Broken: The Suspicious Death of Alydar and the End of Horse Racing’s Golden Age

Live Oak. Oct. 2023. 13:37 hrs. ISBN 9798987213810. $19.95. CRIME
Animal-rights attorney Kray traces his interest in horse racing back to the summers he worked at a racetrack during law school. He fell in love with Triple Crown contender Alydar at the Flamingo Stakes in 1978. Decades later, a chance encounter led Kray to his own investigation of Alydar’s death in 1990 under mysterious circumstances, as well as the two trials (for perjury and for bank fraud) that followed. This unusual work of nonfiction takes listeners on a journey through the world of elite horse racing and breeding, including suspicious horse deaths linked to outsized insurance claims. Narrator Stephan Watson captures the essence of the motley group of people associated with Alydar’s training, treatment, and legacy. Watson incorporates a variety of accents to represent the backgrounds and personalities of this disparate group, and he deftly portrays their enthusiasm or reluctance to engage with Kray’s questions. His bass rumble and precise phrasing help keep listeners oriented during the sometimes repetitive court proceedings recounted in the audio’s third part.
VERDICT Recommended for lovers of unconventional true crime such as The Gardner Heist by Ulrich Boser and In Vino Duplicitas by Peter Hellman.
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