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Seabiscuit - GEORGE WOOLF

George Woolf rode Seabiscuit to victory over War Admiral in the "Pimlico Special of 1938."  This image depicts Woolf with Seabiscuit.  Online, courtesy Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation.  PD

 

In 1938, an injured Red Pollard (who rode The Biscuit earlier in the season) wasn’t able to ride him in the Pimlico Special. That job went to George Woolf.

Many people think the Pimlico Special of 1938, pitting Seabiscuit against Triple Crown winner War Admiral, was the greatest horse race ever run.

War Admiral was sired by Seabiscuit’s grandfather, Man O’War. George Woolf, a Canadian diabetic who was one of the greatest jockeys of all time, rode Seabiscuit to the winner’s circle in that famous match race

Eight years after his win aboard Seabiscuit, Woolf (whose nickname was “Iceman”) was killed at the Santa Anita track. It was January 3, 1946, the year after the end of World War II, and Woolf was riding W.W. Taylor’s “Please Me” in the fourth race of the day.

While rounding the clubhouse turn, Woolf fell off his horse, striking the ground head first. He never regained consciousness and died, the next day, of a brain injury.

War Admiral also died relatively young. He was 25 years old.

Although Seabiscuit’s victory over War Admiral was stunning, the champion wasn’t finished. His last race, in 1940, may have been the most satisfying of all.

At a time when 90% of Americans had radios in their homes, The Biscuit took the track at Santa Anita. With a huge number of people listening to the race, Red Pollard was atop the misshapen horse whose earlier owners had written him off.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5189stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jul 01, 2003

Updated Last Revision: Jul 08, 2019


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