Day At The Track

Dan Patch fervor still strong in Minnesota

11:48 PM 18 Jun 2008 NZST
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DSBF donates to Crazy Good
DSBF donates to Crazy Good - to Delaware libraries
Delaware Department of Agriculture Photo - Left to right: Marc Laslow, Librarian, Caesar Rodney High School. Annie Norman, Director, Division of Libraries, Judy Davis-Wilson, Director, Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund, Rick Geisenberger, Assistant Secr

Today (June 18), the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) donated Charlie Leerhsen's book, Crazy Good: The true story of Dan Patch, the most famous horse in America, to public libraries, university libraries, and secondary school libraries across the state.

Dover – The book is about a truly amazing standardbred pacer that competed in the years 1900 – 1909.

Dan Patch was rightly dubbed "the most famous horse in America" for his racing feats. He set a world record for the mile that has been tied once, but has never been broken

At the donation event, held at the Dover Public Library, Michael Scuse, Secretary of Agriculture thanked the Standardbred Breeders Fund (SBF), and said:

"As both secretary of agriculture and an avid horseman, I thank the Breeders Fund for their generosity. The book presents a colorful picture of the horse, the people around the horse, and the era in which he lived. I have enjoyed reading it and I know you will too."

Judy Davis-Wilson, Director, Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund, remarked that the book has received outstanding reviews from many media outlets.

An interesting fact that Davis-Wilson shared from the book is that this amazing horse's talents weren't immediately recognized.

Dan Patch started out as a grocery cart hauler. His potential was noticed after he was purchased by M. E. Sturgis in 1902.

However, he really came into his own after being purchased by Marion W. Savage at the end of 1902.

Rick Geisenberger, Assistant Secretary of State, noted the partnership between the Delaware Department of Agriculture and the Standardbred Breeders Fund and recognized the importance of the racing industry to Delaware. He thanked the SBF for contributing to the collections of Delaware's libraries by donating this outstanding book.

Hugh Gallagher, Delaware Harness Racing Administrator, has spent time in Savage, Minnesota, the home of Dan Patch. Gallagher said:

"Dan Patch fervor is still strong in Minnesota. The horse was a super star. The harness racing Grand Circuit, in which Dan Patch participated, is still going strong today."

Charles Lockhart, Vice President of Horse Racing at Dover Downs, said that he has spent his life in harness racing and is well aware of Dan Patch. In his remarks, he praised Charlie Leehrsen, the author of the book, who is an executive editor at Sports Illustrated.

There is more to this book than just the story of an amazing horse.

Readers will get a picture of the fascinating era in which Dan Patch lived -- the early 1900s -- and the impact he had on the country in those days.

Readers who enjoy the sport of harness racing will enjoy comparing the sport in 1900 to the sport of today.

The donations were accepted as follows:

Accepting for Delaware libraries: Annie Norman, State Librarian and Director, Division of Libraries

Accepting for university libraries: Myrna Valle, Delaware State University

Accepting for secondary school libraries: Marc Laslow, Librarian, Caesar Rodney High School

Anne Fitzgerald, Delaware Dept. of Agriculture

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