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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex-library book. The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting.
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Kentucky Derby Dreams: The Making of Thoroughbred Champions Hardcover – April 24, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A journalistic tour de force, perhaps the best nonfiction ever penned about the troubled horse business.” ―Jim Squires, author of Headless Horseman

“Reading Nusser's book is tantamount to visiting horse country and never wanting to leave. It's a well-written, superbly researched narrative that will enlighten every reader and perhaps bring more people into the irresistible yet hard-driving world of breeding, training, and racing horses.” ―Ann Hagedorn Auerbach, author of Wild Ride

“Once again, Susan Nusser proves her writing skills, perception of human nature, and depth of equine knowledge…Nusser vividly recounts the daily human efforts and emotion that combine the create a perfect racehorse… Entertaining and thoughtful.” ―Sandra L. Olsen, Ph.D, Head of Anthropology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History

About the Author

SUSAN NUSSER is the author of In Service to the Horse, which explored the bond that develops between one of Kentucky's most valuable stallions and his groom and between other competition horses and their grooms. She teaches writing at Carroll University and lives in Milwaukee with her husband, daughters, cats and a pit bull.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312569904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312569907
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,542,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a casual fan of horse racing and this book was a great read. Very informative and enlightening -- just perfect for someone like me. Note: The back of the book contains a lot of interesting information worth checking out before you start reading.

The colts and fillies in the book are now three years old. I'm looking forward to following their careers.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
To read Nusser's words is to become lost in her mesmerizing narrative, told in a captivating voice. Nusser neatly handles a huge cast of characters -- both human and equine -- without alienating her reader and instead sweeps them along into the barns and paddocks where one becomes an eyewitness to Kentucky's Thoroughbred story. Everyone works: broodmares, studs, yearlings, two year-olds,grooms, managers, interns, vets, techs, drivers...all perpetuating the Thoroughbred. Nusser's book is compelling in part because she understands her subjects so well, and is able to relate the feelings and emotions that accompany this work. Because it is a story about horses, there is joy alongside heartbreak, and the perishable aspect of a Thoroughbred is set against the bigger backdrop of the racing industry and it's players. An important book for anyone concerned with the welfare of the horse.
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Format: Hardcover
Met Susan Nusser at the Rolex trade show, her tale sold us on buying her book and I have now recommended it to several friends including a casual horse lover, a dedicated racing bettor, and to my mechanic's dad, who at 80, still is in the game of owning racehorses. Susan doesn't get you vested in any particular foal or mare, but rather she draws you into the fascinating world of the Taylor Made thoroughbred breeding farm in Kentucky. Thanks Susan for a good read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A fascinating and informative look at life on a major farm in KY. Would recommend to fellow horse racing fans or anyone looking to know more about the sport.
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By GinaD on September 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed Kentucky Derby Dreams very much. It does focus more on the breeding aspects and is very informative and well written.
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Format: Hardcover
I enjoy reading stories about horses, and have read many including ones about Secretariat, Seabiscuit, and other special horses. I've also read books by Monty Roberts as well as other trainers.

The information in this book is good, but it is presented in single sentences with little to no depth. The whole book reads as if it had no real editing. Here are two juxtapose paragraphs, for example:

"Barber gets into the barn before Scott, who's still on the phone. Juan, an Argentinean student who is part of Taylor Made's intern program, rolls the grain bin out to him. There's a worn plywood board over the top that converts the bin into a rolling table for Barber. On it are a portable ultrasound machine, two plastic totes of supplies, a box of latex gloves, and another box with rectal sleeves. Seeing which horse Barber was aiming for, Juan and the other groom have caught and twitched the mare--slipping a loop of rope over her lips and torquing it down with an attached pole--and she's standing quietly, her ears flopped to the sides. In 1984, Dutch researchers concluded that the twitch was effective not because it was a painful form of restraint, but because it released endorphins--a kind of equine acupressure. It's believed that horsemen adopted this method of controlling horses after watching wild dogs bring down zebras by first latching onto their muzzles, after which the zebras would become still and calm, allowing the pack to close in on their flanks.

Scott walks into the barn and describes how he and his nine-year-old son, Nick, stopped the family's trampoline from blowing into the mares' paddock in last night's winds. Leaning back, his arms straight in front of him, knuckles white, Scott demonstrates for Steve how hard it was to hold on to the trampoline.
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