August 2014
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SBOANJ DONATES DAN PATCH BOOKS TO NJ LIBRARIES

MANALAPAN, NJ – June 19, 2008 – The Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey [SBOANJ] has donated three dozen copies of the book, Crazy Good: The True Story of Dan Patch, the Most Famous Horse in America to major county and college libraries throughout the state of New Jersey.


Photo by Ken Weingartner, HRC
Tom Luchento [right] presents a copy of Crazy Good to head librarian Karen Moench of the Monmouth County Library in Manalapan, NJ.



A hundred years ago, the most famous athlete of his day was a horse named Dan Patch, a pacer who was so iconic he became the first celebrity sports endorser. His name appeared on breakfast cereals, washing machines, cigars, razors, and sleds. At a time when the highest-paid baseball player, Ty Cobb, was making $12,000 a year, Dan Patch was earning over a million dollars.

Charles Leerhsen’s book, Crazy Good: The True Story of Dan Patch, the Most Famous Horse in America [Simon & Shuster, May 2008], tells the story of Dan Patch, who was born crippled and spent his early days pulling a grocer’s wagon before he became the most celebrated racehorse of the early 20th century.

“Harness racing is a truly American sport and so it’s fitting that the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey would support their communities by giving a book about American sporting history to their local libraries,” said Leerhsen, an executive editor at Sports Illustrated. “I’m honored to be a part of their generous gesture. I hope the book helps people understand how important Dan Patch was in his day, and how valuable the standardbred was—and is—to the economy and the ecology.”

“This is a book that should appeal to all readers and seems especially appropriate for libraries in New Jersey, where the state animal is the horse,” said Tom Luchento, president of the SBOANJ. “We hope that this book, which celebrates the great Dan Patch, finds a prominent place on the bookshelves of these libraries and inspires many to read it. At a time when libraries cannot afford to buy every book that is published, we wanted to make sure that this one was available to the citizens of New Jersey.”

"On behalf of the Monmouth County Library, we extend our appreciation to the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey for the donation of the book Crazy Good: The True Story of Dan Patch, the Most Famous Horse in America written by Charles Leerhsen,” said Karen Moench, head librarian at the headquarters branch of the Monmouth County Library in Manalapan, NJ. “We are sure our equine enthusiasts will enjoy the addition to our extensive collection of horse-related books."

Coincidentally, June is the Month of the Horse in New Jersey, celebrating the contributions made by the horse, which was declared the official state animal by law in 1977. Equine is the third largest sector of New Jersey agriculture, occupying more than 81,000 acres of farmland.

The Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey represents the thousands of owners, breeders, trainers, drivers and caretakers based in the Garden State.

“Today, many pacers racing at the Meadowlands and Freehold Raceway, and stabled at our breeding farms can trace their pedigree to Dan Patch,” Luchento noted.

-submitted by Carol Hodes for SBOANJ

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