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Book Review: "Citation: In a Class By Himself"

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Citation

Citation: in a Class by Himself

Taylor Trade Publishing

The Bottom Line

Long-time Chicago race announcer Phil Georgeff writes about his all-time favorite Thoroughbred, Citation, Triple Crown winner in 1948 and considered by some "The Greatest Thoroughbred Who Ever Lived"
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Pros

  • Excellent work by Citation's biggest supporter.
  • Can be enjoyed by all racing fans.
  • Georgeff's fantasy race call in the epilogue.

Cons

  • Sad to read about Citation being overraced

Description

  • He was also the first horse to earn $1 million in purses, when prize money was much less than today.
  • By comparison, modern horses can earn in one race what it took Citation his entire career to achieve
  • As track publicist, Georgeff had the opportunity to interview many of the people in Citation's life.
  • These include owners Warren and Lucille Wright, trainers Ben and Jimmy Jones, jockey Eddie Arcaro.
  • He never got to meet Citation's first jockey, Al Snider, who disappeared during a fishing trip.
  • The interviews form the basis of the book and serve to increase his appreciation for "Mighty Cy"
  • It is made clear that Citation should have been retired much sooner than he was, but was overraced.
  • His trainers were under pressure by Warren Wright to get him back quickly so he can earn the million
  • He showed that he was "half human, half horse" by battling back to score in the Hollywood Gold Cup.
  • "No horse was good, or great, enough to win the Triple Crown while Mighty Cy lived and breathed."

Guide Review - Book Review: "Citation: In a Class By Himself"

Georgeff takes the reader through Citation's career - his successful juvenile season, beating older horses early in his three-year-old season, his Triple Crown triumphs, and later on, defeating crack sprinters at a mile on a Wednesday then beating distance stars on Saturday in the two mile Jockey Club Gold Cup. Each important race is described in great detail, making it easy for the reader to visualize just how the race was run and how dominating Citation was when he was on his game. And he always came out onto the track "dressed for equine warfare - neck proudly arched and head regally bowed, in that personal trademark canter of his own creation." His writing style makes for a very entertaining yet informative read, suited to the subject.
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