My Racing Heart

My Racing Heart
The Passionate World of Thoroughbreds and the Track
By Nan Mooney
Published by Harper


When Nan Mooney was seven years old, she sat down in her grandmother May-May's living room to watch her first ever horse race. In that single afternoon, she launched what would become a turbulent romance between a woman and a sport.

My Racing Heart is part memoir, part journey into the compelling world of Thoroughbred horse racing. At its heart is Nan's relationship with her grandmother, an adventurer, racing connoisseur, and woman of courage and compassion. May-May fostered in Nan a love of Thoroughbreds and the track, ushering her into a rare corner of the world where risk taking is daily currency.

Nan thought her emotional link to the races died with May-May, only to have it roar back to life a decade later at New York's Belmont Park. This renewed relationship culminates in a grown-up appreciation for a universe where expectations are constantly defied, and in the realization of a longtime dream -- a trip to the Kentucky Derby.

Far more than just a personal tale, My Racing Heart lets readers in on the wild culture and fabulous creatures that rise up around the racetrack. Nan Mooney probes every aspect of the sport: the horses, jockeys, and trainers, the gambling and corruption, its ages-old history, and its forever offbeat society. She takes readers from the backstretch of a small-town track to the stands at Churchill Downs, from the mind of an intrepid gambler to the soul of a Thoroughbred. She explores how the sport itself, and the men and women who participate in it, flourish upon the principle that there are no sure things.

My Racing Heart will speak to every horse lover, to every sports nut, and to everyone who cherishes the thrill of possibility or has ever craved a place to run wild. This unique and exquisite memoir perfectly captures the lure, the glory, and the heartbeat of the track.

Hardcover | 320 pages | 9780060198534 | April 16, 2002