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Two Days Until Race Day

The Belmont Stakes is coming up this weekend, and we’re all wondering the same thing. Will California Chrome win the Triple Crown? If California Chrome succeeds, he will be the first horse since 1978 and the 12th in American thoroughbred racing history to win the coveted honor. Many fans know the history of the successful, as well as the failed, attempts at the Triple Crown. But what about the history of the sport as a whole? Where and how did American thoroughbred racing begin?

ImageWe know you wish you could fast-forward to know whether California Chrome will pull off the win. But while you wait, become acquainted with the roots of horse racing in New York with The Sport of Kings and the Kings of Crime: Horse Racing, Politics, and Organized Crime in New York, 1865-1913 by Steven A. Reiss.

Reiss explores the beginnings of horse racing through a detailed look into New York’s role as the sport’s capital in the early years of the industry. Examining the connections between horse racing, politics, organized crime, and gambling, Reiss offers a comprehensive account of one of America’s earliest major sports.

Whether or not California Chrome creates history at Belmont, The Sport of Kings and the Kings of Crime will give you a new appreciation for thoroughbred racing.

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