A Special Announcement: Old Friends Benefit Auction

As we count down to the publication of Sir Barton and the Making of the Triple Crown, coming soon from the University Press of Kentucky, I wanted to do something special for the amazing horses and people of Old Friends. Watch the video for more details!

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I Have Been Busy!

The road to the 145th Kentucky Derby is paved with points; the road to the 45th was far different. You can read about it in “The Road to Glory.”

The Triple Crown celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. Learn more about the evolution of Triple Crown at Old Smoke Clothing Co.’s Dark Tuesday blog.

And I had the best time writing this for the Converse County (WY) Board of Tourism:

I Will Be at the Kentucky Derby Museum’s Fan Fest!

FanFest-2019-HomepageFeatureThe 4th Annual Kentucky Derby Fan Fest will be Sunday, April 28th, at the Kentucky Derby Museum, located on the grounds of Churchill Downs. I will be there for a signing and a presentation. I hope you can join me! This year’s theme is the Triple Crown! Fan Fest will celebrate the 1st and the 13th Triple Crown winners as we commemorate 100 years since Sir Barton’s spectacular wins.

Visit the Kentucky Derby Museum’s website for more information on Fan Fest! If you would like to pre-order Sir Barton and the Making of the Triple Crown, find your favorite bookseller and order a copy. I look forward to the chance to chat and sign!

Tools of the Trade: The Keeneland Library

keenelandinteriorAs a reader, a student, and now as a writer, I have spent my share of days in a library. As a child, I searched for books on horse racing and other interests, the shelves and shelves of tomes on all sorts of subjects my sole source of research in the pre-Internet days. My days of writing research papers from high school to graduate school meant that I spent hours pouring over shelves and through journals, seeking the right sources for whatever argument I was making. Writing this book on Sir Barton meant that I needed to seek THE library in this country that contains 99.9% of what an author like me would need: the Keeneland Library, the single greatest collection of books, photographs, and publications about horse racing in the country.

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Tools of the Trade: Interlibrary Loan

Libraries are the greatest resources any society can create for itself: a repository of books, documents, visual media, and more that anyone can access either for free or for minimal cost. When we were kids, our school libraries were fun places to find books that sated our thirst for knowledge or imagination. In high school and college, libraries became the source of necessary information for expanding on our ideas, to prove or disprove any argument that we needed to make for that all-important research paper. For this writer and for you guys, my readers, the library provides another amazing resource: Interlibrary Loan.

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Tools of the Trade: Daily Racing Form Archive

When I started researching Sir Barton’s career, I knew I had to start with the individual races themselves before I worked to connect the dots between them. The best place to find all of the details of his starts was the Daily Racing Form, the source of form charts and articles about the previous day’s races and other news going back to 1894. The only problem? The Keeneland Library is five hours away! Yikes! How was I going to do this research? Cue the Daily Racing Form archive.

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It’s Official! Pre-order Your Copy of Sir Barton’s Story!

sir bartonHe was always destined to be a champion.

Finally, 100 years after his Triple Crown triumph, the full story of Sir Barton, America’s first Triple Crown winner, comes to you from myself and the University Press of Kentucky. You can pre-order Sir Barton and the Making of the Triple Crown now ahead of the book’s official publication in early May.

Stay tuned to the blog and my Twitter feed for information on promotions, appearances, and more as we count down to the 100th anniversary of America’s first Triple Crown and celebrate the life of Sir Barton, the champion who brought us the ultimate chase for greatness in American horse racing.

Want to pre-order Sir Barton and the Making of the Triple Crown? Order your copy today from any of these retailers!

You can also add the book to your reading list on Good Reads and follow me there as well. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more!

My Memories: My First Time at the Races

If you’ve been following the blog for some time, you may already be familiar with my origin story. After discovering horse racing via Walter Farley and his Black Stallion series, I watched the Triple Crown races on television, dreaming of the day that I could go see horses run LIVE. Thanks to my aunt Betty, that dream came true the next year.

Turf_Club_entranceI have to start this story with a bit of geography. I grew up in the Birmingham, Alabama metropolitan area, where football is king, baseball and basketball might duke it out for second, and horse racing appears down the list of sports of import — way down. (Right now, if I wanted to go to the races, the closest track would be Keeneland — five hours away. ) Not since the first part of the 20th century has the Birmingham area seen horse racing, but, in early 1987, the Birmingham Turf Club (now the Birmingham Race Course) opened. The Turf Club has live horse racing, not just simulcasting, but, as a twelve-year-old kid who lived in the ‘burbs, walking there was out of the question. That’s where my dear aunt Betty comes in.

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Join Me at #SOKYBF!

sokybfGood news, everyone! I will be appearing at the Southern Kentucky Book Fest in Bowling Green, KY April 26-27. Milt Toby and I will join other University Press of Kentucky authors at the Knicely Convention Center for two days of panels, signings, and more. Come and see me as I count down toward the publication of Sir Barton & the Making of the Triple Crown! Follow SOKY Book Fest on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram for the latest info on the upcoming 2019 Book Fest.

Want to know each time I update the blog? Click on the Follow The Sir Barton Project link to sign up for alerts! I will be updating the blog with appearances, ordering information, and more as we get closer to May 2019.