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Dr. Fager: Thoroughbred Legends, by Steve Haskin

February 10, 2011

The Thoroughbred Legends series books are biographies of the twenty-four greatest thoroughbred racehorses of our time, including Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed and Alydar. The book I have is Thoroughbred Legends #2: Dr. Fager: Thoroughbred Legends, by Steve Haskin, copyright 2000, First Edition: April 2000. The cover is navy blue linen (a lot darker blue than the photo below) with gold title and a sepia-toned photograph of Dr. Fager full stride.

In 1968, Dr. Fager accomplished what many believe to be the single greatest season by any horse in the history of the sport. Versatile and talented, he was 1968’s Horse of the Year, champion handicap horse, champion sprinter, and co-champion grass horse, the first and only horse to win these four titles in one year. He remains one of the most popular racehorses of all time.

Author Steve Haskin recounts Dr. Fager’s most memorable exploits: his world-record mile of 1:32 1/5, under 134 pounds, which lasted 29 years; his seven furlong track record of 1:20 1/5 at Aqueduct, under a staggering 139 pounds, which lasted 31 years; and his equaling of the track record in the Suburban Handicap at Aqueduct for one and a quarter miles under 132 pounds.

Nicknamed the “Doc,” Dr. Fager was ranked No. 6 in The Blood-Horse magazine’s list of the Top 100 Racehorses of 20th Century.

My book has a lot of great photos of his career, and it also has some very minimal underlining, in red pen, on some of the pages. It remains a really clean and crisp copy, still very readable.

The critics have only the best to say about this story:

“Outstanding. A remarkable horse and a remarkable story. Memorable brilliance and versatility come to life again in the pages of Steve Haskin’s Dr. Fager. A Beautiful tribute to a remarkable colt.”
— Joe Hirsch, Daily Racing Form

“Steve Haskin, one of our most gifted racing writers, has done it again with a thrilling story of the life and times of the great Dr. Fager. A classic.”
— Joe Durso, The New York Times

In case you’d like to see Dr. Fager in a race, here’s his 1968 historic world-record setting mile, a record which stood for 29 years.

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2 Comments
  1. One additional fact: Dr. Fager was trained by Racing Hall of Famer John Nerud, and he was named for the Boston brain surgeon Dr. Charles Fager, who saved Nerud’s life with two operations after Nerud suffered a serious fall from his pony.

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  1. Another List of Books on Horse Racing and Horses: The Thoroughbred Heritage Bibliography « Post Positions

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