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Comments by Bruce J. Rogow on Monday, January 21, 2002 at 08:22 IP Logged
Thanks for a most enjoyable read.My Dad was into the ponies and you captured the excitement of an era when horse racing was the escape of the day. My dad was at Pimlico and saw the War Admiral race...or so he told me hundred times. He would agree. Seabiscuit was the greatest horse he had ever seen. Again...Thanks, Bruce
Marblehead, MA USA

Comments by Bill Graves on Monday, January 21, 2002 at 07:13 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I loved this book, have recommended it to friends and became so intrigued with the world of horse racing that I first the first time visited our local tracks at Portland Meadows this weekend with a group of friends. We had a terrific time, and your book came up repeatedly. I'm so impressed with the rich detail you were able to draw from your extensive research. Congratulations on a great American story. Look forward to seeing the movie.
Beaverton, OR USA

Comments by Owen R. Mathieu, Jr., MD. on Monday, January 21, 2002 at 00:23 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I have no words to really express to you in a way that hundreds - thousands - of others have not already, what a marbelous book you've written. It has really tied upmy life over the last week or so, and I've found myself late to the office in the morning, and rushing out too soon at night, to finish it. It is truly an unforgettable story written in an unforgettable way. In a very real way it seemed to touch me very personally. I am black, fifty-seven, a physician; I grew up in Norbeck, Maryland, a small "RFD" stop in Montgomery County, Maryland, a little past Wheaton. Fascinated with horses as long as I could remember, I was looking out back one day when I spotted a large bay horse grazing in a field behind my parents property. It turned out he had been sired by the great Bull Lea at Calumet Farm, but had not proved a success on the track and was for sale. The year was 1955, I was eleven, and a short time later he was mine. He proved quite a handful for a kid learning to ride reading the Boy Scout Handbook on horsemanship, with some input from a couple horsemen in the area, but no formal lesson program as all kids seem to have today. I went to races as well, dragging my family to the D.C. International at Laurel, and seeing Bold Ruler win the Preakness in 1957 at the same Pimlico which figured so prominently in the life of the Biscuit. My horse Bob O'Lea and I would ride down the road from my house to watch on summer weekends as a group of black horsemen would descend upon an old baseball field in Norbeck and compete in the wildest bush-type horse shows. These people were phenomenal riders and trainers, many of them going on to compete at the National at Madison Square Garden, and other big events around the East. But they always returned to Norbeck to jump, eat fried chicken, let their hair down and have a great time. It was quite a shock to leave this place, my home, and find out that in the larger world a black horseman was such an anomaly. Finally, living on Boston's North Shore, I used to pass Suffolk Downs every day for fifteen years while working at Boston City Hospital. (I now see less frequently, having moved my office to Salem.) I've been there on race day a few times. Needless to say, I never dreamed the track had such an glorious past, nor the connections to greatness that you discribe in your story. My thirteen year old daughter decided at an early age that she loved horses. (Do you think it was the Walter Farley and Marguerite Henry books I threw at her as soon as she could read?) She now rides at a stable in Ipswich, Mass., and so my life is connected to horses again. To some degree things have come full circle, although she'll never have the freedom of movement on horseback that I was able to enjoy. I'm not sure why I'm writing you all of this. I daresay you're very busy, but I thought, as a historian, you might find it interesting. At any rate, thank you again, for a glorious read. Your research, your style, and your hard work are an inspiration. Sincerely, Owen Mathieu
Marblehead,, Ma USA

Comments by Carol Jelinek on Sunday, January 20, 2002 at 08:44 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Thanks for giving my daily round-trip commute of 120 miles per day a new vigor through your book in an audio version. I agree with those that said they laughed and cried. But I wondered at times what my fellow commuters were thinking as I was driving down the NJ Turnpike in late afternoons doing either of these. I have always and will always love horses and you certainly helped me to love Seabiscuit. The personality and understanding you wrote about him certainly was understandable to me. Horses are not machines, they have feelings and thinking abilities, an idea to which you opened the car driving, Internet using, reading public. I’m in awe of how you were able to get the information that you obtained to write such a factual book. I too am inspired by the historical knowledge intertwined in the story. As a Medical Writer, I am a Writer first and have the burn inside to develop an idea into a book. Thanks for a great trip and I’ll be missing a friend on my commute now that I finished the book. I hope they are able to do the book and Seabiscuit justice in the film. You both deserve it! I will take the advice of one of the previous writers and visit Pimlico Race Course. Pimlico may find their attendance increasing and might want to find out if it was due to your book. Seems a Laura Hillenbrand/Seabiscuit Day wouldn’t be out of the question.
Monroe Township, NJ USA

Comments by Norah Madigan McMeeking on Sunday, January 20, 2002 at 05:41 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I'm only halfway through Seabiscuit, but can't wait to tell you what a pleasure it has been to read--on many levels. It brings back happy memories of my horse-crazy youth, thrilled to "go to the races" with my grandfather, drawing the jockeys and delighting in the sights, smells, and sounds around me. I used to read castoff turf magazines with articles on Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons and racing giants like War Admiral and Kelso. When I was older, in college, I still thrilled to go to the track with Grandpop and began then to admire the strength, character and skill of the riders even more than the horses. I'm looking forward to reporting on your book to my bookgroup next month, when all the ladies will be surprized I am sure to learn that I once read Eddie Arcaro's biography. Best of all, I'm enjoing the rhythm and color in your writing which brings alive an era of thoroughbred racing more romantic than present days perhaps. Congratulations of your great success. Norah McMeeking, Santa Barbara,CA

Comments by Steve Garlow on Sunday, January 20, 2002 at 02:00 IP Logged
Laura its all your fault for my lack of sleep this past week as i could not put Seabiscuit down.Finally i finished the book and now im enjoying a complete nights sleep.My congratulations to you and your very fine work.You seem to have researched the horses life and all around him with meticulous care and love.I want to personally thank you and tell you how much i enjoyed it.I also wanted to ask you how i could obtain a signed copy of it and also if there might be a link where one could see and download pictures of the horse and his handlers especially the finish of the race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral.Again thanks and please feel free to email me any info you can.
Cleveland, N.Y USA

Comments by Ed Pekor on Sunday, January 20, 2002 at 00:54 IP Logged
Just finished reading your book. Thank you for a very enjoyable and entertaining read! I hope that the upcoming PBS special and movie will capture the magic of your book about this wonderful horse and his story.
Vienna, VA USA

Comments by Dr. Steven L. Siegel on Sunday, January 20, 2002 at 00:00 IP Logged
Ms. Hillenbrand; What a wonderful book…I have never laughed or cried so much and enjoyed myself in one book as I did with this one. Best Regards, DR. Steven L. Siegel

Comments by Dan Nickelson on Saturday, January 19, 2002 at 06:09 IP Logged
I grew up on a farm in eastern Colorado with horses, but have lived in the Washington DC area since 1965. The book is the best sports book I've ever read, and brought back many fond memories of my companions in my youth. What a fine job of writing and in bringing that period alive.
Spotsylvania, Va USA

Comments by Joe Hernon on Saturday, January 19, 2002 at 03:35 IP Logged
Dear Laura.Well done with your Seabiscuit book.Well written researched.It brought me back to great places.Dont pay any attention to Tony Morris,he just wishes he had your gift. Good luck from Ireland.Amy more books?
Cork, Ireland

Comments by Paul A. Parker on Saturday, January 19, 2002 at 03:11 IP Logged
I have never had an interest in horses, horse racing, jockeys etc, but now I am fascinated. You have taken a great story and a remarkable cast of characters and brought them to life. I listened to the book on tape and found it impossible to get out of the car when I got home-especially when a race was in progress. Please write another book soon. This one is surely a classic.
Portland, Me USA

Comments by Ron Miskell on Friday, January 18, 2002 at 08:08 IP Logged
I visited Pimlico Race Course last week and on my way up the 6 flights of stairs that lead to the upper clubhouse seating section, I made an exciting discovery. Just outside the entrance, hanging on a huge wall, was a perfectly arranged set of photographs that depicted the previous Pimlico Special winners. The very first one, all the way at the top left, was a picture of War Admiral winning the 1937 race. But the one next to it really caught my eye. It was a picture of Seabicuit leading the Admiral in deep stretch in the 1938 Pimlico Special, which of course was the match race between the two horses. As I stood there gazing at that photograph, the pages of your book slowly began turning in my memory. Even if I was a great writer like yourself, I'm afraid my words could never describe the spirit of that moment. It was as though I transcended time and took a step back in history and was part of the race myself. Thank you for that moment. As an added bonus, on the same floor is a row of jockey protraits. There is a fantastic portrait of George Woolf there that everyone should see. I would recommend to any horse/racetrack fanatic who has read your book to go and stand before that place and feel for yourself. You will never forget, as I too, will never forget that moment and the story of Seabiscuit.
Hampstead, MD USA

Comments by J. Powell on Friday, January 18, 2002 at 07:11 IP Logged
This is among the best books I've ever read. It's a fascinating story with an amazing cast of real-life characters. Ms. Hillenbrand's writing is a real joy; the introduction, perhaps the best I've read, is an irresistable invitation to the rest of the book. I've been telling everyone I know to read this book.
Fullerton, CA USA

Comments by John Scheibe on Friday, January 18, 2002 at 05:14 IP Logged
To Laura Hillenbrand Hi, My name is John Scheibe and I'm an editor at the L.A. Times. I just finished your terrific book on "Seabiscuit" and it was a wonderful read. I worked in our sports dept. for 18 years, including some time with the late Jim Murray when he had his eye problems and I have been thinking about putting something down on paper about that experience with him. Your storytelling has given me renewed inspiration. Thanks.
Los Angeles, California USA

Comments by CAROL EVANETZ on Friday, January 18, 2002 at 03:43 IP Logged

Comments by Sonja Cassidy on Friday, January 18, 2002 at 02:33 IP Logged
Your book Seabiscuit was great I like that it has a lot to do with our town. I didnt have alot of time to listen to my teacher read the book but I'm going to borrow one and read it by my self. I'm glad someone is writing about the famouse horse of Willits.
Willits, California USA

Comments by Lynne Trigleth on Friday, January 18, 2002 at 01:32 IP Logged
I just finished reading with such joy your book about Seabiscuit. Your interview on NPR acquainted me with you and your glorious book. It is the first sports book I have ever read but will forever be the best: it is a winner!

Comments by Ruth Chudy on Thursday, January 17, 2002 at 07:03 IP Logged
I have never been to a horse race, but thoroughly enjoyed "Seabiscuit".It took me into a world I know nothing about. Thank you so much for writing this book-It kept my interest from page one to the very end.
plainfield, ma USA

Comments by Marie Lamothe on Thursday, January 17, 2002 at 05:58 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, It is the greatest gift you give when you bring to life the wonderful spirit of Seabiscuit and those who recognized that spirit in him. You have enriched my life. Seabiscuit will continue to inspire me when adversity presents itself. Thank you. And best wishes. Marie
Interlochen, MI USA

Comments by Pat Missell on Thursday, January 17, 2002 at 03:34 IP Logged
What a wonderful book! I could not put it down.
Webster, NY USA

Comments by Chesteen Lindberg on Thursday, January 17, 2002 at 02:46 IP Logged
Ms. Hillenbrand - There is not much I can add to the previous praises of your great book, about the greatest horse. You have sent me on a quest of my own. I have a picture of Tom Smith taken in 1951 in the winners circle of the Charles Howard Handicapp. I look at this picture every day - with my parents, and this older man who I didn't know. Until your book I didn't know who Charles S. Howard was. My Dad's horse was the winner in that circle in July of '51. I have a few newspapers articles that talked about my Dad's horse, Rustaway, and his breeding ranch in San Ysidro. Caliente was a poplular place at my house along with Hollywood Park, Santa Anita - all the place you talked about in your book. One small paragraph said that along with Dr. and Mrs. Chester L. Wilson was Tom Smith, trainer of the great Seabiscuit. My Dad passed away in 1954 and I was way to young to ask the right questions of my remaining family. Your book has given me some insight into that life and I will be doing some more research starting with the San Diego Union on my next trip south. I imagine there is no one left that would remember my Dad and his horses or ranch, but I will give it a try. Thanks for bringing this little known part of the American culture to the forefront. And thanks for the spark to learn more of my family history. Chesteen
Oakland, CA USA

Comments by Stacie Austensen on Thursday, January 17, 2002 at 02:37 IP Logged
OUTSTANDING!! You made me laugh, cry, & wonder what could of been if the Biscuit found Tom earlier. Such a great story one would think you made it up!! Hee Hee I only wish there were more pics. Really seeing the people & horses really helped me to pull it all together. Well done-thanks for the knowledge & entertainment.
Lisbon, MD USA

Comments by suzanne mencer on Thursday, January 17, 2002 at 02:24 IP Logged
congratulations on writing a fine, fun book! in many of the photos, Seabiscuit's leg skin has the appearance of watered silk; did Smith use pin firing as a technique in keeping him sound? Were the "poultices" part of the blistering process? I agree that the horse was magic but those old time trainers had some hair-raising tricks for keeping horses running; shouldn't the public know?
charlotte, nc USA

Comments by isaac reeser on Thursday, January 17, 2002 at 02:14 IP Logged
I thank you so much for writing such a wonderful book. I live in Willits Ca. and its was a good experience to learn more about my local history. I never knew why Howard Memorial Hospital was constructed other then we needed a hospital. I didn't know it has a reason. its inspiring that such a horse came from a place like Willits .
Willits, California USA

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