Todd, Stephanie, Taylor, Samantha, Sidney and Paula Trites
As a publisher, it feels very good when your books sell well, though they don’t always; look good; and cater to a community of people that appreciate the spotlight given in the books published.
The harness racing community in Atlantic Canada has a long and proud history. Those people, who work in the sport and those who “fan” it, like it a lot. Two of the books we published on harness racing in ALC, tell stories of our heroes and horses, and highlight the grassroots dedication of the sometimes unheralded in the industry.
Paul Murphy, one of the “rink rats” of harness racing, wrote two great books, which preserve harness racing in Atlantic Canada – a region which operations as an unofficial farm system for the big tracks in North America. The first book by Murphy, Behind the Gate, was our first best-seller. The second book, released late in 2014, is called Horse Power: Behind the Gate Returns. It’s a 219-page classic.
As a publisher, unless you have a passion for the subject, which I do for harness racing, you would never print a book over 140 pages. It takes longer to produce, is more complex for the editor and graphic designer, and is more expensive to ship and much more expensive to print.
Behind the Gate is now essentially sold out after three printings, with only a handful of books left for sale on our site, at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino and at Indigo, Chapters and Coles. When I say handful, I mean it literally.
Murphy’s Horse Power book continues his and Retromedia Publishing’s commitment to preserve harness racing history. In it, you’ll read about the remarkable career of Phil Pinkney from Nova Scotia, the successes of P.E.I.’s Wally Hennessey Marc Campbell, the amazing career of Todd Trites from New Brunswick, the impressive accomplishments of Shane Forward from Newfoundland, and about many, many more notables.
In a special grassroots section, with several hundred people cited, you’ll find such great names as “Trapper” MacQuarrie, Alex MacPhee, Mike Stevenson, Kevin Bailey, Toby MacDonald, Sandra Foley, Dave Ratchford, Vance Cameron and Scott Forward. You can see lots more grassroots names and photos in the Grassroots Harness Racing Participants chapter on pages 80 - 91. This book, a keepsake, is available at www.retromedia.ca.