Sport: Winners for Sale

Ten years ago, at 51, Cinemagnate Louis B. Mayer discovered that all work and no play were making him, a dull boy. He tried golf, and decided he was not the type. Then he bought a race horse, and found a plaything that appealed to his instinct for high drama and fascinating figures. He confided to friends: "I'm going to run this stable the way I run my studio —build it on personalities." But once the heady smell of the stables got him, things got out of hand.

In an era when horse racing was...

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