Saturday, 23 July 2016

Seabiscuit: The Race of the Century

Trainer Tom Smith with Seabiscuit circa 1936 courtesy 

"He was undersized, knobby-kneed and given to sleeping and eating for long periods of time." (  Seabiscuit was not your typical racehorse.  But given his sire was Hardtack, a son of Man o' War, big things were expected from this little horse. With a slow start, Seabiscuit won 11 out of 15 races in the year 1937. However, because War Admiral had won the Triple Crown, he was declared the Horse of the Year.  

The rivalry led to a 1938 match up at Maryland's Pimlico Track.  Forty thousand fans watched the race from the grandstand.  Forty million Americans listened on their radios, including President Roosevelt who postponed his meetings until the race was complete.  Although Seabiscuit was the underdog, he managed to outsmart and outpower War Admiral, reaching the finish line four lengths ahead.  In under two minutes, he had stopped the nation, diverting their attention from the Great Depression and the impending war to the "The Race of the Century".

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