Ultimate Risk (Thoroughbred Series #40)

Ultimate Risk (Thoroughbred Series #40)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061066344
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/28/2000
Series: Thoroughbred Series , #40
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 5.18(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.44(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About 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.

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..."

Customer Reviews

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Ultimate Risk (Thoroughbred Series #40) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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)
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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...
Guest More than 1 year ago
ultimate risk is action packed and suspenseful! i hope tha joanna never stops writing these books! i know i will never stop reading them!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!)
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alright.... that was one of the worst books in the series. The last 4 BOOKS have all been building Christina's relationship with Star and then in this she blows it. In this book I think Christina looked like a total snob. She did'nt care if Star won or ran well, she cared about how SHE looked as a jockey and how trainers could notice HER (not Star). Ok, the other thing what ever happened to Samantha? She owns Wisperwood and is into jumping but, she was'nt even in this book! Another thing is, where was WHITEBROOK? That was really really disappointing. I love this series and I read every book as soon as it comes out. This book would usually take me 45 minutes to read, but it took an hour and a half! It really dragged on.... This was NOT at all my favorite book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hey, a devoted TBred reader here! This book is a good addition to the series. The 'new' authors are definitly bringing back some pizazz to the books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was okay. I think the publishers gave the author a stupid plot, however. I still think these books should be about WHITEBROOK. I wasn't pleased with the Gratis plot line one bit. I thought Christina was so dedicated to Star and wanted to ride him so much, so in my opinion, in sticking with the character that's she's been created as, she would have ridden Star. But the plot twists were interesting. The books are much more realistic then ever. However, some parts were still lacking in detail. Also, their still seems to be a lack in relationship between Star and Christina. For a horse and rider that are supposed to dote off each other, the relationship was pretty one sided, plus, Star was barely in the book! You can't say a horse is a one-horse person when he has no relationship with his 'favorite' rider. In my opinion, Chris and Gratis have a more believable relationship then Chris and Star, and Gratis has only been in one book! After all that Chris went through for Gratis, he better be in the books again, or else this one was a total waste of time. However, the end does prove that Star is not a slacker in my eyes, he has been absolved LOL. And as I said, please more Whitebrook! Too much time is focused on the races, there's little character development outside the track, and there aren't really subplots any more. Subplots make the book interesting, and can be insightful. Other then that, this was an okay book, but I think that two weeks of the series' time shouldn't have been wasted on this plot. Please oh please more Whitebrook! We wanted racing, but not just races!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i have been reading the thoroughbred books for years and i still love them! to all of you who said the eventing was better...maybe u should take a look at some horse races!! i am an eventer myself but i still enjoy the racing so much more. so on with the races!! its almost kentucky derby time!!