Fifteen-year-old Evan Kendrick has traveled from New Mexico Territory to Galveston with his father, Edward, who will be competing in a horse race thats offering a $3,000 prize to the winner. But a terrible accident seriously injures Evans drunken father, forcing Evan to saddle up instead.This is no ordinary race. Running from Texas to New England, its course is eighteen hundred milesmaybe even longerand Evan will be riding a barely half-broke mustang stallion that he and his father caught. Hell be competing against all breeds of horses, ridden by professionals and amateurs from across the world.Although Evan has learned a lot about horses from his father, Edward has also taught his son that horses are good for nothingYou ride one to death, you get another and do the same.Luckily, but somewhat reluctantly, the races chief veterinarian, Patrick Jack, takes Evan under his wing. But a horse doctor can teach a hot-headed teenager only so much.For six weeks, Evan Kendrick will learn a lot about horses, riding, friendship, lifeand himself. Hell form alliances with two of his competitors, a Negro Seminole Indian scout named Dindie Remo and a hard-drinking young woman, Arena Lancaster, whose life has been harder than even young Evans. Evan will make enemies, too. Hell see new country, and hell discover what America can offer, both good and bad. But to win this raceto even survive itEvan will have to put his trust in a tough stallion the color of traders whiskey: a mustang named Taos Lightning.