2018 Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award finalists announced

on 03/14/2019 9:25 AM

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Semifinalists announced for Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award

Six semifinalists for the 13th annual Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award have been selected by a panel of industry judges. A brainchild of the late Dr. Tony Ryan, the competition is open to any literary genre of book length, ranging from fictional story-telling to reality-based journalism. The only stipulations since the award’s 2006 inception have been that entries must have a horse racing premise or backdrop, and that the writing be of the highest quality.

Current entries—books published in 2018—came from across the globe, and represented a diverse assortment of histories, biographies, works of investigative journalism, novels, a short story collection, and a personal journal chronicling a “year in the life.” Submitting authors included three past winners of this award, a highly decorated mystery writer, and noted American and British journalists.

The 2018 winner will once again receive a check for $10,000, with two runners-up awarded $1,000 each. All three finalists will receive Tipperary Irish crystal trophies in the shape of Castleton Lyons’ distinctive fieldstone tower.

A catered invitation-only, drinks and hors d’oeuvres reception announcing the winner is to be held in the historic stallion barn at Shane Ryan’s Castleton Lyons Farm near Lexington, Kentucky, on the evening of April 10.

For additional information, contact Betsy Hager at: (859) 455-9222, or at


Out of the Clouds: The Unlikely Horseman and the Unwanted Colt who Captured the Sport of Kings

Authors:  Linda Carroll and David Rosner​

The inspirational Cinderella story of Stymie, a beloved 1940s racetrack hero who ascended from low-level claiming ranks to championship status—and ultimately into the Racing Hall of Fame. The latest from a pair of award-winning journalists.                                                                                            

Around Kentucky With the Bug!

Author: Patrick Lawrence Gilligan

A trainer and proud father follows his son’s year as an apprentice jockey with insight and humor. A portion of the book’s proceeds benefit disabled jockeys.

Dixie Luck

Author:  Andy Plattner​

Character-driven short stories and a Faulkner-Wisdom gold medal-winning novella by a previous Dr. Ryan Award winner, bring to life the complex and often flawed people who populate a racetrack.

Monsieur X

Author:  Jamie Reid

A William Hill Sports Book of the Year-winning journalist tells the tragic real-life story of a respected French aristocrat and mathematician-turned inveterate gambler, who lost it all in an attempt to beat the system.

Taking Shergar: Thoroughbred Racing’s Most Famous Cold Case

Author: Milton C. Toby

Another former Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award honoree returns with the chilling tale of champion Shergar’s 1983 kidnapping from an Irish stud farm. Though the crime was never officially solved, interesting inroads are made here into likelihoods and possibilities.

A Stone’s Throw

Author: James W. Ziskin​

An award-winning mystery series takes its initial step into the racing world, when an intrepid young reporter investigates an apparent double murder at an abandoned horse farm not far from Saratoga.

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