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Editorial Reviews

You’ve likely seen footage of Triple Crown champion Secretariat’s remarkable racing career, and Grover Gardner brings us even closer to the track in his narration of William Nack’s enthralling investigation of the life and career of the champion thoroughbred first published in 1975. Gardner’s deep and robust voice heightens the intensity of those scenes when Secretariat bounds full throttle towards the finish line. Although aware of the outcome already, the suspense and excitement of the competition build all the same throughout this performance.

Following a record-shattering win at the Belmont Stakes in 1973, American thoroughbred racehorse Secretariat (fondly nicknamed “Big Red” by his fanbase) became the first Triple Crown winner in over a quarter-century. His performance has since been unmatched by any other competitor today. Secretariat charts the horse’s career from his calculated birth to his achieving the Triple Crown. Nack traces Secretariat’s lineage, studying his breeding and ownership by two families — the Chenerys of Meadow Farm in Caroline County, Virginia, and the Hancocks of Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky. These individuals involved in Secretariat’s victory make up a fascinating piece of his history and upbringing.

While horse lovers will thoroughly enjoy Secretariat, fans of investigative biographies and suspenseful narratives will devour Gardner’s rendition of this powerful athlete’s success story. The politics of the Triple Crown make for an intriguing sidebar to this story. Gardner plunges into Secretariat’s competitions with enthusiasm, and his smooth southern accent offers a pleasant reprieve from each pulse-pounding race. Secretariat triumphs in its depiction of horse racing and in moments of quiet investigation. —Suzanne Day

Publisher's Summary

In 1973, Secretariat, the greatest champion in horse-racing history, won the Triple Crown. The only horse to ever grace the covers of Time, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated in the same week, he also still holds the record for the fastest times in both the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes. He was also the only non-human chosen as one of ESPN's "50 Greatest Athletes of the Century". The tale of "Big Red" is an enduring and inspiring classic, more than 30 years after its initial publication.

©1975 William Nack. New Preface copyright 2010 by William Nack (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Secretariat is an elegantly crafted, exhilarating tale of speed and power, grace and greatness, told with such immediacy that the reader is lost in the rush of horses and the clatter and ring of the grandstand." (Laura Hillenbrand, best-selling author of Seabiscuit)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    177
  • 4 Stars
    110
  • 3 Stars
    49
  • 2 Stars
    18
  • 1 Stars
    20

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    164
  • 4 Stars
    90
  • 3 Stars
    28
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    10

Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    158
  • 4 Stars
    80
  • 3 Stars
    36
  • 2 Stars
    20
  • 1 Stars
    13
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Loved it!!!!!

Loved it! Great story and very informational. I know I will be reading this over and over again!!!! Well worth it!!!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
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Not Seabiscuit

The story was interesting, but was overwhelmed with detail like a horse breeders manual. Definitely not written with the average person in mind, but as a tribute to the horse communicate.

Again, too many details (is that too many details?). I expected this to be like Seabiscuit...it wasn't. It lacked the same drama and storyline.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Thomas
  • Colorado, USA
  • 08-26-14

Deservedly very popular horse reacing book!

Any fan of thoroughbred horse racing will love this book. This is a very popular book on horse racing, and deservedly so. Few books describe a horse race so vividly, no others so beautifully.

This book will tell you everything about Secretariat, something about the history of thoroughbred racing in American, and much about his owner/breeder, his trainer and his jockey.

If you are even a casual fan of horse racing you will enjoy this book. Don't shy away because you think it will be dry, or that it might contain too much history that you won't like. It is beautifully written, and very well narrated.

This edition contains an epilog read by William Nack himself.

  • Overall
  • Performance
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Not Very Thrilling. Somewhat Interesting

As opposed to the movie based on this book, the text just drones on and on and on... and on. I really enjoyed the movie and figured I would really enjoy the book, but this wasn't the case. It is a GOOD book, don't get me wrong there, but it is more "the facts behind the story" type book. If your looking for a book about the excitement of horse racing, go somewhere else. If your looking for a book about bloodlines, animal husbandry, and family business, go ahead, waste your money.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Boring Narrator

The audiobooks I've listened to in the past have had wonderful narrators that did at least a dozen different character voices. They bring the book to life.

This narrator does not do that. His voice is not suited for story-telling. He would do well at the news or even better yet at time and temperature.

I'm having a hard time "getting into the book" and even just paying attention.

6 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Nothing like the movie, boring.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Cut the horse bloodlines and family history since the 1800s

Would you ever listen to anything by William Nack again?

No

What three words best describe Grover Gardner’s performance?

Made a very boring boo the best it could be.

What character would you cut from Secretariat?

They probably were all necessary.

Any additional comments?

Unless you are a historian for the bloodlines of race horses, the first 4-5 chapters will put you to sleep as they did me. Then the family history back many generations I don't think was necessary. Loved the movie, the book NO. Boring and will return the book.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Great book for equine pedigree historian

What disappointed you about Secretariat?

If you're not interested in the bloodlines of race horses in America during the 20th century, this book has little to offer. Perhaps it becomes more engaging but I gave up after several chapters.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Cindy
  • Bend, OR, United States
  • 06-11-11

Secretariat

The most boring audio book ever!! A waste of money!! Didn't even finish listening too it.. Was very disappointing after a wonderful movie... Giving it a 1 star because I have to rate something..A big 0 in my book!

3 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Cynthia
  • Annapolis Royal, NS, Canada
  • 06-29-14

needs a major edit

Long, boring and very redundant, Good (short) story buried under tedious details which would have worked better as an appendix.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful