He was a stocky, knobby-kneed racehorse who, together with his hard-luck jockey, captured the hearts of Americans during the Great Depression. In 1938, Walter Winchell ranked him as one of the top 10 newsmakers, along with F.D.R. and Hitler. Worn-out men who stood in bread lines identified with Seabiscuit, whose luck seemed to match theirs but whose stamina echoed the country's.
In his first year of racing, Seabiscuit surprised the experts by winning the Governor's Handicap in Detroit, recouping half his purchase price in less time than it takes to fry an egg. He never won the Triple Crown, but in a match race he beat a horse who did, War Admiral. It took three tries and recovery from a serious injury before he could win the big Santa Anita Handicap and up his lifetime earnings to more than any other horse's in history.
"American Experience" vividly brings to life Laura Hillenbrand's best seller, "Seabiscuit: An American Legend." If you're thrilled by the sight of magnificent thoroughbreds thundering across the finish line, this is one documentary you won't want to miss.
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