Thoroughbred #63: Starstruck

Overview

Can a fan's love go too far?

Christina is thrilled by Wonder's Star's recent wins on the track, but with Star's success comes some very strange –– and very creepy –– activity around the farm. First, someone breaks into the Whitebrook barn. Though physically unharmed, a jittery Star compels Christina to fly home abruptly from New York. Luckily, Christina's new friend Jessie is there to support her.

For safety's sake, Christina is forced to move ...

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Overview

Can a fan's love go too far?

Christina is thrilled by Wonder's Star's recent wins on the track, but with Star's success comes some very strange –– and very creepy –– activity around the farm. First, someone breaks into the Whitebrook barn. Though physically unharmed, a jittery Star compels Christina to fly home abruptly from New York. Luckily, Christina's new friend Jessie is there to support her.

For safety's sake, Christina is forced to move her renowned horse after the break–in. But when trouble follows Star to Whisperwood and then to Tall Oaks, she begins to fear for Star's well–being . . . and for her own. Christina may be left with only one option: to move Star to Townsend Acres, where the security is excellent, but where her nemesis, Brad Townsend, is surely up to no good. . .

Ages 8+

Christina is thrilled by Wonder Star's recent wins on the track, but with success comes some strange activity around the farm. Now Christina must make some hard choices to protect Star and her own well-being.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060586737
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/27/2004
  • Series: Thoroughbred Series , #63
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 371,690
  • Product dimensions: 5.18 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Joanna Campbell appears here with her six-year-old Thoroughbred, Meyersville Magic, known around the barn as CC. He's a son of Horatius out of Northwich by Timothy's Champ and is owned by Cathy Day. Formerly trained for racing, he is now being trained for eventing. Last Year he was the Maine Entry Level Champion in Combined Training.
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First Chapter

Thoroughbred #63: Starstruck

Chapter One

"Come on, Firewall," Christina Reese urged through gritted teeth. The teenaged jockey crouched over the bay Thoroughbred's shoulders, her eyes focused forward on the rumps of the horses ahead of them on the Saratoga racecourse. The colt could barely handle the August heat on the New York racetrack. Firewall's muscles bunched and strained as he ran, his sweat-slicked neck dampening the reins Christina gripped as she encouraged him to try harder. The crop Firewall's trainer had handed her in the viewing paddock hung from Christina's wrist, unused.

Christina knew that whipping the horse wouldn't get any more speed out of him. He was running his hardest, but it wasn't going to be enough. Ahead of them, seven much faster horses were crossing the finish line.

When they finally galloped past the grandstand, Christina settled her weight onto the tiny racing saddle and pulled Firewall into a tight circle. The exhausted colt slowed willingly, and as soon as he stopped, she hopped from his back and patted his sweat-glistened shoulder. The colt's sides heaved and his muscles quivered from the exertion of the race.

"You tried your best, boy," she murmured, gently rubbing his poll. The young racehorse stood quietly, his head lowered and his breathing labored. Christina glanced around and saw the colt's handler striding across the track to meet them.

"Tough luck out there," the groom commented, taking the reins from Christina. He eyed the exhausted colt and shook his head. "He was just outclassed."

"Yeah," Christina said with obvious disappointment, unbuckling the saddle and slipping it from the colt's back. "But he gave it everything he had." She watched the handler lead the horse down the track, shaking her head. Nothing like coming in dead last, Reese, she told herself as she pulled her helmet from her head. What a great way for a Belmont-winning jockey to show her skills.

Christina headed toward the backside but paused at the winner's circle to offer a smile and a thumbs-up to Tommy Turner. The winning jockey was posing for a photo with the owners of his mount. Tommy's grin broadened when he saw Christina, and he gave a nod in her direction.

Christina could hardly believe that it had been just a year and a half since Tommy had helped her get her jockey's permit. Since then she'd done nothing but work to improve her skills as a jockey. She had quickly won the thirty races she needed to get her license, losing the asterisk that had marked her as an apprentice jockey, or "bug," on the racing programs. The highlight of her career had been winning the Belmont, the third jewel of the Triple Crown, on her amazing colt, Wonder's Star.

Christina had thought winning such a prestigious race would make her life better, but instead it only seemed to have increased the pressure she was under as a jockey. Owners expected that she could climb onto any old horse and bring it in for a win. Firewall had been a classic example—the three-year-old had been on the track four times and had yet to so much as show in a race.

"It isn't like I could run for him," Christina muttered to herself. She sighed as she left the track and headed for the jockeys' lounge. She didn't have any more rides scheduled for the afternoon's program, and she was looking forward to a soothing shower before she met with Firewall's owners to review the race.

When she walked through the doors of the lounge, she saw her cousin, Melanie Graham, dressed in Dreamflight Stables' silks.

The petite blonde wrinkled her nose at Christina. "Maybe you'd better be a little pickier about the horses you race," she said, rolling her eyes. "I've seen plow horses move faster than that snail you were on."

Christina pressed her lips into a thin line. "Thanks for stating the obvious," she said dryly. "But the owner is a friend of Ben and Cindy's, so I took the ride as a favor to them."

Melanie chuckled. "Ben al-Rihani may own Tall Oaks Farm, but that doesn't mean his friends know anything about racehorses."

Christina pulled out the band that held her long hair back and shook her red-brown tresses loose. "According to Cindy, the owners are very nice people, but they'd never been involved in racing until they bought Firewall," she said patiently, despite Melanie's sarcasm. Cindy McLean, a retired jockey and now head trainer at Tall Oaks, was a close friend of the Reese family.

"So they didn't have a clue when they bought that colt," Melanie concluded, shaking her head.

Christina nodded. "But I promised them I'd do my best with him, even though his recorded works just about guaranteed a lousy showing."

Melanie raised her eyebrows. "So you went out there ready to lose?"

Christina looked her cousin squarely in the eyes. "No," she said firmly. "I went into the race hoping I could use what I know as a jockey to help that colt run better."

Thoroughbred #63: Starstruck. Copyright © by Joanna Campbell. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2006

    Horse Stalkers?

    I've never heard of such a thing in my life! I mean, who would stalk a horse just because they won the Classic? They need to look at the world right now. If someone had been stalking a Triple Crown contender, they'd have it all over CNN! It's like, get real?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2004

    Not the best...

    I love this series and that is why I am reading them but i knew it was Jessie from the start.What's up with Chris pulling Star from the Travers?I personally think that was a really dumb thing to do.Also even though I am not really a Melanie fan,I would like to see more books about her,possibly more heat in her and Jazz's relationship,even maybe a break-up.Cause I always thought she and Kevin should get together.Well this book was ok.Later.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2004

    DUH!!!!!!!!

    ooooooookay....#1: i figured out what was gonna happen by reading the back, it was OBVIOUSLY her 'new friend!' i mean come on! #2: what's with the computerized cover junk? AND the people who draw the covers need to read the book because in some of them, like #65(Samantha's Irish Luck) Sam's hair is red not brown and Tor's hair is blond not brown! and for #64(The Price of Fame) Star is not a bay horse, he's a chestnut! and #3:Joanna Campbell needs to start writing these books again. the other authors aren't doing as good of a job as you did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2004

    Er....Okay then.....

    What's up with all the bio's of famous racehorses in the back? Ever since 'Star's Inspiration' Star has raced against a horse with famous bloodlines and Chris meets the jockey of the famous horse.Are they advertising these famed horses or is Joanna Campbell running out of plot lines?And the covers have been looking 'computerized' lately.The cover artists need to read the books! Star isn't a bay,he's chestnut! And Christina has had dark brown hair in one book, and in the next cover,her hair is black and she has a different eye color!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2004

    They are really getting worse

    From the begainning I knew it was Jessie. The author's are not taking their time and really thinking of something good. The are not going into great detail or any kind of detail about anything. And whats with the thing with Mel and Jazz? Also why all of the sudden Kevin is back in the books? They never said anything about him for a while now bam! Hes back. They better not have Mel go out with him if so im not reading the books anymore. They were getting so good then all of the sudden you are reading the series written by like 10 different people.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2004

    Hats DOWN for terrible wanna-be authors.

    Dont waste your time on these books anymore. Take advise from me: only read the books written by JOANNA CAMPBELL in the flesh. The one's written by other authors are terrible, ragged, and poorly plotted. Dont waste good hours on books that will leave you rolling your eyes at their ridiculous plots that are easily recognized and known. The 'New Generation' of these novels are disgusting. To the wanna-be writers who wrote these novels, to the editors and the jacket-cover writers: you need to be fired. You need to actually READ THE PREVIOUS books, and grow a brain! There are people out here who CARE, and NOTICE!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2004

    Should be interesting

    The books have been steadily getting worse, but they aren't totally bad. I am hoping that the books will get better so I am still reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2004

    best series

    the thoroughbred series is the first seires of horse books i have ever read and i and so glad i did they are soooooo good and i love them!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2004

    Alley

    This book was okay but not great. They have been getting worse and I would say this series's time is running out. I knew what was going to happen and the outcome in the first 10 pages of the book and that without reading the back.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2004

    Best New Generation

    I think this was one of the best new generation Thoroughbred books! Not to mention it was dedicated to my friend. But it was just really good because even though I knew it was Jessie I still liked how Chris spent time with Ashleigh and Mike was actually mentioned for once. It was just overall really good. Just don't look at the cover and its even better!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2003

    CANT WAIT

    I cant wait! This should be a good book.The Chris and Star books have been wierd lately,but the last one was good so im encouraged.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2003

    Looks good

    I am also a fan of Christina and Star! this book sounds good and i cant wait to read it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2003

    Looks Good

    It looks really good!!I'm a Christina and Star fan so I'm going to enjoy this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2003

    I love the books

    Recently the books haven't been as good as they used to be, but, I am still reading them in hopes they will get better. I tottaly don't agree with some of the things that have happened, but they are still good books.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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