Eleven Furlongs ISBN: 9781732544123 a mystery assumed published, copyright and written by Tyler M. Mathis.
This is a story of horse racing in the earlier, less controlled days when the jockeys’ pre-race assembly room was a little less strictly controlled, jockey were perhaps a little less restrained, ‘doping’ of horses was more easily accomplished, as was ‘fixing’ of races and the greater prevalence of jockeys who were easily persuaded to change the outcome of a race for a quietly, and secretly delivered bit of cash The story teller is one of these freewheeling athletes who has more than his share of natural ability, but unfortunately is easily led astray. He now is a dying priest telling his true story and how his final race participation was in the first American race with participation by foreign thoroughbreds and run on turf rather than dirt and was probably the most highly ‘fixed’ race in history.
Discussion: The author has presented a horse racing story that brings back memories to any reader old enough to have participated in any phase of the sport and a fascinating explanation of various aspects of the sport to the un- or slightly initiated reader. It is a story set in an earlier time (roughly 1940’s to 1950’s) when the sport was slightly less rigidly monitored. The jockeys perhaps were a little less self-controlled than today as it seems were the persons responsible for running the events. In summary, a most interesting read that this reviewer regrettably believes a little judicious editing, especially of the final quarter of the book would greatly have enhanced its enjoyment.
4* 5* story; -1* as explained.