on 03/27/2017 12:30 PM

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2016 Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award

Finalists Announced


   In a year of unprecedented quality in addition to quantity, the three finalists for the 11th annual Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award showcase a pair of handsomely researched histories and a top-notch work of photo-journalism. A near-record number of submissions were received for the 2016 competition, many penned by authors well-known both in and outside of racing. Finalist selections span nearly 150 years of the Sport of Kings? glorious past and include the tale of an early 20th century champion; the story of a long ago match race; and a pictorial tribute to more recent champions.


  Launched in 2006 by the late Dr. Tony Ryan, the Award annually recognizes the best book published in the previous year, focusing on any aspect of Thoroughbred racing. A $10,000 winner?s prize is offered, along with $1,000 to each of two finalists, while all three receive Tipperary crystal statuettes of Castleton Lyon?s iconic stone tower.


The 2016 winner will be announced during a by-invitation reception at the Ryan family?s Castleton Lyons farm near Lexington on the evening of April 20. For further information, contact Betsy Hager at: (859) 455-9222 or at



(Alphabetical by Title)

 Here Comes Exterminator! The Longshot Horse, the Great War, and the Making of an American Hero

Author: Eliza McGraw

 The story of one of racing?s beloved celebrities, 1918 Kentucky Derby winner Exterminator. "Old Bones,? as he was fondly known, was all heart, with legs of iron, winning 50 races during a long career?often under crushing weights unheard of today?while becoming a sporting megastar. The gangly gelding owned America?s collective heart from the closing months of World War I into the Roaring Twenties.

 Old and New Friends

Author: Barbara D. Livingston

 In this latest by Thoroughbred racing?s premier photographer, Livingston chronicles the lives of 100 retired racehorses, including fan favorites from American Pharoah to Xtra Heat. Filled with lush color photography snapped by the multi-Eclipse Award winner, the volume also includes the author?s written first-person experiences with these extraordinary animals.                                                                                                                        

The Great Sweepstakes of 1877: A True Story of Southern Grit, Gilded Age Tycoons, and a Race That Galvanized the Nation

Author: Mark Shrager

 America?s divisive post-Civil War era is brought vividly to life here, culminating in an afternoon 140 years ago when Congress adjourned to attend a horse race. It was an event for the ages, a North vs. South match-up between a trio of future Hall of Fame Thoroughbreds, with ramifications far exceeding that particular day, time, and place.  

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