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Kentucky Derby: Run for the Roses

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


Kentucky Derby: Run for the Roses by Bill Doolittle

Kentucky Derby: Run for the Roses by Bill Doolittle

Time-Life Books

The Bottom Line

This book is definitely one that any racing fan would enjoy having in their library. It celebrates our most popular race in grand style from the breeding farms of Kentucky to the backside to the first Saturday in May. Over 180 photographs bring the atmosphere and excitement of the Derby to life in this large format coffee-table book. In addition, it includes many historical facts and personal reflections from the people involved with the race and the horses.
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  • Covers the first 125 years of Kentucky Derby history
  • Includes over 180 photographs to bring the atmosphere and excitement to life
  • Entertaining writing style by one of the creaters of the Derby Museum


  • No fault was found with this work. An excellent addition to any racing fan's library


  • Triumph and Tradition (by Walter Kronkite)
  • My Old Kentucky Home
  • The Days of the Derby
  • The Run for the Roses
  • Down to the Wire
  • The First Saturday in May
  • Heroes and Legends
  • The Winner's Circle
  • The Legacy and the Goal (by Thomas Meeker)

Guide Review - Kentucky Derby: Run for the Roses

You probably thought there would never be a Time-Life book you would want to buy, thinking only of their home repair or psychic phenomenon type series of books. But this one is the exception to the rule especially for racing fans.

The book is laid out in related sections with stories and photos grouped topically. "My Old Kentucky Home" includes a brief history of the breeding industry in Kentucky and gorgeous photos from the farms. "Heroes and Legends" is especially nice with many archival photos of past greats and a summary of their accomplishments. Other sections include: "Triumph and Tradition", "The Days of the Derby", "The Run for the Roses", "Down to the Wire", "The First Saturday in May", "The Winner's Circle", "The Legacy and the Goal". Each section is full of large format gorgeous photos by many of the big name photographers in the sport as well as items of racing memorabilia from the 1800's to the present.

The author, Bill Doolittle, is a Louisville, Kentucky, based sports writer who has covered many Kentucky Derbies for several publications. He also was part of the team who created the Kentucky Derby Museum and has even written a handicapping book. He knows his subject and is very good at bringing it to life in an entertaining manner. The photos are what really make the book and he did a masterful job selecting just the right ones to really bring the whole Derby spirit to life on paper.

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