Jack Engelhard’s classic “The Horsemen” was first published (hardcover/Regnery) in 1974, the year after Secretariat won the Triple Crown. “The Horsemen” was the first book to go behind the scenes and into the backstretch to explore the real people, the real action as it traced jockey Walter Blum’s quest for 4,000 wins at Monmouth Park. A reviewer for a bloodlines publication (The Thoroughbred Record) exclaimed, “Race-trackers at long last have a laureate.”
“The Horsemen” was excerpted Front Page Sports, Sunday, January 26, 1975, The New York Times. In making the book available through Kindle, 2012, legendary novelist Jack Engelhard made no changes, no “updates” to this 1974 classic in order to retain the work’s integrity.
From New York Post’s racing columnist Ray Kerrison, writing for The National Star (November, 1974)
BET ON IT! THIS IS WHAT RACING IS ALL ABOUT
In the summer of ’73, at Monmouth Park down on the New Jersey shore, Walter Blum became the sixth jockey in American turf history to win 4,000 races. After 20 years of riding, he joined a select group of Eddie Arcaro, Bill Shoemaker, Johnny Longden, Steve Brooks and Bill Hartack.
Although duly logged and reported, Blum’s extraordinary feat of skill and durability was neither acclaimed nor celebrated nationally as it deserved. One reason for this omission might be that 1973 was also the spring and summer and fall of Secretariat, who diminished everything and everybody on the track.
This month – a year after the event – Blum finally gets his due. He is the star of a book, “The Horsemen,” written by Jack Engelhard and published by Henry Regnery (Chicago). If you love racing, you owe it to yourself to get your hands on it…it may be the best, sharpest, most vivid portrait of life around the racetrack ever written.
Engelhard’s book explores the people and drama in racing from backstretch to clubhouse. More than the story of a single jockey, “The Horsemen” is crowded with personalities, from grooms to jockey agents. The book throbs with the hustle and bustle of the barn, the rivalries, the hunger, ambition, success, failure, loyalties and betrayals of racing’s subterranean culture. It is spliced with character sketches and blunt talk from hard-nosed horsemen.
“The Horsemen” should be compulsory reading…Ray Kerrison
FROM THE THOROUGHBRED RECORD…Luke Daniels
On every page, we find ourselves saying, “That’s exactly how it is.” Jack Engelhard has found the medium which does justice to the backstretch. Either by virtue of applying journalistic technique or by virtue of special adeptness, or both, the backstretch is now “done.” And race-trackers at long last have a laureate.
In “The Horsemen,” Jack Engelhard takes the reader into that “other world of Thoroughbred racing,” revealing the true picture of how the people involved in this great sport work and live. From cover to cover, “The Horsemen” is a compelling narrative based on a week at Monmouth Park during which one of the nation’s top jockeys – Walter Blum – won his 4,000th race…a fascinating account of the s
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