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Seabiscuit
Extraordinary Photo File

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 My thanks to the
 California Thoroughbred Breeders Association for permission to excerpt  their article on Seabiscuit 
that those new to the sport may also enjoy the moment

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Santa Anita Handicap 1940 . . . with permission DRF

Hear Joe Hernandez call the stretch run!

Audio©
Short download 658 K's

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The immortal Seabiscuit winning the San Antonio Handicap in 1940
Kayak II 2nd and Viscounty 3rd on rail
Jockey Red Pollard, up
Photo courtesy of Craig Wheeler

 

Click photos to enlarge

 

 
     

George Woolf and Genevieve
 

©
Copyright
David Beltran

     

Seabiscuit
Spec Richardson, up
Caliente

©
Copyright
Miller/Second Running

     

Seabiscuit
with 
Sonny Workman, up.

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Santa Anita
San Antonio Handicap
1938

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Seabiscuit
and
George Woolf
(Thanks to Jockey News)

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Seabiscuit
Santa Anita
(Thanks to The History of Thoroughbred
Racing In America)

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June 22, 1935: 
Seabiscuit won his first race, at Narragansett Park.        

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August 7, 2000

SEABISCUIT'S TRAINER JOINING HALL OF FAME
During its Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Monday, Aug. 7, in
Saratoga Springs, N.Y., the National Museum of Racing
 announced that Tom Smith, the trainer of Seabiscuit, would be joining Thoroughbred racing's Hall of Fame.
Smith was elected to the Hall of Fame by a majority vote of the
Historic Review Committee, 
which examines the careers of individuals whose accomplishments may not have  received full 
consideration
 in the past.
Seabiscuit defeated Triple Crown winner War Admiral in the 1938 Pimlico Special 
to clinch Horse of the Year honors. He was elected to the
Hall of Fame in 1958.
Other prominent horses saddled by Smith include Star Pilot, Kayak II,
Mioland, Beaugay and Myrtle Charm. Smith retired from training in 1954 and died in 1957. 
His induction will take place during next year's ceremony.   

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July 16, 1938
Inaugural running of the Hollywood Gold Cup
Seabiscuit (5)  - George Woolf - 133 pounds
Specify (3) - 109 pounds
Whichcee (4) - 114 pounds

(Click for picture of Official Program)

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Aug. 12, 1938: 
In a $25,000 winner-take-all match race, 
Seabiscuit defeated Ligaroti by a nose at Del Mar. 
The race pitted father against son, with
Charles S. Howard, owner of Seabiscuit, competing with his son 
Lin, who owned Ligaroti in partnership with crooner Bing Crosby. 
The race was so closely contested that the jockey 
for Ligaroti, Noel Richardson, kept rider
George Woolf in a leg-lock for part of the stretch run. 

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  SEABISCUIT - By Hard Tack - Swing On, by Whisk Broom ll 

The following story resume was submitted to Second Running by Laura Hillenbrand in conjunction with the TRC and was a Press Release. The extraordinary career of Seabiscuit was recounted in a lengthy feature in the July/August issue (98) of American Heritage magazine. The author, Equis magazine contributing editor, Laura Hillenbrand is writing a book on the horse. The story received an Eclipse Award for 1998.

When the partnership which campaigned Seabiscuit formed in 1936, it seemed an unlikely formula for success. The jockey, Red Pollard, was a one-eyed former boxer whose riding career was foundering. The owner, C. S. Howard, was a bicycle repairman-turned overnight millionaire. The trainer, Tom Smith, was a wild west show groom whom Howard had found living in a stall in Mexico. The horse was a bent-legged claimer. But the odd alliance worked: Bought by Howard and guided by Smith and Pollard, Seabiscuit was transformed into one of history's greatest race horses.

Over five years, the Seabiscuit team combined to win nearly every major American handicap, earning more press coverage than Roosevelt, Mussolini and Hitler. In 1938, when Pollard was nearly killed in a racing pileup, his best friend George Woolf joined the team as stand-in rider, guiding the horse to several major wins. The Pollard-Seabiscuit reunion was set for the horses' most formidable test, the 1938 match with Triple Crown winner War Admiral, but when Pollard's leg was virtually severed in a workout accident, Woolf got the nod. He rode Seabiscuit to an over-whelming victory, then mailed half the jockey's purse to Pollard.

But it was the dauntless quest to win the Santa Anita Handicap which defined Seabiscuit's greatness. Twice defeated by a nose in the race, once carrying 30 pounds more than the winner, he tore a tendon just before his scheduled third try in 1939, forcing him to join Pollard in retirement at Howard's ranch. After a year-long convalescence together, the horse and jockey with 'four good legs between us' made an unprecedented comeback to win the Santa Anita Handicap. Seabiscuit's immortality was assured: He had won 33 races, set 16 track records and became racing's all-time leading earner.

One of the grandest and gamest Thoroughbreds ever to race in California, or the entire United States, was Seabiscuit. There was something about him that reached out and took hold of the hearts and minds of every man, woman and child
 that was privileged to see him run.

His was a remarkable record, not only because of the great things he did but, more particularly, because of the kindly, courageous and honest manner in which he did them. He started 89 times, winning 33 races, being 15 times second and finishing third on 13 occasions. He wound up in the winter of 1940 with earnings of $437,730, which at that time, made him the leading money-winner of the world.

When he retired he was the best-known and
the most beloved sporting figure in the world.

May 17, 1947: Seabiscuit, owned by Charles S. Howard, succumbed to a
heart attack at Ridgewood Ranch in Willits, Calif. He was 14.