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John "Jack" Cunningham Jr
Turfmen and the Prodigal
Bitter, backslidden Christian Gideon Deshler spirals toward destruction, his demise hastened by evil Elvira Sturgis with whom he falls in love. She and her father, president of Alabama’s Spring Hill Jockey Club, brutalize their slaves. Two of Sturgis’s slaves, the jockey Ned and his girlfriend Becky, must escape to Canada so they can fulfill their dreams. But how? Alabama is far away from Canada, and it also doesn’t have an Underground Railroad. Meanwhile, a mystery surrounds the death of a champion Thoroughbred named Green Legs. Before he can solve it, Gideon must get delivered from Elvira’s spell and reconcile with Sam Quarles, with whom he’d fought a duel. Sam’s brother, Joe, feuds with Gideon’s friend, Owen Washburn, over Green Legs’s death. To keep his promise to his dying father, Joe vows to regain the status of his father’s horse farm in a big match race against Owen’s champion, Comet. Joe’s hope lies in an ornery Thoroughbred, Johnny Boy. If Johnny doesn’t win the Pride of Alabama Stakes, Joe vows to kill himself, for horseracing is his life and he’d have failed his father’s dying wish. Yet, Green Legs’s real killers and their accomplice have other plans.