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john <>
erie, pa USA - Tuesday, July 24, 2001 at 23:37:12 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I read an article about you in USA Today regarding CFS.. Well, I am a CFS sufferer as well, have been for the last 3 years. Since being under the care of an Alternative Doctor, I now travel for business 2-3 weeks per month, can function somewhat like a normal person, do some light exercise. Still can't play sports like I used to or do too much at one time...hmm "pacing myself".... I would love to tell you the path to my success, what has worked for me, would certainly help you I'm sure.... I am living proof that it's working!! 3 years ago, I was burning the candle at both ends, got a bacterial infection and my body totally shut down and out of work for a year and a I can fully understand what you have and are still going through..I want to help. You can reach me at my email. My website has a relaxation album I wrote and recorded and have used many times to relieve stress...a major factor in a recovery plan. Hope to hear from you soon. My best to you.
Edward Allen <>
Lawrenceville, NJ USA - Tuesday, July 24, 2001 at 23:06:19 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I cannot tell you how excited I was when I saw yur book on the shelf of my local bookseller. Tears filled my eyes as I caught a glimpse of my favorite equine hero, the one whose story I will never forget: Seabiscuit! Thank you, thank you for writing his story for the new century.
Jennifer Discher <>
Baltimore,, MD USA - Tuesday, July 24, 2001 at 22:29:41 (EDT)
In a note in yesterday's (7/23)Guestbook, Laura, you thank all of us for keeping Seabiscuit: An American Legend on the Best Seller lists for 20 weeks now. It is we who collectively must thank you for having written this masterpiece which deserves to be on the list beyond the time they hopefully award it a much deserved Pulitzer Prize. What a wonderful thrill it must be for you to read this Guestbook every day and see what a positive influence your book has had on us. I recomend it to every reader I know. Thank you so much.
Jock Reese <>
Holiday, Fl USA - Tuesday, July 24, 2001 at 21:56:14 (EDT)
This wonderful book was the selection of the month for the book club I am a member of. I have loved horses all my life, but never followed horse racing, and had never heard of Seabiscuit. I wasn't sure I would find the book enjoyable...was that a misconception! I love this book and will cherish it as a good friend forever. I truly became so engrossed that I was late back to work over a couple of lunch hours, because I just hated to stop reading. The descriptions of the races had me on the edge of my seat, heart pounding and palms sweating. What a great story. Our discussion of the book is in 2 days...I'm anticipating some enthusiastic responses! Our potlucks are always determined by the settings of the books. This one is going to be a Race Day Buffet. Should be lots of fun! Congratulations on a masterpiece. Lynette
Lynette Doele <>
Shelbyville, Mi USA - Tuesday, July 24, 2001 at 20:48:28 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I read your original article on Seabiscuit in the July/August 1988 issue of AMERICAN HERITAGE magazine. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have since read the book, which I enjoyed even more. If not for the former, I probably would have missed the latter. As it is, I'm happy to have read both. I've read quite a few histories of people, places, and events, and SEABISCUIT ranks among the best. The story is interesting in and of itself, but it benefits enormously from your telling. I sincerely hope that the Pulitzer committee gives it serious consideration; it is certainly deserving of such an honor. Best wishes for continued success, and all the best as well in your struggle against CFS.
Norm White <>
Burke, VA USA - Tuesday, July 24, 2001 at 16:55:27 (EDT)
I loved the book. I've just returned from Saratoga Springs, NY. There's a great Seabiscuit exhibit at the National Museum of Racing. Check it out!
Dawn <>
Holt Summit, MO USA - Tuesday, July 24, 2001 at 15:32:19 (EDT)
July 2001 Dear Ms. Hillebrand, The Belmont Child Care Association (BCCA) will hold its fourth, annual Fourstardave Gala and Auction on Wednesday, August 22. The fundraising event, held at Saratoga's Canfield Casino, attracts more then 200 members of the New York's prestigious Thoroughbred racing family. Proceeds from the evening will supply scholarships to families unable to afford the cost of tuition at Belmont Park's new child care center. With your help, we hope to exceed the $150,000 raised last year. Please add to the evening's success by contibuting an item to the auction. For your convenience, an auction contribution forn is enclosed. BCCA is not a not-for-profit corpration established to create and sustain a child care center for the benefit of working families at New York area racetracks. Plans to build a 7,500 square foot facility are underway. The center is expected to open next summer and has been designed to care for 80 children, ages six to five years, daily. Contributions to BCAA are tax deductible. I have just finished reading your wonderful book Seabiscut, An American Legend, and it has by far surpassed my greatest expectations. Our organization the BCCA would be honored and grateful if you would consider donating an autographed copy to be auctioned at our Gala. In advance, thank you for helping us care for the children. Sincerely, Juliane Brida Address: 2160 Rowley Road Malta, NY 12020
juliane Brida <WNBA42012>
Malta, NY USA - Tuesday, July 24, 2001 at 15:25:21 (EDT)
I was going to write something attemptedly eloquent but when I read all the other notes it's all pretty much been said. I just finished the book and my heart is in my throat. Also finding out the physical obstacles you are faced with and still able to pour incredible passion and feeling into your work is heroism of the highest order. I've been to the track at Pasadena many times and never knew the statues you described even existed. I'll sure look them up next time. My whole family will enjoy your book. My only concern is the making of the movie. I loved Bonfire of the Vanities and spoke to Tom Wolfe as it was being filmed. He told me he had no role and was very concerned about the outcome. The rest is history. God bless you, Jim
Jim Willcox <>
Kansas City , Mo USA - Tuesday, July 24, 2001 at 13:11:10 (EDT)
I read about your book and your physical suffering as you wrote the book. My heart goes out to you and I am greatful for the opportunity to read the book you have written. This is a wonderful website ~ well done! I will add my prayers to hoping and praying that you will get well soon. I have recently learned about hormones and something called Natural Progesterone. There is a website where you can have your hormone levels tested thru saliva (including thyroid which I'm sure you've had tested already). My doctor told me I had nothing wrong with me, except that she doesn't know that my TSH number on the thyroid test has double in 4 yrs and that I was already tested for seritonin levels and they were low. My tests came within the normal ranges, but I still did not feel normal or good at all. I could barely get out of bed some days. Here is the website for hormone level testing. If the hormones are out of balance that will cause everything else to go out of balance. The hormones can affect the whole body clock and system including sleep, healing, strength..etc. I have found that the doctors of mainstream medicine ~ do not know much about this, though it has been used by a doctor in England for some 20 yrs. I was suffering from Chronic Fatigue... I suffered for 7 yrs. I am only just starting to use the natural progesterone... but it has healed most of my symptoms and issues. This website also put me in touch with doctors in my state of CT in New England who can help me. My insurance covers 2 out of 4 who are the only doctors in the area that I know treat with natural progesterone. The one doctor was trained in Ireland, maybe that is why she knows about the treatment and usees it. I am feeling much better though I've only ben on the treatment for a week and it will take some time to balance the hormone levels out. If this does not help you, I continue to pray that you will find out what is the cause of your illness that you may find health and wellness again. Sincerely, rae ciardi
Rae Ciardi <>
Monroe, CT USA - Tuesday, July 24, 2001 at 10:37:40 (EDT)
I knew virtually nothing about horse racing but fell in love with the "biscuit" You did a wonderful job of not just telling the story but allowing me to feel every stride. I don't think I have ever been quite so emotionally charged from one book. Who ever thought that a non-fiction book would be a "page turner?"
Ted Pearce <>
Charlotte, NC USA - Tuesday, July 24, 2001 at 09:48:47 (EDT)
Laura : I would like very much to talk to you about your article in USA Today about your CFS. I am a Talk Show Host ( 2 Hours Mon - Fri. ) I have had CF for 8yrs. A sick like feeling. I have been to alot of doctors - I have found one that has reaaly helped me. Please email me Congralations on your wonderful book. Jeff
JW <>
USA - Tuesday, July 24, 2001 at 02:29:08 (EDT)
My father would have loved your book. He grew up in the shadow of Aqueduct Race Track, and never quite made it to the high school on the other side. He was a kid who started out selling pencils and wound up talking someone into letting him ride. He said they thought they would get rid of him once he was bucked off; instead, he stayed until WW2 as an exercise boy for Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons. His whole life revolved around those horses, and he even went to Hialeah in the boxcar, sleeping between two bales of hay so as not to get kicked or stomped. The other workers even went so far as to smuggle him past the Truant Officer so he could ride. Not only did you tell a great story about the Biscuit, you gave me a look at a piece of my late father's life. Thank You.
Kathy Tolf <>
Pawling, NY USA - Monday, July 23, 2001 at 22:32:27 (EDT)
As someone who has had a 33-year love affair with horse racing since I was 16 and even decided to scrap a 14-year career at The New York Times to work for Steven Crist as Director of Marketing for NYRA in 1995-96, then rejoined Steve as Ad Director for Daily Racing Form from 1998-2000, it's not surprising that I received three copies of your book for my birthday in April. I have since given five other copies of your book as gifts to friends who do not necessarily love racing. Your story of Seabiscuit transcends the track. It is a story of human triumph, unselfishness, generosity and coincidence that such diverse and dysfunctional individuals could somehow merge together to forge this legendary run. I would have loved to have lived in the late 30's when horse racing was a sport and not a gaming sideshow referred to in the same sentence as video slots, lotteries and blackjack. The fact that the world seemed to stop everytime this magnificent animal walked on a racetrack is just mind boggling. If Seabiscuit had been around today, the main concern of most people watching him win the Big Cap would have been what did the Seabiscuit-Kayak exacta pay? Thanks, Laura for taking me to a wonderful place during my mundane commutes to work on the Long Island Rail Road of the past couple of weeks. I can't wait to see the movie. Sincerely, Rick Marks
Rick Marks <>
Great Neck, NY USA - Monday, July 23, 2001 at 22:28:59 (EDT)
June 20, 2001 Dear Laura Hillenbrand, Two days ago I finished reading your book, Seabiscuit. I have never written a letter to an author before. I have also never been interested in horseracing before. Your book changed all that for me. After hearing you read from the book on National Public Radio (NPR) here in Chicago, I had to purchase it. My husband was worried that after paying so much for a hardcover book, I would never read it. Every night I read a few pages before going to bed. I became so captivated by the book, that reading it was what I looked forward to doing the moment I arrived home. (My husband was probably feeling a little neglected by now.) What I enjoyed most about your book was having the feeling that I was there. You managed to thoroughly capture the feeling of the Seabiscuit obsession in your book. Each character (human or horse) seemed so real to me that I could envision them and their mannerisms as I read. I thoroughly enjoyed the way Seabiscuit was described by you, Woolf, Smith, and Pollard as wanting to race and win with all his heart. The manner in which you described every detail-how Seabiscuit would torture his fellow racehorses by letting them come from behind only to wipe their noses in his victory, and the story of how Seabiscuit was first able to relax by sleeping in the same stall as Pumpkin, and how he would sleep through the cross-country train rides-made the story of Seabiscuit that much more enjoyable.. Your description of the races was perfect. I know very little about horseracing, yet I still felt like I was present in each race, cheering on Seabiscuit and riding as George Woolf or Red Pollard. I could feel my face in Seabiscuit’s mane, his galloping speed beneath me, and the other horses nearing, trying to close in his lead. In reading your book I not only learned the tortures of being a jockey and how to train a racehorse, I learned to love Seabiscuit. I loved the fact that he wasn’t physically built like a racehorse, yet was the best racehorse of that era. I became a fan and can now defend him in conversations regarding his ability. Howard, Smith, and Pollard cared for Seabiscuit enough not to let him race under poor health or track conditions; you, obviously, love Seabiscuit enough to want to share his life story in such compelling detail with the world. Thank you for writing this incredible book. It was an absolute pleasure for me to read Seabiscuit! Sincerely, Janelle Manno
Janelle Manno
Chicago, IL USA - Monday, July 23, 2001 at 18:48:41 (EDT)
A fabulous story told in way that will visually transport a reader back in time. A great character study of people who lived in an era that needed hope for something better and found it in a horse named "Seabiscuit." A riviting story. Thank you for writing it.
Margaret Menotti <>
Denton, Tx USA - Monday, July 23, 2001 at 18:04:30 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: My grandparents were at the race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral. As the family story goes, my grandfather took her to this race with seats very close to the owners as a thank you for her patience with his love for racing. I have opened the film and can see that it is a race between two horses, but have not completely reviewed the film for fear of damaging it. Toward the end, where I did review it, I can see the sideview of two horses completing the race. It also shows the horses being lead back. One horse appears to have a white blanket and the other red. I have been saving this film in hopes of having it restored since it is the only film of my grandparents we have. Do you believe that this film is worth marketing? If so, could you direct me to the best place to investigate? Thank you.
justcurious <>
USA - Monday, July 23, 2001 at 17:12:02 (EDT)
Dear Laura: We are not writing to you about the book but rather about today's USA article on you with regard to CFS. We would like to offer a couple of references for you to review on health and possibly some answers to your problem. I would hope that you might consider reviewing them to see if they may help. These references will be a cut and paste from a Word document so I hope it is readable. As background, this comes mainly from my wife who is a healer who specialize in chronic pain but also does a lot of alternative healing techniques. She is a licensed PT,MT, and Reiki Master among other things. We would hope that this material might lead you to the path of healing yourself! References: 1) Reverse Aging by Sang Wang. You can get this on This is an easy book to read on aging and other healing concepts. Real good book! Publisher: JSB Publishing ISBN: 0-9662363-1-9 Phone: 1-888-261-0870 2) Sanctuary - Path to Consciousness by Stephen Lewis & Evan Slawson ISBN: 1-56170-844-5 Recommended by: Dr. Wayne Dwyer Linda Gray Burt Bacharach Lani Hall [wife of Herb Alpert with cancer herself] 3) Water Filters: Check out Alkaline Water Filters!!!! Acid water from soft drinks and our foods is killing us and prompting diseases such as cancer. Best Filter is the Ionizer Plus by Singer. Does Micro Filtration + Ultraviolet + Ionization to provide Perfect Water! High Tech H2O 220 Glenwood Ct. Danville, CA 94526 925 820-8829 1 800-794-5355 or 888 878-8300 These are some items for you to review in your quest for health and top athletic performance. Hopefully, they will at least provide some food for thought on diet and nutrition! Sincerely, Egon & Sheryl Doernbrack P.S. May God Bless you! Keep up the good work!
Egon and Sheryl Doernbrack <>
The Woodlands, TX USA - Monday, July 23, 2001 at 16:41:52 (EDT)
I am in the process of reading this incredible book. I am also a lover of horses more than any other creature God created. I was especially excited to see a book come out on Seabiscuit because he is my all time favorite race horse, so much so that my grandfather left me an original photograph of Seabiscuit breezing with Georgie Wolfe on board, it is the highlight of all my collections. Thank you Laura for your contributions to the horse world and God Bless you and heal you soon. Denna Martin, Santa Rosa, CA.
Denna Martin <>
santa rosa, ca USA - Monday, July 23, 2001 at 16:23:29 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, After reading some of the many comments I almost decided not to add anything. It seems its all been said very eloquently. But just to let you know I couldn't wait to get home from work so I could read your book. I felt like I had stepped back in time and was right there with Seabiscuit, Mr. Howard, Mr. Smith and Red. My throat got lumpy and I cried several times when Seabiscuit lost, or Red got hurt, or when Seabiscuit finally retired. Your ability to bring out this kind of emotion through words on a page is phenomenal. I will undoubtedly read this book again, and I await the movie with great impatience. Take Care.
Brenda Gillarde <>
Benicia, CA USA - Monday, July 23, 2001 at 16:06:29 (EDT)
DEAR FIONA, AND SEABISCUIT GUESTBOOK READERS: I read the following message that Fiona wrote in the Seabiscuit Guestbook on July 10, 2001, and answered her as follows: ------------------------------------------------------------ Dear Laura, I cried myself to sleep last night when I finished the book. I came to the realization that Seabiscuit died of a broken heart. After his last race the only person who ever understood him, or he understood, never saw him again. I grieve for a horse and a man Long dead. I console myself with the thought, that somewhere Seabiscuit and Smith are together. Saying nothing and saying everthing. fiona mckeown los angeles, ca USA - Tuesday, July 10, 2001 at 12:14:01 (EDT) ------------------------------------------------------------ My letter: I lived at Ridgewood Ranch in the 1940's, where my Dad's job was to look after all the Thoroughbred horses on the ranch and see they were cared for properly. It was a wonderful place to grow up, and we rode the whole Ranch, north, south, east and west, all the mountains and valleys, border to border and beyond. We knew all the creeks and rivers and lakes and springs. We took part in the roundups, markings and brandings, and other ranch activities. I am taking the liberty of answering your Email so you won't be left with the notion that Seabiscuit died of a broken heart. He lived out a very happy and contented life at Ridgewood Ranch. He had people who exercised him and cared for him. He had a big paddock with oak trees to nap under, and a large roomy stall at the main stud barn with the other Howard stallions. He had the best of feed and care, and an adoring public that came to visit him at his famous Ridgewood Ranch. Mr. Howard and Seabiscuit enjoyed riding around the ranch, and they were great buddies, and they understood each other, and enjoyed each other's company. Ridgewood Ranch was a wonderful place to live due to Mr. Howard's great planning, foresight, and generosity, and that time of my life will always have a special place in my heart. There WAS another life at Ridgewood after Seabiscuit's racetrack days were over, and it was a great one for those of us fortunate enough to be a part of it. If Seabiscuit has the same Ridgewood memories that I do, then he is happy where he is. We are fortunate to have Laura Hillenbrand with her special creative talent to write this Seabiscuit book as a reminder of this horse's great heart and perseverance, and of those men around him with the same qualities. It has given us the great gift of a vivid and accurate picture of the times and places and people of those years. If you wish to read more about Ridgewood in the 40's, please see my Guestbook entry of May 31,2001 I welcome any comments or correspondence sent to me at my Email address below. Sincerely, Jani Email:
Jani <>
NV USA - Monday, July 23, 2001 at 15:18:59 (EDT)
Dear Laura, there is one incredible human beeing who has created the most outstanding, synergistically working and potent products available today. Check it out for yourself! All the best and thank you for your creation. Link:
Heinz Nussbaumer
Victoria, BC Canada - Monday, July 23, 2001 at 15:18:29 (EDT)
Laura, I just read USA Today article re Chronic Fatigue Syndrom and it reminded me of Michelle Akers of the USA World Cup and Olympic champion soccer teams. She has suffered from CFS for years but been able to play soccer at world class level. I know she is on gluten-free diet (as is my wife) and needs lots of IVs just to practice. Sorry about using your Guestbook for this but hope it provides some support. ( is web site). Best wishes, Cliff
Cliff Norfleet <>
San Jose, CA USA - Monday, July 23, 2001 at 14:47:17 (EDT)
Laura, I finished your book and I loved it! I cried throughout the book because I have been around horses my whole life and know that each one has a special personality. Seabiscuit was a very special horse. I wish I could have seen him run. I would like to purchase some Seabiscuit memorabilia but am having no luck finding any. If you could give me any leads, I would appreciate it! My e-mail address is: I am really looking forward to the movie!!
Summer Green
USA - Monday, July 23, 2001 at 14:03:39 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I am so happy you have written this book. Not only did I enjoy reading this masterpiece and insight of horse racing, I feel in love with Seabiscuit. Another reason even more important why this book was so profound to me. I got to know my father! You see my father ran away from home when he was 14 years old in 1916 or 1917. He was born in NYC and he landed at Belmont. He mucked stalls,walked hots, exercised horses and eventually was a jockey. He went from the flat to steeplechase. Every time he ended up in the hospital from falls he gain weight until he had to find something else. The track was the only life he knew so he was touting, jockey's agent, owner/trainer until he ended up as a Pinkerton guard on a back gate at Belmont in the late 1950's. It was then he ran away from home again never to be heard from again. A few years ago I found out from S.S. he died in upstate N.Y. in the '70's. I always remember him saying "you can't change the spots on a leopard". Your book gave me more understanding of that and how much he loved the track. He was a very good trainer but never mastered politics. You might find it funny but I went into auto racing and now I'm retired but I still hang around it. There is another reason why I'm writing you is because of the USA article. I went through a 3 year bout of fatigue about 4 years ago. It was about that time that a ad in USA for a product called "Herp-Eezz". The manufacture is Olympian Labs, Scottsdale,Az. Their phone is 800.473.5883. This product along with others are sold through distributors so they can tell you where you can find one near you. Anyway, my wife (she suffered with this to)and I have been taking this product and it has helped us. It is patented processed and it was developed to reduce the effects of the virus that might be part of your illness Again, thank you for your wonderful work. You have given me a wonderful gift. Dennis Duncan (son of Fred Duncan)
Dennis Duncan <>
Sheboygan, wi USA - Monday, July 23, 2001 at 13:55:57 (EDT)
Ms Hillenbrand, I grew up in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, where Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons was a local icon. I went to school with some of his relatives. I assume the track you refer to in your book that surrounded the Fitzsimmons home was the old Sheepshead Bay Racetrack. I'm 73 and the track was gone by my time but my father spent a lot of time there as a kid. He was a horselover and a horseplayer (he died broke!) and I could never understand his passion for the "Sport of Kings" but your book has made understanding his obsession a little easier. Thanks! Jim Doyle
Jim Doyle <>
Mahwah, NJ USA - Monday, July 23, 2001 at 13:31:56 (EDT)
I saw a brief excerpt of your interview today. Keep a positive outlook. My daughter had this when she was 14 [1989]. For a year we did not know if she would live or die. It took near a full year to even get her diagnosed and then so many professionals didn't believe the diagnosis. Despite the fevers, swollen glands, etc., her trusted pediatrician even recommended psychiatric help. With the support of family, one good doctor, and the help of God, she finally went into a semi-remission. Today she is 25, married, and is able to hold a full time job even though she has to be careful not to overdo and get enough rest and proper nutrition. I wish you the best. Keep up the good writing.
Judy Harris <>
GA USA - Monday, July 23, 2001 at 12:13:02 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I've read USA's article today about your CFS. You should consult any physician who has MD and OMD degrees. I had gone thru that problem like yours 12 years ago. When checking or testing physician cannot find anything wrong, but the relationships between organs are not right so you have CFS. Good luck, Dan
Dan Nguyen <>
Waldorf, MD USA - Monday, July 23, 2001 at 12:07:43 (EDT)
FROM THE AUTHOR: For those who are interested, today there is a feature on my battle with illness in USA Today and a companion piece on Gannett TV stations nationwide. Both the print piece and the TV piece can be seen at The internet version of the story and video should stay up for a number of days. Thank you all for all your posts, and for keeping Seabiscuit on the best seller list for 20 weeks now!
Laura Hillenbrand
USA - Monday, July 23, 2001 at 11:30:29 (EDT)
Dear Laura Clearly you have the "look of an eagle" and the great heart and blood of racing champions, or you could not have researched with love, and vicariously participated in the minds and hearts of the people and horses you crafted into such a story great enough to make my heart pound and bring tears to my eyes on more than one occasion, as I read your masterpiece. Thanks for such a special time. This tribute comes from a 68 year old who read his first racing program at 7 and asked his 9 year old brother how "NOBOY" could ride more than one horse in a race. As boys my brother and I talked to "Sunny Jim" outside of Bold Ruler's stall at Saratoga. We spent every summer we could (with my father until we later went up on our own when he couldn't)at Saratoga. We semi-vicariously grew up with Bobby Permane, Ted Atkinson, Eddie Arcaro, Eric Guerin, Headley Woodhouse, etc as we intoduced ourselves to them whenever we could around the track or in the diners of Saratoga. My Dad knew Casey Hayes and Mickey Walsh so we met them frequently and listened to their dialogue.The greatest I saw personally was Native Dancer as he exploded into his "longer stride" for about thirty yards as he more than took the measure of Jamie K. in the Travers. Later when in Baltimore, I went to the Vanderbilt farm to see him again, as I had to--he was in my blood. My Dad saw and loved Seabiscuit ( Empire with the bookies were still in vogue in his day) and he always had a soft spot for Discovery who he felt was unique in the way he could carry the heavy weight imposed on him. I only mention this background so you will know there is substance to my tribute to you, not only for the pleasure of the reading but for the contribution you will make to the "Sport of Kings". I believe it is the best public relations for racing I have seen since listening to Clem McCarthy broadcast a race. Let's both hope my prophecy has merit and we see "at track attendance" regain some of the luster and magic I was fortunate enough to experience as a youngster. God Bless you Sincerely, Herb McCauley for myself and my Dad who will be reading your book in Heaven.
Herbert N. McCauley <>
Naples, Fl USA - Monday, July 23, 2001 at 10:03:35 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand - I am in the process of reading your book. Absolutely captivating - I felt I must write as I was very impressed by your continued determination to battle CFS. My wife is in much of a similiar situation. CFS put her flat on her back for at least two years and we are still feelings the effects. We operate a small boarding, training and breeding business primarily focusing on event horses in Middleburg, VA. I was wtiness first hand to what CFS does. My heart goes out to all who suffer this terrribly misunderstood dis-ease. I am hoping my wife will contact you be e-mail directly and share more of her story with you. I am thoroughly enjoying your book and am fulfilling my jockey fantasy through good reads like yours. I hope Seabiscuit is one of many successes. Prayers go with you. Thank you for your masterwork. Bob
Bob Rush <>
Middleburg, VA USA - Monday, July 23, 2001 at 09:21:56 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Upon listening to your NPR interview and hearing some of the highlights about Seabiscuit, I read your book and commend you for a great job. Thank you. George
George J. Levine <>
Las Vegas, NV USA - Sunday, July 22, 2001 at 21:44:36 (EDT)
Thanks for this splendid slice of American History. I was captivated immeadiately by your account of Howard's early years, and the role he played in the history of San Francisco. I grew up one block from Van Ness Ave. where his bicycle repair shop was located, went to my first horse race at Bay Meadows, where he stabled his first horses, and spent many summer weeks in the Redwoods near Willits, home of Ridgeway. Somehow this story wove together many loose ends of my life into a fabric I didn't know existed. I am truly greatful for your work.
Kent McLemore <>
Fayetteville, AR USA - Sunday, July 22, 2001 at 16:42:11 (EDT)
Great book. I race automobiles, and I wish someone would write a book bringing alive the history and drama of auto racing like you did with horse racing. I hope the movie is a credit to your wonderfull book.
Dean Manion <>
Kansas City, MO USA - Sunday, July 22, 2001 at 14:43:29 (EDT)
Thank you for an incredible book! I have always loved horses, so was looking forward to reading "Seabiscuit", but I had no idea what a wonderful read I was in for. You made the people and the horses come alive in a brilliant way, and I was very sorry to reach the end of the book. I hope you're working on another one.
Deborah Goodall <>
Herndon, VA USA - Sunday, July 22, 2001 at 13:28:24 (EDT)
Congratulations on this amazing ride! I feel like I just returned from racing Seabiscuit myself at Santa Anita. Seabiscuit will always be in my heart. Many thanks for the beautifully written masterpiece.
Harriet Layfield <>
Nashville, TN USA - Sunday, July 22, 2001 at 10:35:14 (EDT)
Dear Laura; I just purchased, "Seabiscuit, An American Legend". I first heard of the horse when I was about 4 years old and called him Teabiscuit. My uncles were gamblers who went to the races every day during the depression years and beyond. They always spoke of "Seabiscuit" and showed me pictures of him.. I always loved the horse and I can't wait to read your book.. I am flying to Las Vegas on Wednesday and will read during the 4 hour flight. Again, I thank you for the memories.. of "teabiscuit" Angelo Lanzone
Angelo Lanzone <>
Sabina, OH USA - Saturday, July 21, 2001 at 21:22:38 (EDT)
If I wrote to you each time I read Seabiscuit: An American Legend, there would be yet another page of praise added to this webpage. I've read it four times and listened to Campbell Scott's superb reading of the audiobook at least a dozen. Would that there were an unabridged audio version. Many great books have been written, that's true, but none I ever read reached so deeply into my Self as yours. After learning of your illness, I'd give anything to be able to return the joy to you that you are giving me -- each day a little more Seabiscuit. He was a wonder. So are you.
maggie van ostrand <>
ajijic, Mexico - Saturday, July 21, 2001 at 21:12:44 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I just finished Seabiscuit, marvelous having being born in 1934 and growing up in and around Santa Anita track I was to young to know Seabiscuit himself, but, I was raised on his legend. I did know Ralph Neeves, Johnny London and Eddy Arcaro. Share many a dinner time with them at the Brown Derby. You brought it all back to me. I did not want the book to end. Thank You
Izamal, Yucatan Mexico - Saturday, July 21, 2001 at 20:57:14 (EDT)
I am looking for a mailing address of the author I would like to write her a letter about how special she is Thank You.
Anita Wagner <>
shawano, wi USA - Saturday, July 21, 2001 at 16:58:14 (EDT)
seabiscuit, an american ledgend, is one of the best written books if have ever read, it read like a great novel, your ability to recreate events is amazing. i can't wait for the movie
michael walker <>
nashville, tn USA - Saturday, July 21, 2001 at 13:55:12 (EDT)
I will just join the masses and congratulate you on saving a piece of wonderful history from dying. Well written, loaded with inspiration and emotions it is not only a success in the U.S.A.. Congratulations!
Sandra Ovlinger <>
Brussels-Belgium, USA - Saturday, July 21, 2001 at 10:04:00 (EDT)
Ms. Laura Hillenbrand, I have just finished reading your magnificent biography of Seabiscuit and the three men who guided his development into what many believe was the finest horse in racing history. Your superbly researched and thoroughly documented work shows not only your outstanding attention to detail, but also the evident love of your subject you brought to the project. My sincerest congratulations for a work which moved me very much. Very truly yours, Jack Letzer
Jack Letzer <>
Cockeysville, MD USA - Friday, July 20, 2001 at 19:37:03 (EDT)
I just completed Seabiscuit, and I'm ready to read it all over again!! You are an extremely talentd writer. Every race that you had decribed in the book, made me feel like I was sitting right there in the granstands. More than once my adrenaline reached it's full capacity during the exciting parts. Seabiscuit is like a hero! I wished I could have been born to see him race. You are truly a lovely person to have been able to capture the beauty of Seabiscuit! Thank you for a wonderful story!
Victoria Romano <>
Phila. , Pa USA - Friday, July 20, 2001 at 16:33:35 (EDT)
Laura, I have already left comments about your book, it is just that I have now read your interview on Beliefnet and am in awe at your achievement in writing this book. You truely are a wonderful person with a great attitude to life. Best wishes for the future.
Niall Connolly <>
Orlando, FL USA - Friday, July 20, 2001 at 15:34:08 (EDT)
I grew up thinking that the entire reason for horseracing was to watch them run--I never had been around racetracks, just around horses in Wyoming and Colorado. I also read everything by Margurite Henry, all the Black Stallion books, the Flicka series, etc. This definitely ranks up there with those books. I remember reading a children's book about Seabiscuit, but it obviously couldn't hold a candle to this book. I am sorry to have it end. You've written such a captivating book. I couldn't put it down. The pictures are wonderful, as well. The research is thorough but never gets in the way of the story. Wow, thanks for such a great book, and if you write another horse racing book (about War Admiral? LOL) I will be first in line at my local library to read it!!!!!!!
MI USA - Friday, July 20, 2001 at 15:30:59 (EDT)
Thank you for a great book. I hated to finish it, knowing that all the characters I'd come to love have been long gone from this world. It was a book that appeals to history lovers of Americana, not just horse or racing enthusiasts. I cried at the end as I knew I would. Would it be possible to get my copy signed by you? A few questions if you will: What ever happened to Marcela Howard? Where was Ridgeway and what is it today? Are the bronze sculptures of Seabiscuit and Woolf still at Santa Anita? Are there any horses raing today that are descendents of Seabiscuit? (I doubt it, and it is a shame.) Thank you again, can't wait to see the movie. I hope it does your book justice! Andrea
andrea orr <>
Fredericksburg, VA USA - Friday, July 20, 2001 at 14:03:11 (EDT)
You are an inspiration to me and I am sure Seabiscuit: An American Legend will be as well. I, too, have CFS/FM and believe I can understand at least some of what it must have taken for you to write this incredible story. I am looking forward to reading Seabiscuit. I have asked our local library to purchase it so those of us who can't afford to buy books will have access to this wonderful story.
Pat Owen <>
Euless, TX USA - Friday, July 20, 2001 at 13:52:05 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I read your book cover to cover in two days. It was exhaustively researched and brilliantly paced, unfolding exactly like the well-made film I'm sure it will become. Hope your appearance on Mike Dempsey's Turf 'n Sport radio goes well today. I produce a TV show in Baltimore called ATOMIC TV and would LOVE to do a segment on you and your book (we profiled Mike when he was in town for the Preakness - he'll never let me forget the $714 payoff I missed by not boxing my longshot exacta pick). We would meet you anywhere at your convenience. By the way, ever see a film called MY BROTHER TALKS TO HORSES from 1946? It was on TCM a few months back and is of interest only because it used footage of War Admiral in a few scenes and is supposed to take place during the Preakness in Baltimore at Old Hilltop. Peter Lawford's in it (and probably tried to forget about it the rest of his career). It's got funny lines in it like, "We Baltimoreans take our racing seriously!" and "If my boss sees me at the track I could lose my bank position!" The kid in the movie does the requisite tear-jerker scene, too, when his fave horse is put down. Funny, this year's meet at Pimlico, my first day saw a horse being euthanized after throwing Joe Rocco and the last day I was there a horse broke down)they saved this one after Ramon Dominguez pulled him up 30 feet forom the finish line. Anyway, great job on the book and hope to hear from you, Tom Warner
Tom Warner <>
Baltimore, MD USA - Friday, July 20, 2001 at 13:38:37 (EDT)
Your book is as magnificent as your subject. I can only imagine the research and time and caring that went into a story that made Seabiscuit and all the other characters come back to life. I purchased my first thoroughbred slightly over a year ago. He is an ex-racehorse with ancesters that include War Admiral, Secretariat and Native Dancer. He may not have the speed they possessed but he has the heart and the 'eye' and when I sit on the ground in his paddock, talking to him as he prances around, knowing that he will never harm me, I think of Tom Smith, his great gift and the unique communication that existed between him and his horse. I understand, in a very limited way, that special bond. Thank you for making them live again.
Edie Link <>
Dahlonega, GA USA - Friday, July 20, 2001 at 13:01:08 (EDT)
I heard you on ESPN Radio last night. Good interview! This sounds like a great story!
John <>
Kansas City, MO USA - Friday, July 20, 2001 at 12:48:22 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I purchased your book for my father, an avid thoroughbred racing fan, and he enjoyed it immensely. My husband recently finished it and was impressed with the amount of research that went into writing the book and the insight it provided into the lifestyles of the trainers and jockeys during the time Seabiscuit was racing. You mentioned in your book the tune played by the buglers prior to the horses coming onto the track. The melody is properly known as "First Call". I am not bringing this to your attention as a correction, but merely thought you might be interested. "First Call" derives from the traditions of the U.S. Cavalry. "First Call" was sounded at cavalry posts to alert the grooms to bring the horses from the picket line to the parade grounds, where they would be saddled. "Second Call", also known as "Boots and Saddles," was the signal for the cavalrymen to mount and prepare to move out. Then would come the order, familiar to generations of movie goers: "Right by twos. At a gallop. Ho-o-o-o." Once again, we truly enjoyed your book and will continue to pass it around to friends and family. Elaine Ryan
Elaine Ryan <>
Pittsburgh, PA USA - Friday, July 20, 2001 at 10:40:07 (EDT)
I just finished reading Seabiscuit. Thank you so much for bringing this story back to life. I weeped at the end of the story, I wanted it to continue. I also admired your many thanks to those who helped you with this book. As a fellow horse lover, kudos to you Laura!
Fran Johnson <>
Hyattsville, MD USA - Friday, July 20, 2001 at 10:27:03 (EDT)
MY prediction is that Laura Hillenbrand wil singlehandedly revive an American interest in racing with this book.
Lisa Robinson <>
Gilmanton, NH USA - Friday, July 20, 2001 at 08:58:56 (EDT)
Everytime Seabiscuit raced,I felt that I was at the track! It is one of the best books I ever read. As a child,I remember playing a racing game with Seabiscuit as one of the horses. Brought back great memories. I salute Ms. Hillenbrand.
donna ripple <>
pittsburgh, pa USA - Friday, July 20, 2001 at 08:55:57 (EDT)
Just wanted to say that I just bought the book, and I've only read the preface and I'm already captivated by the story. Can't wait to finish it, Seabiscuit will live on forever!
Brent <>
Louisville, KY USA - Thursday, July 19, 2001 at 17:44:12 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand Like most of the other entries in your guest book I was overwhelmed by this beautiful love story. And really it is both a labor of love,-- yours, and the love of a splendid horse. As a young man I was one of the thousands of spectators at both Hollywood Park and Santa Anita, and it makes me weepy and mushy to turn back the clock with your magnificent story. Thank you and I'm going to reread it starting now.
Paul FitzGerald <>
Berkeley, CA USA - Thursday, July 19, 2001 at 17:38:34 (EDT)
Today is the first day of my vacation. Just finished "Seabiscuit". Thank-you so much for writing this book. Not only bringing out a terrific story, but for writing it so well. Had a tear in my eye at the end. One of the best books I've read in a long time and I read many. My only regret is that I'll never have the pleasure of reading it for the first time again. Thanks again.
Jim Kitchel <>
Washington, DC USA - Thursday, July 19, 2001 at 13:47:07 (EDT)
Thank you Laura!! I hava always had a horse addiction which has just increased over the years. Loved your story and appreciate your research and time to bring this great horse to others who may not have ever read about his history. I have recommended it to everyone, horse lovers or not. I think they will all love it. Brought back memories of reading all those horse stories as a kid. C.W. Anderson's Favorite Horse Stories was my favorite from that time. Your book brought back that page turning anticipation even though I knew the outcome of the races. Thanks for bringing all those involved with Seabiscuit to life for those of us who remember only the horse and the races. My horses are some of my best friends, hopefully your book will encourage others to see these wonderful animals as the loyal, willing, and loving animals they are. No one can read this book and not want to become a horse person. Thanks again and please bring more of these wonderful stories to us.
Kim York <>
Lake City, MN. USA - Thursday, July 19, 2001 at 12:24:46 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I read about your book through the Winnipeg Digest. I wanted to buy it for my Dad who is 91 years of age. He too was a horse owner and trainer. I spent 10 years with my Dad at the race track in Edmonton, Alberta. We never made much money but we had lots of fun in the 70's. At least we experienced the thrills of racing and finding ourselves in the winner's circle. Before I could give the book to my Dad I started to glance through it. Once I started I couldn't put it out of my mind. Tonight I finally finished it at 4:30 am. And I have to go to work in two hours! My Dad knew Red Pollard when we lived in Edmonton. I now live in Winnipeg and George Wolf lived here. That really had an impact on my interest because I am Canadian. I have read many books in my life as I am now 55 But I don't ever remember a book having so much power over me. I could hardly put it down except when my eyes would close and the book would fall open on my chest late at night. I have never seen a book so well written and contagious. I was addicted to it. I just want to tell you how much I enjoy your writting. God has given you a wonderful gift and talent. Use it for his glory to touch the hearts and lives of people around the world. I know how much toil and labour you put into this book and you will be rewarded accordingly. Your efforts will never be in vain or forgotten. You have touched my life and you have brought a lot of joy and happiness into my heart and I want to thank you for the effect your book has had on me. I love to know our past history and I wish I could have been there. If you have any other books that I might be interested in could you suggest them to me? Thank you, Jim Marsden
Jim Marsden <>
Winnipeg, MB Canada - Thursday, July 19, 2001 at 11:25:05 (EDT)
Want to hear author Laura Hillenbrand interviewed on your local radio? If your local radio station has a talk show on which you'd like to hear Seabiscuit: An American Legend discussed, please e-mail us at and we'll contact the station and try to arrange an appearance. Please be sure to include the station call letters, city, radio show, and host, and we'll take it from there! Seabiscuit readers who would like to urge the Oprah Winfrey show to profile the book can contact the show at The author has received many inquiries about her May appearance on National Public Radio's Diane Rehm Show. To encourage Ms. Rehm to rebroadcast the popular hour-long show, contact Diane at If you have other ideas on how Seabiscuit can get more coverage on a specific TV show or in a specific publication in your area, please share your thoughts with us. Thank you!
Laura Hillenbrand
USA - Thursday, July 19, 2001 at 10:31:02 (EDT)
I just started received and started reading your book "Seabiscuit". I almost lament at the fact that this book will end because I know that when the ending comes I will want more of it to read. My question is...why did you choose the picture on the cover of the dust jacket that you did? It doesn't show the head of Seabiscuit and I was wondering if there was a creative reason for doing this? Thank you for this book!
Jody Miller <>
Marshfield, WI USA - Thursday, July 19, 2001 at 10:30:30 (EDT)
I just finished your amazing and moving book today. Just so you know, I'm normally the typical macho horse racing fan except I arrogently believe I have great taste in writing (my two favorite books are "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and "Lolita." Your book is right up there with these classics, which is all the more amazing considering its nonfiction. Thank you for letting me live this era (I'm 32 years old). I can't wait for the movie.
Chris Young <>
New York, NY USA - Thursday, July 19, 2001 at 03:19:40 (EDT)
Laura, What a masterful job of story telling. I couldn't put it down. Best of luck with the movie. I can't wait to see it so I can fall in love with "the Biscuit" all over again! What a horse....what a book!
Mark <Bogeeyman @>
Rockville, MD USA - Wednesday, July 18, 2001 at 23:03:34 (EDT)
Laura, What a masterpiece! I couldn't put this book down. Your weaving together of all the storlines was totally captivating. Congratulations and best of luck with the movie. I can't wait to see it!
Mark <>
Rockville, MD USA - Wednesday, July 18, 2001 at 22:59:31 (EDT)
Dear Laura Hillenbrand, I loved your book. It was a real page-turner. I was too young in the 30's to remember anything about Seabiscuit, but my mother went to Belmont with my cousin Hennen Morris, son of John A. Morris, who was active in New York racing circles. I was sorry when the book ended. I felt as if I had lost good friends. Tacey Hole
Tacey B. Hole <>
Wayne, PA USA - Wednesday, July 18, 2001 at 20:24:12 (EDT)
Not a race horse fan, but could not put the book down. As a young boy my father an Omaha police detective would take me to AkSarBen track where he knew many owners & trainers. I would spend my time picking up discarded bet tickets. Upon a review of the tickets I had picked up a $10.00 bill. What a find at that time. PS, You take a very attractive photo and thanks for a great story.
Gene Zaloudek <>
bellevue, ne USA - Wednesday, July 18, 2001 at 15:24:36 (EDT)
I have had this book at least a month; I read a little every night. I have read with baited breath while tragedies befall 'the Bisquit' Red Pollard, et al. I am just postponing the inevitable; the end, the big showdown. I know the outcome, just can't bear to part with this book. A million thanks.
Sheryl <>
Dallas, tx USA - Wednesday, July 18, 2001 at 12:03:49 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Thank you for a wonderfully well-written documentary on this remarkable horse, engaging and dedicated people and inspiring human anecdotes. It reminded me of a time I found myself on the infield rail at Churchill Downs watching and waiting for 12 or more thoroughbreds to charge past me. The image of the intensity of horses and jockeys as well as the surprising volume of hoofs on the track as they approached is an event I will remember and treasure. Thanks again for your exhaustive research and storytelling. John
john arnn <>
Nashville, TN USA - Wednesday, July 18, 2001 at 10:53:45 (EST)
Dear Laura, I finished your book a few weeks ago. I loved it the minute I started reading it. I could feel for the jockeys and the horses. You wrote a great book. I hope you continue to write. I can't wait for another book. I've since passed this book on to three people and I am about to pass it on to a fourth. Everyone loved it. No one has had it for more than a week. I was glad that they enjoyed it as much as I have. I also enjoyed reading everyone's comments. I wish you continued success. Eleanor Pintola
Eleanor Pintola <>
Elyria, Ohio USA - Wednesday, July 18, 2001 at 10:12:53 (EST)
Hi there! I read Seabiscuit last week while on vacation at our beach house in Rhode Island, not far from Providence, the former home of Narragansett Park. Our primary residence is in Burlingame, CA and I own thoroughbreds who stable in Kentucky. With all the similarities, as I read Seabiscuit I many times felt like "I was there". Later in the week I read a copy of "Horse Race Training" written in 1938 by Robert. W. Collins, published by The Blood Horse, which I had found in a used book store in Watch Hill, RI. I am sure you found this as part of your research but I did not find a reference to Mr. Collins in the index, so I thought I would pass it your way. In his book, which was a compilation of articles on training and answers to reader's questions, he answers a question from an Idaho reader who was comparing their 3-year old to Seabiscuit and was having problems with the horse becoming "rough" when they put him "into a drive". Mr. Collins in his answer had this to say about Seabiscuit and the comparison: " has been my experience that a good horse will run over any track, and over any kind of going. He generally makes slow tracks seem to appear fast and cares little what changes may occur in the footing from day to day, always making his competition really run to beat him. Seabiscuit is a good illustration of this fact. He runs anywhere, against anybody, carries anything they want to burden him with, runs for any jock they put up, and the condition of the track does not make any difference. You may say that he is not called a good mudder, and that his connections will not run him in the mud. Well, the facts are that there are few, if any, better horses in the mud, but on a muddy course, it is much harder for a horse to give away many pounds of weight and win, due to the greater effort required. His handlers do not care to subject the horse to this unneccessary and disadvantageous strain. I was present at Narragansett Park when Seabiscuit did run in mud, and I can tell you that he was quite at home in it, but his high weight caused him to be unable to overhaul a very lightly weighted horse, and he was second. There was nothing wrong with his race or going in the mud, but when the track turned muddy his handicap became insurmountable." I found this interesting in that another trainer from that period, an outsider to Smith's training methods, thought that the wet weather that plagued Seabiscuit for a while was not as much if a hindrance to him as Smith made it out to be. Of course Collins also stated that Seabiscuit would "run for any jock they put up", which from your book we know better. Mr. Smith maybe should also have been known as a great illusionist since he was so well able to keep the idiosyncrasies of his athlete hidden and everyone else thinking that he was indeed the "perfect" horse. Thanks for a great book Laura. Regards, Rusty Rueff
Rusty Rueff <>
Burlingame, CA USA - Wednesday, July 18, 2001 at 07:56:10 (EST)
Laura- I just finished your book tonight and, honestly, I'm disappointed- that I have to put it down, that is. 'Seabiscuit' easily ranks as the best book I've ever read- it was riveting from the first word to the last. Like others have written, the chapter on Seabiscuit-War Admiral gave me chills- despite already knowing the outcome! This book is the benchmark that I will use to rank my future reading choices- not just on the subject of horse racing, but any genre. Your research and writing are both outstanding tributes not only to Seabiscuit and his connections, but to the sport, as well. Thank you! I look forward to seeing the movie on its opening night!
Graham Lace <>
Scottsdale, AZ USA - Wednesday, July 18, 2001 at 00:10:00 (EST)
I cheered. I laughed. I cried. I was wowed! What a wonderfully written book! Thank you Lauren.
Virginia Roberts
WA USA - Tuesday, July 17, 2001 at 23:06:47 (EST)
Dear Laura, I loved reading this book!! It is fascinating and riveting-I couldn't put it down. Your writing style is masterful-thank you and congratulations!
clara lindner <>
chicago, IL USA - Tuesday, July 17, 2001 at 22:10:57 (EST)
Thanks for a great read
USA - Tuesday, July 17, 2001 at 19:01:21 (EST)
Dear Laura, This is my second entry in you guestbook. I was #57 on page 1, but actually #3 on the date the book was released. I bought copies for my brother and sister, both of whom enjoyed the book tremendously and recalled fondly our visits to Seabiscuit at Ridgewood Ranch so many years ago. Now I'm trying to find Tina Bennett, your literary agent from Janklow & Nesbit. My colleague, Dr. Dan Perl, and I are planning a book about elderly apes, especially those in zoos, along with some of our experiences with wild gorillas and orangutans in Africa and Borneo. Ms. Bennett is difficult to track down, but I'll keep trying. We think Random House did such a nice job with your book (not to detract from your terrific writing--just that without good publicity we might never have gotten to see you wonderful book). So, if you read this, congratulations again! Your success is well deserved. Good luck with the movie.
Joe Erwin <>
Needmore, PA USA - Tuesday, July 17, 2001 at 16:22:44 (EDT)
Laura ... I am very impressed with the way you designed your website. It appears that you wrote the DHTML/HTML yourself as opposed to using one of thosse WYSIWYG editors. I haven't read your book, however, after reading the comments in your guestbook and your winning of the Eclipse Award, I have to admit that "Seabiscuit" really has perked my curiousity. You're obviously a very talented woman and I congratulate you on your successful work on the Internet and your extensive published work.
Roy Stanford <>
New York, NY USA - Tuesday, July 17, 2001 at 11:34:44 (EDT)
Margaret Brown <>
Decatur, GA. USA - Tuesday, July 17, 2001 at 09:42:37 (EDT)
This is hard to put into words, so many people here have felt and said the same things. Let me leave it at this: I feel like a better person for having been told this story. Thank you.
Ed <>
Lovettsville, VA USA - Tuesday, July 17, 2001 at 09:11:25 (EDT)
Laura, I have just finished your book. I laught, I cried, I cheered, and I remembered my father. My dad was a bookie for years and loves the 'Ponies' as he the called the race horses. I never understood his feeling for racing until now. Your book is a story about how greatness comes is very strange places and lifts us up when needed. Back in his time we needed Seabiscuit and his cast of characters to focus america on more than a depression. Dad has been gone a long time, but thank you for giving a little of him back to me. As I closed the book after reading final pages I could hear the lone fan. "Ha-ray for Seabiscuit!" I say. "Hoo-ray for Larua.
Earl T. Cullen <>
San Jose, CA United States - Tuesday, July 17, 2001 at 03:10:48 (EDT)
Your book was incredible!! I love horses, but I mostly do jumpers and x-country, so I don't know much about racing. The book was so real and well-written. It made me feel sad for Pollard, nervous for Smith and Howard, and sorry for War Admiral and Riddle. I got chills reading the chapter titled "The Second Civil War"!! It was like I was in the grandstand myself. I recently went to West Virginia and tok your book w/ me. I couldn't put it down. I get sick if I read in the car, so I'd read 2 chapters and stick my head out the window for five minutes, then read 2 more chapters. I really look forward to reading more of your amazing novels in the future. Thnx, and keep writing!!!
Katie <>
Baltimore, MD USA - Monday, July 16, 2001 at 20:35:57 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I took the time to read many of the entries in your guest book. I wanted to know if the majority of your readers felt as spellbound by your story as I was. I wasn't disappointed. My love of horses has been a large part of my life and I have been blessed to own many over the years. My greatest wish was to own a thoroughbred. I was introduced to a man who has become a wonderful friend. He is a kind and loving thoroughbred owner. His horses care and well being far exceeds the greed that so many place above their horses health. He was kind enough to offer me the opportunity to purchase a 1/2 interest in a filly by a new sire Atticus. I would have never been able to do this one my own. What a joy!! It's the same joy I experienced in reading your book. I, like so many others, couldn't lay the book down. I've been facisinated over the years about the stories of the match race between these two great champions. It was like being in the stands with the thousands of fans cheering them on. Thank you for the "loving" way in which you detailed the lives of not only the horse but, the men and women who touched his life. They were all champions!! I fell so very sad however, after reading how the lives of Tom Smith and Red Pollard turned to tragedy. It really had an impact on me. Please continue to write about the horses and individuals who made the sport what it is today. I will wait anxiously for the movie and your next novel. I would love to know more about Man Of War...his picture hangs over my fireplace. Would it be possible to have you autograph my copy? It would mean so much... Thanks again. Kathy Johns
Kathy Johns <>
Dallas, TX USA - Monday, July 16, 2001 at 19:01:23 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand. Just finished your book. A great read! Like Seabiscuit, I, too, came to California in 1936 (from South Dakota) as an 8 year old boy. We lived in Hayward, just across the Bay from Bay Meadows and Tanforan. I became a big follower of Seabiscuit and rooted for him in all his races. To see him come alive again in your book was just wonderful. You'll recall, Monopoly became popular about 1935 or 1936 and I had my own horse racing game using a Monopoly board. All the player markers had names and I rolled the dice for each one. First one around the board won. I always had Seabiscuit in my races and he was always that ugly, mustard colored player marker that had a large base and a small top. I've never forgotten that and when I read your book, I remembered that mustard colored marker as Seabiscuit. I ran that match race with War Admiral over and over again. Seems to me Seabiscuit always won--even on the Monopoly board. Question: In your book you describe the building of Santa Anita Racetrack. You state that "Howard, Bing Crosby and several other wealthy Californians," furnished the financing. I believe one of them was E.J. "Lucky" Baldwin who was a banker and after whom Baldwin Park and Baldwin Hills are named. He came west on the Oregon Trail, beleive it or not, and made a fortune in banking. He built a casino and an enclave for the wealthy on the south shore of Lake Tahoe and several of those buildings still exist, preserved by the Forest Service as the Tallac Historic Site. It's a very interesting place and I recommend you visit it if you ever get a chance. Some of the interpretive material there says that Santa Anita was named after Baldwin's granddaughter, Anita. You probably already know all this, but if not, hope you find it interesting. Once again, thanks for writing this book. I'm passing it on to my brother who also followed Seabiscuit. Sincerely, Roger L. Duba
Roger L. Duba <>
San Rafael, CA USA - Monday, July 16, 2001 at 18:24:48 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I just finished "Seabiscuit" after a marathon read over the weekend. I could not put the book down. Your research and writing skills are amazing. You tell Seabiscuit's story as well as Red Pollard rode him. What fascinating people you have discovered and brought back to life in the pages of this riveting book. Thank you for all of your hard work. It is truly a lifetime achievement and the best book of the year. Good luck with film.
Alan S <>
San Antonio, TX USA - Monday, July 16, 2001 at 16:13:44 (EDT)
I had the pleasure of meeting your father at church last Sunday. He was the guest of historian Jack Lamping. He speaks with great pride about you and your many talents. I just purchased Seabiscuit from I am grateful for the suggestion. Your website is entertaining and well designed. Jean Haddock
Jean Haddock <>
Beach Haven, NJ USA - Monday, July 16, 2001 at 15:26:19 (EDT)
I am still on the waiting list for Seabiscuit at my local library which has 3 copies & can hardly wait my turn. My 43 year old daughter has 46 acres & 19 horses some of which are theirs & some are boarded=they even adopted an "old" race horse which is wonderfual & she is living her childhood dream of having a horse. I was born in 1938 & as a little girl I remember hearing of Seabiscuit on many occasions & cant wait for my turn to read the book. I know my laundry & other things can wait while I get into this great book which everyone is talking about . How about writing another book while I am waiting my turn. Blessings on your writing career.
ellen salmon <>
moorestown, nj USA - Monday, July 16, 2001 at 13:10:00 (EDT)
As a youngster i had to go shopping for my grandmother at a local grocery store so often that i got to know the butcher quite well. My heroes at that time were Sammy Snead the golfer,Harmon of Michigan, the football All-American and Seabiscuit. I have always remembered the two races Seabiscuit lost to Stagehand and Rosemont, Santa Anita derbies, I think, by a Nose each I think. Anyway the butcher and I bet a nickel on that match race. No way was War Admiral going to beat my hero. I am still ecstatic that he won and so convincingly! I havent read this great book but I`m going to today. I have another personal story about Seabiscuit, a bar on Long Island, A NY sportswriter and my two-year search to find about the Stagehand-Rosemont confrontations. Thanks Laura,youve made an old guy feel good!
joe cooke <>
springville, ny USA - Monday, July 16, 2001 at 12:26:24 (EDT)
Dear Laura , I was having dinner one night at my broters home & he mentioned he just finished a great book called , SEABISCUIT . I picked it up & he said "GO ahead , take it home." Our parents were married in that Hot summer of 1936 ; so we've always heard about that .... but knowing nothing about horse racing I doubted I'd stick with it . Was I wrong! I was completely INTO SEABISCUIT for the next few days ; I can't get it out of my head now ! What a story ; but , more so ; the way YOU wrote it was Terrific . Congratulations . Now we want to go to Omaha to the races at AkSar Ben ( then I learned it's no longer there ) the old Shirley Temple movie avaialbe ???? WHO will be in the new movie ???? Who will be Tom Smith ? or Red ???? Thanks SO Much , Peggy Pehl
Peggy McGreevy Pehl <>
Sioux Falls, SD USA - Monday, July 16, 2001 at 09:59:08 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, My "History Bookclub" has selected SeaBiscuit to read and discuss next month, August 2001. We are in a DC suburb and would be delighted to have you join us if you are interested for the discussion. We do a potluck dinner first and then chat. We'd be honored to have you come, and could move the meeting to a location best for you if you like. I am sure you have a busy schedule, but if you are interested, let me know and I'll fill you in on the details. Thanks for your wonderful research and fascinating book. Sincerely, Barb Bernstein
Barbara Bernstein <>
USA - Monday, July 16, 2001 at 02:47:24 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Thanks so much for writing this book. I had always been curious why my father gave me the nick name 'seabiscuit' as a little girl which for family and close friends has stuck well into adulthood (44). I knew the name referred to a horse - but had no idea of the history. Wow - what a story!! My father would have been 12-15 during the time of Seabiscuits glory days - and one of those rural kids listening to the only diversion of the day - radio. You brought to life for me a different time. Great job - hope you find more projects.
Cheryl Reid <>
USA - Monday, July 16, 2001 at 00:09:19 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Although I have had no interest in horse racing, I had two newspapers that raved about your book. Therefore, I decided to read and am I happy that I did. This is one of the finest books that I have ever read. It made me want to go to Ridgewood to see where this magnificant animal lived. Does anyone know the location of his grave? Your description of the races were so vivid and I felt that I knew all of the personalities well beause of your excellent depiction of them. Thanks again for a great,great book. George Royster Laporte, IN and
George Royster <>
La Porte, IN USA - Sunday, July 15, 2001 at 23:41:20 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I listened to your interview on the Washingtom public radio station and bought your book immediately thereafter. I have just completed it. I knew nothing about horse racing and can't imagine buying the book without having heard you speak about it. It is one of the best and most memorable books I've ever read. Knowing none of the story or outcomes of the races, I found the book exciting and informative. One of its best attributes is its ability to recreate the time of the 30's. Giving Seabiscuit personality was a great triumph. In the 2nd to last chapter when you have him strutting like a prizefighter I thought I could see it. I have recommended the book to many people. Is it OK to suggest a liitle constructive criticism, in the hope that your book sees repeated printings? I was very interested to learn about the extent of Seabiscuit's journeys by rail. Assaulting the eastern racing establishment made those long trips necessary. Of course the " iron horse" was a major part of the era - I think a lot about all of FDR's trains, campaign and otherwise. I think you could create a fuller picture of this important part of Seabiscuit's career. The railroad element had to be such an important part of strategy: did they have their own train? Charter cars on regularly scheduled trains? Which railroad lines, and which routes? Why those and not others? What was Howard's preference, and why? Also - and please don't see this as quibbling - I think that the trains are such a large part of the story that the language used in telling that part of the story ought to be just as right as it is all the way through your book. For example, some of the words used to describe the trains running could be better chosen for the 30s. Words like clatter, chatter, ground, and whine just aren't "right" for the trains of the era. I think that " whistle-stop" may not be the right word for what you mean-maybe water stop is more correct. But there again I imagine that for trains as important as these they must have changed engines at major points rather than stopping for water in the middle of nowhere. I don't think the doors of Seabiscuit's car would have " swung" open. More likely they slid open like the doors of a boxcar. He did so may miles by rail - are there any pictures of him and his trains? I mention these things only because I was impressed with how important a part of his life these trips were. Both the strategy and the details could well be part of this American legend you present so beautifully. I thank you for reading this. Brandon H. Beck
Brandon H. Beck <>
USA - Sunday, July 15, 2001 at 18:43:47 (EDT)
What a wondefully researched and written story. My paternal grandparents were contemporaries of CH Howard. My father played polo and bought horses from Lin Howard. I have photos of the former and have riden offspring of the latter. I now understand why Dad did what he did around his Thorobreds which ran in California in the 1940s through the early '80s, and in the bushes of Nevada. Tanforan was/is a pleasant memory of seeing Dad's horses run. The history you present is valuable both for the sport of racing and the culture you bring to lifr. Bil Magee
Bill Magee <>
Dallas, tx USA - Sunday, July 15, 2001 at 18:35:34 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I enjoyed reading Biscuit more than I can express, but perhaps my mother expressed it best after she finished the books, by say "After I finished reading "Seabiscuit," I felt as if some friends had tone away." I had the same feeling. "Seabiscuit" is the kind of book you don't want to finish because it so good you want it go on forever. Thank you for writing it, it was more than a good read - much more. It was an experience. You really had me back in the late 1930's following race horses all over the country. You are a terriffic writer and story teller! Ken Willis
Ken Willis <>
Upland, CA USA - Sunday, July 15, 2001 at 18:31:41 (EDT)
Hello Laura! You spin a great yarn. After hearing your NPR radio interview I picked up the book and only put it down when I had too. I recommend it frequently. One thing though, if memory serves, you indicate that a fast horse can approach 55 mph in a sprint. This seems a bit high. Is it true? Thanks for the fantastic read! Best regards! Mark Dulworth
Mark Dulworth <>
Houston, TX USA - Sunday, July 15, 2001 at 18:25:02 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I had only just finished reading your book so I missed your earlier interviews. Please post any future TV appearances you'll be making, if at all. Also, I thought you might be interested to know that Liz Smith mentioned you and your book in her column today. She wrote: "I tried to garden, but the mosquitoes wouldn't let me, so I poured another glass of the North Fork's 1999 Lenz, white label, and reached out near the sofa, randomly picking up a book. It turned out to be "Seabiscuit: An American Legend." What a thrill. I couldn't put it down and almost missed the fireworks on TV later that night. This is the story of a great American racehorse in the Depression-burdened '30s. One chapter is called, "The Dingbustingest Contest You Ever Clapped an Eye On." I shed more tears over this one. Then I remembered you got a note from literary agent Mort Janklow about the book's reception in London. How the renowned Hatchards Bookshop displayed the book in the window surrounded by chic riding gear supplied by the queen's favorite boot makers, saddle makers, etc. You know: expensive leather goods. Well, in the early hours of the morning, two men were thrown out of a nearby casino for drunkenness and were arrested for breaking and entering Hatchards. On their persons were found three copies of "Seabiscuit"! None of the queen's riding gear had been touched. That should make the author, Laura Hillenbrand's day."
Cheri <>
New York, NY USA - Sunday, July 15, 2001 at 17:42:20 (EDT)
Miss Hillenbrand - Thank you for a lovely, thrilling, moving story about this magnificent Seabiscuit. My best regards and best wishes.
Cathleen Parsley <>
Austin, TX USA - Sunday, July 15, 2001 at 17:22:55 (EDT)
Dear Miss Hillebrand ~ When I was a little girl all I wanted to do was grow up to be a jockey, and devoutly followed the lives of several of the great thoroughbreds of our times. I still believe that watching a horse run at full stride, whether it be a wild stallion or a full blooded thoroughbred, is one of the most beautiful and breathtaking sights I have ever seen. Whether they run for sport, or whether they run for pleasure, their grace and athleticism is truly inspiring. However, the reason I write is to thank you for your courage and honesty is sharing your battle with CFS. I run a women's chronic pain support group and circulated your story with these women to share not only your strength, but your courage to follow your passion. They were inspired, as was I, as I too have CFS. I celebrate your victory in completing your book, and look forward to reading it as well as going to see the film once it is finished. Thank you for sharing your creativity and your honesty.
Donna Rosenthal <>
Rosly Hts., N.Y. USA - Sunday, July 15, 2001 at 17:10:46 (EDT)
Absolutely the best book that I have read in years. Do you have another book planned for the future?
Keith Boyle <>
Bethesda , MD USA - Sunday, July 15, 2001 at 08:52:17 (EDT)
FROM THE AUTHOR: Want to hear me interviewed on your local radio? If your local radio station has a talk show on which you'd like to hear Seabiscuit: An American Legend discussed, please e-mail us at and we'll contact the station and try to arrange an appearance. Please be sure to include the station call letters, city, radio show, and host, and we'll take it from there! Seabiscuit readers who would like to urge the Oprah Winfrey show to profile the book can contact the show at If you have other ideas on how Seabiscuit can get more coverage on a specific TV show or in a specific publication in your area, please share your thoughts with us at the above e-mail address. Thank you!
Laura Hillenbrand
USA - Saturday, July 14, 2001 at 22:33:37 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Congratulations on a wonderful book Since I was born in 1930, Seabiscuit ran during one of the most formative periods of my life. He was my "hero." I don't know if you were aware of the "horse races" that kids had with specially treated paper? You would buy a dozen sheets of tissue like material for maybe a nickel. An adult would touch the paper with the end of a lighted cigarette, setting off 3 paths. Each path took a different route which allowed the "horses" to change positions. A runaway "win" was a half inch. My horse was always the Biscuit. Continued success. Sincerely,
Stan Slobodien <>
Metuchen, NJ USA - Saturday, July 14, 2001 at 21:37:28 (EDT)
Laura, thanks for the memorable and wonderful account of the men associated with Seabiscuit and taking us along on the thrilling races in his career. This story is truly stranger than fiction with a sobering finale bringing the fairytale down to the realism of life's end. The stories of your research in the Acknowledgement section was interesting in itself. I look forward to the movie and am already speculating on who will play the Lone Plainsman.
Bob Diana <>
Carrollton, TX USA - Saturday, July 14, 2001 at 18:51:20 (EDT)
Laura:I heard you on PBS last year, being interviewed on PBS regarding your book and Seabiscuit's hayday. My wife picked up the book for me last month, and I get choked up with emotion when all of the events and human characters are described and just how our destiny carries us to certain events in our lives. Great book, and looking forward to the movie.
Donald B. Cinquemani <>
North Hills, Ca USA - Saturday, July 14, 2001 at 18:37:42 (EDT)
the book is excellent. i have spent countless hours trying to find out about certain horses, in the early 1900's. your book cooberates with other information i have. thank you for writing this book, it is a book/horse lovers' dream.
judy johnson <>
OCEAN SPRINGS, ms USA - Saturday, July 14, 2001 at 01:30:19 (EDT)
Dear Laura. My brothers told me of your book. I grew up across the street from Aqueduct Race Track and thought I knew a little about Horse Racing. Your book let me know how little I did know. Thanks for the education and the enjoyment I received from reading. I will enthusiatically recommend it to all my friends.
Michael J. Leddy <>
Bronx, NY USA - Friday, July 13, 2001 at 23:18:20 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I just finished your wonderful book. I frankly didn't think a book about a horse could keep me so enchanted but I found I could not put it down. My father loved horse racing and he took be to Belmont Park as a teenager. Your book brought back many fond memories. We wanted you to know how proud we are that the little girl we knew from Edgemoor has made it BIG!! The Lamberti Family lived on Edgemoor Lane and I believe you went to Bethesda Elementary School with my son Peter. You might also remember my other children Gerry and Kathleen. Your Mom and I had many good times together. I was happy to notice that you mentioned her in your acknowledgements since I am sure she was a great encouragement to you. Please send her my fond regards. Again, congratulations and much success in the furure. Kathleen Lamberti
Kathleen Lamberti <LambertiGK@>
Mission Hills, KS USA - Friday, July 13, 2001 at 20:57:04 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, My mother-in-law bought a copy of your book to give to me. I have just finished reading it and felt compelled to let you know what a wonderful job I think you did. Although I have never been around the Thoroughbred racing world, I did grow up on horseback and in the show jumping ring. Your description of Seabiscuit's heart and determination reminds me of my first showjumper. I just wanted to thank you for taking the time and effort to give the world an opportunity to learn more about history in such and interesting and detailed story. Once again, you did a wonderful job.
Samantha Mallory <>
USA - Friday, July 13, 2001 at 17:23:54 (EDT)
I worked on a dude ranch south of Cody, WY in the early '60s. Next to the ranch I worked at was a ranch owned by a Mrs. Howard, whose first name I cannot remember. I am wondering if this is the same Howard who owned Seabiscuit. The ranch was near Valley, WY. A.fred G. Vanderbilt visited the ranch I was at during one of the summers.
Joyce Richards <>
Fayetteville, AR USA - Friday, July 13, 2001 at 15:23:11 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: In the depths of the DEPRESSION, when I was a lad, I lived amongst folks who just barely eked out a living. The primary amusement and interest of the time was horse racing, and the discussions which raged in our kitchen were an education for a young boy who wanted very badly to be a jockey. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I never got the opportunity, or perhaps I didn't have the nerve to run off from home and take it. At any rate, I did join the cavalry when I was 17 and I have been around horses much of my life. Your book is written with such style that each page brings back some nostalgic feeling, whether it is the oder of the stables, the muttered arguments with the horses to get them to walk into the gate, or thrill of the sight of their muscles stretched to full length as they give their all for the wire. My father was wont to repeat that the best tip he could give anyone who served him was, "Don't bet on the horses!", and I suppose that it actually is as I do not know many folks who have come out ahead trying to second guess horse races, but it always adds a bit of interest when one had a wager on the outcome. Now to my query: Is it possible to purchase an autographed copy of, "Seabiscuit"? Thank you for a most interesting and superbly written book. Art Scholbe
Arthur W. Scholbe <44 Cub Ct.>
Farmington, MO USA - Friday, July 13, 2001 at 13:35:51 (EDT)
Thank you for your amazing book. I also heard the NPR interview, and bought the book soon after. I am a native of the DC area (Potomac, MD) and grew up surrounded by horses. Your book brought back the smells, sounds, and emotions I have not experienced in so long. Reading your book made me want to jump into the pages to experience it all first-hand. You and the characters you brought back to life are a true inspiration. Thank you again
Ruth Fiege <>
Denver, CO USA - Friday, July 13, 2001 at 11:52:08 (EDT)
7-13 Your book brought back fond memories to me as my folks were very much interested in horse racing before and after I was born. The horses' names and the jockeys were familar. I felt as though I was at the races you described. A wonderful reading book. congrats! Joy Peeler
Joy Peeler <>
Venice, Fla USA - Friday, July 13, 2001 at 11:29:20 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Yesterday afternoon I gave yet another copy of Seabiscuit to yet another friend, but this time it was even more special than usual. I'd driven up to Taos to take a look at a large collection of equine sketches and oils from the estate of illustrator Frank Hoffman, recently acquired by a painting gallery there, Robert Parsons Fine Art. Robert took me to his framer's shop, where the sketches are being matted and I started flipping through the work, primarily looking for polo sketches of Tommy Hitchcock. I must have flipped through a couple hundred sketches when suddenly there was this horse, saddled, riderless. Not a beautiful horse, just somehow special. I flipped up the mat and Hoffman had jotted in the bottom left "Trainer, Tom Smith (?)" and in the right hand corner "Sea Biscuit." I had to step outside to catch my breath, and wipe the tears from my eyes. We made it to the bookstore before it closed so Robert can read your book. The Biscuit came home with me last night, just to rest propped up on my dresser, on his way to the paper-restorer here in Santa Fe. I doubt I'll get to keep him, but at least he spent a night "in my yard." For a writer, red-letter days usually do, in fact, come from books, and this one came from yours. Thank you. Walt Borton
Walt Borton <>
Santa Fe, NM USA - Friday, July 13, 2001 at 11:00:37 (EDT)