unique among sports in America because it is has virtually no black presence. There are few black owners, trainers, and breeders, and very few of the most visible players in racing, the jockeys. This was not always the case. In fact, black jockeys once dominated America's oldest sport. The first winner of the Kentucky Derby was black, as was the Derby's first repeat winner and its first three-time winner. The jockey with the highest winning percentage in history was black. Hotaling gives the history of these pioneers, and in doing so gives a history of the sport. He also deals with the glaring question: why have black jockeys largely dissappeared from the sport? It is well-written and insightful, a book invaluable to those who value the...
I read this book because it combined Black History and horse racing. Two of my favorite subjects. The book is well organized, full of information. The author seamlessly intertwines American History, African American History, and the history of horse racing in America. So the book keeps your interest. He also balances historical facts, with the colorful characters\stories surrounding horseracing, while elevating Black jockies to their noble place in the "sport of kings". This book is worth the price. A great read!!
Any person who is a serious study of sports history will find this a most compelling dialogue on the "true" evolution of the American professional athlete. It is simply the most "untold" and most compelling story in the American experience. Today's athletes - of whatever color - should read this book to get a true appreciation for the foundations of the "professional" athlete in America and the depth of character exhibited by these great athletes under the most dire conditions.
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