Competently written, but somewhat lacking in imagination, this is the long story of the rise to fame and subsequent degeneration of a capable, small-town horse trainer. Heavily-laden with California race-track and trainer jargon, the book devotes great attention to racing horses and the way in which a love of them affects trainer, owner, and ignorant observer. Yet, despite the fact that the author is obviously well-versed in the ways and backways of the racetrack and its processes, these are described with a detachment and lack of emotion which approach insensitivity. Nevertheless, the interweaving of cheap side-line romances and gambling intrigues with an acute development of one man's character is deftly achieved. This latter is an outstandingly able man in his field -- the training of race horses --, with a deep love of the animal and rigid sense of professional ethics; but the combination of his deep-rooted inferiority complex and the stubborn and heady nature of the inveterate gambler quickly and effectively put him on the path of dissipated failure -- both emotional and professional. Interesting, and of primary appeal to the race-track enthusiast.