5 out of 5 stars *****
A joy encounter with greatness, I learn about the athletics, friendly temperament, and magnetic pull of the horse with a misspelled name, American Pharoah. Everyone who cares for this Triple Crown Winner falls in love with his personality and grace. Birther, trainer, rider, and owner are characters who reveal magnificence when they describe the journey of the foal, colt, pony, horse. Bob Baffert, the trainer, tells how easy his favorite horse makes winning.
Baffert is modest in giving the horse all the credit even though he claims American Pharoah is built for speed and hardly needs any prodding to kick into high gear. The trainer discovers early on that this horse becomes unsettled by loud noise and disruption in his normal routine. Baffert puts earplugs in the young horse's ears for a while while training him and American Pharoah overcomes the impediment that would make him inconsistent and prone to injury by being overwrought.
The colorful world of the oldest sport in America unfolds in this book with its accounts of the big money, international players, and bigger-than-life personalities unafraid to show their emotions for the people and animals that become significant parts of their lives. A deep appreciation for the work ethic, devotion, and humanity that goes into horse racing is with what I come away.
I finish this book the day after Bob Baffert accomplishes the feat that eludes him by a nose more than once, once more. Another Baffert trained horse, Justify, wins the Triple Crown for 2018. I, now, feel part of his story thanks to Joe Drape's professional, engaging abilities as an author and Aaron Abano's excellent narration.