SEABISCUIT Biography - Famous Sports men and women


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Seabiscuit (May 23, 1933-May 17, 1947) Seabiscuit was born from                     
the mare Swing On and sired by Hard Tack (son of Man o' War). The son was named     
for the father; the word seabiscuit is the name for a type of cracker eaten by       
sailors known as hardtack. The bay colt grew up on Claiborne Farm in Paris,         
Kentucky. He was undersized, knobby-kneed, and not much to look at, and was         
given to sleeping and eating for long periods. Initially, he was trained by the     
legendary 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 lazy, and with most of his time taken             
training Omaha (a Triple Crown winner), Seabiscuit was relegated to a punishing     
schedule of smaller races. He failed to win his first ten races (not uncommon in     
horse racing), and most times finished back in the field. After that, training       
him was almost an afterthought and the horse was sometimes the butt of stable       
jokes. Then, as a three-year-old, Seabiscuit raced thirty-five times (a heavy       
racing schedule), coming in first five times, and finishing second seven times.     
Still, at the end of the racing season, he was occasionally used as an outrider     
horse. The next racing season, the colt was again less than spectacular and his     
owners sold the horse to automobile entrepreneur Charles S. Howard for $8,000,       
the equivalent of about 100,000 dollars in 2007. This was no bargain basement       
price for a horse, and the sale price proves Fitzsimmons thought Seabiscuit had     
potential, and was also probably going to be a decent racehorse sire. Seabiscuit     
was not as bad a runner for Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons as the 2003 movie and even the     
book by Hillenbrand made him out to be. Many thoroughbred racehorses never break     
their maiden and do not win even one race. However, Seabiscuit had not lived up     
to his racing potential when Charles S. Howard bought him.