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The story of Seabiscuit that amazing Thoroughbred legend ...Did you ever wonder what became of the principle characters after the conclusion of the Seabiscuit book and movie?
Written by Bill Nichols, answers the question, the rest of the story of Seabiscuit. It takes the reader on a journey through the rest of the lives of Red Pollard, Charles and Marcela Howard, War Admiral, Tom Smith, George Woolf and the legendary champion Seabiscuit.
Additional chapters deal with the descendants of Seabiscuit, the movie, author Laura Hillenbrand, artists who portrayed Seabiscuit, jockeys and Ridgewood Ranch, home of the champion.
The author, Bill Nichols, is one of the few surviving people who had a personal connection with the great Thoroughbred Seabiscuit and those who were responsible for his success. Bill Nichols worked at Ridgewood Ranch as a teenager. He and his wife of sixty years, Lillian, are the parents of two, Bob and Kathy.
The Nichols own and operate Mares’ Nest, a well-known Thoroughbred breeding farm in northern California and they are co-breeders of Seabiscuit’s most successful racing descendant, Sea Orbit. Lillian is the inventor of the remarkable Foal to Yearling Halter.
Bill Nichols is on the Board of Directors of The Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation as well as The California Thoroughbred Breeders Association.
His book Seabiscuit – The Rest of the Story, has been described as a “historically essential book” examining the history of the thoroughbred as it pertains to this great legend.
Read about the history of the thoroughbred and how the thoroughbred pedigree came about as we know it today right here.
Note: Read an excerpt from a chapter of this book following the preface, and return to this page often, because the excerpts will be changed weekly.
"The March day was overcast and a light mist shrouded the giant redwood trees bordering highway 101 in Northern California. A custom made horse van made its' way north on the beautiful two lane Redwood Highway, heading for Charles S. Howard's vast Ridgewood Ranch. The van was transporting precious cargo in the form of the great Seabiscuit. He had just become the world's leading money winning horse by annexing the Santa Anita Handicap on March 2nd, 1940.
Seabiscuit was returning to Ridgewood Ranch in order to resume his duties as a stallion. He had been bred to seven mares in the previous year, while recuperating from major injures sustained in a Valentine's Day prep race for that years Santa Anita Handicap. The resulting foals would become known as "The seven little Biscuits".
The story of Seabiscuit and his human connections returned the great racehorse to his previous fame through the bast selling book "Seabiscuit, An American Legend" by author Laura Hillenbrand. The book was then made into a popular movie that received seven Academy Award nominations. However, the lives of Charles and Marcela Howard, Tom Smith, Red Pollard, George Woolf, War Admiral and the legendary champion did not end with the 1940 Santa Anita Handicap...nor did Ridgewood Ranch, home of Seabiscuit.
These seven principals who contribulted to the legend were from very diverse backgrounds. Their connections with one another were strictly chance meetings and the product of this relationahip contributed to the success of Seabiscuit, each using his own unique talents. One additional person is the brilliant author, Laura Hillenbrand. She has been added to the previously mentioned group as without her research and literary talents, none of the group would be widely known today.
In her book, Laura devoted several chapters to biographical information regarding each of the characters. She deftly paints a background picture of each of the main characters with its' flaws, its' attributes, its' humanity and the forces that drove it to success and sometimes failure. Their lives became woven together with the common goal of proving to America that Seabiscuit was its' greatest racehorse. Having succeeded in their quest, the tapestry of their lives began to unravel and each went separate ways. This book tells that story."
Just to whet your appitite, here is a sample from CHAPTER 11 "THE LITTLE BISCUITS"
"Seabiscuit sired ony 108 foals before his untimely death. This was far too few to prove his worth as a sire. Present day leading sires have that many foals in a single crop with far less success in many of the categories considered as indicative of making a successful sire. Seabiscuit proved his robust soundness by siring 80% starters from foals and 77% winners from starters. The breed average is 46% and 66% respectively. As for quality, the average percentage of Stakes Placed horses from foals is 5% and from starters 7%. Seabiscuit sired 6% from foals and 13% from starters."
CHAPTER 12 "BABY BISCUIT"
"There was still snow on the ground and it was a chilly evening. We were high atop Palomar Mountain in San Diego County, California. The ranch was, to put it kindly, rustic. No electricity and no telephone. Running water, only due to gravity flow from the water tank.......This was not a typical Thoroughbred breeding farm. This was an attempt to survive under pioneer conditions and to breed and raise hardy horses.......Sea Flora was a young daughter of Seabiscuit......this was to be Sea Flora's first foal.....The foal was still lying on the ample straw bedding, wet from the amniotic fluid and had not yet bonded with his dam. I took one look at him and said to my wife "Good Lord, it's another Seabiscuit.".....He was immediately tagged with the stable name "Baby Biscuit."
“Bill Nichols knows the story of Seabiscuit like few people alive today. He has spent a lifetime in racing, but the foundations of his career were built in Willits around the world’s most famous horse. Bill first learned to work with Thoroughbreds at Ridgewood Ranch – the home of Seabiscuit – at a time when the legendary equine ruled the sports world. His interest and knowledge multiplied through the years, but his memories never faded. For fans who want to know more about Seabiscuit, his people and his progeny, Bill completes the story.”
– Debbie Arrington, Sacramento Bee
“Seabiscuit – The Rest of the Story" is a very insightful look at an innocent time in America. The story of Seabiscuit is filled with information relating to the world of Thoroughbred horse racing and it takes an in-depth look at the common man whose lives and livelihoods were entwined with a national icon, Seabiscuit. We often read non-fiction and wonder what happened to these people. “Seabiscuit – The Rest of the Story” will fill you in. Enjoy!”
-Tracy Livingston, President of the Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation
“Great followup to the story of seabiscuit, giving minute details of Seabiscuit’s career and people around him. Written by one who had intimate knowledge.”
“William H. Nichols has special insight on the legendary champion, Seabiscuit...It is through the professional eyes, historical research and interviews of Nichols that the story of Seabiscuit, his most famous nemesis–-War Admiral–-and a host of individuals...are chronicled after the cheering of fans and accolades from racing faded away like the color of aging press clippings...The never-ending controversy surrounding Seabiscuit’s 1940 Santa Anita Handicap victory over stablemate Kayak 11 is reviewed in the last chapter, with Nichols providing what may be the best summary on who ultimately should have won that day and why...This is a must read for Thoroughbred racing fans or those who want a lasting understanding of the rest of the story in what certainly is a timeless slice of American history.”
-Richard D. Coreno
“I loved this book! I read the Seabiscuit story and this one is an awesome sequel to the story. I have raised horses for 50 years and am always looking for GOOD horse books – this one definitely qualifies!!! If you love horses you will love this book. Written so well you cannot wait to turn the next page.”
-Nicole M. Dorsey
"This book is one of the best I have ever read and a wonderful glimpse into the history of a great race horse and the people who were part of his life. It also contains historical facts about a country and its people during the Great Depression. Seabiscuit and his accomplishments were a diversion from the hopelessness and grief that pervaded those times. It also touches on how the Depression affected the sport of horse racing. Above all, it keeps the memories of this great champion and those who loved him alive. Seabiscuit was wonder, magic, and hope. When reading this book I felt as though I was a part of all that."
These are just a few of the many comments made by people who read the story of Seabiscuit and his connections in "Seabiscuit -The Rest of the Story".
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