Memorial Hall Library

Books for Horse Race Aficionados

Place your bet and put on your bonnet, the 143rd Annual Kentucky Derby is May 6th! Here are some books to help capture the thrill of the race and all the hard work that goes into it. You can read for the roses while some very well-trained three-year-olds run for the roses (over 400 of them!)

 the untold story of the Triple Crown winner's legendary rise / Joe Drape.
American Pharoah : the untold story of the Triple Crown winner's legendary rise by Joe Drape.

 

History was made at the 2015 Belmont Stakes when American Pharoah won the Triple Crown, the first since Affirmed in 1978. As magnificent as the champion is, the team behind him has been all too human while on the road to immortality.
Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
The author retraces the amazing journey of Seabiscuit, a horse with crooked legs and a pathetic tail that nevertheless made racing history in 1938, thanks to the efforts of a trainer, an owner, and a jockey who transformed a bottom-level racehorse into a legend
Secretariat by William Nack
Secretariat by William Nack

 

Presents the story of the training and triumphant career of the Triple Crown-winning thoroughbred horse, the only non-human to be chosen as one of ESPN's "50 Greatest Athletes of the Century."
 the lives of the triple crown champions / Robert L. Shoop.
Down to the wire : the lives of the triple crown champions by Robert L. Shoop.

 

An historically accurate tome of speed and blood, skill and luck, triumph and tragedyspotlights the horses and the people who harnessed the will, skill, and spirit to run every race Down to the Wire. 
 a tale of breeding geniuses, dominant females, and the fastest Derby winner since Secretariat / James D. Squires.
Horse of a different color : a tale of breeding geniuses, dominant females, and the fastest Derby winner since Secretariat / James D. Squires.

 

The former editor of the Chicago Tribune tells the story of his entry into the world of thoroughbred breeding, profiles Kentucky's racehorse culture, and chronicles his successful breeding of Monarchos, the 2001 Kentucky Derby winner.
 the last triple crown winner / Lou Sahadi.
Affirmed : the last triple crown winner by Lou Sahadi.

 

"The first biography of Affirmed, the last horse to win the Triple Crown. [as of the time of publication] The descendent of Man o War and War Admiral, Affirmed won all three stages of the Triple Crown in 1978 by a combined margin of less than two lengths over rival Alydar. 
 reflections on horses, humans, love, money and luck / Jane Smiley.
A year at the races : reflections on horses, humans, love, money and luck by Jane Smiley.

 

The author explores the high-stakes world of horse racing, drawing on her knowledge of equine behavior, trainers, veterinarians, and jockeys as she relates the story of two of her own horses as they begin their careers.
 the longshot horse, the Great War, and the making of an American hero / Eliza McGraw.
Here comes Exterminator! : the longshot horse, the Great War, and the making of an American hero by Eliza McGraw.

 

A New York Times and Washington Post contributor describes how a racehorse named Exterminator paved the way for equine celebrities like Seabiscuit, and showed Americans they could claim--and love--a famous racehorse as their own.
 Snowman, the horse that inspired a nation / Elizabeth Letts
The eighty-dollar champion : Snowman, the horse that inspired a nation by Elizabeth Letts

 

The Eighty-Dollar Champion tells the dramatic odyssey of a horse called Snowman, saved from the slaughterhouse by a young Dutch farmer named Harry. Together, Harry and Snowman went on to become America's show-jumping champions, winning first prize in Madison Square Garden. Set in the mid- to late-1950s, this book captures the can-do spirit of a Cold War immigrant who believed--and triumphed
 the horse that changed racing history forever / Nicholas Clee.
Eclipse : the horse that changed racing history forever by Nicholas Clee.

 

Traces the story of the champion whose descendants have included Secretariat, Barbaro, and all but three of the past half-century's Kentucky Derby winners, offering insight into the role played by owner, racing outcast, and gambler Dennis O'Kelly.