A young woman with a soft spot for horses, Maggie helps her boyfriend, Tommy, out with his attempt to own and make money off of several different horses. Maggie has a soft, loving hand with horses and develops a deep love for them. Maggie is captivated by Tommy's charm, and often submits to his schemes and adventures; as the novel progresses, however, she starts to draw away from him and assert her own independence. In the end, it is Maggie who remains unbroken from the corrupt and insidious influence of the racing lifestyle. She brings an air of innocence, youth and exuberance to a novel that is filled with hardened criminals, worn-out grooms and jaded horse-traders.
Edward "Medicine Ed" Salters
Medicine Ed is an old horse-trainer who is known for his homemade ointments and medicines that often spur horses to extraordinary feats on the racetrack. He is deeply superstitious about his medicines, as many horses that he administers to die the day he helps them. He is working to save enough money to buy a place of his own; he is a bit of a rolling stone and feels the need, in his old age, to settle down someplace and rest. Medicine Ed becomes a bit of a mentor to Maggie, providing her with sage advice and being a reluctant guardian when trouble approaches. He is a set of wary, cautious eyes that beholds the main action unfolding.
Deucey is an older, rough-around-the-edges trainer and groom that works with Medicine Ed. Together with Ed and Maggie, she buys the horse Little Spinoza, hoping that he will make them all money. She has a hard and aggressive personality, but a soft heart.
Tommy is a young, attractive, charming character who believes that luck will win him money at the horse races. However, his own ambition and entanglements with local mafia keep him in one place longer than is expedient, and he ends up getting...
(The entire section is 809 words.)