Synopses & Reviews
What does it take to win the Kentucky Derby? The breeder of the 2001 Derby winner shows us that while a fast horse is necessary, a sense of humor and a boundless capacity for absurdity and humiliation are absolutely essential.
When Jim Squires set up shop as a horse breeder in the bluegrass country of Kentucky, no one held out much hope for him making a living at it. As the editor of the Chicago Tribune, Squires had overseen a staff that won seven Pulitzer Prizes in eight years, but that wasn't enough to save his job in a management shakeup. Consoled by a hefty severance payment, he decided to take up professionally what had been a passion of his for twenty years: raising horses. Squires had successfully raised championship reiners, cutters, jumpers, and other equine athletes, but now he was heading to thoroughbred country.
Horse of a Different Color is Squires' rollicking tale of how a novice in the world of Kentucky horse culture did more than merely stay in business; he brought together the stallion and mare who would produce the winner of the most famous race of all, the Kentucky Derby. And at the center of all the commotion is that remarkable horse, Monarchos, the gray colt blessed with extraordinary speed and the making of a hero.
"[A] funny, occasionally biting tour of the thoroughbred industry...a rollicking primer for the layman....The book's greatest strength is Squires' voice." Chicago Tribune
"Like so many of the blueblooded beasts he writes about, Squires' new book is a winner." Bookpage
"Squires makes Monarchos' dramatic ascent to the pinnacle of his sport a ride we can share, just as he did. It's a ride most racing fans won't want to miss." Dennis Dodge, Booklist
"Squires has written a superb book that provides the ultimate insider's view of big-time racing." Rocky Mountain News
"[F]ast paced and fun to read. It will appeal not only to horseracing fans but also to people making midlife career changes." Library Journal
"[O]ffers insight into the strange world of thoroughbred breeding and racing....[A]n entertaining book." Orlando Sentinel
"[A] thrilling end....Squires has the gift for good, toothsome storytelling....A promising start, muddled middle, and heart-pounding finish." Kirkus Reviews
Everybody in the thoroughbred horse business wants to win the Kentucky Derby, but the odds on making it to the winner's circle at Churchill Downs are about 35,000-to-1. How did a former Chicago newspaper editor bring together the stallion and mare and breed the winner of the world's most famous and important horserace?
Jim Squires's Horse of a Different Color tells the story of his wild ride from absurdity to glory at the pinnacle of horseracing success alongside Monarchos, the charismatic gray colt blessed with the extraordinary speed, poise, and stamina necessary to carry his motley band of human handlers to the highest level of their profession.
Squires takes you on an exciting journey through the close-knit and secretive world of horse breeders, buyers, sellers, owners, and trainers. And his hilarious tour of racehorse culture ends with a blazing sprint down the homestretch of the second fastest Derby in history in the company of a crowd of Kentuckians driven mad with "Derby Fever."
Jim Squires's rollicking look at the pomp, arrogance, passion, and avarice that drive both man and horse in "the most exciting two minutes in sports"the Kentucky Derby
About the Author
James D. Squires has been breeding and raising horses in Kentucky since 1990. From 1981 to 1989 he was the editor of the Chicago Tribune, having previously been the paper's Washington bureau chief and the editor of the Orlando Sentinel. He is the author of two previous nonfiction books. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Squires lives with his wife Mary Anne at Two Bucks Farm in Versailles, Kentucky.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Breeding Success 1
Part 2 Saving Monarchos 55
Part 3 Derby Fever 115
Part 4 Monarchos Rules 189
About the Author 301