JoBob, 15, having discovered that one of the low-ranked horses at the stable where he works is really a fine animal, has secretly trained him. By the time ""Blue"" reaches the show ring, he belongs to JoBob--who has meanwhile made friends with neighbor Mariko, a Japanese girl who turns out to be a good listener. When JoBob refuses to leave a show to help his rascally father win a rigged, illegal cockfight, his father loses a large sum on his bets. In retaliation, he sells Blue, claiming to act for his son. JoBob is tempted to turn him in, but refrains when his mother points out that he would just be getting even for spite. JoBob's abusive father is such an unrelenting sleaze, his mother so broken down and beige, and his life (except for the horses) so uncompromisingly unpleasant that it is hard to identify with him. He goes through agonies over Blue's loss, yet plans without passion to leave family, school, and Mariko. Replete with details about training and showing horses as well as riding and loving them, this will appeal most to those who--like JoBob--prefer the four-footed crowd.