More than 15 years ago, folklorist Ellen McHale was asked by the National Museum of Racing to do a short-term consulting project on the life of backstretch workers at Saratoga Race Course.
“The education department wanted more information about the people who worked on the backstretch,” said McHale recently from her office at the New York Folklore Society in Schenectady. “They had a lot of information on owners and horses, but not much about backstretch workers.”
That 10-day assignment turned into 15 years of research that resulted in Stable Views: Stories and Voices from the Thoroughbred Racetrack.
“It really grabbed me,” said McHale, “and I ended up going back.”
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