Here Comes Exterminator! The Longshot Horse, the Great War, and the Making of an American Hero

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 4/26/2016
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

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The father of the Kentucky Derby called him “the greatest all-around Thoroughbred in American racing history.” Sportswriter Grantland Rice simply called him “the greatest race horse.” Now, Eliza McGraw tells the story of how a gangling, longshot Kentucky Derby winner named Exterminator became one of the most beloved racehorses of all time.

Eliza McGraw's Here Comes Exterminator! draws readers into the Golden Age of Racing, with all its ups and downs, the ever-involving interplay of horses and people, and the beauty, grace, fear, and hope that are a daily part of life at the track. Caught between his hotheaded millionaire owner and his knowledgeable trainer, Exterminator captured fans’ affection with his personality, consistency, athleticism, and heart.

Exterminator’s staggering success would dramatically change the world of horse-racing. He challenged the notion that American horses would never live up to Europe’s meticulously charted bloodlines and became a patriotic icon of the country after World War I. And his longevity established him as one of the public’s most beloved athletes, paving the way for equine celebrities like Seabiscuit and showing Americans they could claim—and love—a famous racehorse as their own.

Author Biography

ELIZA MCGRAW is a contributing writer for EQUUS magazine, an American Horse Publications award winner, and author of two instructional equestrian books. Her horse-related work has appeared in The Chronicle of the Horse, The Blood-Horse, and Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred. She contributes to the New York Times' racing blog, writes a column for Raceday 360, and frequently writes for The Washington Post. She teaches writing at American University and earned degrees in English from Columbia University and Vanderbilt University.

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