Seabiscuit: An American Legend

by Laura Hillenbrand

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Who was Red Pollard?

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Johnny "Red" Pollard was a Canadian jockey. Pollard grew up in a large, wealthy family in Edmonton, Canada, but a severe flood destroyed the family's livelihood, and soon Pollard became impoverished.

Despite being intelligent and having a love for literature, Pollard decided to take up horse racing. It developed into a passion for Pollard. However, Pollard didn't find much early-career success in horse racing, and competed as a boxer to earn money. When Pollard emigrated to the United States, he became friends with Charles Howard, the owner of Seabiscuit. Despite earlier failures as a jockey, Pollard quickly became known for mastering difficult mounts and began to win major regional races.

After a serious injury, Pollard succumbed to alcoholism and drug addiction. Pollard, however, decided to continue horse racing with Seabiscuit and re-focus on winning more championships. The tandem would go on to win the Santa Anita Handicap.

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