A July 25 reception at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame will celebrate the publication of Racing Time: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Liberation by Patrick Smithwick, who has been aptly described as the chronicler of the American steeplechase mind.
The date and the setting are both significant and appropriate. A few hours before the 5:30 p.m. book signing and reading by the author, Saratoga Race Course will feature the $150,000 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1), a top-rated steeplechase race.
The race is named for Patrick Smithwick’s father, Paddy Smithwick, who was the focus of the author’s first book, Racing My Father, in 2006. The reception across Union Avenue from the race course will be held in the area containing Paddy Smithwick’s Hall of Fame plaque.
Not far away are the Hall of Fame plaques of Paddy Smithwick’s brother, trainer D. Michael “Mikey” Smithwick, and trainer Tom Voss. Mikey Smithwick appears in Racing Time and Patrick Smithwick’s second work, Flying Change, winner of the prestigious Tony Ryan Book Award for 2012.
Racing Time is dedicated to the memory of Voss, Patrick Smithwick’s best friend, who died suddenly in January 2014. He was inducted into Thoroughbred racing’s Hall of Fame in 2017.
Racing Time is in part the story of their friendship and the love that exists between men who first encountered each other as boys in Maryland’s horse country and maintained those ties through adulthood, with the common bond of the horse and shared experiences.
It’s also about loss, the wrenching abyss when a loved one is taken away without warning and without a chance to bid farewell.
“Racing Time is about male bonding–between friend and friend, between family members, between colors, between classes, between father and son, mentor and pupil,” Dr. Andrew Lemon wrote in a prepublication review.
“It goes beyond naming these bonds: it enters into the heart of them. To be fair, Smithwick also explores the love of man and wife, man and mother, man and daughter. He is full of love,” wrote Dr. Lemon, an Australian author who aptly described Smithwick as the chronicler of the American steeplechase mindset.
Racing Time is lavishly illustrated with the works of Sam Robinson, whose paintings also graced the 2018 edition of American Steeplechasing.
The July 25 reception will be co-sponsored by the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation and, in addition to the book signing and reading, will offer hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. There is no charge for the reception, and reservations are not required.
“Tom Voss was a dear friend of mine, and I look forward to reading Patrick’s account in Racing Time,” said National Steeplechase Association President Guy J. Torsilieri. “I hope to attend the reception, and I urge members of the steeplechase community to support this wonderful opportunity to be with Patrick and to sample some of his latest work.”
Prepublication orders for Racing Time can be placed at patricksmithwick.com.