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20110721Pulitzer prize winning novelist Jane Smiley takes us to the races in California - to the Santa Anita Derby, one of the biggest of the west coast races.|She explains her own love of horses - how horse literature, film and TV helped shape popular culture in the USA when she was growing up and how she came to keep race horses herself.|As an owner she had access to the exciting world of horse racing.|Her fascination translated into several books including the novel Horse Heaven.|Against the backdrop of an exciting day of racing we hear how the characters, the drama, the money and the risk of racing are fertile ground for a writer - and how the races are a wonderful metaphor for American life more generally.|Producer: Susan Marling|A Just Radio production for BBC Radio 4.|Jane Smiley goes horse racing in California.|Why is it such fertile ground for a novelist?