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Secretariat by William Nack
a reprint issued to go with the recent movie, this is a look at the horse and the industry that produced him.
I really enjoyed the "play by play" recounting of the training for and running of his significant races.
I learned quite a bit about the primary blood lines behind the breeding of the horse. though I don't follow racing, I do have a picture of Big Red hanging in my living room.
one thing that struck me was the repeated concern that the 3 year old racehorse was unpredictable compared to his two year old performance. at no time did anyone suggest that one cause might be over working two year old adolescent athletes.
I also learned that he was not raced as a mature adult in part due to onerous tax rates on inheritances.
worth more reading was the explanation of the genetics of the X factor. this is why he was considered a fairly mediocre sire of racing colts, but has acquired  a terrific record as a broodmare sire.

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Royal's sire, Alert Again, was one of Secretariat's first cousins via their common grandsire, Princequillo. Not bad for a fat old Appaloosa. Royal was also related to Mumtaz Begum, Nearco, Nasrullah, and a few other famous Greats from the early 20th century.
Cool, I learned about those horses and their place in the breed from the book.