SNIPPETS OF HISTORY: ‘ Sea-Biscuit Champion and Symbol of Hope During Great Depression ‘

#AceHistoryNews – September 25 – Story of Seabiscuit (May 23, 1933 – May 17, 1947) was a champion Thoroughbred racehorse in the United States. A small horse, Seabiscuit had an inauspicious start to his racing career, but became an unlikely champion and a symbol of hope to many Americans during the Great Depression.

' Seabiscuit Winning 1940 SAH '

‘ Seabiscuit Winning 1940 SAH ‘

Seabiscuit was the subject of a 1949 film,The Story of Seabiscuit; a 2001 book, Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand; and a 2003 film, Seabiscuit, which was based on the Hillenbrand book and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Seabiscuit was foaled on May 23, 1933, from the mare Swing On and sired by Hard Tack, a son of Man o’ War.[1]

Seabiscuit was named for his father, as hardtack or “sea biscuit” is the name for a type of cracker eaten by sailors.[2]

Early Life:

' Seabiscuit - Tom Smith '

‘ Seabiscuit – Tom Smith ‘

The bay colt grew up on Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky, where he was trained. He was undersized, knobby-kneed,[1] and given to sleeping and eating for long periods.

Initially, Seabiscuit was owned by the powerful Wheatley Stable and trained by Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons, who had taken Gallant Fox to the United States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing.

Fitzsimmons saw some potential in Seabiscuit, but felt the horse was too lazy. He devoted most of his time to training Omaha, who won the 1935 Triple Crown.

Seabiscuit was relegated to a heavy schedule of smaller races.

He failed to win his first seventeen races, usually finishing back in the field. After that, Fitzsimmons did not spend much time on him, and the horse was sometimes the butt of stable jokes. Seabiscuit began to gain attention after winning two races at Narragansett Park and setting a new track record in the second – a Claiming Stakes race. As a two-year-old, Seabiscuit raced thirty-five times (a heavy racing schedule),[1] coming in first five times and finishing second seven times.

These included three claiming races, in which he could have been purchased for $2500, but he had no takers.[1]

On April 10, Seabiscuit’s retirement from racing was officially announced. When he was retired to the Ridgewood Ranch near Willits, California, he was horse racing’s all-time leading money winner. Put out to stud, Seabiscuit sired 108 foals, including two moderately successful racehorses: Sea Sovereign and Sea Swallow.

' Seabiscuit Statue '

‘ Seabiscuit Statue ‘

Over 50,000 visitors went to Ridgewood Ranch to see Seabiscuit in his seven years there before his death.

His burial site is Willits Ranch in Mendocino County, California.[9][10]

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