Finalists announced in Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award

Castleton Lyons release:

Finalists for the seventh annual Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award include an inspirational sequel to a previous finalist; a redemptive biography of a noted jockey; and a chronicle of the pursuit of American racing’s ultimate goal.


The winner of the 2012 Book Award will be announced on April 10 at Castleton Lyons, during a cocktail reception held in a room above the farm’s historic stallion barn.  First prize is $10,000, with $1,000 awarded to each runner-up. In addition, all three finalists will receive a Tipperary Crystal trophy.


Conceived and launched in 2006 by the late Castleton Lyons owner Dr. Tony Ryan, the Award has annually showcased the best of racing literature, including entries from legendary mystery writer Dick Francis, 2010 National Book Award winner Jaimy Gordon, and multiple Eclipse Award winners William Nack, Bill Mooney, Joe Drape, and Maryjean Wall. Originally known as the Castleton Lyons Book Award, the name was changed to honor its founder, who passed away in 2007. Dr. Ryan’s son and Castleton Lyons president, Shane Ryan, has continued to present this prestigious award annually.


Following are the finalists for the 2012 Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award:



Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award finalists


Flying Change: A Year of Racing and Family and Steeplechasing

Author: Patrick Smithwick

Publisher: Chesapeake Book Company


The Garrett Gomez Story: A Jockey’s Journey Through Addiction and  


Author: Rudolph Valier Alvarado, with Garrett Keith Gomez

Publisher: Caballo Press of Ann Arbor


Kentucky Derby Dreams: The Making of Thoroughbred Champions

Author: Susan Nusser

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books


Semi-finalists, chosen in mid – March, also included My Year of the Racehorse, by Kevin Chong; When Racing Was Racing, by Adam Powley; The Kentucky Derby, by James Nicholson; and Racing From Death, by Sasscer Hill.

The 2012 judging team is comprised of lead judge and Washington Post editor Kay Coyte; HRTV producer and on-air host Caton Bredar; and attorney Milton C. Toby, winner of the 2011 Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award for Dancer’s Image—The Forgotten Story of the 1968 Kentucky Derby.