Tag Archives: Seabiscuit

“Seabiscuit” Star, Popcorn Deelites, Dies at 24

Photo by Laura Battles.

GEORGETOWN, KY – JANUARY 20, 2022 — Popcorn Deelites, one of several Thoroughbreds that portrayed Depression-era hero Seabiscuit in the 2003 Oscar-nominated film, has died. The cause of death was complications from colic.

The 24-year-old gelding, who had a moderate racing career in mostly claiming contests, had been retired at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement farm in Georgetown, KY, since 2005. He had been pensioned there alongside his sire, Afternoon Deelites.

“Pops”, a blood-bay Seabiscuit look-alike, appeared in numerous scenes throughout the film, including the thrilling match race against Triple Crown winner War Admiral.

He returned to racing following filming for owner David Hoffman and conditioner Pricilla Leon, who were both instrumental in retiring Popcorn to Old Friends when his career came to an end.

In all, Popcorn Deelites started 58 times and had 11 wins with career earnings of $56,880.

Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, who portrayed legendary rider George Woolf in Seabiscuit, remembers his co-star fondly.

“Popcorn Deelites was a star in Seabiscuit,” said Stevens, who is now a racing analyst for Fox Sports. “He was my go-to guy in all the big scenes. He not only won real races multiple times, but he won the famous match race playing Seabiscuit. He was kind, fast, and a great friend that lived out his life at Old Friends in the paddock next to my other buddy, Silver Charm,” Stevens added, referring to the horse he piloted to a win in the 1997 Kentucky Derby, who is also an Old Friends retiree. “RIP, Popcorn.”

“Pops’s Hollywood history made him an enormous fan favorite, of course,” said Old Friends’s Michael Blowen. “But what really won people over was his warm personality and friendly demeanor. Fans adored him and he adored the fans. He will be sorely missed here on the farm,” Blowen added, “but I’m sure that his old pal and paddock mate, Special Ring, will miss him the most.”

For more information, please call (502) 863-1775 or visit www.oldfriendsequine.org.

900 Kentucky First-Graders to Attend Re-enactment of Seabiscuit – War Admiral Match Race

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 6, 2012) – The Kentucky Horse Park will welcome 900 first-graders to the park April 10 at 10:15 a.m. to watch a re-enactment of the famous 1938 Seabiscuit – War Admiral match race in the Pimlico Special.  Live Thoroughbreds, period costumes, music from the era, antique cars, and real jockeys – including Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron – will add to the experience.

The event will be the highlight of a reading program created by the Kentucky Horse Park Literacy Program. The students have been participating in the program since earlier this year when a live horse from the Kentucky Horse Park delivered Seabiscuit books to area schools.  When the students received their books, they also got to try on real jockey silks and goggles, put their heads through photo boards and pretended to be jockeys on the home stretch.

Now that they have read the book, the first-graders from 15 schools in Fayette, Magoffin, Scott, and Woodford counties will be rewarded with an interactive experience at the park that will be based on the true story of Seabiscuit.  The students will also have the opportunity to enjoy the rest of the Kentucky Horse Park after the show.

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A Few Good Movies, by Claire Dorotik

For most people, equine therapy is pretty fascinating to watch. However, without a visual account of just what happens between a horse and a human, the general public is at a loss to fully understand just how our beloved equine friends can really help people better understand themselves. Sometimes words just don’t describe the magic between people and horses. Yet clearly, judging by the success of movies such as “Seabiscuit”, people are truly amazed by horses, and all the while, profoundly affected by this admiration. So, in honoring the way in which an observable accounting of equine therapy can reveal more fully what it is, I have compiled a list of great equine-therapy related movies.

1.       “Seabiscuit” Portraying the life of the famous racehorse, Seabiscuit, this movie also demonstrates the way in which the courageous character of a horse can uplift a down and out nation.

Continue reading A Few Good Movies, by Claire Dorotik

Stakes Winner Afternoon Deelites Arrives at Old Friends

GEORGETOWN, KY — MAY 24, 2011 — On Sunday Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, KY, happily welcomed GR1-winner and top sire Afternoon Deelites.  The 19-year-old son of Private Terms will be permanently pensioned at the farm alongside one of his sons, 12-year-old Popcorn Deelites.

He was donated to the organization by Val Murrell’s Clear Creek Stud in Folsom, LA where he was retired from stallion duty earlier this year.

Bred and raced by Burt Bacharach’s Blue Seas Music, Afternoon Deelites hit the ground running as a 2-year-old, capturing his first three starts, including the GR1 Hollywood Futurity and the GR3 Hollywood Preview Breeders’ Cup Stakes. The following season the handsome bay won the GR2 San Felipe Stakes and the GR1 Malibu before coming second by a head in the Santa Anita Derby.

He capped off his four-year-old season with a win in the GR1 Metropolitan Handicap before being retired to Airdie Stud in Midway, KY with seven wins in 12 starts and earnings of $1,061,193.

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