Read Secretariat: The Making of a Champion by William Nack Online


In 1973, Secretariat, the greatest thoroughbred in horse-racing history, won the Triple Crown. The only horse to ever break the two-minute mark in winning the Kentucky Derby until recent winner Monarchos, Secretariat also pulled off one of the most astounding victories in the annals of horse racing by winning the Belmont Stakes by a record-breaking thirty-one lengths. NowIn 1973, Secretariat, the greatest thoroughbred in horse-racing history, won the Triple Crown. The only horse to ever break the two-minute mark in winning the Kentucky Derby until recent winner Monarchos, Secretariat also pulled off one of the most astounding victories in the annals of horse racing by winning the Belmont Stakes by a record-breaking thirty-one lengths. Now William Nack updates his acclaimed portrait with a new afterword that examines the legacy of one of ESPN's "100 Greatest Athletes of the Century": the only horse to ever grace the covers of Time , Newsweek , and Sports Illustrated all in the same week....

Title : Secretariat: The Making of a Champion
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780306811333
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 384 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Secretariat: The Making of a Champion Reviews

  • Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
    2019-03-11 12:17

    This story of 1973 triple crown winner Secretariat is packed with statistics on blood lines & racing stats; William Nack really knows his stuff. However, it is not a dry read at all. His behind the scenes look at the world of horse breeders is fascinating. I particularly liked his spin on the owner Helen Tweedy (aka Penny Chenery), and thought it pretty cool that both the jockey & trainer were Canadians. Now I know what “going the distance” really means, and it’s got nothing to do with Field Of Dreams. This book is worth reading just for the chapter describing his Belmont Stakes record-breaking thirty-one length win, the author puts you in the stands yelling & cheering at probably the most exciting race in track history. William Nack’s love of this horse he spent a lifetime following comes through loud & clear. Just a great, inspirational story.

  • Lucinda
    2019-03-10 07:57

    A legend is born…A true story of a remarkable Thoroughbred racehorse that has now also been made into a film for the big screen, Secretariat has to be one of my favorite books on racing ever written. Equivalent to works such as Seabiscuit, Arle and Red Rum this racehorse’s story is one that is heartwarming, magical and truly inspirational proving that the sky is the limit. Fast-paced at a thrilling gallop this story maintains its momentum throughout, where you ultimately loose yourself within the melee of thundering hooves and the scattering of dirt whilst a commentary thunders in the background. Here is living proof that ones dream can turn into reality as long as one possesses the determination, drive and will to succeed that you can do anything. Penny Chenery is such a woman with a dream who is not afraid to stand out within the male dominated world of the racing game, where she must fight her way to the top. She is a heroine for all women who aspire to living their dream and making the impossible possible, with much courage and strength of character. As her world is turned upside down with the death of her father Penny has to make a decision on whether to sell or keep her father’s beloved farm Meadow Stables, and it is this crucial choice that sets in motion the course of her future. Things are never the same again once she takes the reins and breathes life into this failing, run-down yard that is balancing on a knife’s edge giving all those that surround her a sense of hope and optimism for the future. With the aid of the outlandish but charismatic Lucien Laurin and a blazing, bright chestnut colt called Secretariat, Penny travels on the most exhilarating rollercoaster of a ride. Here the unlikeliest of combinations with a female trainer and a gangly looking horse get set to change history, by becoming the first Triple Crown winner in America for 25 years. A legend is thus born in the form of ‘Big Red’ as he was known, whose endurance and stamina astonishes all who encounter him. Reading this book is like opening a window onto the past and being able to experience a poignant and unforgettable moment within history that along with other greats shall not be forgotten. Here dreams are made that flourish, blossom and grow hence turning the vision in ones mind into reality. Penny is a testament to all those who go that extra mile and beyond, who have that self-belief to push the boundaries and reach those unreachable heights.

  • Deborah
    2019-03-22 06:50

    Did you see the movie? I did, and can definitely say that the 'feel good' movie barely touched the surface of Secretariat and all that was going on before and around him....and was written by William Nack, who was a new Turf Reporter when Secretariat made his 2-year old appearance. So impressed, he decided to keep a journal and a side-focus on Secretariat for the long term.Therefore, this book starts with the history of the major players in Secretariat's life. The Chenery family, and how The Meadow came about. Claiborne Farm, still ranked among the top breeders. This book is definitely a lesson, not a novel....but was so very interesting. Details. Statistics. And a more indepth look into everything.The coin toss. The birth. The naming. The training. All are given more substance as this goes into the actual details of what was going on. Like, the saving of The Meadow was initiated by Riva Ridge, another Chenery horse, who was a year older, and had won the 1972 Derby, lost the Preakness, and came back to win the Belmont. So if you enjoyed the movie, but suspect that there was more? There was. Do you wonder about her long-distance marriage and how it was affected by her taking active leadership in the breeding & racing? How about the $6.08 million syndication deal?Regardless, this was a very informative book on Secretariat, and an excellent look at what goes on in the racing industry. Reading the chapters on the races had my heart pounding, just as if I was there and could feel the beat of the hooves. I totally recommend this...

  • Wendy
    2019-03-24 08:09

    2.5?Maybe it's not fair to compare Secretariat to Seabiscuit, but here I go. While I can't judge who would have won in a race between the two horses, one's story is far superior, and that is Seabiscuit's. Secretariat came from basically a royal bloodline, he was big and beautiful and upon his death was discovered to have an enlarged heart which may have been what helped him run so fast. I can appreciate that he was quite an amazing animal and probably pretty wonderful to watch (I haven't actually seen his races) but really, what could he do but win? Running from behind in a race is not the same as overcoming all odds to win, and knowing going into the story that Secretariat won the Triple Crown meant that there was very little suspense in the book. Here's the story in a nutshell: Secretariat is born, shows promise, is syndicated (before it's known if he will be a distance runner), wins the Triple Crown, and is retired to stud.Not helping is Nack's writing style which I just didn't enjoy very much. It's very dry and factual and rather dull. The book is filled with times run and names of horses in Secretariat's bloodline. There's also a lot of digressions and an overly long section about the phone calls made to every single person who was offered a share when Secretariat was syndicated. The end of the book has one article which I enjoyed more than all the rest of the book -- it's a more personal story of Nack's relationship with the horse which made me understand why he loved Secretariat and wanted to write about him. I think I would have enjoyed the whole book a lot more if it was told in this way. Seriously, just read Seabiscuit. Much more emotional journey of a horse overcoming obstacles and winning, much more interesting cast of characters (horse and surrounding personalities), much more interesting history and much better explanations of the horse racing world. Really, just a much better book.

  • Mario
    2019-03-13 10:49

    I picked up Secretariat for different reasons than most. It had nothing to do with Diane Lane or the Disney movie. I don't really even like horse racing. But a gentlemen I trust recommended it to me on Twitter. Andy Ihnatko (@Ihnatko) included this book as one of his Picks of the Week. Having a stack of credits to burn through, I decided to give it a listen. Secretariat begins slowly. You begin with a thorough foundation of lineage. At first that put me off. Why do I care about horses not named Secretariat? I mean I didn't pick up a book called Prince Quillo did I? But I began to be drawn in. I began to see that history was being woven in front of me. I was in the midst of an elaborate origin story. The creation of a super hero. Soon I found myself engrossed in the long past life of Secretariat and those around him. Even thought the events happened 10 years before I was born, William Nack made me smell smoke and taste the bourbon. I knew the outcome, I had read it before. I watched a breathless Diane Lane cheering a fake horse on to victory on the silver screen. But that was different. This book took me there. I was holding my breath, cheering on ever furlong. I was witnessing history. Thats about as high of praise as you can give a book like this. Nack is a really good writer and its a pretty interesting subject. I highly recommend giving it a look.

  • Marie
    2019-03-09 14:00

    Great book. I liked it a lot more than the movie. I think that if you are a person who is not 'into horses' or does not know a lot about horses, you will like the movie better. This book is so well researched and filled with every single fact you could imagine, but could get confusing if you are not into horses and racing. Great writing, captured me within the first 3 chapters. I learned a lot about racing history in that time period and some of the facts stunned me. This book is a great collection of historical facts, along with a well written story of the truth behind a great race horse. I also liked that the author made a point to not choose sides or opinions, he kept his writing even and did not make any attempt to change the story of what really happened in those great years.

  • Rachelle
    2019-03-14 12:02

    I really thought I would like this book and couldn't wait to read it but then once I started to read it I realized it was not at all what I expected. There were times in the book when I thought I was reading Genisis when they were going through the lineage of the horses. I really don't understand or care who parented who. I also am not into horse racing so all the timing and how they placed them in the race was foreign to me. I should take the time to learn something new but horse racing is at the bottom of my list of sports. I don't always agree with how they are used in racing and it hurt my heart so much to read about one of the horses dying on the track of a heart attack and the jockey had been hitting with his stick to make him run. That was just wrong. Maybe I'll try watching the movie and see what I think but the book had so much background into the business and how the money flowed and even though they took wonderful care of the horses it wasn't with love, it was a business.

  • Julia Langevin
    2019-02-21 14:09

    Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I've always had a love for race horses since my first horse was a OTTB turned eventing horse. The author does an amazing job of sharing Secretariat's story, and the love he had for this horse really showed throughout the entirety of the book. It was amazing to read about his journey leading up to the triple crown, and continuing on after the triple crown. I also learned a lot about the ins and outs of racing, and how even at the speed they're going, horses can change their leads around the corners of the racetrack. I also learned about running a "twelve clip" and lineage as well. This has become one of my favorite books, and even if you're not a horse person, I feel that anyone would enjoy this book about this amazing animal.

  • C
    2019-03-14 08:06

    Do you like equine genealogy? This book is for you!Do you love horse racing? This book is for you!Do you like loads of minutiae detail? This book is for you!If you don't mind a story that jumps around and shifts focus constantly than this book is for you!Everyone else I would suggest reading a summary or doing a bit of Google research and call it quits. What a slog. Secretariat isn't even introduced until chapter SEVEN! I was so close to putting this one down.This might be one of those times where the movie is more engaging than the book, but I haven't seen it so I'm not sure.

  • Jan C
    2019-03-02 14:16

    What a wonderful read. What a wonderful horse. What wonderful memories come flooding back of watching him run in the Triple Crown. It is so very nice to see the behind-the-scenes story.I had to laugh at the thought of the horse raking after watching one of the grooms raking. It made me laugh out loud.

  • Marnie
    2019-03-03 14:17

    This is the book that the popular Disney movie was based on. How anybody was inspired to create a movie from this particular book I have no idea. The book was very dry and boring.

  • Michele A
    2019-03-24 10:12

    Great book a little slow reading in the beginning

  • Rick Reitzug
    2019-02-27 11:06

    I don't know much about horse racing and have wanted to read a book for some time that provides insight into the practices and culture of the horse racing world while also telling a good story. Secretariat more than filled the bill for both of these goals. While the early chapters drag a bit because the author goes into great detail about Secretariat's and other famous race horses genealogy, once you get past these chapters (I skimmed them) the book really gets cooking. I have a much better understanding of the basics of the horse racing world now and a true appreciation for the magnificent race horse, Secretariat. The book has made me eager to visit the Kentucky Horse Park, Churchill Downs Museum, etc. and I will be watching the Kentucky Derby and other horse races with much more interest in the future.

  • Brodie Hawkins
    2019-03-22 07:49

    I found this book really hard to get into it. as it talks about the family and history before him.

  • Joy H.
    2019-03-05 11:51

    Secretariat: The Making of a Champion by William Nack Published 2002 by Da Capo Press (first published 1975) Original title: Big Red of Meadow StableAdded 5/5/11.I did not read this book, but I saw the movie:MOVIE: "Secretariat" (2010)Stars: Diane Lane, John Malkovich and Margo Martindale"Penny Chenery Tweedy and colleagues guide her long-shot but precocious stallion to set, in 1973, the unbeaten record for winning the Triple Crown.""The film explores Chenery's bond with "Big Red" and depicts her rise to greatness as the 'first lady of racing.'"FACTS ABOUT THE TRIPLE CROWN:Secretariat won the Triple Crown in 1973.In the United States, the three races that compose the Triple Crown are:1. Kentucky Derby - at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky;2. Preakness Stakes - at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland3. Belmont Stakes - at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York."The Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing ...consists of three races for three-year-old Thoroughbred horses. Winning all three of these Thoroughbred horse races is considered the greatest accomplishment of a Thoroughbred racehorse."Lists of past Triple Crown winners can be found at: ABOUT SECRETARIAT:"Secretariat's genetic legacy may be linked in part to the likelihood that he carried the "x-factor", a trait linked to a large heart, carried only on the x-chromosome, and thus, a trait that Secretariat could only pass on via his daughters."[After Secretariat's death in 1989, at the age of 19] a necropsy [i.e., autopsy] revealed that his heart was significantly larger than that of an ordinary horse. ... [It was] estimated that Secretariat's heart probably weighed 22 pounds or about two-and-a-half times as large as that of the average horse."FROM: Another non-fiction book about horses was _Seabiscuit_. See my review at:

  • Holly
    2019-03-02 14:15

    This is an excellent book and one of my favorite non-fiction books. I was eight years old when Secretariat won the Triple Crown. The impression he made on me has lasted a lifetime and motivated me to start a career in horse racing. I have visited Claiborne Farms in Paris, Kentucky, I've seen the stall where he lived, the paddock where he romped and paid my respects at his grave. For me he is and always will be the ultimate racehorse. I regret that I did not visit him when he was still alive. Appropriately, the day I learned of his death I was working at the track and I heard the news from the trainer I worked for. I read this book years before the movie came out; but of course I had to see the movie as well. One thing that was very disappointing about the mention of Riva Ridge?! Why? I don't think it would have taken anything away from Secretariat's story to mention that another Meadows owned/Lauren trained horse won two of the three triple crown races in 1972. Then again, when does Hollywood ever get anything right? Well, since I haven't gone to the theater to see a movie since "Secretariat" was released I can only say that my interest in Hollywood film is it and hope it goes away.........Milos Forman, where are you?This book isn't really meant for civilians, it is written for people who have lived the life. The information in this book is fascinating to us. The complaints I read in the bad reviews reflect more on the reader than on this book. People who have no interest in the details of horse racing, people who wanted a book about humans instead of horses........why did they even pick it up in the first place? I don't read books about the NFL and bitch about how boring they were.........I already know that football bores me, so I avoid it. This is another reason why I prefer equines to humans......horses don't suck!I rated this book with 5 stars, but as far as I'm concerned, it goes all the way to 11.

  • Mundi
    2019-03-03 10:04

    Parts of this book really took me back to being a horse-crazy 12-year-old who read every Marguerite Henry book I could get my hands on!The first 3rd of this book was all about the background of the breeding operations - the horses themselves and the farms & families who bred them - that culminated in the big red colt. It kind of boils down to his sire, Bold Ruler who brought the speed, and his dam, Somethingroyal who brought the stamina, but it takes 100 pages to get there.Then we go into Secretariat's 2-year-old racing season, and there is quite a bit of detail regarding his syndication (the most expensive at the time.) The info about the breeding and the syndication can be a bit dry, but it is all a very important part of the horse racing business and really gives a full picture of this amazing horse's life. Obviously the story really picks up during Secretariat's 3-year-old season and his Triple Crown campaign. Bill Nack really shines when he is describing the races and the wonder that Secretariat could inspire in those who saw him run. During Nack's wonderful recounting of the climactic Belmont Stakes, I found myself awestruck by the beauty and power of this magnificent horse - and that is really what it is all about.

  • Kia
    2019-03-04 14:03

    Overall, an informative look into the life of one of the greatest racehorses in the history of the sport.It was a quick read, and Nack's descriptions of the races almost feels like he puts you at the racetrack. Nack's writing style, however, put me off right from the prologue. I found myself rereading sentences that were arranged in strange ways or getting disrupted by new paragraphs that seemed out of context. I was also often frustrated by the lack of explanation for racing and breeding jargon. His writing at times was grandiloquent or crammed with too much unnecessary detail that didn't add to his description of a scene. And, as others have said, certain parts - particularly the chapter on bloodlines and the formation of the syndicate - were long-winded.I also felt like it was hard to truly appreciate how awesome a horse Secretariat was without some context of how an average racehorse performs. This may again have to do with the knowledge that Nack assumes you have as a reader, but I think anyone could have benefited from a reminder of what was typically expected of most racehorses to appreciate how exceptional this horse was.If you're looking for a great racehorse book, I'd recommend Seabiscuit.

  • Gaile
    2019-03-13 08:15

    I am not familiar with the race horse world having had little chance to be around horses in my life.At first the book was confusing with the pedigrees and which horse was bred to which filly interspersed with the birth of Secretariat, a red colt sired by Bold Ruler. Called Big Red by his owners, the foal grows into a colt and exceeds everyone's expectations.Losing only two races, he goes on to win the triple crown trophy, the last horse having won it being Man O' War, fifty years before. The races are exciting to read. Secretariat's ability is amazing!After reading this book, I did some research online. The horse turned out to have a larger heart than a normal horse. This is a gene carried and passed on by the female to male off spring. Secretariat sired mostly daughters. His present day descendant is American Pharoah who won the triple crown in 2015, the same year this book was published but still no horse has ever beaten Secretariat's record.American Pharoah is descended from both Secretariat and Man O' War.Interesting!

  • Annette
    2019-03-24 10:02

    The first fifty-plus pages contain a detailed explanation of the lineage that led to Secretariat; the pedigree of the horse that in 1973 won all three races of the Triple Crown - - a feat not completed in twenty-five previous years or the thirty-eight-plus years that have followed. This book was the inspiration of the recent film of the same name. Bill Nack's biography does justice to the horse's amazing accomplishments. At this point, Secretariat is arguably the greatest racehorse of all time. Some reviewers have lamented the recitation of the bloodlines that yielded such a horse, but I suspect that this information is needed by serious horsemen and it provides needed background to others such as I who are less informed. This is not a novel, not just the story of a racehorse. Rather it is an accurate and exciting tale of a horse whose accomplishments may never be equaled. Bill Nack takes the reader through the lives of the horses and people that played prominent roles in the life of Secretariat. lj (jan 2012)

  • Chana
    2019-03-23 12:56

    The story of Secretariat is great but this book does not flow like a well written story. It veers between lots of names, dates, places, races; and a novel like attempt at description that often seems overdone, incongruous and unnecessary. I was glad that I did not have to take a test on it and was sorry it did not come with charts of bloodlines and race statistics. One of the problems with the writing, to my mind, was that he does not follow a timeline, he jumps back and forth in time in order to tell the stories of people and horses. That left me a little confused and with the feeling that if I was to really try to remember things that I had better take notes. The barrage of facts would be interspersed with detailed descriptions of what someone was wearing or how a room was decorated. Still, I enjoyed reading about Secretariat very much.

  • Raven
    2019-03-06 06:52

    This biography is written in a narrative form which is very compelling and was difficult for me to put down. The skill and knowledge of this writer is such that despite knowing the outcome of most of the races, I was so wrapped up in the story that I felt suspense and concern over how Secretariat would place. Somehow, this was especially the case for the Triple Crown series, which of course is his claim to fame!

  • Sophie
    2019-03-18 14:02

    Mostly poor writing and a lot of minutia...I realize that horse racing is a detailed, rich (RICH RICH RICH) person's game but this book could be summed up as "An amazing horse/ rich people problems." That being said, the racing scenes were exciting to read and Secretariat is incredible.

  • Kelly
    2019-03-09 10:18

    Lots of detail. Enjoyed the movie better

  • Mj
    2019-02-24 07:53

    Horse race lovers or just horse lovers will enjoy this book immensely. The rest of us will enjoy the movie more.

  • Lkelley
    2019-02-24 06:04

    Almost done. Not a book I would recommend unless you like sports history...which I don't. Mostly about the lines of various horses.

  • Beetqueen
    2019-02-23 10:52

    This was an obligation book for me. I read it because one of my students asked me to so that she could use it for her non-fiction book project. Since I'd read "Seabiscuit" the year before for a similar reason, I figured this would be similar. I'd already exposed myself to the world of racing, so this book would be easy to get through, right? WRONG! At least not for me. Now, I am not a racing fan of any sort, so I'm sure that was part of my problem with the book. Actually, it was like 90% of my problem with the book. Since I am not a fan of horse racing and do not follow it in any way, my only real knowledge of racing comes from "Seabiscuit" and the one time I went to the race track with my family because my aunt had won some sort competition which entitled her to a party at the racetrack. I was 15 and wasn't even allowed to bet, so my memories of it are hazy at best. I was prepared for an underdog race horse story with lots of descriptions of the people surrounding the horses and the races themselves. And I got that. What I was not prepared for was page upon page upon page (seriously, like 1/4 of this book) devoted to begets. It was like reading Genesis in the Bible, only for horses. This horse beget this horse beget this horse ad nauseum. I was also not expecting very detailed descriptions of horse insemination. "Seabiscuit" was all about one horse and his racing career. "Secretariat" is all about those thoroughbreds that came before him, his amazing performance and those who trained him. It made the book awfully long. I was also not a huge fan of Nack's storytelling. I think part of the reason I enjoyed "Seabiscuit" so much was because of Hillenbrand's storytelling. I actually liked her narrative so much that I went on to read "Unbroken," which was a book that appealed to me even more and I found myself engrossed in. Nack's narrative seemed broken up by all the begets and race times. It felt more like a list than a story at times. I was also not a huge fan of Penny Tweedy. I thought her behavior spoiled and superior throughout most of the book. If Nack was trying to paint her as a heroine in the world of racing, it is not how she came across to me. She threw too many tantrums and was far too nasty to too many people for me to like her or even sympathize with her. For true horse racing fans I'm sure this is an interesting read. It was just not the book for me. I felt each one of the 455 pages I read and I hate when that happens.

  • Kylie Wellington
    2019-03-06 11:57

    Kylie WellingtonMr. MurleyEnglish Lit. 1121 Sept. 2017Book Review of Secretariat In early spring of 1970, Chris Chenery’s beloved farm, The Meadow, was about to foreclose. As he was falling ill to dementia, his daughter, Helen “Penny” Chenery, took over and desperately searched for a miracle to save the history that was the farm. Unbeknownst to Penny, the miracle would come in the form of a foal that was born on March 30th of 1970. Secretariat follows the journey of the big-hearted chestnut and how he brought fame and fortune to The Meadow. Secretariat faces many challenges on the road to the Triple Crown against other great horses, including fighting injuries and losses. The book is written about the history of The Meadow and how it was saved by Secretariat when he won the Triple Crown in 1973. There are many people and horses discussed in Secretariat, as a lot of people and horses had a part in making Secretariat a champion racehorse. I found it a little confusing keeping up with all of the people and history of horse racing, so I believe the book is not suitable for people without a big interest in horse racing. Horse racing fans would have the easiest time reading this, as they would find it most interesting. Secretariat was definitely an educational book. William Nack went into deep detail about the history of each person and horse mentioned and for some people, it can be too much. However, I loved learning about the individual people that had a part in Secretariat’s life. By the time the person or horse was brought into the story, I had already read a small biography of their life. In any other book, that style of writing would not work; I would have lost interest in reading about the boring lives. However, Nack did a very good job of keeping the reader’s attention. He kept the book interesting, even while talking about the lives of people and horses in the nineteenth century. He didn’t spend pages going on about the same thing; he made it brief yet thorough. Overall, Secretariat was a great book. William Nack told the story of the big-hearted chestnut very well and was very informative. I rate this book five out of five stars because he stayed true to the original story of Secretariat. I recommend this book to any horse-lover looking to expand their knowledge on the horse racing world.

  • Rahni
    2019-03-16 10:04

    2.5 starsThis is by far the most uninspiring horse book I’ve ever read. And yet it’s not that I disliked it. It was more Moneyball than The Natural. Lots of numbers, lots of detail, lots of research . . . but not a lot of heart. My overall reaction? Meh. My advice is this: If you skip to the actual running of the Triple Crown races—heck, if you even start at the Belmont (near the end of the book), and also make sure to read the 22-page article* “Pure Heart” included after the epilogue (but before the two appendices—this book takes awhile to ebb to a close), you’ll have covered the best parts of the book. *Funny-but-true: All the way through the included article, I kept thinking, “Too bad this guy didn’t write the book. He’s got passion and I finally feel some emotional investment! He could teach the author a thing or two.” Imagine my surprise to find, when checking on details while typing up my thoughts, that THE SAME GUY WROTE BOTH! Perhaps the article was more accessible because the writer injected himself into the piece. Ah, well. I now like him (and his book) more.

  • Lori Foley
    2019-02-24 07:52

    I must admit that there was a lot of detail in this book that I could have done without. The author goes into great detail about every race Secretariat ran through the Belmont Stakes, including times per furlough. Since I'm not really an avid fan of horseracing, that didn't have much meaning for me (I had no idea before reading this book how fast a horse could run). However, I had to give it at least 4 stars because Secretariat was such an amazing, beautiful horse. I enjoyed the backstory of the people who owned him, trained him, and groomed him. I also loved the antidotes about the horse's personality. If I were going to recommend a book about a horse, however, I would probably go with Seabiscuit.