EM Lynley’s Out Of The Gate

It’s race day! It’s race day! Good morning everyone. It’s a fabulous Saturday and a very special day too. For those that aren’t aware, today is the 146th running of the Belmont Stakes, the final jewel in the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. EM Lynley joins me today to talk about some history of this amazing sport and her new book, Out Of The Gate. After her guest post, you can read all of the information about her great new book, plus there is an amazing excerpt that I know will make you want to read the book. At the very bottom of the page is a giveaway for an Etsy gift card.

Triple Crown Fever…. And they’re Out of the Gate            

For the first time in many years, people who have never been to a racetrack are talking about horseracing. More specifically, they’re talking about the Triple Crown, and the amazing “Rags-to-riches” story of California Chrome. Unlike past darling Secretariat, raised on one of the most famous Thoroughbred farms in the world, Chrome comes from a decidedly more down-to-earth background.

Here’s California Chrome in a playful mood. Can he step into history on June 7 to become the 12th Triple Crown winner? Photo: Gary Tasich.

So, what’s it all about? On Saturday, June 7 we’ll see if California Chrome can be the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years.

For whatever reason, the Kentucky Derby is the most famous of the Triple Crown races. Maybe Churchill Downs just has an awesome marketing department. But did you know that the Belmont Stakes started years before the Kentucky Derby? The first Belmont was run in 1867, and the first Kentucky Derby didn’t happen until 1875. The poor middle sister, the Preakness Stakes, gets forgotten, but it also predates the Derby, being run first in 1873.

An early running of the Belmont Stakes. Note the crowd is almost exclusively male. Photo: Belmont Park.

Though the Belmont Stakes is run at Belmont Park, the race is not named for the track. It’s the other way around. Belmont Park opened in 1905, after the race had already become a fixture in the American horseracing world.

The Triple Crown of US horse racing wasn’t established until 1930, in an article in the New York Times, comparing the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes to British racing’s Triple Crown consisting of the Two Thousand Guineas, the Derby, and the Saint Leger.

The winner of the Belmont Stakes gets a wreath of 700 white carnations. Photo: Belmont Park

So, with those interesting historical tidbits out of the way, what’s the chance California Chrome will be the 12th Triple Crown winner? 33 horses have won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. Sheer statistics say he’s got a 1 in 3 chance. But winning a horse race takes a lot more than simple math or even complicated formulas professional horse players use to win.

What does it take to win? There has to be a perfect confluence of the horse’s fitness, his mental state, the track condition, the rest of the field, post position, the jockey, and the horse’s heart—the desire to run and to win. California Chrome is one of those feel-good stories about the little breeder who managed to go up against the big players and beat the pants off them. That’s all about the horse.

If California Chrome wins the Triple Crown, he’ll get a permanent trophy to add to his winnings. This is the one awarded to Seattle Slew, 1977 Triple Crown Winner. Photo: Creative Commons

So, chances are great that Chrome will join the few, the proud, …. Well, the few horses who have managed to find their way into the horseracing history books.

And if you’ve ever wondered just what it takes to own, train, and run a Thoroughbred, you can get a fine taste of that in my latest release, Out of the Gate. Hollywood meets Horseracing as an actor buys a racehorse and finds himself falling for the trainer.

Now read all about the book.

Out Of The Gate
By EM Lynley

British actor Wesley Tremayne thinks he’s close to hitting the big time—a film career—with his role as a hunky explorer on a popular American TV show. Success should be just around the corner, as long as he keeps his sexual orientation a secret. Wes’s best friend and beard, Julia Compton, forms the other half of a glamorous Hollywood couple that’s merely a façade.

Evan Taylor left his acting career behind five years ago without looking back. He’s always been more comfortable around horses than people—especially Hollywood types. His new life training racehorses is a dream come true, but increasing financial problems and an abusive boyfriend have him doubting himself and his choices.

Then Wes and his friends buy a third-rate racehorse—partially for publicity—and send him to Evan’s stable. Wes’s friendship with Evan soon develops into an overpowering attraction he can’t act on. He’s never met a man like Evan, but if there’s any chance for a future together, Wes must choose between a career he loves and the man he adores.

“I’m heading down to watch them saddle the horses so I can decide which one to bet on.” Vanessa gave them a dangerous wave of her talons and left Wes and Julia alone in the private grandstand box at Los Alamitos race track.

Julia gave the binoculars back to Wes. “He’s gorgeous.” She winked.

“Which one do you like?” Wes asked, again looking through the binoculars.

“I thought we were talking about which one you like?”

“Number four.” Wes glanced down at Julia’s head. She was a good six inches shorter, and it was the view he often had to settle for.

“Oh, really? I thought you’d go for one. Or at least his trainer.” She gave a silvery laugh and put her arm around his waist again.

Wes kept the glasses focused on runner number one’s trainer as he reached up to adjust the horse’s bridle. His navy sport coat rode up, giving Wes—and anyone else looking—a nice view of his arse in well-fitting dark-blue jeans. Wes held in the smile the sight induced and resigned himself to admiring the good-looking man from a distance. His light-brown hair fell in wavy curves and the full-lipped smile made Wes want to lick his own lips. Something about the chiseled chin and the shape of the man’s nose twigged a hazy memory Wes couldn’t quite bring to the surface.

About EM:
Facebook Page:
Twitter: @emlynley

Buy Links:
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Tour Stops:
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  1. Roger Grace says:

    Hello E.M. what an appropriate day for this blog. I haven’t read anything by you yet but you are on my massive TBR pile.

    • EM Lynley says:

      HI Roger, Thanks for stopping by today. Are you watching the race? Thanks for putting me on the TBR pile! There are so many great books coming out, it’s an honor just to be on the pile now.

  2. Carly Rose says:

    Hi there EM!!! This is a great post; you know how much I loved this story so I just had to check out the promo. I’m looking forward to your next release. 😀

    • EM Lynley says:

      Hi Carly,
      Thanks for stopping by today, hon! Just a couple of weeks till the next one. I’m glad at least one person (besides me) is excited about it. 😉

  3. The Belmont seems to be the real challenge for the Triple Crown contenders–at a mile and a half, it’s the first time most of these young horses have faced such a distance. I’ve been following the races for Triple Crown ever since Secretariat in ’73, and I have to say, I have a good feeling about California Chrome. I hope I’m right–I love underdog stories!

    I loved, too, Out of the Gate. Serious Winner’s Circle material, there!

  4. EM Lynley says:

    Hi Sarah,
    I’m so excited about this race. I think he can manage the distance. He finished the last two races with something left in the tank. As long as the jockey doesn’t make his move too soon, or they get boxed in from the pole position, he should be able to finish strong today.

    I’m so glad you enjoyed Out of the Gate, especially because you are a horse person 😉 I know I have to do a lot to please you.

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