Perhaps I approached this film with expectations that were too high, since I was not only insanely in love with this horse, but I actually saw him win the Santa Anita Handicap (along with his stablemate Kayak II--totally ignored in this film). My father, the Sports Editor of the Los Angeles Examiner, took me to see all of Seabiscuit's races at Santa Anita that year. I was a horsey child (unfortunately other people's horses!), and I shall never forget the true "Seabiscuit Madness" that suffused the California air (until it was swept away by a different and insidious madness in 1941).
I recently read and enjoyed Ms. Hillebrand's book, "Seabiscuit," but I found the film wanting on several counts: the endless "clearing of the throat" and preachiness before the director finally arrived at the point of the story: the eponymous Seabiscuit; and the director's seeming inability to relate the rest of the story in a coherent manner. What should have been high drama emerged in a curiously static manner. (I was also disenchanted by the gratuitous profanity that added little to the tale [cf. its mature and necessary use in "The King's Speech"]).
On the plus side, the cinematography was excellent; the horses, who upstage the excellent actors, are magnificent. Unfortunately, the film simply could not live up to memories of the real Seabiscuit, my "first love."