the newest arrivals at Gamblers Book Shop in Las Vegas are Win
Place and Show by Betsy Berns, subtitled An
Introduction to the thrill of Thoroughbred racing (219 pages, paperbound,
$9.95) and Jason Levin's From the Desert to the Derby,
subtitled The Ruling Family of Dubai's Billion-Dollar Quest to Win
America's Greatest Race (210 pages, hardbound, $24.95).
Berns' book could be the best new work for attracting younger players
to the tracks for the first time. The industry was in need of a
reasonably priced introductory text on everything from how to place
a bet and read the Daily Racing Form; the different types of bets
and a lot of stuff the beginner yearns to know but who finds people
have little patience to explain-it's all here.
From the history of the sport to how they're trained; to the types
of races, Berns does a fine job of guiding the novice through it
all. How about the role of the track veterinarian and the man who
calls the races? What do their jobs involve? What are the responsibilities
of the jockey, trainer or owner or racing secretary? What are some
of the great horses of the past? Where are the tracks located and
where could one write, call or e-mail for information? It's all
here with a nice glossary of terms for those who don't understand
the language of the sport. Well-illustrated including some very
funny and to the point cartoons about the sport, it's a wonderful
package of information as a starter kit for the person who has never
been to the track or one who's been there but wants to know more
on their own.
"Can one of the world's richest men buy the Kentucky Derby,"
this book asks in it's dust jacket? An interesting question, considering
the hundreds of millions spent annually each year on Thoroughbred
Clearly, everyone is interested in America's greatest horse race-the
Still hoping for that big day is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum,
a billionaire from oil rich Dubai. Levin, one of the Sport of Kings'
top reporters, tells us how and why this sheikh is going about battling
for power, glory, tradition and the ultimate big win.
This is more than a book about money and egos-it's an inside look
at breeding, training, hard work, timing, skill and the patience
to work with young, often expensive horses-the Big Races like those
of the Breeder's Cup; the Triple Crown; and the biggest European
There is history here-of the people and the great racecourses that
offer color and pageantry-and the numbers are mind-boggling-the
millions spent in anticipation of great bloodlines producing even
greater, more revenue-producing offspring-and the maneuvers and
manipulations of rich, knowledgeable men who are as often wrong