|Praise for The Simple Game: An Irish Jockey's Memoir
|"A cautionary tale to watch what you're willing to
sacrifice for success, The Simple Game is quite the
read, very highly recommended."
|"The pressure on the jockey is one of the most underplayed burdens in professional sports. The Simple Game: An Irish Jockey's Memoir
is a memoir of how Thomas Foley's dreams of racing horses were soon corrupted. Focusing on the pressures a jockey faces,
one where weight is a curse and being light as possible is treasured as a boon, Foley faced an eating disorder and fell
into addictions, and lost his family. A cautionary tale to watch what you're willing to sacrifice
for success. The Simple Game is quite the read, very highly recommended."
--- The Midwest Book Review
"From wide-eyed apprentice, to big fish in the small pond of US jump racing, to burnt-out wreck teetering
on physical and mental ledges, Thomas Foley reflects on a life lived fast and often heedless in his memoir, A Simple Game....
In it he frankly recounts everything, from the emotional turmoil that sent him down the path to bulimia
to the tragicomic circumstances of his confrontation of the problem."
--- Kevin Corbett, Irish Independent
"In an engrossing, conversational prose... Foley’s memoir is a fun, truthful and sometimes painfully revealing account of his life.
From his first experience with horses as a boy spending a summer on his cousin’s farm near his home in Tipperary
to his coming to terms with divorce and overcoming his addiction demons, Foley pulls no punches.
Foley’s professional riding career may have ended last year as he watched an injured horse vanned off the track
after giving him everything he had. But from all accounts, for a horseman who has many opinions about how things
should be done the right way, the former rider-turned-trainer still has much to give to a game that remains dear to his heart.
Thoroughbred racing stands to gain from the likes of Tom Foley. That book is just beginning to be written."
--- Jeff Brammer, Frederick News-Post
"Tom Foley is honest, real--a no-holds-barred writer--which is the manner in which I suspect he lives his life. His book,
The Simple Game: An Irish Jockey's Memoir touched me in a way that compelled me to read from out of
the gate to the finish line. He writes with such insight and sensitivity regarding horses that I liked immediately.
Anyone who cares so deeply and writes with Wisdom as his guide is someone I need to know--readers
will want to meet the man behind the book from the first page of his brutally beautiful book."
--- Marion E. Altieri
“Thomas Foley has written a powerful and often disturbing memoir that sheds light on the darker side of a jockey’s world
and the sport of thoroughbred racing, in which the quest to win oftentimes comes at a high price.”
--- Linda Dougherty, The Horse of Delaware Valley
"I read through the book in one sitting—about two-and-a-half hours—and I’m not a particularly fast reader.
The thought of putting it down never entered my mind, although much of the story is dark—the hard parts of a jockey’s life:
failed relationships, loss of his children’s company, crashes on the racetrack, and, in particular, the destructive anti-digestive
habits practiced routinely at the flat tracks. The latter is a recurring theme throughout, tying the narrative’s ups and downs together.
A glimmer of hope stays alive throughout the story as Foley tries, and occasionally succeeds in becoming a better person
than he is at any given moment. He credits several well-known horsemen, among them Gregg Ryan and Eddie Graham,
with providing good advice at the appropriate times, advice he has remembered and relied upon in difficult moments along the way.
Foley’s story seesaws between the good and the bad times, the desperate times and the hopeful times, his consuming desire
to win races at all costs and his awareness that he has not yet lived the life of the man he wants to be. The kid that grew up in
Ireland wanted nothing more than to be a jockey. It all seemed such a simple game. It didn’t turn out to be simple,
though, and the ride, though rocky, makes for an intriguing story and a compelling read."
--- Norman Fine, Foxhunting Life With Horse and Hound
"... The Simple Game is a name born of ironic humor, the gift of a man who became but a skeleton of himself - both emotionally
and physically - in an effort to reach what he thought would bring him true happiness: winning, pure and simple....
Indeed, The Simple Game reads like a stream-of-consciousness therapy session: Foley opens his story by acknowledging
the dangerous daily routine of 'flipping' (binging and purging to maintain weight) and then reaches back to try and figure out
how he came to such a miserable state. In therapy, 'naming' the addiction is the first step in defeating it;
here, Foley admits the addiction always will be with him (as an alcoholic always wants a drink), but he has now chosen
to place more value on his life, his health, and his family, than on the momentary thrill of victory. It is the simple life
of a man, perhaps, rather than the simple game he knew as a child, that now defines Thomas Foley."
--- Audrey Korotkin, Two Time Eclipse Award Winner
and the First Executive Director of Triple Crown Productions