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American Pharaoh
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History was made at the Belmont Stakes in Summer 2015 when American Pharoah won the Triple Crown title, the first racehorse to achieve the momentous feat since Affirmed in 1978. Pharoah was the crowd favorite, as spectators had anxiously anticipated the American Thoroughbred's victory, already a proven winner at the year's earlier Kentucky Derby and Preakness races. By all appearances, American Pharoah has led a successful career, unmarred by any controversy as he was the undisputed champion-only twelve horses total in American history have won the Triple Crown. Unfortunately however, his training team has not fared nearly as well. With accusations ranging from sour business transactions to poor gambling practices to active litigation with bankruptcy courts and other legal cases pending, his owner Ahmed Zayat has many rooting against him. The flamboyant Egyptian-American businessman has been leading a double-life that has threatened to overwhelm his small empire. Victor Espinoza, the famed racehorse's relentless jockey, left rural Mexico only to face harsh conditions on a farm where he had to overcome his fear of horses before learning that he had a gift for race riding. Finally, Bob Baffert, American Pharoah's trainer, has an interesting arc that includes tremendous wins, personal losses, and controversial medication violations. Beginning with American Pharoah's modest showing at his first maiden race in 2014, Joe Drape will recount the winning thoroughbred's explosive racing career by weaving in details of Zayat's questionable business practices, Espinoza's heartbreaking loss with California Chrome last year, and Baffert's temperamental, unreliable track record. By interviewing many of the parties involved, Drape will explore the claims of corruption, illegal gambling, and secretive business practices that have been prevalent throughout, all that have ultimately contributed to the makings of this award-winning racehorse.
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About the Author

Joe Drape is an award-winning sportswriter for the New York Times. A native of Kansas City and graduate of Rockhurst High School, Drape earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Southern Methodist University. After reporting for numerous local papers and winning awards, Joe came to the New York Times in 1998 to cover college sports and horse racing. A New York Times bestselling author, Drape's work has been honored nationally by the Associated Press Sports Editor. He is a two-time Eclipse Award winner for outstanding coverage in thoroughbred racing. He lives in New York City with his wife, Mary Kennedy, and son, Jack.

Reviews

American Pharoah is lucky to have Joe Drape. Actually, they're lucky to have each other. No horse has given the preeminent chronicler of 21st century thoroughbreds better material and no other writer could do justice to such a terrific athlete and story. They deserve each other-and anyone who cares about horse racing deserves this book. "Jeremy Schaap, author of "Cinderella Man" and "Triumph""" Nobody writes about horses like Joe Drape. He takes you around the track, makes you hear the roar, feel the thrill, see the rich, shadowy, behind-the-scenes world so few us really understand. His writing is as effortless as it is necessary. AMERICAN PHAROAH is an epic American classic, a modern-day "Seasbiscuit." If you read just one book about horse racing, read this one. "Drew Jubera, author of Must Win: A Season of Survival for a Town and Its Team"" "The fleet-footed American Pharoah: The Untold Story of the Triple Crown Winner's Legendary Rise rides into the winner's circle via effortless prose, well-reported insider details, a compelling human cast of characters - and an irresistible horse: smart, focused and fast." "USA Today, 3 1/2 stars"" "A page-turner .... With his deep knowledge of horse racing, and sharp eye for detail, Drape weaves a compelling narrative from an unlikely cast of characters around an even more unlikely four-legged hero."--National Book Review "Nobody writes about horses like Joe Drape. He takes you around the track, makes you hear the roar, feel the thrill, see the rich, shadowy, behind-the-scenes world so few us really understand. His writing is as effortless as it is necessary. American Pharoah is an epic American classic, a modern-day Seasbiscuit. If you read just one book about horse racing, read this one."--Drew Jubera, author of Must Win: A Season of Survival for a Town and Its Team "Drape takes the reader behind the gate for the inside story of American Pharoah's climb, and to the track for every dust-flying, crowd-roaring minute."--Garden and Gun "There is much to savor in the 292 pages...Drape delivers lively accounts of the sport's biggest events and the assorted newsmakers, on and off the track."--Bergen Record "There is much to admire in this comprehensive and often candid book." --Washington Post "American Pharoah is lucky to have Joe Drape. Actually, they're lucky to have each other. No horse has given the preeminent chronicler of 21st century thoroughbreds better material and no other writer could do justice to such a terrific athlete and story. They deserve each other-and anyone who cares about horse racing deserves this book."--Jeremy Schaap, author of Cinderella Man and Triumph "The tale [Drape] spins ends up being one that transcends athletics, a story of adolescence and smalltown life. . . . From the opening practice to the Redmen's final game, Drape flawlessly paints a picture of how Smith Center achieves perfection year after year. . . . Drape gives the reader a team worth rooting for."--Publishers Weekly "The fleet-footed American Pharoah: The Untold Story of the Triple Crown Winner's Legendary Rise rides into the winner's circle via effortless prose, well-reported insider details, a compelling human cast of characters - and an irresistible horse: smart, focused and fast."--USA Today, 3 1/2 stars

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