My Year of the Racehorse: Falling in Love with the Sport of Kings [NOOK Book]

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

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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"&#8212Quill and Quire

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781553658405
  • Publisher: Greystone Books
  • Publication date: 3/2/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,249,142
  • File size: 3 MB

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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Table of Contents

1 And He's Off! 1

2 Backside 15

3 Writeoffs 23

4 Making My List 36

5 Find True Love 49

6 Start a Retirement Plan 67

7 Dink-Cleaning Day 78

8 Happy Valley 88

9 Sid Martin, Part One 101

10 Learn Another Language 114

11 The Animal Communicator 129

12 Sid Martin, Part Two 145

13 Get a Tattoo 156

14 See the World 168

15 Auction Day, Part One 182

16 Auction Day, Part Two 194

17 Beware the Mare! 208

18 The Best of Company 213

Author's Note 223

Acknowledgements 224

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