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Popcorn Deelites

Popcorn Deelites

Popcorn Deelites

Breed Thoroughbred
Sire Afternoon Deelites [1]
Grandsire Private Terms
Dam Turquoise Gal
Damsire Navajo
Gender Gelding
Foaled 1998
Country United States
Color Bay

Popcorn Deelites is a thoroughbred race horse much better known for his movie career than his race track exploits.

Foaled in 1998 by Afternoon Deelites out of Turquoise Gal (by Navajo), the gelding ran for six years as a low-level claimer, yet he did manage to win 11 of his 58 starts and accumulate $56,880 in earnings.

Popcorn Deelites' bloodline contains some great names: Damascus, Bold Ruler, Secretariat, Ack Ack, Sword Dancer, Buckpasser, Northern Dancer, and Gallant Man, all on his top line. From his dam he goes back to Bimelech, Black Toney, Johnstown, Count Fleet, and the very great "blue hen" mare, La Troienne.

Popcorn at the movies

Popcorn Deelites also starred in the title role of the 2003 Oscar-nominated Seabiscuit film. As Seabiscuit, he played alongside Jeff Bridges as Seabiscuit's owner Charles S. Howard, Tobey Maguire as the jockey Red Pollard, Chris Cooper as his trainer, Tom Smith, Hall of Fame jockey, Gary Stevens as the "Ice Man" George Woolf, and Hall of Famer Chris McCarron as Charles Kurtsinger, another Hall of Fame jockey.

Like Seabiscuit, a blood bay with dark points, Popcorn Deelites was trained by Phoenix, Arizona based Priscilla Leon and owned by David Hoffmans of Henderson, Nevada. In the movie, Popcorn's speciality was to play Seabiscuit breaking from the gate. And because of his natural speed as a sprinter (most of his races were 6 furlong events), he also played Seabiscuit in his races. Five other horses also played the Biscuit, each one chosen for their ability to do something the Biscuit did. One was cast especially to lie flat out and sleep. Sleeping was one of Seabiscuit's favorite "activities."

Almost a Fade-out

Before being acquired by Old Friends, a horse rescue and retirement center founded by Michael Blowen in Georgetown, Kentucky, Popcorn was back running in claiming races at Colorado's Arapahoe Park. Blowen bought the horse for $1,500, and he now lives at Old Friends with a number of retired racehorses, some of which, unlike Popcorn, were brilliant in their day. When not acting or racing, Popcorn enjoys long trots in green pastures and a good carrot.

Another Seabiscuit "star," the 10-year-old Rich in Dallas, lives at the Linn Farm through the combined efforts of Hallie McEvoy, Cathy Riccio and The Exceller Fund (named for the brilliant, but tragic, Exceller). In the movie, Seabiscuit, Rich in Dallas runs across the bridge and over the meadow. War Admiral appears twice in his pedigree, taking him back to the legendary Man o' War.



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