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Fate, a touch too much whiskey, and a rainy Irish night transpire to crash Bright Dawn, the very valuable and very pregnant mare, into the farm where Thresis McGee lives with her grandparents. With their loving aid, Bright Dawn gives birth without mishap to twin foals, King Stephen and Most Innocent. As a major investment and bid for prestige by an American magnate, King Stephen is sent to America to begin his training and racing career. His sister Most Innocent remains behind in the care and ownership of ...
Fate, a touch too much whiskey, and a rainy Irish night transpire to crash Bright Dawn, the very valuable and very pregnant mare, into the farm where Thresis McGee lives with her grandparents. With their loving aid, Bright Dawn gives birth without mishap to twin foals, King Stephen and Most Innocent. As a major investment and bid for prestige by an American magnate, King Stephen is sent to America to begin his training and racing career. His sister Most Innocent remains behind in the care and ownership of Thresis, deemed too small and delicate for racing despite the racehorse in her blood. In America, rookie trainer Archie Miller envisions his and King Stephen's stars rising in tandem, proving their worth to the legions of nay-sayers. The Irish hills watch as Thresis's eclectic team helps Most Innocent gather all the speed and potential she carries within her. Will King Stephen become a sensation in America, and does Most Innocent really have what it takes? Will the twins meet again... perhaps this time on the track?
Posted September 5, 2005
Can't wait for the next book. Held my attention from start to finish. An enjoyable read. Interesting, no violence or obscenities. The author has a unique, sensitive understanding of horses and people.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 4, 2005
Ireland, the Emerald Isle, known for its luscious, rolling country sides, links golf is also the home of some of the greatest horses in the history of thoroughbred and steeplechase racing opens the first act in Thomas Marshall¿s novel ¿Stride for Stride: The Legacy of Bright Dawn.¿ The first-time author introduces the reader to Bright Dawn, a mare, ready to give birth in Ireland, but is involved in an early morning accident along one of the island¿s many twisting, fog-ridden country roads. Several miracles occur in the first few pages of ¿Stride for Stride,¿ the survival of Bright Dawn as well as the birth of her twins, highly unusual in thoroughbreds. The connection contracted for one foal, the first born, the colt, not the second, his sister, the filly. The equine group is taken in by the McGee¿s, grandfather Jack, grandmother Anne, and the other heroine in the novel, Thresis. The two young animals are cared for with a tremendous amount of love and care by the McGee¿s, especially Thresis, who is enthralled by the thoroughbreds. Eventually the two are named by Thresis McGee¿s secret benefactor with help from the McGee¿s two colorful neighbors, the Kelly brothers, Bernard and Brendan. The twin thoroughbreds, the books primary characters, are called King Stephen and Most Innocent. The story develops with the colt, King Stephen, raised with his mother, Bright Star, eventually being sent to America, as planned. The miracle birth of the twin, the smaller built filly, Most Innocent, is kept from the ownership group. While slightly untruthful, the lack of disclosure proves to be legal. Thresis McGee has dreams of becoming a horse trainer and Most Innocent is to be her first love as well as her first thoroughbred. Over the early pages, the young horses grow quickly, King Stephen, more than his sister, Most Innocent, and the back story is developed for Thresis. When returned to the late 1950s, King Stephen, is ready to shock the racing world with his up-front blazing speed. The spectacular colt is trained by American hotshot, Archie Miller, who utilizes a methodical, hard training, scheduling style to train the horses of his owner, George Steimetz. It is his assistant trainer, Ronald Curry, who befriends King Stephen, with his gentle, carrying manner and plays the hero to Miller¿s villain on the backstretch. While King Stephen is making his mark in America, Most Innocent is given her opportunities at a slower pace back in Ireland. Being slower and somewhat lacking the killer, thoroughbred instincts of her brother, Most Innocent is brought slowly along by Thresis and her middle-aged trainer Eammon Daly. Marshall also introduces two endearing, colorful characters into his plot line with the introduction of John Quinn and Marco the Romanian, a jockey who doesn¿t talk to people, only to horses and a horse whisperer who can communicate with horses. While strange in description, the group, making up ¿Team Innocent¿ enjoys frustrations, hopes, dreams as well as growing success with Most Innocent. The success of King Stephen is quick and un-stifled, by his systematic trainer and boisterous owner, winning at Belmont, the Saratoga Special and Hopeful, as well as the Wood Memorial. At the age of three, he is pointed to Triple Crown and quickly proves that he is a true contender. Most Innocent finds her way, becoming a winner, including the prestigious Irish contest, the Irish Futurity. The secret of the twin foals is first revealed to Miller during his trip to Ireland and the fate of the two horses becomes once again intertwined when the decision is made to ship Most Innocent to compete in the United States. The success of King Stephen appears unstoppable, winning ¿the¿ races at Churchill Downs and Pimlico before fate rears its ugly head, just days before the final leg of the Triple Crown. The decision is made that if King Stephen cannot compete in the Belmont Stakes, than his sister, Most Innocent, will compete in his honoWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.