A small horse, Seabiscuit had an inauspicious start to his racing career, winning only a fourth of his first 40 races, but became an unlikely champion and a symbol of hope to many Americans during the Great Depression.
Seabiscuit has been the subject of numerous books and films, including Seabiscuit: the Lost Documentary (1939); the Shirley Temple film The Story of Seabiscuit (1949); a book, Seabiscuit: An American Legend (2001) by Laura Hillenbrand; and a film adaptation of Hillenbrand's book, Seabiscuit (2003) that was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Seabiscuit was foaled in Lexington, Kentucky, on May 23, 1933, from the mare Swing On and sire Hard Tack, a son of Man o' War. Seabiscuit was named for his father, as hardtack or "sea biscuit" is the name for a type of cracker eaten by sailors.
Initially, Seabiscuit was owned by the powerful Wheatley Stable and trained by "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons, who had taken Gallant Fox to the United States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. Fitzsimmons saw some potential in Seabiscuit but felt the horse was too lazy. Fitzsimmons devoted most of his time to training Omaha, who won the 1935 Triple Crown.