Victor Plotz has dropped a bundle--his own money and his investment clients'--in the crash of '94, but the man is not without his resources: In a flash, thanks to his influential friend Charlie Bradshaw, he's decked out in a spiffy security- guard's uniform, keeping watch over the paintings decorating a Saratoga horse auction while Paul Butterworth, a bashful new shamus hired by one of his erstwhile clients' lawyers, keeps watch over him. Things seem to be looking up for Vic when he rescues a wealthy breeder from being trampled by an unruly colt and then announces that Fleshpot, a horse just sold for $530,000, has been switched during the disturbance. But they look back down again when his nemesis, Chief Harvey L. Peterson, finds Butterworth's corpse and arrests Vic for murder. Two more murders follow, but the real business here is Vic's who's-got-the-button game with Fleshpot, whom he discovers and then tries to hide--in a pickup truck, in the home of Charlie's girlfriend, Janey Burris, in the honeymoon suite of the local hotel--until he can turn him over for ready cash at a moment when no one will notice, during a parade in Peterson's honor. Right. A pleasant diversion that's no more than a frisky canter around the track for Vic and Charlie (Saratoga Backtalk, 1994, etc.). Sleep well, Dick Francis.