A Day at the Races: The Education of a Racetracker

Barry Gifford, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $17.95 (189p) ISBN 978-0-87113-195-9
These transcribed tapes of talks with various racetrack types are divided into three areas. There is the backside, which involves trainers, grooms, a horse-shoer, exercise riders, jockeys and their agents; the frontside, where the contributors are a groundskeeper, a general manager, clockers, veterinarian, a steward, a pricemaker, starters and a track announcer; and, the grandstand, with a pricemaker, a tout and a professional handicapper. All the interviewees are very caught up in their work, and almost all have been around tracks for much of their lives. Many stress their feeling that horseracing as a sport is somewhat boring and that gambling alone makes it absorbing for spectators. Taken together, these pieces by the author of Jack's Book and Saroyan give a sweeping picture of life in and around the sport of kings, but it is doubtful that the book will interest those not involved in the sport. Illustrations not seen by PW. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
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