My Year of the Racehorse: Falling in Love with the Sport of Kings

My Year of the Racehorse: Falling in Love with the Sport of Kings

by Kevin Chong
     
 

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Kevin Chong has grand plans. He draws up a to-do list of major milestones that will give him the life he always wanted—and the life that will inspire awe and envy in his friends. Things like settling down and starting a family; learning a foreign language; getting a tattoo. But these grand plans go out the window when Chong makes an unconventional…  See more details below

Overview


Kevin Chong has grand plans. He draws up a to-do list of major milestones that will give him the life he always wanted—and the life that will inspire awe and envy in his friends. Things like settling down and starting a family; learning a foreign language; getting a tattoo. But these grand plans go out the window when Chong makes an unconventional decision: he's going to buy a racehorse. Not the whole thing—he'll become part—owner of the horse. Just don't ask him which part.

Thus Chong meets Blackie, the racehorse that will win his heart, even if she doesn't always win on the track. He meets Randi, the cantankerous and foul-mouthed horse trainer with a heart of gold. He meets an assorted array of characters who work, live and drink at the track—and, one by one, the items on his to-do list are crossed out and replaced with horse-related ambitions. His goals are a bit more humble (cussing like a track worker replaces learning a foreign language), but his life has gained new meaning.

The story is infused with the noise, excitement and faded glamour of the horse-racing world. It is strewn with fascinating tidbits about the history and tradition of this

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A young Chinese-Canadian journalist and "all-around enthusiast" is drawn to a sport with a fading star in this quirky, entertaining memoir. Chong (Neil Young Nation: A Quest, an Obsession (and a True Story), nonfiction) is a commitment-phobe who has never been tied down—neither by "boy-girl relationships" nor a full-time job. At 33-years-old, he decides it's time for a big change, which leads to Chong becoming part-owner of Blackie, a low-tier racehorse with "the equine personality of a biker chick" and known professionally as Mocha Time. Chong details his many adventures with charming self-deprecation, and introduces readers to a diverse cast of characters—from Randi, Blackie's gruff trainer who reveals her "stripping song is AC/DC's ‘You Shook Me All Night Long;'" to his long suffering immigrant parents. But the true focus is the author himself. Arguably, this works in the book's favor, as Chong proves to be both fun and genuinely funny, and his numerous foibles (e.g., discussing horse masturbation at a wedding, enlisting the services of an animal psychic) make for a consistently entertaining and informative read. (May)
From the Publisher

"The vivid, affecting portraits of the people who live on the backstretch will remind readers of the HBO series Luck, just as the hardbitten manner in which Chong’s veteran racetrackers deal with loss will evoke Jaimy Gordon’s Lord of Misrule."—Booklist

"…a quirky, fast-paced gallop through the exhilaration, heartbreak, and financial responsibility of owning even a small share in racehorse"—Quill and Quire

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781553655206
Publisher:
Greystone Books
Publication date:
04/24/2012
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
1,226,922
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"The vivid, affecting portraits of the people who live on the backstretch will remind readers of the HBO series Luck, just as the hardbitten manner in which Chong’s veteran racetrackers deal with loss will evoke Jaimy Gordon’s Lord of Misrule."—Booklist

"…a quirky, fast-paced gallop through the exhilaration, heartbreak, and financial responsibility of owning even a small share in racehorse"—Quill and Quire

Meet the Author


Kevin Chong studied at the University of British Columbia and Columbia University, where he received an MFA in writing. He is the author of Neil Young Nation and two novels. Chong lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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