A True Tale of Three Gamblers, the Kentucky Derby, and the Mexican Cartel

"How can you resist a true story with the Kentucky Derby, the Cartel, Tijuana gambling, and a guy named Miami? You can’t! Prepare yourself for the ride.”

—Brandt Andersen, Executive Producer: American Made (2017), Silence (2016), and Lone Survivor (2013)

Available Now Audio Book | eBook | Print

About the Author

Mark Paul lives for action and adventure at locations where gambling occurs.

He began his gambling career by sneaking into Hollywood Park and Santa Anita at age 16. His history includes motorcycle racing, owning interests in 38 racehorses, and sailing 5,000 miles in a sailboat through the Panama Canal to attend horse races in South America and Jamaica. He was a participant in a $1 million win on the 1988 Kentucky Derby with two other gamblers through a bet placed in Tijuana, Mexico.

About the Book


The Greatest Gambling Story Ever Told is an inspiring personal narrative about a filly who broke through the male-dominated world of horseracing and inspired crowds of men and women alike, along with a trio of gamblers who embark on an unforgettable adventure that’s as epic as the historic victory of Winning Colors. It’s Seabiscuit meets Narcos, and the best true-life gambling story ever told.

When the gamblers unknowingly place their longshot bet with members of a suspected drug cartel at a racetrack in Tijuana, Mexico, they must figure out how to claim their prize - without getting killed in the process.

"I loved reading The Greatest Gambling Story Ever Told and couldn't put it down. It's a wonderfully stylish and entertaining story filled with action, suspense, and a lot of heart."

—Tobias Schliessler, ASC, Cinematographer of Beauty and the Beast (2017), Dreamgirls (2006), and Lone Survivor (2013)

News & Events

Mark Paul Interview with Brant James

Mark Paul, author of The Greatest Gambling Story Ever Told, talks to renowned sports columnist, Brant James, an alumnus of SI.com, ESPN.com, USA TODAY and the Tampa Bay Times and current host of the Points Taken podcast.

Mark gives a colorful interview on his book and gambling with suspected cartel members.

Listen on SoundCloud

Recent Praise

“I loved the book and story! I usually don’t like horse racing books because the writers don’t typically understand racing. Mark has recreated the world’s greatest racing event in an accurate, exciting and intense portrayal. It’s like being at the finish line with a million dollars on the line!”
—Aron Wellman, President & Founder, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, 25 Stakes Winners… Winner Belmont Stakes

“The Greatest Gambling Story Ever Told follows the development of champion Winning Colors through the eyes of her owner, trainer and jockey. But the drama is just beginning at the Tijuana Mexico betting windows, after Winning Colors wins the Kentucky Derby!”
—Steve Springer –  Los Angeles Times award winning sportswriter and author of 11 books

“An exciting story of a filly battling the males in the Kentucky Derby… and the gamblers that risked their lives on her. I was fascinated by the behind the scenes aspects of thoroughbred racing. A fun, fast and exciting read.”
—Ken Stovitz, Producer of “The Karate Kid”


A $1,000,000 Score
Winning Colors Kentucky Derby -Photo Finish (Photo by Bettman)
Mexican Federal Forces by Frontpage
Zeta Magazine Coverage of Narco Trafficking