Great Was Second Best
by Phil Dandrea
Press, Reviews, etc.
Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY) ceremony in New York City on May 23, 2011 (with Paige Stover of Acanthus Publishing, left)
Phil Dandrea's Sham profiles the horse who, under other historical circumstances, might have claimed greatness for his own.
Phil Dandrea's Sham: Great Was Second Best is an impeccably researched insight into the underrated Sham, a horse who courageously battled the legendary Secretariat through the 1973 Triple Crown... I recommend even a casual fan of the sport read this book--the story is not only one of two rivals who were the best of their generation, but one of devotion, determination and ambition.
Thoroughbred Daily News
The book is a meticulously researched and documented essay on what horse racing in America was like in the early 70s... At its best the Sham book describes vividly the races in which the two stars of the day - Secretariat and Sham - raced against each other... Dandrea takes us into the lives of all the trainers, owners, and jockeys who participated in these historic races. That alone makes this valuable reading...
The book Sham: Great Was Second Best that profiles the colt who tested Secretariat during his Triple Crown run is nearing the end of its first printing and author Phil Dandrea continues to enjoy the ride. ...The past year has been eventful for Dandrea, as he has done numerous book signings, radio, and television interviews, and has gained a first-hand perspective about the size of the Sham fan base. ...The book earned recognition in the sports/fitness/recreation category in the 2010 Independent Publisher Book Awards and is gearing up for a second printing.
Sometimes the second fiddle gets to play in the first chair... Though often on the losing end of the rivalry, both Alydar and Easy Goer have, over the years, garnered nearly as much ink as their winning rivals. But when writer Phil Dandrea tried to learn more about Sham, he came up empty. "There wasn't anything on the internet about him, let alone a book, which was what I was looking for," he recalled... But with his book, he at least ensures that the next time racing fans go looking for information about the horse who had the bad luck to be born in 1970, the best horse of 1973 bar one, they won't search in vain.
With the recent resurgence in popularity of Secretariat due to the 2010 Disney movie, many new racing fans who did not experience that historic 1973 Triple Crown want to get more details, as the movie barely scratched the surface. One key character in the movie was hot-headed trainer Frank "Pancho" Martin, who sent out California invader Sham to take on Big Red. Much has been written about Secretariat and his connections, but his main rival has mostly been forgotten. In his new book, Massachusetts-based author and IEAH Stables partner Phil Dandrea seeks to correct this.
Personally, I am a major fan of Secretariat's. I love to watch the old films of his Triple Crown victories. To see the Big Red Machine coming to the finish is always enough to make my heart pound. But, would it have been the same if it wasn't for Sham running in second place, running the Derby faster than it had ever been run before, pushing and driving Secretariat? Should Sham be forgotten because he was only second place? I for one don't think so and thankfully, neither did Phil Dandrea.
With the release of Disney's Secretariat movie, horse lovers are clamoring for more information about one of the greatest horseracing rivalries in history. Focusing on the life of Secretariat's biggest rival Sham, the recently released Sham: Great Was Second Best by author Phil Dandrea is sure to satisfy racing fans' thirst for details about this epic duel. Packed with Thoroughbred racing history and statistics, readers take an in-depth look at the life and career of Sham.
Paint Horse Journal
Troy Andrew Smith, Author of Radersburg Gold and From Across the Campfire
I am glad we are finally getting the chance to hear Sham's side of the story of that wonderful and historic Triple Crown, and as Dandrea concludes his heartfelt saga, 'In recognizing the accomplishments of Secretariat, one can begin to appreciate Sham.
Phil Dandrea eloquently captures the rivalry that rocked the American horse racing world of 1973.
Even though I knew the outcome Dandrea kept the action interesting and page turner exciting with electrifying race descriptions and colorful quotes from trainers, jockeys and owners.