On October 20, 1923, at Belmont Park in New York, Kentucky Derby champion Zev toed the starting line alongside Epsom Derby winner Papyrus, England's top three-year-old colt. Few happenings had ever been covered so closely by American newspapers as the spectacle officially dubbed the International Race. The extraordinary hype surrounding the event was even more notable considering that only a few years earlier Thoroughbred racing had been on the brink of Progressive-era extinction in the United States. But following a post-World War I political sea change in the United States, in what would later be remembered as a "golden age" of sport, Americans rallied around the horse that was, in the words of its owner Harry F. Sinclair, "racing for America," while Sinclair was engaged in a scheme to defraud the United States of millions of barrels of publicly owned oil in one of the most notorious instances of political corruption in American history -- the Teapot Dome scandal. America First examines the postwar revival of American horseracing, culminating in the intercontinental showdown between Zev and Papyrus, that captured some of the incongruity and contradiction of 1920s America.
Keywords: horseracing, Teapot Dome, American Mythology, Progressive Era, Roaring Twenties, golden age of sports, Thoroughbred Racing, Harry F. Sinclair, sportswriters, 1920s America, American Dream, Harry F. Sinclair, Earl Sande, Old West, Frontier Myth, oligarchy, mass spectacle
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