Broken: The Suspicious Death of Alydar and the End of Horse Racing’s Golden Age
by Fred M. Kray
Genre: Nonfiction / Sports / True Crime
Print Length: 374 pages
Reviewed by Akram Herrak
The investigation and epic saga of one of the most famous racing horses in history
When I think of sports legends of the 20th century, an animal doesn’t usually cross my mind. But Fred M. Kray has changed that with Broken: The Suspicious Death of Alydar and the End of Horse Racing’s Golden Age.
This investigative book reveals details and little secrets of the horse racing world while focusing on one special horse that those who knew him would not forget. Alydar was named after a prince, and he was seen as one.
Broken starts the saga with its unfortunate ending, describing the tragic incident that brought Alydar’s career to an end. Declared as an accident, suspicions rose around a horse that was the fame and pride of the horse racing world. Alydar was insured for 41.5 million dollars, and whoever had some kind of ownership was paid out. But the case remained anything but closed in the eyes of the public.
This book reads as part investigation, diving into the details of the few days that followed Alydar’s incident through the eyes of the people that were involved. This makes Broken feel as exciting as a legal thriller, allowing us to closely look at the scene and come to realize that something is definitely off here.
It may reveal all that is known about the case but not without first painting the full picture of Alydar’s impact on the sport and on those who knew him. This helps those who are coming in cold to horse racing or the infamous galloping Alydar. From his birth to his rise to the top of the horse racing world, it gives us a sharp view on him, his competition, and the championships he would go on to win.
Broken may be a must-read for fans of horse racing, but it is also extremely accessible to those interested in history, mystery, and true crime without prior knowledge of the sport or its players. It reveals an intriguing world filled with secrets and thrills, and it makes a hero of its subject even if he already was one. Telling Alydar’s saga as if he were a Greek demigod, this book allows you to race your way up to the top with him, however conscious you are of it soon coming to a tragic end.
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