Better Lucky Than Good Book


Tall Tales and Straight Talk from the Backside of the Track

by Multiple (Author), Joe Manning (Editor)

Grooms, hot walkers, exercise riders, foremen, assistant trainers, jockeys, a clocker, a gap attendant, an outrider, a gate rider, a pony person, a silks seamstress, a chaplaincy associate, a tack and saddle man, a security guard, touts, and more document life on the backside of Churchill Downs racetrack in this wondrous 320 page book.

Categories: , SKU: 10673


Churchill Downs is the epicenter of Kentucky’s equine heritage and the most storied racetrack in the world. More than a thousand workers come to the backside of Churchill Downs on any given day during a meet. Before sunrise, seven days a week, stable hands, hot walkers, grooms, outriders, jockeys, and more tend to the well-being of the horses and the track. Most will never stand in the Winner’s Circle. There could be no Kentucky Derby without their contributions. Better Lucky Than Good is the most caring, in-depth look into the lives and stories of equine workers ever published–and it was written by the people who live and work on the backside of Churchill Downs.

The book’s 32 authors include grooms, hot walkers, exercise riders, a clocker, an outrider, assistant trainers, a jockey, a starting gate crew member, a pony person, a horticulturist, a silks seamstress, shedrow foremen, a tack and saddle man, a security guard, a horse tattooer, trainers, an alcohol and drug abuse counselor, a farm manager, a chaplaincy associate, and many more.

“Every person I know who has ever ‘written a horse book,’ or worked extensively as a journalist covering the world of the track, has at some point had a version of this thought: If somebody would just do a good oral history, interviewing the people who actually work with the horses–the grooms and riders and ferriers and assistant trainers, the folks on the “backside”–it would be worth 10,000 pages of even the best literary description of the sport. Now the Louisville Story Program has done this, and done it beautifully. It’s no exaggeration to say that this book has needed to exist for 200 years.”–John Jeremiah Sullivan, author of Pulphead and Blood Horses

Softcover 310 pages

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