Spectacular Bid: The Last Superhorse of the Twentieth Century

Spectacular Bid book coverA safety pin was all that kept Spectacular Bid from becoming the 11th horse to take the Triple Crown in 1979. This book examines Spectacular Bid from his humble beginnings—born in a mud puddle on a horse farm in Versailles, Ky.—to becoming one of the greatest American racehorses.

On the morning of the 1979 Belmont Stakes, Spectacular Bid stepped on a safety pin in his stall, injuring his foot. He had won the first two races—the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes—but finished third in the Belmont Stakes, most likely due to his injury.

But that loss did not deter him from becoming one of horse racing’s greatest competitors. After taking two months to recover, the battleship gray colt went on to win 26 of 30 races during his career.

He was voted the 10th greatest Thoroughbred of the 20th century according to Blood-Horse magazine, and A Century of Champions places him ninth in the world and third among North American horses—even ahead of the immortal Man o’ War.

This biography tells the story of the colorful characters surrounding the champion—including Bud Delp, the brash and cocky trainer who was distrustful of the Kentucky establishment, and Ron Franklin, the 19-year-old jockey who buckled under the stress and pressure associated with fame—and how they witnessed the splendor and triumphs of Spectacular Bid. This is an encompassing look into the legacy of one of horseracing’s true champions.

The Death and Life of Mal Evans: A Novel

Mal Evans coverFormer Beatle roadie Mal Evans lies in a Los Angeles apartment in January 1976, dying of a gunshot wound. His life has spiraled downward since his beloved band broke up in 1970 – failed job opportunities, drug abuse and a pending divorce. And throughout those six years, as he fell further into despair, he has always asked himself:

What if?

What if he could have done something to keep the Beatles, and his life, together?

Instead of dying, Mal finds himself transported back to 1969. The war in Vietnam is coming to a boil, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” is in theaters, and the Beatles are still together. He has an opportunity to right the wrongs that ripped apart the world’s greatest band.

While he succeeds in keeping the band together, helping to create new Beatles albums for the world to hear (“Imagine” and “Live and Let Die” are Beatles songs!), he finds that fate is plotting to reverse his world. Paul and John quarrel constantly; George is consumed by self-doubt; Ringo has trouble living up to the Beatle name.

And Mal, in the middle of it all, must work to keep the fantasy alive, trying to avoid the same mistakes he made the first time while avoiding the grasp of Death, which continues to pursue him in his new life.

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