Malcom Barr Sr. worked as a reporter at the Province back in the '50s. With help from former Vancouver journalist, novelist and p.r. man Tom Ardies, he self-published 1,000 to 1!: Claiming, Breeding and Racing Thoroughbreds on a Shoestring-and Beating the Odds (2006).
Promotional material states: “1,000 to 1” is an anecdotal story about the varied people--from a cabinet officer to a bell captain--who have owned inexpensive horses with the Hampshire partnerships, the people who have trained and cared for the horses, and the horses themselves. This is not a “how to” book since, during our 17 years in the business, despite business plans and racing plans and breeding plans, and, you name it, any other plans, the dynamics constantly changed, and we changed with them. Racing and breeding thoroughbreds always seem to us to be a seat of the pants enterprise, with change being a constant. It is a story about how to spin a $2,500 share into a two-year ownership involving three, four, and sometimes five cheap race horses who, somehow or other, managed to reach the winner’s circle a phenomenal 20% of the time over a 17-year period, some years twice that often. It is a story of how a group of novices stumbled into breeding thoroughbreds successfully, accomplishing the near impossible--that is, seeing all the foals they sent to the races wind up in the winner’s circle! It is also a story of blind faith, faith in our trainers, in our animals, and in our jockeys who give their best for our entertainment in what can be, and often is, the world’s most dangerous sport.