American Pharoah: The Untold Story of the Triple Crown Winner's Legendary Rise

Hachette. Apr. 2016. 304p. notes. index. ISBN 9780316268844. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780316268837. SPORTS
It would be hard to imagine going a year without a World Series winner or a Super Bowl champion. Yet that is akin to what horse racing fans have endured for more than 30 years while awaiting a horse with the ability to win the three races that comprise the Triple Crown: the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. New York Times sportswriter Drape (Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen) covers the entire life (so far) of American Pharoah (AP). The author provides a full picture of the major figures in the horse's life including trainer Bob Baffert; jockey Victor Espinoza; and Ahmed Zayat, the controversial and outspoken businessman who bred the horse despite looming bankruptcy. Drape further details the many others who cared for AP or had some part in his path to racing stardom.
VERDICT A captivating story woven with an affectionate yet honest portrayal of the sometimes seedy sport of kings, this work will appeal to horse-racing fans and anyone who enjoys athlete biographies.
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