RIDING FOR MY LIFE by Julie Krone

RIDING FOR MY LIFE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Top jockey Krone's memoir might better be titled ``Everything I Need to Know I Learned at the Racetrack.'' Krone, 31, is the ``winningest female jockey'' ever--and one of the winningest jockeys, period. She (with Richardson, coauthor of Feel No Fear, 1994) opens dramatically with her ankle-crushing fall at Saratoga in 1993, right on the heels of her greatest triumph, at the Belmont Stakes, where she became the first woman to win a Triple Crown race. Her spritely nature comes through in this honest--maybe too honest--book, but so does a huge dose of sentimentality. We learn of her gratitude to and love for all the friends and professionals, from trainer John Forbes to jockey Mike Smith, who have taught her love, loyalty, sacrifice, and what it means to be a jockey. This saccharine quality, a kind of naive openness, comes through even as she relates her many adversities- -her parents' divorce when she was 13, teenage loneliness, her mother's bout with ovarian cancer, and the trial of being a woman in a man's sport. A rare exception is the rousing chapter in which she relates her physical battles with male colleagues who use their whips as offensive weapons--like Miguel Rujano, who whips her across the face after she wins a race. One can't help regretting the lesson she learned from the Monmouth Park steward, who told her to act like ``a lady'' at the track. Ultimately, the book's only intersting lesson is how she learned to win a race--how she strategizes and gets to know the personality of each of her mounts. Here she illuminates the unique quality of horse racing: the woman/horse bond, the melding of talents that wins the race. Much of this book could be the autobiography of any young woman. It's Krone's passion for riding that distinguishes her--she should stick to the horsey stuff.

Pub Date: May 5th, 1995
ISBN: 0-316-50477-7
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1995




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