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Comments by Jill Farrell on Monday, March 26, 2001 at 04:01 IP Logged
Laura, I couldn't wait for the book to come out and when the gift shop at Santa Anita had it I bought it as fast as I could get out the cash! The Store Manager (Christine Crocker) told me as fast as she could put the book out it was sold! I work for Santa Anita and the history of "The Great Race Place" and Seabiscuit took my breath away! The Handicap is coming up on the 7th of April, Maybe we should have his statue covered in a blanket of flowers to commemorate the day. He still stands proudly in the beautiful walking ring watching the horses go to the track. George Woolf stands at the South Battery watching the fans come in each and everyday. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. Your writing and love for the industry is an inspirtation to us all.
Cypress, Ca USA

Comments by Adam Fels on Monday, March 26, 2001 at 03:49 IP Logged
So far I have been late for work 5 times, missed at least 20 hours of sleep, canceled two dates, ignored 57 phone calls, 3 dinners, and countless T.V. shows. All because I was wrapped up in this elegant little masterpiece. As a horseracing fan, a writer, and just as someone who cares. I am in awe. Congratulations and all the success......
New york, NY USA

Comments by Tom Simon on Monday, March 26, 2001 at 02:39 IP Logged
Although I am at the end of a long list at my local library to borrow this book, I am very much looking forward to it. I have heard a lot of good things about Seabiscuit, both the horse and the book. Thank you for bringing Seabiscuit to us.
St. Louis, MO USA

Comments by Michael Martin on Monday, March 26, 2001 at 01:39 IP Logged
Because I'm an owner and breeder of thoroughbreds, I purchased your book soon after it was published before reading any of its glowing reviews. Now you can add my personal rave to the others you've received. It's not just the best book about racing, it is the best sports biography I've ever read. Congratulations on your beautifully crafted tale!
New York, NY USA

Comments by Jennifer on Monday, March 26, 2001 at 00:13 IP Logged
Laura, thank you so much for simply one of the best stories I have read about horse racing in a long time. I am an avid horse racing fan and I love to read about these grand race horses who I've heard about but were before my time. You made Seabiscuit and all those involved with him come to life. I felt as if I knew them personally. Thank you for sharing their story and the story of a crooked legged horse who had immense amounts of heart. Being from New England and making it to Suffolk Downs on occasion, it was wonderful to read of the great racing that was once a part of the area. You can still see the flags inside the track with the names of the great horses who have won the Mass Cap. A million thanks again from this racing fan who is eagerly awaiting the movie.
Whitman, MA USA

Comments by Michael Foley on Sunday, March 25, 2001 at 09:13 IP Logged
to Seabiscuit and Laura: as a kid, i use to sit in the clubhouse watching my grandfather and three or four of his friends as they talked, listening to a group of black radios call out the races, the baseball games, just sports in general and Seabiscuit had more than his fair share of their conversational memories. Seabiscuit always brought hearfelt glimmers and glows from all who joined the talk. Talk of the depression, the various races and how one horse kept people alive in a certain sense, full of hope and full of caring. The nation then and and all of us now owe Seabiscuit a debt for providing a simple example to bring out the best in ourselves. And to you, Ms. Hillenbrand, I owe you thanks for filling my life with the stamina of that era...as Seabiscuit is the embodiment of greatness of the inner soul. Best, Michael Foley
chicago, il USA

Comments by Garry Alllison on Sunday, March 25, 2001 at 07:20 IP Logged
Hi Laura. I just finished your book, and though I don't know how the Pulitzer Prize thing works, I'd be the first to nominate you. The tale you told simply came to life. As a longtime horse racing fan I just can't think of another horse racing book that compares to your tale of Seabiscuit. Until I had finished your book, I always thought Canadian sportswriter Jim Coleman's piece, Hoofbeats On My heart, was the pinnacle of track writing, but you have surpassed even him. As a former sports Editor with The Lethbridge Herald I have covered many race meets. Lethbridge, Alberta is about 300 miles south of Edmonton, 30 miles to the south of us is Cardston, George Woolf's home, and 30 miles to the east is Taber, where Johnny Longden grew up. I have been fortunate enough to be able to be around Longden a time or two, and I am, through marriage, a shirttail relative of George Woolf - maybe just a stitch on that shirttail. I talked to an old fellow from Cardston, in his late 90s, Joe Bengry, shortly before his death about 15 years back. He was a nephew of Frank Woolf, George's father. He said Frank used to drive stagecoach, for the OK Livery Stable at Cardston, about 25 miles to Spring Coulee. George grew up on the farm, was always riding horses and came by his size honestly. His father wore a size four shoe. Frank also used to operate the Woolf Hotel on Cardston's main street. Woolf's first race was at age 10, a winning outing on his father's horse, called Bud. His first race on an organized track was in 1925 at Calgary, during Stampede week. Just thought you might be interested in these few second-hand facts. Longden began his racing career at Taber, when he was 14, and he and Woolf raced against each other on the bush tracks of southern Alberta and into Montana, and then on the big tracks in the U.S. Longden says he had a match race once with Woolf and as they turned for home George said, ``Let's make a race of this." Longden says he replied, ``To heck with you, I'm not going to let you get close to me." He added: ``George could be tricky . . . but I beat him by half a length." The two rode against each other on tracks in Lethbridge, Raymond, Magrath, Taber and Cardston, Alberta, Canada. I hope this is of some interest to you, and once again thank you for a simply superb book. If the movie is even half as good, it will be a hit. Garry Allison, Coalhurst, Alberta, Canada.
Coalhurst, Ab Canada

Comments by Frank Slater on Sunday, March 25, 2001 at 04:59 IP Logged
I could not put this book down. I feel like we had a chance to look into the past just before the door closes forever.Thank you for writing it.
Danbury, CT USA

Comments by Joe Milam on Sunday, March 25, 2001 at 02:47 IP Logged
Laura, Your book has clearly inspired many, many folks....longtime fans of Seabisquit and new fans alike. John Pollard (Red's nephew, see entry below) and I have emailed back and forth about the prospects of starting a Seabisquit Fan Club...maybe meeting at Santa Anita Race Track. Are you aware of any existing fan clubs, and would this be of interest to you in conjunction with the production/release of the upcoming movie? We are even discussing making it a fundraiser for CFS. Any thoughts from you would be appreciated. Joe Milam
Granite Bay, CA USA

Comments by Alden W. Foote on Sunday, March 25, 2001 at 00:43 IP Logged
Dear Laura, One of the great biographies of out time! I enjoyed it so much that I couldn't bear to put it away when I hit the last precious pages, so I continued on and read it AGAIN! That's a FIRST! My congratulations to you for bringing Seabiscuit, et. al, back to life for us all. What a surprise that so much of your story actually took place just up the road from Santa Rosa in Willets? Thank you for the truly great piece of writing. Alden W. Foote, Santa Rosa, Ca.
Santa Rosa, Ca USA

Comments by Michael Price on Sunday, March 25, 2001 at 00:15 IP Logged
Dear Laura, Although my links are to standardbreds, I plain loved your prose, your narrative skills, and the story. On page 68, Pluto was a commercial mineral water bottled from a spring in French Lick Indiana. The nickname Sunny Jim was once widely used, the most notable of the Sunny Jims being perhaps William Howard Taft's vice president James Sherman. There were also cartoon characters named Sunny Jim, some of which I have on picture postcards. Best wishes, Mike
Michigan Center, MI USA

Comments by frank govern on Saturday, March 24, 2001 at 09:40 IP Logged
thanks for the anticipation,and pure joy of your masterpiece. not only from me, but the 35 4th grade students in my class who were a part of my experience, with reading to them as well. listening, so many times, to mickey rooney in the incomparable film 'Black Stallion' talk of george woolf and then learning of him through you was fascinating. of all the crafts i teach in my writers workshop, leads get most of the attention. and your leads are simply fabulous. would you please send an autographed photo, 'to the writers in 4C' at Stevenson Elem. 515 lime ave. long beach, ca 90802? it would mean a great deal to me, the students, and perhaps yourself knowing that you and work is in the room. thank you again. you have enriched my life and the lives of the kids i teach. frank govern. ps: i know that jim murray, the great one, is smiling down on you and your work.
fountain valley, ca USA

Comments by Ray Lester on Saturday, March 24, 2001 at 05:51 IP Logged
Gary Ross (Big, pleasantville)to be in charge of a movie about one of the, if not THE, greatest racehorse that ever lived? Give me a break!! I guess it good that a fairly high powered guy like Ross would be interested in making the film but I'm dubious as to how its going to turn out. Also, I think that the book dust jacket is dreadful. Isd this book about Seabiscuit or about the geezers on the cover (the bored look on the jockey's face is priceless)? Is the book focused on Seabiscuit or the geezers who owned and promoted him? Both I guess but I think the horse if the story; so why didnt the dj feature a greast photo of the horse, not part of the horse? Somebody at Random House made the conscious decision to put that photo on the cover. Obviously clueless. If the Hollywood types who are in charge of the movie are just as clueless, I shudder to think what kind of film we will get. Seabiscuit was a winner in every sense of the word and one of the greatest competitors to ever grace the sport of horse racing. Any attempt to perserve his legacy in print or on film should strive to capture his magnificence and greatness. Lets hope Hollywood get a clue.
USA

Comments by Roxann on Saturday, March 24, 2001 at 03:04 IP Logged
I was so happy to see my neighbor Jimmy Jones in your book I understand it all better
Bal Harbour, Fla USA

Comments by Jonathan Cohen on Saturday, March 24, 2001 at 02:33 IP Logged
LAURA: HI! Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing the finest sports-related book I've ever read. I only thought I knew about horse races and the sport's history before I read your book. Not only do you write like a dream, you brought back an era in racing that will never be repeated. I also had no idea that the Seabiscuit saga had New England ties. To me, your story is as fascinating and inspiring as the horse's. Like you, I suffer from a neurological disorder that has long prevented me from full-time work and, until recently, an active social life. It's in the autism family- hyperlexic/Asperger's syndrome. Your yeoman effort in writing this marvelous book and spreading the word about it is truly remarkable. I'd like very much to write you directly so I can share some of my experiences- and long interest in the Sport of Kings- with you. One of my new dreams is to meet you and have you sign the book for me- perhaps if I ever get to DC. Again, many, many thanks for giving us this fantastic book and sharing Seabiscuit's great story- and yours- with the world. If you're interested in more, please e-mail me at jonaco@mindspring.com with information on how to write you directly. I look forward to hearing from you. Warmly, Jonathan Cohen- Brookline, MA NB- My oldest and dearest friend, Daryl Wells, was a great race announcer in Canada (Woodbine/Fort Erie) for 30 years. He is a native of British Columbia and very likely knew Red Pollard, George Woolf, and other riders who came through there. I think you'd be interested in contacting Daryl- he's the finest guy I know.
Brookline, MA USA

Comments by Frank Kline on Saturday, March 24, 2001 at 00:27 IP Logged
What a magnificient book. Thank you for writing it. It is a superbly told story laced with golden nuggets of horse handling "tips". We work with horses and mules every day and could truly relate to the horse/person relationships you so wonderfully describe. We would love to have a fraction Tom Smith's horsemanhip and would love to know more about him. Our hope is that the underlying essence of your book will come through in the movie. The best of luck to you in making that happen.
Mazama, WA USA

Comments by peter raskin on Friday, March 23, 2001 at 07:44 IP Logged
as a fellow horse owner, i truly enjoyed your book. it's about time a book was written on the beauty of horse racing and not just the handicapping aspect. there are thousands of stories to be told on the backside and you have written a great one. thank you
red bank, nj USA

Comments by Kathryn Page on Friday, March 23, 2001 at 07:15 IP Logged
I heard a review of your book on NPR's "Fresh Air" the other day and stopped at a bookstore to buy it. They had just sold out. Went to another store. Same thing. Tried one last place. Last copy went out the door 10 minutes ago. The clerk said, "Was there an NPR program about this or something?" I'm on the waiting list for my copy and can't wait to get it. Thanks from a horse lover and owner.
TX USA

Comments by Shane on Friday, March 23, 2001 at 06:07 IP Logged
I had never even heard of Seabiscuit before reading the article on you in the Washngton Post a week or two ago. While only having a passing interest in horse racing the only time other than Triple Crown possibilities I have been excited about horses is when ESPN named Secretariat one of the century's greatest athletes. But i became intrigued after the article and bought the book, at full price I might add, as just today I saw it 20% off at Borders. Well, it was well worth the price and then some. I just literally finished it (a long lunch) and I am inspired to say the least, by the story, by the horse and by you. It is beyond wonderful. My greatest hope is that Hollywood will not screw it up. Good Luck to you. You should be proud of yourself. I'll be waiting for the next book.
Arlinton, VA USA

Comments by ROY WALLACE on Friday, March 23, 2001 at 05:50 IP Logged
GREAT BOOK, I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE MOVIE. THANKS FOR WRITING IT.
BALTIMORE, MD USA

Comments by dave wehling on Friday, March 23, 2001 at 03:37 IP Logged
Laura, Truly loved your book. Would have thrown it away if it was fiction because, of course, it couldn't have happened in real life. One question, please: is the match race with War Admiral available on video to view? I'd love to see it. Thanks for the great read...Dave Wehling
USA

Comments by Bleu Grijalva on Friday, March 23, 2001 at 03:30 IP Logged
I was thrilled to hear of this new book on 1 Union Station, an NPR Program... Just as the simulcast of Seabiscuit & War Admiral finished I conveniently arrived at Borders Books where I caught the last copy of Seabiscuit!! Thanks Again!
Providence, RI USA

Comments by Dave Herrmann on Friday, March 23, 2001 at 01:50 IP Logged
What a wonderful book. I fell in love with Seabiscuit while reading it, and cried at the end. Thank you very much.
Warriors Mark, Pa. USA

Comments by Fran V Beutler on Thursday, March 22, 2001 at 08:59 IP Logged
Thank you so much for writing a wonderfully engrossing book! A few weeks ago I had a 12 hour flight delay at the Las Vegas Airport and the good news is I had your book to read! I couldn't keep my nose out of it. You have a talent for weaving an intricate story and I hope you will pick another racehorse to write a book about soon. I am looking forward to your movie about Seabiscuit being released. Regards, Fran
San Jose, CA USA

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