One Hundred Years Ago, a Defeat

Eternal had had enough of Sir Barton. As the day of the mile-and-an-eighth Dwyer bloomed gloomy with the summer rain, Kimball Patterson, the colt’s trainer, took the weather as a sign that perhaps it was time to say when. Eternal had faced Sir Barton three times in 1919 and all three times the son of Star Shoot had gotten the better of the juvenile co-champion of 1918. Sir Barton was simply the better of the two now.

SirBarton-Johnny_Loftus-1919PreaknessAlmost a month after his Belmont Stakes victory, Sir Barton was still a perfect four-for-four in 1919. After reeling off all of his victories in only 32 days, the winner of what we now know as the first Triple Crown had had a break, but now was ready to face the barrier for the Dwyer, Commander Ross eager to add another laurel to his champion’s resumé. The rain had driven all but two other horses from facing Sir Barton on July 10, 1919. Crystal Ford was clearly out of his element, but, hey, with only three horses in the field, the colt was bound to win some money. The show, though, belonged to Sir Barton and Purchase, two colts on hot streaks that begged for something extraordinary to happen.

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Celebrate the Holiday with Sir Barton!

It’s July 4th weekend! Summer is already half over, but you still have plenty of time to kick back, relax, and enjoy some downtime before you get back to the grind. What better way to enjoy your free time this weekend than with Sir Barton? I will be around the Lexington/Frankfort area on July 5th and 6th. I hope you will come by, say hi, and talk all things Sammy and racing!

July 5 @ 12 pm — Kentucky Historical Society, Frankfort, KY

July 6 @ 10 am — Paul Sawyier Library, Frankfort, KY

July 6th @ 2 pm — Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Lexington, KY

If you can’t make it out to the Lexington/Frankfort area, why not pick up a copy of Sammy’s story for your beach reading? Sir Barton and the Making of the Triple Crown is available from your favorite bookseller or library. If your library doesn’t carry the book, you can request it.

Pick One Up Today!

Sir Barton and the Making of the Triple Crown is out! You can find it at the University Press of Kentucky, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million. If you find it in your local bookstore, let me know! I’m on Twitter and Instagram (@thesirbarton).

If you’d like a cool piece of Sir Barton swag, look no further than Old Smoke! Their line of t-shirts is a personal favorite of mine. Check them out!

One Hundred Years Ago, a Triple Crown

JUNE 11, 1919

This Wednesday in New York dawned bright and warm, the almost-summer sun beating down on the regal space of Belmont Park. The trains brought in more and more people, to the point that the grounds swelled with 25,000 in attendance, twice the usual number of fans for mid-week at the track we know as Big Sandy. The first race went off at 2.44 pm, with a steeplechase and a stakes race to follow, but the throng wasn’t there for that. No, they had turned out for one race and one horse. The fourth race was the Belmont Stakes and the horse they all came to see was racing’s newest star, the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, Sir Barton.

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Talking Sammy & Tracking Bode(xpress): Book Tour Part II

After Book Tour Part I took me around the Commonwealth, I had a blissful week at home recovering before I headed back to Kentucky for the tremendous honor of participating in the Keeneland Library Lecture Series and then buzzing over to Baltimore for Preakness weekend, where I had a signing on Black-Eyed Susan Day at Pimlico and then got to yell “Riders Up!” for the Sir Barton Stakes on Preakness Day. It was a whirlwind week of traveling, one that I will definitely never forget.

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Bookin’ It Bluegrass-Style: Book Tour Part I

Little Sir Barton and I loaded up the swaggin’ wagon (i.e., my minivan) for my first series of appearances in support of Sir Barton and the Making of the Triple Crown. My first stop was the Southern Kentucky Book Fest (SOKYBF) in Bowling Green, Kentucky on April 26th & 27th. I then skipped up to Louisville for Fan Fest at the Kentucky Derby Museum and rounded out this first part of this promotional swing with a presentation as part of the Kentucky Proud Evening program at the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service office in Lexington.

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Sir Barton Turns 100+3!

The month since the release of Sir Barton and the Making of the Triple Crown has been a bit of a whirlwind, which puts me woefully behind on updating here on the Sir Barton Project. In 2016, on the occasion of Sir Barton’s 100th birthday, Lori Hoyt of the Boondocks Flower Shop and Gifts in Douglas, Wyoming was kind enough to create a bouquet of flowers for Sir Barton’s grave. This year, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Sir Barton’s Triple Crown triumph, I decided to place flowers on Sir Barton’s grave again, but, because of this milestone, I thought we needed to go bigger!

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Sir Barton & Old Smoke — A Dynamic Duo!

sirbartonshirtLast year, I discovered Old Smoke via Gary Stevens. I now have a handful of shirts from them, ranging from an adorable Bodexpress shirt from this year’s Preakness to a wonderful Triple Crown shirt. Their shirts are high-quality material with these great designs that show their appreciation for horse racing. As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Triple Crown this year, it was only natural that Old Smoke would celebrate this milestone with a Sir Barton shirt.

I am grateful to Kurt & Adrian at Old Smoke for the chance to create another way to recognize this milestone and celebrate the anniversary of America’s first Triple Crown. You can purchase the shirt here!

 

Winning Ponies with John Engelhardt

Whew! It has been a whirlwind month! I am woefully behind on posting here. I have had a number of events to celebrate the publication of Sir Barton and the Making of the Triple Crown with more to come! I will do a write-up of those events soon, but, in the meantime, I appeared on Winning Ponies with John Engelhardt last night. You can listen to that interview here:

https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/115276/wp-welcomes-writer-jennifer-kelly-and-radio-host-ralph-siraco

 

 

Author Answers: Milt Toby

shergarbookThis weekend, both Milt Toby and I will be at the Southern Kentucky Book Festival in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Milt will be there to talk about Taking Shergar, his book on the kidnapping of Shergar, 1981 Epsom Derby winner, and the mystery surrounding the horse’s ultimate fate. I can’t wait for the chance to talk to Milt in person about his latest book, which I profiled here earlier this month. To follow up my profile of Taking Shergar, here are Milt Toby’s Author Answers!

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