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Thanks for a most enjoyable read.My Dad was into the ponies and you captured the excitement of an era when horse racing was the escape of the day. My dad was at Pimlico and saw the War Admiral race...or so he told me hundred times. He would agree. Seabiscuit was the greatest horse he had ever seen. Again...Thanks, Bruce
Bruce J. Rogow <>
Marblehead, MA USA - Monday, January 21, 2002 at 18:22:17 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I have no words to really express to you in a way that hundreds - thousands - of others have not already, what a marbelous book you've written. It has really tied upmy life over the last week or so, and I've found myself late to the office in the morning, and rushing out too soon at night, to finish it. It is truly an unforgettable story written in an unforgettable way. In a very real way it seemed to touch me very personally. I am black, fifty-seven, a physician; I grew up in Norbeck, Maryland, a small "RFD" stop in Montgomery County, Maryland, a little past Wheaton. Fascinated with horses as long as I could remember, I was looking out back one day when I spotted a large bay horse grazing in a field behind my parents property. It turned out he had been sired by the great Bull Lea at Calumet Farm, but had not proved a success on the track and was for sale. The year was 1955, I was eleven, and a short time later he was mine. He proved quite a handful for a kid learning to ride reading the Boy Scout Handbook on horsemanship, with some input from a couple horsemen in the area, but no formal lesson program as all kids seem to have today. I went to races as well, dragging my family to the D.C. International at Laurel, and seeing Bold Ruler win the Preakness in 1957 at the same Pimlico which figured so prominently in the life of the Biscuit. My horse Bob O'Lea and I would ride down the road from my house to watch on summer weekends as a group of black horsemen would descend upon an old baseball field in Norbeck and compete in the wildest bush-type horse shows. These people were phenomenal riders and trainers, many of them going on to compete at the National at Madison Square Garden, and other big events around the East. But they always returned to Norbeck to jump, eat fried chicken, let their hair down and have a great time. It was quite a shock to leave this place, my home, and find out that in the larger world a black horseman was such an anomaly. Finally, living on Boston's North Shore, I used to pass Suffolk Downs every day for fifteen years while working at Boston City Hospital. (I now see less frequently, having moved my office to Salem.) I've been there on race day a few times. Needless to say, I never dreamed the track had such an glorious past, nor the connections to greatness that you discribe in your story. My thirteen year old daughter decided at an early age that she loved horses. (Do you think it was the Walter Farley and Marguerite Henry books I threw at her as soon as she could read?) She now rides at a stable in Ipswich, Mass., and so my life is connected to horses again. To some degree things have come full circle, although she'll never have the freedom of movement on horseback that I was able to enjoy. I'm not sure why I'm writing you all of this. I daresay you're very busy, but I thought, as a historian, you might find it interesting. At any rate, thank you again, for a glorious read. Your research, your style, and your hard work are an inspiration. Sincerely, Owen Mathieu
Owen R. Mathieu, Jr., MD. <>
Marblehead,, Ma USA - Monday, January 21, 2002 at 10:23:05 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I loved this book, have recommended it to friends and became so intrigued with the world of horse racing that I first the first time visited our local tracks at Portland Meadows this weekend with a group of friends. We had a terrific time, and your book came up repeatedly. I'm so impressed with the rich detail you were able to draw from your extensive research. Congratulations on a great American story. Look forward to seeing the movie.
Bill Graves <>
Beaverton, OR USA - Monday, January 21, 2002 at 07:13:37 (EST)
Just finished reading your book. Thank you for a very enjoyable and entertaining read! I hope that the upcoming PBS special and movie will capture the magic of your book about this wonderful horse and his story.
Ed Pekor
Vienna, VA USA - Sunday, January 20, 2002 at 20:54:04 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Thanks for giving my daily round-trip commute of 120 miles per day a new vigor through your book in an audio version. I agree with those that said they laughed and cried. But I wondered at times what my fellow commuters were thinking as I was driving down the NJ Turnpike in late afternoons doing either of these. I have always and will always love horses and you certainly helped me to love Seabiscuit. The personality and understanding you wrote about him certainly was understandable to me. Horses are not machines, they have feelings and thinking abilities, an idea to which you opened the car driving, Internet using, reading public. I’m in awe of how you were able to get the information that you obtained to write such a factual book. I too am inspired by the historical knowledge intertwined in the story. As a Medical Writer, I am a Writer first and have the burn inside to develop an idea into a book. Thanks for a great trip and I’ll be missing a friend on my commute now that I finished the book. I hope they are able to do the book and Seabiscuit justice in the film. You both deserve it! I will take the advice of one of the previous writers and visit Pimlico Race Course. Pimlico may find their attendance increasing and might want to find out if it was due to your book. Seems a Laura Hillenbrand/Seabiscuit Day wouldn’t be out of the question.
Carol Jelinek <>
Monroe Township, NJ USA - Sunday, January 20, 2002 at 18:44:23 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I'm only halfway through Seabiscuit, but can't wait to tell you what a pleasure it has been to read--on many levels. It brings back happy memories of my horse-crazy youth, thrilled to "go to the races" with my grandfather, drawing the jockeys and delighting in the sights, smells, and sounds around me. I used to read castoff turf magazines with articles on Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons and racing giants like War Admiral and Kelso. When I was older, in college, I still thrilled to go to the track with Grandpop and began then to admire the strength, character and skill of the riders even more than the horses. I'm looking forward to reporting on your book to my bookgroup next month, when all the ladies will be surprized I am sure to learn that I once read Eddie Arcaro's biography. Best of all, I'm enjoing the rhythm and color in your writing which brings alive an era of thoroughbred racing more romantic than present days perhaps. Congratulations of your great success. Norah McMeeking, Santa Barbara,CA
Norah Madigan McMeeking
USA - Sunday, January 20, 2002 at 15:41:36 (EST)
Laura its all your fault for my lack of sleep this past week as i could not put Seabiscuit down.Finally i finished the book and now im enjoying a complete nights sleep.My congratulations to you and your very fine work.You seem to have researched the horses life and all around him with meticulous care and love.I want to personally thank you and tell you how much i enjoyed it.I also wanted to ask you how i could obtain a signed copy of it and also if there might be a link where one could see and download pictures of the horse and his handlers especially the finish of the race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral.Again thanks and please feel free to email me any info you can.
Steve Garlow <>
Cleveland, N.Y USA - Sunday, January 20, 2002 at 12:00:34 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand; What a wonderful book…I have never laughed or cried so much and enjoyed myself in one book as I did with this one. Best Regards, DR. Steven L. Siegel
Dr. Steven L. Siegel
USA - Sunday, January 20, 2002 at 10:00:43 (EST)
I grew up on a farm in eastern Colorado with horses, but have lived in the Washington DC area since 1965. The book is the best sports book I've ever read, and brought back many fond memories of my companions in my youth. What a fine job of writing and in bringing that period alive.
Dan Nickelson <>
Spotsylvania, Va USA - Saturday, January 19, 2002 at 16:09:29 (EST)
Dear Laura.Well done with your Seabiscuit book.Well written researched.It brought me back to great places.Dont pay any attention to Tony Morris,he just wishes he had your gift. Good luck from Ireland.Amy more books?
Joe Hernon <>
Cork, Ireland - Saturday, January 19, 2002 at 13:35:44 (EST)
I have never had an interest in horses, horse racing, jockeys etc, but now I am fascinated. You have taken a great story and a remarkable cast of characters and brought them to life. I listened to the book on tape and found it impossible to get out of the car when I got home-especially when a race was in progress. Please write another book soon. This one is surely a classic.
Paul A. Parker <>
Portland, Me USA - Saturday, January 19, 2002 at 13:11:42 (EST)
This is among the best books I've ever read. It's a fascinating story with an amazing cast of real-life characters. Ms. Hillenbrand's writing is a real joy; the introduction, perhaps the best I've read, is an irresistable invitation to the rest of the book. I've been telling everyone I know to read this book.
J. Powell
Fullerton, CA USA - Friday, January 18, 2002 at 17:11:13 (EST)
To Laura Hillenbrand Hi, My name is John Scheibe and I'm an editor at the L.A. Times. I just finished your terrific book on "Seabiscuit" and it was a wonderful read. I worked in our sports dept. for 18 years, including some time with the late Jim Murray when he had his eye problems and I have been thinking about putting something down on paper about that experience with him. Your storytelling has given me renewed inspiration. Thanks.
John Scheibe <>
Los Angeles, California USA - Friday, January 18, 2002 at 15:14:29 (EST)
WARMINSTER, PA USA - Friday, January 18, 2002 at 13:43:00 (EST)
Your book Seabiscuit was great I like that it has a lot to do with our town. I didnt have alot of time to listen to my teacher read the book but I'm going to borrow one and read it by my self. I'm glad someone is writing about the famouse horse of Willits.
Sonja Cassidy <>
Willits, California USA - Friday, January 18, 2002 at 12:33:42 (EST)
I just finished reading with such joy your book about Seabiscuit. Your interview on NPR acquainted me with you and your glorious book. It is the first sports book I have ever read but will forever be the best: it is a winner!
Lynne Trigleth <>
Ada, OK USA - Friday, January 18, 2002 at 11:32:49 (EST)
I visited Pimlico Race Course last week and on my way up the 6 flights of stairs that lead to the upper clubhouse seating section, I made an exciting discovery. Just outside the entrance, hanging on a huge wall, was a perfectly arranged set of photographs that depicted the previous Pimlico Special winners. The very first one, all the way at the top left, was a picture of War Admiral winning the 1937 race. But the one next to it really caught my eye. It was a picture of Seabicuit leading the Admiral in deep stretch in the 1938 Pimlico Special, which of course was the match race between the two horses. As I stood there gazing at that photograph, the pages of your book slowly began turning in my memory. Even if I was a great writer like yourself, I'm afraid my words could never describe the spirit of that moment. It was as though I transcended time and took a step back in history and was part of the race myself. Thank you for that moment. As an added bonus, on the same floor is a row of jockey protraits. There is a fantastic portrait of George Woolf there that everyone should see. I would recommend to any horse/racetrack fanatic who has read your book to go and stand before that place and feel for yourself. You will never forget, as I too, will never forget that moment and the story of Seabiscuit.
Ron Miskell <>
Hampstead, MD USA - Friday, January 18, 2002 at 08:08:11 (EST)
OUTSTANDING!! You made me laugh, cry, & wonder what could of been if the Biscuit found Tom earlier. Such a great story one would think you made it up!! Hee Hee I only wish there were more pics. Really seeing the people & horses really helped me to pull it all together. Well done-thanks for the knowledge & entertainment.
Stacie Austensen <>
Lisbon, MD USA - Thursday, January 17, 2002 at 22:37:25 (EST)
I have never been to a horse race, but thoroughly enjoyed "Seabiscuit".It took me into a world I know nothing about. Thank you so much for writing this book-It kept my interest from page one to the very end.
Ruth Chudy <>
plainfield, ma USA - Thursday, January 17, 2002 at 17:03:47 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, It is the greatest gift you give when you bring to life the wonderful spirit of Seabiscuit and those who recognized that spirit in him. You have enriched my life. Seabiscuit will continue to inspire me when adversity presents itself. Thank you. And best wishes. Marie
Marie Lamothe <>
Interlochen, MI USA - Thursday, January 17, 2002 at 15:58:44 (EST)
What a wonderful book! I could not put it down.
Pat Missell <>
Webster, NY USA - Thursday, January 17, 2002 at 13:34:35 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand - There is not much I can add to the previous praises of your great book, about the greatest horse. You have sent me on a quest of my own. I have a picture of Tom Smith taken in 1951 in the winners circle of the Charles Howard Handicapp. I look at this picture every day - with my parents, and this older man who I didn't know. Until your book I didn't know who Charles S. Howard was. My Dad's horse was the winner in that circle in July of '51. I have a few newspapers articles that talked about my Dad's horse, Rustaway, and his breeding ranch in San Ysidro. Caliente was a poplular place at my house along with Hollywood Park, Santa Anita - all the place you talked about in your book. One small paragraph said that along with Dr. and Mrs. Chester L. Wilson was Tom Smith, trainer of the great Seabiscuit. My Dad passed away in 1954 and I was way to young to ask the right questions of my remaining family. Your book has given me some insight into that life and I will be doing some more research starting with the San Diego Union on my next trip south. I imagine there is no one left that would remember my Dad and his horses or ranch, but I will give it a try. Thanks for bringing this little known part of the American culture to the forefront. And thanks for the spark to learn more of my family history. Chesteen
Chesteen Lindberg <>
Oakland, CA USA - Thursday, January 17, 2002 at 12:46:24 (EST)
congratulations on writing a fine, fun book! in many of the photos, Seabiscuit's leg skin has the appearance of watered silk; did Smith use pin firing as a technique in keeping him sound? Were the "poultices" part of the blistering process? I agree that the horse was magic but those old time trainers had some hair-raising tricks for keeping horses running; shouldn't the public know?
suzanne mencer <>
charlotte, nc USA - Thursday, January 17, 2002 at 12:24:32 (EST)
I thank you so much for writing such a wonderful book. I live in Willits Ca. and its was a good experience to learn more about my local history. I never knew why Howard Memorial Hospital was constructed other then we needed a hospital. I didn't know it has a reason. its inspiring that such a horse came from a place like Willits .
isaac reeser <>
Willits, California USA - Thursday, January 17, 2002 at 12:14:19 (EST)
I think that its kind of a trip reading a book that takes place in outskirts of my home town. Thats the cool part. The bad part is the book was pretty lame.
keith bulcke
willits , ca USA - Thursday, January 17, 2002 at 12:05:07 (EST)
I think of this book that it was interesting and that knowing what happened in this town and the legend. I kind of enjoyed it alot.
Ajay Patel
Willits, CA USA - Thursday, January 17, 2002 at 11:58:35 (EST)
"...Hoo-ray for Seabiscuit!" & may I add, Hoo-ray for Laura Hillenbrand for giving us this wonderful book.
Lucy MacDonald <>
Brooklyn, NY USA - Thursday, January 17, 2002 at 01:53:34 (EST)
I LOVED your book! Thank you for bringing Seabiscuit to life again to captivate our hearts now as he captivated the nation then. Your writing allowed me to experience this phenomenon as though I was there and to feel a part of the nation's deep affection for this horse. The accounts of the crowds who came to see him I found particularly moving. I too did not want it to end and had to 'pace' myself to make it last. You know how you feel when a dear pet dies and you grieve and don't want to consider another one? That's how I felt when I finished your book: I didn't want to read anything else, nothing else would do. As you wrote Howard to say: "Sir, there will never be another Seabiscuit".
Diana Watters <>
Palo Alto, CA USA - Wednesday, January 16, 2002 at 22:29:26 (EST)
Hello Ms. Hillenbrand, Just finished `Seabiscuit.' I know you're hearing this a lot, but--great job! I agree that the movie can never match the book--but they rarely do. I'll see it anyway. I'll also keep an eye out for any other writing you do. -Gene Dittmer
Gene Dittmer <>
Acton, MA USA - Wednesday, January 16, 2002 at 22:00:03 (EST)
Hi Laura. Your book is a masterpiece of writing, and placing the reader into the story itself. I never imagined I'd be reading a story about a horse and be so enthralled I couldn't put it down. All the characters are so alive and beautifully rendered. Thank you for sharing your love of Seabiscuit with us. The movie will never live up to the book because your descriptions tell us all we need to know.
Harriet Cuthbert <>
Sarasota, flfFL USA - Wednesday, January 16, 2002 at 16:25:18 (EST)
Thank you for such a wonderful book. I have been a racing fan for many years now and have read various racing books from here in the UK and I would have to say that Seabiscuit the story is by far the best. It's written in such a personel manner installing the reader with a feeling for all the main people and of course the great horse without any touch of sentimentality. A great book showing guts and barvery and a pure love of the horse, it was great to read that the connections always put the horse welfare first, a point even some of todays trainers and owners could take heed to. But above all I enjoyed reading about the wonderful brave Seabiscuit a horse in a million. I only wished I could have seen him race.
Mr Peter King <>
Hockley, essex UK - Wednesday, January 16, 2002 at 15:35:51 (EST)
MS Hillenbrand~ I have had the distinct pleasure of having just finished your remarkable story. What a triumph of style, imagination and story telling. You are indeed a wonderful writer and your book has elevated, even more, my love for the sport of horseracing and the joy I experience from watching the most beautiful of all creatures. I have been a fan of the sport for many years. Your descriptions of the races were so tangible and immediate that I felt I was actually there atop Seabiscuit running with the wind! Congratulations on the success of this superb absolutely deserve it.
Jeff Warren <>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Wednesday, January 16, 2002 at 15:04:22 (EST)
Thank you for this wonderful book. I received this work as Christmas gift (2001) while I was recovering from a heart attack. It has brought great pleasure. Thank you again, for sharing your gift of writing with us.
Mike Blankenhip <>
Norwood, OH USA - Wednesday, January 16, 2002 at 14:48:32 (EST)
From the first page of Seabiscuit I kept thinking..."oh, no! this book is going to end!" Your writing style is a pleasure to experience and Seabiscuit's story is so wonderful. Can't wait to someday get a picture of the bronzes at Santa Anita of the Biscuit and Mr. Woolf! I had a real treat yesterday as I looked at the papers of a Hanovarian gelding I bought last week...the dam was a granddaughter (with a few "greats" thrown in) of Man o' War and War Admiral which makes my "Goal Mein" some distant cousin of Seabiscuit!! Anyway...I host a weekday newsbased talk show in San Antonio, Tx and would love to interview you one day...any possibility? Well, that's enough...thank you so much for putting so much love and talent into the story of the remarkable Seabiscuit!
Eliza Sonneland <>
San Antonio, TX USA - Wednesday, January 16, 2002 at 12:53:43 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Congratulations on a superbly written book! It was thoroughly researched; I love the elegant typeface; the pictures were amazing! What can I say? I have always loved horses. My friends: The Black Stallion, the Man from Snowy River, all of Marguerite Henry's books, Western Horseman magazine, Breyer Horses, training books, riding books, FFA books, the Run for the Roses, and anything that has anything at all to do with horses! I have "horse blood" in my veins: my paternal grandfather was a cowboy; my maternal great-grandmother was a real trainer in her time. I grew up owning a white little shetland mare, and a gentlemanly Appy named "Johnny". I could not put your book down. I felt the nervousness in the pit of my stomach every time Seabiscuit raced. I groaned when he lost; I cheered when he won. I agonized over the incredible weights he had to endure with each race. The rigors of the jockey world hit close to home. I could easily understand why they sacrificed themselves for the privelege to ride the best of the best. George Woolf was one of the very best jockeys in America, bar none. He IS the Iceman! I always knew Seabiscuit was one of the greatest living horses alive, but you produced him up close and personal for me. I will always love horses, and your book has become another very dear friend to me. Thank you for elevating the telling of horses to an art form. Nancy Nicole Atwood
Nancy Nicole Atwood <>
Alamogordo, NM USA - Wednesday, January 16, 2002 at 02:35:36 (EST)
I just finished reading this wonderful book and still have the tears in my eyes. Isn't it just remarkable how three people and one animal who seem ordinary, or could even be judged less than that by some, have this ability to discover their own talents through each other and this remarkable horse and thus they all rise to a greatness they probably would not have achieved without the others! The love all the men have for this horse, and the love this horse had for those men makes an incredible story. If this were fiction, nobody would believe it. Thank you for this wonderful story.
Jeanne Celiberti <>
Dover, DE USA - Tuesday, January 15, 2002 at 23:21:28 (EST)
Dear Laura, i want to thank you soo very much for the Seabiscuit book...I gew up riding and loved horse racing with a passion..i watched it with may father all the time...He gave me the book for X-mass, and both my boyfriend and i are avid horse racing fans, and we loved it!! we go to Saratoga every year, and love eveything about the sport. I have a question to ask you, i would love to get him a black and white photo of the finish between War Admiral and you have any idea where i may find one, a re=print???? i have no idea where to begin looking. thank you so very much, and please WRITE another book! thanks- melissa
melissa canaday <>
Denver, CO USA - Tuesday, January 15, 2002 at 17:15:10 (EST)
Mrs. Hillenbrand: I recently finished reading your wonderful book about the racing legend Seabiscuit. Thank you so much for the historically exciting and loving account of this wonderful equine super hero and the personalities surrounding him. Years ago, I raced thoroughbreds and acquired quite a collection of old newsreel footage, and archive footage, of many famous horses, including Seabiscuit, War Admiral (whom I actually petted and lead by a halter when I was a teenager) Kayak and many others. I even have the ridiculous "Story of Seabiscuit" with Shirley Temple....The best movie ever about horse racing is "Phar Lap", made in Australia. It is the most accurate and memorable thus far. Thank you for "Seabiscuit"--it brought back a lot of excitement and memories. Carol Streiff Luttrall
Carol Luttrall <>
Weatherford, TX USA - Tuesday, January 15, 2002 at 15:55:39 (EST)
I am reading your book in my english class and I attend willits high school. Your book is very interesting and it is interesting liveing around areas that most people would of not here about until now, such as Willits, Ridgewood and Reeves canyon which is where my Dad works and may be part of the old Ridgewood ranch. Anyway I just want to thank you for selling some books to my english teacher Jeanne King that was truly a wonderful thing to do.
Zack Grieve
Willits, California USA - Tuesday, January 15, 2002 at 14:31:10 (EST)
The Seabsicuit book is a good book I dont like to read but I would read this book by my self I would tell my freinds about this book so they can read it to.
Peter Bailey-Perkins
Willits, CA USA - Tuesday, January 15, 2002 at 14:05:17 (EST)
First of all i have to thank you for letting my teacher get these books at a lower price. and second i am crazy over this book. some would say that they like it and didnt but i have to say that i had my doubts of this book and it started off slow but by chapter 4 and seeing how pollard (my favorite character) was barely able to feed himself. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Lupe
Lupe Hernandez <>
Willits, California USA - Tuesday, January 15, 2002 at 14:02:52 (EST)
Why did you write a book about a horse? It is a good book when I am not sleeping. The port about Tiajuana was the best port of the book, but we are not done. So there can be better port. And if I knew we had to take a final i wouldn't have been sleeping all the time. Willits sucks there is nathing to do. But when I am old I would like to live in Willits because it is peaceful.bye
enrique hernandez
willits , ca USA - Tuesday, January 15, 2002 at 14:00:42 (EST)
This book was ok I found it hard to follow but it was ok, and me being from willits the history is cool but this town is not very fun because it is a small boring town with nothing to for us teenagers so we all get in trrouble.
Matt Taylor
Willits, California USA - Tuesday, January 15, 2002 at 13:54:36 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand- What can I say, that has not already been said, about a "Great Book". What a masterpiece! You are a wonderful writer. I just finished it. I didn't want it to end. I want to turn around and read it again to make sure I didn't miss anything, but my Dad wants to read it first. I have a Trakehner/Quarter Horse Cross of my own so I know first hand what wonderful animals horses are. What a great horse Seabiscuit was. Best of luck to you and thanks again for a wonderful read. Susan
Susan Winkler <>
Baltimore, MD USA - Tuesday, January 15, 2002 at 11:35:07 (EST)
I was wondering how long it take from start to finish including the research time to complete the book
carmine ricciardi <>
watchung, nj USA - Tuesday, January 15, 2002 at 07:37:41 (EST)
Thank you and God bless you. Your "Biscuit" has lifted my spirits. It has been kind of a bummer of a year. The recent loss of my mother and the abominable attack of September11 had me a little down, until I picked up your book. It was the bit of sunshine that melted away the clouds. Red and Pops are the two heroes that restored my faith in humanity. Several times I became one with horse, rider and trainer, and shed tears of joy and pain. What a poignant read...What an uplifting ride! Thank you and all of your friends that helped bring alive such grand old times when we need it most. Thank you for letting the "Biscuit" run again. I will never forget the inspiration of the American heros that you reincarnated, and for that you too are a hero. I will treasure my copy of "Seabiscuit" forever, and share it with everyone. Pops might be long gone, but because of you he'll never die.
John Swift <>
New York, NY USA - Tuesday, January 15, 2002 at 01:44:22 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, What a book! What a writer! What a horse! I am sure that Mr. Howard, Mr. Smith, Mr. Pollard, Mr. Woolf and of course the great Seabiscuit would all be very proud that you shared their story to your readers. I look forward to the movie, but somehow I don't think it will be as good as your book.
USA - Tuesday, January 15, 2002 at 00:25:36 (EST)
What a fantastic read! I fell in love with racing when they opened Lone Star Park in Texas and I've never been the same. This book adds fuel to that fire. Thank you for taking the time to write this magnificent tale about an unforgettable horse. Can't WAIT 'til the movie opens.
Jenni <>
Dallas, TX USA - Monday, January 14, 2002 at 14:38:34 (EST)
dear ms hillenbrand I just finished seabiscuit. What a marvelous literary endeaver. It touches everyone who reads it.My only regret was the brevity of the story.You could without a doubt held my attention for another 1000 pages.Best read in a long time best wishes
stephen snyder <>
lebanon, tn USA - Monday, January 14, 2002 at 13:58:16 (EST)
Dear Laura, what a compelling story you've written about Seabiscuit and his team of handlers. an incredible accomplishment!!! What I find just as interesting is your personal story and the courage it must have taken to complete the book. You are a true inspiration and I hope you one day are rid of CFS, although I know there is no cure or explanation for CFS, I hope you wake one morning to be free of it. your boyfriend sounds like a great guy and a lucky one. p.s. i challenge all readers of Seabiscuit to send an email to Oprah for her book club and get this book more promtion. go to book club
Ed <>
pompano beach, fl USA - Monday, January 14, 2002 at 12:00:10 (EST)
Dear Laura, Well, I finished your book last night and now I am distraught. No more extreme enjoyment unless, of course, you have another book in the making. I can wait, I think. What an enthralling tale and how captivating. I don't recall ever becoming audible while reading a book, but I was saying things like, Oh no, this can't be happening, godammit, etc. You could sense a pulse rising and falling during your race descriptions. I was galloping as fast as Seabiscuit. The epilogue was a strong dose of reality. I hope Hollywood doesn't dwell on it. Your talent is intense, and I will just patiently wait for your next book.
john <>
USA - Sunday, January 13, 2002 at 22:09:38 (EST)
Thouroughly enjoyed the book; an excellent read. Looking forward with great anticipation to the movie.
Mike Bourgeois <>
Houston, tx USA - Sunday, January 13, 2002 at 21:06:11 (EST)
Hello Ms. Hillenbrand: Our bookclub was thrilled with your book. We were awed at your skill in referencing the story from newpspapers, the thrill of the ride, the intricacies of the racing subculture and the reflections from our own lives that were analogous. Thank you for writing such a wholesome, wonderful book. Keep up the good work! THE YOUNG AMERICA, MINNESOTA LIBRARY MEN-ONLY BOOKCLUB
Men Only Book Club <>
Young America, MN USA - Sunday, January 13, 2002 at 20:00:02 (EST)
You have written a wonderful book!! I was born in West Virginia the same year as Seabiscuit, of a western Kentucky father: • The name Seabiscuit hangs in my mind but I was too young; • When the family traveled to visit the grandparents, the one exciting stop we always made (to keep us quiet on the long trip) was at the Man of War stall at Calumet?, from which we admired the stud and we always removed a piece of straw for our scrapbooks; Later I was graduated from Yale: • For several years after being graduated I wondered how anyone could succeed after attending a small, non-Ivy league college; • I never read a book until the ‘90s by a woman because they could hardly be adept (Yes, I know, there were a lot of us and may still be). Still much later I started a business which sold computers to schools. My customers included Marietta, Muskingham, Denison, Kenyon, Taylor, Wesleyan, Williams, Peabody and others and I became heavily involved with CUETUG which was a technology group from some 400 small colleges and universities. From this experience, added to a few years of much needed maturity, I viewed small schools with a much different perspective and sent my son to Denison. He was not much of a writer or I would have chosen Kenyon. Still much much later I read Praying For Sheetrock and afterwards discovered M. F. Greene was a woman. Goodness, a woman writer. More recently my Couples Book Club read Tracy Chevalier’s Girl With A Pearl Earring - she about your age and a graduate of Oberlin, another small college. And now the Book Club picked Seabiscuit. Your book will surely win the Pulitzer and you go with Greene and Chevalier into my Pantheon. If you wish, after we discuss your book in two weeks, I will tell you what this group of 28 retireés thought. Did you know my friend Gentry Sayad at Kenyon? His mother is a friend of the Pulitzers in St. Louis.
Charles Bourland <>
Savannah, GA USA - Sunday, January 13, 2002 at 11:28:00 (EST)
Dear Laura, Wow, I haven't read a book cover-to-cover since the 7th grade!! That was over 30 years ago! Once I started reading, I couldn't wait until the next time I had time to read! As a teacher, I seldom have my own time to read, but I made time for Seabiscuit! Your writing drew me in, brought me to tears and made me laugh at the same time. The races nearly sent me running around the house! Thank you for one of the most enjoyable weeks that I have had in a very long time!
Todd Slothower <>
Moline, IL USA - Sunday, January 13, 2002 at 01:08:07 (EST)
My father inlaw is dying of cancer and I gave him your book to read recently. It has given him immense enjoyment to read it and I just wanted to thank you. I have no interest in the sport but read Seabiscuit and absolutely loved every word.
Chuck <>
Ca USA - Saturday, January 12, 2002 at 22:12:25 (EST)
Laura Hillenbrand: You made me crazy. I was ready to move into Seabiscuit's stall. As long as you stick to animals I'll be okay. I nearly ate my oats the other morning without cooking them! Familiarity with Del Mar Race Track has special meaning for me as you told your tale. Overlooking the race track from Tippet Hall failed to ignite the passion and excitement generated by you and Seabiscuit. Thanks. Jim Skeese
Jim Skeese <>
Stow, OH USA - Saturday, January 12, 2002 at 15:58:16 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand: Lady, you know how to write. My gut tells me the movie will never be a "money-maker." The story is too poignant, too genuine and deals with things that matter. And nothing gets blown up and no one takes their clothes off. So naturally, it doesn't have a chance at Hollywood "success." But if this flick even approaches the power of your book, it will be one of those underrated gems. Just don't let the Hollywood hacks screw it up, please??? I won't even talk about your research....ridiculous, and humbling. I know little about horse-racing...but I watch the triple crown every year and I always find myself on the edge of my seat. The races are exciting, but that is not the reason. It's the horses. They are so compelling...heart, genuine heart, courage in its purest form. You captured it well in Seabiscuit's story. Great stuff. Only one question....your account of the match race with War Admiral is truly great descriptive writing. War Admiral's eyes rolling back in his head on the far turn, his tongue twisting out the side of his mouth at the moment he breaks...Jesus, what powerful stuff. Anyway, as much affection as the book justifiably engenders for Seabiscuit, I found myself moved by your powerful description of a crushed War Admiral being led away in defeat after the race. Seabiscuit simply ripped the heart out of a great champion...what an amazing, amazing feat. I'll go do the research, but what did you find out about War Admiral's career after the match race? Was he finished? Did Seabiscuit truly destroy him? Human champions sometimes never come back from defeats like that. In closing...I am studying to be an English teacher...I will USE this book if I ever can. Nice stuff.
Jeff Minahan <>
Olney, MD USA - Friday, January 11, 2002 at 21:49:34 (EST)
Thank you for telling the remarkable story of Seabiscuit and the people associated with him. Your writing style was truly a pleasure.
Bill Bales <>
Orlando, FL USA - Friday, January 11, 2002 at 17:19:02 (EST)
I was just wondering if there is a way to get a copy of the race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral. I have looked, but have been unsuccessful so far. Any help would be most appreciated. Thanks.
Tiffany <>
Mesa, AZ USA - Friday, January 11, 2002 at 15:24:01 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, When I was 8 years old the nun who taught me would not let me check Walter Farley's Man O' War out of the school library. She felt it to be above my reading level. Of course I then went to the public libary and proceeded to read it anyway. If a girl can fall in love with a horse I fell in love with that one. Last year (quite a few years later) I read Seabiscuit and fell in love with another horse. I was in attendance at Pimilico this past fall when you were given your award in absentia by the Maryland Racing Writers. There was a standing ovation! As an equestrian journalist myself, I know how difficult it is to capture the spirit of a bygone era. Your book is a triumph. Would that anything I ever write comes even close to what you have accomplished. Now, because I can't resist, my suggestions for casting. As C. S. Howard- John Goodman. He fits the role physically and he can play period. Look at his portrayal of Babe Ruth. Russell Crowe as Tom Smith. He's a horseman in real life and a chameleon of an actor who is willing to change himself physically for a role. Michael J. Fox as Red Pollard. He again fits the role physically and I think is highly under-rated as an actor. Selma Hayek as Marcela Howard. She has the looks and is the right age. George Wolf is a tough one. Perhaps an unknown. And of course Mickey Rooney because he was there when it all happened!
Maryanna Skowronski <>
Bel Air, MD USA - Friday, January 11, 2002 at 14:33:46 (EST)
Dear Laura: The book was absolutely sensational. I only hope that the movie does justice to your book. I have told all of my friends how moving and feeling the characters truly are. This is a great tribute to you for bringing them to life. I have 2 questions which I would appreciate if you can answer. Whatever happened to Grog after Seabiscuits career was officially over. How did he live out his life? The second question involves some unfinished business that you failed to address in your book. Charles Howard had great feeling for the less fortunate. It was proven repeatedly by his charitable work (especially building the hospital) and his feelings in taking in Red Pollard after his injury. What strikes me the most is how Tom Smith left his employ after Seabiscuit's retirement never to reuinite with Mr. Howard? What happened to their relationship?
Robert Hutt <bobhutt99@aolcom>
Forked River, NJ USA - Friday, January 11, 2002 at 09:43:22 (EST)
There are places in this book where I had to stop reading because the tears were running down my face and I couldn't see the print anymore. Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing Seabiscuit and the people around him back to life. I am telling everyone I know -- even people who have never had any affinity for horses -- to get this book and read it. Waiting for the movie is going to be hard!
louise wagenknecht <>
Leadore, ID USA - Friday, January 11, 2002 at 00:46:54 (EST)
if you never write another book, there's always "seabiscuit".with most great books, people say, "i couldn't put it down". with yours i had to put it down, because it was so damn exciting i couldn't take it all at once. heartwarming and heartbreaking. a masterpiece. thank you for an example of what books, writing, and reading are all about. and of course, you do love horses! what's next? what can you possibly do for an encore? thanks again, murray.
murray via <>
irvine, ca USA - Thursday, January 10, 2002 at 22:51:11 (EST)
charles reilly <>
spring, tx!! USA - Thursday, January 10, 2002 at 20:52:39 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand,I just finished reading your wonderful book and will recommend it to everyone I know, horse-lover or not. As a life-long horse owner, I found your ability to capture and express the love these three men had for this little horse remarkable. I must tell you that I had a tear in my eye at many points throughout the book. I found the account of Pollard and Seabiscuit's last race at Santa Anita particularly powerful. Anyone that has been in the company of these wonderful animals will appreciate your account of their ability to love, trust and try their heats out for the human beings in their lives. Thank you for telling this story.
Christine <>
Chicago, IL USA - Thursday, January 10, 2002 at 17:21:22 (EST)
I'm amazed by all the messages of congratulation you receved. But I see none from my country! So it's just a message to tell you that your book has arrived in France an begun to "faire un malheur" !! I think you've created a all wave of passion for Seabiscuit and horses races. Good !! Your book is really nice. I would say that it has enchanted me as "The Black stallion " when I was nine!! (For me it's the greatest congratulation you can ever make!!) See you soon, I hope !
Durand Emilie <>
Paris, France - Thursday, January 10, 2002 at 15:36:51 (EST)
A sick day turned out to be bearable; I was engrosed in your book and could almost hear the races through your descriptions. I just discovered the excitement of horse racing last year and was happy to read that the horses themselves love to run. Thanks for a great book.
Jennifer DeLano <>
Oakdale, Ca USA - Thursday, January 10, 2002 at 14:22:07 (EST)
Dear Laura-There's little I enjoy more than a good biography. I was a bit skeptical however, when I checked the "Seabiscuit" audio out of the local library a few days ago. My thought was how interesting could it be to hear the tail of a horse? I understand now what all the buzz was about. You did a beautiful job recalling a wonderful story. More specifically, I'm thoroughly entralled by your skill with word-pictures and descriptive phrasing. I can't remember ever hearing/reading anyone who wrote so vivid, so fresh. Your work is truly inspiring! Rob-
Rob Holl <>
Orlando, FL USA - Thursday, January 10, 2002 at 14:04:34 (EST)
Ditto! I don't know how I can add to the guestbook. Thank you so much for tenaciously researching the lives of the Seabiscuit team. I've written to Oprah in hopes she would choose "your" story(your story and your story of Seabiscuit)to feature on the show. God Bless You.
Dorita <>
NY USA - Wednesday, January 09, 2002 at 21:37:02 (EST)
As a young girl who grew up riding beautiful thoroughbreds-off the track-in neighboring Maryland, retraining them to become hunters and jumpers. I have longed admired the heart of a thoroughbred! Your book is absolutely extraordinary...the writing, the people, the events, the times and most of "the horse" Seabiscuit! How wonderful... couldn't put the book down until finished. As a horseowner, thoroughbred lover - this book has inspired me to continue my dreams with horses with a renewed vigor...
Barbara Kurtz <>
Fredericktown, OH USA - Wednesday, January 09, 2002 at 16:38:34 (EST)
Loved the book, wonderful. Made you feel like you really knew the idiosyncricies of the horse and the men involved. How wonderful that Mr. Howard would put the welfare of the horse first and trusted his trainer through thick and thin. Thank you so much for writing Seabiscuit's story and best wishes in further endeavors.
Sally Lambert <>
Rocky Gap, VA USA - Wednesday, January 09, 2002 at 14:49:17 (EST)
WOW! Thanx so much for this work. I am not a race fan; just a bio fan. Bought the book for my daughter when I heard your interview on NPR. Then, when housesitting/animal sitting for her, I started the book and couldn't put it down. Can't wait for movie, but I'm looking forward more to the documentary. Questions: 1. What is definition of "backstretch?" Sounded like all the behind-the-scenes areas of a race track, or like the "grapevine." 2. Cover photo is March 5, '40. The race was March 2, '40. Was it a photo shoot? What? Red doesn't look like I would expect him to look moments after the win! Thanx again.
Tom Chancellor <>
Terrebonne, OR USA - Wednesday, January 09, 2002 at 14:30:50 (EST)
Your book rises above the genres, horse racing and sportswriting, and I thought it captured the fleeting glory of the track. I particularly liked your comparison of the riders to bullfighters. Horse racing is a blood sport for the horses and jocks and not many in the game would care to acknowledge it. The first time I saw the book I was disappointed because the cover photo cuts off Seabiscuit's head. As I read the book I realized that it wasn't really about the horse, it was about the three men. Was cropping Seabiscuit's head from the photo intentional? Jordan Lay Owner/trainer Ontario, Canada
jordan lay <>
Georgetown, Ontario Canada - Wednesday, January 09, 2002 at 14:23:40 (EST)
Hello fellow fans of Seabiscuit- Our production company, Insignia Films, is producing the documentary "Seabiscuit" for the PBS series The American Experience which will air sometime in 2002. We would love to hear from anyone who has photographs, film, artifacts, radio broadcasts, etc. relating to Seabiscuit. At the moment we are looking for footage of opening day at Santa Anita (Xmas day,1934) and race calls (we have Clem McCarthy's broadcasts for NBC.) You can contact me via email. Thank you, Eve Morgenstern, Associate Producer
Eve Morgenstern <>
New York, NY USA - Wednesday, January 09, 2002 at 14:04:01 (EST)
What a haunting read.... Being from a country with a great tradition in horse racing itself - and being brought up by a father who would let me bunk off school to go and watch the Cheltenham Gold Cup I have always loved horse racing. This book reaffirmed everything I love about the sport - the bravery, the beauty, the power and the final simple bottom line of horses are born to run.... Let's hope the new film does this wonderful story justice. It would be wonderful to see other such well written & enthralling books on such greats as Secretariat, Man O'War and maybe even Cigar. This book will haunt me for ever......
Louise Scutts <>
Southampton, United Kingdom - Wednesday, January 09, 2002 at 08:39:12 (EST)
With no knowledge of horse racing or horses I read your book with utter fascination and could not read it fast enough! Thank you for making a piece of history so interesting to read and the touching story so three dimensional. I am a voracious reader, and your book is one of a few that really got to me. I plan to recommend it to all of my friends! Thank you for all of your time and research that produced such a master piece!!
Reinette Carlson <>
Woodland, CA USA - Wednesday, January 09, 2002 at 00:15:55 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Your book was loaned to me by a good friend. I called her tonight to tell her what a special gift it had been to read an incredible chapter of our history. I have enjoyed horse racing for many years but had absolutely no idea of the communication between trainer/jockey/horse and of the personality that a horse can possess. As a native Californian, it was especially fun to read about local tracks and Agua Caliente. You did a beautiful tribute to Red, George, Charles, Tom and Seabiscuit. All the best to you in your future projects. I look forward to reading more of your work.
Pam <>
Roseville, CA USA - Tuesday, January 08, 2002 at 22:56:40 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbraud, I received this book as a Christmas present from my son and daughter-in-law. My daughter is a second year student at LSU Veterinary School in Baton Rouge. Between semesters, she has enjoyed helping the veterinarians in the backstretch at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. I have enjoyed accompanying her on several occasions. We both have a love for horses. As a coincidence, my daughter received the same book for Christmas from her future mother-in-law. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Seabiscuit. I had heard of this famous horse, but this was before I was born. I hope that you write a sequil to this book. I can't wait to read it again. I am looking forward to the movie. My ancestors owned Black Gold. Would you consider writing a book about this racehorse?
Jeanne Hoots Brough <>
Metairie, LA USA - Tuesday, January 08, 2002 at 21:45:49 (EST)
Laura: Your book is a masterpiece; thorough, credited and extremely entertaining. You deserve the tremendous success and accolades from "horsepeople" like me, historians and anyone that appreciates a gripping tale. Bravo!
Diana Wilson
Columbus, OH USA - Tuesday, January 08, 2002 at 19:45:41 (EST)
Dear Laura; I bought the book to read because I recently visited horse owning friends who got me thinking about my youth spent with horses. While looking for "Horse Books," I found this one too. I think everyone loves to learn about historical events that were larger than life - no matter what the sport. Even today, most everyone has heard of famous horses like Man-O-War, Whirlaway and Secretariat. Who never heard of Ruffian and Bold Forbes and their modern day match race that ended in tragedy? While I knew about the famous Seabiscuit, I never knew the whole story. Your telling was extremely well written - a gripping story. I know each person in it and can imagine a nation drawn to their radios to listen to what this Horse would do next. It is particularly fascinating to learn about "how things were." The Era of Horse racing in Tijuana, Mexico was a very interesting part of this historical book. I haven't read magazine articles as fast as I read this book! Do you have any plans to write another biography of a famous horse? I can't wait! - KJM
Kevin <>
Scarborough, ME USA - Tuesday, January 08, 2002 at 18:45:59 (EST)
Dear Laura, You did a masterful effort in writing about a racehorse but also fleshing out the main characters around him. To make it even better the discriptions of life at the track for the jockeys, the trainer vs. press and gamesmanship of the owners was a bonus. I hope Hollywood doesn't "screw it up". Thanks for a great read. NW
Norman Walker <>
Rochester, NY USA - Tuesday, January 08, 2002 at 17:37:22 (EST)
Dear Laura - as a Louisville native, a race fan, and one who rates Secretariat's '73 Belmont 31-length victory the greatest athletic feat he's witnessed, I say BRAVO. What a book! Seabiscuit was before my time, so your book was education, history, intense excitement, and emotion all rolled into one. Thank you!
Steve Naiser <>
Louisville, KY USA - Tuesday, January 08, 2002 at 17:24:02 (EST)
Dear Laura, thank you , thank you for this wonderful book!Eagerly await your next book.
Terri Smith <>
Mt.Airy, GA. USA - Tuesday, January 08, 2002 at 16:37:11 (EST)
Your book is excellent, Your sequel subject matter could easily center on the E-Mail responses you've received. Enough said!
Bill <>
churchville, ny USA - Tuesday, January 08, 2002 at 15:37:06 (EST)
Laura, I just finshed reading about your CFS in Home Journal. I have the disease too. I just wanted to say hello. Congratulations on the book. And, Best Wishes with your future - health included. I have included my web address. My CFS story is there if you care to read it. Sign my guestbook too if you would please and/or email a line to me.
Jack Slater <>
Moline, IL USA - Tuesday, January 08, 2002 at 13:27:32 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Great job! You have done justice to a wonderful time in America and to an unforgettable team. Nothing I can say can add to all the comments on this guestbook or in reviews. I am just so glad that your skill as a writer has opened up the eyes of so many as to what a fantastic sport horse racing is. I cannot understand why it is not able to reappear in the public's mind as a major sport. Perhaps your success with "Seabiscuit" will be a turning point in public perception and interest. I really hope so. I have to say that I've enjoyed glancing over these postings almost as much as the book! So many people have been lavish in their praise and love of the Biscuit....and he deserved every bit of it. Was amazed at how many ways people misspelled his name....also how often the invevitable comparisons to Secretariat and others came up. People do love trying to picture the "what if" scenario (Secretariat first, the rest nowhere-I love Seabiscuit, but Secretariat was God's way of saying "Let me show you how perfectly I can make a horse")...also enjoyed all of the opinions as to who should play Smith, Howard, Pollard and Woolf (Brad Pitt or Matt Damon as a jockey? Unless special effects can "Hobbitize" them a la Lord of the Rings, I don't think 6 ft. men can play jockeys!) I echo the comments on the movie---please don't let them screw it up. Had hoped Simon Wincer could be tagged to direct--the man knows how to film horses and bring them to life--but I'm willing to wait and hope that they don't treacle coat it or unbalance the story in favor of horse or men. Audiences aren't stupid-they don't need to "dumb down" a screenplay for mass consumption. Keep a vigilant eye on production! Finally, of all the characters, I am still mesmerized by Woolf. The man was one of those freakishly gifted people-looks, charm and supernaturally gifted athletic ability. His fatal flaw (diabetes) added the tragic element to a charmed life. He is a book unto himself. My daughter is a member of Kids to the Cup, and she and I traveled to Santa Anita last April as a result of an essay contest. We ate at Woolf's old restaurant, The Derby, and the memorabilia was overwhelming. Woolf's presence seemed omnipresent. The owner was so gracious-giving the kids a real 'soup to nuts' tour of the premises. Good luck on future projects, and with CFS. I worked at Waldenbooks with a woman who also suffered from the disease. It used to frustrate her to no end that no one seemed to think it was a serious condition. Ironically, diabetes has suffered similar perceptions until only recently. I hope they discover new and better treatments/cures. Once again, thanks for a fantastic ride. Charlene Shaw PS: If you want to see the Kids to the Cup website, click on I write the trivia column. Great organization for kids who love horses and racing (without the gambling aspect).
Charlene <>
Slippery Rock, PA USA - Tuesday, January 08, 2002 at 11:49:05 (EST)
Dear Laura; You have made an (75) year old lady very happy. When I was a small child my Mother and Father used to drag me to the horse races at Tanforan and Bay Meadows. I hated those days so much I couldn't even enjoy watching horse races on the television. You turned my negative memories into enjoyable memories. What you did is humanize those days for me, what were boring times in the paddock, weighing area and just sitting, waiting to go home, has become a entirely new world for me. You took what could have been a story that translated into dry facts, and bought the Howard family, Tom Smith, Red Pollard, and Seabiscuit into my heart. I thank you for a wonderful journey into the past. When we go up to Willits, we pass the old Howard Hospital, is the family stilled involved in the hospital, and does the old Ridgewood Ranch still exist? Thank you for this book, I will treasure it always. Elise Smith
Elise Smith <>
Freestone, CA USA - Monday, January 07, 2002 at 20:39:17 (EST)
7 January 2202 I enjoyed your book and have told many that it was the best book I have read in quite a while. I am a writer and I wrote a letter to you through your publisher but they returned it. What I thought was good about your book was that you reduced the number of "characters" the reader had to follow to three, and you made them very distinct. Then they interacted with the horse and made following the narrative easy to follow. I thought your book had appeal to a wide audience. I am a sports person but knew little about horseracing, and I was able to follow your presentation. I am a sports historian and I appreciated the context of your book. I learned much from was your acknowledgement, which demonstrated your thorough research, which we both know is the most fun. Again, I have read several books recently, but yours was the best. For me, a clear presentation with just enough factual support to make it compelling. Best of luck with the film. Sincerely, Gus Alfieri
Gus Alfieri <>
smithtown, ny USA - Monday, January 07, 2002 at 19:31:29 (EST)
Thanks for the great read. Is there any way I can see film footage of Seabiscuits's races? Do you know of any racing or sports videos that are available to the public? Looking forward to the movie, hope there is some real footage. Martha Whitton
Martha Whitton <>
collingwood, Ont canada - Monday, January 07, 2002 at 14:54:42 (EST)
Dear Laura, I have read alot of racing stories, but you have by far done the most fantastic job of telling the story. I envy you for having the opportunity to talk and listen to the people that have been associated with this great horse. I love to listen to these kinds of people and pick their minds. I have a QH mare that goes back to Seabiscuit on the dam side. She is very old but still producing embryos for us. Needless to say, she is a great producer... I know the infusion of Seabisuit is to be given alot of the credit. Thanks you once again for a job well done and I look forward to seeing the movie. Sincerely, Ellen
Ellen Caines <>
Wynnewood, OK USA - Monday, January 07, 2002 at 13:20:08 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand: I read "Seabiscuit" with joy in my heart. I have loved horses all my life and was happy as a young girl just mucking out stalls at neighbors' barns. I was fortunate to have had chances to ride as a younster, and regret that I could not continue as an adult. My daughter, Erin, (added a comment to your guestbook Jan. 6) has carried on the same love of horses. She began riding at age six and now at the age of 26 is raising and training horses of her own. She also trains for others. All of this to explain the emotional impact your book had on me. I can't wait for Erin to return my book so that I can read it again. Thank you for such an enriching experience. Sincerely, June Stacy
June Stacy <>
Brevard, NC USA - Monday, January 07, 2002 at 12:28:34 (EST)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, When I heard a book on Seabiscuit was coming out I immediately told my Husband that he would be buying it for me for Mothers Day. I have always been a fan of the 'Biscuit' and in the early 70's attended the races at Santa Anita with my parents. I was more than thrilled to walk away with a small book put out by the track in his memory. While I just recently found the time to finally read this wonderful book, from the moment I picked it up I was not able to put it down for more than a few hours. I will be 1st in line at the local theaters to see the movie when it comes out. Please, just make sure of one thing. Make sure they are true to His story and those around him. Don't let them make it into just another Hollywood Love story. Seabiscuit will always be a champoin in my heart, Sincerely, Teri
Teri Reinemer <>
Camano Island, WA USA - Monday, January 07, 2002 at 01:13:01 (EST)
I loved your book! I even read portions out loud over breakfast this morning to my husband and three sons, who especially enjoyed the story of poor Whiskers the goat! There's nothing in life so wonderful as enjoying a book so much that you don't want it to end, and Seabiscuit's story was one of those books. I never imagined myself sitting with tears running down my cheeks as I finished reading a book about a famous racehorse, but that's just what I was doing this evening. Thank you for your beautiful book. What a winner!
Tracy Des Combes <>
Long Beach, CA USA - Sunday, January 06, 2002 at 21:19:54 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, When I saw your book on the shelves in early December I got so excited about it, immediately told my family. My husband tried to find it at 4 local bookstores but it sold out immediately. Only one copy appeared in the last pre-holiday shipment to our cousin's bookshop in Stanwood, WA. She immediately sent us the copy. Your book about Seabiscuit is beautiful. After reading the last pages last night in tears, I continued to read your acknowledgments and marveled at the depth of your research. My father trained thoroughbreds from around 1948 through the mid-seventies and passed his love of horses on to me. During the summer meets, I awoke before dawn to trek with him to the barns at the track. I hot-walked the gentler ones although they mostly succedded to walk me. Seabiscuit is a name that echoed through my memories of the track and racing but I never understood the impact of this horse's life on the country until I read your book. You have given us his story in a compelling, heart-wrenching, and joyful account. This is non-fiction at its very best and an inspiration to me. At age 46 I have returned to school and have recently decided to pursue my passion for history and writing. Best of luck to you and thank you for your wonderful work!
Linn DeNesti <>
Kingston, WA USA - Sunday, January 06, 2002 at 19:17:05 (EST)
My Grandfather Dennis Nolan worked for Bing Crosby stables. He worked with Seabiscuit. I am his granddaughter. I have a picture of him and Seabiscuit from 1933.
Lauralyn Owens <>
Vacaville, Ca. USA - Sunday, January 06, 2002 at 18:29:31 (EST)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, Thank you so much for the extensive research you did to give your readership such an informative book. It is written with the 'economy of language' that I first saw in Hemingway, and every line is filled with powerful new facts, yet woven into a novel-like tapestry. I seldom get the opportunity to read a long book (too busy consulting to chronically-fatigued patients from every state in the union, by phone!). I have never been a horse or betting person but thrilled to the movies 'The Black Stallion' (many times!), 'National Velvet', 'International Velvet', etc., and then, 6 yrs ago, my wife Bettina and I bought some timeshare vacation units at Del Mar in Cal. - because of the beach, not the race track - and have now started getting hooked on watching some of the races there each summer. Bettina bought me your book for my birthday in Oct. and I finally had the opportunity to read it over Xmas: Now I am absolutely hooked on 'the mystique of the horse' and sat at my computer until the early hours of this morning reading everything I could on the Internet about Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Ruffian, etc., etc., and ordered >$200-worth of books and movies from (more to follow!). I look forward Very Much to the movie of your book as well. What a remarkable achievement for someone suffering so greatly from CFS! You are a Seabiscuit! With very best wishes for your full recovery and for future books about horses!
John V DOMmisse MD <>
Tucson, AZ USA - Sunday, January 06, 2002 at 17:16:19 (EST)
Laura, I just finished reading SEABISCUIT; what a fine, fine book. Before reading your book, I had always been relatively indifferent to horse racing. I now have a much keener interest in it and a much greater appreciation of it. My mother has always had a great love of horse racing. She grew up during the depression, during the years that racing had much more mass appeal than it does today. I now see why she has the emotional attachment to racing that she has. I am a psychotherapist and addiction counselor. I wish I could have worked with Red; he would have loved recovery. It may be somewhat bold of me to ask, but I wonder if you would be willing to send an autographed copy of your book to my mother. She would love it, and would appreciate it more than anyone I know. If so, email me and let me know how to send you the money for the book and the postage. Her name and address: Doris Abernathy, PO Box 124, McCaysville, GA 30555. If that's too much trouble, I understand. Thanks again for the great book.
Chip Abernathy <>
Marietta, GA USA - Sunday, January 06, 2002 at 16:21:58 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand- this ranks as one of my favorite books of all time! I am a huge sports fan and thought that's what this book was going to be about, another great racehorse. My heart would not stop pounding until I knew who won the Seabiscuit/War Admiral race!! Little did I know though... how much Seabiscuit would move me emotionally. It is truly an amazing story about the relationships and lives of so many tied together by this amazing animal! I shed several tears during your final few chapters, more out of joy and happiness for this wonderful story that you pieced together. Thank you for such a splendid masterpiece! Are you ever in the NJ-NYC area for a signing? Best wishes!
Hank Rehrer < >
Cranford, NJ USA - Sunday, January 06, 2002 at 12:14:03 (EST)
My mother loaned me her copy of "Seabiscuit". I've finished reading it and I doubt she'll get her book returned! The writing was superb and I learned more about racing and Thoroughbreds. As a child, I got to see the old Seabiscuit movie and enjoyed it. I now see how parts of the movie were similar to the actual story and how some were fictional. I hope the upcoming version follows the true story. Thank you for writing such a wonderful book.
Erin <>
Rutherfordton, NC USA - Sunday, January 06, 2002 at 11:44:40 (EST)
I just finished your book - bought it yesterday and couldn't put it down - what a story - your meticulous attention to detail and fact was so intriguing - i have already recommended it hightly. can't wait for the movie - hope it is true to the book and the real story
cynthia salinas <>
haringen, tx USA - Sunday, January 06, 2002 at 09:28:14 (EST)
My sister, after reading your book, slipped it to me before my huge-race-fan brother could get to it. I was entranced! While reading Seabiscuit on my commuter train each day, I found it very difficult to sit still in my seat! Thanks--looking forward to the movie.
Laura Tom <>
Wheeling, IL USA - Saturday, January 05, 2002 at 22:32:05 (EST)
I read your account of The Race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral at breakfast. Your description of that race was so vivid and riveting that my food got cold; that's okay, I need to make weight for my next race. That will be racing to the theater to see the movie of "Seabiscuit: An American Legend". You brought back to life long gone characters, human and equine, in a story I will never forget. Please accept my best wishes and respect for what you have given us.
Mike Herbst <>
Mount Vernon, Wa USA - Saturday, January 05, 2002 at 13:53:30 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I have never ever written to an author after reading a book and in fact only once or twice even felt like doing so. As a boy my mother introduced me to "The Black Stallion" and "My Friend Flicka" which inspired a love of horses and of racing. Now in my middle years your book has re-awakened many of those feelings but with a great deal more emotion. Your writing made all of the characters spring from the pages and into my heart. I was left with the observation that the collision of these characters in history produced a story that we will only see once. You made it clear that without each of these people "Seabiscuit" would have been just a horse. Many thanks for the vivid and enthralling pictures you painted and the many memories you have left with me. If an author writes to touch then you have.
Tom Speier
Houston, TX USA - Saturday, January 05, 2002 at 13:01:39 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I am a 15 year old Iranian girl. I am passionate about horses and I am working towards reaching my goal of becoming a horse trainer. I currently live in Paksitan, due to my parents' work in the United Nations, but I go back home every summer. I first noticed your book in, and was hooked on reading it straight on. It took me a very long time to search for it in a bookstore in Canada. Last summer I took it with me back home, and read it on the roof of our house, where I spend many memorable hours enjoying the view of home and also to get away from thing awhile. It is most definitly one of my favorite books of all time. I found it very hard to put down. I got so involved in the story, it was as if I was there in every page with Red, Tom, Charles and Seabiscuit. During the races I clutched the book from excitement, my heart pounding. After I read the last page I stopped and thought for a long time about all of it, how these three men and this horse overcame very hard times to reach their goals. I nearly cried. Not any movie, nor surely an book has ever made me feel like that. I was sorry that all of these facinating people were no longer among us. And I learned so many things about the racing world and jockeys' lives. For me, it was much more than an entertaining read, or a 'good' book. when I read that a movie was being made from it, I jumped in excitement. I can't wait to see it. I've read many many books about famous horses, but this by far stood out of the crowd. I was very impressed by your investigations and research. Now after I read the other comments in your guestbook and learned of your CFS, I am amazed at your will and power. Good luck to you, and thank you for making my lonely summer hours, each an exciting ride.
Shadi Shahkhalili <>
Islamabad, PK - Saturday, January 05, 2002 at 10:52:16 (EST)
I am really enjoying reading your book. I wonder if you will enjoy my paintings as much. Please check out my web site and see my latest work, "Dream of the Piebald Mare." I think you will like it. Please let me know your reaction.
John Grazier III <>
Coburn, PA USA - Saturday, January 05, 2002 at 09:41:35 (EST)
Laura: Thank you for a wonderful, warm, and carefully written book! I learned a lot about horse racing, and as a result of your loving masterpiese, I learned a lot about Seabiscuit. Thank you for a great reading experience! Sue Brooks
Sue Brooks <>
Vero Beach, FL USA - Saturday, January 05, 2002 at 09:36:12 (EST)
WHAT A FANTASTIC TELLING OF A FANTASTIC HORSE!!! The only question I have is, after reading this, why on earth is War Admiral ranked 13th best racehorse of the 20th century and Seabiscuit waaaay down at 25? Cuz of the Triple Crown? I don't think Man O' War won the Triple Crown, yet he was ranked #1. See the site and you will find other "errors." GREAT JOB LH!
Richard Schultz <>
Atlanta, GA USA - Saturday, January 05, 2002 at 06:34:46 (EST)
Thanks for a great job of research and writing. I was quite involved in racing as an owner and breeder from 1958 through 1991. My first trainer was Harry Richards and I later had horses with Keith Stucki so I read the Seabiscuit drama with added interest. Thanks again, Rick Kessler
Rick Kessler <>
Westlake Village, CA USA - Friday, January 04, 2002 at 22:56:06 (EST)
To Laura Hillenbrand I was already sold on Seabiscuit, by your enthusiasm as you spoke about it on NPR. I had to buy it when you said you are challenged by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The easiest way for me to explain why I write to you is by sharing a letter I wrote last year. January 5, 2001 I was diagnosed with MS in 1992, and became involved in MS research in 1993. I was treated with several experimental medicines until their efficacy ran out in 1997. In January 1998, an MRI revealed 67 enhancing lesions in my brain, the worst my neurologist had seen. I received many doses of chemotherapy for three months, and spent the rest of 1998 hospitalized by the side effects-bedsores and infections, one to the bone. I terminated my involvement in research and committed to a strict vegetarian diet when I returned home in January 1999. In August 1999, my friend, Cecilia, urged me to try a program she said was improving her health dramatically. I added her program to mine in September and by November, I felt ‘nutritionally complete’. A recent blood test confirms that my vitamin and mineral levels are normal. My latest MRI scan on October 26, 2000 shows NO enhancing lesions in my brain! I am thrilled with DIRECT-MS, and will do everything in my power to help raise the money needed, I thank you dearly for your work and I pray for the success of DIRECT-MS. Joseph Schramek Cecilia Cusimano may be contacted at 602-230-0265 Strict vegetarian or vegan means I do not eat animal eggs or milk. I added fish to my diet in March 2001 The fatigue that came over me immediately following my first experimental protocol was definitely chronic. The fatigue I experienced after my first urinary tract infection the next summer was even more chronic. I am not a medical doctor, and cannot determine where to draw the line between chronic fatigue and the poisoning I felt with chemotherapy. The only thing I know for certain is that since my friend, Cecilia, introduced me to a nutritional program, I am able to hold my head up for several hours and write a letter on my computer. I was not able to stay up more than an hour, before. I hope you will call Cecilia at 602-230-0265. She told me the program works for chronic fatigue syndrome, also. I have Seabiscuit and I feel extremely motivated to read it, simply because of your enthusiasm. My best to you, Joe Schramek 1930 Columbia Rd., NW #820 Washington, DC 20009 (202) 332-0211
Joseph Paolo Schramek <>
Washington, DC USA - Friday, January 04, 2002 at 21:46:10 (EST)
Laura, thank you so much for writing this wonderful book. I received it for Christmas and reading (devouring) it was the high point of my holiday break! I know next to nothing about horse racing, having been to the races only once, many years ago, in Louisiana. However, "Seabiscuit" is a story for all people, horse racing fans or not. I am in awe of your talent in bringing your subjects so vividly to life. You portrayed the highs and lows, personality glitches, and humanity of Charles, Red, Tom, and George so well I feel as though I know them--and Seabiscuit--through your book. Their intelligence, dedication, and humor shine out on every page. As monumental an achievement as this book is, I found it even more so when I learned of your illness. How someone with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome could find the energy to conduct such massive amounts of research and then write with such vivacity is beyond me. All I can say is brava, Laura, and I am begging for more! You are an inspiration, and American treasure!
Margy Cassidy <>
Sunnyvale, CA USA - Friday, January 04, 2002 at 14:13:25 (EST)
I have a perfectly legal addiction. I love books; I must have a good book available at all times. Since childhood, I have read many excellent and diverse books, even memorable ones, but at midage, I only remember the books that are beyond excellent. I will never forget SEABISCUIT! I will never forget his team. I will never forget Laura Hillenbrand, a master of words, character development and storytelling. I know little about horses and racing. The several horses I have ridden were old and gentle. Thanks to this extraordinary book, I feel as if I had actually ridden a race chest pounded, my breath alternatively slowed and accelerated. as I read this book. Every race was as if it were happening anew, in the present tense. I hated and loved that the I could not put the book down. It was over so fast. I loved the characters, especially seabiscuit and his quiet trainer, Tom Smith. Tears fell rapidly as I finished the last page. I miss being with them as I was for 3 nights. Thank you for recreating a wonderful, American story in a decade that was otherwise not so exciting or wonderful.
Shelley <>
Providence, RI USA - Friday, January 04, 2002 at 12:36:44 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hilldebrand, I wanted to let you know that my book group, which meets once a month in Arlington, VA, is reading your book this month. I just finished it and loved it. Our meeting is this Thursday, and I thought you might like to know that we've been reading your book. Thanks for a wonderful book....
Susan Ginsberg <>
Washington, DC USA - Friday, January 04, 2002 at 10:49:24 (EST)
Laura, I've been a racing fan for about 15 years now but I never knew or bothered to find out any history. I was really lucky when my wife gave me your book as a birthday gift. It was a great book, and it has piqued my interest. In that regard, you made statements about Seabuscuit being in Life, Newsweek, Time, etc routinely. I would like to see/read some of these articles. Could you possibly provide me with dates of when some of these articles appeared. Many thanks..don allen
Don Allen <>
bowie, md USA - Friday, January 04, 2002 at 10:30:57 (EST)
Exhilirating stuff - grabs you by the seat of your pants and leaves you with your heart thumping to get out of your chest...brings tears to the eyes and makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck...pure enjoyment
Tim Nobes <>
Plymouth, UK - Friday, January 04, 2002 at 08:25:55 (EST)
As a child I remember the stories of Seabiscuit and the races! I was born in 1933, so I was quite young, but the radio news was on and drove our lives. I always wanted to raise race horses, and reading your descriptions of those famous races, I now know why I felt that way as a youngster. I never did, but I still love horses... Thanks for making those days come alive for me at this time. Those simpler days when we came together as a country over horse races, not terrorism. Bless you.
Chris Veech <>
Commack, NY USA - Thursday, January 03, 2002 at 23:27:27 (EST)
Wow! This book was given to me for Christmas by one of my riding students. I expected either a schmaltzy tale or a dry, boring recitation of long-ago facts. I was delighted and completely absorbed in the book. You have truly written a book that will contribute to the world for long after we are all gone. Though I never knew any of them, may I thank you on behalf of Smith, Howard, Pollard and Seabiscuit for making sure that they never fade from the world's memory. And a huge thank you from me for making them live for me, too.
Rebecca <>
Cypress, TX USA - Thursday, January 03, 2002 at 19:37:27 (EST)
This fabulous piece of American racing history, superbly recounted by LH, has made it over 'The Pond'. I bought this book for my horse owning wife, as part of her Xmas goodies after it won William Hill Sports Book of the Year award, and managed to intercept it yesterday from her bedside(Wed 2nd Jan), to soothe the post New year blues. I have now finished the book 2 days later and it was absolutely fabulous. I 've hardly spoken to my wife since I picked it up!! It is such an emotional book. A real rollercoaster. I have never much cared for horses in the past but I can honestly say that my perception of them has changed for good and for the better. Thanks for easing me into 2002 with a real cracker of a book.
Craig Gray <>
Kinross, Scotland - Thursday, January 03, 2002 at 17:43:23 (EST)
Laura, I remembered reading about Seabiscuit in grade school. I was amazed that this magnificent part of history was so little known. Now I know Seabiscuit, and the remarkable people who cared for him, will be remembered by many generations to come. Your characterizations were so moving, I felt as if I were with them. I laughed and cried through their experiences. If only the magic could have lasted for them all. I will never forget their courage, strength, and undying faith. To the Howards, Mr. Smith, the Cougar, the Iceman, the Biscuit, their loved ones, and all the other racing pioneers; I salute you!! Good luck Laura, keep the movie people true to the story! I'm thinking it will be an Oscar/Blockbuster! P.S. I hadn't thought of Mr. Hackman for Mr. Smith (good choice), but you might consider Robert Duvall as well. Heck, maybe Mr. Hackman could be Charles Howard since they both liked to race cars! Or what about Paul Newman (Mr. Smith) and Robert Redford (Charles Howard)? Yikes!! You have quite the project ahead of you. But judging by your research notes, you'll do a great job. God bless you Laura!
Tracia Nunnally <tracialea>
Hermiston, OR USA - Thursday, January 03, 2002 at 16:53:39 (EST)
Dear Laura, As a former exercise rider, I appreciated your book about Seabiscuit on a very personal level. I am now a screenwriter, and have adapted a book about post-Civil War and its ramifications. Jodie Foster's Egg Pictures held it for a few months before deciding to pass on my script's Civil War theme, since Jodie had already done "Sommersby". I would like you to read the script called "The Secessionist." With both my track insight and screenwriting skills, I know I could produce the absolute best adaptation of your wonderful book. May I send or email you the script? Thanks for your time, Laura. Sincerely, Karol Ballard
Karol Ballard <>
sierra madre, ca USA - Thursday, January 03, 2002 at 13:06:54 (EST)
Thank you for this terrific book. My grandfather, Frank Porter Miller, bred thoroughbreds at his ranch in Riverside California and also in Lexington, KY, and going to Santa Anita and sitting in splendor in their box with my grandparents and parents was a regular and wonderful part of my childhood in the fifties and sixties. My mother and younger sister and I would split a two-dollar show bet on some horse whose name we liked and go nuts with enthusiasm. I recall hearing my grandfather talk about many of the people mentioned in your book, and I think he knew quite a few of them. One phrase in the story, however, particularly stood out for me. I finally learned where my father got an expression he used all his life to indicate that something was decisively over: "So long, Charley!" Thank you for your own courage and steadfastness in persevering with your writing despite debilitating illness. I pray that better times will find you soon.
Virginia Blankenhorn <>
Beverly Hills, MI USA - Thursday, January 03, 2002 at 12:19:32 (EST)
Thank you Laura Hillenbrand for such a wonderful book. I only wish my Grandparents were alive to read it. They bred Thourghbred horses in Arkansas until shortly before my grandfathers death. My grandfather loved horse racing. My grandmother is the reason I love horses to this day.Horse racing today could use a Seabiscuit or a Tiger Woods or maybe your book and subsequent movie will inspire people to go to the track. Your book came close, but there is nothing like being there in person. Jane G Kruger
Jane Kruger <>
Cambridge, WI USA - Thursday, January 03, 2002 at 10:49:37 (EST)
Never was a fan of horse racing. Your book brought it all to life, the trills, the anguish, the heartbreak, the feeling. If the movie is half as good it will be a smash. I have heard you speak on the Diane Rheem (sp?)show and know how much work and energy it took for you to write the book. You are a "SEABISCUIT" of a writer.
Gil Mesec <>
Hague, VA USA - Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 23:33:08 (EST)
I've just finished your Seabiscuit book. I don't usually read books like that, and I'm not a horse or sports fanatic, although I always wanted a horse and my daughter rides daily. However, Seabiscuit is one of the best books I've read lately. I couldn't put it down. Only when I read the acknowledgements at the end did I realize why the Seabiscuit world came to life as it did in your book - you garnered such an incredible amount of historical detail, and painted it with a language of emotion and color. Thank you for this wonderful story. I picked up the book almost by accident, noticing it in an airport bookstore. Something about it called to me - maybe Pollard's expression on the cover - I don't know, but I'm glad it did. You're a great writer.
Rita Freimanis <>
Winston-Salem, NC USA - Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 22:05:52 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand, My profound gratitude for rescuing all this extraordinary but dispersed history of Seabiscuit and the people in his life and for acquainting new generations with an exceptional horse. They are such intelligent complex animals, but underappreciated by the non-horsey majority. Please don't let the directors do anything stupid in the movie, like dubbing in whinnies and nickers in situations where no horse would ever vocalize. The horse who plays Seabiscuit must be more than just a prop. Horses are so facially and physically expressive and reactive but I can think of very few scenes where a director let a horse show his real nature and real responses to situations. I thought it was a hoot that the Biscuit loved to sleep and eat so much. I hope they give his character room to breathe and come alive in the movie. It would be a first. You are an exceptional researcher and a gifted storyteller. My deepest thanks. Kay Langmuir, Port Perry, Ont.
Kay Langmuir <>
Port Perry, on Canada - Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 21:43:43 (EST)
Your Seabiscuit is a wonderfully written story- thoroughly enjoyable-Well done. I lived very near Santa Anita and your descriptions were perfect. I can hardly wait for the movie!! Thank you. Doyal Boring
doyal boring <>
USA - Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 21:00:06 (EST)
Seabiscuit was my Christmas Vacation "read" or perhaps I should say "ride", and what a ride! Thanks for a gripping and heartfelt story. It goes to my sister next who takes horses from the racetrack and trains them in dressage. I know she'll love this book as much as I did. Happy New Year!
Sarah <>
Waldport, OR USA - Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 18:56:27 (EST)
Dear Laura, I literally could not put down this book. Your narrative is smooth, entertaining, and dead-on - the language is perfect from a fellow horseperson's view. We are awaiting the harnesswriters pick for divisional and Horse of the Year honors that may include our filly, Bunny Lake, who is a top contender. I only wish that our current racing scene could conjure up some of the delight and excitement that you describe in your book - the idea of a match race is almost lost in our culture and to resurrect it in either discipline, thoroughbred or harness, would be a monumental undertaking. But I believe it could be done!!! In the spirit of the racehorse, I am .......Wendy Spring
Wendy Spring <>
Johnstown, NY USA - Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 17:19:46 (EST)
Your book was an incredible read. When I was reading the chapter on Seabiscuit and War Admiral in their head to head race, my heart was pounding as if I was at the race and watching them coming down the home stretch. Thank you for a very enjoyable book.
Patrick Taylor <>
stillwater, mn USA - Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 17:08:45 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, You are quite a Lady! Having been born in Woodlawn, Maryland in 1928; had a uncle, Robert "Jock" Tansill, who rode with Red Pollard and George Wolff: I can say you not only informed me that my Uncle Bob's tales he told this young man were indeed true, but made me laugh and cry. I cleaned stables For Mr. Vanderbilt at his "Sagamore" Farm at Glyndon; and stood with my nosed pressed against the cyclone fence surrounding Pimlico on that blustry November 1st afternoon 1n 1938. Thank you so much for this book. My whole family, especially my Ucle Bob's daughters still living in Maryland, loved it. God Bless you.
San Jose, CA USA - Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 16:47:20 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I have been putting off finishing your book for days now because I simply do not want it to end!! This is definitely the best book I have read in a long time. I cannot recall another book making me laugh and cry--or touching my heart the way that Seabiscuit, Howard, Smith, Pollard and Woolf have done. What an incredible story. Knowing very little about horses, I picked up your book due to the critic's reviews, and I am so happy that I did. I will be recommending this wonderful read to everyone I know!
Kristy Harris <>
Conroe, TX USA - Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 16:06:05 (EST)
I just finished the book over the holidays and loved it. It was one of the best books I've read in a long itme-thrilling, great background stories on the characters-just a darn good read. I especially liked that you completed the history of each of the main characters. It felt as if you finished the book and left the legend of Seabiscuit complete-so that I could imagine the lives of the people involved. I also really enjoyed the inclusion of historical facts about how the country was enthralled by the races. Couldn't be more pleased with it and have reccomended to my family and friends as my pick of the season. Thanks for your work.
Christina <>
Charlotte, NC USA - Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 15:40:40 (EST)
Great book
Howard J Bell sr <BELLJOHO@AOL.COM>
Zephyrhills, Fla USA - Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 14:10:10 (EST)
Dear Laura, I just wanted to commend you on your wonderful book. I grew up in Silver Spring and showed hunters and jumpers untill I found the racetrack at age 17. I rode my first race at Pimlico in the early eighties and met some wonderful people who were from the "old school" of racing. I left Maryland to ride at Suffolk Downs where it was a little easier for a girl to get a mount. I knew some of the stories about Seabiscuit, and now wish I had payed more attention. I met several ex riders who had their hay day in the 30's, and loved to hear their stories. I now train horses and my husband and I have started to expand our farm to strictly raise young horses. You have captured the essence of racing like no one else, you have touched the heart and soul of the race horse. And I cant get over how you are able to describe what it feels like to be on the back of one of God's most perfect creatures. Being on the track for twenty years I have seen my share of good and bad luck stories, I think Seabiscuit's story and the people who shared it is one of the best. I love to think that people who had no interest before in the race track might learn a little about something I have devoted most of my life to. I was given your book to me by a friend who rides dressage, she asked me to read it and let her know how things have changed, It amazes me how much hasnt...Keep up the good work and thankyou again.
A. Puckett <>
Beltsville, MD USA - Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 10:03:31 (EST)
Dear Laura, Thank you so much for a fantastic book! My son-in-law was reading it when they were here for Christmas, and couldn't put it down. I thought it must be a great book to keep him curled up in the chair for 3 days, so I asked him if I could borrow it to read. Well, I couldn't put it down, either! I have loved horses all my life, and now own an Arabian who has been my best buddy for 15 years. Your descriptions of how hard Seabiscuit tried, and his steadfast heart, brought tears to my eyes. I remember, as a young girl, playing a racing game, one with a track and a spinner. I always wanted to be Seabiscuit! Thank you for your superb writing skills---now, bring on the movie!!!
Cindy Smith <>
Pensacola, FL USA - Tuesday, January 01, 2002 at 19:29:24 (EST)
I know that laura has cfd. There is an interesting article in EQUUS magazine that appeared in 2001. It is entitled "A new illness finds and old cure" by Laurie Bonner. Since she is associated with that magazine, she will easily be able to get a copy of the article. An Italian doctor has discovered a way to treat the illness in animals with an arsenic compound. I hope that Laura will be able to read this article and that it might provide a valuable lead to treatment for her illness.
pat stanley <>
north salem, ny USA - Tuesday, January 01, 2002 at 18:58:23 (EST)
Laura, I asked for the book for Christmas and my beautiful daughters bought it for me. I cannot put it down!! It is such a great story and I can't wait for the movie. By the way, how tall was Seabiscuit? 15.2 hands or so? Hope you have a great 2002!
Jill Smith <>
USA - Tuesday, January 01, 2002 at 17:44:35 (EST)
Dear Laura, Everyone compliments you on your marvelous book and indeed they should. But I'd like to take a moment to thank you for your courage and strength in getting the book written at all. I read about your struggle with CFS in The Post nearly a year ago and my heart went out to you immediately. Few people can understand the all encompassing torment of this illness. I suffer from the same dis-ease and am amazed at how you managed to focus your energies in such a constructive way. You are as inspiring as the subject you wrote about. Thank you for your honesty. Many Blessings. Melissa deVinney
Melissa deVinney <>
Vienna, Va USA - Tuesday, January 01, 2002 at 15:55:18 (EST)
What can I say that already has been said? Except to add my conratulations to you on a truly outstanding book. Not only a story of an outstanding racehorse, but a story of human relationships surrounding this amazing animal,some of which reached the summit of life's adventures, and others which ended in tragedy. M/s Hillenbrand,you are to be congratulated on a truly wonderful piece of writing which gave, and will continue to give so much pleasure to a lot of people. Well done.
John Finnigan <>
Liverpool, UK - Tuesday, January 01, 2002 at 14:24:37 (EST)
Xmas is a quiet time for me so I decided to finally take the time to read your book. It turned out to be a delightful read for me. Your thorough research is a wondeful tribute to a great horse and the people closely tied to him. It also fortifies my argument with thoroughbred horsemen, especially trainers, that a horse's character is as important to training as every other aspect. Needless to say, they have always laughed and would say a horse is a creature of habit and therfore does what he's trained to do. They should all be required to read your book in order to obtain a license (I guess you can tell I can be an idealist). Anyway, it was especially nice for me to know that an infamous trainer practiced what I always have thought about these magnificent animals. Thank you for a wonderful book and I hope the movie is as true to Seabiscuit as your book.
Michelle Gilpin <>
Tampa, FL USA - Tuesday, January 01, 2002 at 14:12:02 (EST)
thank you very much, i am a 16 year old boy from england and am very interested in horses but i have never really enjoyed reading a book and dont read that oftern until i read your book SEABISCUIT i am looking forward too the movie and will definitely buy other of your books. THank you again
George Rosamond <>
Cambridge, UK - Tuesday, January 01, 2002 at 13:10:26 (EST)
Laura, my husband and I are avid Triple Crown television watchers, yet we never go to horseraces. Reading your book has made us decide to start going. We both greatly admire your style of writing and your ability to make a bygone era come to life so easily. My mother has Type I diabetes, so I was particularly interested in how George Woolf coped, and to realize how far treatment has come. Every time, I read one of your accounts of Seabiscuit's races, my heart was in my mouth, I was short of breath and my pulse raced. I lived those races with Seabiscuit, his owners, trainer and jockeys. A greater compliment I cannot give. Very few writers have your ability to bring a subject such as this to life. Finally, tnis morning my husband and I looked at a book we inherited from his mother (he, by the way, is still reading your book). The book is "Black, Bay and Chestnut: Profiles of Twenty Favorite Horses" by C.W. Anderson. It was published in 1939 by The Macmillan Company. Seabiscuit is mentioned, along with a nice description and there is a a drawing of him with what looks like Red Pollard on his back. With best wishes to you for good health and an on-going successful writing career.
Jacqui Mills and Tom Speier <>
Houston, TX USA - Tuesday, January 01, 2002 at 12:27:18 (EST)
I listened to the audio version of your book and I just had to buy it for my folks. I was born in Detroit and the mention of the place where the owner, trainer and jockey first meet brings back many memories. In the early sixties we always went to the State Fair at 8mi. and Woodward. I'll never forget walking to the back of the fair to look at the old race track. They a demolition derby one year but I never knew they had horse races there in the thirties. I can't wait for the movie to come out!!! Thanks for writing this great story. Steve
Steve Shay <>
Livonia, Mi USA - Tuesday, January 01, 2002 at 02:52:10 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, As a political science professor at Stanford with absolutely no interest in horse racing (baseball - that's something else), I want you to know that "Seabiscuit" is one of the most enjoyable books I have read all year. It's not only that I learned so much. You have written with such vigorous enthusiasm that your spirit and pure joy are manifest on every page. I confess I shed a few tears at the end. I hated to see the story of this magnificent horse - whom I remember so well when I was in my early teens listening to the radio - come to the finish line. I am now passing your marvelous book on to friends and family. Again, I thank you for an incredible piece of work under what I know were not always the best of circumstances. And by the way: I'm going to my first horse race this summer. If you ever pass through the Bay Area, I'd love to go with you, or take you to a Chinese lunch. Happy New Year. John H. Bunzel
John H. Bunzel
USA - Monday, December 31, 2001 at 14:09:47 (EST)
Laura, We were 6 or 7 when our grandmother bought us a battery-operated horseracing game for Christmas. The game had 6 lanes and 8 horses. When operated, the horses would break from the gate, gallop down the stretch and cross the wire. Before each race my older brother would set the odds, name the track (Aqueduct, Saratoga, Churchill Downs, etc.) and take all the the form of monopoly money. He would also give the horses names. Names like Man O'War, Thunderbolt, Secretariat, Citation, Seattle Slew, and of course Seabiscuit. We took that game everywhere: to school, to grandma's, and to friends' houses. We played with it until it broke. Your book is wonderful. While reading it, I couldn't help but think back to a time when Seabiscuit was a longshot, pitted against the greatest racehorses of all time. I would confidently place my money on Seabiscuit to win, watch him start slow, find his rhythm and then sprint past Seattle Slew and Secretariat for the victory. Laura, if you're ever in New York and have an interest in visiting the floor of the New York Stock Exchange please let me know. I would gladly coordinate a tour. It's the least I can do for someone who brought back so many childhood memories. Sincerely, David
david dioli <>
burlingame, ca USA - Monday, December 31, 2001 at 13:13:25 (EST)
My wife and I just returned from a visit with my daughter and her family in Raleigh NC. When Carrie told me that she had a book on tape about a famous race horse called SeaBiscuit, I thought it would be a long Long ride having to listen to a story about a horse. Well, I have never, never, never been more mistaken. The story is spell binding,exciting, heart warming, uplifting and sad, all together. If the movie is 10% as good as the book, It will become another American Legend !! I sincerely want to thank you for bringing the hidden treasure of America back to life. Sincerely , Richard & Carrie Kanehl
Richard & Carrie Kanehl <>
Columbus, in USA - Monday, December 31, 2001 at 13:13:16 (EST)
A great story, told beautifully. Thanks! One question unanswered: did War Admiral retire after the match race? Thanks for your making the people, the races come alive so vividly. Nick Carrera
Nick Carrera <>
Falls Church, VA USA - Monday, December 31, 2001 at 08:54:35 (EST)
Laura, I hated to finish it too. What a slew of afficianados you have, all of educated by a first-rate writer! I wrote some time back, leaving the impression that I'm looking forward to the movie. Is it okay to be enthusiastic about that? Last time is was national treasure Gene Hackman as Tom Smith in a movie about national treasure Seabuscuit. And so on. This time I've been thinking about the music. Consider this idea (from some angle or another): a great Italian composer enjoyed comic opera in his youth. As a composer, among the works he created was a song that was to become so beloved and so often-used in America in this century that it eventually became a trite cliche, which must be somehow undone if one were to use it in a straightforward way in one's movie. There is an artist named Chris LeDoux who is doing something different with the William Tell Overture. At this point I don't have the complete piece, but I expect to in a week or two. It's the kind of piece that a "Seabiscuit" musical director might use for inspiration, or maybe adopt in full for the climactic final race. LeDoux has an extended guitar "masterpiece" of the old Lone Ranger theme. I think it works.
Bruce Altman <>
Cape May, NJ USA - Monday, December 31, 2001 at 02:30:32 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand, Thank you so much for your truly fascinating book! I almost hated to finish it... and can't wait for the movie. Hope there's more stories for you to tell. Gratefully yours, Judy Koyiol
Judy Koyiol <>
Tucson, Az USA - Sunday, December 30, 2001 at 22:53:13 (EST)
Loved the book - interested in u and those sultry eyes...
brian clark <>
sausalito, ca USA - Sunday, December 30, 2001 at 22:30:38 (EST)
Laura, you tell a great story; I enjoyed Seabiscuit immensely. But I am writing to ask about the Isaac Barchas who introduced you to your agent. Did he go to Stanford? If so, my wife was his kindergarten teacher. What is he up to now?
Jon Nygaard <>
Cupertino, CA USA - Sunday, December 30, 2001 at 19:43:21 (EST)
Laura, my stepson gave this to me over the holidays. I had not heard anything about it. I was totally delighted in your ability to tell a great story.
Michael Rome <>
Cambridge, MA USA - Sunday, December 30, 2001 at 18:35:59 (EST)
So who was the greatest racehorse, Seabiscuit or Secretariat? Got the book for Christmas. Had it read two days later. Great book.
Keith Hartner <>
Springfield, Mo USA - Sunday, December 30, 2001 at 09:18:31 (EST)
I got a call from the library a couple of weeks ago telling me a book I had requested was available. The book was "Seabiscuit" but I didn't remember asking for it. I read it anyway. As I read the paragraph in the last chapter that begins with "Twelve straining Thoroughbreds" I found myself transported to that moment, on the back of Seabiscuit, all the rest of the world gone except for me and the horse, in slow motion. It was extraordinary. Cinematographers do that sometimes, but I've never had that happen while reading a book.
Robert Deming <>
Fredericksburg, TX USA - Sunday, December 30, 2001 at 07:53:09 (EST)
I bought this book to read on a flight to, of all places, Louisville. It was absolutely fantastic and let me into a world of which I had little idea. It certainly earned every accolade. Please write more. And more.
skip heller <>
LA, CA USA - Sunday, December 30, 2001 at 00:42:36 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Thank you for your literary masterpiece, "Seabiscuit, An American Legend." As an avid horsewoman who has spent a lifetime involved with and in awe of these magnificent creatures, I was completely captivated by your book. Seabiscuit was a requested birthday present after having read the many glowing reviews about it. From the first page, your book drew me into the colorful and often tragic lives of Team Seabiscuit. It was like being in the paddock, watching the races from the finish line and hearing the private conversations between everyone who was there. For 10 days, I breathed, ate, slept, laughed and cried the life of Seabicuit. When the story's end came and all the characters' lives wound down, I wept. You made this moment in history so real. No book has ever moved me the way this one has. I felt compelled to write because you told the Seabicuit story with such eloquence, poetry and attention to detail. Many sections I read again and again. I can hardly wait for the movie and your next book. Thank you again for enriching my life with the incredible tribute to this American hero and all who experienced first-hand the potential in this once over-looked, but forever incomparable horse. Sincerely yours, Kristi McVey
kristi mcvey <>
golden, co USA - Saturday, December 29, 2001 at 18:36:09 (EST)
A tremendous book! I'm curious to know if Seabisquit ever ran on Lasix?
Willard G. Landrum <>
Dry Prong,, LA USA - Friday, December 28, 2001 at 22:46:07 (EST)
I just received Seabisquit for Christmas as well, I am very excited to read it, I have heard nothing but good things about it....I show Quarter Horses, and am always interested in a true story about special horses. As I myself have a story to tell about my own special horse who was badly hurt at a training barn. So I can really relate to this story, of course my horse did not become famous, but he has earned a ton of Quarter Horse points which no one ever thought would happen due to his injuries and scars. Thanks for appreciating horses the way you do! They are special!!!
Annemarie Kelley <>
Hadley, MA USA - Friday, December 28, 2001 at 10:30:38 (EST)
Laura,, Congrats on winning the Eclipse award yesterday. You derserve it for what you have done for Thoroughbred Horse Racing this year. I am very proud of you and I know you will be a great representive for the sport in the upcoming years. All your work has been great and I look forward to the movie,, Best in the coming year, Gary
SAN LEANDRO, CA USA - Friday, December 28, 2001 at 09:19:10 (EST)
Thank you for one of the most wonderful stories I have ever read. I can't wait to see the movie. I bought this book for 5 of my friends for Christmas, and each one said "What is this?" then I heard from them a few days later, and they said it was the best book they have read in a long long time. Thanks for the enjoyable hours I spent in- between the covers of your book.
Beth Womack <>
Glendlae, AZ USA - Friday, December 28, 2001 at 00:56:43 (EST)
Laura, My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the audio version read by Richard Davidson. bw
Bruce Woodruff <>
Londonderry, nh USA - Friday, December 28, 2001 at 00:51:32 (EST)
I'm about half-way through the book, and have found it absolutely fascinating. I know little about horses, but growing up (in the 70s and 80s) had always heard the name "Seabiscuit" but never knew the heroics involved. Thank you for bringing this inspiring story to a new generation. And thank you for writing it with such eloquent, engrossing prose.
Jackson Mahaney <>
Lebanon, IN USA - Thursday, December 27, 2001 at 22:23:20 (EST)
Seabiscuit was fabulous!! A friend loaned me her book and then I requested (and received) my own copy for Christmas. I gave it a big hug after I opened it. What can I say? The way it is written is so thrilling. I felt as if I was there. I also enjoyed the story behind the lives of the jockies. My goodness, what a life to have lived (and loved). We own 5 of our own horses, quarters and apps, and, yes, a thoroughbred! She is beautiful -- there is truly something about a thoroughbred! Laura, thank you for bringing this story to life for me. I can't wait for the movie!
Jenny Miller <>
Stevens Point, WI USA - Thursday, December 27, 2001 at 17:28:14 (EST)
Dear Laura, I've just completed your compelling book about the life of Seabiscuit. For me, like so many Americans, 2001 was a year of profound loss and struggle, both from a personal and universal perspective. Although written before anyone could know just how trying the last year would be, your book is certainly a timely and much-needed story of hope. It is a beautiful metaphor of redemption and recovery. It has been a ray of enlightenment for me, as it must be for all your readers. Thank you for taking the time, and having the faith, to explore this forgotten story and bring it back to Americans at a time when its message of restoration is so meaningful! The best to you in the coming year! Sincerely, Michael Decker
Michael Decker <>
oklahoma city, ok USA - Thursday, December 27, 2001 at 14:55:04 (EST)
Laura- We raise quarter horses and you have intoduced us to a whole new and fascinating world. Thank you for the best non-fiction book we have ever read. Best regards from the Lima Sierra Ranch.
Michael Gennis <>
Placerville, CA USA - Thursday, December 27, 2001 at 13:20:54 (EST)
Laura....Your "book" came so highly recommended, that I couldn't wait to begin reading it! We are looking forward to "the movie" and would appreciate any info re when it may come to pass. "Seabiscuit" is a perfect example of the saying...."Never judge a book by its cover"!!
Cecile Rudis <>
Scottsdale, az USA - Thursday, December 27, 2001 at 12:22:12 (EST)
Dear Laura-I am a 3rd generation horse owner and trainer. My mothers family trained horses in Maryland in the 30's, 40's and 50's, (H.C. & Edith Prescott Allnutt), and my Father and Uncle still own and train horses in West Virginia @ Charles Town, (Willowdale Farms, S. Engle) My Grandfather and Greatgrandfather on my Mothers side saw the epic match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral. I received the book as a Christmas present, and finished it on that night. The book held me spellbound until the very end, and I couldn't put it down until I finished it. Not only was your knowledge of thoroughbred racing very impressive, but your writing style is excellent. The book was very well written, so much so that, when I was reading your description of the match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral, I found myself sitting up in my chair, and slapping my thigh while reading the gripping replay of the race. Kudos to you Laura, and congratulations on a job well done.
E. Prescott Engle <>
Leesburg, Va USA - Thursday, December 27, 2001 at 12:15:28 (EST)
Dear Keith Nichols Thanks for the message about your VCR tape with Seabiscuit footage. I would like to buy a copy, but you did not leave your email address or a phone #. I'd prefer at least a phone # so that I can call you. Sincerely Jerry Freeland 858-452-7226 and
Jerry Freeland <>
La Jolla, CA USA - Thursday, December 27, 2001 at 11:30:39 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand, thank you for a thrilling and informative book. You convey the drama and heartbreak of the sport with breathtaking clarity. I confess, my main horseracing knowledge came from dim memories as a child of seeing Secretariat on tv, and a healthy diet of Dick Francis novels. Your book was a wonderful insight into the real, often cruel and dangerous world of horseracing. Good luck with the movie and your future projects.
Simone Farber <>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Thursday, December 27, 2001 at 00:15:49 (EST)
HOUSTON, TX USA - Thursday, December 27, 2001 at 00:10:32 (EST)
Talk about record time! I think I read this book faster than any other I've ever read. Like so many of the other readers, I laughed and cried and cheered the Biscuit on, and felt heartbroken as well for the mighty War Admiral in addition to my euphoria for Seabiscuit's triumph. A marvelous story marvelously told. It's the "Breaking Away" of my grandparents' generation--and better yet, it's a true story. Like the greatest of sports heros--Babe Ruth, Muhammed Ali, Seabiscuit brought to his fans so much more than just an athlete to root for, he brought hope to a generation that had little. Having grown up on a farm that was home to five happy and fat Missouri Foxtrotters, I understand the affection that horse and owner have for eachother, and was tremendously touched at the end by Charles Howards care of his equine companion. Enough nonsequiturs from me! Simply, one of the best books I have ever read. Thank you Laura!
Seattl, WA USA - Wednesday, December 26, 2001 at 19:10:08 (EST)
Laura, Congratulations on your wonderful book. I received it on Christmas as a gift and just finished it. I can't remember the last time I was so taken by a book. Your style of writing and ability to bring SeaBiscuits story to life is amazing. I cared for a woman with chronic fatigue syndrome and realize how debilitating this disease is, but when you've got alot of heart anything is possible. Wishing you continued success and the best of health.
Deborah Bell <debba7869>
marsons mills, ma USA - Wednesday, December 26, 2001 at 17:58:08 (EST)
What a wonderful gift I received today when I opened 'Seabiscuit an American Legend. I lost in a fire, a book called Come on Seabiscuit. I don't remember the author but I do remember the wonderful story of such a courageous little horse that beat the odds to become one of last centuries biggest champions. I have yet to dive in but I know I will be lost for a while and will truly enjoy this treasure I have back again. Thanks for bringing him to life again.
Anne Conlon <>
Blind River, Ont Canada - Tuesday, December 25, 2001 at 21:43:38 (EST)
hello- well, it is christmas, and I just got off the phone with someone very special, my Great-grandfather, he is 98 y/o and he saw Seabiscuit when he raced! he is know reading the book, which he says is Quite good, and so since he lives in CA and I live in WA he is going to buy/send me a copy of it! I work at an Arabian Breeding barn 3 days a week, and love it! Horses are a deffinit part of my life that I wouldnt give up for anything! I would like to than all of the people who have Tought me everything I know about the Equus, I have seen Montry Roberts and his work with all of his Racers and I have read such books as the Thoroughbred Series by Joanna Campbell, it isnt really a realistic series but it gets you into it, and that is how I began to LOVE racing, I'm to big to be a jockey, I'm 5ft 5 inches and am a little over 120lbs! I wish I could be a ponyer at Emerold downs the closest track to my house, but I dont have a horse, which makes it a problem! I would love to be an outrider/ponyer, but I guess since I'm only 13y/o I have a little more time to do that, I would even love to be a groom, but hay, I can always do that later in life!! well, I cant wait to read the book, if anyone has books on Secretariat or Man O' War or Seattle Slew or any of their Famous Childern please e-mail me the name/Author of the book, thank you, Amanda Carroll
Amanda <>
Kirkland, Wa USA - Tuesday, December 25, 2001 at 18:04:29 (EST)
I've trained and raced trotters and pacers for over 20 years. I never really had an interest in the runners since Affirmed and Steve Cauthen passed. However, I was given your book as a gift and bored one day began to read it. I couldn't put it down. What a wonderful story it was to read.
Peter Glass <>
Hurley, NY USA - Tuesday, December 25, 2001 at 17:27:33 (EST)
Dear Laura, Today I finished reading Seabiscuit and found myself deeply moved both by the story and by your writing. It was hard to hold back tears when I read the last paragraph in the section on Acknowledgments at the end of the book. Those words capsulized a superb story. Some papers called Seabiscuit "The Hard Luck Horse of the Turf." In the 1930's I was a small boy, and my father was in charge of the jockeys' colors and later of the jockeys room at Santa Anita and the other California race tracks. He would take me to work with him from time to time, especially on days of stakes races. So I got to see the jockeys, valets, and other personnel often and up close. I was at the track in 1938, the day that Stagehand nipped the 'Biscuit' by a nose at the wire. We rejoiced at the victory over War Admiral and Seabiscuit's win at the 1940 Santa Anita Handicap. My uncle was Webb Everett, then racing secretary and handicapper at Santa Anita, and in later years my cousin Jack Meyers became racing secretary at Santa Anita (I didn't realize then it was Webb who set the weights.) My younger brother developed tuberculosis at age 6. Our family had few resources (it was 1936,) but a foundation stepped forward to underwrite our expenses for his hospitalization at a sanitorium in Belmont, California. He stayed there over a year, and his illness was cured. I'll bet you can guess who set up that foundation and hospital. Right the first time! It was Charles S. Howard. Sincerely, Walter G. Gunn M.D.
Walter G. Gunn M.D. <>
Bigfork, MT USA - Monday, December 24, 2001 at 19:35:17 (EST)
I buy more books than I read theses days, and I haven't bought any this year. Until, that is, I heard you interviewed on the Diane Rehm Show just a couple of weeks ago now, I guess. Within two days I told my sister not to buy any books because she was getting this one for Christmas, I bought it, I didn't break the spine, and hopefully it's under their tree on the other side of the country at this moment. Now to the important stuff: I have Gene Hackman down for Tom Smith. He can frown for three hours straight; but he also has a great smile, so if he smiles only once in this story, it's definitely a high impact smile. I want Brad Pitt or Matt Damon for George Wolff, whoever's available -- they're a toss-up here, but Damon has his eyes, even looks a lot like him. Marisa Tomei is my Marcella. Katy Jorado (Will Kane's "old girlfriend" in "High Noon") was who I first identified with Marcella in the reading -- if they have to make up back story for Marcella, Katy could be the older female relative). Charles Howard role is where casting director's earn the big bucks. I falter here, since I think there are some great character actor's who ought not to be skipped over for this who I can't readily name. It seems unsatisfactory and unfair to take an Alec Baldwin and get him a little fatter and a little balder. Trouble is, he could probably do a terriffic job as a little balder and fatter. There must be lots of actors who could do this well. Nicholas Cage. Not exactly my favorite actor personally, and probably a few inches taller then Red in real life, but he is of the same physical type, he seems to have almost the same disposition going for him, plus -- you're only 39 once, no matter what Jack Benny said. He would be great in this role. He would get an Oscar in this role, if Gene Hackman didn't beat him out of it first. How about it? A Seabiscuit motion picture casting contest, the reader's picks...
Bruce Altman <>
Cape May, NJ USA - Monday, December 24, 2001 at 04:41:33 (EST)
This is Jeanne King writing again. Congratulations on "Seabiscuit's" being named one of the best books of the year in "The Economist". I have had wonderful emails from some of your readers. One of your readers sent me an email about growing up on Ridgewood Ranch and has offered to send me pictures of Ridgewood Ranch in the 1940's to share with my students. Another reader sent me his own copy of the book, to make sure I had enough copies to read with my students. Just recently, I had an email from a reader who had some of Seabiscuit' s races on VHS tape. I am sharing this all with my students. Thanks again from my Willits High School English students and thanks for the involvement of your readers.Jeanne
Jeanne King <>
Willits, CA USA - Sunday, December 23, 2001 at 23:17:29 (EST)
Congratulations is far too mild a word for what you deserve for your amazing triumph of reporting and writing. As a former newspaper reporter, I think I have some appreciation for the depth and breadth of you research. That you could then take all that information and write the dramatic, exuberant book you did is really remarkable. David Halberstam, for one, doesn't deserve to bring you your slippers. I also want to tell you that I heard you respond in a radio interview to the question, why did you write this book (given your CFS), by saying, "Because I felt it was how I could dignify my presence on this planet." I think that's the pithiest and most inspiring explanation of human ambition and endeavor I've ever heard. Thank you for enriching my life. Good luck to you always, Ms. Hillenbrand.
Paul Wagman <>
St. Louis, Mo USA - Sunday, December 23, 2001 at 22:01:51 (EST)
found your story at : After suffering 20 years of cfs myself, found the cure by accident & internet. Want to share & help others with their ordeal. Feel free to mail me. Regards, Hayek.
Hayek <>
Belgium - Sunday, December 23, 2001 at 14:50:43 (EST)
Congratulations on great research and a great story. My one criticism is that, if only as an appendix, I would have have really liked to have seen Daily Racing Form charts for key races and an overall past performance history.
Richard Cowan <>
Toronto, O Canada - Saturday, December 22, 2001 at 14:35:21 (EST)
Being a horse trainer here in La. I thought oh well another horse,but much to my delight was I surprise to read a book of such knowledge on horses and racing.I felt as I was one of the grooms in Seabiscuits entourage.Rarelencounter books with such accurate information on the subject that is being written Grade? Well of course,AA+ and then some. Marty Gary
Marty <>
Carencro, La. USA - Saturday, December 22, 2001 at 12:51:47 (EST)
Dear Laura Hillenbrand, ...thought you would enjoy this email from us... ...We just started to read the first 3 chapters of Megan’s Christmas Gift Book, SEABISCUT An American Legend. The book is touted as a true story by the author Laura Hillenbrand. In Chapter 2 she quotes Tom Smith, his legendary trainer, “It’s easy to talk to a horse if you understand his language, ‘ he also said, “Horses stay the same from the daythey are born until they die...They are only changed by the way people treat them”..He lived by a single maxim: “Learn your horse,you can often work wonders with an otherwise intractable beast. ...We are enjoying the book and we can attest to the truth in it...the wisdom parallel's that of St. Francis... ...Last night we had our Amish/Catholic Christmas was a real clash of cultures with our Christmas decorations, 3D glasses to look at the Christmas tree, 3 videos, including “Frosty the Snowman”...and the Disney Favorite, “Justin Morgan Had a Horse,”....the party lasted till 12PM and then we all went out to the barn to see our Morgan Ladies, Ginger and Lady, and of course the “Girl’s”...our sheep.... ...”What’s that hanging on the wall, Ray, “ asked Danny, the oldest son, ...”A baby monitor, we turn it on at listen to the animals...just in case the “Lancaster Pyromaniac" who is torching local barns pays us a visit...” ...”So what good is that?,” He shot back? ...”Ginger will alert me of the intruder and I’ll hear her, the speaker is in my room and I can hear her talk," ...They all looked at me in amazement...and Danny looked and smiled, “Animals can’t talk...” ...Then I remembered Tom Smith’s famous line, “its easy to talk to a horse if you understand his language”...and I know Ginger's language, and she’ll warn me of an intruder...and I’ll hear the warning on the monitor and come to her rescue...if you learn your horse you can work wonders with the intractable beast...”... The party is over, the Christmas Spirit is flowing, and all the Animals in God’s local kingdom and all of us humans are waiting for His Birth on Christmas morning... In the Spirit of Christmas... Peace from Amishland Ray and Megan Smecker What a great piece of writing...
Ray Smecker <>
Churchtown, Pa USA - Saturday, December 22, 2001 at 12:09:07 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Neither my husband or myself knew the first thing about hourse racing when we received your book as a Birthday present. We both read your book which was not only interesting but very informative. We couldn't put it down. It keep our interest from start to finish. We went on a cruise and had to take the book with us. Absolutly great!
Herb & Lisa Gould <>
Hawthorne, ca USA - Saturday, December 22, 2001 at 10:46:34 (EST)