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Peter Gzowski.

Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, c1983.
241pp, cloth, $19.95.
ISBN 0-7710-3746-5.

Grades 9 and up.
Reviewed by Ingrid vonHausen.

Volume 12 Number 2
1984 March

Gzowski, who needs no introduction, has written an up-beat account of thoroughbred racing, focusing on the racing scene in Ontario, Woodbine to be precise. In this personal, anecdotal account, he reports on individual races, owners and breeders, grooms and jockeys as well as those who regularly visit the tracks. He briefly explores the intricacies of bloodlines, sales, breeding, and betting systems. Some of the well-known names are mentioned here: from Sam McLaughlin to Lévesque and the Howard family. Races, especially some of the famous Queen's Plates, are described in loving detail. He gives us some interesting bits on such famous horses as the Godolphin Arabian, Northern Dancer, and Sunny's Halo, to mention only a few.

This is not, nor does it pretend to be, a definitive history of racing. Its enthusiastic pages will offend no one: not so much as a whisper of scandal. The seamier side of the racing world is given no mention: no jockeys are bribed, no horses drugged. Even the sometimes horrendous spills with resultant injury to horse and rider are only briefly described. More and larger illustrations by Elaine Macpherson would have been nice. Horse people will love it. Recommended for public libraries.

Ingrid vonHausen, Preston H. S., Cambridge, ON.
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