Not by a Long Shot: A Season at a Hard Luck Horse Track

T.D. Thornton

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Not by a Long Shot: A Season at a Hard Luck Horse Track

Not by a Long Shot A Season at a Hard Luck Horse Track The great myth of horse racing is that the game is the regal and royal Sport of Kings It isn t Not by a long shot Anyone who doubts this need look no further than Suffolk Downs a once proud racecours

  • Title: Not by a Long Shot: A Season at a Hard Luck Horse Track
  • Author: T.D. Thornton
  • ISBN: 9781586484491
  • Page: 110
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The great myth of horse racing is that the game is the regal and royal Sport of Kings It isn t Not by a long shot Anyone who doubts this need look no further than Suffolk Downs, a once proud racecourse graced in its glory years by boisterous throngs and champions such as Seabiscuit Now the blue collar East Boston track is one of many that have fallen on hard times TheThe great myth of horse racing is that the game is the regal and royal Sport of Kings It isn t Not by a long shot Anyone who doubts this need look no further than Suffolk Downs, a once proud racecourse graced in its glory years by boisterous throngs and champions such as Seabiscuit Now the blue collar East Boston track is one of many that have fallen on hard times These days Sufferin Downs is where grizzled Thoroughbreds come to end their careers, hopeful young jockeys aspire against daunting odds to begin them, and diehard fans cheer, curse and gamble on the entire fascinating spectacle These bit players are not just cogs of a single, struggling horse track They are the unseen supporting cast for a 15 billion betting industry.In fifteen years as a racing reporter and press box personality, T.D Thornton gained access to remote corners of racetrack life off limits to the general public He got to know the raucously Runyonesque characters and the quirky personalities of the horses he learned the tricks of the trade from trainers, owners, and jockeys he witnessed the tragedies and small triumphs of racing lives lived below the radar One recent season, he finally decided to write it all down.Not by a Long Shot is a deeply textured portrait of an industry where even the best in the business lose 75 percent of the time.

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    One thought on “Not by a Long Shot: A Season at a Hard Luck Horse Track

    1. Ms.pegasus on said:

      With the fluid ease of a seasoned journalist, Thornton uses the 2000 racing season (January through June) at Boston's Suffolk Downs as the foundation of a condensed history of the track. It is a story about the harsh economics of horseracing told by a track media relations director who must balance candor with diplomacy; affection with logical consequences. In recounting a piece by reporter Steve Myrick about the racetrack suspensions of trainer Bobby Raymond, Thornton notes: “e story struck a [...]

    2. Joe Drape on said:

      I was in Saratoga last week, and had the itch to delve into my turf library when I got back. I read this book in the spring of 2008 as a judge for the Tony Ryan book award. It won - deservedly. Thornton is a tremendous guide through the demi-monde of the sport of kings. The track here is Suffolk Downs, but it could be one of 50 or 60 small tracks that are the life blood of the industry. He treats the place and its people with tremendous respect and warmth.

    3. Colleen Myers on said:

      As a fan of horse racing, I was eager to read about the history of my home track, Suffolk Downs. Allow me to clarify: the track has loomed large in my life, and I drive by it every day, but I've only been inside on a handful of occasions. It was fascinating to read about the history of racing in this state. A good read for any racing fan or any Mass resident with an interest in our state's gambling history.

    4. Sharon Storm on said:

      I enjoyed this book because it gives insight into horse racing away from the glamorous Triple Crown races and Breeders Cup events. The jockeys, trainers and people who bet on races at a small East Boston track, Suffolk Downs, are brought to life by TD Thornton, who worked for the track as a racing reporter. Interesting look at all the different types of folks who come and go, and an in-depth look at the highs and lows of a racing season.

    5. Chris Aylott on said:

      A portrait of a season at Suffolk Downs, a struggling second-tier racetrack on the east side of Boston. I enjoyed spending some time with flinty New Englanders, and the competitive balance of claims races fascinates me: you can choose to race against weaker competition, but you run the risk of having your horse bought out from under you.

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