Ruffian's life is cataloged by Jane Schwartz in Ruffian: Burning from the Start. Not told from the viewpoint of journalists and fans, but from the recollections of her personal owners, trainers, and caretakers. It is an inside look at the career of Ruffian, from her birth, until her untimely death from those who were closest with her. Therefore, the reader not only falls in love with her story and her beauty, but her personality and character.
Not for the faint of heart, this book will draw you into the backside of the racetrack with Ruffian and Frank Whiteley Jr. among others. You become immersed in her world, her daily routine, the five-star care she received. The detail that Schwartz gleaned from these figures has been woven into a spell-binding tale, one that will leave you wanting more but dreading the well-known outcome.
This book builds to the climax of the infamous match race between Ruffian and Foolish Pleasure by beginning the morning of, and then moving backwards in time to her birth. From there the chapters occur chronologically, with small snippets from the day of the match race in-between, eventually leading up to that fateful day. Schwartz, through her many sources, was able to create a seamless biography of Ruffian, one that any horse-fan would thoroughly enjoy.