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Comments by Carla Deminchuk (cont'd) on Wednesday, April 25, 2001 at 03:22 IP Logged
I finished the book late last night and it evoked such emotion that I just could not sleep. It was a beautiful night on the farm so donned my sweet horse smellin' barn jacket and walked out into the field. The horses, not accustomed to such a late-night visit, could not contain their curiosity and ambled over to this dark shadow with the familiar voice. I patted the yearling colt and dreamed of greatness. As the colt blew in my hair,I felt a bonding - an old man who also could not sleep and the nights spent with Seabiscuit in his paddock at Ridgeway; a carrot, a pat, the recollections of greatness...
Aldergrove, B.C. Canada

Comments by Jim Chesser on Wednesday, April 25, 2001 at 02:48 IP Logged
Dear Laura, I read an article on you in the LA Times and noted that you are a fellow CFS sufferer. Please contact me at my email address for information regarding a specialist MD who treats CFS. He is a leading researcher and clinician and has helped many. Best wishes on the continued success of your book. I have a friend who used to follow horse racing for years and said he literally could not put the book down until he was done. Hope to hear from you as this MD may be able to help you. Jim
Downey, CA USA

Comments by Tom Leopold on Wednesday, April 25, 2001 at 02:25 IP Logged
Ms. Hillenbrand, I wish they would come up with a pill that could erase from one's memory a book recently read and loved. To get a fresh shot at all that heart, and beauty and almost unbearable excitement written with the kind of magisty Seabiscuit himself must have had...? Yeah, I'd be poppin those pills until they cut me off. Thank you for one of the greatest times I've ever had reading- Tom Leopold
New York , N.Y. USA

Comments by Dan Kelly on Wednesday, April 25, 2001 at 02:13 IP Logged
Just finished your wonderful book. I grew up in the midwest and my father was a bookie and he had a partner who owned a few racehorses of questionable ability. As a youngster I would accompany my dad's partner to the track to muck stalls and walk the "hots". I have fond memories of those times and al the characters you meet in that microcasm of society. Your book brought back many memories and it accurately portrayed a life style that few people are ever exposed to. It is a fantastic book, and I hope that everyone reads it.
Alexandria, Va USA

Comments by Jane Barnes on Wednesday, April 25, 2001 at 02:11 IP Logged
Greetings Ms Hillenbrand, I just finished reading SEABISCUIT...a friend loaned it to me...I intend on buying my own copy ! As much as I love horses I was a little sceptical as to just how interesting this book would be, but before I even finished page 1 I was hooked! The best times for me to read are going to and from work on the streetcar and let me tell you, more than once I almost missed my stop (either coming or going) because I was so caught up in Seabiscuit's story...and I cried more than once, especially during the match race with War Admiral, and the final hundred-grander (I felt like I was there!)..., not to mention everything the individuals in the story were going through ! Thank you so much for writing such a remarkable book about such a remarkable horse and all the remarkable people surrounding him ! (my only critisism...the picture chosen for the cover...would have been nice to actually see ALL of Seabiscuit)
Toronto, ON CANADA

Comments by Jennifer McGraw on Wednesday, April 25, 2001 at 02:05 IP Logged
Hi, Besides raising running quarter horses and being a great fan of horse racing, I found your interview on NPR extremely inspirational personally. I am going to be in Fairfax for a real estate class May 16th and planning to attend the Preakness that weekend. If you're in the area I would love to have you autograph my book. Great job. Thanks Jenny McGraw (970-222-2358)
Ft. Collins, CO USA

Comments by Karen Lasko on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at 09:21 IP Logged
Dear Laura, I wanted to let you know that I have bought the book, and I'm afraid to start it, because I know that once I do I won't be able to put it down! I'm saving it for my honeymoon in two weeks, when I'll really be able to enjoy it. I am so happy for you and this incredible achievement -- you don't even know.
Middletown, CT USA

Comments by Jerry LaFleur on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at 08:55 IP Logged
Hi Laura, Great story, well written, Congratulations. Jer
Manchester, Ct USA

Comments by A.J.ALEX on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at 08:51 IP Logged
I own a Trophy horseshoe of Seabiscuit entitled "WORN BY SEABISCUIT DEFEATTING WAR ADMIRL PIMLICO SPECIAL NOVEMBER 1st 1938 1:3/16 M. TIME 1.56 3/5 NEW TRACK RECORD". I am interested in selling it. After reading the very touching article about you, and your story about Seabiscuit in the Los Angeles times paper (March 2001) I thought you might be interested in it. if so please contact me. A>J>ALEX www.ajalex@aol.com
LOS ANGELES, CA USA

Comments by Gary W. Shields on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at 04:30 IP Logged
You have written one of the greatest books I have ever read from one of the greatest stories ever. Just saw old movie and it's worth it for the racing film. You should be very proud of your work. Ruffian is also a good story but with an unhappy ending. Do not like match races. Hope to meet you someday.
Forney, TX USA

Comments by Martin O'Malley on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at 03:39 IP Logged
Your writing is multi-dimentential, the subjects literally walk off the page, great book. As a child I read a fantastic book on Man-O-War, but cannot find any reference to it, Do you have any suggested reading on that great horse? Best of luck in all future endeavors.
Berea , Ohio USA

Comments by f w jones on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at 01:27 IP Logged
Please call me at your earliest convenience I thought your book was exceptional Farrell W Jones
hemet, ca USA

Comments by Sammy Bates on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at 01:18 IP Logged
Bravo, Ms. Hillenbrand! Rarely have I read a book more satisfying and touching than your tribute to Seabiscuit. Was he the "greatest" of them all? Probably not, but who cares? The beauty of horses and those of us who love them is that the greatness of one doesn't diminish our love for another. As long as there is racing there will be heart pounding, gut wrenching debate over who was the best. We will never know how the horses that have come down through the years would have compared had they been challenged by one another. Oh we have our beliefs and biases and we feel sure in our hearts who the greatest of all time is, but we will never know and it is bettewr that way. I don't really want to know how my beloved Man o' War would have done against his son, War Admiral, or Whirlaway, or Citation, and Secretariat, et all. All any of these great horses could do was run against their contemporaries and leave the rest up to history. Your wonderful book gives me an insight into the lives of some fascinating people that I would have otherwise never known and I offer my eternal thanks to you for doing this. I especially found Mr. Smith to be intriguing. His methods and idiocyncrasies will never be forgotten by me. I knew that the life of a jockey in the "old days" was difficult, but I had no idea of the hardships that their love for the horses they rode subjected them to. In many ways Mr. Pollard is a tragic figure, but he lived the only life that he could. His love for racing made any other lifestyle impossible. He knew the risks, but in the final analysis he had no choice. He had to do whatever was demanded of him becasue being a jockey was what he was born to do. If you never write another book you can still take tremendous satisfaction that you have enriched the lives of millions of people with this labor of love you have created. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Eddy, TX USA

Comments by Debbie P. on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at 00:30 IP Logged
One of my favorite books as a child was a battered paperback called "Come On, Seabiscuit!" which I read over and over again. I was heartbroken when I dicovered that it had been lost in a move. This wonderful book has filled a place in my heart. Thank you very much.
Morris, IL USA

Comments by Larry Reiter on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at 00:22 IP Logged
Great book. I can't believe how emotional I am about a horse that I never heard of before who died over twenty years before I was born! You have truely woven an interesting tale about a unique historical landmark. Good luck in your next efforts. I look forward to it, not matter what the subject may be....
San Diego, CA USA

Comments by Geno Castillo on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at 00:15 IP Logged
Hello Laura: Wonderful read. Yours is talent that captures the essence of horse racing and some of its memorable personalities. I would hope you might consider continuing with another Thoroughbred personality the american public found that captured their heart and soul. There are of course only a handful that qualify but one that sticks out to me is Swaps. He had the same level of talent, the nagging unsoundness, and of course the colorful personalities surrounding him. I took gread pleasure reading your book and about people I had know in the past.
Lexington, Ky USA

Comments by mike gettelman on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at 00:10 IP Logged
thyank you for bringing all these "persons" to life. i became a racing fan in the late 40s at santa anita. citation, noor, on trust, ponder, two lea, longden, 17-year old willie shoemaker and, of course, joe hernandez. seabiscuit seemed like ancient history back then. i tried to access videos at abc sports but couldnt. pls help with this or any otherr placesd to views race movies, etc.
berkeley, ca USA

Comments by Jack Wiesenfeld on Monday, April 23, 2001 at 09:42 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I want to thank you for SEABISCUIT. It gave me pleasure to learn the story of the greatest horse that ever ran. It also gave me a better understanding of horses and their owners, trainers and, finally, of the jockeys and their merable lives. It also brought back to me something I never understood. Firstly, unless I'm mistaken, I don't recall any person or animal besides the racehorse, or any team that is punished or handicapped because they are better than any other competitor. Who gives the stewards the power to weight the horses? How do they decide? Is there one rule or criteria for all stewards, horses and tracks? How are they chosen? Who hires them? How long do they serve? Who supervises (polices) them? They seem to act so godlike and sometimes so vindictive! No appeal pprocess! Just seemingly arbitrary decisions as to weights, etc. I've not found any information about this in the book. Again, thank you for the book. It was truly one of the most exciting and enlightening book I've had the pleasure to read in a long, long time. I hope you can give me the answers to the above questions. Thank you again for the book and hopefully for the answers. Sincerely, Jack
Tampa, Fl USA

Comments by Edwina Van Dam on Monday, April 23, 2001 at 07:23 IP Logged
Hi Laura, I am a reference librarian working in a public library on Long Island. I am planning a thoroughbred racing display this week and plan to give pride of place to your book. I thoroughly enjoyed the story,especially your description of Seabiscuit's personality. I was wondering what happened to Pumpkin his stablemate. I hope he had a long life! I,too, had a small board game with 5 racehorses(including Seabiscuit)that I enjoyed playing with. Good luck and look forward to the film. Edwina Van Dam @edwinar49@yahoo.com
Franklin Square, NY USA

Comments by Farrell Jones on Monday, April 23, 2001 at 06:24 IP Logged
I have had some inquiries from New York and L. A. asking me about doing a documentary film on Seasbiscuit. Would you please contact me to verify the inquiries or your thoughts. Farrell W Jones
Hemet, Ca USA

Comments by Barbara Rocheleau on Monday, April 23, 2001 at 06:13 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Back in the '50's I was one of those horse-crazy Montana CITY girls who read all the Black Stallion books, and who asked for a horse every year for Christmas, but of course never got one! After listening, with unstoppable tears, to your NPR Scott Simon interview a few weeks ago, I bought your book along with an accompanying box of Kleenex tissues. I read Seabiscuit last weekend cover to cover, using the tear-out portion of the Kleenex box as a bookmark! What a fabulous story AND it's true! Not only did Seabiscuit have heart - so did the Howards, Tom Smith, Red Pollard, and George Woolf. And so do you! Your book is non-fiction at its finest. You transported me THERE, training, riding, watching, cheering, weeping. THANK YOU for the gift of Seabiscuit!
Sitka, AK USA

Comments by Peter Suazo on Monday, April 23, 2001 at 06:02 IP Logged
I can't improve on the comments already on this site, but as a 40+ year racetrack fan I can now say that you have written the best book about horse racing I have ever read. Please accept my deepest congratulations for this very important contribution. Regards, Peter
Columbia, MD USA

Comments by Kenneth King on Monday, April 23, 2001 at 05:57 IP Logged
Thank you so much for such a wonderful book. When I was finished, I cried. Maybe because I was done the book. I wanted to start reading it all over again. Terrific!!
Stevensville, MD`` USA

Comments by Carey Winfrey on Monday, April 23, 2001 at 05:24 IP Logged
Dear Laura. What a fantastic read. Even though I grew up on the racetrack (my father trained Native Dancer, Bold Lad and a few others of note) I think I learned as much about racing reading your book as I did hanging out on the backstretch at Belmont, Saratoga and Hialeah. My father often talked about Seabiscuit and I only wish now that I remember what he said. I so wish he were still alive and my grandfather too, who was also a Hall of Fame trainer, so I could talk them about Seabiscuit. Congratulations on a wonderful achievement.
New York, NY USA

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