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Old 08-30-2010, 06:29 AM
CarltonHendricks's Avatar
CarltonHendricks CarltonHendricks is offline
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Posts: 937
Default Sea Biscuit poster - My first horseracing piece


40 3/4" tall x 35 1/2" wide
Above are photos of a huge poster I got today/yesterday (Sunday) at a paper show in Sacramento. The poster celebrates the "Race of the Century" between the two top racehorses of the late 1930's, Sea Biscuit and War Admiral. The race took place at Pimlico, Md on November 1st 1938. Above is a link to a youtube video of the race.

The paper show closed at 4:00PM and I got there at after finding it I only had a short time to make up my mind, as it was pretty pricy and the guy wouldn't come down...I had to pull the trigger or leave without it...It's the first and only horseracing memorabilia I have owned. To justify to my self the hefty price...I figured I should have something horseracing related in my collection...and if I was going to have a horseracing piece, what better than a Sea Biscuit piece.

I was told by the seller, he had the poster 20 years and he got it with the frame it's in, but he put in the plexiglass, and originally it was in a card room or bar in downtown Sacramento many years. Though it's darkened from tobacco smoke and has cracks and scratches, it's still impressive and the only example I've seen in 22 years collecting.

Below, a written account of the race.


__________________________________________________ _________________________________

Match of the century
On November 1, 1938, Sea biscuit met War Admiral and jockey Charles Kurtsinger in what was dubbed the "Match of the Century." The event itself was run over 1 and 3/16 miles (1.91 km), and the Pimlico Race Course, from the grandstands to the infield, was jammed solid with fans. Trains were run from all over the country to bring fans to the race, and the estimated 40,000 at the track were joined by some 40 million listening on the radio. War Admiral was the prohibitive favorite (1-4 with most bookmakers) and a near unanimous selection of the writers and tipsters, excluding the California faithful.

Head-to-head races favor fast starters, and War Admiral's speed from the gate was the stuff of legend. Sea biscuit, on the other hand, was a pace stalker, skilled at holding with the pack before destroying the field with late acceleration. From the scheduled walk-up start, few gave him a chance to lead War Admiral into the first turn. Smith knew these things, and had been secretly training Sea biscuit to run against this type, using a starting bell and a whip to give the horse a Pavlovian burst of speed from the start.

When the bell rang, Sea biscuit ran away from the Triple Crown champion. Despite being drawn on the outside, Woolf led by over a length after just 20 seconds and soon crossed over to the rail position. Halfway down the backstretch, War Admiral started to cut into the lead, gradually pulling level with Sea biscuit, and then slightly ahead. Following advice he had received from Pollard, Woolf had eased up on Sea biscuit, allowing his horse to see his rival, and then asked for more effort. Two hundred yards from the wire, Sea biscuit pulled away again and continued to extend his lead over the closing stretch, finally winning by four clear lengths despite the fact that War Admiral ran his best time for the distance.

As a result of his races that year and the victory over War Admiral, Sea biscuit was named "Horse of the Year" for 1938. The only prize that eluded him was the Santa Anita Handicap.
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Last edited by CarltonHendricks; 09-08-2012 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:02 AM
Scott Garner's Avatar
Scott Garner Scott Garner is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Midwest
Posts: 5,313

Hey Carlton,
That's an impressive piece to add to your collection! Congrats!

Ironically, when I was at the National in Baltimore, I had to pick up a friend that was staying with some friends in a house right next to Pimlico race track. Not being a huge horse race guy, I had never known that Pimlico was in the Baltimore are until a few weeks ago.

Last edited by Scott Garner; 08-30-2010 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:18 AM
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thekingofclout thekingofclout is offline
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Bravo, Carlton, Bravo!
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:39 AM
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Default My first horse poster

great piece!!!


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Old 08-30-2010, 10:46 AM
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GrayGhost GrayGhost is online now
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Location: Connecticut.
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Nice piece indeed.
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