03/06/2014 6:13PM

Semifinalists named for 2013 Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award


Six semifinalists have been named for the 2013 Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award competition.

Launched in 2006 by the late Dr. Ryan, the award was the industry’s first to honor full-length literary work focusing on horse racing. The winning author receives a $10,000 prize.

The three finalists will be revealed on March 17, and the winner will be announced on April 9 during an invitation-only reception at the Ryan family’s Castleton Lyons farm near Lexington, Ky.

Following is a list of the semifinalists for the 2013 Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award.

"Battleship: A Daring Heiress, A Teenage Jockey, and America’s Horse," by Dorothy Ours
Based in the early decades of the 20th century, Battleship centers on Marion DuPont, her battles against the gender limitations of her time, her marriage to a Hollywood movie star, and the eponymous winner of the 1938 Grand National Steeplechase.

"Casual Lies: A Triple Crown Adventure," by Shelley Lee Riley
The author’s narrative, recounting how her purchase of a $7,500 colt led to $795,991 in career earnings and an unforgettable ride with Casual Lies, who placed in the 1992 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

"Foinavon: The Story of the Grand National’s Biggest Upset," by David Owen
An account of the 1967 Grand National, which was won by the title horse at odds of 100-1, and the “victory tour” that commenced afterward as the horse charmed the British masses.

"Jack: From Grit to Glory, by Chris Kotulak"
The story of Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg, featuring anecdotal material, interviews from those close to the trainer, and stories from Van Berg himself encompassing nearly six decades on the track.

"Other People’s Horses," by Natalie Keller Reinert
The only fiction entry among the finalists. Characters from Reinert’s 2012 novel Head and Not the Heart return to run their stable, battle sexism, deal with a naïve assistant, and tackle problem horses.

"Ride the White Horse: A Checkered Jockey’s Story of Racing, Rage, and Redemption," by Eddie Donnally
The autobiography of a jockey’s life, from rock bottom to redemption, detailing the writer’s struggles with drugs, alcoholism, sex addiction, mental illness and racing scandals.