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I am a teacher, and good nonfiction books are ones that I am always looking for. I am currently trying to figure out how I might weave your book into a study of the Great Depression that I do with my middle school kids. Teachers are always doing things lik e that.... As a child, I grew up near one of the only two race tracks in West Virginia. Many of my friends were children of horse owners/trainers. I had horses of my own, and read every book that I could get my hands on concerning horses. My favorites were those by Walter Farley. The Black Stallion won everything! Your book reminded me of my love of horse races, and the heart that the horse must have in order to run with joy. Many of your descriptions of Seabiscuit's trainer remind me of a "horse whisperer." I'm also glad that my parents would not let me become a jockey. I don't have the determination that they do to make weight. Thanks for ALL of the valuable information supplied in your book. Best Wishes!
Race Fan <cosmicrover@yahoo.com>
Fredericksburg, VA USA - Saturday, May 04, 2002 at 22:48:55 (EDT)
Outstanding! One of the best books I have ever read. I have read it three times cover to cover and will probably again. Thanks for sharing a great story about a grand racehorse and his family. I only wish that for every horse that wins great races there would be someone like you to write their story. Thanks for the enjoyment. My best, Sandi
Sandi J Pence <sandijpence@earthlink.net>
Arvada, CO USA - Saturday, May 04, 2002 at 21:13:06 (EDT)
I loved your book!!! I love horses!!! I read Horse Heaven last year and it also became one of my most favorite books. I am always afraid to watch horse racing because I am afraid to see the horses get hurt. The first horse race I ever saw they had to "put down" a horse, I heard the shot it was horrible. What has come to me though by reading the two books is that some horses love to run. Thank you for writing about Seabisquit. Can you recommend any other books that are comparable?
Cathy <kulakai@aloha.net>
Kula, HI USA - Saturday, May 04, 2002 at 19:18:05 (EDT)
I was lucky enough to be on the finish line for the other race people consider the greatest of all time - Affirmed vs. Alydar in the Belmont Stakes. I was so excited I forgot to snap a picture of the finish. As a long time racing fan having grown up during the glorious 70's with so many super horses, it was a true pleasure to read your book on Seabiscuit and the interesting people who surrounded him. However, for me, the real star of the book was not Smith, Pollard, Howard or Seabiscuit, but George Woolf. Thank you for reminding us of the little horse that could and the best jockey that ever looked over a horse's neck barreling for the finish line.
Tre
USA - Saturday, May 04, 2002 at 19:17:54 (EDT)
Dear Miss Hillenbrand, I wish to thank you for your WONDERFUL book SEABISCUIT. It brought memories, an education, tears and everlasting joy. THANK YOU, Gerri
Gerri Young <gerry@albertamail.com>
Edmonton, AB CANADA - Saturday, May 04, 2002 at 16:06:43 (EDT)
Laura, I heard part of your radio interview last night (4 May) on WMAL while returning to my home in Annapolis, MD. I was struck with your personal struggle concerning Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I am personally familiar with a new patented and proprietary food supplement called AMBROTOSE, produced by Mannatech, Inc. Their products involve carbohydrate technology and are often called the "missing links" in our nutrition. This is an all-natural nutritional food supplement that supplies and coats our cells with saccharides missing from our normal diet. Three of the last Nobel Prize winners won their awards by just writing about the concepts! If your wish to improve your health, and your doctors are unaware of this valuable nformation, I encourage you all to log onto www.GlycoScience.com or www.TeamNRN.info. I can be reached at (301) 261-1152, if you should have any further questions. I am a Captain in the U.S. Navy, and these products have bowled me over with their stunning results. We expect a patent to emerge within several months, and should be a cover feature in a main-line magazine very soon explaining all the benefits. Imagine what you could do if you were well, considering all you have accomplished to date! God Bless.
Diane Carnevale <carnevale101>
Annapolis, MD USA - Saturday, May 04, 2002 at 15:16:10 (EDT)
I can't wait for the movie! What an engrossing story!
E. Priest <eap777@att.net>
Ruxton, MD USA - Saturday, May 04, 2002 at 10:12:24 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I have just finished the last pages of your book, which I took a gamble on because I didn't think the subject matter would interest me. However, when NPR raved about it, I had to give it a chance. Your writing drew me in from page one. You brought alive this fascinating era in history; you made me see, hear, smell, and experience this world. As I read the accounts of the races, my body tensed up as if I were watching them and I read as fast as I could because I had to know what would happen. Then I went back and read them again, more slowly, to make sure I didn't miss anything. I *cared* about the players in this drama: when Red Pollard suffered his terrible injuries, I thought anxiously, "Oh, I hope the Howards take care of him! He doesn't have any money!" and was relieved when they did. You made this world real to me in a way only the masters of literature do. Congratulations on your triumphant achievement and thank you for giving me a passionate, funny, engaging, and fascinating read. As I read, I thought, "They've GOT to make this into a movie!" I'm thrilled to see that they well. Best wishes, Cindy Sadler
Cindy Sadler <cindy@cindy-sadler.com>
USA - Friday, May 03, 2002 at 23:36:41 (EDT)
As a movie critic, I said to myself while taking a walk after finishing your book, "If done right, this movie could win an Academy Award." And why not? Chariots of Fire did it for foot racing. Seabiscuit: An American Legend is one of the most engaging, fascinating books I have ever read, and reading the same words by many others on your guestbook site confirms that this little horse that could is a story for the ages.
Matthew Kinne <mpkinne@juno.com>
Traverse City, MI USA - Friday, May 03, 2002 at 22:15:44 (EDT)
FOR LAURA HILLENBRAND: We who are obsessed with your wonderful book, are calling ourselves "Biscuiteers," and, when we interact with one another (which is becoming more frequent), it is called "Biscuiteering." You are lovingly referred to as the Biscuitmeister. We hope you approve.
maggie van ostrand <mamacita@frazmtn.com>
pine mountain, ca USA - Friday, May 03, 2002 at 20:03:25 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand: My name also being Hillenbrand I was thrilled to purchase your book. My father opened a pony racing business in Batesville, Ind years ago. How can I get you to autograph a few books for me. GMH II
George M. Hillenbrand II <hillenbr@seidata.com>
Batesville, IN USA - Friday, May 03, 2002 at 16:52:31 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbran Wonderful! When I heard you interviewed on the Diane Rehm show, I decided that I had to read Seabiscuit's story (I don't normally read biographies, nor am I especially interested in horses). Thank you so much for this absolutely fascinating story. I'm just past the section where he and War Admiral finally race. Even though I can't wait to finish, I really don't want the book to end. Thanks again. I hope your health is improving.
Julia Ward <jumaward@yahoo.com>
Ypsilanti, MI USA - Friday, May 03, 2002 at 15:52:48 (EDT)
When Seabiscuit was recommended to me by a friend, I was somewhat skeptical as this does not represent the traditional type of book I find myself reading. However, it did not take me long to alter my viewpoint. Still, there are a few areas where I found myself wishing for more detail. For instance, Seabiscuit died a relatively young horse. Were you able to ascertain the cause? Also, you mentioned Pollard's bout with alcoholism. Was this a long-term battle or as a result of his injuries? As a final question, was the reason Seabiscuit did not run in any of the triple crown races because of his late blooming and age?
Dr. Kenneth Craycraft <kcraycraft@ev1.net>
Austin, TX USA - Friday, May 03, 2002 at 15:37:12 (EDT)
Grew up in Brooklyn in the 30's. My Dad was a track Vet for the NY State Racing Asso. Once met Fitzsimmons and wanted desparately to be jockey. Got too big. Have kept my love for horses and still ride out on our friend's ranch. Your book brought back so many memories and was only sorry it ended.Thank you so much!
joe belmont <jbelas@spro.net>
Meridian, ID USA - Friday, May 03, 2002 at 10:29:11 (EDT)
As a writer myself, I decided to give a name to those of us who are suffering from a latent obsession over a horse no longer of this world. So to those obsessees who have bought your book (which should have won the Pulitzer) in every available version plus copies for loved ones, I dedicate our new title. Laura, I hope you approve. The name is BISCUITEERS.
maggie van ostrand <mamacita@frazmtn.com>
pine mountain, ca USA - Thursday, May 02, 2002 at 17:47:13 (EDT)
I know little about horses and nothing about horse racing but, on the recommendation of a friend, I read your book and couldn't put it down! The graceful style and wonderful use of words brought Seabiscuit's story to life. Bravo!
jeanne seals <jlseals@001@yahoo.com>
los angeles, ca USA - Thursday, May 02, 2002 at 17:30:11 (EDT)
When will the PBS documentary be forthcoming and what is the latest on the movie. I have bookmarked the site in my computer but see no updates. Thanks so much.
Sally Lambert <slambert@wisdommedia.com>
Rocky Gap, VA USA - Thursday, May 02, 2002 at 15:15:24 (EDT)
My apologies for incorrectly spelling Red Pollard's last name in my comments. Mr. Pollard's nephew was kind enough to correct me. This is such a wonderful book. I'm finishing it tonight, and just talked to my friend, Kim, who is a horsewoman, and will bring it for her tomorrow.
Lyn Clay <lclay@sct.com>
Downingtown, PA USA - Thursday, May 02, 2002 at 14:59:26 (EDT)
I actually went to the book store to get the book on the jockey, Chris Antley, and his life story. It wasn't out yet, and they recommended Seabuscuit. I'm just about finished readng this amazing book. I'm so thrilled Chester County Bookstore in Downingtown, PA suggested it to me. I absolutely love horses. This book is the best story. God Bless Seabiscuit...what a hero...I'll be finishing it tonite. Most touching was the love that Smith and Howard (and Pollack and Woolfe) had for this horse. Thank you for a wonderful book!
Lyn Clay <lclay@sct.com>
Downingtown, PA USA - Thursday, May 02, 2002 at 12:46:01 (EDT)
I recently picked up a copy of the book in an airport in El Paso Texas. I hardly put it down since! I absolutely loved it, it's shot ahead to be my favorite book of all time. What a treasure, and what a horse! After I finished the book I turned to my boyfriend with tears in my eyes and said, "I love that horse." I have yet to hear the end of that, but it's true. Buy this book, you won't be dissapointed, it was FABULOUS!!
Rachel <rachel.ludlam@usdoj.gov>
St. Albans, VT USA - Wednesday, May 01, 2002 at 09:28:23 (EDT)
Yesterday I've send another comment, but I would like it if some of you people would e-mail me about your experience of the book seabiscuit. I must warn you, my english isn't good, because I'm dutch. And that is why I would like it to hear some things about the book. Do what you want to do.
Anne Greenwood <itsssme@hotmail.com>
USA - Wednesday, May 01, 2002 at 05:07:39 (EDT)
I would love to get a copy of the audio of the Sea Biscuit/ War Admiral match race. How can I get a copy as I would like to use it at my book club meeting where we will be discussing your fabulous book. Thanks
steve ruvolo <steve@ruvolo.org>
Los Altos, ca USA - Tuesday, April 30, 2002 at 22:18:58 (EDT)
I haven't read the book yet but I love anything about horses, and from what everyone else is saying about it I'm positive that I'll like it. Thanx!* **~
Jess <Nasaangel@aol.com>
SpringHill, TN USA - Tuesday, April 30, 2002 at 21:13:17 (EDT)
I'm half way through the book and loving every page!So well written!
Brian Donaldson <jbridon@shaw.ca>
Surrey, Canada - Tuesday, April 30, 2002 at 16:34:06 (EDT)
I'm dutch, and I never heard of Seabiscuit until I saw the book in our library. I've read it 2 times, and still I liked it. Laura Hillenbrand is the best writer in years and this site is very good. I'd liked the slideshow the most. Great job! Groetjes van een Nederlands meisje
Anne Greenwood <itsssme@hotmail.com>
USA - Tuesday, April 30, 2002 at 14:25:27 (EDT)
I "read" your book as an audio selection from my local library. It had to be the most exciting story I've ever heard! I couldn't stop the tapes I just had to keep listening. I've always been fascinated with the "old racing legends" but this one had to be the best. It was a fabulous tale of people and animals turning insurmountable problems into successes! Great job!
Winifred Lau <mrslau14@aol.com>
Chicago, IL USA - Tuesday, April 30, 2002 at 14:22:22 (EDT)
I just finished the book and wanted you to know what a joy it was to read. I fell in love with every wonderful character of the book and that wonderful horse. Your writing was so nicely descriptive that I could hear the horses hooves pounding, hear their breath and smell the dirt and sweat. It was so exciting. I couldn't read much at a time...if I wasn't exhausted from 'racing', the stress from trying to anticipate the rain, what the impost would be, etc. exhausted me. Thank you so much for reintroducing these wonderful people and that great horse. What a treasure. Kathy
Katherine Kennedy <kek2char@aol.com>
Cincinnati, OH USA - Monday, April 29, 2002 at 20:41:03 (EDT)
What a great story and beautifully written.I couldn't put it down It was so interesting, the insights of all the characters that enhanced the color of the sport and the people in it.
John Kinder <jk2jk@siscom.net>
Middletown, OH USA - Monday, April 29, 2002 at 19:14:46 (EDT)
Rarely have I been so taken with a book. Having grown up with Walter Farley's adventures, all of the Misty books, Flicka and of course Velvet as my heroes/heroines, this real-life story resonated on so many levels. I inhaled it. Its every anecdote, detail and nuance were vivid. I finished the book, revisited each photo, then read all of the credits, annotations, and promptly started reading it all over again.
Jann
USA - Monday, April 29, 2002 at 13:55:43 (EDT)
FROM THE AUTHOR: Upcoming radio appearances: Monday, April 29, WRJB-FM Memphis, Monday Night Live with Bobby Melton, 6:15 PM EST live; Tuesday, April 30, WWTN 99.7 FM Nashville, 8:25 PM EST live; Thursday, May 2, KSTP-FM Minneapolis, 10:00 AM EST live; Friday, May 3, WMAL 630 AM Washington, DC, Charlie Warren Show, 9:00-10:00 PM live, call-in; Saturday, May 4, ESPN radio, Jeremy Schapp show, between 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM EST live; Saturday, May 4, WBBR Bloomberg Radio New York City, 6:48 AM EST, 6:48 PM EST, 9:48 PM EST, taped; Sunday, May 12, WBSM AM Providence, Sunday Sports Show, 6:30 PM EST live; Sunday, May 26, WBZ-AM Boston, Jordan Rich Show, 11:00-11:30 PM live;
Laura Hillenbrand
Washington, DC USA - Monday, April 29, 2002 at 11:52:28 (EDT)
I have a hobby of reading biographies of individuals from this century, but this was the first of a horse. I'm not a horse person, but really enjoyed the book and the great research and colorful stories. I live near the Bay Meadows Track and enjoyed the local history and connections to this community.
Cynthia Ruby <Cynruby@aol.com>
Belmont, CA USA - Sunday, April 28, 2002 at 23:56:47 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I enjoyed your book SEABISCUIT very much. I guess the highest compliment I can offer is that I didn't want the story to end. All the main characters in your book seemed to be interesting in their own right. Two questions: 1. Why was the cover photograph choosen?( you can't see all of Seabiscuit). 2.Do you have any information on the rehabilitation methods of Harry Bradshaw? Thank you very much.
Thomas Alexander <alex0157@umn.edu>
Minneapolis, MN USA - Sunday, April 28, 2002 at 23:10:22 (EDT)
As both a book and a horse person, I found Sea Biscuit-An American Legend, stunning. It was one of the best reads ever. At 57 I am a therapeutic riding student, and loving it. I guess I will finish where I started, reading and loving horse books.
Ann Jaffin <sjaffin@juno.com>
Silver Spring, MD USA - Sunday, April 28, 2002 at 13:34:15 (EDT)
I really liked the book: Seabiscuit The American Legend. I cant wait till the movie comes out. Tell me when the movie comes out. Please? Email me back as soon as when you hear when the movie will come out.
Audra Krenn <vze2jg8b@verizon.net>
McDonald, PA USA - Saturday, April 27, 2002 at 22:10:04 (EDT)
FROM THE AUTHOR: To Seabiscuit readers, please join me this Sunday, April 28, from 9:00 to 11:00 PM EST for "Chapter One" with Simon Rose, a live call-in radio program. I don't have local station information, but you can hear the interview live at www.chapteronelive.com. Call in to ask me questions at 1-877-599-8255. I look forward to hearing from you!
Laura Hillenbrand
Washington, DC USA - Saturday, April 27, 2002 at 15:15:19 (EDT)
Simply put, this is one of the finest books that I have ever read. Your beautiful narrative took me to a time before my birth and allowed me to live in it, rather than just read it. As the husband of a Thorobred breeder/eventer, I understand that there can be a bond between horse and rider that is so deep that it can be virtually unfathomable to the average person. You have written a wonderful account of the struggle and euphoria experienced by a nation in its darkest hour. Many thanks.
Bill Anton <billanton@bainbridge.net>
Bainbridge Island, WA USA - Saturday, April 27, 2002 at 14:27:29 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I never understood the facination with horses until reading Seabiscuit. Your storytelling helped me appreciate a horse's competitive drive and athleticism. The story was a joy to read. I savored the week or so I took with it. As a newspaperman, I am filled with admiration and a wee bit of envy at your gift for turning a phrase, finding the right word, painting a picture. Your meticulous research blows me away. Wow. I happened to pick up the large print version at our local library in Willmar Minnesota. I've taught myself to question text that might not ring true, since proofreading is part of my job. On Page 481, refering to the WW II bomber with a smoke-belching Seabiscuit flying missions in the Pacific theater, I would question the '694'' missions over Japan for two reason. I'm no WW II historian, but that seems like more missions than the whole air corp flew over the main islands and also "694" seems like a heckuva lot of flights for one plane. I also caught one typo but failed to note what page. Thankyou for not only a great read but opening my eyes to horses and horse racing. Congratulations on the book's success. Best wishes, rand middleton, willmar minnesota.
rand middleton <randonna752hotmail.com>
willmar, mn USA - Saturday, April 27, 2002 at 11:49:06 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I bought your book several months ago, but couldn't open it for some reason. I think it was a premonition that it was going to have a strong effect on me. Animal stories, even fictional ones, live on to haunt me, and I still haven't gotten over Flag's death in "The Yearling" even though I read it over 40 years ago. The premonition was right, though this time it turned out to be for the most wonderful of reasons. It is impossible to just read this book. One experiences it; it grabs hold of you, and the emotions it taps overwhelm you. I could fully understand how so many people fainted during the Seabiscuit/War Admiral race---I very nearly did myself as I read about it at my desk during a lull at work. I literally couldn't catch my breath, and the tears were flowing unashamedly. The story itself has every element that engages the spirit---adversity, chicanery, synchronicity, the "underhorse", the "underjockey"---the sheer impossibility of it all---but they are nothing compared to the beauty of how you wove it all together. Without question, this was the most elegantly written book, nonfiction or fiction, that I have read in years. Bless you for enduring what must have been a seemingly overwhelming process of research and production. I finally allowed myself the pleasure of finishing the last chapter yesterday morning, and with tears still fresh in my eyes, drove the 20 miles to town and bought 3 more copies---with countless more to follow--- to send to friends and relatives, none of them particularly "horse people" but all of whom are about to be for the rest of their lives, at least where one amazing little horse is concerned. Jane Levine Gainesville, FL greathound@hotmail.com
Jane Levine <greathound@hotmail.com>
Gainesville, FL USA - Saturday, April 27, 2002 at 11:01:24 (EDT)
Your book has touched me down to the core. I was very sad to hear that you are riddled with such a debilatating disease. This book seemed to have taken extraordinary energy, strength and determination to make. Something which must have been a real inner struggle with your condition. Please know that you and your golden story telling talents have honored not only the "Biscuit" but yourself as well. Don't ever give in. You are amazing.
Susan Opton <sopton@hotmail.com>
Needham, MA USA - Saturday, April 27, 2002 at 10:52:40 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I grew up listening to stories of Seabiscuit from my Mother who was born in 1924 and Grandfather who was born in 1898. As an avid reader of history I was never able to find much available material on the life and times of Seabiscuit. I would like to thank you for writing a definitive interesting narrative of not only Seabiscuit but the life and times of those who created a true American icon. On behalf of those of us who never were able to find this type of information I thank you. Michael Bandelier, Yuma, Az.
Mike Bandelier <bando@digitaldune.net>
Yuma, AAZ USA - Saturday, April 27, 2002 at 03:48:57 (EDT)
I'm 16 years old and I enjoy following horse racing (none of the athletes whine about the size of their contracts!). I've been going to the local race track, Bay Meadows (Which right now is running very small fields and can only draw 4 entries for a Grade II race), with my dad nearly all my life. My dad was given a copy of your book a couple months ago. After he told me how interesting Seabiscuit's life was, I decided to read it myself. It took me just three days to read your book, front to cover. I have never read a book before that could give such a historical insight while producing heart pounding thrills. I'm looking forward to taking the walking tour at Ridgewood Ranch soon!
Jon <AirForbes1@aol.com>
CA USA - Friday, April 26, 2002 at 01:21:00 (EDT)
Dear Laura - Thank you for a literary experience that I can't really put into words, but then I'm not an author. It is rare in today's world to be touched and inspired by what I would have initially thought to be an obscure tale from the past. Congratulations on bringing Seabiscuit, his life and times, and such a colorful cast of characters to life. I wonder if you realize what a tremendous feat you pulled off and what an illuminating glimpse of history you have given to so many people. I can only marvel at the tremendous effort you must have put forth in research and preparation, which you then followed up with with a masterful piece of storytelling. As you have undoubtedly heard countless times already, you have a rare gift, and the reading public is so much the better for your having shared it. Living in northern California, it would have been fun to make the short trek to Seabiscuit's final resting place, but that will obviously be impossible. What an curious decision on Mr. Howard's part. Thanks to you though, I'll always rememeber the story. Kindest regards, and continued success - Martin Laney
Martin Laney <bearcat8@pacbell.net>
Walnut Creek, CA USA - Friday, April 26, 2002 at 00:23:20 (EDT)
Dear Laura: I am intrigued by your book and wonder how you researched how particular races were run, particularly since most were not videotaped. I have two children in college in D.C. and would love to meet you and buy you lunch some day. You did not write a book on horsracing; rather, you created horse racing literature. A job well done!
Harry Cardoni <hcardoni@cardoni.com>
Kingston, Pa USA - Thursday, April 25, 2002 at 20:24:12 (EDT)
Laura, Wonderful! I look forward to the movie. Hope it is as authentic and passionate as your story. I am an artist, in the 70's I did a piece about Ruffian the great filly that broke down in the match race with Foolish Pleasure. Your book is a treasure. Thanks.
June Wilson <junewannitto@worldnet.att.net>
nj USA - Thursday, April 25, 2002 at 10:42:21 (EDT)
Laura, as a professional in the horse business and a passionate lover of horses my entire adult life, I found the story of "The Biscuit" touch on every dream I've ever had in imagining the thrill of working with an exceptional horse. I often work with Thoroughbreds and I am impressed by the instinctivness of Seabiscuits entourage, Tom Smith, Red Pollard, George Wolfe and his owners. I found it a struggle to put the book down and attend to my responsiblities, in work and at home. What an era, driven by the depression and the need to cheer on the underdog! Thank you for bringing such a wonderful piece of U.S. History to our attention.
Valerie Blonder <Vblonder@comcast.net>
Brentwood, TN USA - Thursday, April 25, 2002 at 09:44:47 (EDT)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, Thank you for enriching my life with your amazing book. You have paced the book in the similar fashion that you described Seabiscuit's many races and indeed his extraordinary career as a whole. Not knowing much about Seabiscuit, I found my heart thumping as I read on and on, not wanting the book to end. I'm extremely touched by the tributes you made in acknowledging the people who helped you realise your vision and I'm glad you made the effort to immortalise the life of Seabiscuit and the lives of the people around him. As racing fan and an erstwhile racing writer here in Singapore, I salute you for your achievement. Perhaps someday you may wish to drop by Singapore where the racing scene is small but nonetheless quite exciting. We'll be running our only Group 1 race - the S$3 million Singapore Airlines International Cup - on May 11 this year. Last year, Richard Mandella brought Lazy Lode here to run in this race but was luckless. Perhaps next time an American horse runs in this big race, you can be here to cheer him on to victory. See you then!
Philip Goh <philipg@singnet.com.sg>
Singapore, Singapore - Wednesday, April 24, 2002 at 12:18:05 (EDT)
I am a small town girl who used to own and ride horses western style, I was never interested in the horse racing but because of my love for horses I decided to heed the critics choice and read your book. I have read probably thousands of books by now so I feel I am somewhat of an expert and I just have to say that your book brought back all my wonderful memories of horse back riding. This was the best book I have ever read, it was so exciting that when I read it at lunch time I could not contain myself and had to read some parts(race parts) out loud, I felt like pacing around until the end of the race. I am so glad I could contain myself and not skip to the end of the race to see who won, that would have been a BIG cheat. So I have never contacted an author before but I felt I had to this time. I will go see the movie when it comes out and all I could think of before I found out there was a movie was Anthony Hopkins would make a GREAT Smith. The ending of the book was bittersweet for I realized I would never meet Seabiscuit but he will be in my heart. Thanks again.
Brianna
Canada - Wednesday, April 24, 2002 at 11:07:14 (EDT)
Laura - I am only 100 pages into Howard, Pollard, Smith and Seabiscut's lives, but I want to say a premature thank you for writing this book. I have just read your reenactment of Seabiscuit's first races under his new tutelage and had something wonderful happen to me. Your amazing account of the homestretch action brought about the same emotional response I have when I am physically watching a horse race - all I can say is, wow. It may seem trivial, but rarely am I so affected by the written word. You have an incredible talent. I'm trying to remain hopeful the screenwriter's ability to capture what you have in this book, but it doesn't seem possible. Thank you,
Hillary Adorno <hadorno@grifland.com>
Farmington, CT USA - Wednesday, April 24, 2002 at 09:38:54 (EDT)
WHAT A WONDERFUL STORY AND WHAT A BOOK! I LOVE THE WAY YOU MADE ME FEEL LIKE I WAS LIVING THE STORY. TEARS CAME AS I FINISHED THE BOOK. THANKYOU FOR THE GREAT RIDE.
SANDY BUSINO
NISKAYUNA, NY USA - Tuesday, April 23, 2002 at 22:04:12 (EDT)
This is truly one of the best books I've ever read. What a wonderful true story of the underdog winning despite numerous obstacles. I only wish I could cheer on Pollard and the Biscuit myself... I'm looking forward to the feature film - it may not, however, match up with the vivid story I now picture in my mind, thanks to your outstanding depiction.
Ginny Hutchins <ghutchin@email.unc.edu>
Chapel Hill, NC USA - Tuesday, April 23, 2002 at 17:29:08 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand,I greatly enjoyed "Seabiscuit." It was a fascinating inside view into the lives and health of the horses and jockeys and in general into the world of thoroughbred racing. I don't know if you will have the time to answer this question, but I was curious about a section on P. 287..."Seabiscuit leaned forward into the far turn. He switched lead legs, so that the left foreleg was bearing the greatest weight." (Then he suffers an injury.) I know horses naturally choose the correct (inside) lead to support themselves on turns/circles. Under saddle, the rider also makes sure the horse is on the correct lead for best stability. In racing though, how do leads work? Do the horses switch leads on their own on the straightaway to "even out" the stress on the lead leg? Does the rider attempt to get the horse on the corret lead on the turn or does the horse just do it automatically or does it matter? Perhaps the horse just stays on the left lead thru the whole race and stays on the right lead when going the opposite direction in workouts. Thanks in advance for your assistance. Sincerely, Pat
Pat <leroyr2064@aol.com>
USA - Tuesday, April 23, 2002 at 16:22:24 (EDT)
Dear Laura: Your creation was wonderfully written. The style was terrific; paced like a horserace itself. I am in the third year of writing my first novel. The constant, day to day discipline necessary to keep at it, to get to the 'finish line', suprises and challenges me every day as we struggle, paragraph by paragraph,page by page. It's the bromide, 'if you don't have time to read, you don't have time to write',that makes me reluctantly, sometimes, squander precious moments to write to pick a book. With yours, it quickly became a pleasure. Not only a wonderfully told story, but masterfully done. Your hard work was seamlessly displayed. But it wasn't until I finished and visited the web site to send you this note that I recalled your own challenge in writing the story. The daily grind of work, family, and all else that can keep one from the desire to write is most modest compared to yours. Congratulations. Sincerely, Jay Cunningham Birmingham, Michigan
Jay Cunningham <jpc@wwrplaw.com>
Birmingham, Mi USA - Tuesday, April 23, 2002 at 09:02:59 (EDT)
I am glad to have finished this wonderful book. Now I could get back to things that need to be done. I found myself racing to the finish. It's a wonderfully written book. At times I have felt like I was sharing the saddle with Red Pollard and George Woolf. What an amazing story. What an amazing horse. I now have a better understanding of the love my friend has for the sport.
Josh Orlean <jsorlean@mindspring.com>
Deer Park, NY USA - Monday, April 22, 2002 at 23:29:08 (EDT)
Dear Ms' Hillenbrand, Your book is spell-binding!!! Our book club chose SEABISCUIT for our May selection. I was cringing every time Red flew around the track. And the weight loss techniques were torturous. I had no idea. Thank you for a wonderful story. K.G.
Karen Griffith <troutgriff@hotmail.com>
Ellicott City, MD. USA - Monday, April 22, 2002 at 17:35:02 (EDT)
Excellent!, best book I have ever read.Couldnt put it down ,looking forward to the movie.Thank You!!!!!
DEB H <DHOFFHINES@SOPREMAWORLD.COM>
STERLING, OH USA - Monday, April 22, 2002 at 16:54:26 (EDT)
Completed your book last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. I wish you would have went into more details on Biscuits early losses and posted some of the payouts(win, exactas etc.) that occured! Please fwd. me some winning advice for an 8/15-16 Saratoga trip. Brian J. Dorsey
Brian J. Dorsey <bdorsey@union-city.k12.nj.us>
Union City, NJ USA - Monday, April 22, 2002 at 09:15:00 (EDT)
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you..........I use Exbourne's name because I believe he had heart. He was never as good as Seabiscuit was but he tried every time. Horses like that are rare.......I'm going out on a limb here with my top Derby choice...Saarland...Shug is long over due.
nick <exbourne@webtv.net>
phoenix, az USA - Monday, April 22, 2002 at 01:32:42 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: While waiting for a hair appointment, April 19, 2002, I read with interest your story in The Ladies Home Journal issue from November 2001, regarding your experiences with chronic fatigue syndrome. I was hoping to find at the end of the story a “happy ending,” although that wasn’t the case. It saddens me to think of all the people that go through life suffering from illnesses who may not have to. However, I am associated with a product that I have witnessed true health results with. Of all people that are skeptical of “health” products, I am at the top of that list. When I was introduced to this product several months ago, I suffered from chronic migraines for 30 years, starting in junior high school. A friend introduced me to this product, and although I thought it was a bunch of nonsense and too good to be true, I agreed to try it because she had caught me at a bad time. I had been suffering with a severe migraine for a few days, and none of my medications seemed to work. I was at a point where I hurt so badly, I would try anything. At that time, I was getting migraines a few times a week, consuming a bottle of Excedrin each week and 4-5 Imitrex a week (migraine medication), with some relief at times, but always knowing they would come back and ruin my life. I started on the product a few months ago, and I have noticed extreme results. In a nutshell, my migraines and other health ailments have disappeared including arthritis, fatigue, and gastrointestinal problems. I have become very involved in promoting this product, because I have seen so many wonderful results and heard so many inspiring testimonies, including reversal of cancers, asthma, diabetes, fibromyalgia, arthritis, gastrointestinal diseases, to names a few; and yes, chronic fatigue syndrome! I hope you will contact me so I can give you more information. There are no drugs involved and it just works on the concept of giving our bodies the natural products that they need to be healthy. Because of our environment, toxins, and the way our foods are processed our bodies are not getting what they need to maintain healthy cells and therefore good health. I am confident you will be one of those “skeptical” people that within a few months will be able to give testimony to a new life.
Georgia Nelson <genjimmer@aol.com>
Lincoln, NE USA - Saturday, April 20, 2002 at 15:42:45 (EDT)
I am an elementary librarian. I can't wait for the children's book.
Marilyn Hanna <hanna50_98@yahoo.com>
Pleasant Hill, MO. USA - Saturday, April 20, 2002 at 13:48:43 (EDT)
Laura, thank you so much for such a delightful book and wonderful insight into the sport of kings. I have been to the Preakness Stakes a few times, but never realized that the greatest horserace ever run was at Pimlico during the Pimlico Special between Seabicuit and War Admiral. The Seabiscuit story is simply incredible and captures the essence of humanity in its desire to overcome any and all obstacles in life and its overwhelming love for those, human or horse, that do. I look forward to the Seabiscuit movie and hopefully your books on Secretariat, and the Affirmed and Alydar rivalry. Virginia bred's sure can write! Tom Kelly
Tom Kelly <tommykell77@hotmail.com>
Yorktown, VA USA - Saturday, April 20, 2002 at 08:01:59 (EDT)
I hate horses and they hate me me. After reading your book I'm willing to try again. Also I loved your metaphor comparing the flight of birds and the converging horses in Seabiscuit's Santa Anita race. Cheers, oh yeah you're also a cracker.
rcraig <londonj00@hotmail.com>
victoria, BC Canada - Friday, April 19, 2002 at 11:21:22 (EDT)
The descriptions of the races had me on the edge of my seat! Go Pops, go!
Geoffrey J. Offermann <gebobs@bellsouth.net>
Marietta, GA United States - Friday, April 19, 2002 at 01:22:37 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, Just finished reading Seabiscuit, and there are not enough superlatives to describe this wonderful book. I fell in love with the "Biscuit". Thank you so much.
Mark Miles <Litehorseharry@aol.com>
Bound Brook, NJ USA - Thursday, April 18, 2002 at 22:05:41 (EDT)
walking around the library and looking for a good book to read.I found one. It was called SEABISCUIT,AN AMERICAN LEGEND. THANK-YOU.
Ryan Reed <rreed200259270@yahoo.com>
sidney, mt USA - Thursday, April 18, 2002 at 18:49:36 (EDT)
1 word "outstanding"
joe <luvinaz5@cox.net>
gilbert, az USA - Thursday, April 18, 2002 at 17:37:46 (EDT)
Laura, Our book club read Seabiscuit and we just love your construction and character development. What a joy to read about the spirit and heart of seabiscuit and his men. Ann Dwyer is our Equine vet and she joined us. She brought pictures, videos and clippings as well as wonderful stories about your life and her's. She's a great vet and a terrific person. Thank you for a wonderful piece of history. Sue
Sue Benedict <sbene3333@aol.com>
Rush, NY USA - Thursday, April 18, 2002 at 10:25:18 (EDT)
Congratulations on an outstanding achievement with your book. I thought your depiction of the races themselves was outstanding. To generate such excitement of a horse race using merely words on a page is a great testament to your writing ability. I will be reveiwing the book for my local newspaper and I only hope the review can be good enough to ensure more people in Bendigo, Australia, get to enjoy this inspiring story. Congratulations. Look forward to the movie. Regards, Rod Case, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.
Rod Case <liza-rod@bigpond.com.au>
Bendigo, Victoria Australia - Wednesday, April 17, 2002 at 20:24:22 (EDT)
Your book moved me to tears...what an incredible journey for man and horse alike.
Jodi
USA - Wednesday, April 17, 2002 at 16:04:48 (EDT)
Laura...any idea when filming for the movie will start? Haven't been able to find any details on Universal's website. We are all anxiously awaiting for it's release...hoping that the film version does your wonderfully poetic book justice!
Katy Panyard <kathleenpanyard@yahoo.com>
New Baltimore, MI USA - Wednesday, April 17, 2002 at 15:29:05 (EDT)
Laura, Thank you for your book!!! A GREAT read, what a time, what a group of people, what a HORSE, & what a will to RUN!!!!! THANK YOU again!!!!
Gary {MULE} Mumford <micky4061@mchsi.com>
millsboro, DE USA - Wednesday, April 17, 2002 at 07:15:26 (EDT)
I want to thank you for such a fantastic job which by now, was several years ago. It still is having a great effect! My mother tells me I was breast-fed at Santa Anita (literally) and I've been around tracks since 5th grade. One summer, I hot-walked for Eddie Gregson. What I wouldn't give to see 20,000 people come to Santa Anita today to watch a horse work out! I lament the loss of interest in the sport and hope that your book and movie will generate a newfound enthusiasm for it. One of the other standouts in your effort was describing how bad life for many was during the Great Depression. Most today can't imagine being so broke, no home, no posessions, no job or real talents and living in a horses stall! WOW! Hopefully many will see this side of the tale too and appreciate the times in which we live. You've done the most outstanding job imaginable. Thanks for taking me back to my favorite places on earth in a time before I knew them. Any guides on how the real films can be viewed?
Creed Mamikunian <creedm@alaska.net>
Anchorage, AK USA - Wednesday, April 17, 2002 at 01:40:05 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand. I am in love with you. Your writing style and your eyes have got me hooked. Thank you .
Michael Haynes <galaxxy69@aol.com>
okc, ok USA - Tuesday, April 16, 2002 at 18:49:38 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I want to thank you from the depths of my heart for your wonderfully magical retelling of Seabiscuit's life. I am not a racing fan, but deeply love horses and all the relationships I have been fortunate enough have with them. The way in which you portrayed the sincere and genuine love between the human characters and Seabiscuit was touching and affirming. Thank you! It was the best cry I'd had in years. With great appreciation for your efforts, Nancy
Nancy <Roguemcnary@yahoo.com>
La Mesa, CA USA - Tuesday, April 16, 2002 at 11:37:40 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I just finished reading your wonderful book. What an uplifting and inspiring story, so beautifully rendered by you. With tears streaming down my cheeks, I turned the last page. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
sherry boles <sboles@adelphia.net>
Vergennes, VT USA - Tuesday, April 16, 2002 at 10:52:43 (EDT)
Hoping someone might know of a jockey in northern Calif in the mid 60's with last name of Meeker. His first name started with a J. and could have been James? Jack? only have the initial. Believe he may have lived in Alameda or San Francisco area. Would appreciate anyone e mailing me if they may have an idea what his first name was? dtss@blomand.net
Patricia <dtss@blomand.net >
McMinnville, tn USA - Tuesday, April 16, 2002 at 00:46:11 (EDT)
Dear Laura-From one horsewoman to another, what a great ride! I loved it! I know what it is like to be so nervous you are sick to watch your best, special, horse of a lifetime go. I know how you get up early and late when they don't feel good, and pray for another day with them in your care. This story was so real and wonderful. I can't wait for the movie to open. I hope you will add that realism that we often don't get in the non-horsey world! I have told at least ten horse friends to read the book (not my copy!)I would love to read another book about Man O' War. I remember as a kid pictures of him and stories about his temperment. Having horses all my life, I know its the "heart" that made the difference in Seabiscuit. All horsepeople want to hear the story of what we know in our hearts about the animals we love. Hope you choose to write another book, I even enjoyed knowing where the research came from. God bless.
Gayla Moores <gaylamoores@aol.com>
Ft. Worth, TX USA - Monday, April 15, 2002 at 21:00:31 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand: Thank you so much for such an incredible, wonderful story. I heard about your book on a radio program and was immediately intrigued. I bought the book a few days ago and just finished it last night. I have told everyone I know that it is one of the best books I have ever read - and I have read tons of books, both fiction and non-fiction. Your book is by far the best written non-fiction novel I have ever read. Superbly written. Well-researched. From an historical perspective, it is absolutely fascinating. Many thanks!
Shelley McNamara <mcnamaras@avcomtech.com>
Arlington, TX USA - Monday, April 15, 2002 at 18:04:41 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Congrats on making the NY Times bestseller list in paperback! Now even more people will enjoy this wonderful bio. My offer stands that I would love to play Clem McCarthy in the movie. I could shout "Here comes Seabiscuit!" better than anyone into the mic. Come on! Give this Bug Boy a chance! Seriously, you've done some amazing work. Thank you.
Gary Dreibelbis <drdribs@marinmarket.net>
San Anselmo, CA USA - Monday, April 15, 2002 at 12:16:39 (EDT)
For those who are interested, and live close enough to take advantage of the opportunity, Mendocino County Museum is sponsoring a walking tour of Ridgewood Ranch, Seabiscuit's home. The event will be taking place on May 25, 2002 from 1 to 4 pm. Proceeds will benefit Mendocino County Museum's Seabiscuit project. The walking tour includes unique film footage taken by Dr. Babcock, a tour of the grounds and structures of Ridgewood Ranch, first hand accounts of life at Ridgewood and of Seabiscuit and refreshments. Ridgewood Ranch is located in Medocino Country off Hwy 101 between Ukiah and Willits. Willits is not a well to do community but we are doing our best to find and preserve artifacts of Seabiscuit's life here in Willits. There are still a lot of local citizens who remember Seabiscuit well. You can contact Mendocino County Museum at (707)459-2736 or write them, Attn: Walking Tour 400 East Commercial Street Willits, CA 95490.
Jeanne King <jeanneking@pacific.net>
Willits , CCCa USA - Saturday, April 13, 2002 at 23:01:46 (EDT)
Dear Laura, What a beautiful book!!! I had heard about your book last year on a talk show. I told my mom that I wanted it for Christmas. She had to special order it because EVERYBODY wanted it, but I did get it for Christmas. As a child, I vaguely remember hearing the name Seabiscuit, but wasn't even sure if he was real or just a story. You have written a book that is an absolute treasure. It is obvious that your whole heart and soul were a part of this book. I felt I was at every race and that I intimately knew each person involved in Seabiscuit's life. I wish I could've known this horse and the people, but you gave me the next best thing. My heart beat so fast at so many places in the book. I found myself looking ahead in a chapter--something I REFUSE to do as a devoted book reader! You have brought to life again a horse and people not to be forgotten. I also think you ended the book extremely well, soft, and gracious. We all know that Seabiscuit is gone, and so, too, many of the people involved in his life. You let us down softly, so that our tears were those of joy, not sadness. I know that a movie is being made based on your book, and I'll be the first in line. I just hope they do your book justice. You have written a book that touches the heart and soul. Thankyou for your time, compassion, love, heart, soul, devotion, and all else that went into making this book. I am extremely grateful that you've given me this story. Sincerely, Rebecca
Rebecca Mesa <wildatheart@att.net>
Navarre Beach, FL USA - Saturday, April 13, 2002 at 22:49:11 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I actually found myself holding my breath as I read Chapters 19 and 23. I wept with relief; felt bursting pride and profound humility at the outcomes of those races (even though I knew what had happened). Your writing transported me to those races! The entire book had that effect. With mounting tension and anxiety, I cried with frustration at each "scratch" and gasped in horror at injuries to both horse and jockey. I laughed out loud at Smith's ingenious strategies to elude the press! I wept as I finished the Epilogue. Your book is brilliant. It is among the most affecting pieces of writing I have ever read. Seabiscuit was EXTRAORDINARY. The men (and women) who shared the arc of his life were no less. Thank you for bringing his story to life and allowing us to share in it. Most sincerely, Fran B.
Fran B.
USA - Saturday, April 13, 2002 at 21:11:55 (EDT)
Dear Miss Hillenbrand, I enjoyed your book so much. I am a volunteer at the Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits, Ca.Seabiscuit is very dear to us here. We have a display of Seabiscuit memorabelia in our hospital and have added your book to it. We also have an old movie about Seabiscuit and the making of his statue. All this was provided by the F.R.Howard Foundation which helps support our hospital. We love our little hospital and are so grateful to Charles Howard for donating it so many years ago. Now I,m going to read Seabiscuit again. Thank you so much. Geneva Akers
Geneva Akers <genevaakers@msn.com>
Willits, Ca USA - Saturday, April 13, 2002 at 20:13:32 (EDT)
Thank you for not only a wonderfully exciting and moving book but also for including your acknowledgements. From the first chapter I found myself asking "How did she find all this out?" Your painstaking attention to detail and conver-sation has brought these people to life for me. I felt their triumphs and sadness along with them!
Ellen
Huntington Station, NY USA - Saturday, April 13, 2002 at 18:48:33 (EDT)
Does anyone know where I can find not only the broadcast for the Seabuiscuit and War Admirak race but does anyone know where I can find the race on film. I just finished the book and have always had such a fascination about the buiscuit, I felt as if I were actually there when the race happened. I can't believe the book came to life. Thank you to the author...
Ann Pesce <annpesce@hotmail.com>
Canton, CT USA - Saturday, April 13, 2002 at 18:05:06 (EDT)
While watching the Wood Memorial on TV today, I was referred to your web page...I ordered the book immediately...then I read about the documentary and movie...I can hardly wait.....You see, I was a race-track brat and spent some time at Santa Anita during work outs... when I got tired, I spent time across the street on the J. V. Baldwin estate where I believed SeaBiscuit was buried and I always felt a kindred spirit with the spirit of the horse. I can't wait to receive the book and get started. Until the race tracks were closed due to the war, my dad was training me to perhaps become the first female jockey. Of course when the tracks were re-opened I was in high school and into boys and other things. But the love of the sport and the animal have lived with me always. I have been living on a sailboat sailing the Caribbean since 1987 and spent the last seven of those years in Trinidad. Racing is year round (except during Carnival month) and I was a regular, bringing many yachties to the sport. I have now sold my boat and am living in Oregon (brrr) and I watch every race that is televised and wait patiently for Portland's track to open. I shall probably sign in again when I've read the book. Thank you for writing it.
Ms.Charli Holt <ladycharli@hotmail.com>
Waldport, Or USA - Saturday, April 13, 2002 at 17:25:45 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, Thank you for writing one of the greatest books I have ever read. Not only does this transport a reader to a lost age, but does so eloquently and with such pleasure that you can almost hear the sounds of the track. Again, thanks and God bless.
Mark Locklear
Wilmington, NC USA - Saturday, April 13, 2002 at 14:57:57 (EDT)
Does anyone know how to find the radio broadcasts from NBC or CBS of the major Seabiscuit races? I'm teaching a journalism class right now and we have a section on radio and I think listening to a horse race description on the radio is the epitome of what radio is all about, and what could be more exciting? I know there is film footage and that is great, but it was RADIO that reached the minds of Americans and set their imaginations rolling along on a Seabiscuit train....Okay of course Hillenbrand wrote such a great book, also I apologize for making fun of Pleasantville in a previous post, in fact I liked Pleasantville, but who the hell is playing Seabiscuit in the movie coming up? Thank You and good night.
Robert Medley <rrrrmed@aol.com>
Oklahoma City, Ok USA - Saturday, April 13, 2002 at 12:06:20 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, great book, wow! I am a rider myself but your's is the absolute best horse book I'v ever read. I am a librarian at my small public library in Berlin, Ma and your book will be a great circulator! Thanks
JUDY <bookley504@hotmail.com>
Berlin, ma USA - Saturday, April 13, 2002 at 09:36:44 (EDT)
lAURA:I could go on for pages of how gratefull I am for this book. Thankyou from the bottom of my heart for bringing back to life this outstanding horse and the people around him. I am not a fan of raceing but I am a fan of horses and the people who love them. This book is an inspiration to all.
CONNIE ROUNDY <cdroundy@chorus.net>
PRAIRIE DU SAC, WI USA - Saturday, April 13, 2002 at 08:36:38 (EDT)
Dear Laura I was hoping you could have come to the New Orleans Fairgrounds this spring to promote Seabiscuit. Last summer I (and a friend of mine New Orleans pianist Tom McDremott) e-mailed yoy to express admiration for your marvelous biography of Seabiscuit. As well as being a passionate fan of contemporary thoroughbred racing, your book has made me one of Seabiscuit"s biggest fans and sparked my interest in the rich history of early thoroughbred racing. I have enjoyed giving many copies of Seabiscuit to friends and contacts who I felt would appreciate Saebiscuit"s heroic story. Some of these individuals are both local and nationally known news and sports personalities of whom you may be familiar. Among others, I told both jockey Ken and trainer Keith Desormeaux loved your book. I sent a copy of Seabiscuit to their father asking him to read it and send it along to them. Former New York Met (1969 World Series hero) Ron Swoboda now a documentary reporter/ commentator on our local NPR affilate WWNO and voice of our New Orleans Zephyrs baseball team was astounded by the extraordinary history of Seabiscuit and the instincts and genius of Tom Smith , as was I. The thought occurred to me if you are able to come to New Orleans at any time I'm sure the Krantz"s ( owners of the Fairgrounds and racing historians and trainers themselves) would love to do a round table discussion with you on the history of thoroughbred racing and the endearment racing fans have had over the years to historic thoroughbred"s, especially Seabiscuit. The Fairgrounds is in its 130th season this year. A nice insertion into a discussion on the great era of racing of the 30"s would be a focus on Seabiscuit his accomplishments and the love and affection the country had for him during and after his racing career. I think a new large modern legion of true racing fans could be energized to the sport by a better appreciation of the history behind such Noble race horses as Seabiscuit and the likes of Exterminator and others. NO book has ever captured this aspect of the sport of thoroughbred racing better than your biography of Seabiscuit. Such a show would be an excellent promotion for both the Fairgrounds and especially for Seabiscuit. Using this show as a proto-type I'm certain many track owners around the country would be eager to sponsor similar shows with you as special guest. If you want me to pitch this idea to the Krantzs and Desormeauxs etc, I will. Ron Swoboda has expressed his interest in coordinating such a pannel discussion for airing on WWNO with the possibility of attempting syndication over NPR radio. Perhaps also the program could be video formatted as well. PBS already working on a documentary on Seabiscuit for the fall of 2002 maybe interested in airing segments of such discussions with their material. You will certainly be known as the First Lady of Thoroughbred Racing. Until now I have not been able to conscientiously contact the individuals you suggested last summer to help in promoting Seabiscuit. I work as a pharmaceutist and have had to finish several product developments the past several months. At this point I can offer you more support especially with the project I have proposed above. Let me know how I can help. I'd be happy to do this for you. Also, Ihave some suggestions for help with CFS, if you like I'll send them to you. Thanks for writing Seabiscuit ( it was worth it). Yoy have given so much to so many with this great work. A devoted fan of both you and the Biscuit. Sincerely, Chuck Lustick
Chuck Lustick <clustick@bellsouth.net>
New Orleans, La USA - Friday, April 12, 2002 at 23:38:02 (EDT)
Hi, I am so enjoying reading your book. Every day I try to tell my husband something from the story, but he will not let me as he intends reading it himself.Thank you for a great story Sincerely
catherine prevost
USA - Friday, April 12, 2002 at 22:48:11 (EDT)
I have not the words with which to describe my appeal for your masterpiece, Seabiscuit. I merely say thank you for a magnificent read.
Jason Simpson <jasonsimpson@usa.net>
Fort Gratiot, MI USA - Friday, April 12, 2002 at 12:08:27 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Just wanted to add my name to your sea of admirers. The book was awesome. Your research and the background information that you wove into the story were tremendous. Perhaps it is too soon to ask, but do you have any ideas for another book? I will look foward to the movie, but another book from you would be superb. Best wishes. Carol Huff
Carol Huff <huffdclg@aol.com>
Pittsburgh, PA USA - Friday, April 12, 2002 at 11:26:35 (EDT)
Ms. HIllenbrand, if you and your book are not profiled in any way by Oprah Winfrey and her supposed book club, then it is safe to say that she is a fraud. your personal health struggles are amazing enough and then to overcome the daily pain you must feel and then right a masterpiece like SEABISCUIT is a monumental accomplishment. Congratulations!!!!!!1
john morgan <morgan2@aol.com>
westfield, nj USA - Thursday, April 11, 2002 at 22:03:02 (EDT)
Thank you, Laura Hillenbrand, for a wonderfully well written account of a truly great Horse and the people around him. Your writing style is as fast paced and breath-taking as the races that you were describing. Bravo! Respectfully yours, Mike Coleman.
Mike Coleman <fairfax777@peoplepc.com>
Kansas City, Mo USA - Thursday, April 11, 2002 at 20:50:31 (EDT)
thank you! i cried. i laughed. i cried some more. the only thing i regret about reading your book is finishing it. even your ''acknowledgments'' are moving. corny or not, i've had a passion for horses all my life and feel particularly lucky to have had the opportunity to share this horse and these people's lives with you. i admire your persistence. please know that not a second of it was wasted. your most recent fan, barbara schaffner
barbara schaffner <bschaffner@tribune.com>
chicago, IL USA - Thursday, April 11, 2002 at 15:08:43 (EDT)
Your "Seabiscuit" is a love story. The love of Howard, Marcela, Pollard, Smith and America for a gentlemanly horse. Your writing is excellent, and your loyalty to the all the people who helped you write the book is indeed impressive. It is one of the best books I have ever read. It took me back to my boyhood in the Southwest, when Seabiscuit charged to victory across the newsreel screen almost every week. Thanks for the memories and for the education in American horseracing. (One nit-pick: On page 338, are you sure about the bomber with 649 missions over Japan? That is a lot of missions!)
Fred Becchetti <fbecchetti@cs.com>
Annandale, VA USA - Thursday, April 11, 2002 at 12:53:12 (EDT)
The greatest book ever written. What else could be as important. Seabiscuit. A rumbling grandstand cheer sweeps a nation again. It better be the greatest movie.
Robert Medley <rrrrmed@aol.com>
Oklahoma City, Ok USA - Wednesday, April 10, 2002 at 23:00:16 (EDT)
incredible! the book, as well as the story. when i talk to my big black lab it is with a different voice, a different purpose. in between jobs and homes (i actually lived in a van down by the river) for three months i had the fortune to be able to read more than usual- twenty-six books. seabiscuit was a stand out. i have my friends and family lined up. thanks.
kip zimmerman <kzimmerman@charleston.lifestech.com>
charleston, sc USA - Wednesday, April 10, 2002 at 13:24:59 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I was just at the "appearances" section, hoping you might be coming to a city near me and noted you are only doing radio visists? Would love to know if you are scheduled to do any in-person appearances this year! Thank you do much! Chris Hagey
Chris Hagey <hobbledoge@msn.com>
MI USA - Wednesday, April 10, 2002 at 09:15:18 (EDT)
Laura, Seabiscuit may be the best book I've read in the past 20 years. I said that when I wrote you last summer after reading the book for the first time. Since then I've read it again and love it even more. I have purchased several copies of the hardcover as gifts to people since then. Without exception every person was thrilled to read the book. Now that the paperback has come out I bought a copy of that to let a co-worker read. She love it! She asked me if she could hang on to the book for a while longer so her husband can read it. It's quite a story and you tell it beautifully. Michael
Michael Mallory <crashmallory@hotmail.com>
Minneapolis, MN USA - Wednesday, April 10, 2002 at 00:49:41 (EDT)
Seabiscuit is a metaphor of America. Winning, Losing, running, limping, the mix of the rich and racetrack riff-raff. At times I find myself drifting into a dream I had before finding the book about listening to horseraces on the radio days as I read Seabiscuit. One image, that of a jockey walking at night along a dirt track looking for a tractor groove with a flashlight, really makes me see these ghosts. I dont think the worst filmmaker in America could mess up this story. But if it is that Pleasantville guy we'll just have to see about that.
Robert Medley <rmedley@oklahoman.com>
Oklahoma City, Ok USA - Tuesday, April 09, 2002 at 23:03:40 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Holdebrand.My husband and I recently finished reading your book and thoroughly enjoyed it. Gene, my husband a retired horseman, worked for Tom Smith after Seabiscuit retired. He knew many of the main characters involved in the Seabiscuit story. Your book revived many memories. He would be glad to share any information he has from those times if you are interested.
Merle Griffith <merlegene@aol.com>
Saratoga Springs, NY USA - Tuesday, April 09, 2002 at 18:16:55 (EDT)
"Seabiscuit: An American Legend" had to be one of the greatest books I have ever read. I am big collector of signed books. Is there any way I can send you a copy of the book and have it autographed? It would be the prize of my collection. Best regards.
Michael Rosenberg <michael.l.rosenberg@chase.com>
Forest Hills, NY USA - Tuesday, April 09, 2002 at 15:57:11 (EDT)
Dear Laura Hillenbrand: I just finished reading your remarkable book and I thank you for writing it. It is a model of careful and original research, the kind I would like my graduate students to follow. I have a question regarding the little spotted dog with the "dinner plate" ears, Pocatell. As soon as I read your description, I instantly turned to my own little spotted dog, a Papillon (Contintental Toy Spaniel) named Dazzle. Could Pocatell have been a Papillon? These small dogs with ears like butterfly wings and border collie dispositions had a run of popularity in the 30s and 40s in the U.S., but were usually imported from Europe. They were known as a "society" dog and one could have very well escaped its racetrack-going owner to end up in Seabuscuit's stall. I do not have ready access to the two sources you cite for him, one from Turf and Sports Digest, the other from Beckwith's book on Seabuscuit, although I am working on it. Thanks for any help in this regard.
Christine Oravec <c.oravec@m.cc.utah.edu>
Salt Lake City, UT USA - Tuesday, April 09, 2002 at 14:24:29 (EDT)
For a bookclub of which I am a member, I recently read and very much enjoyed SeaBiscuit. You so brilliantly intertwined history, sport, human emotion, drama, passion/obsession and suspense! I never wanted the book to end. It's the type of book that once you finish you want it to remain on your night table to remind you of a great experience or a good friend. Do you have any issues regarding Seabiscuit that you think we would be interested to discuss as a bookgroup when we meet? I would love your insight into how we can make the most of our discussion on Seabiscuit. Thank you.
Patricia P. Wrotniak <pwrotniak@hotmail.com>
Mount Vernon, NY USA - Tuesday, April 09, 2002 at 11:46:10 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Thanks for a marvellous book. I have to say I'm not a great fan of 'dirt track' racing which we call the 'all weather' over here, but I was glued to every page...hairs on the back of my neck stood up before the War Admiral race and there were tears in my eyes at the final come-back glory! It should make a great movie. One thing, when the second edition rolls off the press how about including the track odds and perhaps the list of runners in the main races as an appendix....it would be of interest to those of us who like to think we can beat the bookies. And are you coming over to the UK? Let me know and I'll treat you to a traditional British ale! Thanks again, Peter Rowlands, London, UK.
Peter Rowlands <noufari@aol.com>
London, UK - Tuesday, April 09, 2002 at 09:16:31 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I too could not put your book down and needed to read on almost breathlessly at times. I immediately had to dig up a September 1958 photograph taken by my stepfather when we visited War Admiral in Lexington,KY: me standing with the horse and looking up at Man o' War's statue. It was the first time I'd ever heard Seabiscuits name. As if all this were not exciting enough, I now learn that Marcela Howard had (p 158)"Wee Biscuit, a toy Scottish terrier given to her during a visit to Bing Crosby." My question is the following was this a "toy" or a real Scottie. In the case of the latter, there is no "toy" breed of the Scottish terrier, only the Scottie of which we have a very fine example presently in the White House!! (and another in our home,named Lindsay) Thank you for writing this marvelous book and hopefully the Scottish terrier information will be useful. Sincerely, Brigitte
Brigitte Tournier <brigitte_tournier@bbns.org>
Cambridge, MA USA - Monday, April 08, 2002 at 11:41:36 (EDT)
Laura-Hi there. I love your book. I would love to see another book written by you about horses. I gave a presentation about your book to my 8th grade class peers. The book belongs to my mother...she let me read it. P.S. I like the intro to the website.
Brink <hahaladypanther14@hotsheet.com>
b.ville, nc USA - Monday, April 08, 2002 at 10:18:55 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrad - I loved how your book made some very colorful characters come alive. As I read your book, it reminded me of my eccentric great aunt who loved the race track. In the early sixties I used to go to her house and read and re-read a book about great race horses. I think it was called something like Twenty Great Horses. It had a chapter on Seabiscuit. It also had a chapter on the son of Man O' War that died at a Maryland Steeplechase race. It was illustrated with black and white line drawings. I would love to purchase this book but I can't remember the title or author. Have you come across this book? If so, could you supply me with the necessary info so I can search for a copy? I would appreciate your help. Also, it would be a help to Maryland racing (and Pimilico) if one day you could come. Thanks, Patsy McDonald
Patsy McDonald <pemcdonald@comcast.net>
Baltimore, MD USA - Sunday, April 07, 2002 at 16:37:08 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, When I was young I had difficulty learning how to read and was forced to sit at my father's side for endless evenings pushing through a jumble of letters and words that were numbing. When I stumbled across "Lad:A Dog" by Albert Payson Terhune I discovered the joy of reading. I've only been to the racetrack once in my life and that was in Laurel for a sulky race that left me less than inspired. You have not only uncovered the heart of an animal as Terhune did, you have rediscovered the spirit and excitement of the "Sport of Kings" in an era that will never exist again. When I was reading the acknowledgements I thought that, given a pile of lumber, anyone can build a dog house. It takes special talent and skill to build a cathedral. Thank you for the wonderful gift of "Seabiscuit, An American Legend".
Tom Jordan <tobalian@aol.com>
Ellicott City, MD USA - Sunday, April 07, 2002 at 13:20:28 (EDT)
FROM THE AUTHOR: Join the Walking Tour of Ridgewood Ranch, Home of Seabiscuit, in Willits, California. Enjoy a unique opportunity to visit the home of Seabiscuit at Ridgewood Ranch when the Mendocino County Museum offers an afternoon tour on Saturday May 25. The highlight of the tour will be the special barn that Charles Howard constructed specifically for Seabiscuit after his 1940 homecoming. This structure, with its signature Howard logo and its jockey and horse weather vane, is one stop on the tour that includes several other buildings important to the Howard ranch operation. The tour begins with a special screening of archival film footage that Museum staff recently had restored and transferred to video. Dr. Raymond Babcock was a close personal friend of Charles Howard, and shot the 16mm color film footage himself. Witness Seabiscuit tearing down the racetrack at Santa Anita, while Clark Gable and Carole Lombard discuss odds from their seats in the stands. Watch sculptor Tex Wheeler work as he creates a model of Seabiscuit for his bronze statue. Other footage includes cattle branding scenes at Ridgewood Ranch, jockey Red Pollard "horsing around", and even a "Tin Lizzie" race held at the Willits fairgrounds in 1939. After the video viewing, storytellers will be on hand to discuss their experiences on the Ranch with Seabiscuit and owner Charles Howard. Docent-led walking tours will follow, and participants are asked to wear comfortable walking shoes. Stops on the walk include the mare barn, with its hand-penciled notes on stall walls about Seabiscuit’s mates and offspring, as well as the house that the Howards called home, where a special guestroom was set aside for crooner and race aficionado Bing Crosby. Refreshments will be provided throughout the day. Space is limited on this special ranch tour, so reservations are essential, available on a first come, first served basis. The cost for the afternoon’s screening and walk is $20 per person. Please call the Museum at 707 459-2736 to receive a reservation form, or pick one up at the Museum, 400 E. Commercial Street, in Willits, or at the Willits Chamber of Commerce, 239 S. Main Street, Willits. This unique opportunity to explore the home of Seabiscuit is a prelude to the opening of a special exhibit at the Mendocino County Museum. Scheduled to open on June 29, "Ridgewood Ranch: Home of Seabiscuit", will feature a variety of artifacts related to the racehorse and the special spot along the Redwood Highway in Mendocino County where he lived out his final days.
Laura Hillenbrand
Washington, DC USA - Sunday, April 07, 2002 at 12:47:33 (EDT)
Laura, What a marvelous book you have written. Thank you, thank you. I had the Seabiscuit horse racing game as a child and loved horses. Also, one of my favorite books is also "Pride and Prejudice" and I have read it 8 times and have all the movies of Jane Austen books. "A Moveable Feast" by Hemingway is also good and I will now read "The Killer Angels" since you mentioned it as a favorite. But it will be hard to surpass "Seabiscuit" - Can't wait until the movie comes out. Thank you so much for such a marvelous job! I'll pray for improvement in your health. Your friend for life, Barb Staschke
Barbara Staschke <bstaschke151307@comcast.net>
Royal Oak, MI USA - Saturday, April 06, 2002 at 20:21:47 (EST)
Laura, the best book i've read in ages the chapter"The Second Civil War"probly the best from any book i've ever read! Had my heart racing with tears in my eyes....don't let Hollywood mess this up....all they need to portray is the obviously Well Researched truth.....how about following up with one on the old grandad Man 0 War?
randy hill
USA - Saturday, April 06, 2002 at 20:07:05 (EST)
I picked up your book to fill an 8 hour flight from the UK. For the first time, in an endless stream of travel, I did not want to land!...No, I did not want to put down your book, Seabiscuit. After one of your incredible descriptions of a photofinish, I literally turned to the complete stranger next to me, and began ranting on Seabiscuit's second place! You took me directly to the track! Great job, please write more! I am going to buy more of your work!
Elaine Libent <Elaine.Libent@marconi.com>
Vandergrift, PA USA - Saturday, April 06, 2002 at 17:29:25 (EST)
Hello, My Great Grandmother and Grandfather worked for the Howards. My mother has 3 christmas cards with seabiscuit on them. Jenn
Jennifer <stkjp@nycap.rr.com>
Johnstown, NY USA - Saturday, April 06, 2002 at 16:24:04 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, How I loved your book, and how I look forward to the movie! I grew up in Kentucky (have seen Secretariat in his retirement), and at age 40, now living in CA, have given myself the present of learning to ride horses. As an animal lover, I have come to love horses for their remarkable spirit and what they can teach us; how I would have loved to have seen Seabiscuit during his glory days! Thank you for helping me pass a lot of time on a flight from KY to CA...and I will be passing this book to my other horse-loving friends! Would that there were more humans with the heart that this horse had....
Jesslyn Newhall <jessnewhall@aol.com>
Berkeley, CA USA - Saturday, April 06, 2002 at 02:15:34 (EST)
Hi Laura, I just finished your book. What an excellent story you brought to life. What incredible history. I've ridden since I was 8 yrs old and I own a 21 yr old throughbred who raced a few times. My husband and I moved to Maryland 10 yrs ago from Rhode Island. I had never known that Red Pollard lived in Rhode Island and died there. I can remember as a kid when Narragansett Race Track closed and they were auctioning items from the race track. We live about 10 minutes from Alfred Vanderbilt's old farm Sagamore Farm in Glyndon, Maryland. It currently is filled with horses, mostly race, some show and dressage horses. I look forward to the movie and I'm hoping that the real movie of the Seabiscuit-War Admiral race will be used for the new movie. Also is there anywhere that the original movie can be purchased? Thanks again for a wonderful tribute to 3 incredible men and one amazing horse! Pam Langlois
Pam Langlois <PamL@GSHPC.org>
Upperco, MD USA - Friday, April 05, 2002 at 22:00:10 (EST)
I would like to have the man who is selling the videotape on Seabiscuit contact me.
Ed McDonnell <edcbi@yahoo.com>
Rochester, N.Y. USA - Friday, April 05, 2002 at 19:43:45 (EST)
Hi Laura, thank you for writing this wonderful book. My daughter has been riding horses for 9 years and I never realized until reading this book that horses really must have distinct personalities and real feelings just as we do. This book was one of the best I ever read. I will look forward to seeing the movie. It will be great to see a movie that has a real story to it. You can be really proud of yourself for writing this truly outstanding book. I will always treasure it. Marilyn Redick
Marilyn Redick <mjredick@aol.com>
USA - Friday, April 05, 2002 at 16:06:10 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I just finished reading your book last night and was sad that it was over. I wanted it to go on and on. You have written what I now call one of my most favorite reads. The way you brought the characters, horses and each race to life was fabulous. I truly felt like I was there for each and every moment of Seabiscuits magnificent career. I have recommended your book to everyone I see - it is a must read. Thank you for sharing the story of one incredible little race horses life. I loved it and already look forward to reading it again. L. Knoll
L. Knoll <linda_knoll@yahoo.com>
CA USA - Friday, April 05, 2002 at 12:23:11 (EST)
Dear Laura, I have never replied online to any service previously, however like so many of the other people that took the time to respond, I would like to congratulate you on what was such an excellent read. I recently bought a share in a racehorse and the emotions that you were able to portray are so genuine. I think that my wife was pleased when I eventually finished this superb book as I was once again able to speak to her. I wish you all the very best with the movie and look forward to owning a copy of the video when it is released. Tomorrow is Grand National day here in the UK, approximately 4 miles and over fences, although I feel sure that Seabiscuit would still have managed to compete (and win) as he appeared to have wings. Thanks again, Alan
Alan Cruickshank <alan.c@directrelations.co.uk>
Leeds, UK - Friday, April 05, 2002 at 05:30:04 (EST)
I am writing back because I would like to know how is you were able to create such a high level of reality in the writing of the races. How were the races documented? Thanks.
Judy Palaferro <JPalaferro@happykids.com>
brooklyn, NY USA - Thursday, April 04, 2002 at 17:14:53 (EST)
I love your book Ms. Hillenbrand. Thank you! You are a wonderful writer and lover of horses. Thank you. Thank you.
Judy Palaferro <JPalaferro@happykids.com>
Brooklyn, NY USA - Thursday, April 04, 2002 at 12:26:02 (EST)
What an excellent work. I just finished it and will definitely read it again. It is obvious that you put your heart and soul into its creation. Thank you.
Patricia Hibbs <s9512@voyager.net>
Lake Odessa, MI USA - Thursday, April 04, 2002 at 08:26:21 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I just wanted to thank you and congratulate you on your superb book. I just finished it and might just go back and start it again. Those are some serious characters- and they're real! Good luck with the movie, I'll be in line, and thanks again for the great read! Michael Gilhool
Michael Gilhool <gilhool@comcast.net>
Long Branch, NJ USA - Wednesday, April 03, 2002 at 22:25:20 (EST)
Laura, the characters became so real I could almost touch them and feel their pains and joys. This is the best book that I have read in many years. My one sorrow is that the book is finished. This book definitely belongs in the winners circle.
Lawrence M. Faustin <lmfaustin@aol.com>
Schererville, IN USA - Wednesday, April 03, 2002 at 22:18:15 (EST)
Dear Laura: What a fantastic book! It must have been hard work but I imagine the journey was great. My mother gave me your book for Christmas. Her father owned race horses in the 30's, 40's and 50's. As a boy, I went to the track with him but I didn't fully appreciate and understand race horses and racing until I read your book. And that's in spite of the fact that I raise Spotted Draft mares and love horses. Your book brought me a lot closer to my grandfather and his love of racing. What a great gift. Thank you! If you ever travel to Arizona, consider yourself invited to come see my Spotted mares and to drive them. If you love horses you would certainly enjoy driving a team. It's as much fun (maybe more) as riding them! Thank you and god bless you. Brett barker.
Brett V. Barker <brett@desertadventures.net>
Scottsdale, AZ USA - Wednesday, April 03, 2002 at 17:45:45 (EST)
What a fantastic book! In French: - "Je viens de finir de lire cette fantastique aventure et j'avoue avoir eu, à certains passages, les yeux 'humides'. Connaissant le milieu conté, je pense que l'auteur a fait un travail remarquable, tant par la narration de l'histoire que par le soucis du détail. Félicitations et surtout merci! Franck BIANCHERI
BIANCHERI <fbiancheri@aol.com>
NICE, FRANCE - Wednesday, April 03, 2002 at 10:11:30 (EST)
Hello. Outstanding book. Your writing of the races was great! Now I'd like to find video footage of the races. Can you be of help there????? pretty please????? thanks again.
Micheal Pelphry <dingln@hotmail.com>
USA - Tuesday, April 02, 2002 at 19:01:08 (EST)
I just finished reading your exceptionally written book about Seabiscuit. How I wish I had been around in those days to witness such exciting events! Your descriptions brought all those wonderful characters to life and makes one feel like one of the extended Biscuit family. The race passages alone had me rivited to see what would happen...I actually felt as if I were at the track long ago waiting breathlessly with anticipation for the contest to begin. When I finished the book, I was in tears....I didn't want the adventure to end and am sad that this time and place has been lost forever - your book brings the magnificent Seabiscuit alive once more and given the circumstances of your writing it, I can only imagine that God had His plan in place to bring your story to us lucky readers. God bless, Laura.
Judy Aloia <jaloia@kelleydrye.com>
Bronx, NY USA - Tuesday, April 02, 2002 at 16:19:01 (EST)
Laura, I have but one question: Did the late Shirley Povich pick a winner in the race with War Admiral? If so, who did he pick?
Scott Koedel <scott.koedel@us.pwcglobal.com>
New York, NY USA - Tuesday, April 02, 2002 at 11:33:03 (EST)
I grew up in and about Agua Caliente. I recently was driving down interstate 5, here in San Diego. When I saw "Dairy Mart Road". During my childhood, this area was a bustling agricultural community. San Ysidro has grown in leaps and bounds.I knew that the Howards once had their farm here. All that is left of that farm is a park. Children now play where once thoroughbred babies did. The rest of what used to be the farm, is now a military housing project. I continued south, towards Tijuana. I have family there. And I have to share this with you. Tijuana Race track is all but erased. The river canal, has replaced THE river. There is no evidence of a track. The barn area, is now a one of the oldest communities in the city. It is called Colonia Libertad. The rail way that was once behind the track, is still there, but it is hidden by a police squad car compound. Agua Caliente racetrack is barley alive. There are no horse races there anymore. Just greyhounds and Hank Rhon's private zoo. Inside of the track, in the "Book" area. There is a HUGE picture of Seabiscuit as he leads the field out of the paddock for the 1938 Agua Caliente Handicap. Sad, but I think that is the only remains of what used to be the rich background of racing in Tijuana. The Agua Caliente Casino and Resort is now owned bythe city. The casino is a school. All that is left of it is the Moorish Tower. The golf course is now a "private" club. I asked many of my younger cousins, and they simply draw a blank stare when I talk, or ask them about the racetrack. So I shoved your book in their hands. Thanks Laura. David Beltran
David Beltran <Bdbeltran>
Chula Vista, CA USA - Tuesday, April 02, 2002 at 09:06:40 (EST)
My Father and I both recently finished your book - we have since spent alot of time talking about it. I have read many books about many champion racehorses, but none so well written. We enjoyed everything about it - I feel like I know Red Pollard, Tom Smith and Charles Howard. I was so caught up in the book I read it in two days and then was sorry to finish it! It felt like saying goodbye to friends. What a true champion that little horse was. I hope that I am lucky enough to see a racehorse of that caliber in my lifetime. Thank you for bringing his story to my house!
Sloane Bechtol <jsbeck65@yahoo.com>
Nederland, TX USA - Monday, April 01, 2002 at 22:22:16 (EST)
For CFS and vertigo, Laura and others would do well to use the "radial appliance" outlined by Edgar Cayce. At the time that team Seabiscuit was criss-crossing America with tremendous success, Edgar Cayce was in Virginia Beach surrounded by equally fascinating individuals as he quietly and humbly built a legacy as "America's most documented psychic" and "the father of wholistic medicine". Cayce was a deeply religious man who simply wanted to help people. Out of the nearly 14,000 pages of psychic readings came a simple device called the Radial Appliance. Although CFS was not a term used in those days, many of conditions for which the radial appliance is used are associated with a general depletion, both mental and physical. If one is interested in investigating for themself, his biography There is a River and Edgar Cayce on Health and Healing are two books which povide a background for his life and work as a psychic diagnostician. Either Baar Proucucts or The Association for Research and Enlightenment have a booklet devoted specifically to the benefits of the appliance and its proper use. It is essential to read that booklet, if nothing else. BAAR Products (www.baar.com), the Association for Research and Enlightenment, the Heritage store, and Home Health Products are all places you can buy a Radial Appliance. Cost for the appliance is about $150 to $175 at any of these places. Like so many other things, we don't know why it works, but it does. I can vouch for it regarding other conditions. Will it cure CFS/vertigo? By itself, probably not. Will it improve the quality of the user's life? If used consistently and properly, I KNOW it will. This is not a solicitation. I do not represent any business or organization. Research for yourself. Decide for yourself. Try it if you like. To me, Cayce was the Seabiscuit of psychics, and my money will always be on him.
Steve <badlands77>
Porcupine, SD USA - Monday, April 01, 2002 at 20:47:36 (EST)
Thank you for the most excellent book. As a horsecrazy young girl in the early 50's, I used to cut out pictures of jockeys...the thought of a female jockey was unheard of. I'm still crazy about horses and finally was able to ride (Hunters)as an adult. I finished the book Easter Sunday afternoon as I sat listening to my horse contentedly having his "dinner". Your book was the perfect way to finish my own day and I promptly gave it to my trainer to read. Thank you for such marvelous writing....I can't wait for the movie.
Adele <aichilian@adolphus.com>
Dallas, TX USA - Monday, April 01, 2002 at 19:40:39 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Your book was amazingly written. The race descriptions were so lifelike my heart was pounding and I had to force myself not to skip to the end to find out the results. That paragraph you wrote about the Tijuana manure pile was absolutely hilarious; the godzilla comment in particular. Great Job, Allison
Allison Kotzig <allison@kotzigpublishing.com>
Boca Raton, FL USA - Monday, April 01, 2002 at 18:37:57 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I am sure you have had thousands of well deserved fan letters about your marvelous book, but I must add my own. It is far more than just a horse racing book. In fact, as a longtime person in book publishing (at Random House and Knopf until my retirement a few years ago) it is one of the most engrossing non-fiction books of any kind that I have read in the last ten years. However, neither in all of your fascinating acknowledgement notes, nor in the narrative itself, could I find any indication of whether Charles Howard or Tom Smith were aware of Pollard's blindness. If so, did one know and not the other? And if so, at what point in the story? Obviously, the possiblities, depending on what you were able to find out, are fascinating to contemplate. Thanks for any light you can shed. P.S. I am also a friend of Jonathan Karp's and hope you will share my note of appreciation with him. Jon has done a great job with you and the Biscuit. He also happens to have edited another author that is represented by my wife, who is a literary agent!
Tony Schulte <tony.schulte@att.net>
New York, NY USA - Monday, April 01, 2002 at 15:26:55 (EST)
Ms.Hillenbrand: I am not in the habit of writing fan letters to authors, but I could not resist after reading your wonderful book. My wife raises Peruvian pasos, but neither of us are racing fans; nevertheless, your book was such a tour de force, not only of the racing business, but the times (through which I lived, but did not suffer). And I was astonished to see that "Asa Smith" was the one who got Red Pollard work as a bug.. My grandfather and ggrandfather were both Asa Smiths, although obviously no relation, although the son-in-law of one of them raised champion saddlebred horses in Illinois. I will anxiously await the movie!! Ralph G. Smith, Cave Creek, AZ
Ralph G. Smith <rgsmith2@juno.com>
Cave Creek, AZ USA - Monday, April 01, 2002 at 14:19:12 (EST)
I am a proud new owner of my first horse. A big old quarter horse mare. I learned more about horse intuition from your book than from any of the people I have been associated with in my years of riding. I wish I could have shook the hand of Tom Smith. Thank you for bringing them and Seabiscuit back to life in such a wonderful tribute.
Patricia Higgins <odie1912@hotmail.com>
Ft. Lauderdale, fl USA - Monday, April 01, 2002 at 10:26:58 (EST)
Heartwarming, heartpounding, heartfilled book. Laura, you are an attractive woman. Try smiling more ofter. The movie had better be very good and not "based on" bullshit. John Viktora.
John J. Viktora <viktora@usb.net>
flagstaff, az USA - Sunday, March 31, 2002 at 22:01:16 (EST)
Dear Ms.Hillenbrand--Just finished "Seabiscut" this morning at 6am. As a young boy in the 1930ies, I closely followed the exploits of the triple crown winner, War Admiral. The Admiral was my favorite thoroughbred and I could hardly wait for the "match" race between the Biscuit and the Admiral. Certainly, I thought, War Admiral would prevail over this upstart. As you can guess, I was crushed by the outcome. Until I read your book, I knew very little about the dramatic and compelling story of Seabiscuit. Now, I am convinced that the Biscuit was the better horse primarily because of his deep-rooted competitive desire. I will be at the movie the first day it is available to the public. As I grew older I greatly admired John Henry and Kelso. Perhaps you may write about one or both of these two great thoroughbreds in the future. Thank you for your book---Tom
TOM REINHOLD <TandJRein@aol.com>
BOYNTON BEACH, FL USA - Sunday, March 31, 2002 at 14:41:50 (EST)
Thank you for the extension Acknowledgements section at the end of an incredible, absorbing story of Seabiscuit.Readers who skip this section are losing the "spicing on the cake". The researched sources and your determination to follow all leads (no pun intended) added depth and humor to quality writing. A second copy was promptly purchased for my daughter's 38th birthday----who is in her 35th year of being in the saddle.
Dr. Sonnie Stevens <azsonnie@prodigy.net>
Scottsdale, AZ USA - Sunday, March 31, 2002 at 09:33:21 (EST)
Laura...This is a special request to you regarding your CFS. I read the article about your struggles with CFS when you were writing Sea Biscuit. When I showed the article to my own CFS specialist he made a special request. He asked that you write about your experience/struggle with CFS yourself. This Dr. has since relocated. (actually to devote more time to his CFS research) I made a promise to him that I would ask you to email me your first hand experiences/feelings during bouts of CFS. I would pass it on to him and connect the two of you when he has a permanent new email established. Any help you could provide us would be so greatly appreciated. (SuzanneGuice@msn.com)
Suzanne Guice <suzanneguice@msn.com>
raritan, nj USA - Sunday, March 31, 2002 at 01:02:41 (EST)
ohmygod!!!!!!!!!! Seabiscuit was one of the best horsey books i've ever read!!!!!!!! it is such a captivating book, and it truly does make for a good read. at first, i was iffy about reading it, because i'm a hunter/jumper person and i've never really cared that much for horse racing (excpect for the fact that it's the only horse sport that i can watch on TV). after the first sentence, i was hooked. seabiscuit was an amazing book!!!!!! if you haven't already read it, i would strongly suggest you would!!!!!!!!! oh, and when is the movie due out?????
Rachel <violaplayer14@hotmail.com>
USA - Saturday, March 30, 2002 at 22:26:19 (EST)
Hi Laura, Having just finished your wonderful book I just want to say Thank You, it is a very inspiring story, a story the whole world should know about, which it will thanks to you. I also think you deserve special praise as it must have been quite hard for you to write, anyhow thanks again for your wonderful book.
Trevor Ashman <ash8man@ihug.co.nz>
Lower Hutt, New Zealand - Saturday, March 30, 2002 at 17:59:34 (EST)
Laura, I so very much enjoyed your book on Seabiscuit. I have had a few horses, some off the track, and I could relate to some of Seabiscuit's stories. I was interested in knowing if the family still knows where Seabiscuit is buried and also if they kept the train cars used to transport him and his crew? Maybe in a museum with other memorialbia? I would love to know more and see more photos if possible. Thank-you for this wonderful book about this amazing little horse who seems to be capturing more hearts even long after he has been gone! I can not wait to see the movie!!! Sincerely, Kara Minnick
Kara Minnick <Threegaits29@aol.com>
Little Egg Harbor , NJ USA - Saturday, March 30, 2002 at 16:28:16 (EST)
If anyone had told me a week ago I'd be reading a book on a horse I'd have said they were crazy. SEABISCUIT is not only a well written, well researched sports book, it a great book period! This is one of the most interesting books I've read.
Skip Guidry <gcl@cajunnet.com>
Cut Off, LA USA - Friday, March 29, 2002 at 01:24:29 (EST)
Laura- I loved your book and am wondering who has been cast for the upcoming movie. I see Ed Harris as trainer Tom Smith and Gene Hackman as owner Charles Howard, with real jockeys (not actors) playing the parts of Red Pollard and George Woolf. I was wondering why in the cover shot Seabiscuit's head is cropped? Also, can you offer any guidance for our book club? We are discussing "Seabiscuit" next month.
jessica benjamin <jessica2a@prodigy.net>
bronxville, NY USA - Thursday, March 28, 2002 at 22:54:42 (EST)
Wonderful book! Truly made me feel I was there watching Seabiscuit and War Admiral
Vicki Z
Chicago, IL USA - Thursday, March 28, 2002 at 20:57:16 (EST)
An avid reader I say forget horse racing this is the great est sports book ever written. Just completed my second reading and enjoyed it thoroughly. I have presented all my racing buddies with a copy and they are all shouting Your praises. Thank You for a great read and a great gift!!!
Mike Szymanski` <virg207@aol.com>
Pittsburg, Ca USA - Thursday, March 28, 2002 at 20:28:34 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand thank you for writing such a wonderful book, I read it in a day. I have never read a book that was so involving, I actually found myself cheering for Seabiscuit outload while reading the book. This book meant so very much to me in that as a child I dreamed of being a jockey, but then I grew. I was raised on a ranch in central Montana and my grandparents raised racing quarterhorses. Through your book I realized my dream in a sense. I felt as if I was in the irons, thundering down the track. It may sound crazy, but I could feel the power and excitement again. Anyone that has been aboard a racing athlete would understand. You have done Seabiscuit and the people surrounding him justice. Again, Thank you.
Melissa Darko <knicksprincess2k@hotmail.com>
Great Falls, MT USA - Thursday, March 28, 2002 at 17:16:59 (EST)
Laura, I live in Hollywood, CA and was taking a ballet class when my teaching gave us a technique correction. Then she added that she had just read a book called Seasbiscuit, about a race horse in which the author broke down the horse's movements in a way which we ballerina's could learn from. She said how inspiring the book was, (best she'd ever read!), and I knew I'd have to read it. My teacher was right, your book was inspiring! I'm an actress as well as dancer and reading about an unlikely team who makd it to the pinnicle of their careers and dreams was not only thrilling, but encouraging! Thank you for setting me on fire. I realize tons of work had to go into bringing to life characters you'd never met, but you sure did it! Thank you for your research. It was fun to see the photos of team. Red looks like my grandfather, red hair and all. He was alive during that time, so it gave me a look at my grandfathers time. I didn't know him too well, so this was an added bonus to me. Thank you Laura!
Lana Deanna Cooper <lanacooper@netzero.net>
Hollywood, CA USA - Thursday, March 28, 2002 at 11:11:10 (EST)
Laura, Thank you for writing this book. It transported me trackside and actually made me tear up with emotion. I have seen your story on television and wish you the best of luck in your fight. If Red Pollard could live beyond 70 so can you. I was so moved by "the biscuit" and his tenacity that i have decided to change the name of my racing sailboat to "Seabiscuit". Now that i know the story behind the horse I remember hearing about on from Heywood Hale Broun on Derby day broadcasts when I was a boy it seems a most fitting name for my boat. Again, thank you for your effort to bring the story to another generation. p.s. - Do you know why the horse was named seabiscuit? there must be a story. -Mike Manning
michael manning <mmanning@chartermi.net>
escanaba, mi USA - Thursday, March 28, 2002 at 09:32:56 (EST)
I finished reading the book tonight at my son's baseball practice and found the web address in the back. As soon as I got home, I went straight to the computer to send this note. As a girl I loved horses, collected models, and was fortunate to have owned a few. I rekindled that love while reading your book. Though I had heard of Seabiscuit, I never knew much about him. The part about the race with War Admiral kept me on my seat, and upon completion of the book, I went back to reread that part, and enjoyed it just as much the second time. Thank you for a wonderful book.
Vicki Sue Merry <red.dwarf@cox.net>
Cantonment, FL USA - Wednesday, March 27, 2002 at 23:02:56 (EST)
What a great read, not only the story of a great race horse but how about the eccentric characters that surrounded this horse. Very enjoyable and fast paced story, I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys a story of an underdog overcoming adversity.
davidp <dprocks@hotmail.com>
Boston, MA USA - Wednesday, March 27, 2002 at 22:26:52 (EST)
Ms. H, My thanks to you for publicly declaring the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that plagues us. Some call it myalgic encephalomyelitis. I call it debilitating, devastating. It has robbed me of the ability to parent my children , be partner to my husband, a daughter to my Mother and a sister to my sister. It is excruciatingly frustrating...and boring. You know all this. I am grateful to you for spending the little energy available to you to contribute to the public knowledge of this epidemic. And reading Seabiscuit is on the list of things I hope to do when my brain, one day, functions normally again. Sincerely, Karen Hart
karen hart <karenhart@attbi.com>
pittsburgh, pa USA - Wednesday, March 27, 2002 at 15:38:36 (EST)
Dear Laura, I'm sorry I didnt get to finish my comments because of being whisked off to coer a tragedy. I would like to say about your book, there are many great stories out there, classics, and often when the writer finds one, the story gets sacrificed for the writing. There is a difference between a sentence that strikes a person as ethereal and a sentence written by a writer trying oh so hard to sound ethereal. Sometimes the story has to tell itself without the fancy pants writer messing it up, in Seabiscuit you didn't do this, I dont think. THe story is about three characters, the trainer, owner and the horse, I hope anyway as I continue to read, I will use a few graphs in class tonight as an example of how to write a profile story, this class is called Adnvanced News Reporting, and the introduction to Tom Smith happens to illustrate what I have been preaching or plan to. talk to you later
Robert Medley <rrrrmed@aol.com>
Oklahoma City, Ok USA - Wednesday, March 27, 2002 at 03:57:52 (EST)
I am writing to you not only because of the wonderful book you have written but that you are a sufferer of CFIDS. I after seeing 10 plus doctors and are now being told this is what I have. I am really interested in how you have maintained your daily life with this debilitating syndrome. I know what a busy woman you are but when my doctors finally said this was their diagnosis you were the first person that came to mind. I would be real interested in learning how you were diagnosed and how you have learned to cope with this. Thanks
Debbie Strong <strong334@msn.com>
Orlando, fl USA - Wednesday, March 27, 2002 at 03:09:50 (EST)
How I found your book I have to tell you, I had a dream I was in 1942 and people were gathered around a radio listening to horseraces, when it was interrupted by a warning about possible Nazi bombers, anyway I was born in 1964, so I didnt know horseracing was big on radio, but after the dream I was looking up horseracing on the Internet and found an interview in which you said horseracing was big in the era on radio talking about Seabiscuit. I love it when I dream something that is true so I went and bought the book. Just starting it. Im a reporter at a newspaper, The Daily Oklahoman, and I teach a class at a community college. I know you get a lot of email, and you rock as a write, but how can a man be lost on a ranch forever? Ha ha. I also play in a band called The Poison Okies, http://poisonokies.home.att.net and am the one in the upper lefthand corner when it pops up. My dad and I are going to Mule Days in Columbia, Tennessee since my great grandfather was a horse and mule dealer from there who was in the Cherokee Strip land run here where I .live in Oklahoma. Are you married?. I got to go cover a fatal armed robbery/shooting but I want to send you a short story and tell you more later about
Robert Medley <rmedley@oklahoman.com>
Oklahoma City, Ok USA - Tuesday, March 26, 2002 at 21:57:33 (EST)
Thank-you for a wonderfully written account of a great racing story. It brings back memories of watching races, seeing Eddie Arcaro and Willie Shoemaker with one my best friends, my grandfather (Vic Armstrong) at Delaware Park as a child. I have shared your story and my own memories with my children since listening to the book on CD. Keep up your excellent work. Sincerely - Jay Dorschel
Jay Dorschel <jay.dorschel@verizon.net>
suffolk, va USA - Tuesday, March 26, 2002 at 21:42:22 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I just finished reading Seabicuit. What a fascinating book. I didn't know anything about horseracing before I started. I learned so much. I have a question. I don't understand the how and why behind assinging different weights to the horses. Is this based on their previous record? Thanks in advance for your response. Linda Heider
Linda Heider <spheider@msn. com>
Denver, CO USA - Tuesday, March 26, 2002 at 19:52:47 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand, Would you please turn your enormous talents on the story of another special racehorse, Black Gold? I believe he (or she?) finished a race with a broken leg. This story has always stayed with me, from the old books passed down from my father that were illustrated by an incredible horse illustrator. I can't remember his first name, but his last was Anderson. Black Gold's story is heartbreaking.
Alison Shurtleff <AShurt666@aol.com>
Benicia, CA USA - Tuesday, March 26, 2002 at 14:46:58 (EST)
I am midway through your book and am just mesmerized by it. The subject matter is made all the more interesting by your incredible storytelling, which just brings it all alive. I have had horses, including a retired racehorse, and your book captures the qualities that horses possess. They are incredibly wonderful animals, with a "presence" all their own. I feel sorry for anyone who hasn't been around them. They are the very best. And you have shown this in your book, exquisitely. Thank you so much for writing it.
Alison Shurtleff <AShurt666@aol.com>
Benicia, CA USA - Tuesday, March 26, 2002 at 14:39:44 (EST)
What a horse, what a story, and what a beautiful and exciting way you shared them with us, your readers, through your book. Enjoyed evey page from cover to cover!
Hal Weber <weberonwheels@aol>
Troy, MI USA - Tuesday, March 26, 2002 at 14:15:30 (EST)
Dear Laura and Gary: As president of the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce I had to sit down and write you and tell you the Humboldt County Fairgrounds race track is the perfect backdrop for your upcoming film. After checking out your website and seeing the old photos in the slideshow section, I was amazed at how the 100-year-old Ferndale race track still, to this day, looks like the one in the 1930-era photos. We are so proud of our little race track and work hard at keeping the tradition going. We even have on file, old films from that time when our grandstands were filled with racing enthusiasts, dressed to the "nines," cheering a full race card, with the backdrop of our Victorian town, church steeples, and fog-shrouded hills rounding out a perfect scene. Seabiscuits is the story of a Northern California legend. Come home and check out our racetrack. Your story belongs here.
Karen Pingitore <kep@humboldt1.com>
Ferndale, CA USA - Tuesday, March 26, 2002 at 14:07:12 (EST)
Thanks to you and everyone who made this book possible. It is truly a book for the ages. You are a gifted writer with uncanny skills. By capturing this story you created a portal to the past that will help future generations understand the impact of horse racing on American culture during the first half of the 20th century.
Champion <gmorris@thirdeyemarcom.com>
Richmond, TX USA - Tuesday, March 26, 2002 at 13:42:22 (EST)
Thank you so much for writing this book so that an American legend, the people who surrounded him, and this entire era can live again in our hearts. Your book is truly the work of a scholar and an artist. I just saw in a local newspaper that Mendocino College is working to restore some old movies taken by Dr. Babcock, of Seabiscuit at home at the Howard Ranch in Mendocino, and donated to the college. Thank you again for telling us Seabiscuit's story.
Nancy Davis <DavisnCA@aol.com>
Fairfield, CA USA - Tuesday, March 26, 2002 at 12:39:02 (EST)
Laura, I'm just an average person, who has been in love with owned horses most of my life. This book made me cry,laugh and feel a lot of emotion for the people involved. The Horse especially. I couldn't stop reading. Every page held my interest all the way through. But that's what happens to people who have horses in their blood. They live and breath horses and nothing else matters. Thanks for a great book, and I can't wait till the movie comes out.
Deb Watson <dwatson@cmassoc.com>
tinley park, il USA - Tuesday, March 26, 2002 at 11:14:11 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand, Allow me to introduce myself as Ray Mott. I'm the son of Arlene Mott who used to run Interlibrary Loan in Rockville, MD. Anyway, she found out about your kind acknowledgement to her in your book and was THRILLED, to say the least! She wanted me to pass on to you her delight at your note (she has no internet access--yet!). My sister bought her a copy of the book. She was surprised, --"Look, my name is in a book!"--but I was not, as she has been doing great things for years. So thanks again. Sincerely, Ray Mott
Ray Mott <rblav35@netzero.net>
Columbia, MD USA - Monday, March 25, 2002 at 14:47:25 (EST)
Laura Thank you for telling the story of Seabiscuit and the people connected with him. It was a wonderful book which I have read twice so far. Am looking forward to seeing the movie. Having spent many years in the S. F. bay area, I was curious if Howard Street in San Francisco is named after Charles Howard? Thanks again for what had to be exhaustive efforts for you.
Jerry Thomas
Las Vegas , NV USA - Monday, March 25, 2002 at 14:39:33 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand. I have just finished SEABISCUIT, and I cannot stop crying. It is the most beautiful "horse" book I've ever read. I have loved horses all my life, reading every book I could get my hands on about them. As a child, KING OF THE WIND was my very favorite. Now I have SEABISCUIT for my adult favorite. I cannot wait for the movie and I do hope that actual footage of that great final race will be used. Thank You for bringing these wonderful characters -- man and beast-- back to life for future generations.
Eve Morris <EMorris949@aol.com>
Athens, GA USA - Monday, March 25, 2002 at 13:14:06 (EST)
A thouroughly enjoyable history of California and biography of colorful racing personalities around the time I was born. My parents were avid racing fans, caught up in the glory days of racing before the war. I was at the race track every week (Tanforan, Bay Meadows, Golden Gate) through the 40's and your book brought the feel of what I remember back. I especially appreciate the depth of research you placed in the book. I have never read acknolwedgements, but found your recognition of those helping you to be a fascinating read. Thank you so much for preserving the vivid memory of this era, as if it were today.
Taylor Lyen <greenlynx88@hotmail.com>
Castro Valley, Castro Valley USA - Monday, March 25, 2002 at 11:29:23 (EST)
An awesome piece of work, lyrical in its content and its execution. Totally riveting.
duncan fennemore <dmrf@globalnet.co.uk>
london, UK - Monday, March 25, 2002 at 03:49:59 (EST)
Wonderful! Bringing him to life shows that horses are also an athlete and an individual. They also have a heart and feelings. Having horses of my own, I knew this, but so many others don't have a clue. Thank You so very much.
Becky Davis <keyfolger@voyager.net>
Butler, OH USA - Sunday, March 24, 2002 at 22:48:50 (EST)
"Seabiscuit" was the most riveting book I have read in a long time. You made him and all the two-legged creatures around him come to life. I could hardly put it down and of course cried all through the last few chapters. My book group read it last year and loved it. I had put it aside saying that I had no interest in track stories. My mistake! Fortunately the group and my own family loved it so much that I could not be left out. You are fantastic! The movie will be good, I am sure, but nothing can match the way you made the story come alive. Thank you!!!
Mary Ann Carmody <MACarmody@AOL.com>
Washington, DC, DC USA - Sunday, March 24, 2002 at 22:11:52 (EST)
Just finished "Seabiscuit"...What a marvelous book! I read every word from start to finish, even the notes at the end...I was 11 years old when Secretariat was "the" horse to watch and grew up on stories of my mother's yearly Kentucky Derby visits and brief employment at Churchill Downs as a young girl (who lied about her age to get the job!) I had heard of Seabiscuit but never did any in-depth reading until now. What a magnificent heart, intelligence and heroic character! You brought the era and all involved with Seabiscuit to life...absolutely wonderful book. I look forward to reading more of your work. I'm a "dog person" but one does not have to love horses to be enthralled by this book, just love great writing.
Lisa
Pensacola, FL USA - Sunday, March 24, 2002 at 17:44:22 (EST)
I just read the Dutch translation of the book, and I absolutely loved it. I had never heared of Seabiscuit, but I have a horse of my own and bumped into your book at the bookstore and I am very happy I have bought it. A fantastic story!!!
katrien
Leuven, Belgium - Sunday, March 24, 2002 at 17:17:13 (EST)
It is the best book ever written! I have read it three times, have loaned it to friends, and will cherish it for many more "readings". "Love of a horse" may be required for such an evaluation but your magnificent prose that approaches poetry would, I think, "grab" the heart and mind of any reader. Thank you for such a book. And why didn't Seabiscuit run the Triple Crown?
Donna Clark Johnson <djohnson29@austin.rr.com>
Austin, Tx USA - Sunday, March 24, 2002 at 17:09:10 (EST)
I grew up at a time when Secretariat captured the hearts of our countries....saw his last race at Woodbine and attended the fog shrouded work out earlier in the week. Now I know that Seabiscuit did all that.......and then some a half century earlier. Your wonderful book occupies a permanent place in my library.......Thank you so much!! Are you planning on doing another book? Barrie Leech
Barrie Leech <barrlee@rogers.com>
Newmarket, Ont CANADA - Sunday, March 24, 2002 at 12:10:40 (EST)
Dear Laura, I just started reading your book & love it. Although I am a racing fan, I did not know much about "Seabiscuit". The movie should be interesting. What is your pick for this year's Kentucky Derby?
Joseph J. Testa <fullhouseblitz@aol.com>
Bethesda, MD USA - Sunday, March 24, 2002 at 11:29:31 (EST)
I read this book while visiting Japan where I couldn't spend time with my horse. It brought the horse world right to my fingertips which gave me great joy. I had never known anything about Seabiscuit except for his name and I am certainly glad of this new chunk of knowledge. I am a subscriber to EQUUS and was proud to learn that you write for them. It shows that the magazine has a strong sense of taste! Thank you for writing this book and putting so much of your time and effort into it. If only I could get more Christmas presents like this one! Sincerely, E. Birch
E. Birch
VT USA - Saturday, March 23, 2002 at 18:21:04 (EST)
Wonderful read and biography of Seabiscuit. Can anyone tell us why Seabiscuit never ran for the Triple Crown? Thank you! kcstran98@aol.com
Ken and Ione Strandberg <kcstran98@aol.com>
Plymouth, MN USA - Saturday, March 23, 2002 at 14:16:18 (EST)
My only recollection of "Seabiscuit" was as a retort from the Three Stooges' Curley in one of the shorts I watched over and over growing up in the 60s. When I heard your interview on NPR last fall, I was completely taken in by the stories--both yours and the horse's--of courage in the face of adversity. Your book made me laugh out loud at the pranks of Red Pollard and Tom Smith, and cry at the wire of the match race with War Admiral. I'm recommending your book to everyone I know, and I thank you for for so brilliantly bringing this story to light.
Bill Spiers <wrspiers@earthlink.net>
Atlanta, GA USA - Saturday, March 23, 2002 at 10:10:42 (EST)
I just got through reading your book ten minutes ago and I found it to be a good book. I did not know anything about Seabiscuit beforehand, but I found the biographical portraits of the people involved in the horse's life to be meticulously drawn. Usually, I have been disappointed with the contemporary books I read (I read three books at once) and many of them seem geared to be transportation reading, but I enjoyed your book and look forward to seeing you in an author appearance at some point in New York. Your research was evident and it was very well written. I know you were at Barnes and Noble on Union Square but I missed that appearance.
Richard F. Cohn <RichardFCohn@mschumacher.com>
Staten Island, NY USA - Friday, March 22, 2002 at 16:43:50 (EST)
Thank you for a wonderful and moving book, In the late '40s and early '50s I used to go to HollywoodPark and Santa Anita with my dad. I have seen the statue of the 'Biscuit and read many stories about him. When he died it was big news in California. This book enthralled me and brought me to tears many times. What a wonderful piece of work you did. The Biscuit is alive & well in may hearts thanks to you
Fred Bausman
Springfield, Mo USA - Friday, March 22, 2002 at 15:25:43 (EST)
Thank you for keeping the memory of Sea Biscuit alive for other generations. I grew up in Bowie, Maryland in the 60's and had a shoeshine stand just outside the track, so I was steeped in horseracing lore as a child. You made it very real again. You are a gifted writer and historian. Let us know if you ever get up to Vermont, Morgan horse country.
David R. Serra <Serra@valley.net>
Newbury, VT USA - Friday, March 22, 2002 at 09:40:12 (EST)
What a wonderful, inspirational story you have shared with us all! I gave your book to a wonderful horse trainer who has helped me and my timid little horse gain the confidence to be best we can be while having fun doing it. Thank you for making a legend live again!
carrie stewart <stewart@firsttrustcorp>
englewood, co USA - Thursday, March 21, 2002 at 15:53:50 (EST)
Dear Laura, Loved your book. We are having a fundraiser in May, a Kentucy Derby Party, for our therapuetic riding program at In Harmony. We would love to purchase a autographed copy of your book to give as a prize. Thank you so much for your time . Susan/volunteer cordinator/instructor.
Susan Lucia <s.lucia@worldnet.att.net>
Bradford, R.I. USA - Thursday, March 21, 2002 at 12:57:29 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand, It's March 21, 2002 and I just finished your absolutely wonderful book - Seabiscuit. Thank you for bringing this remarkable story and the characters to life for all who read your book. I can truly say that it is one of the most interesting and captivating books that I have every read. When I was about 10 years old (1963), I had a 45 rpm record of the "greatest moments in sports" that I would play regularly to connect to the "electricity" of those moments. It had Bobby Thomson's historic homerun, Joe Louis KOing Max Schmelling, etc. and the call of Seabiscuit vs. War Admiral. I can still hear the announcer yelling "Seabiscuit is the winner by 4 lengths" but never fully appreciated the monumental interest in that historic match race. Now, I certainly do. I'm an infrequent visitor to racetracks but have very fond childhood memories of regulary accompanying my Dad to the last few races on Saturday afternoons at River Downs. Always only a $2 bet and always only to win. We still try to make yearly visits to the Spring or Fall meetings at Keeneland, where the beauty and hospitality make you feel like you have entered a more gentile era. Again, thanks so much for your research and for bringing this story to life for all of us. Regards, Paul Wordeman
Paul Wordeman <pwordeman@yahoo.com>
Cincinnati, OH USA - Thursday, March 21, 2002 at 10:04:34 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand-- Thank you for the gift of your book. Thank you for all of the energy you gave to bring this this story to life for us. I would like to know if it is available in braille. I have a friend who loves horses, and has since he was a child. He would adore your book. If it is not available in braille, I will read into a tape recorder so that he will know your beautiful words. Who you are, and what you have written lift my spirit. Thank you. Sincerely, Ann
Ann Jeffries <Annsvoice99@aol.com>
Vienna, Va USA - Wednesday, March 20, 2002 at 22:36:31 (EST)
You took me off the pages of your great book and into and onto the T.B. world. I have never felt so much a part of racing itself as I did reading the description of the great races by the greatest of all horses. Thank you for letting me relive the stories my father told me often. Stewart Lester
Stewart Lester <plester421@aol.com>
lakeland, fl USA - Wednesday, March 20, 2002 at 16:32:54 (EST)
Masterful job, Laura. You made the races come alive. Only one criticism - you often use the phrase "off of". In most instances it should simply be "off" -- the inclusion of "of" is unnecessary and incorrect. Small matter, but it does "jump out" at some of us!
R. D. Strathy <wv4f@juno.com>
Ft. Myers, Fl USA - Wednesday, March 20, 2002 at 15:45:49 (EST)
Wow!!! What a ride !!! The best book I have read since Black Beauty and that was many years ago. It was a real page turner but now that I am finished am sad to leave all those people behind. You brought them to life with great compassion and understanding. Please write another book soon. The movie will never live up to your book- but I'll see it anyway. Now I want to save all those Seabiscuits - not to race but to live- how can I help? Thanks again for the magnificent story!!!!!
anne liljedahl <schock@yiddish.forward.com>
rhinebeck, n.y. USA - Wednesday, March 20, 2002 at 12:49:56 (EST)
I excercise polo ponies and teach basic riding. I heard about your book last year and finally got a copy and can hardly put it down. I even read it at the barn while waiting for students to arrive and while they are grooming their mounts. We have lesson horses of many different body types with many conformation "faults" who perform their work very well. Even little horses that don't know they aren't built to jump happily hop around their hunt courses. I never knew anything about the little oddly shaped Seabiscuit, besides his name, before picking up your book and am more inspired than ever to train my own horses to their full potential, even if I never show them. Too many people focus too much on conformation, and not enough on ability. Thankyou for keeping the Buscuit's legacy alive. I really look forward to the movie and hope to have all my students go see it. I sure hope it gets released in Memphis.
Jennifer Patrick <jpatrick@midsouth.rr.com>
Memphis, TN USA - Wednesday, March 20, 2002 at 00:41:42 (EST)
This is without a doubt the best book I've ever read. Will you be publishing another book on any subject?
Ivey Heath <iveyheath@juno.com>
USA - Wednesday, March 20, 2002 at 00:29:29 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Thanks for writing such a wonderful book - you made history come alive before me. As a fellow CFIDS sufferer I must congratulate you on your achievement. Your book provided me a welcome mental respite from this illness.
Marc Simon <marc_simon@hotmail.com>
Belmont, CA USA - Tuesday, March 19, 2002 at 19:24:06 (EST)
Laura: My hunger for horses has never ended since I watched the great Secretariat when the Belmont Stakes. A friend presented me with you book and I found myself living in every page you wrote. Truly, a story of destiny and purpose that brought many different lives together to create a legend from such ordinary circumstances. If we could all believe in such a purpose and not question our existence! Thank you for a thrilling and compelling ride. He was a magnificent horse. Janet Cox
Janet Cox <ladylwyer@hotmail.com>
Oklahoma City, OK USA - Tuesday, March 19, 2002 at 16:53:04 (EST)
This book was written for anyone who loves a good story. You took a subject that frankly I snubbed previously and drew me in within the first 10 pages. Not an easy task. I have told everyone within hearing distance of how good this book was. Please find some more historical nuggets like this and expand them for us who love trivia, history and --most of all -- a good story.
Michael Thomas <cueball27@hotmail.com>
PORTLAND, or USA - Tuesday, March 19, 2002 at 16:12:07 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand: What a wonderfully satisfying book...in every respect! Lord, what a bravura performance....it's really breathtaking! I NEVER read books on sports, let alone on horseracing...but your compelling narrative, eye for details AND broader social perspective, and your respect and love for these people and their horses....I did not stop reading the text until the very end...and even read your acknowledgements and notes. What a gift you have given the reading public....I hope that the book continues to do beautifully for you. You certainly deserve all the plaudits and profts this REMARKABLE effort should bring you. Good luck with the movie...if the production can capture the gritty, tenacious and REAL atmosphere your narrative creates, the film will be a worthy successor to your outstanding work. Your family and friends must be so proud of you. Hell, I'm just a stranger, and I'M proud of you! I hope to read more of your work in the future. Best of luck, and THANK YOU for your work!
Hank Offinger <Hank.Offinger@us.pwcglobal.com>
West Hartford, CT USA - Tuesday, March 19, 2002 at 14:23:35 (EST)
3/20/2002 Dear Ms. Hillenbrand After looking into the "NOTES"section of Mark Epstein's book "What Lips My Lips Have Kissed"about Edna St. Vincent Millay, I realized that the horse in question was not Challedon but Challepen that was expected to be scratched along with Chanceview from the Bowie Handicap (Her letter was dated November 16th 1937) It is interesting to note that as a mnemonic device Ms. Millay before her poetry recitals would recite all the Kentucky Derby winners from 1875 forward: Äristides, Vagrant, Baden-Baden, Day Star, Lord Murphy, Fonso, Hindu, Apollo,etc." Also noteworthy is Epstein's statement on page 250 that W. L. Brann her trainer was an elegant writer and their secret correspondence cencerning the breeding, training, purchasing, and racing of Millay's Thoroughbreds-would make a hefty book-will be of incalculable value to sportsmen and historians of the turf." Sincerely, Virginia Cottrell-COlassano
Virginia Cottrell Colassano <Fideliacott@ AOL.COM>
N YC , NY USA - Tuesday, March 19, 2002 at 13:03:00 (EST)
You mentioned something about me in your book not directly but LI think it is something you might like to know. I know your probably too busy to answer this but thought I'd give it a try: See Ya Richard
Richard L Pardue I <parduetsn@aol.com>
Cincinati, Oh USA - Tuesday, March 19, 2002 at 10:59:54 (EST)
I have always had an innate love of horses, and for the past eight years I have been involved with my daughter's riding lessons. I thought I would only want to read your book just to learn about Seabiscuit, but as soon as I started the first chapter I was enthralled by all the people and personalities that made this great horse a winner. I found your description of the events so exciting, that it was almost like being there. Thank you for a remarkable story and good luck with your future projects.
meryl acarino <jacarino@hotmail.com>
east mwadow, ny USA - Tuesday, March 19, 2002 at 09:15:29 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, congratulation for your wonderfull book. I'm a documentaries producer and would like to get some news about the pbs documentary. Thank you so much for your great book.
Antoine Disle <spad18@wanadoo.fr>
Paris, France - Tuesday, March 19, 2002 at 07:09:48 (EST)
Hi!!!! You rote a wonderful book!!!! I love racing horses and the beautiful sport, and this is definitely one of the best books I have read!!!I am also saving for the Bryere's QVC Seabiscuit horse!!! Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Aubrey HL
Aubrey <ibbuggin@aol.com>
USA - Monday, March 18, 2002 at 18:49:22 (EST)
When I was young, kids used to yell "Ride that pony Patty Ride" and the thrill of the race was on. Seabiscuit captures all the thrill a horse race gives. Great story. Great horse.
Patty Ride <pathof@hotmail.com>
Bothell, WA USA - Monday, March 18, 2002 at 11:57:13 (EST)
you mentioned things in your book about me in a manner of speaking. Im not much on computers, and you are probably too bussy to respond to this, but it is really strange that you would write something in a book or story that talks about things that are actually happening in my life today
Richard <parduetsn@aol.com>
Cincinati, ohio USA - Monday, March 18, 2002 at 11:08:12 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I just finished reading SEABISCUIT and just want to say thank you for a beautiful read. Marvelous!
Ailene Cusack <akcusack@att.net>
Warrenville, IL USA - Sunday, March 17, 2002 at 08:11:55 (EST)
My daughter and grandson are daily working and living with the world of race horses (at Lone Star Racing Park outside Dallas) ... when they presented me with a gift of your work, I was a bit apprehensive (most women writers really do little for me ... and I acknowledge my sick prejudice) ... but am excited by your story, Seabiscuit's story ... and the manner in which it is told by you ... thank you ever so much ... I sincerely treasured the experience of its reading ... and I only regretted the one sentence (at top of page 319) "In the clubhouse and turf club, arches of acacias, columns of jonquils, and giant gardenias with fifteen hundred blossoms stretched overhead, while peatbeds of irises, white primroses, peach blossoms, and tulips lined the entire interior." [As if any one of the thousands present were the least bit interested!] I hope everyone gets the opportunity to enjoy your efforts. Here is living proof that one does not have to be a horseman or track enthusiast to find pleasure in your words! Melvin Pierce
Melvin Pierce <mpierceport@att.net>
Oklahoma City, OK USA - Saturday, March 16, 2002 at 23:28:28 (EST)
thank you so much for a most entertaining, very well written and most enjoyable book. I know nothing about horse racing and their history but after your book, i have an appreciation for the sport. I look forward to your next book and hope it will be available soon. Well written books seem to be in scarce supply these days. thank you for a great read. carolyn worthington
carolyn worthington
USA - Saturday, March 16, 2002 at 21:33:29 (EST)
Dear Ms.Hillenbrand: I am a retired Catholic priest. My Father was an auto mechanic and worked at Howard Buick in San Francisco just after the war.I would visit him as a teen to get a ride home and I was always fascinated by Seabicuit (stuffed) in the showroom window. I was given the book for Christmas and Im really enjoying it. Thank you, Fr. Art Harrison
(Rev.)Arthur R. Harrison <artharrison@earthlink.nt>
Brookdale, Ca USA - Saturday, March 16, 2002 at 17:52:29 (EST)
Dear Laura: God bless you for the talent, courage and patience. I simply could not put the book down untill I finished it. My heart was with Red, Tom, Charles, Marcela and the Biscuit. Needless to say, there were many an occassion during the book that I cried with joy and sadness. Good luck to you in your future endeavors. Thank you so much for the book.
Ahsan Z. Farooqi <afarooqi@qwestonline.com>
Brooklyn, NY USA - Saturday, March 16, 2002 at 14:23:50 (EST)
As a young boy, my husband would visit his Great-Aunt Rose in downtown Calgary with his mother and siblings. When our newspaper featured a full two pages on the legendary Seabiscuit, it picqued Jay's memory. This took him back to that old-fashioned apartment, practically wallpapered with countless pictures of Seabiscuit and George Woolf. I've just finished reading your book which I enjoyed immensely. All of those great races were so vivid and palpable. Thank you for so many hours of entertainment and enlightenment. Congratulations on being shortlisted on National Book Critics Circle. Yours truly, Claudette Lukenbill
Claudette Lukenbill
Ottawa, ON Canada - Saturday, March 16, 2002 at 11:56:44 (EST)
Hello, and thank you for writing an extraordinary book about four extraordinary hearts. I've read that you would hope to cast Gene Hackman as Charles Howard; I have another suggestion for you, but if the part is cast or the point is moot, I'll keep my peace. Thanks again.
Meghan Coleman <kinswoman@msn.com>
USA - Friday, March 15, 2002 at 20:59:37 (EST)
Laura, Thanks for introducing me to the world of horseracing through your extremely well written and obviously well researched book. We have horses and my 15 year old barrel races, but we have never been to a horse race. I am anxious to go to Lonestar Park here in Texas now that "Sea- bisquit" has endeared me to the sport! Thank you for working so hard when you obviously did not feel well due to your CFS. May God bless you as you edeavor to write more. Looking so forward to the movie. SS
SidneeSilva <silvaranch2000@yahoo.com>
Keller, TX USA - Friday, March 15, 2002 at 14:52:17 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand, After reading several of the entries in the guest book it's obvious that I can't add any new sentiment. I just want you to know that your book touched me in a way that I haven't been touched since I was a child reading stories of heroes and their courage against all odds. We use the word hero so readily today that I almost hate to use it to describe Seabiscuit and all these wonderful characters that make up his story. But he was and is a hero in every sense of the word. We need a Seabiscuit so much right now - something noble and courageous to hold on to. I don't know if life ever was as simple and forthright and inspiring as your book suggests but I would like to imagine it so. I was sorry to have to finish the book. The movie should be a tremendous success if it's kept within the spirit and context of the 30's. God bless you Ms. Hillenbrand and please keep writing your stories. We need you.
Gerald Gardner <ggardner@ahsonline.com>
Corpus Christi, , Tx. USA - Friday, March 15, 2002 at 12:35:46 (EST)
Hello Ms. Hillenbrand. I have made entries to your guest book before but felt compelled to add yet another. I will say that I have read quite a few books since the third reading of "Seabiscuit" last fall and have enjoyed none of them as much as I did your book. I recently listened to the audio book version while driving to my local track for a night at the races and your description of THE match race still gave be goose bumps and brought tears to my eyes when the Biscuit finally advanced past War Admiral for good. I have an 11"x14" photograph of the match race in my office to remind me of the Biscuit's courage and heart. I can honestly say the Seabiscuit and all of the people involved with him, Red Pollard, Charles Howard, Tom Smith, George Woolf, all are a great inspiration in my daily life. I strive to understand my 23 year old quarter horse in the capacity that Tom Smith understood Seabiscuit, strive to have the courage of Red Pollard, strive to have the smbition and goodness of Charles Howard, strive to exemplify the confidence of "The Iceman:, and strive to have the heart, courage, and determination of the Biscuit. I am planning to see the Seabiscuit exhibit at the Racing museum in Saratoga Springs for a second time this summer when I go on vacation to see the Travers Stakes and will be reading the book again when it comes out in paperback. I am hoping the movie will not be too "Hollywoodized", no love story or fabrications, just the story as is. I am hoping the movie will be similar to the film made a few years ago about Phar Lap. Also, any word about when the PBS documentary is to be broadcast? A complete VHS (or better, DVD!) of all of the Biscuit's races would be awesome as well. OK, again, tremendous thanks for the book and the inspiration you have given all of us not only with Seabiscuit's story but your's as well. Take care.
Matthew Karns <mariposamatt@aol.com>
Bloomsburg , PA USA - Friday, March 15, 2002 at 08:15:03 (EST)
Laura, I know others have said it so well, but I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the book. I had heard of Seabiscuit through the years but now I feel as if I know him. Thanks for bringing him back to life for so many of us. I can't wait to see the movie. I just hope Hollywood doesn't "Hollywood" it!
Lisa Neuburg <Dingln@hotmail.com>
Anywhere, AL USA - Friday, March 15, 2002 at 00:09:28 (EST)
Laura, I know others have said it so well, but I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the book. I had heard of Seabiscuit through the years but now I feel as if I know him. Thanks for bringing him back to life for so many of us. I can't wait to see the movie. I just hope Hollywood doesn't "Hollywood" it!
Lisa Neuburg <Dinkln@hotmail.com>
Anywhere, AL USA - Thursday, March 14, 2002 at 23:37:27 (EST)
I have never read an interesting non-fiction book about horse racing until I picked up Seabiscuit at the library. Wow! The book was incredible, and I greatly admire the way that you crafted it. I intend to add your book to my personal library, and look forward to the movie. Thanks!
Rachel Mizell <rachmizell@juno.com>
Birmingham, AL USA - Thursday, March 14, 2002 at 11:41:05 (EST)
Love your Book. Do you have any knowledege of horse Challedon, colt by Challenger, owned by Edna St. Vincent Millay named after her poem "Ballad of Chaldon Down" Raced against Seabiscuit in Bowie Handicap? Millay apparently not happy about this race because she felt her horse had no chance of winning against horses of his caliber unless the track was "black bean soup". Challedon was Horse of The Year in 1939 and 1940 and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977 with W.L. Brann as sole owner. She also owned other horses such as "Harp Weaver"(again named after a poem, The Ballad of the Harp Weaver") Savage Beauty, and Ugin. Do you know anything about these horses or her ownership of them? I do know that she owned them jointly at one time with W.L. Brann who had a farm in Maryland called "Glade Valley Farm". Thanks for any information regarding this and maybe it would be a great book! Sincerely, Virginia Cottrell-Colassano
Virginia Cottrell-Colassano <Fideliacott@AOL.COM>
NYC, NY USA - Thursday, March 14, 2002 at 11:33:04 (EST)
Laura, How will I ever be able to enjoy a book again? Seabiscuit is far and away the best book I've ever read. I even dreamed about the book. You are a brilliant writer! I have to admit that I hate horse racing of any kind becasue of the danger to the horses. I only bought the book because you are a "local" and it was about a horse. At one point in the book I allowed myself to look ahead at the pictures, just to be sure Seabiscuit didn't die on the track. Finally, at the start of the 1940 Santa Anita, I couldn't take it; I skipped ahead. I honestly don't remember ever being so wrapped up in a book. I laughed and I cried while reading Seabiscuit on the subway ride to work. I even carried the book to work with me the day after I finished it because I just didn't want to let it go. I could go on... Did I say you are a BRILLIANT writer?!!! THANK YOU!!!!! Kathleen Murray
Kathleen Murray <kmurray1111@aol.com>
Marshall, VA USA - Thursday, March 14, 2002 at 09:49:43 (EST)
When my wife suggested I read the book that her ladie's bookclub was reading about a horse, I told her ..."sure, sometime." Then, for lack of a golf or fishing magazine to read one night, I picked up SEABISCUIT. It was the best literary moment I've experienced. I couldn't put it down, as the saying goes. I read it nonestop and I became annoying to some as I couldn't stop recommending the book to them and anyone within earshot. I had 'less than no interest' in horseracing before reading the book. The book so totally transcends just horseracing. All of the players, Howard, Pollard, Tom Smith and of course SEABISCUIT were so inspiring and so full of heart that they moved me. Thanks for writing this now my favorite book. Tom Furlong
Tom Furlong Jr. <tom_furlong@hp.com>
Oxford, Pa USA - Thursday, March 14, 2002 at 08:48:59 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Congratulations for writing a masterpiece on the Sport of Kings. It is obvious you put much work and research into this wonderful book, which at times read like an exciting novel, complete with a great cast of characters, who you unveiled and described so adroitly. I don't know if you are aware of this fact, but Basil James, the jockey on the third place finisher, Whichcee, in the 1940 Santa Anita Handicap, claimed foul against Seabiscuit for interference in the stretch. If allowed, the disqualification would have moved Whichcee ahead of both Seabiscuit and the second place finisher, Kayak, because they were a coupled entry. The stewards disallowed the claim after hearing James' allegation. Seabiscuit did graze Whichcee slightly in the stretch, but he was coming clear of him at the time and it did not effect the result of the race. James tried to claim "Seabiscuit almost knocked my horse's legs from him", but the stewards found his claim to be groundless. Seabiscuit was a champion and it took a champion writer to tell his story. I am sure the movie based on your book will be far superior to the movie made many years ago on Seabiscuit.
Sid Sutton <SScottSut@aol.com>
La Jolla, CA USA - Thursday, March 14, 2002 at 02:09:55 (EST)
laura, thank you for being such a wonderful spokesperson for people living with CFS!
rivka solomon
USA - Thursday, March 14, 2002 at 00:52:15 (EST)
Thank you for writing such a first-rate, really entertaining book.
Dottie Conner <dmconnerfl@aol.com>
Cape Coral, FL USA - Wednesday, March 13, 2002 at 21:30:14 (EST)
Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your book on Seabiscuit. The story is great and your writing style is super. I was only about 8 or 9 years old when Seabiscuit was around, but I can remember my brother and mother talking about him, and George Wolfe. Again, thanks for hard-to-put-down book, and insights into the life of a jockey back when. Jim McCarthy
Jim McCarthy <jim@cancernetwork.com>
Levittown, NY USA - Wednesday, March 13, 2002 at 12:41:06 (EST)
In 1998 you wrote in Equus an article on the death of a Horse. Where can I get a copy? Equus does not keep back issues.
Paul Pelon <pcjwpelon@cyberportal.net>
Meredith, NH USA - Wednesday, March 13, 2002 at 12:19:16 (EST)
I really enjoyed your book and as I grew up in Omaha ,Ne I was fortunate enough to work at AK-SAR-BEN race track and the old trainer I worked for always said after a big race- "Good Horse but he will never be another "SEABISQUIT"-i AM REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO THE MOVIE--IF IT EVER HAPPENS !! KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK !!!!!!!!!!!!
RICK MUFFITT <2muffs@centurytel.net>
KALISPELL, MT USA - Tuesday, March 12, 2002 at 13:15:47 (EST)
I'm happy that someone else is writing about Seabiscut. He is a great horse and athlete.He is my favorite horse and I think he was more game then his grandsire Man O' War. Seabiscut had a lot more to overcome but he never knew the word quit. He is my hero, most people don't have that much heart.
Kerri Zeblisky <dragonlady1974@email.com>
Long Branch, NJ USA - Tuesday, March 12, 2002 at 12:46:32 (EST)
I feel in love with your book and Seabiscuit upon first reading it in 2000. I just had another go-round and found it to be just as fascinating as the first time around. I went to my first horse race last summer at age 50, so I'm not much of a racing fan. However, I love reading about real people and events so Seabiscuit definitely peaked my interest. I feel like I personally known Tom Smith, Red Pollard and, of course, Seabiscuit. I wish there were more pictures so really looking forward to the movie. Thank you so much for a wonderful look at the racing world and Seabiscuit!!
Cathy Quinn <cathy@quinnlaw.net>
Stockton, CA USA - Tuesday, March 12, 2002 at 12:11:13 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand: I only wish my father were alive to read your wonderful book. He was an RPI educated civil engineer, a by-product of the Great Depression and a devoted fan of horse racing from Great Barrington to Hialeah. While home on leave from the Navy we went to the GB Fair and I made a comment to him about how everybody was having a nice time. I always remember his comment "Billy, we are not here to have a "NICE TIME". We are here to remove the money in that man's wallet and put it in our wallets by picking winners from this newspaper". And back to the Daily Racing Form he went. I know he would love your wonderful story and I wish you well in your battle with CFS. Bill Hayes Miami, Florida
Bill Hayes
USA - Tuesday, March 12, 2002 at 09:17:54 (EST)
Hi again Laura, I e-mailed you earlier today concerning CFS & your wonderful book. I noticed that your book is going to the big screen and was wondering if you will be involved in the development of the screenplay? Seabiscuit has the potential to be the "Rocky" of horseracing if it is developed properly and captures the passion & heart of your story. If I were Gary Ross I would take a long hard look at Director Carrol Ballard's work in "The Black Stallion". The sights, sounds,& emotions of the race scenes are awesome. The project also might necessitate a Frances Ford Coppela type to bring it together but there are not many of his style left. It truely could be an Acadamy Award winning project - "Larger Than Life" if you will. Food for thought. God's Blessings, Doug Benbow
Douglas F. Benbow <perfit_1@msn.com>
Fox River Grove, IL. USA - Monday, March 11, 2002 at 20:05:07 (EST)
Laura, I am a manager of a large book store in Chicago and read this book early on when it was recommended by the publisher's rep. From the first chapter I was hooked and hung on for the best ride I have had in a long time. I hand sell this book all the time (I sold many as Christmas and Hanukak gifts) and cannot wait for it to come out in paperback so I can introduce it to a whole new audience. This book is just amazing. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Deborah Liebow <elbow57@aol.com>
Chicago, IL USA - Monday, March 11, 2002 at 19:24:11 (EST)
Dear Laura, Loved your book! My Dad used to "call" the race between Seabiscuit & War Admiral in a rousing narrative that would leave listeners spellbound. He's gone now, but your book has brought back many wonderful memories of the horse racing era of his life. You've unknowingly touched my life and perhaps I may be of assistance to you. I'm a Clinical Nutritionist and Exercise Physiologist outside of Chicago and I deal with CFS clients on a regular basis. Initially, eliminating the possibility of viral involvement(herpes, Epstein-Barr virus, and cytomegalovirus antibody activity)and Thyroid deficiency is important- which I'm sure you're Doctor has done. Secondly, as difficult as it may be, physical activity is essential and I've found resistance training to be most helpful. Protecting and enhancing the immune system via nutritional supplementation, key proteins, and hormones may aid in the return of more normal energy levels. These would include: alpha lipoic acid, CO Q10, NADH, L-carnitine & acetyl-L-carnitine, phenylalanine or tyrosine, DHEA, and vitamin C infusion treatment. Another product out of Europe called Adapton has been effective. For more information on dosages for these natural therapies, refer to the website lef.org (Life Extention Foundation)and search CFS. Finally, your outlook on life and ability to laugh is a tremendous boost to your immune system. I would add seeking a relationship with God (if you don't already have one) can place your focus on something much bigger than yourself who is also available to carry a portion of your burden if you will allow him. I hope some of this information is helpful and I thank you again for sharing your gift with me. Doug Benbow P.S. If you have any questions you may e-mail me at perfit_1@msn.com
Douglas F. Benbow <perfit_1@msn.com>
Fox River Grove, IL. USA - Monday, March 11, 2002 at 16:22:06 (EST)
Never thought much about horse racing before. Thanks for a great story, well-told!
Bill Griffiths
Chicago, IL USA - Monday, March 11, 2002 at 11:45:22 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand: So many of my co-workers loved your book, that we would like to give autographed copies away, at our "Day at the Races" on May 1, 2002 during DERBY week. As you can imagine, living in the shawdow of the Twin Spires creates horse lovers in most of us. Would you please contact me and tell me where I could purchase app. 125 autographed copies? Thanks again, for a wonderful book!
Margie Bell <margery.bell@pnc.com>
Louisville, KY USA - Monday, March 11, 2002 at 11:01:41 (EST)
Thank you for a "good read" in "Seabiscuit." I have recommended it all my friends as the most interesting and well-researched book I've read in a long time. We appreciate you and the pleasure you've given us. Mary Allen and Hank Heard
Mary B. Allen <grmamary@sonnet.com>
Sonora, CA USA - Sunday, March 10, 2002 at 22:47:24 (EST)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand Thanks for the ride. Your soft hands drew a most memorable picture of Thirties and the four characters who you chose to symbolize the era. One can long for a time when a racehorse reigned over the public imagination. Best, Lee Kottke
Lee Kottke <kneal@totelcsi.net>
Lenapah, Ok USA - Sunday, March 10, 2002 at 19:30:14 (EST)
Dear Laura, First of all--Congratulations on winning second place in the Barnes and Noble Award for non-fiction. When I scrolled down the list and saw that "Seabiscuit" was even there I jumped for joy. I loved your book! Sometimes I just pick it up and read the about the race with War Admiral and I am so uplifted for the rest of the day. As much as I love horseracing, I hate to see a great horse lose (War Admiral) but the finish line has got to come first for someone! I live in southern California and go to Santa Anita quite often. Now, I never go without stopping a moment at Seabiscuit's statue and that of George Woolf's. Recently I entered a writing contest and won a trip to the Breeders' Cup in New York this year. Had to write in 50 words or less why I should be considered the the Ultimate Female Fan of Horseracing--in 50 words or less. Not an easy assignment, but I did it and my husband and I had a great time in New York. Anyway, thank you for writing your book. It's the talk of the track! If you get the chance, please check out www.equirace.com where my writings on the BC appear. You've done a great thing!
Gloria Fleming <gloriajfleming@yahoo.com>
Woodland Hills, CA USA - Friday, March 08, 2002 at 12:19:00 (EST)
Just loved it. So looking forward to the movie when released. My daughter works with racehorses and has since high school. She is 30yr now and Florida/Canada resident.My trips to Keeneland and Ocala,Fl. to sales with her are some of the most remembered. The horses and people you meet, just stay in your memory forever. You should be proud of this work. It has made so many of us smile and say , what a book. I recommend it to everyone I know that loves reading good books.!!!!!Kudos to you as an author and person!!!From a fellow Virginian!
Roseanne M Boykin <rwboykin@aol.com>
Aroda, Va USA - Thursday, March 07, 2002 at 07:35:52 (EST)
Dear Laura, There are five of us elderly men who have a bookclub that selected "Seabiscuit" for review. A question has arisen: Is this book truly a "biography" or is it an historical novel.For example, there is dialogue that is in quotes which would indicate that a person actually said those matters that are quoted. Obviously, some of those quotes are literally accurate and are taken from newspaper articles, interviews with the individuals, etc. But are all of the substantiated as statements that were actually made, or do some of them represent your best guess as to what was said. I would appreciate your answer, because I believe the book to be a biography, but some of our members think that it is a novel. Only a technical point, but one of interest to us. Thanks. It was a great read. Sincerely, Ed Gray
Edward Gray <egray@freeway.net>
Harbor Springs, mi USA - Thursday, March 07, 2002 at 07:04:26 (EST)
Dear Laura, Thank you for such a great book about Seabiscuit! I live about 12 miles from the Ridgewood Ranch and I grew up hearing stories about Seabiscuit. My Grandfather and Father used to sell hay to the Howards and deliver it to the ranch. Not the Timothy hay that Seabiscuit raced on but other hay. I really appreciated reading such a detailed, interesting account, a great book!
Donna HInkle <jim.donna.hinkle@juno.com>
Ukiah, Ca USA - Tuesday, March 05, 2002 at 23:15:50 (EST)
Thank you for the wonderful book, Seabiscuit! I had been wanting to read it since the beginning of last summer, but wasn't able to until I received it for Christmas from my sister-in-law who knows that I am an avid reader and belong to a book club. Right after Christmas, we chose Seabiscuit as our book for March. I am moderating the meeting, and was wondering if you have any good discussion questions. Thank you so much for your help with the questions and your book. It was worth the wait. I truly loved every minute I read it and didn't want the story to end!
Beverly K. Johnson <houseofjohnson@hotmail.com>
Atlanta, ga USA - Tuesday, March 05, 2002 at 22:19:28 (EST)
Dear Laura, After having seen your book title on all of the top ten lists this past year, I simply had to read it. As a child, I dreamed of owning a horse of my own. Between the ages of 6 and 12, i read every scrap of paper I could find that had anything to do with horses. Seabiscuit's name and his exploits appeared in many of the books that fed my fantasies. As I grew older, I came to the realization that a horse of my own was not in the works. After reading your masterful tale of the Howards, the "Lone Plainsman", Red Pollard, George Woolf, and the magnificent Seabiscuit, my dreams of horse ownership are revisiting me. While I doubt my wife will thank you for helping me regain some of my lost childhood, please accespt my sincerest thanks for the tremendous reading experience.
Lonnie Stewardson
Stony Plain, AB Canada - Tuesday, March 05, 2002 at 22:18:40 (EST)
Thank you Laura for the wonderful book on Seabiscuit! I live about 12 miles from the Ridgewood Ranch and have heard about Seabiscuit all my life. My Grandfather and Father used to deliver hay to the ranch every year. It wasn't the Timothy hay he was raced on but other hay. It was so neat to read such a detailed account of his life. I look forward to the movie and I hope it is well done and does credit to Seabiscuit and your book.
Donna Hinkle <jim.donna.hinkle@juno.com>
Ukiah, Ca USA - Tuesday, March 05, 2002 at 22:18:14 (EST)
Your book is my selection for our Readers' Group for this month. (Our group has been in existence since early 1983, a rarity for such gathering of minds, I'm sure you would agree.) I chose it months ago after seeing you interviewed on THE LEHRER NEWS HOUR. You immediately captivated my attention then. And the book did not disappoint. On the contrary, it is a remarkably lively, literate, often lyrical look at a compelling cast of characters living in interesting times. Wish you could be among us on the evening of March 17 when we meet to talk about your most satisfying work. Oh, but then you will be there! I predict unanimous approval, another rarity. Thanks so much for keeping some brain cells alive out here.
Bill Davis <billjodavis@zianet.com>
Alamogordo, NM USA - Tuesday, March 05, 2002 at 20:37:41 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Congratulations on the book's success and your triumph over chronic fatigue in writing it. I have a question about the picture on the cover. The jacket says it was taken May 5, 1940. The Santa Anita victory was on May 2nd, Seabiscuit's final race. Is this an oversight, or was there another event not mentioned in the book? I'm not much of a reader, but I truly enjoyed your book. I wish you continued success on the development of the movie.
Murray Baumal <murph527@hotmail.com>
Cambridge, MA USA - Tuesday, March 05, 2002 at 20:28:22 (EST)
3 questions: Did Howard ever find out about Pollard's blindness? What ever happened to Pumpkin and why did he not join Seabiscuit upon his retirement, instead of Kayak? What happened to the horse that almost cost Pollard his leg? Did that horse have to be put down or was he ok? Thank you for sharing such an incredible story. I am a voracious reader and very few books have touched me so.
Sam <Locapug@aol.com>
Houston, TX USA - Tuesday, March 05, 2002 at 19:16:53 (EST)
Ms Hillenbrand. I thoroughly enjoyed your fascinating book on Seabiscuit, and while I don't read alot, I knew that your book was something special. I'm not a horse enthusiast and have never been to a racetrack, and knew nearly nothing about Seabiscuit, and probably would not have read your book if it weren't for a lucky find at a swap meet. I am a serious collector of old photographs and I found a collection of pictures of Seabiscuits homecoming taken at Ridgewood ranch by a local photographer and when I showed them to my sister ( a real horse lover), she told me about your book and lent me her copy to read. I have posted some of the photographs for all to enjoy on my ISP which can be seen at: http://www.concentric.net/~jbdkrm/seabiscuit.html . I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed your book. jb.
John Bosko <jbdkrm@concentric.net>
CA USA - Tuesday, March 05, 2002 at 00:19:22 (EST)
The author has written a book that successfully inserts the reader into each race and into the lives of the 3 main people in Seabiscuits life. I responded viscerally and emotionally to the horse and the 3 people. Outstanding effort by Ms Hillenbrand and the book ranks in top three I have ever read.
Richard G. Day <rgdaypsu62@aol.com>
Chelmsford, MA USA - Monday, March 04, 2002 at 22:15:25 (EST)
Hi Laura, I LOVE your book; in fact, I am on my third read. I have given your book to so many people for gift occasions and everyone has loved it - even non-horsey types. I have been a thoroughbred nut since I was a kid. I used to go to Del Mar with my grandpa (whose ashes are sprinkled across the finish line at Del Mar) as a young girl and I was awestruck as I watched the races. I was ten years old when Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby and watching that amazing race is etched in my mind forever. I had the opportunity to live with my aunt and uncle on a thoroughbred training/lay-up facility throughout my teen years. I was so horse-crazy and my and my aunt and uncle, who were old-time racetrackers and were running the lay-up farm, offered me the opportunity to live and breathe the thoroughbred experience. The terminology and references in your book brought back great memories. Anyway, I now own a big chestnut thoroughbred who is the love of my life and he's my pleasure horse. I rescued him from the track and he has brought me such joy. Thank you for such a great book that conveys the heart and spirit of these wonderful animals. And I send my best to you for improved health and, hopefully, a cure for CFS. Warm regards, Leslie Lynde
Leslie Lynde <leslie@claritypartners.net>
Hollywood, CA USA - Monday, March 04, 2002 at 18:48:28 (EST)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, I just finished your book Seabiscuit, and thoroughly enjoyed it, particularly the sections about a Jockies life in the 30's. It was truly fascinating. I am retired but substitute teach, and I discuss every book I read with my students who are in middle school. The question came up today as to where the name Seabiscuit originated from. I recall reading about it in the book, but can't find it now. Could you let me know where the name came from. I would appreciate it. Incidentally, I lived South of Willits for some 20 years in Sonoma, and passed through the town many times. What a setting! Thank you and good luck with the movie. Victor Carlson 3/4/02
Victor Carlson <springapv@msn.com>
Spring Hill, Florida 34608 USA - Monday, March 04, 2002 at 15:54:43 (EST)
Wonderful Book. Loved reading every word. Only thing missing was some organization of factual history by doing references as a part of appendice. It would have made nice to have a listing of all (or at least the important) races in date order, with racetrack, distance, finish, time if possible and $ won for Seabicuit. A U.S./Mexico map showing where all the horsetracks were generally located at the time that Seabiscuit raced so that one could see what incredible journeys the horse had to make to race. A peerage of Seabicuit (ancestries & offspring)would have also made a nice reference. I have found some of this information on the web but it would have been nice to have in the book. Maybe in the next printing?
Karen Reinartz
USA - Monday, March 04, 2002 at 13:18:41 (EST)
I now live in Sundance, Wyoming, but grew up in Cleveland, Oh. Don't know if my dear old Dad, who has now "gone (NOT) quietly into that good night" ever drank "bow-wow-wine", although he probably did. But I do know that a certain bar near Thistledown Race Track was a treasured hang-out for years. He frequenetly told a wonderful bar joke about a 'hare-lipped gent named Yummy '. My siblings and I never really knew who in the heck this Yummy was, but seems likely its the Yummy of your truly dazzling book, and we never get together without some one of us lisping through the Yummy joke as we raise our glasses. Am happy to share the joke. It's clean, and fills out your picture of Yummy beautifully. Congratulations. An elegant book.
jinx hilty <jinxygirl@hotmail.com>
USA - Monday, March 04, 2002 at 01:18:02 (EST)
Beautiful, beautiful book that moved me to tears and inspiration. Thank you.
Michelle Sullivan
Los Angeles, CA 90027, CA USA - Sunday, March 03, 2002 at 23:49:45 (EST)
Though the book itself speaks for the research and work undertaken,Ms. Hillenbrand need only look in the mirror to understand the heart and courage of Mr. Pollard,Mr.Smith,Mr.Howard and, of course, The Biscuit.
Joe DeLuca <jockeyfan1940@hotmail.com>
Las Vegas, Nv USA - Sunday, March 03, 2002 at 20:29:26 (EST)
Thanks so much for such a wonderful book. I searched the net for the "Horse of the Century", and found a number of different lists, with Man 'O War and Secretariat generally sharing top honors. Despite his accomplishments, Seabiscuit rarely even make the short-list. Would you speculate why this is the case?
JULIAN LOCKWOOD <julianlockwood@hotmail.com>
WASHINGTON, DC USA - Sunday, March 03, 2002 at 19:02:59 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I enjoyed your book tremendously; it moved me to laughter, tears, and everything in between! I am writing to ask if you had considered having the book translated into Spanish. I am an experienced traslator and editor (and upper school Spanish teacher); what a wonderful treat it would be for me to work on such a project! I learned long ago that it never hurts to ask; please give my idea some consideration! Best regards,and congratulations on a fine book, Elizabeth Arguero Priest
Elizabeth A. Priest <eap777@att.net>
Baltimore, MD USA - Sunday, March 03, 2002 at 17:33:32 (EST)
Dear Laura, My name is Allison Lindgren. I'm 13 years old and have had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for 4 years off and on. I saw an article in Ladies Home Journal. They were talking about your book, Seabiscuit. I can understand and relate to know what strength you have to do anything! I also have fibromyalgia and Coxsackie virus. My older sister Steffanie is 16 and has had Chronic Fatigue for 4 years too. We're both going to Los Angeles, CA to 3 doctors. If you feel up to it could you write back soon?
Allison Lindgren <allyrl@alltel.net>
DeWitt, NE USA - Sunday, March 03, 2002 at 16:21:43 (EST)
AWSOME is how I feel about this book.All the research you did certainly shows. As I read the book I felt myself being transported back in time to a different era.It was very difficult to put the book down once I stated reading.You made me feel the joy and excitment of the characters. The way the races are described with such detail one can almost hear and see the crowds cheer Seabiscuit on.You truly did justice to this American Legend.I am glad to know you are serving as a consultant to the movie of Seabiscuit. If it has the same success as your book it will be blockbuster.
Ruben Lopez <Rubenlop63@aol.com>
Hammond , IN USA - Sunday, March 03, 2002 at 15:25:34 (EST)
To all who created this excellent book about Seabiscuit. I just finished the book, it is a brave story about horse and man. Red Pollard is a saint, regardless of his vices, he and horse made each other strong. I remember when I was ten, and I visited Ridgewood Ranch...Seabiscuit was long gone....but the visit is forever etched in my memeory....the book awakened many feelings in me...I have all of my life stated "I have to pee like Seabiscuit"....the saying is very appropriate....all shoould read the book and I trust you will make a superb movie. Thanks from this reader, Denver Hampton Littleton, CO
Denver Hampton <denverf1@yahoo.com>
Littleton, CO USA - Sunday, March 03, 2002 at 14:32:32 (EST)
Wondering if you offer any book group discussion questions??Thanks, Susan
susan <whitewhiteshoes@aol.com>
- Sunday, March 03, 2002 at 11:11:53 (EST)
Laura, I have just started Seabiscuit and am enjoying it very much. We picked it for my bookclub. I am the moderator and was wondering if you offer any questions or discussion pointers?? Thanks. Susan
Susan <Whitewhiteshoes@aol.com>
Chicago, Il USA - Sunday, March 03, 2002 at 11:09:00 (EST)
I am a 57 yr old ortho surgeon and not a racing fan. I stayed up all night reading your book. The last book that grabbed me like that was the Godfather. Thanks for a great read.
wmwsmith <wmwsmith@hotmail.com>
waterloo, ne USA - Saturday, March 02, 2002 at 23:41:06 (EST)
This book was a Christmas present from my husband, and I am not exaggerating when I say it is one of the most splendid Christmas gifts I have ever received. I am an avid reader, and this book is one of the most moving, captivating and phenomenal books I have ever read. Ms. Hellenbrand, please write something else!!! Your ability to bring this entire era to life, from the global perspective, all the way down to the individuals caught in this time, was incredible. I can't stop thinking about Seabiscuit and I am begging my husband to read the book, so we can talk about it. I truly think every day about the wonderful story you have brought to life for us. Thank you for this book.
Shannon Sims <shannonsims@sbcglobal.net>
Austin, TX USA - Saturday, March 02, 2002 at 20:36:27 (EST)
Dear Laura: I just finished listening to the 4 tape audio cassette book narrated by Campbell Scott. It is really well done and this story is just fantastic. Wish my father and grandfather were here to listen to this fabulous story with me.
Lewis Ostrand <lostrand@iopener.net>
Lincoln, Ne USA - Saturday, March 02, 2002 at 20:09:28 (EST)
Laura... I hope you do read these! I just finished the book... and it was th efirst book that has ever made me cry in joy, and in sorrow. It was wrote so amazingly... it put you right there with Red, and Smith... I could picture all of it. It was on eof those that is so hard to put down at night. I am a horse lover of course... I was one of those little girls who loved horses from birth, and grew up on the Black Stallion series. But your book... I just want to know more, and see more of those news clippings. I have been to Santa Anita... but didn't know about it's history. Now I want to go back to see the scultpures. Just amazed... thank you so much for telling this story! Even the website brought tears to my eyes... if only I could have seen one of those races! Thanks so much again!! Cher
Cher Renke <crenke1@aol.com>
Longmont, CO USA - Saturday, March 02, 2002 at 16:51:19 (EST)
Dear Laura Hillenbrand: I purchased your book and began reading, and couldn't put it down. As a fan of racing and an owner and now breeder, it was very enjoyable. I had heard of Seabiscuit, but had no idea of his story. Thank you for writing it and I can't wait for the movie!!!
Michael Ciampoli <dciampoli@monmouth.com>
Lincroft, NJ USA - Saturday, March 02, 2002 at 16:05:43 (EST)
Dear Laura Hillenbrand; I enjoyed reading "Seabiscuit." As a fan of Thouroughbred racing and an author of several sports books myself, I could help but wonder why you omitted citing the odds on Seabiscuit's big races. Certainly it would have been informative to know whether he went off odds-on or as a short favorite, or as a long shot on occasion. I doubt that it is something you overlooked, and I am curious to know why you chose not to include it. Cordially, Stanley Cohen
Stanley Cohen <SCohen27@AOL.com>
Tomkins Cove, NY USA - Saturday, March 02, 2002 at 15:29:34 (EST)
Dear Laura Hillenbrand; I enjoyed reading "Seabiscuit." As a fan of Thouroughbred racing and an author of several sports books myself, I could help but wonder why you omitted citing the odds on Seabiscuit's big races. Certainly it would have been informative to know whether he went off odds-on or as a short favorite, or as a long shot on occasion. I doubt that it is something you overlooked, and I am curious to know why you chose not to include it. Cordially,
Stanley Cohen <SCohen27@AOL.com>
Tomkins Cove, NY USA - Saturday, March 02, 2002 at 15:29:04 (EST)
I heard from a really good friend of mine that the book is really great and all.Now i wanna go out and buy it and find time to read it.Cuz im a very busy person and all I know ill have time for an excellent book as this.Have a nice day and God Bless.
CaLudia <Grandskeem4ever@hotmail.com>
Ridgefield Pk, NJ USA - Saturday, March 02, 2002 at 14:41:49 (EST)
Reading is a great treasure of a hobby for me and maybe one out of 10 books leaves me holding the book at the end hoping that more text will suddenly appear. Thank you for this wonderful story. I actually stopped reading it at night while crawled up in bed because the race descriptions got my adrenaline pumping so hard I could not drop off to sleep. Every page held insight and emotion. It's on to my mother and sister in Baltimore with strict instructions that it comes back to reside in my library. God bless you.
Nikki Rainey
Greenville,, SC - Saturday, March 02, 2002 at 12:19:43 (EST)
Laura: I cannot ever remember a book leaving such an imprint on me as your story of Seabiscuit has. It's been a couple of months since I've read this most wonderful book, and not a day goes by that I don't think of the 'Biscuit' and his story. As I spend time with my own horses I can see the gleam in their eyes that reminds me of your descriptions. Thank you for writing the most memorable book I have ever read. By the way I have also become addicted to E-Bay, bidding on all the Seabiscuit memorabilia I can find. Best regards, Ed Lonky
Edward Lonky <lonky@oswego.edu>
Oswego, NY USA - Saturday, March 02, 2002 at 08:38:48 (EST)
Laura: I am retired now living not too far from your birthplace in Herndon, Va. My wife gave this book shortly after it was published and I have finally read it on today 1 March 2002. I have always had a fondness for horses. In 1994 I experienced cancer and found the only way I could lose myself is to go to the Maryland tracks and handicap races with A Form. We have enjoyed the racetracks including Del Mar, Santa Anita, and Keeneland. I especially like Keeneland and the fact that you can visit the barns and watch workouts without restrictions. My daughter was killed in the awful accident at the Pentagon on 9/11. Her husband has established a foundation for her at "www.shelleysfoundation.org". This book gives me a better appreciation for the owners, trainers,jockeys and the life around racetracks. Thanks so much and may God walk with you down the path of life. Mack Farr
Mack Farr <vienna7@erols.com>
Herndon, Va USA - Friday, March 01, 2002 at 23:02:58 (EST)
Received Seabiscuit as a birhtday present and don't know when I've enjoyed a book more. Could hear the crowds, learned the tricks of the trade, learned about jockeys, trainers, owners, and a great collection of track personalities. Thanks so much for providing me (and many others) which such a exciting, warm, and truly entertaing book. I look forward to the movies and will check the library for future works by such a gifted writer.
Jack Sheppard <jcsheppard@aol.com>
Westerville, Oh USA - Friday, March 01, 2002 at 21:00:04 (EST)
I just finished reading "Seabiscuit, an American Legend" and was so moved that I needed to thank you for sending me back in time. I savored every bit of this book. Only being 15 minutes away from Fairhill, MD I live in the heart of horse country and spend many of my days trail riding on my own Thoroughbred and exracehorse, Tommy. Horses are either in your blood or they're not, and a horse lover can never explain to a non-horse lover the feeling one gets being around the animals. I can't even imagine the endless research you must have done to bring this story alive for your readers. From one horse lover to another, thank you so very much for this wonderful read!
PJ Scheese <scheespj@zoominternet.net>
Oxford, PA USA - Friday, March 01, 2002 at 19:40:30 (EST)
This is the most wonderful book I have ever read! Thank you
Toni Murray <mmctkm1@aol.com>
Roscoe, Il USA - Friday, March 01, 2002 at 16:26:52 (EST)
Dear Laura Hillenbrand, YOU have won the Triple Crown with SEABISCUIT! Your superb writing took this reader every furlong of the way as you so skillfully wove all the strands of those many stories into one magnificent biography. Your work has made our world a better place.Thank you for this marvelous gift of faith,hope and love. Marian S. Sengel
Marian S. Sengel <wsengel@erols.com>
Alexandria, Va. USA - Thursday, February 28, 2002 at 23:01:25 (EST)
Dear Laura Hillenbrand,
Marian S. Sengel <wsengel@erols.com>
Alexandria, Va USA - Thursday, February 28, 2002 at 22:54:25 (EST)
Dear Laura, Thank you for a superb read. I was given a gorgeous (so gorgeous I could not refuse) uncontrollable ex-racer 5 years ago who has become a near saint. You added to my understanding of his history and his ability. I am an artist and I tell all my friends to read your book so they can understand a bit of my passion for this beast. There is a pix of him on my website and I use him in my work: "Volt," for example. Thank you again.
Carolyn Krieg <carolynruth.krieg@gte.net>
Seattle, Wa USA - Thursday, February 28, 2002 at 17:50:36 (EST)
I am now reading the book Seabiscuit. I think it's great. My favorite racehorse of all times is Man O' War and as soon as i found out (a while ago) that Seabiscuit is Big Red's decendnt, i became interested in hearing and learning about him. I want to be a jockey and when i am 16 i will apply for my aprentince lisence and i hope i get to ride a horse with Man O' War and Seabiscuit's blood and will. Thanks for the book!
Colleen <iWannaBaJockey@yahoo.com>
King of Prussia, PA USA - Thursday, February 28, 2002 at 16:28:12 (EST)
This was a phenomenal book. It is so in-demand here in horse-loving Maryland, that the Baltimore County Public Library System can't keep any copies on the shelves...all forty of them! The book-on-tape version is quite good as well. It'll make a horse-racing enthusiast out of any reader.
Partho Roy <parthor@yahoo.com>
Baltimore, MD USA - Wednesday, February 27, 2002 at 19:35:52 (EST)
Dear Laura, By now I have finished my translation of Seabiscuit into Swedish. There is just some prrofreading before I send it to the publisher. I have found explanations to all my questions. I understand that you are busy with other things, such as the film for example. There is only one question that remains. In the Notes, you use the abbreviations SB and FD. I just want to know what they stand for, so I know if I shall keep them or translate them into Swedish. I would be very grateful to get an answer. Best wishes, Elisabeth Lundberg-Karlsson
Elisabeth Lundberg-Karlsson <elisabeth.lk@brevet.nu>
Gnesta, Sweden - Wednesday, February 27, 2002 at 03:02:01 (EST)
Our group just finished reading and discussing your biography about Seabiscuit, and for the first time we were unanimous in our praise for your work. We are now planning an outing to Belmont to experience the thrill of thoroughbred racing for ourselves. Your research and writing is impeciable and really brought to life the characters and time period. Thank you for opening the door to new experiences for our group,
HHH Bookclub
Melville, NY USA - Tuesday, February 26, 2002 at 15:59:43 (EST)
Sweet read. A page turner. Thanks for the knowledge and the entertainment.
Joel Pozen <omprosperity@adelphia.net>
USA - Tuesday, February 26, 2002 at 11:29:43 (EST)
Hello Laura, You must be thrilled to have such a great response to Seabiscuit.... I have been working in DC for 18 months, I am originally from Melbourne Australia. My grandfather was a jockey and as you mentioned Pharlap is truly considered an Australian icon. Australians have a passion for sport that is unequalled. Your book was fabulous. If you would like insights into the Australian sporting culture I would love to catch up with you and discuss them Kind regards, Andrew E. Ajani MD
Andrew Ajani <andrew.ajani@medstar.net>
washington , dc USA - Tuesday, February 26, 2002 at 11:16:30 (EST)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, Your book was one of the best books I have ever read. Thank you for the most wonderful reading experience I have had since I can't remember when. The way you captured the miracle of Seabiscuit grabbed my heart and soul in a profound way. I'm not even a racing fan but I do love animals, and I gravitated to your feeling for the horses and the men who worked with them. I felt as if I was actually in every race you described, magnificent! I bawled like a baby at the end at the unraveling of the lucky few who were graced to be involved with Seabiscuit. Pure poetry. Your gift to the world in this book is major life achievement and I stand here in standing ovation for you with tears running down my face. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Steve Alpert
Steve Alpert <sapix@earthlink.net>
New York, NY USA - Tuesday, February 26, 2002 at 07:47:33 (EST)
My Mother just finished reading your magnificent book. I wanted to share with you that I have three awesome scrap books kept by my father during Seabiscuit's hayday. They include all associated press clippings, etc., racing forms, winning tickets, and you name it! If you are interested in seeing any of these, please get in touch. My father was great friends with many of the people associated with Seabiscuit in the Walkersville/Frederick MD area.
Linda Pruitt-Michielli <patmi@earthlink.net>
Frederick, MD USA - Monday, February 25, 2002 at 20:09:55 (EST)
It has been many months since I first read Seabiscuit.As a fan of racing history and the sport itself, I was moved beyond words what a special job you did to create this marvel. As you must know race track fans love to tell stories how they won or lost a race. But rarely do I hear the bettors speak of the history of the great ones like Seabiscuit. You have told a story for the ages. You put me back into a time I never lived. You made the names of the people around Seabuscuit come alive in a way that was more real than if I was there myself. And now to find out that the energy you put into the research and writing took so much of a physical effort. You have truly inspired me and I just want to thank you for this marvelous piece of American literature. I wish you good health for many years to come.
Ted Vaiman <theokodjak@aol.com>
Hawthorne, NJ USA - Monday, February 25, 2002 at 18:35:07 (EST)
I grew up just a few miles from Santa Anita and went to the races with friends a few times in high school in the 70s. I've seen the statue of Seabiscuit and the one of George Woolf, and never had any idea of the history of either of them.

I truly enjoyed your book, and your writing style is engrossing and vivid. If I ever get home again during racing season, you can bet I'll be at Santa Anita cheering on the thoroughbreds!

Thanks for the education in racing and the history of this marvelous horse and his handlers. I'm recommending the book to everyone I know.
A Fan
Denver, CO USA - Monday, February 25, 2002 at 16:32:17 (EST)


Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, As a native of Louisville, Kentucky, I've been hopelessly in love with Thoroughbreds and horse racing since early childhood. Despite my knowledge of Seabiscuit and most of the great horses of the past century, your masterpiece gave me an understanding of Seabiscuit's fame, and the magnitude of his achievements. All aspects of horse racing, from the eccentricities of the people and horses involved, to the dynamics of this sport itself, are vividly portrayed in your book. Bellylaughs to tears of inspiration, your work bonds horse and human as never before in print. Thank you for capturing the deep love, and sheer exhileration for others to share. I've been to the Kentucky Derby. Now I have ridden Seabiscuit. Sincerely, M.C. Watson III
M.C. Watson III <mcleslie1@juno.com>
Louisville, KY USA - Monday, February 25, 2002 at 13:35:55 (EST)
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I have loved horses since I was a little girl. Now I have my own little girl who is almost as horse crazy as I was. The book was absolutely wonderful! It was almost like being there. I can't wait for the movie to come out. Thank you for your dedication. Valerie
Valerie Wohlschlegel
Council Grove, KS USA - Monday, February 25, 2002 at 12:36:17 (EST)
Dear Laura, Thank you for bringing me a few hours of great joy and pride of being a part of the magnificent sport of horseracing.Your book gave me the essence of the sport which during recent years seems to often been forgotten. Yuurs sincerly Bo Gillborg Director of Racing Jagersro Racecourse Malmo Sweden Home of the Swedish Derby- Only European Derby on Dirt!
Bo Gillborg <bo.gillborg@jagersro.m.se>
Malmo, Sweden - Monday, February 25, 2002 at 10:03:18 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I am about half way through "Seabiscuit" enjoying it immensely. The descriptions of the races are so intense I feel as tough I'm riding on top of the horse along with the jockey. Since I am unfamiliar with horse racing I am a bit confused about why some horses carry more weight than others. I thought that all horses carried the same weight, the weight of the jockey plus the weights that were added to make up the difference so that all horses have the same amount of weight to carry. Like I said, I don't know much about horse racing. Although I now have a whole new respect for the sport from reading your wonderful book. I've learned so much and am eager to learn more! Thanks for your time.
Lynn Sable <Lsble@aol.com>
Yonkers, NY USA - Monday, February 25, 2002 at 09:26:01 (EST)
When I crossed the finish line, I cried along with the Howards and Pollards and all the rest of the team.
Mary Lou Doner <mldoner@optonline.net>
So Seaside Park, NJ USA - Monday, February 25, 2002 at 09:04:43 (EST)
What a wonderful book. I had never heard of this horse but know I will never forget him. I just hope that the movie won't spoil it.
hetty <hetty_van_de_craats@albint.com>
Dieren, GLD NL - Monday, February 25, 2002 at 08:34:56 (EST)
I enjoyed your book. It grabbed me from the first paragraph and wouldn't let go. thank you.
Doug Smith <dougsmith715@msn.com>
Maple Valley, wa USA - Sunday, February 24, 2002 at 01:47:19 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Carrying 11lbs I finished all twenty-three lengths in 1hr:36. Literally a book so good I can now smell water. Thank you. Casey P.S. Currently hot-reading the entire index. Well done.
Eoin Casey <spilled_ink@hotmail.com>
Farmington, CT USA - Saturday, February 23, 2002 at 22:44:37 (EST)
Dear Miss Hillenbrand: Thank you for SEABISCUIT! It's the grandest read I've had in a long, long time. My children and my lady friend gave a party for my 80th birthday and the actress Susan Brown, who plays my wife on the soap opera General Hospital, came and gave me your book. I thought it was strange since I've only been to the track twice in my life and have an inordinate love of all animals. Racing to me had always been an odd mix of ego, greed and cruelty. In your book those elements are still there of course but are overwhelmed by the courage, compassion, loyalty, love, dedication, etc.etc. of the people you introduce to us. Howard, Marcela, Tom, Red, Agnes, Woolf, Gevevieve and all the others...and of course the Biscuit. I feel I knew them all and loved them. Thank you Laura. See you at the track? Peter
Peter Hansen <ptrgh@cs.com>
Tarzana, CA USA - Saturday, February 23, 2002 at 14:53:05 (EST)
Jay Privman is just full of, the stuff that washed away Tijuana racetrack! His comments are so stupid, they make childish behaviour l look normal. Jay should get his old job holding the paddock rope at Del Mar back. At least back then nobody heard whining. Keep up the great work Laura.And thanks. db
David Beltran <purplecow@gateway.net>
Chula Vista, CA USA - Saturday, February 23, 2002 at 11:54:51 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Thank you for the superbly written, masterfully told story of Seabiscuit. Your wonderfully written, throrougly researched book brings this remarkable horse and the people around him to life. As a former newspaper and wire reporter and editor, I appreciate your craft. As a horse lover, I thank you for bringing Seabiscuit back to life.
Debra Beachy <dbeachy@swbell.net>
Houston, Tx USA - Saturday, February 23, 2002 at 08:04:45 (EST)
Dear Ms. H. Splendid job, as all have testified. As a book reader from ISBN to "this book was set in ....type...." and a former newspaper correspondent, editor and reporter, let me thank you for the details on how you put it all together. will admit, however, that I didn't go through all the source citations that followed. Although Secretariat's silver cup sat in the window of our neighbor Mrs. Stewart, aunt of Sect. 's owner our connection with horses is Pig-sticking in India, polo, and a couple of foxhunts with the Middleburg. We do, however, go to the Glenwood Park point- to-point, with which you are doubtless familiar. We'll be much wiser next time we go. Thanks for a masterful job.
Angus MacLean Thuermer <Thuermer_A@mediasoft.net>
Middleburg, VA USA - Friday, February 22, 2002 at 23:31:18 (EST)
An avid racing fan my compliments on a blockbuster of a book about a horse that certainly deserved recognition. Easy to read and hard to put down. As a follow up I hope the movie sequel will do it justice. One final question do you know of anywhere I could get some photos or reprints of this icon. My collection includes such greats as Omaha, War Admiral, Count Fleet and others. I feel now that to leave Seabiscuit out would be an egregious mistake. Superlative book,I wish you were here to autograph it. Best of luck in the future.
Peter Sheehan <sheehanpeter@msn.com>
Bel Air, MD USA - Friday, February 22, 2002 at 12:32:28 (EST)
As another who has battled Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I am especially amazed at your time consuming work in writing this book. Although I am mostly recovered, I nevertheless recognize the inner strength it took you to complete this very arduous effort. Congratulations. How are you feeling lately, and do you notice any improvement in your energy levels? My thoughts and prayers are with you. I also wanted to share with you, Laura, my little bit of first hand information about Seabiscuit. As a young boy in the 1960's, I was taken by my parents to visit Howard Stock Farm in Moorpark on several occasions. (Actually there were two farms across town from each other). Although Seabiscuit had never set foot on either property, he was represented at the main farm by a statue identical to the one at Santa Anita. It was placed near Lin Howard's home and overlooked the stallion barn and paddocks which were home to the great *Noor. Apparently the two statues were commissioned at the same time at Mr. Howard's request. Because the farm holds such fond memories for me, I visit it once every 10 years or so. At my last visit about seven years ago, the staute was still there, although the farm itself was populated by Peruvian Pasos. Once an out-of-the-way small town, Moorpark is fast becoming prime real estate for urban sprawl, so if that fate awaits the old Howard Stock Farm, I hope that somehow the Seabiscuit statue will be preserved. Best of luck to you, and congratulations.
Michael Power <mrpower@nueworld.com>
Auburn, CA USA - Friday, February 22, 2002 at 11:18:11 (EST)
How about Ed Norton to play the part of the Cougar....Red Pollard.
anonymous
USA - Friday, February 22, 2002 at 07:49:35 (EST)
Once I started reading your book I had a hard time putting it down. It was one of the best books I have read in a long time. I am an animal lover and the book hit the right spot. I can't actually find the right words to tell you how much I loved your book.Bravo!!!!
Sandy Segersin <Monarch50@Prodigy.net>
Black Creek, Wisconsin USA - Friday, February 22, 2002 at 00:20:55 (EST)

 
   


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