Ruffian: A Racetrack Romance

By William Nack

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"As a young boy in Illinois, William Nack carried in his pocket a trading card of his hero, Swaps, winner of the 1955 Kentucky Derby. As a young an adult, he climbed on a table at an office party and rattled off from memory the names of every horse who had ever won America's premiere race. Newsday promptly promoted him to the paper's turfbeat. Weeks later, Nack began an unprecedented streak of good fortune at Belmont Racetrack. He met a young colt named Secretariat and found himself writing an equine biography, 'the gold standard of horse books,' according to Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand.

"Upon publication, Nack returned to the track to meet Ruffian, a daring filly who endeared herself to a generation of fathers and daughters with a magnificently inspiring, ten-race winning streak. On July 6, 1975, she was leading the colt Foolish Pleasure in a nationally-televised match race when her luck ran out. She shattered her ankle and had to be taken from the track by ambulance. After a heroic attempt to mend her leg with surgery, Ruffian was put down later that evening. In this moving, lyrical memoir, Nack chronicles his real-life romance with the sport's most famous filly and the tragic afternoon that forever changed his love affair with the track."

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