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Reviewed by Christine Nguyen for Readers' Favorite
"Casual Lies: A Triple Crown Adventure" is a memoir about one woman’s journey to realize her ultimate dream of racing a horse in the Kentucky Derby, one of the most famous horse races in the world. Shelley and her husband Jim are racehorse trainers that buy young yearling colts to train them and sell them at a higher price. She goes to Lexington, Kentucky, and fate brings her face to face with the horse she will purchase, naming him Casual Lies and Stanley, the latter a stable name for the colt. Stanley makes Shelley’s dreams of going to the Kentucky Derby come true.
Author Shelley Lee Riley draws you in with her descriptions of Stanley’s mischievous, rambunctious personality and has cute nicknames for him, such as “muskrat,” “my ugly duckling,” “giant chipmunk,” and “fuzzy haired heathen” that makes you fall head over heels in love with Stanley. Stanley is just so lovable that you will be enchanted and delighted by his rise to success in the horse racing circuit. The reader is not only thoroughly entertained, but also educated on the basics of training and racing horses and how the whole process works. Riley also has inspirational quotes like “What price can you put on a dream, hoping the dream will come true?” that really strike a chord about destiny and dreams. The book is utterly endearing and inspirational, inspiring readers to reach for dreams they thought were out of their realm. A definite feel good read that will have you chuckling at Stanley’s many antics and finish with your heart warmed.
The best part is that the author is able to vividly recapture all her moments with Stanley so that the readers can feel the emotions and bond Riley and Stanley had. A must read for everyone that loves horses, believes in destiny, and making your dreams come true.