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Comments by Dennis Duncan on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 03:55 IP Logged
Dear Laura, I am so happy you have written this book. Not only did I enjoy reading this masterpiece and insight of horse racing, I feel in love with Seabiscuit. Another reason even more important why this book was so profound to me. I got to know my father! You see my father ran away from home when he was 14 years old in 1916 or 1917. He was born in NYC and he landed at Belmont. He mucked stalls,walked hots, exercised horses and eventually was a jockey. He went from the flat to steeplechase. Every time he ended up in the hospital from falls he gain weight until he had to find something else. The track was the only life he knew so he was touting, jockey's agent, owner/trainer until he ended up as a Pinkerton guard on a back gate at Belmont in the late 1950's. It was then he ran away from home again never to be heard from again. A few years ago I found out from S.S. he died in upstate N.Y. in the '70's. I always remember him saying "you can't change the spots on a leopard". Your book gave me more understanding of that and how much he loved the track. He was a very good trainer but never mastered politics. You might find it funny but I went into auto racing and now I'm retired but I still hang around it. There is another reason why I'm writing you is because of the USA article. I went through a 3 year bout of fatigue about 4 years ago. It was about that time that a ad in USA for a product called "Herp-Eezz". The manufacture is Olympian Labs, Scottsdale,Az. Their phone is 800.473.5883. This product along with others are sold through distributors so they can tell you where you can find one near you. Anyway, my wife (she suffered with this to)and I have been taking this product and it has helped us. It is patented processed and it was developed to reduce the effects of the virus that might be part of your illness Again, thank you for your wonderful work. You have given me a wonderful gift. Dennis Duncan (son of Fred Duncan)
Sheboygan, wi USA

Comments by Jim Doyle on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 03:31 IP Logged
Ms Hillenbrand, I grew up in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, where Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons was a local icon. I went to school with some of his relatives. I assume the track you refer to in your book that surrounded the Fitzsimmons home was the old Sheepshead Bay Racetrack. I'm 73 and the track was gone by my time but my father spent a lot of time there as a kid. He was a horselover and a horseplayer (he died broke!) and I could never understand his passion for the "Sport of Kings" but your book has made understanding his obsession a little easier. Thanks! Jim Doyle
Mahwah, NJ USA

Comments by Kathy Tolf on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 02:32 IP Logged
My father would have loved your book. He grew up in the shadow of Aqueduct Race Track, and never quite made it to the high school on the other side. He was a kid who started out selling pencils and wound up talking someone into letting him ride. He said they thought they would get rid of him once he was bucked off; instead, he stayed until WW2 as an exercise boy for Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons. His whole life revolved around those horses, and he even went to Hialeah in the boxcar, sleeping between two bales of hay so as not to get kicked or stomped. The other workers even went so far as to smuggle him past the Truant Officer so he could ride. Not only did you tell a great story about the Biscuit, you gave me a look at a piece of my late father's life. Thank You.
Pawling, NY USA

Comments by Rick Marks on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 02:28 IP Logged
As someone who has had a 33-year love affair with horse racing since I was 16 and even decided to scrap a 14-year career at The New York Times to work for Steven Crist as Director of Marketing for NYRA in 1995-96, then rejoined Steve as Ad Director for Daily Racing Form from 1998-2000, it's not surprising that I received three copies of your book for my birthday in April. I have since given five other copies of your book as gifts to friends who do not necessarily love racing. Your story of Seabiscuit transcends the track. It is a story of human triumph, unselfishness, generosity and coincidence that such diverse and dysfunctional individuals could somehow merge together to forge this legendary run. I would have loved to have lived in the late 30's when horse racing was a sport and not a gaming sideshow referred to in the same sentence as video slots, lotteries and blackjack. The fact that the world seemed to stop everytime this magnificent animal walked on a racetrack is just mind boggling. If Seabiscuit had been around today, the main concern of most people watching him win the Big Cap would have been what did the Seabiscuit-Kayak exacta pay? Thanks, Laura for taking me to a wonderful place during my mundane commutes to work on the Long Island Rail Road of the past couple of weeks. I can't wait to see the movie. Sincerely, Rick Marks
Great Neck, NY USA

Comments by Judy Harris on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 02:13 IP Logged
I saw a brief excerpt of your interview today. Keep a positive outlook. My daughter had this when she was 14 [1989]. For a year we did not know if she would live or die. It took near a full year to even get her diagnosed and then so many professionals didn't believe the diagnosis. Despite the fevers, swollen glands, etc., her trusted pediatrician even recommended psychiatric help. With the support of family, one good doctor, and the help of God, she finally went into a semi-remission. Today she is 25, married, and is able to hold a full time job even though she has to be careful not to overdo and get enough rest and proper nutrition. I wish you the best. Keep up the good writing.
GA USA

Comments by Dan Nguyen on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 02:07 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I've read USA's article today about your CFS. You should consult any physician who has MD and OMD degrees. I had gone thru that problem like yours 12 years ago. When checking or testing physician cannot find anything wrong, but the relationships between organs are not right so you have CFS. Good luck, Dan
Waldorf, MD USA

Comments by Laura Hillenbrand on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 01:30 IP Logged
FROM THE AUTHOR: For those who are interested, today there is a feature on my battle with illness in USA Today and a companion piece on Gannett TV stations nationwide. Both the print piece and the TV piece can be seen at http://www.usatoday.com/video/mplay5v1.htm. The internet version of the story and video should stay up for a number of days. Thank you all for all your posts, and for keeping Seabiscuit on the best seller list for 20 weeks now!
USA

Comments by Herbert N. McCauley on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 00:03 IP Logged
Dear Laura Clearly you have the "look of an eagle" and the great heart and blood of racing champions, or you could not have researched with love, and vicariously participated in the minds and hearts of the people and horses you crafted into such a story great enough to make my heart pound and bring tears to my eyes on more than one occasion, as I read your masterpiece. Thanks for such a special time. This tribute comes from a 68 year old who read his first racing program at 7 and asked his 9 year old brother how "NOBOY" could ride more than one horse in a race. As boys my brother and I talked to "Sunny Jim" outside of Bold Ruler's stall at Saratoga. We spent every summer we could (with my father until we later went up on our own when he couldn't)at Saratoga. We semi-vicariously grew up with Bobby Permane, Ted Atkinson, Eddie Arcaro, Eric Guerin, Headley Woodhouse, etc as we intoduced ourselves to them whenever we could around the track or in the diners of Saratoga. My Dad knew Casey Hayes and Mickey Walsh so we met them frequently and listened to their dialogue.The greatest I saw personally was Native Dancer as he exploded into his "longer stride" for about thirty yards as he more than took the measure of Jamie K. in the Travers. Later when in Baltimore, I went to the Vanderbilt farm to see him again, as I had to--he was in my blood. My Dad saw and loved Seabiscuit ( Empire with the bookies were still in vogue in his day) and he always had a soft spot for Discovery who he felt was unique in the way he could carry the heavy weight imposed on him. I only mention this background so you will know there is substance to my tribute to you, not only for the pleasure of the reading but for the contribution you will make to the "Sport of Kings". I believe it is the best public relations for racing I have seen since listening to Clem McCarthy broadcast a race. Let's both hope my prophecy has merit and we see "at track attendance" regain some of the luster and magic I was fortunate enough to experience as a youngster. God Bless you Sincerely, Herb McCauley for myself and my Dad who will be reading your book in Heaven.
Naples, Fl USA

Comments by Kent McLemore on Sunday, July 22, 2001 at 06:42 IP Logged
Thanks for this splendid slice of American History. I was captivated immeadiately by your account of Howard's early years, and the role he played in the history of San Francisco. I grew up one block from Van Ness Ave. where his bicycle repair shop was located, went to my first horse race at Bay Meadows, where he stabled his first horses, and spent many summer weeks in the Redwoods near Willits, home of Ridgeway. Somehow this story wove together many loose ends of my life into a fabric I didn't know existed. I am truly greatful for your work.
Fayetteville, AR USA

Comments by Dean Manion on Sunday, July 22, 2001 at 04:43 IP Logged
Great book. I race automobiles, and I wish someone would write a book bringing alive the history and drama of auto racing like you did with horse racing. I hope the movie is a credit to your wonderfull book.
Kansas City, MO USA

Comments by Deborah Goodall on Sunday, July 22, 2001 at 03:28 IP Logged
Thank you for an incredible book! I have always loved horses, so was looking forward to reading "Seabiscuit", but I had no idea what a wonderful read I was in for. You made the people and the horses come alive in a brilliant way, and I was very sorry to reach the end of the book. I hope you're working on another one.
Herndon, VA USA

Comments by George J. Levine on Sunday, July 22, 2001 at 01:44 IP Logged
Dear Laura, Upon listening to your NPR interview and hearing some of the highlights about Seabiscuit, I read your book and commend you for a great job. Thank you. George
Las Vegas, NV USA

Comments by Harriet Layfield on Sunday, July 22, 2001 at 00:35 IP Logged
Congratulations on this amazing ride! I feel like I just returned from racing Seabiscuit myself at Santa Anita. Seabiscuit will always be in my heart. Many thanks for the beautifully written masterpiece.
Nashville, TN USA

Comments by Anita Wagner on Saturday, July 21, 2001 at 06:58 IP Logged
I am looking for a mailing address of the author I would like to write her a letter about how special she is Thank You.
shawano, wi USA

Comments by michael walker on Saturday, July 21, 2001 at 03:55 IP Logged
seabiscuit, an american ledgend, is one of the best written books if have ever read, it read like a great novel, your ability to recreate events is amazing. i can't wait for the movie
nashville, tn USA

Comments by Angelo Lanzone on Saturday, July 21, 2001 at 01:22 IP Logged
Dear Laura; I just purchased, "Seabiscuit, An American Legend". I first heard of the horse when I was about 4 years old and called him Teabiscuit. My uncles were gamblers who went to the races every day during the depression years and beyond. They always spoke of "Seabiscuit" and showed me pictures of him.. I always loved the horse and I can't wait to read your book.. I am flying to Las Vegas on Wednesday and will read during the 4 hour flight. Again, I thank you for the memories.. of "teabiscuit" Angelo Lanzone
Sabina, OH USA

Comments by maggie van ostrand on Saturday, July 21, 2001 at 01:12 IP Logged
If I wrote to you each time I read Seabiscuit: An American Legend, there would be yet another page of praise added to this webpage. I've read it four times and listened to Campbell Scott's superb reading of the audiobook at least a dozen. Would that there were an unabridged audio version. Many great books have been written, that's true, but none I ever read reached so deeply into my Self as yours. After learning of your illness, I'd give anything to be able to return the joy to you that you are giving me -- each day a little more Seabiscuit. He was a wonder. So are you.
ajijic, Mexico

Comments by CLETUS-ANN PADILLA on Saturday, July 21, 2001 at 00:57 IP Logged
Dear Laura, I just finished Seabiscuit, marvelous having being born in 1934 and growing up in and around Santa Anita track I was to young to know Seabiscuit himself, but, I was raised on his legend. I did know Ralph Neeves, Johnny London and Eddy Arcaro. Share many a dinner time with them at the Brown Derby. You brought it all back to me. I did not want the book to end. Thank You
Izamal, Yucatan Mexico

Comments by Jack Letzer on Friday, July 20, 2001 at 09:37 IP Logged
Ms. Laura Hillenbrand, I have just finished reading your magnificent biography of Seabiscuit and the three men who guided his development into what many believe was the finest horse in racing history. Your superbly researched and thoroughly documented work shows not only your outstanding attention to detail, but also the evident love of your subject you brought to the project. My sincerest congratulations for a work which moved me very much. Very truly yours, Jack Letzer
Cockeysville, MD USA

Comments by Lisa Robinson on Friday, July 20, 2001 at 08:58 IP Logged
MY prediction is that Laura Hillenbrand wil singlehandedly revive an American interest in racing with this book.
Gilmanton, NH USA

Comments by donna ripple on Friday, July 20, 2001 at 08:55 IP Logged
Everytime Seabiscuit raced,I felt that I was at the track! It is one of the best books I ever read. As a child,I remember playing a racing game with Seabiscuit as one of the horses. Brought back great memories. I salute Ms. Hillenbrand.
pittsburgh, pa USA

Comments by Victoria Romano on Friday, July 20, 2001 at 06:33 IP Logged
I just completed Seabiscuit, and I'm ready to read it all over again!! You are an extremely talentd writer. Every race that you had decribed in the book, made me feel like I was sitting right there in the granstands. More than once my adrenaline reached it's full capacity during the exciting parts. Seabiscuit is like a hero! I wished I could have been born to see him race. You are truly a lovely person to have been able to capture the beauty of Seabiscuit! Thank you for a wonderful story!
Phila. , Pa USA

Comments by Niall Connolly on Friday, July 20, 2001 at 05:34 IP Logged
Laura, I have already left comments about your book, it is just that I have now read your interview on Beliefnet and am in awe at your achievement in writing this book. You truely are a wonderful person with a great attitude to life. Best wishes for the future.
Orlando, FL USA

Comments by Michelle on Friday, July 20, 2001 at 05:30 IP Logged
I grew up thinking that the entire reason for horseracing was to watch them run--I never had been around racetracks, just around horses in Wyoming and Colorado. I also read everything by Margurite Henry, all the Black Stallion books, the Flicka series, etc. This definitely ranks up there with those books. I remember reading a children's book about Seabiscuit, but it obviously couldn't hold a candle to this book. I am sorry to have it end. You've written such a captivating book. I couldn't put it down. The pictures are wonderful, as well. The research is thorough but never gets in the way of the story. Wow, thanks for such a great book, and if you write another horse racing book (about War Admiral? LOL) I will be first in line at my local library to read it!!!!!!!
MI USA

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