Seabiscuit: An American Legend

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The story of Seabiscuit really begins with the story of three men, Charles Howard, Tom Smith, and John “Red” Pollard. Howard began his career as a bicycle repairman, but it was the beginning of the age of the automobile and a fortune was to be made. He was granted sole distribution of Buick, National, and Oldsmobile for the entire west. Soon, he was the world’s largest distributor in the fastest-growing industry in history. Howard made a fortune and bought a house for himself, his wife, and his sons. On May 8, 1926 tragedy struck the Howards, when their boy Frankie was in a truck accident and died. Howard left for Tijuana, got out of a marriage and got into horse racing. He also met his future wife Marcela, 27 years his junior. In 1936 Howard bought the horse Seabiscuit from legendary trainer Sunny Fitzsimmons for the price of $8,000-$100,000 in today’s money. Tom Smith was a reclusive trainer born in a log cabin in northwest Georgia. Growing up he trained horses for the U.S. Government and worked cattle in the plains of the West. As a general rule, Smith didn’t talk. In fact, he hardly ever said anything to anyone. He was more comfortable around horses-knowing all their intimacies and quirks-than he was around people. Those around him said he had a calming effect on horses, and could take the most ornery and violent horses and calm them to where anyone could handle them. In 1934 Smith was hired by the Howards to train their horses, and in 1936 he began training Seabiscuit. John “Red” Pollard was born into a fairly prosperous family of seven in Edmonton, Alberta. The Pollards owned a brick-making factory and had a nice life running the family business. Misfortune struck yet again, and in 1915 a flash flood washed away the factory. They became bankrupt virtually overnight. After years of doing odd jobs and trying to make money for the family, Red found his calling

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