NEW BOOK ON BATTLESHIP OUT

St. Martin’s Press “Battleship: A Daring Heiress, a Teenage Jockey, and America’s Horse” by Dorothy Ours.

The Rail: The New York Times Horse Racing Blog:

Is there life after college? If the only horse race you watch is the Kentucky Derby, you might not think so.

Developmentally, the beautiful babies who run for the roses every first Saturday in May aren’t grown up enough to be college graduates. The Derby winner is more like the Texas A&M freshman Johnny Manziel, who won the Heisman Trophy, than the N.F.L. rookie Robert Griffin III, who led the Washington Redskins to the playoffs. It’s a mighty difference. Football fans may be passionate about N.C.A.A. honors, but they also recognize that the N.F.L. is a whole other level, with the strongest, most mature athletes in the game. Even the TV ratings reflect this. This past winter, the Alabama-Notre Dame championship game drew a 15.7 percent share of viewers; the Super Bowl drew 48.1.

In thoroughbred racing, the late-autumn Breeders’ Cup World Championships is the sport’s Super Bowl. The Breeders’ Cup Classic, drawing the top older horses along with the best 3-year-olds, is the crown jewel. But TV audiences don’t think so. Last year, the Classic attracted about 3.1 million viewers. The Kentucky Derby snagged 14.8 million.

Do we have it backwards?

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