(4 customer reviews)

Hamilton Greer is a sixteen year old runaway on the road in search of answers in the summer of 1972.

When he finds himself on the backstretch of Saratoga Race Track he’s soon immersed in the unique world of Thoroughbred horse racing in the counsel of a sage named Willie.

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When he finds himself on the backstretch of Saratoga Race Track he’s soon immersed in the unique world of Thoroughbred horse racing in the counsel of a sage named Willie.

We follow Hamilton as he travels about the country learning about life, love and loyalty and what it takes to be a man…

John Perrotta is a lifelong horseman, breeder of champions and stakes winners, former president and producer of his Thoroughbred Racing Radio Network and a writer, screenwriter, producer and consultant for film and television programs set in the horse racing world. John was a writer, executive story editor and co-producer of the HBO series LUCK and splits his time between Hollywood, California, Hollywood, Florida and Ireland while he works on upcoming novels, screenplays and pilots.

Additional information

Weight 1.05 lbs

John R Perrotta


CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1st edition (September 18, 2015)




354 pages






6 x 0.8 x 9 inches


  1. East Coast Kid


    “John Perrotta’s extensive knowledge of the transient, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes inspiring world of racetrackers is quite evident in this, his most recent work. He has an uncanny knack of developing a storyline that incorporates historical facts with a fictional character so as to leave the reader with a sense that it may have actually happened. Anyone who is familiar with the backstretch of racetracks and has spent a considerable amount of time in that environment knows of someone whose life at the track has faced the many twists and turns and ups and downs that Ham’s does in the novel. It may not be a true story, but it definitely could be. As a racetracker, it brought back many lost memories. As a human being, it made me think about the good and bad in people, and just how lucky I have been to be a part of it. Regardless of whether or not an individual understands the world of horse racing, the reader will thoroughly enjoy reading about the trials and travails of the main character in the book.”

  2. Rob Whiteley


    “Those of us who have experienced “holding on and turning left” will inhale this book. Others unfamiliar with the race-track backstretch life and lingo will still find this book to be an informative and enjoyable glimpse into a unique, captivating, and often addicting world. Someone without race-track knowledge might find the author’s first book, Racetracker, to be a good first-read before starting If Wishes Were Horses and sharing a ride with Perrotta’s youthful main character (Ham) as he sets out on his eventful existential journey to find himself.”

  3. Eecie

    ***** WINS IT BY FIVE

    “John Perrotta gets it all right in this excellent racetrack book. I’ve been in racing 40+ years and every word in here rings true. Perrotta gets the unique feel of the backstretch perfectly. I loved his mixing in real people and horses in with the fictional. Racetrackers often get a bad rap; Perrotta gives us many of the wonderful characters who love and life with the horses. The story of Hamilton Greer, his friendship and devotion to his mentor Willie and his travels around the tracks is engrossing. If you’re not familiar with the backstretch, you will be after reading this terrific tale.”

  4. samantha.luso (verified owner)

    what a story oh my god!! This book could be the great American novel! Extremely well written you will be addicted to story from the very first page. If you have worked in the horse racing industry or have a race horses or just love horses this book will touch your heart and soul! You can smell the horses the tack and feel the dirt of the streaking through the pages. This is a beautiful beautiful book I cannot recommend enough. it is amazing this book is not more well known. The story of the characters read just like a movie! It is definitely one of my most favorite books!! The story of Amazing story that everyone can Relate to.

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