CELEBRATING SEABISCUIT AND RED POLLARD’S WIN
on the 75th Anniversary of their
Final Victory at Santa Anita Park
– Arcadia, CA –
“May the world never forget the magnificent Seabiscuit!” – Laura Hillenbrand,
Best-Selling Author of “Seabiscuit, An American Legend”
On March 7, 2015, the Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation (SHF) and Santa Anita Park will celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Seabiscuit and Red Pollard’s history-making win in the Santa Anita Handicap of March 2, 1940.
This historic race made Seabiscuit the world’s top money earner of his day: $437,730 — almost $2.3 million in today’s dollars and it almost didn’t happen! Seabiscuit was seven years old and both he and his jockey, Red Pollard, had just recovered from what appeared to be career-ending injuries. 78,000 race fans wildly cheered them to victory as Seabiscuit broke the Santa Anita track record at the time.
Santa Anita Park announced plans to host a post-race screening of the 2003 blockbuster hit movie “Seabiscuit” following the races on Saturday, February 28. The film, based on Laura Hillenbrand’s book, was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, starred Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, Chris Cooper, Elizabeth Banks, William H. Macy and Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, an honorary Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation board member. Directed by Gary Ross, “Seabiscuit” is regarded by many as perhaps the greatest racetrack-themed film of all-time. Unfortunately, this event was cancelled due to inclement weather.
Festivities on March 7th will include a presentation of a stunning bronze sculpture of Seabiscuit and Red Pollard titled “Final Victory”, replicating the dynamic image as horse and rider cross the finish line, to the 2015 Santa Anita Handicap champion by Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation president, Jacqueline Cooper. “It is an honor to help commemorate the 75th anniversary of this historic achievement at Santa Anita Park. Seabiscuit was a depression-era hero that, thanks to Laura Hillenbrand, continues to inspire. The horse embodies hope.” said Cooper. Seabiscuit’s owner, C.S. Howard, one of Santa Anita’s original investors, would have been pleased.
The winning jockey will receive a St. Christopher medal from Dr. June Donaldson, Media and SHF Public Relations Director. Apparently, prior to the 1940 race, Marcela Howard, Seabiscuit’s registered owner, pinned a St. Christopher’s medal on the left side of Seabiscuit’s saddle blanket and Agnes Pollard (Red Pollard’s wife) had given him the same medal to wear in the race, thus the significance of this gift.
Dr. Donaldson will also present the winning jockey with an inscribed copy of a poem written by Norah Pollard Christianson. The poem is called “Questions I Never Asked My Father” and it is from Norah Pollard’s book of poems called “Leaning In”. This touching tribute relates to Pollard and his passion for his craft.
The March 7 program will further include a chance for race fans to win a dazzling, limited edition, Seabiscuit print from the Howard family private collection. The original artwork was commissioned by Marcela Howard and said to be a personal favorite. Proceeds are in support of ongoing historic preservation and conservation efforts of Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation at historic Ridgewood Ranch, home and final resting place of the legendary racehorse. Members of the Howard and Pollard families will be present to participate in the celebration.
The Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation will also have a display table at the Big ‘Cap where information on the Foundation, membership, Ridgewood Ranch – home of Seabiscuit – tour information and Seabiscuit buttons will be available to racing fans.
The Foundation and Santa Anita Park are honored to have received the following tribute from Walter F. Mondale, former Vice President of the United States, SHF Honorary Board Member and supporter:
“Congratulations to the Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation of Willits, CA and Santa Anita Park of Arcadia, CA for joining together to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Seabiscuit and Red Pollard winning the coveted Santa Anita Handicap of $100,000 on March 2, 1940. That historic win was their last ride together and resulted in Seabiscuit becoming the highest money-earner of his time. To think that 75 years after that monumental win, this legendary horse and beloved jockey will be celebrated at Santa Anita on March 7, 2015, is joyful proof that hard work, determination and belief in oneself are still time- honored qualities. Best wishes to all as you celebrate this special day!”
Plan to join us at Santa Anita Park on March 7 for what promises to be a special day in a glorious setting, celebrating true heroes who represented the American dream.