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Review: Dream Race

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating

By

Dream Race

Dream Race by Robert Clark

Horse and Dragon Publishing

The Bottom Line

From the title, one might expect a dry history lecture comparing statistics between horses, but this book is anything but. Author and artist Robert Clark instead structured the text in the form of an interview with a horseman who had seen them all, allowing the reader to judge for him or herself who should be the greatest. The original artwork depicting the compared horses are worth the price of the book already. An excellent buy for any racing history fan.
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Pros

  • A unique approach to the subject of who was the greatest racehorse of all time
  • A great summary of the best racehorses of the 20th century and earlier
  • Excellent original artwork adds to the reader's enjoyment of the book

Cons

  • None. This is a great addition to any racing fan's personal library

Description

  • Ladies First - the Dream Distaff, Between Crowns - Citation to Secretariat
  • Superfreaks - the 70's, The Three Kings - the foundation sires
  • Eclipse First - the original Eclipse, Men of War - descendents of Man O'War
  • After Affirmed - 80's to present, Global Gauntlet - European champions
  • Iron Horses - ones with long careers like John Henry, Trinity - Man O'War, Citation, Secretariat
  • The Fourth Crown - all the Triple Crown winners, All good things... - the Calumet Farm champions

Guide Review - Review: Dream Race

Robert Clark, a descendent of both Mark Twain and Churchill Downs founder M. Lewis Clark, brings out this unique blend of racing history and original artwork. Reading the text, you see the fields of various "dream races" (listed above) explained, accompanied by a painting of those horses on the track together, giving the reader a chance to imagine such a race happening, and possibly visualizing a winner. Clark does not go out and choose a winner, instead letting the reader decide. The story is based on a fictitious interview between a young reporter and a long-time racetracker who had seen all the great horses. As the epilogue said, "The question of who is the greatest horse is one for people to debate, but maybe better left unanswered." This book is an easy to read introduction to racing history for newer fans, who is represented by the reporter, but also a great tribute to racing's greatest equines for long time followers of the sport, represented by the horseman. The paintings are very striking depictions of these great horses, placed in modern settings appropriate for the race in question. For example, the Calumet champions parade at Keeneland, while Man O'War's descendents ply their trade at Belmont Park, founded by breeder August Belmont. 9x12 prints of Clark's paintings, suitable for framing, can be ordered directly from the publisher.
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