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Seabiscuit, (foaled 1933), American racehorse (Thoroughbred) the in six periods (1935–40) won 33 that 89 races and also a full of $437,730, a document for American Thoroughbreds (broken 1942). His unlikely success showed a welcome diversion to millions during the great Depression, and also he came to be a nationwide phenomenon.

Breeding and early years

Seabiscuit to be foaled in 1933 in ~ the Claiborne Farm close to Paris, Kentucky. His sire was tough Tack, a son of man o’ War, and also his dam was Swing On. Seabiscuit to be a bay and on the tiny side, uneven his sire, who much more closely resembled guy o’ War.


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Seabiscuit do his two-year-old debut in ~ Hialeah Park in Florida on January 19, 1935, and also finished fourth. The consensus was that, although no striking, Seabiscuit can still it is in a helpful performer. Indigenous then v November he made 35 starts and wound up through the unimpressive record of 5 wins if failing to ar in 18 races and earning just $12,510. His three-year-old season was equally inauspicious. It to be no surprise, therefore, the by august 1936—at the end of the Saratoga (New York) meet and also after over 40 uninspired races spread over two years—Seabiscuit’s owners had provided up and entered that in a claiming race for $6,000. He winner the occasion only to experience the indignity of not being claimed by anyone.

Seated in the stands was a relatively new face in Thoroughbred racing, Charles S. Howard, a millionaire vehicle distributor from san Francisco that hoped to create horse racing on a grand range on the West Coast. Through him to be his trainer, Tom Smith, who had actually a penchant and skill because that rejuvenating discarded horses. Both guys were attractive to Seabiscuit, possibly by the tremendous stamin he appeared to possess, and also Smith urged his employee to to buy the horse.


After some preliminary cultivate by smith in California, the colt started to gyeongju again—and started finishing in the money. Through year’s finish he had actually raced 23 times, scored nine wins, and earned $28,995, many of which came in the last couple of months under Howard’s ownership.

In 1937 Seabiscuit became a regular winner. On in march 6, he won the mountain Juan Capistrano Handicap, which was adhered to by 6 consecutive wins. His attempt to same Discovery’s record of eight directly wins was thwarted once he finished 3rd in the Narragansett distinct on a sloppy track. The race proved conclusively the Seabiscuit had occurred a distaste for mud, so from climate on his handlers avoided such problems whenever possible. The loss did not interfere through the colt’s to win ways: the came ago with three straight wins.

Match race v War Admiral

Seabiscuit’s success collection the stage for a much-anticipated confrontation ~ above October 30, 1937, in ~ the Washington Handicap in Laurel, Maryland, in between War Admiral, the top three-year-old, and also Seabiscuit, the leading four-year-old. In this weight-for-age occasion (which forced the steeds to lug chart-determined collection weights), war Admiral to be assigned 126 pounds and also Seabiscuit 130. The weather, however, did not cooperate, together rain fell during the mainly of the race, causing the track to be heavy. The negative conditions interfered v Seabiscuit’s workouts, and also the equine was withdrawn.

As 1937 drew to a close, both horses went head-to-head in another competition—for the height money winner of 1937. The final an outcome was in doubt till the last weeks, as soon as Seabiscuit took the honours through a complete of $168,580 in 15 starts that included 11 firsts, 2 seconds, and also 1 third. Battle Admiral earned $166,500 native 8 wins the end of 8 starts, 6 of which were in comb races. It was the very first time since 1915 the an enlarge horse had beaten a three-year-old.

After extreme negotiations, an additional date because that the complement race between the 2 extraordinary equines was collection for may 30, 1938. Most professionals assumed that war Admiral would outrun Seabiscuit, as he had done to his other opponents. Problems again interfered with the race. Seabiscuit’s legs to be sore and puffy, prompting Howard to call off the race on might 24. To run the Thoroughbred in this problem would hardly have been fair.

The enhance race to be billed together the second “race the the century.” The 2 Thoroughbreds had distinctly various styles of racing. War Admiral favored to start with a to explode of speed, sustain it till the end, and eliminate his opposition early. Seabiscuit, the more phlegmatic of the two, desired to come native behind, charging under the stretch through a great rush and frequently winning gyeongju at the wire.

Theirs was the seventh gyeongju on the program at the Pimlico gyeongju Course in Baltimore, Maryland. War Admiral was a 1–4 favourite; Seabiscuit’s odds were 22–10. War Admiral winner the coin toss and pole position. Two false starts kept the spectators top top edge. Battle Admiral broke first, followed by Seabiscuit. ~ above the 3rd start, Seabiscuit’s jockey whipped him difficult on his flanks, and also he shot the end in front v a an excellent burst of rate as he to be guided come the rail in former of battle Admiral. Seabiscuit led by an open size as castle passed the stands and also ultimately won by 4 lengths, beating the track document by 1/5 second.

Final years

Seabiscuit did no race again in 1938, yet his victory over battle Admiral earn him steed of the Year honours. He returned to the West coastline to rest before running as soon as in 1939, where he was injured and also was subsequently retired come stud.

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Seabiscuit came out that retirement on February 9, 1940. There to be one an ext goal to attain—the Santa Anita, which he had lost twice by a nose. Currently he prevailed, win in the record time that 2:011/5.

Seabiscuit died in 1947 and was inducted into the national Museum of Racing’s room of fame in 1958. His story is recounted in Laura Hillenbrand’s publication Seabiscuit: one American Legend (2001; movie 2003).