Books | Sports

April 29, 2008

From Cripple to Workhorse to Legend

Dan Patch's rise to the top of harness racing was stunning and meteoric. Then he was forgotten. A new book restores his name to its rightful place above Seabiscuit's.

Carl Bialik

Sporting greats need biographers to ensure their immortality—particularly when they can't speak. Dan Patch peaked along with his sport, harness racing; he set speed marks that stood for decades; he drew crowds of 100,000 and sponsorship salaries topping $1 million; and his achievements were enhanced by his humble beginnings as a crippled horse who was nearly put down, then put to work. His fame exceeded Seabiscuit's. Yet he's fallen into anonymity.

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- Books
- posted on Apr 30, 08
Nancy C.

I loved this interview and can't wait to read the book. It sounds like it evokes a whole lost era and culture, not just one really charismatic horse.

- Books
- posted on Apr 30, 08
scott green

As a harness racing historian, one who has researched and written an article on Dan Patch. it will be very interesting to compare notes from this book to my work.

I eagerly await it's arrival in my mailbox.

- Books
- posted on Apr 30, 08
Steve W.

I have most of the Dan Patch memorabilia and love the history of this great horse. Its look like Mr. Leerhson has done a great job and can't wait for the book and then the movie!

- Books
- posted on Jun 09, 08
John Phillips

I just reading CRAZY GOOD and it was the most enjoyable read. I am a seventy year old man whose father was born in 1903. I remember many occasions my dad raved about Dan Patch and how much of a hero he was to him when he was a boy. He had a poster of Dan Patch in his room over his father's blacksmith shop in Gainsville, TX during the later part of the great horse's career. After reading your book I have a much better understanding of why my dad was such a hero worshiper of Dan Patch. It must have been a most unique time for a boy. Dad always spoke with humor, fondness, and warmth about his childhood. Horses were a big part of his life as his dad worked with them, shoeing them and repairing harness in the earlier years. Dad's grandfather also live nearby and had a horse barn where Dad had some regular duties that he seemed, in retrospect, to relish. Congratulations on a truly great book.

- Books
- posted on Apr 24, 11
gregg Anderson

It's truly amazing the land since 1916 of the majestic barn of Dan Patch is still
there in outline form....line up the 3 radio towers going north from hwy 13 ..that is the exact location of the
smaller inside track and northward the huge
outside track to the north which almost comes to the minnesota river....from the air you can clearly see the outline of the big track..My dad took me up in his small plane-got some nice photo' can search goggle map and see everything yourself.....

Article by Carl Bialik

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