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Customer Review

294 of 300 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Running with your heart, May 31, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Seabiscuit: An American Legend (Ballantine Reader's Circle) (Paperback)
Seabiscuit's "gallop was so disorganized that he had a maddening tendency to whack himself in the front ankle with his own hind hoof." And so the spell-binding story about a horse that runs with a duck waddle, a jockey (Red Pollard) who is blind in one eye, a trainer (Tom Smith) who is practically mute, and an owner (Charles Howard) who brought cars to the West is born. This unlikely group of misfits joins together through chance -- and because all three men immediately see the untapped potential in a mistreated, high-spirited, and lazy horse named Seabiscuit. This trio devotes their love, skills, and energy into turning Seabiscuit into one of the most phenomenal horse racing legends.
Tom Smith, perhaps the original "horsewhisperer", spends hours learning and understanding his horse. When Seabiscuit is first put into his care for training, the horse is nervous, paces incessantly, weighs too little, and suffers from a sore body. Tom spends time caring for Seabiscuit, showering him with affection and carrots, even sleeping in Seabiscuit's stall at night. A daily routine is introduced plus animal companionship. Before long, Seabiscuit has his own entourage: a cow pony named Pumpkin, the little stray dog Pocatell, and Jojo the spider monkey. Under Tom's care, the high-spirited Seabiscuit learns to trust, becomes calm, and, most importantly, starts winning horse races.
The triumph of Seabiscuit is ultimately the story of what any person (or animal) may accomplish when their talents are recognized, supported, and expanded. Seabiscuit, given his inauspicious start in life, could just as easily have faded away into non-existence running third tier races. However, the love and care he receives from his owner, jockey, and trainer have you cheering until the end of the book for Seabiscuit to keep running (and winning) with his heart. Not only does Seabiscuit capture the hearts of the misfit trio, he will capture yours.
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