Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Seabiscuit

There was once a line of horses known for their evil rage, aggressiveness, and probably most of all, their race-track speed records. They were known for taking the lead in a race, and never losing it, winning by multiple lengths — and one had even trampled a man to death. Races were held up at times because the horses would not go into the starting gate, but insisted on throwing raging wars against the jockey and assistants. When the horse Hard Tack who descended from this generation of horses, was bred, the young colt was expected to be just as bad…
When Seabiscuit was born, he was often found sleeping for hours on end. He became fat because he overate, including eating his soiled bedding after finishing off his regular feed. He had a hobbled run, not braking speeds of over 15 miles per hour — when his sire broke records in races run over 50 miles per hour. The man that bought him finally forced speed from him by using the whip continuously around the track. He ran Seabiscuit in numerous stake races. The horse changed hands like money — a worthless animal in the racing age.
When a certain man, Tom Smith (who worked for the car salesman and millionaire Charles Howard) saw the horse, he saw a block of speedy gold.
With careful work from trainer Tom Smith, new owner Charles Howard, and soon-to-be jockey Red Pollard, Seabiscuit came back from the dead. His lazy habits changed, and he went on to an astounding career. His match and handicap races between the best horses in the world are still known as some of the most attended sports events in history. Seabiscuit broke numerous speed records, became horse of the year, raced over 80 times, broke the record of total purse winnings ever accumulated by a racehorse, and had more front-page headlines than anything or anyone ever, even the president.


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I really enjoyed reading the book Seabiscuit, by Laura Hillenbrand, and would highly suggest it to any reader. The outline I gave above is an extremely short outline for the vast story about this horse in the book. It was really fascinating to read about the life of this horse, and the people that influenced it. It was funny at times, and extremely shocking at other times. I learned a lot about a jockey’s world, and what people go through during horse racing. Seabiscuit’s story is definitely one of the most amazing comebacks, and stories in the world.


This post was written by: J.Dub

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