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New Affirmed Book

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  • New Affirmed Book

    Has anybody else read this yet? If so, what did you think?

    I just got it. I'm only on page 58 so far, but while it's full of detail and obviously was researched, I've already spotted several errors which seem pretty obvious. For instance, he states that Affirmed/Alydar ran the fastest Belmont ever (ever hear of Secretariat?). He seems to me to strongly imply that Calumet was already on the financial rocks in 1977. "Alydar was looked upon as survival for Calumet" is just one of several such sentences, and he's talking about 1977 there, not 1990. Per other sources I've read elsewhere, the Calumet empire was debt free and worth 96 million on the death of Mrs. Markey, which hardly sounds like dire straits to me. The dire straits came after her death. Another example, the author just unequivocally stated, after wrapping up the 2yo campaign season chapter, that Affirmed (as a 2yo) was Horse of the Year. Um, no, Seattle Slew was HOY in 1977. Very deservedly so.

    I hope this improves some. For something billed as a nonfiction work, it seems like the "Hollywoodized" version to me, changing details here and there to make a better story, much as the Seabiscuit movie did in spots such as War Admiral being 18 hands. The errors I've spotted make me wonder about the accuracy percentage in the rest of the story, things I might not know weren't quite right.

    ETA: Here's another one I just ran into, flat out stating it. "The farm (Calumet) was tottering on the verge of bankruptcy." The year this sentence refers to is 1976, before Alydar arrived to hopefully "save" them financially. Um, no. Not the glory racing days of the 40s, granted, but they were hardly "tottering on the verge of bankruptcy." Not in 1976. Not with the farm debt free, the land owned outright, and extensive and profitable side investments worth millions.

    Starting to be glad I paid nothing for this book. (Check out www.paperbackswap.com for free book trading!) I'm beginning to think of throwing it back in the pond after I read instead of keeping it for my library.

  • #2
    Thanks for the enlightening review. I think I'll skip it.
    www.laurienberenson.com

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    • #3
      Thanks for info. I will buy the book. I thought Affirmed was a great horse as was Seattle Slew. Both lived well into their 20s and were my picks in their respective triple crown races.
      (My mare Callie (Kick and Howl) was sired by Poker who 10 years earlier sired a little mare named My Charmer.......I think that was her name.)

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Quote from the "Affirmed Fact Sheet," a numbered list at the end of the book of career highlights for the horse. "Affirmed was named Horse of the Year in 1977, 1978, and 1979."

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        • #5
          I picked up this book from my library with great expectations, since I loved Affirmed. That was 3 weeks ago. I struggled through the first pages the day I picked it up, and it was a painful experience. So many misstatements, and the writing style is repetitive and tortuous. I was hoping that once the background info had been covered and tortured to death, the horse's actual racing history would read better. I may not get that far though.

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          • #6
            Didn't even make it through the first chapter of this one before I got too annoyed/bored with it to continue, and started really pulling for Animal Kingdom to go all the way just because I hoped that he would prove the subtitle "The last Triple Crown winner" wrong...
            Last edited by bdj; Jun. 16, 2011, 01:59 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by LaurieB View Post
              Thanks for the enlightening review. I think I'll skip it.
              Most of the Amazon reviews aren't too glowing either. Pass.

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