THE RUNNING HORSES by Fred Grove

THE RUNNING HORSES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Lee Banner, a middle-aging Oklahoma rancher, had a shot at the All-American Futurity before his superb Land Rush, a black stallion, was injured in the mud at Blue Ribbon Downs. Now Lee has the two-year-old filly Cindy as his big bet. But early one morning a small plane tries to land in his pasture, wrecks itself, and its two occupants turn out to be well-stocked dope smugglers--and when Lee insists on testifying against them (refusing a big bribe from a hood and pleas from his wife Serena), his dog and Land Rush are murdered. (The smugglers jump bail anyway.) There's trouble for Lee, too, from a millionaire drunk-lecher who's determined to have his stable win the Futurity. . . no matter what. So just before the big race Cindy is kidnapped, and Lee's regular jockey is beaten and hospitalized. Finally, it turns out that the smugglers want to sell Cindy to a Mexican rancher (she's a dark horse but sure winner down there), but Lee and the cops recover her during a big shootout, and Cindy goes on to win the cup. Okay racetrack backgrounds, but most of the rest--especially the stereotype bad guys--is weak U.S.-imitation Dick Francis.

Pub Date: Oct. 10th, 1980
Publisher: Doubleday