The Wrong Horse: An Odyssey Through the American Racing Scene

William Murray, Author Simon & Schuster $19.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-76774-7
New Yorker writer Murray, who also writes racetrack mysteries ( Tip on a Dead Crab ), here looks at offbeat aspects of the sport: competitions at county fairs, where the horses are generally of a fairly low caliber; the races at Agua Caliente in Tijuana, Mexico, where honesty on the part of owners, trainers and jockeys is far from a sine qua non ; and the problems of holding a winnng ticket, which include ``breakage'' and taxes (the IRS has representatives at the tracks to collect 20% of the big payoffs). Murray, himself a bettor and horse owner, provides such expected coverage as an encomium to jockey Bill Shoemaker, who rode in 40,351 races during his 40-year career. He also, unfortunately, feels constrained to add trite vignettes about the ``characters'' at the track, mostly seedy, unlettered types who spend their lives barely breaking even, in chapters that dig in ground long since brilliantly excavated by Damon Runyon. ( Sept. )
Reviewed on: 08/03/1992
Release date: 08/01/1992
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 978-0-316-59131-7
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