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“American Pharoah” Book Signing with Joe Drape
May 3, 2016 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pmFree and open to the public
21c Museum Hotel Louisville is proud to present an evening with New York Times reporter and author Joe Drape in celebration of his work, American Pharoah: The Untold Story of the Triple Crown Winner’s Legendary Rise. Join us in the lower level for a Q&A with the author, followed by book signing and drinks at the cash bar. Books will be available for purchase courtesy of Carmichael’s Bookstore.
History was made on June 6, 2015, when a muscled bay colt rolled out of the far turn and squared his shoulders to let his rider, Victor Espinoza, stare down the long, withering stretch of Belmont Park. A sense of inevitability surged through the mammoth old grandstand as the fans in the capacity crowd strained on the tips of their toes before letting out a roar from deep in their souls. The 37-year search for a Triple Crown winner was over. His name was American Pharoah. The colt affirmed the prophecy of Frances Relihan, an Irish horsewoman who cared for him as a baby in the bluegrass of Kentucky where dreamers and schemers match wits and pedigrees in the pursuit of building a perfect racehorse. She was the first to recognize the spirit of a champion in him. American Pharoah brought redemption to his flamboyant owner, Ahmed Zayat, whose stable was bankrupt and honor publicly questioned before the colt come along and restored his fortune and reputation. The rare talent forced his Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert take stock of a life and career that was as notorious for its controversies as his many successes in a way that a recent near-fatal heart attack and the deaths of his parents had not. Finally, for his jockey Espinoza, a generous and sensitive soul who perhaps appreciated the colt most, American Pharoah galloped him into the history books. From American Pharoah’s modest beginnings in the Bluegrass State to his ultimate triumph in the Empire State, Joe Drape explores how the battered, old sport of horse racing found an immortal Thoroughbred, one worthy to stand alongside Sir Barton and Assault, War Admiral and Whirlaway, Citation and Secretariat, as only the 12th Triple Crown champion in history. Drape chronicles how a gifted horse named American Pharoah dropped in the laps of a group of very human horse people and, as he ran to glory, taught them all humility.
About the author
Joe Drape is a reporter for The New York Times who has covered thoroughbred racing for nearly two decades. He is a two-time winner of the Eclipse Award for outstanding coverage of horse racing. His book, “Black Maestro: The Epic Life of an American Legend,” is a biography of Jimmy Winkfield, the last African American jockey to win the Kentucky Derby. It was awarded the inaugural winner of the Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award, given annually to a work that contributes to the literature surrounding thoroughbreds. In 2012, he co-authored The New York Times series Breakdown: Death & Disarray at American Racetracks that prompted widespread reform in drug rules and penalties and won several prizes for investigative journalism. Its companion documentary was nominated for an Emmy Award.
He is the author six books, including the NYT Bestseller “Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen.