Synopses & Reviews
Sham was a horse that seemed destined for greatness. He boasted a winning pedigree, a sleek and muscular frame, experienced trainers, and talented jockeys. Early races validated his potential, as he ran to victories by as many as fifteen lengths. After he defeated the mighty Secretariat in the Wood Memorial, many turf writers were touting Sham as the Kentucky Derby favorite. The stage was set for Sham-mania to sweep the country at a time when the nation needed a hero. But it was Secretariat who won over the nation. Despite impressive victories and record-breaking performances, Sham's popularity paled in comparison. If Secretariat was America's horse, Sham might well have been everyman's horse, a working-class hero who couldn't get the recognition he deserved. This is the other side of the story of Secretariat's famous Triple Crown season and of his remarkable challenger who found that great was only second best.
“Dandrea does an amazing job throughout the book of portraying the emotions of the moment. His extensive research and first-hand accounts of this incredible rivalry allow the story to play out as if it happened yesterday. I recommend even a casual fan of the sport read this book--the story is not only one of two rivals who were the best of their generation, but one of devotion, determination and ambition.”
--Daily Racing News, Ian Clayton
"Phil Dandrea eloquently captures the rivalry that rocked the American horse racing world of 1973."
--Horsemen's Yankee Pedlar, Kate Tully
"The book is a meticulously researched and documented essay on what horse racing in America was like in the early 70s... At its best the Sham book describes vividly the races in which the two stars of the day - Secretariat and Sham - raced against each other... Dandrea takes us into the lives of all the trainers, owners, and jockeys who participated in these historic races. That alone makes this valuable reading..."
--Down The Stretch, Peter Gross
"Even though I knew the outcome Dandrea kept the action interesting and page turner exciting with electrifying race descriptions and colorful quotes from trainers, jockeys and owners."
--The Equiery Library, Kathy Erisman
"With the release of Disney's Secretariat movie, horse lovers are clamoring for more information about one of the greatest horseracing rivalries in history. Focusing on the life of Secretariat's biggest rival Sham, the recently released Sham: Great Was Second Best by author Phil Dandrea is sure to satisfy racing fans' thirst for details about this epic duel. Packed with Thoroughbred racing history and statistics, readers take an in-depth look at the life and career of Sham."
--Paint Horse Journal
About the Author
Phil Dandrea can recall seeing his first Kentucky Derby on TV as a boy, when he watched Riva Ridge take the Run for the Roses in 1972. He has since traveled across the country to see the sport at all levels and from various vantage points, from the box seats at Triple Crown events to the mucked stables behind the scenes. He is a member of both the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the ownership group IEAH Stables, whose colt Big Brown won the Florida Derby, Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Haskell Invitational Handicap. The author resides in Massachusetts.