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John Red Pollard Biography

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John Red Pollard

Birthdate:   1909
Category: Sports

Born in Edmonton in 1909, John (Red) Pollard's career as a jockey began when he started riding quarter horses as a youngster. From there he moved to the thoroughbreds, riding his first winner in 1926 and competing primarily at smaller tracks in the west.

His first stakes win came in 1931 when he rode horse named Up To Victory in the Agua Caliente Derby. In 1933 he won the King Edward Gold Cup at Woodbine aboard Dis Dat.

By 1936 Pollard was riding in the Detroit area. It was there that he became attached to owner Charles S. Howard, and Howard had just spent $7,500 to acquire a three-year-old named Seabiscuit.

Pollard and Seabiscuit became one of the most successful and popular teams of the day. Seabiscuit became champion handicapper at four, horse-of-the-year at five and world leading money-winner at seven. Among the stakes he won with Pollard aboard were the San Juan Capistrano, the Bay Meadows, the Brooklyn and the Massachusetts Handicap.

Pollard was dogged by injuries throughout his career and was unable to ride in the celebrated match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral. His most serious injury came in 1945, but he recovered and went on to ride until 1955, when Father Time finally forced Pollard to the sidelines for good after a remarkable 30-year career in the saddle. The famed rider died in early 1981.

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