Horse of a Different Color: A Tale of Breeding Geniuses, Dominant Females, and the Fastest Derby Winner since Secretariat

Overview


Everybody in the thoroughbred horse business wants to win the Kentucky Derby, but the odds on making it to the winner's circle at Churchill Downs are about 35,000-to-1. How did a former Chicago newspaper editor bring together the stallion and mare and breed the winner of the world's most famous and important horserace?
Jim Squires's Horse of a Different Color tells the story of his wild ride from absurdity to glory at the pinnacle of horseracing success alongside Monarchos, ...
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Horse Of A Different Color: A Tale of Breeding Geniuses, Dominant Females, and the Fastest Derby Winner Since Secretariat

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Overview


Everybody in the thoroughbred horse business wants to win the Kentucky Derby, but the odds on making it to the winner's circle at Churchill Downs are about 35,000-to-1. How did a former Chicago newspaper editor bring together the stallion and mare and breed the winner of the world's most famous and important horserace?
Jim Squires's Horse of a Different Color tells the story of his wild ride from absurdity to glory at the pinnacle of horseracing success alongside Monarchos, the charismatic gray colt blessed with the extraordinary speed, poise, and stamina necessary to carry his motley band of human handlers to the highest level of their profession.
Squires takes you on an exciting journey through the close-knit and secretive world of horse breeders, buyers, sellers, owners, and trainers. And his hilarious tour of racehorse culture ends with a blazing sprint down the homestretch of the second fastest Derby in history in the company of a crowd of Kentuckians driven mad with "Derby Fever."
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
A former Chicago Tribune editor and the breeder of Monarchos, the 2001 Kentucky Derby winner, shares his perspective on the unpredictable world of horse breeding in Horse of a Different Color. Squires recounts the story of how he bred his champion and also provides fascinating details about what appears to be a labyrinthine network of veterinarians, breeders, pedigree specialists, and scores of others who play a part in the business of horse breeding. Fast-paced and entertaining, this horse tale is sure to please.
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Squires writes...with clear affection, proving that even a crusty, hard-eyed newspaperman can have a soft heart.
Newsday
Squires is cheerfully cynical... Provides the sharpest commentary on racing's class conflicts...A refreshingly anti-romantic view of racing.
Wall Street Journal
[Squires]...defied the conventions, took the risks and beat the odds is told in high good humor in ["Horse"].
Chicago Tribune
a funny, occasionally biting tour of the thoroughbred industry... a rollicking primer for the layman...The book's greatest strength is Squires' voice.
Bookpage
Like so many of the blueblooded beasts he writes about, Squires' new book is a winner.
Baltimore Sun
This is a book with all the ingredients-a great tale to tell and a gifted writer at the helm.
LA Times
picks up steam as it nears the finish line...you can't stop rushing ahead to see how it turns out.
Rocky Mountain News
Squires has written a superb book that provides the ultimate insider's view of big-time racing.
Orlando Sentinel
offers insight into the strange world of thoroughbred breeding and racing...an entertaining book.
Library Journal
The breeder of the 2001 Kentucky Derby winner, Squires was previously the editor of the Chicago Tribune, whose staff won seven Pulitzers in eight years. But when he was terminated in a management shake-up, he decided to take his horse hobby to the next level. For 20 years his avocation had been raising reining horses, cutting horses, and jumpers. When he made breeding thoroughbred racehorses his second career, no one, himself included, believed that he could make a living at such a risk-filled business. However, using some of the same skills he had used as an editor a willingness to take risks, an ability to analyze a situation by separating fact from emotion, and maintaining a sense of humor Squires was able not only to make a living at breeding racehorses but to breed a horse whose speed in the Kentucky Derby was second only to Secretariat's. His story of this success is fast paced and fun to read. It will appeal not only to horseracing fans but also to people making midlife career changes. Readers who liked Laura Hillenbrand's Seabiscuit and Joe Drape's Race for the Triple Crown will appreciate this book. Recommended for public libraries and libraries with racing collections. Patsy E. Gray, Huntsville P.L., AL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From The Critics
Former editor of the sets up shop in Kentucky to breed horses and is hailed as a genius for breeding Monarchos, the gray colt that went on to win the Kentucky Derby in 2001. Squires's humorous account of his travails and successes as a novice horse- breeder is an entertaining introduction into the world of an eccentric subculture with international ties. Sixteen pages of b&w photographs. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Kirkus Reviews
Former Chicago Tribune editor Squires (The Secrets of the Hopewell Box, 1996, etc.), a horse breeder since 1990, relates how Lady Luck took a shine to his Two Bucks Farm and gave him a Kentucky Derby winner. Of the 30,000 thoroughbred foals born every year, only 15 to 20 run the big race. Squires, who poured his golden parachute from the Tribune into his Kentucky farm, gives a vivid account of how otherwise sane and sober people can devote their lives to this quixotic endeavor. Starting with his childhood fascination with the type of beauty found in horses and human females, Squires rapidly turns to today's thoroughbred establishment, a world made up of "bloodstock agents, pedigree specialists, sales consignors, farm and racing managers, veterinarians, mating advisers, agents, and consultants of every stripe." From here, he traces the genesis of his Derby winner, Monarchos, offspring of "two castoff descendants of royalty hooking up in a quest for restored respectability." A blizzard of details about horse auctions, foreign ownership, dealers, sales, weanlings, yearlings, and stakes follows, for a time obscuring the trail of Monarchos. The reader who struggles on, however, is rewarded with a thrilling end. The haze of facts and figures resolves into an old-fashioned horse race, with heroes, villains, favorites, and Monarchos, saddled with 10-to-1 odds and a genius of a jockey. Squires has the gift for good, toothsome storytelling; his give-and-take relationship with his wife, "the dominant female," adds a certain savor, and his unabashed admiration of the look of a certain breeder in her tight jeans adds salt. A promising start, muddled middle, and heart-pounding finish.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781586481179
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 4/2/2002
  • Edition description: One 16 Page Insert (b/w)
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.48 (w) x 9.52 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author


Jim Squires has been breeding and raising horses in Kentucky since 1990. From 1981 to 1989, he was the editor of the Chicago Tribune. He is the author of two previous books. A Tennessee native, Squires lives with his wife Mary Anne at Two Bucks Farms in Versailles, Kentucky.
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Table of Contents

Preface xi
Part 1 Breeding Success 1
Part 2 Saving Monarchos 55
Part 3 Derby Fever 115
Part 4 Monarchos Rules 189
Afterword 285
Acknowledgments 299
About the Author 301
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2002

    Newspaperman Turned Breeder Grabs the Roses

    This is a well written and often humorous account of a retired newspaperman's decision to take a radical career turn and buy a Thoroughbred horse farm in Kentucky. Thoroughbred breeding is a domain mostly reserved for the very rich, but Jim Squires wagers his nest egg on a business where, like the track, there are more losers than winners. He shares his experiences, including his mistakes, with honesty and warmth. You can learn a lot about the Sport of Kings from this book, from the breeding and foaling barns to the sales rings to the race tracks. The fact that this small time operator in the Thoroughbred horse world bred the horse that won the Kentucky Derby is just an extra layer of icing on what is already a pretty good cake.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2002

    Story of an under dog!!!!

    this book was very good. i think that if it was longer it would have been better. i wanted to know about regal band at the end in the afterwards part. i also like the idea of cigar being mentioned. cigar is the beat horse there is. but all in all if you truly enjoy horses and racing you will like this book!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2002

    A story that will make you laugh and cry

    What a thrilling story about a wonderful horse and the people around him. I particularly enjoyed the author's ability to make fun of himself. This is a great read for anyone who enjoys an 'insider's' point of view about a fascinating industry, the thoroughbred industry. In the same league as Seabiscuit.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2010

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