Factual error: In the shot of the infield at the Saratoga racetrack several Canada geese are shown landing. However, the calls inserted on the soundtrack are the quacks of mallard ducks not the honks of Canada geese.

Factual error: Many of the main characters are using modern-day binoculars (black, plastic) throughout the entire movie.

Factual error: In the shot where Pimlico racetrack is shown and the dateline shows November 1, 1938, the Maryland flag is upside down. The black and gold squares should be at the inside top and they are not. (01:35:10)

Factual error: In the scene where Seabiscuit is weaned from his mother, the narrator says that he was six months old at the time. However, the foal used in the movie is less than one month old. (00:43:30)

Factual error: Jockeys did not wear goggles and their skullcaps did not have chinstraps in the 1930's. Protective equipment for jockeys was practically non-existent during Seabiscuit's racing days. (00:28:10)

Factual error: Two men are trying to start a John Deere Model D tractor, which backfires, startling the horse. The wrong sound effect is used; it sounds like a V8 engine being turned over by an electric starter. The tractor's flywheel, on the left side, is shown stationary. Turning the flywheel by hand is the usual starting procedure for a JD tractor of '30s vintage. For over 40 years John Deere tractors used a two-cylinder engine, which make a distinctive popping exhaust sound. The movie is right on one thing, JD tractors could backfire.

Factual error: Pollard did not lose his sight in a fight, as the film suggests. He lost it when he was galloping a horse for exercise and a horse going in the opposite direction kicked up a clod of dirt that struck him at the base of skull and knocked out the cerebellum on his left lobe. (right side, left lobe).

Factual error: Statements are made in the movie that War Admiral was "almost 18 hands" tall, when in reality, War Admiral was only 15.3 hands tall. War Admiral's nickname was "the giant killer." Seabiscuit stood 15.2 hands tall. Both horses were considered very small as racehorses.

Factual error: The flat top inside rail at Santa Anita racetrack is a new style safety rail. (00:59:50)

Factual error: When Red Pollard is showing the doctor his homemade brace, his bare leg shows no sign of having been nearly severed or undergoing multiple surgeries. There are no scars, atrophied muscles, or discoloration of any kind. In reality, Pollard's leg was permanently disfigured.

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Factual error: In the scene where Red Pollard is walking hots, he is leading the horse around on a mechanical walker which did not exist at the time. (00:41:40)

Factual error: When they are heading east to race with War Admiral, there is a scene at the Los Angeles Union Station. This is in 1938; the station was not opened until the following year. (01:20:00)

Factual error: Pollard never told Smith and Howard he was blind in one eye. He kept it a secret, presumably until the eye paled or his fame had dropped off and no one really cared any more if he was blind or not.

Factual error: When Frankie Howard died he was not alone - he had two friends with him who were either thrown clear or managed to get clear after the crash. Also, it was not his father that was the first one on the scene. Frankie's friends headed off and summoned a man called Doc (I can't remember his surname) with limited medical knowledge he used for the local lumberjacks.

Factual error: In the final race, Red Pollard is shown with a number 9 on his sleeve, indicating Seabiscuit's starting position. In fact, Seabiscuit had the number 1 starting position (this can be seen on historical footage).

Factual error: In the final race, one of the horse's saddle pad flips up in the wind and reveals a synthetic-type foam rubber lining. This was unavailable in 1938.

Factual error: During the times where Red is in the hospital, they show Red several times with a cotton blanket with a certain type of weaving they didn't use until the 1960's. In the 30's they were still using single weave blankets. Kind of hard to explain, but older nurses could tell you.


Factual error: The license plates on the cars were dated TX 1937. I don't recall the movie ever happening in TX and they had not reached 1937 on the time line, yet.

Factual error: During the end credits, some newspaper typesetting material is shown. The type should be shown in reverse with the letters backwards. However, the type is not reversed and you can read the words. (02:07:50)

Factual error: In the scene where the Seabiscuit Special is headed East, they make a stop in Albuquerque. If you look closely, in one shot there are palm trees in the background. There are no palm trees in the vicinity of the Albuquerque train station. (01:21:10)

Factual error: Many of the main characters are using modern-day binoculars (black, plastic) throughout the entire movie.

More mistakes in Seabiscuit

Tom Smith: You know, you don't throw a whole life away just 'cause he's banged up a little.

More quotes from Seabiscuit

Trivia: The jockey at the crude outdoor race track that Pollard watches as a kid is wearing the same clothes he wears later on in the movie.

More trivia for Seabiscuit

Question: why don't Red's parents come back for him, even when he becomes famous?

Answer: They probably do, it just isn't shown. Alternatively, they could have died in-between the time we see the young Red and Tobey Maguire. That could be a contributor to all his anger and rage.

More questions & answers from Seabiscuit

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