Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award Semifinalist
A fiercely determined athlete, father, and soft-spoken Cajun, Randy Romero is one the greatest riders in Thoroughbred history. Despite enduring twenty-five major surgeries, burning more than sixty percent of his body due to an explosion, suffering physical abuse from his father, and self-abuse to meet certain weight requirements, Romero never considered quitting the sport for a second. He survived all of these setbacks to pursue his goals in racing, eventually retiring with an astonishing record of more than four thousand victories. In his fifties and undergoing dialysis, the jockey is a living legend.
Romero began his career as a nine year old in backwoods Louisiana. Determined to branch out to bigger venues, he soon won races at Evangeline Downs, Delta Downs, Churchill Downs, and even Keeneland in Kentucky. He eventually went on to win twenty-five riding titles at ten different racetracks with such notable horses as Wavering Monarch, Rocket’s Magic, Personal Ensign, and Go for Wand.
In this candid biography, Bill Heller follows Romero’s career from his humble beginnings to his final race. Romero’s wife, mother, and those involved in the fast-paced world of Thoroughbred racing provide firsthand commentary on the sports star’s life. Personal photographs of the jockey with his family, as well as images of the rider in victorious glory, accompany this riveting biography.