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An award-winning writer chronicles the tragic story behind the downfall of horse racing's crown jewel.
Founded in 1924 by Chicago mogul William Monroe Wright, Calumet Farm was to the world of thoroughbred racing what the New York Yankees are to baseball a sports dynasty. The stable bred so many superstars that it became the standard by which all achievements were measured in the horse racing industry. But during the 1980s, a web of financial schemes left Calumet destitute.
Wild Ride is Ann Hagedorn Auerbach's investigation of the fast-track, multibillion-dollar thoroughbred industry and the fall of Calumet the inside story of a debacle that extended further than anyone could have imagined. Spanning four generations, this fast-paced saga brings to life a gallery of colorful characters from Calumet's glittery past. Wild Ride shows the industry's transformation from a clubby blue-blood society where a handshake closed a deal to a high-stakes business bulging with bankers and scandalous deal making. When the Bluegrass Bubble exploded, one of America's largest family fortunes lay in ruins.
"A fascinating tale with a cast of characters worthy of Dickens or Runyon." Carl Desens, Business Week
|Publisher:||Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||6.01(w) x 9.07(h) x 1.26(d)|
About the Author
Ann Hagedorn Auerbach is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and has also written for The San Jose Mercury News, The New York Daily News, and The Washington Post. She lives New York City.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
amazing story of the fantstic Calumet Farm and how an interloper destroyed it
I saw the movie on T.V and i just cryed and cryed they should show this movie to show how ditructive and greeded people can get. What a horrible person he is and was and he deserves worse then what he got
While I do not have as much experience as others, I enjoyed the book for the most part. It was recommended to me by an acquaintance while I was at the Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland Racecourse (adjacent to Calumet Farm). The book offers insight to the history and downfall of Calumet Farm. For a horse racing history lesson, the book would be well suited and gives the reader an idea of how the horse racing business works. As others have stated, there is a certain bias by the author on the death of Alydar, but conspiracy theories can be made out of pretty much anything. To understand how the farm failed and lost everything is outlined well in the book, but bias again is place by the author. J.T. Lundy's, the farm's last president, life and times is documented in the book along with other important figures. A certain understanding of economics and numbers would be helpful, along with some understanding of bankruptcy. If you are looking for a good read, this would suffice, but if you are looking for a classic novel, you might want to look elsewhere
Because so much of it is made up. Having lived and worked in the Bluegrass for the last 30 years, I know many of the principles of the story, and KNOW that this book is riddled with errors, distortions half truths and unattributed assertions. It was a tragedy that Alydar died, but it was an accident, just as Fappiano's similar demise at another farm at around the same time. As the old timers say, 'If you have livestock long enough, you're going to have deadstock' Of the great Thoroughbred dynasties of the past, the only one that remains is Claiborne. The truth is a lot less sexy, and there is a tendency to always find someone to blame when a 'beloved' icon fails. But the horse business has always been tough, and like many dynasties, Calumet failed because as the farm was passed to the next generation, the 'PIE' had to be cut into too many slices. Mismanaged? Sure, but no one pulled a gun on the equine loan officers that lent Calumet all that money. There's plenty of blame to go around, without resorting to cockeyed conspiracy theories and leveling all the blame on a single set of shoulders. For a much better written and researched book on the topic and time, read 'Seabiscuit'