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Ruffian: A Race Track Romance [Hardcover]

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Item description for Ruffian: A Race Track Romance by William Nack...

On July 6, 1975, a 3-year-old filly named Ruffian was loaded into the starting gate at Belmont Park for a televised match race against Kentucky Derby winner colt Foolish Pleasure. Since winning her first race a little more than a year earlier, the unbeaten, unflappable Ruffian had literally raced her way into the hearts of a nation. One of those hearts belonged to Newsday turf reporter William Nack.As a boy in Illinois, Nack had carried in his pocket a trading card of his hero, Swaps, the winner of the 1955 Kentucky Derby. As a young soldier in Vietnam, Nack tuned out the midnight bomb blasts by listening to racetrack broadcasts from Santa Anita. Now, fresh off the publication of his astonishing biography of Secretariat -- described by Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand as "the gold standard of horse books" -- he found himself smitten once again.But tragedy struck that summer's day at Belmont Park. After charging from the gate, Ruffian stumbled and shattered her right foreleg. She had to be put down. Nack's heartbreaking run with thoroughbred racing's most famous filly will soon be immortalized in a made-for-TV movie to be broadcast on ESPN and ABC. In this moving, lyrical memoir, he relives the afternoon that forever changed his love affair with the track.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   112
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.1" Width: 5.2" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   May 8, 2007
Publisher   ESPN
ISBN  1933060301  
ISBN13  9781933060309  

Availability  0 units.

More About William Nack

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! William Nack is the author of "Secretariat: The Making of a Champion "and "My Turf: Horses, Boxers, Blood Money, and the Sporting Life." As a writer at Sports Illustrated, he won 7 Eclipse Awards for his coverage of thoroughbred racing. Nack also has contributed to "GQ." He lives in Washington, D.C.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Sports > General
2Books > Subjects > Sports > Individual Sports > Horses > Racing

Reviews - What do customers think about Ruffian: A Race Track Romance?

a moving eye witness account of Ruffian  Jun 18, 2008
I don't understand the negative reviews of this book. I thought it was a wonderful and touching eye witness tribute to Ruffian. While there is great information about Ruffian in this book, it is more a book of the heart than the head as the subtitle "A Racetrack Romance" indicates.
The ending brought chills up and down my spine. While I understand that there are much more serious tragedies in the world, I can't remember the last time I read a book that touched my heart and emotions like Nack's book. Each page I turned I learned more about this incredible horse and her greatness but each page brought a sense of foreboding, knowing that a terrible ending was drawing closer. But I could not put the book down. Thank you William Nack. Thank you for this touching tribute to Ruffian. In a small way you gave us a fitting tribute to this wonderful horse.
Ruffian  Nov 29, 2007
Wonderful book!!! Keeps to the details of Ruffians life and tells it very good!
Crosses The Wire Much Too Quickly  Nov 29, 2007
Essentially a long essay - the text slightly more than 100 pages - William Nack weaves autobiographical recollections with the oftentimes brutal tragedies and brilliant triumphs of equine athletes, and recollections on the life & times of Ruffian.

For readers seeking a biography of Ruffian, this is not the course to traverse. Also, the book - published by ESPN Books - is not a movie tie-in to the ESPN-produced, made-for-TV movie, Ruffian.

It is artfully written and to truly be savored, the book needs to be meticulously read. But in the end, the brevity is the greatest disappointment.
Nack's Romance  Jul 12, 2007
This short but intimate biography is a mini-version in style of Bill Nack's larger work on Secretariat. Like that great accomplishment, Bill explores both the animal and human pedigrees in Ruffian's life and meditates on the privilege of being able to witness in his lifetime not only the greatest colt ever to run but also the greatest filly ever to grace a track. His description of Ruffian's last hours puts readers right in the midst of the chaos and tragedy that followed her breakdown and reminds us of the dangers involved in this sport. There is no questioning the space Ruffian holds in Nack's heart. An excellent read.
Wonderfully Written, Intimate Account of Ruffian and the Horseracing Industry  Jun 13, 2007
Nack's personal account of his life in the horseracing industry is a perfect backdrop for this intimate, well-written account of Ruffian. Nack's insight and research is top-notch given his perspective as a reporter covering horseracing for Newsday in the early 70's; we meet his friends and experience first-hand the people who surround these wonderful animals - from Alfred Vanderbilt to Frank Whiteley, from Andy Beyer to Jacinto Vasquez. Nack's prose is rich - one of my favorite lines, "I had been around racehorses and racetracks for twenty years, and I had never seen a two-year-old do what she was doing - and with an insouciance that bordered on the downright cavalier, moving as she pleased with a restrained grace and power and at velocities rarely seen in animals so young. She was in my experience sui generis."

This is the best book I have read in the last year. This is the best book I have ever read on horseracing - perhaps even eclipsing Nack's first book, "Secretariat".


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