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The Only Sure Thing at Saratoga is an Upset

Lexington, KY (May 24, 2002) Eclipse Press announces the publication of Graveyard of Champions: Saratoga’s Fallen Favorites.

Man o’ War lost there. So did Secretariat. And so have a host of other champions who seemed a “sure thing.” Over the years, Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York, has gained a reputation as a place where heavy favorites lose with seeming regularity. The elite late-summer race meeting at “the Spa” attracts the best horses in the nation, increasing the chances that a big horse will be defeated in a major race thus the track’s nickname “the Graveyard of Champions.”

Author Bill Heller traces the history of this phenomenon from the racetrack’s beginnings in the 1860s to the present day in Graveyard of Champions: Saratoga’s Fallen Favorites. He examines the defeat of champions such as Hamburg, who went down at 1-3 in the Grand Union Hotel Stakes in 1897; Gallant Fox, defeated at 1-2 in the 1930 Travers; and Stymie’s 1947 loss at 2-5 in the Whitney Handicap. He also takes a look at the upsets of modern-day stars such as Lonesome Glory and Skip Away.

Graveyard of Champions includes a foreword by Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens. Dubbed “the Giant Killer,” he sent out Onion to defeat Secretariat in the 1973 Whitney Handicap.

Author Bill Heller has written twelve other books, including Personal Ensign, Go for Wand, and Forego in the Thoroughbred Legends series. He won horse racing’s Eclipse Award for outstanding magazine writing in 1997. Heller also is a three-time winner of the John Hervey Award for harness racing magazine writing. He lives in Albany, New York.

Published by Eclipse Press, June 2002.
ISBN: 1-58150-066-1
Photos: 78 b&w photos throughout
Pages: 256; Bound Size: 6 x 9
Retail price: $24.95 Hardcover

Available at your local bookstore or Exclusively Equine
1-800-582-5604 (

Distributed to bookstores by National Book Network
1-800-462-6420 (

Eclipse Press is a division of The Blood-Horse, Inc., publishers of The Blood-Horse; The Horse; TBH MarketWatch; Keeneland magazine; Equine Images; the official Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup souvenir magazines; and an array of books, videos, CD-ROMs, and annual references. The Blood-Horse, Inc. also operates The Blood-Horse Interactive on the web (, The Horse Interactive (, Eclipse Press (, Thoroughbred Legends (, Keeneland Magazine (, The HayNet (, and Exclusively Equine (

Copyright 2002, The Blood-Horse, Inc. All rights reserved. The Blood-Horse, The Horse, and TBH MarketWatch are registered trademarks of The Blood-Horse, Inc.


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