In a Class By Himself
By Phil Georgeff
"Not until you saw him on race day dressed for equine warfare -- neck proudly arched and head regally bowed in that personal trademark canter of his own creation, then exploding full tilt from the gate with a magisterial will-to-win dynamism borne of innate nobility -- only then did Citation begin to suggest what he truly was: ‘The Greatest Thoroughbred Who Ever Lived!’"
If there existed a "Who’s Who" of Thoroughbred racing, horse legend Citation would undoubtedly be given top billing. His unbeatable speed and staying power carried him to glorious triumphs at the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont in 1948, awarding him the Triple Crown; an achievement that would not be seen again until Secreteriat twenty-five years later. At the end of his magnificent career in 1951, Citation was credited as being horse racing’s first and only racehorse whose career earnings exceeded one million dollars.
Author Phil Georgeff, the man who owns the Guinness World Record for calling the most horse races in history with 96,131, weaves an intricate story of the famed Thoroughbred in CITATION. Based on interviews from those who knew the horse, including famed jockey Eddie Arcaro, CITATION reveals the true personality of the colt, from birth through his career.
Georgeff’s words come alive in his description of the animal/athlete often referred to as "half human, half horse." He offers a glimpse into the lives of all who were involved with the him: owners Warren and Lucille Wright, jockey Al Snider, trainer "Sunny" Jim Fitzsimmons, and trainer "Canny" Max Hirsch to name a few. Citation’s remarkable story is bursting with heroism, as the young horse overcame osslets and tendon problems at age four to continue racing. In fact, it was at the insistence of Wright, his owner, that Citation not be retired but forced to race for two more years to achieve unprecedented earnings and success. Georgeff’s probing search into those tragic years when "our hero" suffered the pains and anguish brought on by human error is unmatched in the world of horse racing. Although facing disappointing losses towards the end of his career, Citation’s resolve and determination kept him going to win the Hollywood Gold Cup?the race that would ensure his millionaire status.
CITATION details the life of the greatest champion in the history of horse racing;a horse whose story continues to captivate the American public and racing fans alike. If you liked Seabiscuit, you’ll love CITATION!
Phil Georgeff is the author of And They’re Off! (Taylor Trade 0878332642), as well as two other novels on horse racing. He spent thirty-four years as a racing announcer. He resides in Fairhope, Alabama.