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Seabiscuit rose to prominence with the help of an unlikely triumvirate: owner Charles Howard, an automobile baron who once declared that "the day of the horse is past"; trainer Tom Smith, a man who "had cultivated an almost mystical communication with horses"; and jockey Red Pollard, who was down on his luck when he charmed a then-surly horse with his calm demeanor and a sugar cube. Hillenbrand details the ups and downs of "team Seabiscuit," from early training sessions to record-breaking victories, and from serious injury to "Horse of the Year"--as well as the Biscuit's fabled rivalry with War Admiral. She also describes the world of horseracing in the 1930s, from the snobbery of Eastern journalists regarding Western horses and public fascination with the great thoroughbreds to the jockeys' torturous weight-loss regimens, including saunas in rubber suits, strong purgatives, even tapeworms.
Along the way, Hillenbrand paints wonderful images: tears in Tom Smith's eyes as his hero, legendary trainer James Fitzsimmons, asked to hold Seabiscuit's bridle while the horse was saddled; critically injured Red Pollard, whose chest was crushed in a racing accident a few weeks before, listening to the San Antonio Handicap from his hospital bed, cheering "Get going, Biscuit! Get 'em, you old devil!"; Seabiscuit happily posing for photographers for several minutes on end; other horses refusing to work out with Seabiscuit because he teased and taunted them with his blistering speed.
Though sometimes her prose takes on a distinctly purple hue ("His history had the ethereal quality of hoofprints in windblown snow"; "The California sunlight had the pewter cast of a declining season"), Hillenbrand has crafted a delightful book. Wire to wire, Seabiscuit is a winner. Highly recommended. --Sunny Delaney --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Good story, well written non-fiction that held my interest even though the subject matter wouldn't have been my first choice.Published 2 days ago by Karin Patzke
You do not have to be a horse race fan or even a horse fan to enjoy this story and drama.Published 3 days ago by Martha J. Weekes
Despite the dark times of the depression, the country rallied around a horse.
And what a horse it was. Read more
This was a great book I enjoyed so much. Want to see movie. You can find Seabiscuit on utube.Published 9 days ago by Nitro
But I'm not much interested in horse racing and the details in this book bogged me down. However, the stories of Woolf, Pollard and Seabiscuit were amazing and well told.Published 11 days ago by Robert McConnell
Great read if you're into horses! Very informative in regard to the lives of jockeys!Published 12 days ago by Tula