Books exploring the bond of relationships between family, life immersed in the Thoroughbred industry and the challenge and acceptance of growth, loss, love and life’s lessons are themes endemic to author Patrick Smithwick’s outstanding tomes, Racing My Father and Flying Change: A Year of Racing and Family and Steeplechasing.
Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum board member Warren Dempsey introduced Smithwick at the Hall of Fame, where the author discussed his books and had a book signing Sunday afternoon. Smithwick, the son of Hall of Fame jockey A.P. “Paddy” Smithwick and nephew of Hall of Fame trainer Daniel Michael “Mikey” Smithwick, recounted growing up in the Thoroughbred industry, regaling the audience with stories about his father and uncle, and a number of characters that are part of the backside and frontside of the racetrack, and how they are interconnecting parts of a subculture and colorful industry.
Smithwick read a number of passages from each book, offering the audience a detailed look at an industry that requires dedication, commitment and sacrifice. However, the rewards can be gratifying and the colorful cast of players creates an environment that touches every emotion, making the books a must read.
The author’s outstanding memory and his ability to capture and preserve an extraordinary perspective brings the reader into a world that, through Smithwick’s writing, leaves an impression that’s powerfully palpbale and enduring.