From Publishers Weekly
It's hard not to compare this straightforward story of 1948 Triple-Crown winner and racing legend Citation with Laura Hillenbrand's elegant and uber-selling Seabiscuit. But Georgeff's book, which differs greatly in both tone and style, should be judged on its own merits. A racing insider, Georgeff holds the Guinness World Record for most horse races called (over 96,000), and his prose reflects his experience in its narrative immediacy and snap-crackle-pop. In describing Citation, Georgeff writes, "If he were a matinee movie idol he'd be Harrison Ford as opposed to Clark Gable. For pure beefcake, he'd be Bruce Lee, not Arnold Schwarzenegger." The author of And They're Off! uses conversations with jockeys, trainers and other racing folk from the 1940s on to bring Citation's story-and by extension, the sport's story-to life. One of Calumet Farm's many sons of Bull Lea, Citation lost only twice in 29 starts in his first two seasons. After his stunning three-year-old season of 1948, Citation had a tougher time-he was injured; he lost some heart-breakers. His owner's insistence that Citation be a million-dollar winner (indeed, he was racing's first) kept him racing when he might have been put to stud, but Citation was a champion, a horse of both speed and stamina. Georgeff's writing is generally brisk, though he waxes overly poetic here and there. "Fame, like life, is sweet and awfully short," he writes of the untimely death of Citation's first jockey, Al Snider. "The young rider at that exact moment in time rode tall in the saddle as king of American jockeys, only to have all his hopes, dreams, and joy dashed abruptly in a horrific whirlpool of surreal mystery." Despite such missteps, Georgeff's admiration and affection for Citation, often hailed as "The Greatest Thoroughbred Who Ever Lived!," is catching, and his raw enthusiasm for the sport will excite any fan. 16 pages b&w photos.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Citation profits from the unique and rich writing style of Phil Georgeff, who's lived it. Name any horse or jockey of the last 60 years, and the man has innumerable first-hand stories of them. (Publishers Weekly
His writing style makes for a very entertaining yet informative read, perfectly suited to the subject at hand. ...his complete order of finish is one that every race fan would enjoy reading and debating over. Georgeff's work is strongly recommended to all racing fans especially history buffs. His aim was to ensure that Citation is never forgotten, and through this book he won't be. (Horse-Races.Net
...Georgeff's admiration and affection for Citation...is catching, and his raw enthusiasm for the sport will excite any fan. (Publishers Weekly