Seabiscuit, as great a horse as he was, could not do it alone. Many people helped Seabicuit reach the stardom that he did, and here are their short biographies. The people below were very much like Seabiscuit, misunderstood but very talented. They just needed a chance, and when they all merged, they got their chance at fame! Enjoy.
Tom Smith: Trainer
Tom Smith was a well-known trainer in the 1930s and 40s and conditioned 29 stakes winners and six champions, including Seabiscuit.
Smith was born in Georgia but spent most of his life in the West. Early in his career he trained horses for the cavalry and worked on a cattle ranch. In the 1920s he worked for C.B. (Cowboy) Irwin’s Wild West Show and racing stable. When Irwin’s show closed, Smith ended up on the West Coast. He began working as a trainer for Charles S. Howard in 1933.
Charles S. Howard had purchased Seabiscuit for $8,000. Under Smith’s guidance Seabiscuit blossomed into a champion handicap horse and the leading money-winner of his day. He won major stakes from coast to coast, including a match race victory over Triple Crown winner War Admiral in the 1938 Pimlico Special, the inaugural Hollywood Gold Cup, and the 1940 Santa Anita Handicap. Smith went on to train Kayak II and Mioland to additional handicap champion titles.
Later training for Mrs. Elizabeth Arden’s Maine Chance Farm, Tom Smith conditioned Star Pilot and Beaugay for the colt and filly championships of 1945. In 1947 he won the Kentucky Derby with Maine Chance’s Jet Pilot.
Tom Smith twice led the nation’s trainers in earnings. His 29 stakes winners also included Lord Boswell, Porter’s Cap, and War Jeep. Smith was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2001.
Above text from, Hall of Fame
Charles S. Howard: Owner
Charles Howard left his family at the young age of 16 and traveled to California looking for a new life. It was the turn of the Century, and horse-drawn carriages were still in use. Howard didn’t like this and through his work and through the help of a earthquake that helped people realize cars were much more sturdy than a horse, he transformed California seemingly overnight into a vehicle driven society. As a dealer of Buicks, Howard made a fortune and soon married a lovely young woman by the name of Marcela. Together they decided to get into racing, somewhat ironic after he pushed the horse out of commision earlier in his life.
Through an aquantence, Howard hooked up with trainer Tom Smith, who had just found a horse straggling in the claiming ranks by the name of Seabiscuit. Together they joined a partnership and Seaniscuit went on to become a renowned racer.
Howard retired to his home base in California, a 200+ acre ranch by the name of Ridgewood. There, he and Seabiscuit lived out their day herding cattle.
Red Pollard: Jockey
Before getting the mount on Seabiscuit, Red was a prize fighter to help make ends meet when his jockey career was slowly dwindling. He was a good rider, but was somewhat fond of drinking. He raced on the lowest of tracks scraping for mounts when his big break came. He became Seabiscuits jockey and his soft hand and excellant riding skills rode Seabiscuit to many a win.
After Seabiscuit’s retirement, Pollard went to Ridgewood to train for Howard, he was no good at it so he quit. He then started riding again but injuries befell him. He worked at a track in the last days of his life.
George Woolf: Jockey
George Woolf rode from 1928 through 1946 and won with 19.1% of his mounts. He was known as The Iceman because he had a habit of “sitting chilly” or waiting till the moment of maximum opportunity. It was a talent that would serve him well.
Woolf’s career is all the more impressive when one realizes that he rode comparatively few horses. He averaged 4 to 5 mounts a week because he suffered from diabetes and had to regulate his diet and exercise. When he did ride, he rode some of the finest horses of his era but considered Seabiscuit the best of all.
Two of Woolf’s most exciting rides came on Seabiscuit. In the 1938 Hollywood Gold Cup, he brought Seabiscuit from 14 lengths back to win the race. In a match with War Admiral later in the year, he used the opposite strategy by outrunning War Admiral from the start.
George Woolf was the nation’s leading stakes-winning jockey 1942-44. In 1946 he was killed in a spill at Santa Anita. In his honor the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award is given to the rider who demonstrates high standards of personal and professional conduct.
Above Text from Hall of Fame