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Publisher's Summary

A quarter of a million people braved miserable conditions at Epsom Downs on June 2, 1954, to see the 175th running of the prestigious Derby Stakes. Queen Elizabeth II and Sir Winston Churchill were in attendance, along with thousands of Britons who were all convinced of the unfailing superiority of English bloodstock and eager to see a British colt take the victory. They were shocked when a Kentucky-born chestnut named Never Say Die galloped to a two-length triumph at odds of 33-1, winning Britain's greatest race and beginning an important shift in the world of Thoroughbred racing.
Never Say Die traces the history of this extraordinary colt, beginning with his foaling in Lexington, Kentucky, when a shot of bourbon whiskey revived him and earned him his name. It also tells the stories of the influential individuals brought together by the horse and his victory - from the heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune to the Aga Khan. Most fascinating is the tale of Mona Best of Liverpool, England, whose well-placed bet on the long-shot Derby contender allowed her to open the Casbah Coffee Club. There, her son met musicians John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison and later joined their band.
Featuring a foreword by the original drummer for the Beatles, Pete Best, this remarkable book reveals how an underdog's surprise victory played a part in the formation of the most successful and influential rock band in history and made the Bluegrass region of Kentucky the center of the international Thoroughbred industry.
©2013 The University Press of Kentucky (P)2016 Redwood Audiobooks
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Critic Reviews

"A fascinating historical journey." ( Horse Racing Business)
"Enlightening and entertaining... Nicholson's tale of close connections and global links is a yarn worth following." ( Wall Street Journal)
"The Kentucky Derby, is both entertaining and a significant contribution to the equine literature." ( Ohio Valley History)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Lmaris on 04-12-18

The race is pronounced DAHR-bee!

If one is going to produce a book about a specific race, make sure the reader can pronounce the name of the race. USA races are der-bees, but the race at Epsom is and has always been the DAHR-bee.

Made the book nearly painful to listen to. Still not sure I'm going to finish it.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Cheryl G. on 12-31-17

Thorobred history and more

Really enjoyed this story starting in mid 1800s, covering many subjects from horse breeding, the owners and breeders, the Aga Khan and Muslim history, even the origins of the sewing machine. All the way through the Coolmore-Darley rivalry.

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