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Swaps: The California Comet (Thoroughbred Legends) Hardcover – February 1, 2002
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Like all the books in the Thoroughbred Legions series, it is superb, with great historical photos.
Swaps, written by Barry and published by Eclipse Press.
Few Derbys can match the historic import of the 1955 confrontation between Swaps and Nashua.
This was a true East-West battle, with Nashua representing the blue-blooded eastern connections of Belair Stud and California's Swaps, handled by the unconvential team of trainer Mesach Tenney and owner Rex Ellsworth.
As Irwin points out, it had been 50 years since California owner "Lucky" Baldwin had beaten the best eastern horses.
So a lot was riding on the 1955 Derby, which Swaps won by a length and a half over 6-to-5 favorite Nashua.
Irwin, the president of Team Valor racing partnerships, has done a thorough job on the history of Swaps, who was a racing legend in the truest sense.
I particularly enjoyed Irwin's telling of the raw, basic horsemanship of Tenney, which received so much criticism from the eastern press.
Swaps was an immortal and Irwin has given him his due in this excellent book.