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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This book is a classic. I am not a horse racing fan but the way Laura Hildenbrand tells the story I couldn't help but be drawn into it & cheering for the horse, the jockeys, the... Read morePublished 23 hours ago by Steven R. Krahn
Written in a compelling, interesting way. I was skeptical that a story about a horse that died 70+ years ago would be interesting, but after having read Unbroken (also by L... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Jeff Daugherty
Very well written with excellent research, but way too much of it as it stalled an otherwise fascinating tale of a great horse. I tried to finish it, but gave up. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Toppin
Liked this book. I knew nothing about horse racing, but always like the horse racing movies I saw as a kid. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Dot Wilson
You can tell that Laura researches her material extensively by how she details her story and characters. You feel like you're right there in the story. Amazing description.Published 3 days ago by kathy
The history of Seabiscuit, his jockey, his trainer, and his owner are fascinating and very well written. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Andrew LaB.