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Wrong Horse: An Odyssey Through the American Racing Scene

Wrong Horse: An Odyssey Through the American Racing Scene

by William Murray

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Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
New Yorker writer Murray, who also writes racetrack mysteries ( Tip on a Dead Crab ), here looks at offbeat aspects of the sport: competitions at county fairs, where the horses are generally of a fairly low caliber; the races at Agua Caliente in Tijuana, Mexico, where honesty on the part of owners, trainers and jockeys is far from a sine qua non ; and the problems of holding a winnng ticket, which include ``breakage'' and taxes (the IRS has representatives at the tracks to collect 20% of the big payoffs). Murray, himself a bettor and horse owner, provides such expected coverage as an encomium to jockey Bill Shoemaker, who rode in 40,351 races during his 40-year career. He also, unfortunately, feels constrained to add trite vignettes about the ``characters'' at the track, mostly seedy, unlettered types who spend their lives barely breaking even, in chapters that dig in ground long since brilliantly excavated by Damon Runyon. ( Sept. )

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Little, Brown and Company
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5.48(w) x 8.21(h) x 0.64(d)

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