The Horse God Built
Secretariat, His Groom, Their LegacyBook - 2006
Most of us know the legend of Secretariat, the tall, handsome chestnut racehorsewhose string of honours runs long and rich: the only two-year-old ever towin Horse of the Year, in 1972; winner in 1973 of the Triple Crown, his times inall three races still untouched; featured on the cover of Time, Newsweek andSports Illustrated; the only horse listed on ESPN's top 50 athletes of the 20th century.His final race at Toronto's Woodbine Racetrack is a touchstone memory forhorse lovers everywhere. Yet while Secretariat will forever be remembered, oneman who was pivotal to the great horse's success has been all but forgotten--untilnow. In The Horse God Built, bestselling equestrian writer Lawrence Scanlan haswritten a tribute to an exceptional man that is also a backroads journey through acorner of the racing world seldom visited.
As Secretariat's groom, Edward"Shorty" Sweat had far more contact with the horse than anyone, and no one understoodhim better. Travelling through the American South, hanging about the tracksand the barns of thoroughbred racing, Scanlan reveals a skilled and much lovedblack man of the old South, who had a consuming fatherly passion and dedicationto "his" horse. We see the racing world through the eyes of a man who died in poverty,his standing-room-only funeral packed with friends and family--yet unattendedby the other principals in Secretariat's life. We hear colourful backstretch anecdotesabout Eddie and Secretariat from coworkers, jockeys, trainers and owners, allcontributing not just to one man's story, but to a portrait of a powerful bond betweenhuman and horse.