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Comments by Raymond Tompkins on Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 06:30 IP Logged
I am now 78.5 years old now and moved from Baltimore 11 years ago to retire. In November 1938 my best friend and I were just 12 and had heard about the race. We road our bikes to Pimlico, leand them on the fence surrounding the track and ran for a place to watch. A barn roof seemed like a good spot. Up we went with a police officer giving us a little salute. The barn just happened to be directly opposite the starting spot We heard the bell, the first start (called back) and then the second. The biscuit did indeed get the jump on the Admiral and we could see nearly the whole race. When they came around the last turn right where we were neither one of us could believe it. I never forgot it. My wife and I read the book, saw the movie and both brought tears to my eyes. Thanks so much for recording a beautifull memory that has lasted 66 years
Rehoboth Beach, DE USA -

Comments by Ashley Lemarie on Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 05:58 IP Logged
Dear Laura, Heartfelt congratulations on your beautiful rendering of the history of this incredible horse and the amazing lives of those who so lovingly surrounded him. As I live in France, the film has not yet come out here, but my parents in Dallas saw it and said it was was of the most fabulous films they had ever seen. So, I bought the book at the airport on my way back from the States. I was unable to put it down until I finished it. I am the second cousin of Larry McMurtry, author of Lonesome Dove and others. My life in Texas has always centered around cattle horses, cattle drives and the stories that surround them. My grandfather was the owner of the Goodnight Ranch as well as others. Thank you for illuminating an elegant and highly technical side of equestrian life that I have never really come to know. I have a technical, ignorant question: What does imposting mean? Are the horses saddled with additional weight based on their handicap? Is this based on age or speed record? Is this satisfied by the jockey weight, or weighted saddles, or under-saddle weights? As a novice, I don't completely understand this. I realize that it figures into the handicap somehow. Thank you again for the two days of pure joy reading your book (I inhaled it), and I look forward to seeing the film come out in France! Yours truly, Ashley Lemarie
Paris, France -

Comments by Ray Zukowski on Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 04:53 IP Logged
Thrilling book and movie. What was his record i.e starts/wins/losses, etc. Thanks
Utica Utica, NY USA13502 -

Comments by Alycin Black on Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 04:49 IP Logged
I loved SEABUISCUIT and I just now realized that Seabuiscuit and War Admeral were Half Brothers.Both by Man O war
Katy, TX USA -

Comments by W. Allen on Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 03:58 IP Logged
Thank-you,for such a wonderful story. It is truely hard to believe thats it's true! I look forward to seeing the movie.I have been around horses, but not horse racing.The way you informed me on certain racing terms and technics, while blending the story with it, proves that you are a great author! Congradulations and good luck....Bill

Comments by Ella Bizik on Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 03:50 IP Logged
Your book Seabiscuit was wonderful. I especially enjoyed the background and was amazed at all the research you put into it. It gave light to a little known but much loved horse and how amazing he was. The part that really amazed me was the game he would play by letting his opponents catch up, look them in the eye, and then speed off to win. What a horse he must have been. I am so glad you brought him into light. I enjoyed the movie too and will be in my video library as soon as its out. I hope and pray your health improves and that you will be able to continue doing what you seem so talented of.
Elgin, IL USA -

Comments by Beverly Boksa on Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 03:38 IP Logged
I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your book. I have seen the movie twice -- and enjoyed it a great deal. However, your book is so very much more. I had the privilege to own several horses (mostly Quarter Horses; only one Thoroughbred)for much of my life -- and even hung out at a few Chicago racetracks with friends who worked for a trainer (getting the chance to hot walk and even to bandage the legs of one the horses) and your insight into the racing world was incredibly exciting. I could not put down this book and could not wait to see it up on the screen. Thanks so much for a wonderful experience.
Chicago, IL USA -

Comments by Phyllis Rice on Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 03:17 IP Logged
I loved your book!! I could feel each hoofbeat in your accounts of the various races. As a young girl one of my father's friends had a horse "Dark Sea Queen" who he raced...she did well on the small Washington Circuit. She was a Seabiscuit descendent. Do you know where I might find out more about Seabiscuit's offspring?? Thank you for writing such a memorable book.
Anchorage, AK USA -

Comments by MARSHALL WEINTROBE on Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 02:46 IP Logged

Comments by Donna Miller on Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 02:24 IP Logged
Ms. Hillenbrand -- Your book was phenomenal! While I was reading, I could actually see every detail of the races in my mind and felt like I was in the saddle, hunkered down and looking over Seabiscuit's broad neck. There were times when I was reading that I found myself actually holding my breath because of the suspense. This book gave a whole new meaning to "vicarious experiences"! Thanks for creating one of the most exciting and touching stories I have ever read. You are truly a genius! Donna Miller
Grand Junction, CO USA -

Comments by Jo Karlin on Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 01:57 IP Logged
Laura- Totally awesome novel! Loved it from start to the very last page. Totally captures the sport of horseracing. Wonderfully written!
Williston, ND USA -

Comments by William H. Kelly on Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 01:56 IP Logged
Just a short note to tell you what a great book you wrote. I have been to most of the race tracks mentioned in your book and I never knew that a horse in a claiming race was referred to as a "plater." Best of luck in your future endeavors.
Northport, NY USA -

Comments by Charles Hill on Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 01:33 IP Logged
I finished reading Seabiscuit and I've seen the movie. What a wonderful story. I was born six months before Santa Anita opened. Thanks for this great work.
Phoenix, AZ USA -

Comments by Maggie Copp on Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 01:18 IP Logged
Dear Laura, I read your article, A Sudden Illness -- How My Life Changed and received a real education on how debilitating CFS is. While looking up the American Herbalists Guild on the internet one day I clicked on "Herb Links" and click on a site called Simply Healing. Dr. Aleks Strande, N.D., Ph.D., is a naturopath and a microbiologist. One of the articles he wrote is titled "A Doctor Who Has Not Suffered from a Chronic Illness May Not Understand." It's about how he once suffered from CFS just like you described on your article. He ran into the same problems you have. You may find his article helpful. Again, the site was www.american I wish you all the best and a cure to your CFS.
Washington, DC USA -

Comments by Italo A. Vassalluzzo on Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 01:10 IP Logged
Ms. Hillenbrand, As a recently retired professional photgrapher, I naturally chose the well ilustrated collectors edition of your marvelous book "Seabiscuit". Not only did I read the story, but every word written in your acknowledgement section. Your parents must be very fine folks to produce a person with your empathectic nature. The way you brought each character (including the dogs and horses) to life with such a loving touch....was great. When I studied my profession at a prestigous school in California, I was told that I lacked talant and that working in a Photo Lab would suit me. I spent 42 years as a Yearbook Photgrapher and Sales Rep. I struggled and have acheived an envieable reputation for my craft and dealing with people. If you ever wish to write about my field, I would be privliged to give you as much time as necessary. Aside from your book I have seen the Seabiscuit documentry on PBS. From a professional standpoint, your image is much more pleasing in color than the one taken for your book. Congratulations on a wonderful book. I look forward to seeing the movie. Sincerly, Italo
Ardsley, Pa USA -

Comments by David Martin on Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 01:07 IP Logged
Hello Laura, My name is David Martin and I run a company that puts classic films out on DVD. We have invented a new patented cutting edge way of putting old films in color. And not the bad color of Ted Turner years ago, but beautiful color. We are currently doing a lot of joint ventures with classic actors from the 30's and 40's to rerelease their films. I believe Martha may have asked you (on my behalf) about the 1939 Seabiscuit documentary made by Charles Howard. She forwarded your email to me saying that you had it and that it was good and worth having. I appreciate that. I have bought it and my company is thinking about putting it out on DVD, and putting it in color. Do you know if it's out there at all now? How rare is the film? Would you like to be a part of what we are doing in any way? Love to have you take a look at our color design. Please email me if you would like at Thanks, and I absoulutely loved your book. the movie is not bad, but it doesn't even come close to the images and emotion brought forth in your writing. David
san diego, ca USA -

Comments by Elizabeth Devlin on Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 00:57 IP Logged
I just finished the book and couldn't put it down. I am not a fan of racing, yet your writing made me feel like I was actually there watching the races, and I found myself captivated and totally involved. I started my Seabiscuit fascination when I first saw the documentary and then I viewed the movie, and finally read your book. The movie was absolutely wonderful but the book made it all come alive! Because you are involved in horses, I would like to bring to your attention the fact that 2 TBs-winners of prestigious races both wound up in slaughterhouses in Japan. War Emblem, himself close to being a Triple Crown winner is now in the hands of someone in Japan...I am sure that if he doesn't produce winning offspring, his fate will follow Ferdinand and Excellor. It is shameful that these horses give themselves to their owners and bring in millions only to wind up in the slaughterhouses when their winning days have ended. I apologize for bringing this up here, but this is the only access to you that is available, and because you are involved-maybe you can do something??? (Like making the public aware of what is goin on just like you made them aware of Seabiscuit???) Again, your book was tremendously well written and just made the entire story come alive. Seabiscuit seemed like a wonderful horse with a sense of humour. It is too bad that ther are not more owners around like Charles Howard.
Pierson, FL USA -

Comments by Anthony Miles on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 09:59 IP Logged
Ms.Hillenbrand, Thank you so much for an incredible book about an amazing animal and historical icon. You infused you book with just the right amount of personal touches to make it a very memorable, highly readable, and extremely recommendable read. I'm sure that you hve been inundated with an influx of e-mail and praise since the publishing of yout book and especially since the making of the movie. I must admit that I saw the movie before I read the book, but for me that was only an inspiration to find and read this wonderful story. Like all good writers you were able to take me the reader and allow me to feel like I was on intimate terms with all of the characters and there time and place in history. The name Seabiscuit will now and evermore prompt fond memories in my mind. Thank you so much for making this very touching part of history a part of my life!
Washington, NC USA -

Comments by James G. Johnson on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 09:29 IP Logged
Hi I finished reading the book. Like the first part it is magnificent. I think Tom Smith could have been qualified as a horse genius. I don't mean that figuratively. I mean it literally. If he had been born at this time they probably would have tested him and found him with an above average IQ in several fields. This would explain his spending most of his time with horses instead of people. He probably found that people didn't understand him, what he did or what he thought. Horses are understanding and forgiving of differences when people aren't. When he worked he performed with logic, a knowledge of lines and angles like a biomedical engineer. He also understood the most important aspect of working with a horse in an arena such as his, anatomy. I deep understanding of anatomy is as important in this area as to a good surgeon. If neither one understands the discipline of anatomy they can only be adequate. He also lived in the confines of,"being a natural" at it. He had no books or journal articles to back up his contentions or hypothesis. Smith just did it, naturally; in gifted way. I'm rereading it. I just love it.
Rockwell City, IA USA -

Comments by Helen on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 09:24 IP Logged
Thank you so much for all you have done. The ripples of it are being felt everywhere. Friends and family are finally begining to actually understand what this darn disease is like. A few have even called me after seeing you on television talking about what you can and cannot do. I believe the light is finally dawning on them. For that I thank you! I know personally just how hard that tv interview had to be for you - not to mention writing the book! I haven't read it yet. Holding is hardback is just too hard, so I'm waiting for the paperback version. Meanwhile I've had many people I know read it and I think it is loved by all. I used to love riding, but that was another life. Keep up the good work! Helen

Comments by Christine B. Cox on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 09:07 IP Logged
Laura - Congratulations on a wonderful book. I'm glad to learn that a fellow DC woman has provided this country with such an interesting story! My 89 year old grandfather sent me a wonderful e-mail reminiscing about seeing Seabiscuit race in Massachusetts when he was young (I think at Belmont) and he loved your book and is looking forward to seeing your movie. He remembered an East Coast horse whom he said was very popular at the time, but whose name he couldn't quite remember -- it also began with an "S," he thought, and perhaps was something like Swashbuckler. I have searched the internet to find the name of this other horse, but without success. In your research have you come across other horses racing during Seabiscuits time that fit this description -- popular on the East Coast and perhaps beginning with the letter "S?" It was not War Admiral, but another horse. Thanks very much. And kudos on a great book for all generations.
Washington, DC USA -

Comments by Jack Kennedy Hodgkin on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 09:01 IP Logged
Dear Laura: Fabulous Movie. I am now reading book and a close friend of Phyliss Rogers who you mention in the introduction. I am a native of Winchester, Ky. and also close friends with Arthur Hancock and Hal Price Headley, Jr. and that is two strong links to your story. I am a portrait painter, musical composer, and writing a collection of short stories. I want to send you a CD of my original music which is Symphonic Jazz and will be in Premier Concert at Palm Beach. I like the film music for Seabiscuit and what John Barry did for Somewhere in time. Mine is of that level. I am using this pipeline to get us in touch and will call Phyliss to help me if this doesn't get to you. Jack
Stuart, Fl. USA -

Comments by Stephanie Lowell on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 08:35 IP Logged
Seabiscuit was the best book I ever read. I enjoyed the movie also. Thank you for telling this wonderful story. I think I will read the book again since I enjoyed it so.

Comments by Gene Nelson on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 08:24 IP Logged
I've never been a horseracing fan, but after reading your book, I realize that's because I didn't know anything about the subject. Thanks for educating me. Thanks for a great book that touched me. Now...I will go to the movie. I thought it sad that neither Pollard or Howard went to Tom Smith's funeral.
St Cloud, MN USA -

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