In the Shadow of a Superhorse
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About The Horse Sham (And His Rival Secretariat)
BOTH BOOKS ARE IN PRINT - honoring the gallant effort from Sham in the 1973 Kentucky Derby and celebrating this horse's greatest unofficial feat that still stands today:  "Running the second fastest Kentucky Derby in history."

Mary Walsh lives with her husband on their horse ranch.  Her lifelong interest in horse racing and sentiment for the underdog have become her writing passion.  With several publications to her credit, she spent six years researching her debut book about Sham, an unsung hero.

On Sale at Amazon and Blood Horse Magazine.
Now available in electronic form at Amazon.

Book Published 2007

    An American champion at heart, "The Magnificent Sham" achieved an unofficial record for the second-fastest time in the history of the Kentucky Derby.  To many, he remains second only to the legendary Secretariat.  Ironically, challenging Secretariat for the 1973 Triple Crown abruptly shattered his quest for fame and almost ended his life.  This compelling book unfolds that brilliant animal's spellbinding storythe story of a courageous underdog born in the wrong place in time. (Paperback ©2007)

Read the historical timeline of the rivalry between Sham and Secretariat, and discover what came of the horses that faced them:  Forego, Ancient Title, Shecky Greene, Stop the Music, Linda's Chief, Our Native, Angle Light, and others. Learn of Sham's fate, days at stud, and final resting place at Walmac International in Lexington, KY.  Also explore the lives of Sigmund and Viola Sommer, Frank Martin, Linda and Laffit Pincay, Jr., Secundino Gato, Christopher T. Chenery, Helen (Penny) Chenery Tweedy, Lucien Laurin, Ron Turcotte, Eddie Sweat and more.  The book's 37 interesting photos tell a story all their own.

Sham, In the Shadow of a Superhorse - winner of the unpublished manuscript EATON LITERARY AGENCY'S ANNUAL AWARD for best book, 2005
Review by - Mary Simon,
   Thoroughbred Times Magazine
"Author Mary Walsh looks back on the life of an exceptional Thoroughbred whose misfortune was to come along at a time when one of racing's immortals ruled the track.  Sham is set against a kaleidoscopic backdrop of war - both hot and cold - protest, space travel, and a rising tide of feminism.  While Secretariat became a national icon during this unsettled time, Walsh's premise is that Sham was an unsung hero, fully deserving a biography of his own.  Sham: In the Shadow of a Superhorse is a labor of love, written by the would-be champion's number-one fan."

Blog Reviews:

Jennifer – Seattle Soup Line blog

On Sale at Amazon and Blood Horse Magazine.

Book Published 2011

Children's Horse Story:

    Imagine being given the opportunity of a lifetime. A test of talent and skill so great, the prize would guarantee historical immortality. Sham's Dream is a personified picture book about courageous Sham, the horse that challenged legendary Secretariat for the 1973 Kentucky Derby. Through Sham's extreme effort a hidden message surfaced worth much more than expected. Inspired by actual events, this story teaches a valuable life lesson: the act of trying without reserve is as honorable as being triumphant.

    Written and illustrated by Mary Walsh whose interest in the horse Sham fueled her writing passion to produce her first children's story book. Captivating ink and watercolor imagery create an unforgettable experience for young children and horse lovers of all ages. Also included at the back of the book - Sham's picture and story for adults wanting to find out more about the valiant horse. (Hardcover ©2011)

Mary Walsh invites you to read more about the great horse, Sham, in her article titled:  Sham, a Champion at Heart.  (pictures and story)
And the story about this horse's jockey, Laffit Pincay, Jr. in her article titled:  Documentary Venerates Hall of Fame Jockey, Laffit Pincay, Jr.  (pictures and story)

Some photos from the book (Copyright protected)
Please use the "Sham Contact Page" for questions about the horse photos' availability 
 Sham with his groom, Secundino Gato, in the paddock prior to the 1973 Santa Anita Derby. ©Copyright Bill Mochon Photography.

 Sham's famous March 31, 1973 Santa Anita Derby victory - at the wire.  In a burning drive he won by 2 1/2 lengths and equaled the stakes record of 1:47.  ©Copyright Bill Mochon Photography.

 Linda's Chief, winner of the 1973 San Felipe Handicap and Sham's number one California competitor. ©Copyright Bill Mochon Photography.

 Ancient Title, winner of numerous stakes races and second in the San Felipe Handicap at Santa Anita Park. ©Copyright Bill Mochon Photography.

 Jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr. and Sham's groom, Secundino Gato, are all smiles as they pose for photographs in the winner's circle February 2, 1973.
©George Andrus, photographer.

 Sham's owner Sigmund Sommer, trainer Frank Martin, jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr., Linda Pincay, and Isadore Martin in the winner's circle after the Santa Anita Derby. ©Copyright Bill Mochon Photography.

Sham, No. 1, with Laffit Pincay, Jr. up, and Knightly Dawn, No. 1A, with Milo Valenzuela up, lead the post parade for the 1973 running of the Santa Anita Derby. 
 ©Copyright Bill Mochon Photography.

  Sham's victorious 15 length triumph at the finish line, Santa Anita Park, January 1, 1973. ©George Andrus, photographer.