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Sports Movie of the Week: ‘Seabiscuit’ [VIDEO]

Universal Pictures

While millions will watch I’ll Have Another attempt to complete his improbable run at the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes this Saturday, thoroughbred horse racing remains far behind team sports in the psyche of American sports fans.

But that wasn’t always the case.

In fact, a horse who never won the Triple Crown once captivated the nation during the Great Depression.

Seabiscuit,’ our Sports Movie of the Week, dramatizes the real life story of auto magnate Charles Howard (Jeff Bridges), who is looking to find some hope amid the strife of the Depression Era and significant personal hardships. Deciding on horse racing as his next endeavor, Howard hires trainer Tom Smith (Chris Cooper), who is adept at selecting race horses. Smith advises Howard to invest in Seabiscuit, a smallish horse with a distinguished pedigree. The men employ jockey Johnny “Red” Pollard (Tobey Maguire), who helps to guide the horse through one of the most successful runs in racing history and into American folklore.

Five Reasons to Watch ‘Seabiscuit’

1. The fervor around the “Match of the Century” race held between Triple Crown winner War Admiral and Seabiscuit in 1938 is not entirely dramatized. The race received Super Bowl-esque hype in the time leading up to post time.

2. The simulated horse racing action is captured very well. Technicians designed a special horse-like rolling platform to record the video as the horses ran.

3. Director Gary Ross skillfully conveys the sheer magnitude that horse racing once held in American pop culture.

4. Tobey Maguire’s deft performance as Red Pollard, who, as the film suggests, did have to keep his weight down to race effectively against jockeys much smaller than he was.

5. Real-life jockeys Gary Stevens and Chris McCarron each play riders in the film, which featured more than 40 horses.

Click the play button to watch the original trailer of the film below:

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