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Comments by Jack Allen on Friday, January 25, 2002 at 00:43 IP Logged
Ms. Hillenbrand, I would like to start off by congratulating you on a job well done. I has always felt that the people involved in racing were colorful enough, and the horses magnificent enough, to eliminate the need to fictionalize. Bravo! Normally when I read a book, or watch a movie about racing, I find myself squirming uncomfortably, more often than not, when something happens in the story that i know either would not, or could not, happen in the racing industry. (there were only a couple of spots where I squirmed slightly in your book). I estimate that i have ridden about 9000 races, and i must say that your descriptions of what goes on in the room, the backside and on the track, were right on. I know why i love racing. It's in my blood forever. What comes through in your book, I believe, is your love for the industry. I am curious about that. I only hope that your book will inspire others to bring horse racing back, and make it the sport of kings again. Perhaps it will take another Seabiscuit. I hope not. We could be a long time waiting. Thank you very much. You've allowed me, vicariously through your book, to ride again. jack
Irvine, CA USA

Comments by Janice Winokur on Thursday, January 24, 2002 at 09:42 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I finished Seabiscuit last night. I am still filled with the story and cannot yet give my attention to another book or story. I flip through the pages, look at the pictures, and savor it again and again. I know little about racing, but I am a lover of animals, and when I heard you interviewed on the radio, I vowed to find your book and read it. I cannot believe that I was literally on the edge of my seat as I read about the match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral and about the Santa Anita Handicap. Even now my eyes fill as I recall this amazing, incredible story. Thank you for all your research and for so beautifully putting Seabiscuit's story on paper! Janice Winokur Deering, New Hampshire
Deering, NH USA

Comments by Jim Massolio on Thursday, January 24, 2002 at 08:48 IP Logged
Dear Laura: What A great book about such a fabulous race horse. As a kid growing up I remember seeing an episode of the 3 stooges where they somehow bought Seasbuscuit and he ran like crazy but they had to give him carrots to run faster. I never knew he was so talented. The book was very good and I am not ashamed to admit that even thought I am 45 years old I had tears in my eyes in various parts. I first learned of your book on a radio talk show out of Miami by an avid race fan Ed Kaplan on WQAM. He was marveled with the book. I have not read many books in my lifetime but this one was truly one I could not put down once I started reading. Is there anywhere that you know of that I could purchase Seabuscuit items? I always thought that when I saw Secretariat win the Belmont that he was the greatest race horse of all time but I think I may have missed the greatest ever. Thank you for bringing this story to the world. Maybe it will bring back interest in racing which has waned in recent years. I have always thought of race horses as athletes and jockeys as probably the most punished of all atheletes. It seems they never get the proper recognition they should. I will look forward to seeing the movie when it comes out.
Port Charlotte , Fl USA

Comments by Kay on Thursday, January 24, 2002 at 05:53 IP Logged
Dear Laura, I just finished your book and feel as if I ran the race at Santa Anita with Red and Biscuit--very well written! Thanks and I hope to hear more from you. I have always been a horse lover and am fortunate to live close to Churchill Downs; there is nothing to compare to live racing but your book comes close! Thanks again.
Goshen, KY USA

Comments by George E. Hall on Thursday, January 24, 2002 at 03:40 IP Logged
Dear Laura, Thank you so much for uncovering and bringing forth this incredible story. I am sharing this book with my sister who has ridden and loved retired Thoroughbred race horses for over forty years - she trains them to jump and perform dressage. I will also share it with my mother who first visited a race track as a young girl in the 1920s. I only wish my father could have read your book before his death in 1996. He had a profound love for the spirit of horses and raced as an owner at tracks in New Mexico and Arizona for many years. I intend to buy a second copy to have on hand to lend to friends. Please continue to write. You have a beautiful gift to share in bringing history to life. Warmest regards, George Hall
Ogden, UT USA

Comments by Laura on Thursday, January 24, 2002 at 03:36 IP Logged
Dear Laura, I enjoyed the Q & A with LIR last year. Your book was terrific! I read it in 3 days! What memories it brought back! I remember Seabiscuit & Red Pollard, Kayak II, and Tom Smith as well as Chas. Howard in my 4th grade reading program. You are an inspiration : ) Thanks to you & your fabulous story on Seabiscuit, you inspired me to start collecting artifacts for a future website on Narragansett Park Racetrack, Pawtucket RI, where he raced many a time. Sincerely, Laura (formerly Tuerta61)
Cranston, RI USA

Comments by Jennifer on Thursday, January 24, 2002 at 02:27 IP Logged
Ms. Hillebrand - As a kid in the early '70s, I watched a LOT of Looney Toons cartoons. There was one called "Porky & Teabiscuit" (WB - 1939) that featured Porky Pig buying a broken down racehorse. Don't ask me why... maybe because I loved horses as a girl and never had one of my own... but to this day, I remember that swaybacked, knock-kneed, slew-footed cartoon horse and a smile crosses my face. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your book about the real Seabiscuit. No wonder Warner Bros. decided to create a cartoon with him as the star. I can't imagine an animal with more heart. Thank you for bringing Seabiscuit and the people who loved him back to life for us.

Comments by Tracy Farnham on Thursday, January 24, 2002 at 01:50 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I grew up reading year after year a book written in 1963 by Ralph Moody called "Come on Seabiscuit"(Houghton Mifflin Company.) This remarkable story of Seabiscuit and his racing family has been a constant presence in my life with horses especially when it comes to the old saying about "not judging a book by its cover." It is amazing to think how easy it would have been for Seabiscuit to never make it and I wonder how many other Seabiscuits there are out there. In any case, I loved that book as a child and have even re-read it as an adult several times, and was thrilled to read your book about Seabiscuit that gave even more detail to than I would have imagined it possible to find. However, I was suprised that you did not reference Ralph Moody's book at any point. Even though it is considered a work of "fiction" it stays on track with the Seabiscuit legend as you tell it as well. I would love to hear back from you and also to hear more about how the movie is coming movies for horse lovers are a chance to pretend we are 12 years old again without a care in the world except how quickly the school bell will ring so we can get to barn. Looking forward to hearing from you, Best Wishes, Tracy Farnham
Pelham, MA USA

Comments by Mary Phipps on Thursday, January 24, 2002 at 00:59 IP Logged
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, I think you should know that "Seabiscuit, and American Legend" will always be a book I deeply cherish. Your writing is so powerful and vivid, makes me feel as if I was the one riding him in the races. I can't wait to see the movie. I hope you plan on continuing writing about horses, because it obviously suits you perfectly well.
Dumont, NJ USA

Comments by Arthur Epley on Thursday, January 24, 2002 at 00:53 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hildebrand: "Seabiscuit" is a great book which I thoroughly enjoyed. I hope that you will be able to make your book into a movie. My choice for actors would be Gene Hackman as the owner, Robert Duval as the trainer, and Sean Penn as Red, the jockey. If the script is close to your book, it will be a blockbuster. Regards, Arthur Epley
Houston, TX USA

Comments by Charley Monahan on Thursday, January 24, 2002 at 00:47 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hilllenbrand: Seabiscuit is one of the most remarkable "reads" that I've ever enjoyed. Besides a great story about 1 horse and 5 remarkable people intimately associated with this tale, you re-create a time in history that reminds me of grandparents I never knew that died before I was born, yet surely flooowed Seabiscuit's heroics in the papers and on the radio. It made me feel closer to them ! It made me think of my mother at our local track reaching through the fence to toush a throughbred on is way to the starting gate - a 60 year old woman it helped me see her as a youg girl in her 30's who probably followed this story. This summer I'm going to spend more time at our local track in upstate NY and "soak up " the atmosphere I enjoyed form Seabiscuit. All I can say is THANKS !
Rochester, ny USA

Comments by Jim Peterson on Thursday, January 24, 2002 at 00:33 IP Logged
Laura, I bought your book for my mom on her birthday last Oct. that way when she finished she would say her usual "Jim, would you like to read this book?" and I say, "sure." So we both enjoyed it and we both like horseracing, too. I finished last night, but I read slower than Seabiscuit's offspring could run. The picture of Mr. Howard on Seabiscuit looks amazingly like my grandpa Oscar Peterson on his horse, Red, circa 1965. They were a team for almost 30 years. A big, mean sorrel gelding that only grandpa could ride. Anyway, I still don't understand the weight assignment in racing. Why do they do that? If you have time, thanks, Jim Peterson
Lincoln , NE USA

Comments by Al. Van Horne on Thursday, January 24, 2002 at 00:30 IP Logged
Dear Laura; I just now finished your wonderful book about a wonderful horse! I haven't enjoyed such a good read in a long time. We live in an area which was developed on land formerly owned by a racing stable. The streets are all named after famous race horses, and yes, I lived on Seabiscuit Trail..(now live on Swaps Trail,(the'55 Derby winner). Man-O-War intersects with War Admiral, etc. etc. Your book brought to life what it was like in those days when these beautiful and talented animals were like our modern day super stars. Many thanks for a fine book.
Evergreen, CO USA

Comments by Ernest Johnson on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 at 08:58 IP Logged
Sure enjoyed your book, what a masterpiece. Are the statues of Woolf and Seabiscuit still at Santa Anita, can you still eat and drink at The Derby and is it possible to visit Seaciscuit's grave at Ridgewood? Thanks for the wonderful trip to the past.
Cincinnati, Oh USA

Comments by Kim E. Simkins on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 at 08:13 IP Logged
Dear Laura: Thank you for writing an amazing book. I found myself getting completely attached to that horse and was sorry when his story came to an end. You might be interested to know that my attorney boss, Raymond Pulverman (I am his paralegal, worked painting houses in Santa Barbara, California after graduating from UC Santa Barbara and before going to law school. In 1975, Marcella was living in Santa Barbara on Bellavista Drive. She hired Raymond to paint her house. She requested that the ceiling in the library be painted the color of Seabiscuit's eyes and so, it was. Thank you again for a wonderful story.
Santa Barbara, CA USA

Comments by Charles De Verna on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 at 03:05 IP Logged
Laura, Thank you for waking up the passion I have always had for thoroughbred horse racing. In 1967, for the Belmont, I made my first bet on Stage Door Johnny. It was only natural since my dad was the President of the Stagehand Union in New York and was with my grandfather and uncle, both stagehands. Both have since passed but you brought wonderful memories alive again. Your call of the races were sensational. You made every character so ALIVE for me. You showed the beauty and the beasts of horse racing. Thank you again
Garden City, NY USA

Comments by Katy Panyard on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 at 01:06 IP Logged
Dear Laura, Thank you for writing such an incredibly powerful story - totally and positively enchanting! I now feel, that I know Seabiscuit and his crew on a personal level. I also enjoyed the book on tape, and am looking forward to the PBS documentary and the movie. Any idea when these will be released? I too, would like to visit the Biscuit's grave. Sounds like they may be opening that up for visitors? Thanks once again for your wonderful book - my favorite read this century! You are a gifted and caring writer. Good luck in all of your pursuits.
New Baltimore, MI USA

Comments by Ruth Hallmark on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 at 09:24 IP Logged
Dear Ms Hillenbrand: Great book! I was very interested in the connection between Seabiscuit and a great Australian horse named Phar Lap. I did not realise that Mr Woolf used the kangaroo saddle that was used on Phar Lap. Thanks for a terrific read.
Sydney NSW, Australia

Comments by Jean McKnight Guymon on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 at 07:14 IP Logged
Dear Laura, I am enjoying your book so much that I read only one or two chapters at a time, reveling in every word and the magic you created on the pages. I am a horse lover, a rider, a horse owner, and a long-time horse racing fan from a family of racing afficianados (sp). My mother, as a little girl, loved Seabiscuit and called her "Sea-bi-kit." I am recommending your book to everyone I know, horse-lovers or not. Thank you for working so hard on such a wonderful, touching and marvelous book! Cheers, Jean McKnight Guymon Tucson, Arizona
Tucson, AZ USA

Comments by Judy Sawyer on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 at 02:01 IP Logged
What a terrific book! What an incredible story. How beautifully told. You were truly inspired and I am very grateful.
NewCastle, NH USA

Comments by Stacy McCright on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 at 01:14 IP Logged
Dear Laura, Your writing is magical. It's like you've captured us readers of Seabiscuit in a timeless spell. The story is so engaging and alive and intimate I feel like Seabiscuit is my very own and I can simply walk out my backdoor and see him standing there waiting for little ol' me to race him to another easy win! I'm 30 years old, but the story paints the past so vividly that I miss it...and I wasn't even alive back then! I've only ridden a horse 3 times in my life. I grew up in the suburbs of Houston, Texas. But I've always felt like I should've been born into the horse world. One of my early childhood ambitions was to be a mucker of stalls just so I could breathe the same air molecules as a horse...a lofty career goal, I know! But I only grew up to be a teacher. I jokingly tell people that in my past lives I used to be a jockey, a pony express rider, a cowboy, and an Indian horse whisperer. A couple of years ago I spent some time at a lodge in Wagon Wheel Gap, Colorado near Creede. Trail rides were offered. I only got to go once, but I would spend hours in the pasture with the 13 horses. I'd just lie on my back on the ground or sit on a rock and within minutes all 13 horses were standing in a circle around me. They would graze, chew my hair, and let me pet them and talk with them until I either got too hungry, too tired, or too cold. My favorite horse was Archie. He was red with black feet, black tail, and a black spikey mane. He liked to use my head as a head rest while he dozed. If I had the opportunity to make one impossible dream come true it would be this: to take one wild gallop on a jet black stallion across a seamless stretch of early morning fog-kissed track. I don't know why I typed all this. It isn't very book related, just some shared memories from a stranger. I suppose my point is even though I've only had one incredible experience with horses...though it was only with old and tired trail horses and I was sitting on cold, rocky ground behind some cabins watching them eat, your magical telling of Seabiscuit's story resonates with the horsewoman locked inside me. It's a simple thing, but thank you.
Terrell, TX USA

Comments by Jennifer Berkemeier on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 at 01:12 IP Logged
I am so glad to see the numerous other fans of your amazing book Seabiscuit. I stayed up till 1am this morning to finish it. With tears in my eyes I closed the book...easily one of the best books I have ever read. Your writing has re-kindled my childhood love of horses. This book has changed my life; what a beautiful spirit Seabiscuit had and what a breathtaking way you have of bringing it to book form. I can't say enough about your book...I wanted it to go on and on... It made me laugh and cry. I have recommended it to everyone I talk to. It sits in a prominent place of honor in my library; just looking at the cover photo brings tears to my eyes. I wish I had been alive to see Seabiscuit run. Thank you, Ms. Hilldebrand.
Farmington Hills, MI USA

Comments by Chandradat Jairam on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 at 00:49 IP Logged
Decent folks with a 'great horse'....the pleasure was all mine.Thank you for a wonderful read.
Queens, NY USA

Comments by Dianne Charles on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 at 00:30 IP Logged
Laura, An amazing story told in an amazing way. Definately a story to share with the world and I'm glad you took the time and spent the energy to do so. Thanks for the read, Dianne Charles
Galesburg, MI USA

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