Journalist Auerbach untangles the spiderweb of financial machinations that enveloped, consumed, and ultimately destroyed one of the most famous horseracing stables in the world. Through three generations of the Wright family, Calumet led, lost, and regained its preeminence as a breeding farm and racing stable only to lose everything, including the family's fortune, in the fourth generation. Chronicling the history of Calumet and its fall into the depths of massive debt, this well-researched, fast-paced book sheds new light on the destruction of Calumet and exposes the excesses of the 1980s. Highly recommended.
Susan Hamburger, Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
An absorbing account of how Kentucky's Calumet Farm, long thoroughbred racing's paramount breeding stable, came a cropper in the 1990s.
Drawing on interviews with many of the principals and a voluminous public record, Wall Street Journal correspondent Auerbach provides a generation-spanning chronicle that ranges from the legendary stable's founding by a baking-powder magnate during the early years of the century through its sale at auction in 1992. Owned by the Wright family, Calumet bestrode the sport of kings like a colossus, breeding more Triple Crown winners than any of its rivals and setting the pace in a high-stakes enterprise. In mid- 1982, however, Lucille Parker Wright Markey died at 93, and control of the farm passed to a son-in-law, John Thomas (aka J.T.) Lundy, a good-ole-boy local whom the matriarch had treated with all the warmth accorded a poor relation. In piecing together how J.T. managed to bankrupt a prospering institution less than a decade after gaining the whip hand, Auerbach leaves little doubt that he was never up to the job intellectually or psychologically. The arriviste squire of Calumet used his status to wheel and deal on a fast global track during much of the 1980s. Backed by international bankers, Wall Street money men, mobsters (including a couple of John Gotti's capos), and nouveau riche investors clamoring for a piece of the action, he took an early lead in his run for the roses, but changes in federal tax law, overbreeding throughout the industry, a crushing debt burden, and other handicaps brought him down. Lundy's fall put paid to Calumet. An era ended with the dispersal of the farm's bloodstock and the property's acquisition by an outsider.
A sorry tale, well told, that lends new meaning to the phrase "riding for a fall." (8 pages b&w photos, not seen) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
A well written book. Good research and never flat or boring. Also quite enlightening about the horse industry. Not as romantic and pro-animal as one might think.Published 26 days ago by Petra F. Gilmore
While the book is factual it misses many interesting details of the life styles of the Calumet heirs in disposing of this massive fortune.Published 1 month ago by Charles Denham
An exceptionally well detailed account of the financial irresponsibility of the Lundy family. How in the world can a family inherit a debt free farm with assets in the multi... Read morePublished 6 months ago by appaloosa
Ummm I was in the Race Horse Business for too many years to count...knew some of these people or their kids personally. They contributed to giving the business a bad name. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Joyce
This was well written book. It included good history in order to understand the famous, or infamous, farm's story.Published 8 months ago by Linda L.
Holy cow. Who knew? Great true story written in a captivating fashion...let's you in on the inner working GS of one of the most famous stables of all time... Read morePublished 9 months ago by romancelover
A tragedy and a travesty of epic proportions for Alydar. This is an eye-opener on the brutal treatment that he received from those he trusted most. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Starzagazin