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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!!!!!!!

Comments by andrea orr on Friday, July 20, 2001 at 04:03 IP Logged
Thank you for a great book. I hated to finish it, knowing that all the characters I'd come to love have been long gone from this world. It was a book that appeals to history lovers of Americana, not just horse or racing enthusiasts. I cried at the end as I knew I would. Would it be possible to get my copy signed by you? A few questions if you will: What ever happened to Marcela Howard? Where was Ridgeway and what is it today? Are the bronze sculptures of Seabiscuit and Woolf still at Santa Anita? Are there any horses raing today that are descendents of Seabiscuit? (I doubt it, and it is a shame.) Thank you again, can't wait to see the movie. I hope it does your book justice! Andrea
Fredericksburg, VA USA

Comments by Pat Owen on Friday, July 20, 2001 at 03:52 IP Logged
You are an inspiration to me and I am sure Seabiscuit: An American Legend will be as well. I, too, have CFS/FM and believe I can understand at least some of what it must have taken for you to write this incredible story. I am looking forward to reading Seabiscuit. I have asked our local library to purchase it so those of us who can't afford to buy books will have access to this wonderful story.
Euless, TX USA

Comments by Tom Warner on Friday, July 20, 2001 at 03:38 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I read your book cover to cover in two days. It was exhaustively researched and brilliantly paced, unfolding exactly like the well-made film I'm sure it will become. Hope your appearance on Mike Dempsey's Turf 'n Sport radio goes well today. I produce a TV show in Baltimore called ATOMIC TV and would LOVE to do a segment on you and your book (we profiled Mike when he was in town for the Preakness - he'll never let me forget the $714 payoff I missed by not boxing my longshot exacta pick). We would meet you anywhere at your convenience. By the way, ever see a film called MY BROTHER TALKS TO HORSES from 1946? It was on TCM a few months back and is of interest only because it used footage of War Admiral in a few scenes and is supposed to take place during the Preakness in Baltimore at Old Hilltop. Peter Lawford's in it (and probably tried to forget about it the rest of his career). It's got funny lines in it like, "We Baltimoreans take our racing seriously!" and "If my boss sees me at the track I could lose my bank position!" The kid in the movie does the requisite tear-jerker scene, too, when his fave horse is put down. Funny, this year's meet at Pimlico, my first day saw a horse being euthanized after throwing Joe Rocco and the last day I was there a horse broke down)they saved this one after Ramon Dominguez pulled him up 30 feet forom the finish line. Anyway, great job on the book and hope to hear from you, Tom Warner
Baltimore, MD USA

Comments by Edie Link on Friday, July 20, 2001 at 03:01 IP Logged
Your book is as magnificent as your subject. I can only imagine the research and time and caring that went into a story that made Seabiscuit and all the other characters come back to life. I purchased my first thoroughbred slightly over a year ago. He is an ex-racehorse with ancesters that include War Admiral, Secretariat and Native Dancer. He may not have the speed they possessed but he has the heart and the 'eye' and when I sit on the ground in his paddock, talking to him as he prances around, knowing that he will never harm me, I think of Tom Smith, his great gift and the unique communication that existed between him and his horse. I understand, in a very limited way, that special bond. Thank you for making them live again.
Dahlonega, GA USA

Comments by John on Friday, July 20, 2001 at 02:48 IP Logged
I heard you on ESPN Radio last night. Good interview! This sounds like a great story!
Kansas City, MO USA

Comments by Elaine Ryan on Friday, July 20, 2001 at 00:40 IP Logged
Ms. Hillenbrand, I purchased your book for my father, an avid thoroughbred racing fan, and he enjoyed it immensely. My husband recently finished it and was impressed with the amount of research that went into writing the book and the insight it provided into the lifestyles of the trainers and jockeys during the time Seabiscuit was racing. You mentioned in your book the tune played by the buglers prior to the horses coming onto the track. The melody is properly known as "First Call". I am not bringing this to your attention as a correction, but merely thought you might be interested. "First Call" derives from the traditions of the U.S. Cavalry. "First Call" was sounded at cavalry posts to alert the grooms to bring the horses from the picket line to the parade grounds, where they would be saddled. "Second Call", also known as "Boots and Saddles," was the signal for the cavalrymen to mount and prepare to move out. Then would come the order, familiar to generations of movie goers: "Right by twos. At a gallop. Ho-o-o-o." Once again, we truly enjoyed your book and will continue to pass it around to friends and family. Elaine Ryan
Pittsburgh, PA USA

Comments by Fran Johnson on Friday, July 20, 2001 at 00:27 IP Logged
I just finished reading Seabiscuit. Thank you so much for bringing this story back to life. I weeped at the end of the story, I wanted it to continue. I also admired your many thanks to those who helped you with this book. As a fellow horse lover, kudos to you Laura!
Hyattsville, MD USA

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