DNA from Seabiscuit’s Hooves Offers Clues to Famous Race Horse’s Gifts of Speed & Stamina

[Editor’s Note: The following is a reprint of an article authored by Steven Tammariello (https://www.binghamton.edu/biology/people/profile.html?id=tammarie), PhD, that appeared in The Conversation (https://theconversation.com/can-seabiscuits-dna-explain-his-elite-racing-ability-104099?xid=PS_smithsonian) on October 29, 2018 and was reprinted in Smithsonian Magazine (https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/scientists-extract-dna-from-seabiscuits-hooves-to-figure-out-how-he-was-so-fast-180970649/). It is reprinted here in BioQuick News in accordance with the pertinent Creative Commons License. Dr. Tammriello is Associate Professor of Biological Sciences and Director of the Institute for Equine Genomics, Binghamton University, State University of New York.]--Seabiscuit (http://www.americanclassicpedigrees.com/seabiscuit.html) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seabiscuit) was not an impressive-looking horse. He was considered quite lazy, preferring to eat and sleep in his stall rather than exercise. He’d been written off by most of the racing industry after losing his first 17 races. But Seabiscuit eventually became one of the most beloved thoroughbred champions of all time – voted 1938 Horse of the Year after winning his legendary match race (https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2013/nov/01/seabiscuit-war-admiral-horse-race-1938-pimlico) as an underdog against Triple Crown winner War Admiral in 1938 [photo shows Seabiscuit in the lead over War Admiral in their match race at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Track on November 1, 1938 (Credit: AP)]. As a molecular physiologist, the concept of understanding how specific gene variants can affect performance--whether in athletics, learning, or even how an organism develops--has always intrigued me.
Login Or Register To Read Full Story