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The Lucky Thirteen

A review of <i>The Lucky Thirteen: The Winners of American's Triple Crown of Horse Racing</i> by Edward L. Bowen

April 03, 2019

Author Edward Bowen reaches the winner’s circle with this thorough, enthralling look at the magnificent horses who have won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. In the history of the Triple Crown, thirteen horses have won all three races.

Veteran turf writer and racing historian Edward Bowen takes readers through the rich history of one of the most formidable and exciting challenges in all of sports. He covers the trainers, owners, and jockeys who etched their name into the annals of thoroughbred racing, and the “lucky thirteen” who captured racing’s most prestigious prize.

The Lucky Thirteen is filled with fascinating facts about the Triple Crown. For example: American Pharoah and Justified are the only two of the thirteen winners still alive; Secretariat holds the stakes record time for each of the three races; the age limit for horses in the Kentucky Derby is three years; and no gelding has ever won the Triple Crown.

Readers will learn about such well-known horses as Whirlaway, Seattle Slew, and Affirmed. Bowen reveals the various racing champions workout regiments, diets, and routines prior to lining up at the gate. Each horse exemplified the highest qualities of speed, stamina, and heart, but each of them had their own character and peculiarities. Beautiful photographs of the horses accompany the stories of the winner’s journey to the Triple Crown.

Bowen’s captivating book brims with history, drama and characters.

Reviewed by Chris Enss, COWGIRL Book Editor, and a New York Times best-selling author who writes about women of the Old West.

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