Seabiscuit was an American racehorse who became a popular figure due to his drive to win despite a rocky start and injury. He was initially overlooked but under new ownership and training, he won many important races, including the Match of the Century. He was injured but successfully returned to racing and retired after winning the Santa Anita Handicap. He sired over 100 horses before his death in 1947.
Seabiscuit was an American racehorse racing in the late 1930s. He became a popular figure in American culture because he had an unusual drive to win, despite a rocky start and a serious injury that nearly ended his racing career. Seabiscuit’s feats on the track inspired many Americans and the story of the little horse could become a popular American legend.
He was foaled in 1933, and the colt was initially hoped to have track promise, as he was the grandson of Man o’ War, another famous American horse. His name refers to his father, Hard Tack, who was named for a staple aboard the warships for which Man o’ War was named. However, his early trainers were unable to focus their attention on Seabiscuit and the ungainly little horse did not distinguish himself on the track in his early racing years. Eventually, it was sold to Charles Howard, a California investor who thought the horse had potential.
Under Howard’s ownership, Seabiscuit began training with Tom Smith, a trainer who recognized that the sometimes lazy and temperamental horse could potentially be a competitor if handled correctly. Smith worked on socializing Seabiscuit so he would be easier to handle and assigned jockey Red Pollard to work with the horse. This proved to be a great decision, as the two formed a strong bond together which worked well on the track.
In 1936, Seabiscuit finally began to put his best foot forward on the track, and the public began to pay attention to the little horse. Over the next several years, Seabiscuit won a number of important races and many people were eager to see him matched for Admiral of War, Horse of the Year in 1937 after winning the Triple Crown. The public got his wish when the two horses met in the Match of the Century, which Seabiscuit narrowly won; his victory secured him the Horse of the Year award for 1938.
Shortly after Seabiscuit captured the public imagination with his daring victories on US racetracks, the horse was seriously injured. Oddly, Red Pollard was also seriously injured around the same time. It was believed that injuries would keep the pair from racing again, but the two successfully ran a return race in 1940. Seabiscuit ran one more race, the coveted Santa Anita Handicap, before retiring to Ridgewood Ranch, where he died in 1947 after siring over 100 horses, some of which became famous in their own right.