In Seabiscuit: An American Legend, what were the qualities that made this horse a winner?
Seabiscuit possessed all the qualities for which the Thoroughbred has been prized since the English imported the breed's three foundation sires from the Middle East three hundred years ago. What were those qualities that helped to make this horse a winner?
I guess I have to differ from the premise of the question. If one looked at Seabiscuit, I think that the most evident elements of a prototypical thoroughbred are not present. He lacks those elements that a horse such as Man O' War so broadly displays. Seabiscuit's talent lies in his spirit and his ability to overcome fear to trust in order to display his talent. The idea that is so cliched, but so very true in this instance, is that Seabiscuit lacked the credentials of the so-called "winner," but possessed the spirit to win in his heart that made him a champion. I don't think that Seabiscuit presented himself as part of the racing legacy and establishment. Rather, his background of being abused by establishment trainers and stakeholders caused him to relegate himself to the periphery, similar to Pollard, Smith, and Howard. These figures were not accepted as overall "winners," but became so through an irrepressible desire to form community and trust in the bonds of solidarity.