Ultimate Risk (Thoroughbred Series #40)

( 44 )

Overview

Don't miss the exciting adventures of a new generation of Thoroughbred horses and riders at Winterbrook Farm!

A great opportunity...

Now that Christine Reese and her cousin Melanie Graham are jockeys, they want to ride as many horses for as many trainers as they possibly can.

When Christine is asked to ride a difficult horse for one of the best known trainers in Kentucky, she leaps at the chance to prove ...

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Overview

Don't miss the exciting adventures of a new generation of Thoroughbred horses and riders at Winterbrook Farm!

A great opportunity...

Now that Christine Reese and her cousin Melanie Graham are jockeys, they want to ride as many horses for as many trainers as they possibly can.

When Christine is asked to ride a difficult horse for one of the best known trainers in Kentucky, she leaps at the chance to prove herself. But she'll have to race against her own horse—Wonder's Star. Is it worth the risk?

Read Thoroughbred and experience the powerful bond between a determined girl and a very special colt. If you love horses, then you'll love these books!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061066344
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/28/2000
  • Series: Thoroughbred Series , #40
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.18 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Read an Excerpt

"If you're done with that hoof pick, can I use it?" sixteen-year-old Christina Reese asked. She looked over the two-year-old chestnut Thoroughbred colt's back to where her cousin, Melanie Graham, was grooming another chestnut colt.

"Come and get it," Melanie said, setting Rascal's hoof down and holding out the hoof pick. Melanie's hair tie had slipped, freeing wisps of pale blond hair that framed her face, and she swiped at a few strands with the back of her hand.

Christina reached up to tighten the band that held her own long red-brown hair in a ponytail at the nape of her neck. Wonder's Star stood quietly while Christina ducked under his neck to reach for the pick.

Even though it was late summer, the early morning air had a cool edge to it. Like Christina, Melanie was wearing a zippered sweatshirt while she prepared Rascal for his morning workout at the Turfway Park racetrack in Florence, Kentucky.

It was barely five o'clock in the morning, but the two girls had been working on the track's backside for almost an hour, taking care of their horses and helping around the shedrow, the long row of stalls where the Thoroughbreds were housed during racing season.

Rascal struck at the ground and snorted, tugging at the crossties. Christina laughed. "I think he"s telling you he's ready to go now!"

Around them, the furious activity of the backside had both colts alert and excited. Handlers were leading energetic colts and fillies toward the track, where trainers and exercise riders were waiting for them. Other horses were being groomed, while still others paced in their stalls, waiting to be fed. From another shedrow, the sound of a horse kicking itsstall wall echoed around the backside. A groom hurried in the direction of the noise.

Christina turned to Star, who angled his head to look at her, then arched his neck and whinnied loudly, his entire body shaking with the effort. "I guess Star 's ready, too," she said with a grin. Christina was sure anyone who saw Star had to feel the same admiration for him that she did. With powerful muscles rippling under his sleek, copper-colored coat, and bright, intelligent eyes set wide apart in a finely formed head, the colt was magnificent.

"He looks great," Melanie said from behind her.

"He's absolutely gorgeous," Christina said, giving Star an affectionate pat before she began cleaning his hooves.

"Rascal isn't too bad, either, you know," Melanie said as she shifted her exercise saddle on the colt's back. "Are you, boy?" Rascal pawed the ground again, his hindquarters dancing a little as she adjusted the girth.

Christina cast a glance at the other colt from over her shoulder. "Rascal does looks fantastic," she said, then returned her attention to Star. Although both colts had been bred at Whitebrook Farm, the breeding and training farm owned by Christina's parents, for Christina there would never be another horse as special as Star.

When her mother, Ashleigh Griffen, had decided to breed her Derby-winning mare, Ashleigh's Wonder, one last time, Ashleigh and Christina's father, Mike Reese, had decided on Jazzman, Mike's best stallion, as a sire.

But Wonder had developed complications and died after giving birth to Star, and Ashleigh had been devastated, blaming Star for Wonder's death. Her mother couldn't stand to look after the sickly orphaned foal herself, so Christina had stepped in to take care of him, raising Star by hand during his first year.

"Hurry up and get Star saddled. The track's going to start crowding up soon," Melanie said, drawing Christina's attention back to the present.

Christina nodded, picking up a saddle pad. "We'll be right behind you."

Melanie led the Rascal away while Christina adjusted her exercise saddle on Star's tall back. He twisted his neck, looking back at her, and Christina smiled at his eager expression. "Just a minute, boy," she said fondly, fastening the girth. "I know you want to get going, too."

When she lifted his bridle into place, Star practically grabbed the snaffle bit from her palm, shoving his nose into the headstall. "You're really ready to work, aren't you?" She fastened the throatlatch and led the excited colt away from Whitebrook's stabling area. Star pranced beside her, his ears pricked forward and his nostrils flared, as they approached the busy track.

By the time they reached the rail several horses were already being worked on the oval. The morning mist had begun to lift, and the late summer sun was starting to warm the air. Christina spotted Melanie and Rascal trotting counterclockwise along the outside rail behind two other horses. A jockey was galloping his horse clockwise at the inside rail, and Star tossed his head, tugging at the reins as the running horse thundered by.

"Ready to go?"

At the sound of her mother's voice, Christina glanced over her shoulder. Ashleigh Griffen was dressed in worn jeans and a baggy sweatshirt, a Whitebrook Farm baseball cap covering her long brown hair. A stopwatch dangled from a cord around her neck, and she gripped a clipboard in one hand. To Christina, her petite mother looked more like a high-school girl than the well-respected jockey and horse trainer she was.

"We're ready," Christina said as Star danced around, his eyes fixed on the track.

"He looks excellent, Chris," Ashleigh said, giving Star's glistening neck a pat. She let her gaze linger on the colt's muscled form for a moment, then turned her attention to Christina again. "He"s had a good rest since he ran in the Laurel Stakes. It's time to schedule another race for Star..."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 44 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 44 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2006

    Impressive!

    I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It shows competition between Christina and Melanie, which I think adds more realism to the series. It also added realism when Christina had to choose between riding Gratis or Star in the race, and I think that she made a very mature decision as to who she would ride. All in all, if you get the chance to read this, please do as it continues with the incredible Thoroughbred series tradition.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2003

    Thouroughbred is the Best!!

    I think this is one of the best Thoroughbred books there are!! I am also glad racing is back. I love the racing books racing unless a horse gets whipped to much like in some of the books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2002

    GREAT BOOK.BUT...

    i did not like cindy.cindy comes back soon tho.e-mail me if you think this book had a couple downfalles.i think it was great and i am happy racing started again (tho i can't see why chris gave up her pride and joy sterling dream the horse she rescued)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2001

    Amazing story

    i thought that the story was great. From Wonder's Star to Gratis i love all of them and i hope Joanna Campbell writes them for ever

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2001

    CONFUSED RACING FANATIC

    Alright, this is coming back to racing again. i didnt like it much when they went into allt he eventing. This series is half the reason i m a racing fanatic. But after #24 it went a bit off track. everyone disappered. Nobody seems to know where the charaters went. DOES ANYONE KNOW and wanna HELP ME OUT?! i have been confused for sooo long. and i finally got onto this website. Could someone please email me and discuss it. it would be greatly apreciated. i have heard people saying maybe a movie, and for joanna to come back to writing them. im 15, and i still read this books. but up to 24 was the best. id like to know what happened to the old staff, cindy, max, len, glory, pride, mr wonderful, princess, limitless, champion, (and all their offspring) would be nice. cos all of a sudden, tor, sam cindy max, heather, are all gone!!! someone fill me in please. is there anyway theyll bring out a book that explains all this? any one wanna exchange views? email me!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2000

    TB series....14 yr old who still loves them....

    I love TB books,and will(and have) read every one until the series is discontinued,but I really wish they'd start an upper level series...I mean,its pretty bad when it only takes a half hour to read 1 book... just my opinion...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2000

    tb series!!!

    ultimate risk is action packed and suspenseful! i hope tha joanna never stops writing these books! i know i will never stop reading them!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2000

    This book was a bit of a dissapointment

    I thought this book was a lot worse than the others. Christina should have just made up her mind---Eventing or Racing. I know she went to racing because of Star, but in this book she doesn't even ride him in the race! I definitely thought the old racing ones are better than the new racing ones. Even the Eventing ones are better than the new racing ones! My advice to the author is to focus the story a little bit more. But don'tworry---all the other Thoroughbreds are awesome!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2000

    REALLY is An ultimate risk

    We think this was an awesome book! We don't like eventing as much as racing, so this was right up our alley! We especially liked it when Gratis's trainer let Chris ride. We were also happy that Melanie got over her 2nditis and that she won the race.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2000

    A Great Book

    The book was exelent. The thrill and suspense of the race was awesome! Christina and Mel and their relationships with there boyfriends and their horses was a great part of the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2000

    AWESOME BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    What is a matter with you people?!!!?!?!!?!??! I love the new authors, the story is still being made up by Joanna Campbell. Why don't you try picking up in a series. Besides if they brought the old characters back it wouldn't look right, if they wanted to bring Cindy back they should start their own Cindy series like the Ashleigh. Racing is more exciting, however there were like 5 books on Ashleigh and Samantha and Christiana and Melanie and now it's back to Christina, again, I think it's time to change, to maybe MELANIE or a Cindy series. Now to conclude this story IT'S AWESOME!!!! You can't even tell there is a different writer!! I like Parker and Dylan equally as long as Christina is happy!! PLEASE EMAIL ME YOUR COMMENTS!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2000

    Great!

    this book is definitely gonna be great - i haven't read it yet but i've read all the other ones. I know everyone keeps asking where is cindy, but i don't want her to come back! I mean, the books were pretty good at the beginning, but when they moved out of racing and into eventing, i liked the books a lot better! when they moved back into racing, i still wanted to read them, but i can't imagine how chris could have just given up sterling and eventing and all her dreams. I'm still gonna read the series but what i've been doing is reading all the ones about eventing over and over, and the more i read them the more i realize that i don't want to read about racing - i want to read about eventing, and kateie and dylan and sterling... not parker and star! i wish star had never been born because in the beginning of the book where he was born, chris had almost got accepted into a very serioes eventing clinic and she was practically on her way to the olympics - i don't think that was a very realistic decision because in real life i dont think chris would have ever given up her dream when she was so close to her ultimate goal

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2000

    Great!

    O.K. - When I first read the book description I thought I'd hate this book - I mean Christina wasn't riding Star. But after reading the book I loved it! I think the bond between Star and Chris is still stron and they make the best pair. Riding Gratis was an important part of Christina's jockey career. She needed to prove to others and herself that she could ride other horses well. I liked the neat plot and good realistic racing. The upcoming books are: #41 Close Call (About Parker and eventing) #42 The Bad Luck Filly (Melanie and the filly Image, who appeared in this book - a relative to Wonder) #43 Fallen Star (not sure what it's about yet. I hope something bad doesn't happen to Star! I want him to win the Triple Crown in his three year old season!)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2000

    simply the best

    It was good like the rest of them but for all of u wondering where cindy blake is well she comes back in the next one. or the one after.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2000

    GREAT

    i am really enjoying this book. it is something diffenent and not like the other. the plot is not the same and it keep you wondering what is next. i can't wait for the next one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2000

    All the Thoroughbred Series are Great!

    All of the Thoroughbred Series are great! I think they should bring Dylan back into the stories though! I love all the characters! They are almost realistic! Everyone should read these books!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2000

    good book!!!!

    first of all, i think all of u guys that keep dissin these books are nuts. i think ths was a great book. yes, it's true that they need to bring back ALL of the characters that they just forgot about, but you DO need to give the authors credit for keeping the series going. and one more thing all of you guys that are sayin bad stuff about the books, if they're so bad, then STOP READING THEM!!!!!!!! if u have any comments, email me

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2000

    Definetly different

    This was a pretty good book. All everyone says is how come all of the other people are gone. But i mean chris was supposed to be so into eventing and so were her friends but katie was sortof a chicken. i mean she didn't move up in eventing at all. dylan was way too sciced about sports. parker is way deeper. i think some of the books should revolve a little less about racing and chris and star and more on melanie, but other that that they are ok!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2000

    Ultimate Risk?

    This was a GREAT book I thought. I was sad for Melanie. I think if they have something like that happening to a character, it should focus on that character you know? I think they should have like 39A and 39B so it can show the point of view during that time from both of the girls you know? But I thought this book was very good. My favorite part was where Melanie beat out Christina's time! I love Melanie!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2000

    Awesome

    This book was just as cool as all the other 39 books. I do have aquestion though what happened to Cindy Blake. Where did she go? In #24 she broke her arm as a jockey and in #25 Chris came in and she was never again heard of was she not a famous jockey she was an adoptive daughter of Ian and Bbbbeth what happened to her I don't understand!!!!!!! But this book is still great!

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