This flight over racing's...the course of a drunken crow."" And it is erratic but ecstatic, flashing back through the centuries for a look at Eclipse, ""direct forebear of 90% of the race horses on earth today,"" and back to today to judge one of his great great etc. grandsons such as Man O'War, Exterminator or Kelso. From the slovenly Duke of Cumberland who initiated racing as a sport and developed selective breeding to the American dentist who thought up the racetrack to Louis B. Mayer, one of Hollywood's racing czars, this is an anecdotal, entertaining history of the 300 years the sport of kings has reigned. Mr. alexander, writer, and columnist for the New York Herald Tribune and the Thoroughbred Record, has followed the track for 50 years and much of the book is based on his personal recollections. These come complete with Runyonesque characters and incidents and are touching-- the day a crippled horse named Citation with a crippled jockey won immortality as well as a race; funny-- Kelso's chocolate sundae habit, and ironic--the bricklayer who threw in the trowel, took up horses and died a millionaire vs. the Senator who literally lost his shirt. Heroes and horses, sweat and silks, jockeys and giants...Alexander captures them in style. One wreath of red roses coming up.