Talkin' Horses - Live Discussions

Ed Bowen Racing Historian

Wednesday November 2, 2005

With his latest release, renowned racing historian Edward L. Bowen breathes new life into the story of Bold Ruler, bringing him once again into the spotlight. Bowen has written 15 other books on horse racing, including Man o' War, War Admiral, and Nashua for the Thoroughbred Legends series - of which Bold Ruler is the final installment.

Edward L. Bowen has penned numerous books for Eclipse Press, including Matriarchs: Great Mares of the 20th Century, Dynasties: Great Thoroughbred Stallions, and At the Wire: Horse Racing's Greatest Moments.

Bowen --who lives in Versailles, Kentucky, near Lexington-- also serves as president of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, which funds studies and research on equine health care.

Today, we have Mr. Ed Bowen, who is one of the most knowledgeable Thoroughbred historians on the scene today, as well as the author of a number of books that many of our viewers have probably read and are anxious to discuss with the author. So, let's get started...

Paris, KY:
Mr. Bowen I am a huge fan of your work. Thank you. If you could sit next to one and only one person at a dinner party and talk horses, with who would it be? Deceased or not.

I would be fascinated to talk with Ben Jones and hear his tales off those wonderful Calumet Farm champions. Of course, if you asked me tomorrow, I might have a different answer because there have been so many individuals who achieved so much and would have so much to tell.

Huntington, WV:
One of the things people talk about today is how horses don't carry much weight. Bold Ruler and Round Table were known for carrying weight. What is your view on this?

I think the trend away from asking horses to carry high weight is very regrettable. It eliminates one of the benchmarks by which we have traditionally evaluated American race horses. Carrying weight, and conceding weight, is a challenge the great European horses seldom have been asked to meet, and now we are losing a unique way of testing our horses, too. At the same time, handicaps are beneficial to the business aspects of racing, especially when they create an intriguing betting proposition while also testing a horse. I admire the owners of Cigar and Skip Away, which were among the few recent horses tested with 130 pounds or more.

Best of Talkin HorsesTo read the complete transcript of this chat, along with many others, check out Best of Talkiní Horses.

Best of Talkin’ Horses features provocative “chats” with some of Thoroughbred racing’s most prominent names. Adapted from “Talkin’ Horses,” the popular weekly online chat series hosted by, this edited collection provides additional insights by Ron Mitchell, editor and moderator of “Talkin’ Horses."


Editor's Note: moderators retain editorial control over Talkin' Horses discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests; guests may decline to answer questions. Opinions expressed by guests of Talkin' Horses are those of the guest and do not represent the opinions of Blood-Horse Publications, its employees, associates, or affiliated organizations. Guests, dates, and times of Talkin' Horses discussions are subject to change.