Nathan Hunter does not believe in coincidences-a broken stirrup
leather, untied mooring line, Meg Callahan's incredulous fall in a
top equestrian event, horses testing positive for illegal
substances, and the suspicious barn fire which claimed the life of
Meg's grandfather. Then things get worse, confirming his beliefs.
Sited on the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay and the outlet of the
Susquehanna River, the historic town of Havre de Grace, Maryland
was once home to a nationally acclaimed racetrack nicknamed "The
Graw." Little did Nathan Hunter know when he first visited the
Callahan dairy farm nearby, that what lay buried at the old track
would be the key to unraveling a series of sinister events that had
already claimed the life of one Callahan and several of their
Thoroughbreds. Nathan Hunter's dreams of one day improving the
breed of the Thoroughbred horse for soundness are encouraged by
Andrew Callahan-a strong, charismatic, dairy farmer who provides
Nathan with the father figure he never knew. With Liz, a sharp
shooting southern belle as his wife, Nathan is able to overcome his
infatuation for Callahan's gifted equestrian daughter, Meg,
and-with the help of Callahan resources-pursue his goal.
Unfortunately, because of his relationship with the Callahans,
someone seems bent on seeing that Nathan's dreams never become
reality. When a fire meant to kill Andrew and his son, Eric,
destroys the Callahan horse barn and leads to the discovery of a
secret hideout for slaves, valuable documents of grandfather
Callahan are found which point to ominous acts by a top racing and
breeding farm to ruin competition at all costs-including murder. In
their efforts to prove the merit of the elder Callahan's breeding
program, Nathan, Eric, Meg and Liz become the targets of the same
forces suspected of murdering Eric's grandfather; disaster
threatens them from Ireland, through Havre de Grace, and right into
Professor Nathan Hunter's classroom in Lexington, Kentucky.
Although the story is fictional, it is unique in that the author
introduces factual data and some basic research to allow the reader
to think critically about current practices in racing and breeding
Thoroughbreds which may be contributing to breakdowns. Attention is
given to Artificial Insemination-not now recognized by The Jockey
Club-as a means to assist breed improvement.
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