Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand


  44 Giannini: Joe Estes, “Thoroughbred Farms in California,” Blood-Horse, SB, n.d., p. 676.

  45 “Doc” Strub: David Alexander, A Sound of Horses (New York: Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1966), pp. 51–70; Mary Fleming, A History of the Thoroughbred in California (Arcadia, Cal.: California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, 1983), pp. 95–97.

  46 1935 average income: Eastman, Almanac 1938, p. 288.

  47 “hunnert-grander”: “Seabiscuit’s Past,” Los Angeles Times, SB, winter 1938.

  48 America’s most heavily attended sport: Tom Gilcoin, telephone interview, February 28, 1997.

  CHAPTER 2

  1 A journalist who had watched Smith: “Like Mike and Ike,” San Francisco Chronicle, SB, n.d.

  2 chop off his own toe: Alexander, A Sound of Horses, p. 185.

  3 “Lone Plainsman”: “Like Mike and Ike,” San Francisco Chronicle, SB, n.d.

  4 Smith’s history: Obituary, Blood-Horse, January 19, 1957, p. 338; “Alarm Clock for Training,” San Francisco Chronicle, SB, 1936; “Seabiscuit Makes Debut,” Los Angeles Times, December 28, 1936; “They Do Come Back,” San Francisco Chronicle, SB, fall 1939; Moody, Come On Seabiscuit, pp. 23–29; “Seabiscuit Trainer History,” Morning Telegraph, SB, fall 1937.

  5 “Cowboy Charlie”: Willard Porter, “Big Charlie Irwin,” True West, September 1987, pp. 38–43; “Riddle Walked In,” SB, fall 1938; “Old West Cowboy Dies,” The New York Times, March 24, 1934, p. 1; “450 Pound Horseman,” uncredited clipping, n.d.; Bill Buck, telephone interview, January 28, 1998; Wad Studley, telephone interview, February 6, 1999; Tommy Bell, telephone interview, June 22, 1999; Keith Stucki, telephone interview, March 25, 1998; Noble Threewit, telephone interview, January 17, 1998; Jimmy Jones, telephone interview, February 3, 1999; “Seabiscuit’s Trainer Pupil of Famous Cowboy Irwin,” SB, 1937.

  6 Work under Irwin: “Tom Smith Sets Sights,” San Francisco News, March 27, 1939; Keith Stucki, telephone interview, March 25, 1998.

  7 Indian reservations: “Riddle Walked In,” SB, fall 1938.

  8 Knighthood: “They Do Come Back,” San Francisco Chronicle, SB, fall 1939.

  9 squatting down on floor: “Alarm Clock for Training,” San Francisco Chronicle, SB, 1936.

  10 watching a horse … for hours: “Kayak II and the ‘Biscuit’; A Namesake Turns Out Well,” Blood-Horse, February 24, 1951, p. 432.

  11 “I’d rather depend on my eye …”: Ibid.

  12 “It’s easy to talk to a horse …”: Theodus Carroll, Firsts Under the Wire: The World’s Fastest Horses (New York: Contemporary Perspectives, 1978), p. 29.

  13 “Learn your horse …”: “Seabiscuit Makes Debut,” Los Angeles Times, December 28, 1936.

  14 Oriley: Bill Buck, telephone interview, January 28, 1998; “History of Silent Tom Smith,” Morning Telegraph/Daily Racing Form, SB, March 1939; “Silent Tom Smith,” SB, March 16, 1940.

  15 living out of a horse stall: Noble Threewit, telephone interview, January 17, 1998.

  16 “the best trainer …”: Joe Estes, “Thoroughbred Farms in California,” Blood-Horse, SB, n.d., p. 676.

  CHAPTER 3

  1 Smith’s clothes: “Best San Francisco Horse,” San Francisco Chronicle, SB, late 1936.

  2 hat story: “Silent Tom Smith,” SB, March 16, 1940.

  3 alarm clock: “Alarm Clock for Training,” San Francisco Chronicle, SB, 1936.

  4 Smith discovers Seabiscuit: Beckwith, Seabiscuit, p. 25; “Hey for Seabiscuit,” San Francisco Chronicle, May 14, 1938.

  5 duck waddle: Stoneridge, Great Horses of Our Time, p. 35.

  6 “mostly in his heart …”: Ibid.

  7 “I’ll see you again …”: Beckwith, Seabiscuit, p. 25.

  8 Fitzsimmons: Jimmy Breslin, Sunny Jim: The Life of America’s Most Beloved Horseman (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, 1962).

  9 track built around house: Breslin, Sunny Jim, pp. 78–79.

  10 Hastings/Man o’ War: Peter Chew, “The Mostest Hoss,” American Heritage, April 1971, pp. 24–29, 90–95.

  11 War Relic: Tommy Luther, telephone interview, February 2, 1998.

  12 Hard Tack: Joe Hernandez, “The Horse of Iron,” Turf and Sport Digest, November 1938, p. 26.

  13 foreleg jabbed out: “Seabiscuit, the All-American Winner,” San Francisco Chronicle, SB, spring 1938.

  14 “Runty little thing …”: Moody, Come On Seabiscuit, p. 3.

  15 “so small … you might mistake …”: “A Testament,” SB, November 1938.

  16 equine sleeping habits: Dale Leatherman, “While You Were Sleeping,” EQUUS, April 1996, pp. 36–38; Bobbie Lieberman, “Your Horse’s Biological Clocks,” EQUUS, February 1984, pp. 40–45.

  17 had to wake horse up in morning: Charles Hatton, “This Is a Horse,” Turf and Sport Digest, January 1939, pp. 16–32.

  18 Seabiscuit’s behavior: Ibid., pp. 16–32; “Sports,” Newsweek, SB, March 1940.

  19 left him in a van: “Seabiscuit’s a Dempsey Sort,” San Francisco Chronicle, SB, n.d.

  20 “I thought he simply couldn’t run …”: “Seabiscuit’s Story,” San Francisco News, March 6, 1940.

  21 “He struck me … as a bird …”: Hatton, “This Is a Horse,” pp. 16–32.

  22 Use of whip: “Seabiscuit’s Story,” San Francisco News, March 6, 1940; “Seabiscuit’s Final Test Today,” New York Sun, May 24, 1938; Hatton, “This Is a Horse,” pp. 16–32; “The Judge’s Stand,” Morning Telegraph/Daily Racing Form, SB, n.d.; “Sports,” Newsweek, SB, March 1940.

  23 “Mean, restive and ragged …”: Beckwith, Seabiscuit, p. 21.

  24 “He had something when he wanted …”: B. K. Beckwith, Step and Go Together (South Brunswick and New York: A. S. Barnes and Company, 1967), p. 113.

  25 “pretty nice hoss …”: “In the Paddock,” SB, February 1939.

  26 pawning off horse as polo pony: “Things and People,” Blood-Horse, February 18, 1950, p.400.

  27 Howards find Seabiscuit/lemonade wager: Beckwith, Seabiscuit, p. 25–26; Michael C. Howard, telephone interview, January 18, 1997.

  28 “Better come and see …”: Beckwith, Step and Go Together, p. 113.

  29 “Get me that horse …”: “Turf King,” San Francisco Chronicle, SB, n.d.

  30 “I fell in love with him …”: Beckwith, Step and Go Together, p. 114.

  31 trial race: “Smith Recalls Stipulation That Could’ve Stopped Seabiscuit Sale,” Daily Racing Form, February 13, 1953; “Biscuit’s Best Race Recalled,” SB, November 3, 1938; “The Judge’s Stand,” Morning Telegraph/Daily Racing Form, March 7, 1940.

  32 “I can’t describe the feeling …”: Beckwith, Seabiscuit, p. 27.

  33 Seabiscuit might … win another purse: “Turf King,” San Francisco Chronicle, SB, n.d.

  34 “Deal or no deal?”: Beckwith, Seabiscuit, p. 27.

  35 “Looks like they got a new saddle horse …”: Farrell Jones, telephone interview, November 4, 1998.

  CHAPTER 4

  1 “His win percentage had dropped …”: Source: Daily Racing Form, Monthly Edition, August, 1936, Volume XVI, No 8. 1936 by Regal Press, Inc.,p. 22.

  2 Red Pollard’s history: Edith Wilde, telephone interview, February 2, 1998; Bill Buck, telephone interview, January 28, 1998; “Pollard’s Bricks Helped Build City,” Strathcona Plaindealer, Summer 1983, p. 1; “Jockey Pollard Recovering,” Morning Telegraph/Daily Racing Form, SB, July 1938; David Alexander, “Four Good Legs Between Them,” Blood-Horse, December 24, 1955, pp. 1558–63.

  3 bartering gasoline for groceries: Edith Wilde, telephone interview, February 2, 1998.

  4 hitching the horse to his toboggan: Ibid.

  5 “the body of a dancer …”: Norah Christianson, telephone interview, January 26, 1998.

  6 ovals cut through hayfields: Keith Stucki, telephone interview, March 25, 1998.

  7 elite quarter horses have been clocked at peak speeds of well over fifty miles per hour: George Pratt, e-mail interview, April 10, 1998.

  8 aban
doned at track: Edith Wilde, telephone interview, February 2, 1998.

  9 dirty tactics: Bill Buck, telephone interview, January 28, 1998; Keith Stucki, telephone interview, March 25, 1998.

  10 “I was trying to kill that Cuban …”: “Eddie Arcaro, ‘The Master,’ Is Dead at 81,” Los Angeles Times, November 15, 1997, p. C11.

  11 “To succeed in those days …”: Eddie Arcaro, I Ride to Win! (New York: Greenberg, 1951), p. 45.

  12 boxing: Alexander, “Four Good Legs,” pp. 1558–63; Alexander, A Sound of Horses, p. 182.

  13 nicknames: Wad Studley, telephone interview, February 6, 1999.

  14 bug boys: Tommy Luther, telephone interview, February 2, 1998; Bill Buck, telephone interview, January 28, 1998; B. K. Beckwith, The Longden Legend (New Jersey: A. S. Barnes and Co., 1973), p. 33.

  15 imposts and lengths: Biracree and Insinger, The Complete Book of Thoroughbred Horse Racing, p. 210.

  16 “I was hungry …”: “Long Ride Over for Jockey Neves,” Los Angeles Times, July 8, 1995, p. C1; “Neves, Howard Rider,” SB, n.d.

  17 “Father” Bill Daly: Alexander, A Sound of Horses, pp. 170–72.

  18 “Who hit you in the butt …”: Bill Buck, telephone interview January 27, 1998.

  19 Preservator: “There They Go!,” Daily Racing Tab, SB, fall 1939.

  20 two saddles, a handful of bridles and two sacks of oats: “There They Go,” Daily Racing Tab, SB, fall 1937.

  21 riding with somewhat longer stirrups: Eddie McMullen, telephone interview, February 5, 1999.

  22 Woolf’s clothing: David Alexander, “New England Racing,” Blood-Horse, August 1, 1942, p. 160.

  23 “fightin’ bulldog …”: Alan Goodrich, “All-Time Greatest Jockey,” Sir!, March 1951, p.22.

  24 Woolf’s history: Bill Buck, telephone interview, January 28, 1998; “Seabiscuit Cinch,” San Francisco Examiner, October 27, 1938; “Georgie Woolf,” SB, n.d.; “The Sun,” Baltimore Sun, October 30, 1938, p. 1; “Georgie Woolf Tops Jockeys,” San Francisco Examiner, April 16, 1938, p. 22.

  25 “Must have been born on one …”: Carey Alexander, “Woolf Is Top Money Rider in America,” Cheers, March 1941, p. 6.

  26 “as natural as walking …”: “By Bud Spencer,” Los Angeles Times, November 4, 1944.

  27 “I’ll be with them until I die …”: “The Iceman Dies,” Blood-Horse, February 23, 1946, p. 86.

  28 Pickpocket: Bill Buck, telephone interview, January 28, 1998.

  29 “hold an elephant …”: “Great Stakes Reinsman Honored Today,” George Woolf Memorial pamphlet, February 10, 1949, p. 1.

  30 skill: Goodrich, “All-Time Greatest Jockey,” p. 66; Joseph Mosbacher, telephone interview, November 19, 1998.

  31 visualize race: Bill Buck, telephone interview, January 28, 1998.

  32 George sets tack on fire: Goodrich, “All-Time Greatest Jockey,” p. 66.

  33 “he was a better rider …”: Joseph Mosbacher, telephone interview, November 19, 1998.

  34 “saying … the wrong thing at the wrong time …”: Alexander, “New England Racing,” p. 160.

  35 “We got a party of our own …”: Bill Buck, telephone interview, January 28, 1998.

  36 rodeo story: Harold Washburn, telephone interview, November 9, 1998; “Match Race,” SB.

  37 teasing Whitey: “Great Stakes Reinsman Honored Today,” p. 4.

  38 beaten in a photo finish: “Woolf Blames Bumping,” SB, March 5, 1938.

  39 “Big head, little ass …”: Bill Buck, telephone interview, January 28, 1998.

  40 “icemen and traveling salesmen …”: Alexander, “New England Racing,” p. 160.

  41 “the strength to blow out a candle …”: Ibid., p. 159.

  CHAPTER 5

  1 Thomas Dowell: “Death of Jockey Dowell,” Thoroughbred Record, July 1938.

  2 “will all but saw their legs off …”: Arcaro, I Ride to Win!, p. 49.

  3 eating dehydrated lettuce: Ibid.

  4 sight of water agonizing: Breslin, Sunny Jim, p. 128.

  5 “road work”: Chick Lang, telephone interview, January 23, 1998; Woody Stephens, telephone interview, January 13, 1998.

  6 DeLara: Joe H. Palmer, This Was Racing (New York: A. S. Barnes and Company, 1953), p. 22.

  7 virtuosos of defecation: Helen Luther, telephone interview, March 6, 1998.

  8 “Frenchy” Hawley: Jockey’s Guild Year Book, 1945 (New York: Jockey’s Guild, 1945), pp. 47–49; Tommy Luther, telephone interview, February 2, 1998; Helen Luther, telephone interview, March 6, 1998.

  9 Greenberg’s reducing: Sonny Greenberg, telephone interview, December 24, 1999.

  10 lost thirteen pounds: Breslin, Sunny Jim, pp. 130–32.

  11 “biggest disappointment of my life …”: Woody Stephens, with James Brough, Guess I’m Lucky, (New York: Doubleday & Company, 1985), p. 39.

  12 athleticism study: Jockey (video), Tel-Air Productions, 1980.

  13 “a situation of dynamic imbalance …”: A. E. Waller, et al., “Jockey Injuries in the United States,” Journal of the American Medical Association, 2000; vol. 283, no. 10.

  14 “the ultimate impossibility …”: Beckwith, The Longden Legend, p. 33.

  15 lengths lost on turns: Eric Wing, National Thoroughbred Racing Association e-mail interview, May 2000.

  16 two hundred or more falls: Jockey (video), Tel-Air Productions, 1980.

  17 three thousand pounds of force: George Pratt, e-mail interview, February 13, 1998.

  18 current jockey injury rates: John Giovanni, telephone interview, January 23, 1998.

  19 Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago: The Jockey News, June/July 1999, p. 58.

  20 one in every five injuries is to head or neck: Waller, et al., “Jockey Injuries in the United States.”

  21 13 percent of jockeys suffered concussions: J. M. Press, P. D. Davis, S. L. Wiesner, et al., “The National Jockey Injury Study: An Analysis of Injuries to Professional Horse-Racing Jockeys,” Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, 1993; 5:236–40.

  22 Nineteen jockeys killed between 1935 and 1939: Ron Farra, Jockeying for a Change (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.: Saratoga Mountain Press, 1998), p. 69.

  23 jockey headgear: Mike Griffin, telephone interview, January 23, 1998; Johnny Longden, telephone interview, January 13, 1998; Woody Stephens, telephone interview, January 13, 1998.

  24 “Sandy Graham”: Tommy Luther, telephone interview, February 2, 1998.

  25 Donoghue: Steve Donoghue, Donoghue Up! (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1938), pp. 234–42, 126–30.

  26 Ralph Neves: “Long Ride Over for Jockey Neves,” Los Angeles Times, July 8, 1995, p. C1; “Resurrected,” San Francisco Chronicle, May 9, 1936, p. A1; Barbara Mikkelson, “Jockey Shorted,” online article (Urban Legends Reference Pages; accessed September 14, 2000); www.snopes.com/spoons/noose/neves.htm; “Rider Who Came Back to Life Feels ‘Great’,” Los Angeles Times, May 10, 1936; “Jockey Back from Dead,” Los Angeles Times, May 9, 1936.

  27 “it could get awfully rough out there …”: Arcaro, I Ride to Win!, p. 45.

  28 “You didn’t talk about it …”: Farrell Jones, telephone interview, November 4, 1998.

  29 “… cannot be blotted out …”: Arcaro, I Ride to Win!, p. 42.

  30 Empire City: Tommy Luther, telephone interview, February 2, 1998.

  31 “the horse, … he takes you …”: Steve Murtaugh, telephone interview, May 2000.

  32 living “all the way up …”: Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1926), p. 10.

  CHAPTER 6

  1 Molino Rojo: Sonny Greenberg, telephone interview, December 24, 1999; Joseph Mosbacher, telephone interview, November 19, 1998; Farrell Jones, telephone interview, November 4, 1998.

  2 “the house of the wilted pigeons …”: Wad Studley, telephone interview, March 2, 1999.

  3 Quoting Shakespeare in the jocks’ room: Farrell Jones, telephone interview, November 4, 1998.

  4 Bear story, twitch story: “The Post
Parade,” Morning Telegraph/Daily Racing Form, September 2, 1937, FD; Horace Wade, “Tales of the Turf,” Turf and Sport Digest, October 1958, p. 16.

  5 fight … over checkers match: Farrell Jones, telephone interview, November 4, 1998.

  6 “Ride ’em, cowboy!”: Carey Alexander, “Woolf Is Top Money Rider,” Cheers, March 1941, p. 6.

  7 black market in his shoes: Joseph Mosbacher, telephone interview, November 19, 1998.

  8 Phar Lap’s kangaroo saddle: Alan Goodrich, “All-Time Greatest Jockey,” Sir!, March 1951, p. 67.

  9 “I am going to be a jockey!”: Harold Washburn, telephone interview, November 9, 1998.

  10 rides half naked: Bill Buck, telephone interview, January 28, 1998; Goodrich, “All-Time Greatest Jockey,” p. 66.

  11 Woolf and Genevieve: Sonny Greenberg, telephone interview, December 24, 1999.

  12 “How can I keep away?”: “Me and the Biscuit,” San Francisco Chronicle, February 15, 1940, p. 4H.

  13 manure sitting/flood: Jimmy Jones, telephone interview, February 3, Wad Studley, telephone interview, March 2, 1999; Tommy Luther, telephone interview, February 2, 1998; Bill Buck, telephone interview, January 28, 1998; Chick Lang, telephone interview, January 23, 1998.

  14 Woolf and Gallant Sir: Noble Threewit, telephone interview, January 17, 1998.

  15 George sleeping: Goodrich, “All-Time Greatest Jockey,” pp. 65–66; Bill Buck, telephone interview, January 28, 1998.

  16 diabetes: “Turf in Review,” Daily Racing Form, January 8, 1949; Jockey’s Guild Year Book, pp. 40–41; Bill Buck, telephone interview, January 28, 1998; Kathy Gold, R.N., telephone interview, Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation, 1999; Sonny Greenberg, telephone interview, December 24, 1999.

  17 three times as many horses: “By Bud Spencer,” Los Angeles Times, November 4, 1944.

  18 “the Desperate Dude”: Goodrich, “All-Time Greatest Jockey,” p. 65.

  19 reinforced saddle: “Turf in Review,” Morning Telegraph/Daily Racing Form, January 8, 1949.

  20 Red blinded: Edith Wilde, telephone interview, February 2, 1998; Norah Christianson, telephone interview, January 26, 1998.

 
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