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Dear Laura: What a wonderful book to remind me of my youth growing up in Arcadia, CA. My Dad was the track doctor at Santa Anita from the late 40's to 50's. I was born right after Seabiscuit's hayday, but as a kid I lived and breathed "The Track" and those 100 granders. We could hear Joe Hernandez's call from our house. Nick Wall was our next door neighbor, recovering from a bad spill (in '46?). He never returned to greatness after that and had trouble with alcohol. As a kid I could never understand why this 2 time Santa Anita Handicap winner never got decent mounts when he returned. I loved the way he greeted my Mom over the fence though. She was a good 9 inches taller than he, yet I remember his high pitched, "Hi ya Darling". Ralph Neves was a patient of my Dad's and I remember the proud day his wife delivered twins As a kid I remember him "returning from the dead"....heavy stuff for a ten year old. You brought all those wonderful memories back and certainly filled in the blanks in a great period of thoroughbred racing.
Bill Eldredge <billeld@micron.net>
McCall, ID USA - Thursday, July 12, 2001 at 23:37:30 (EDT)
dear ms. hillenbrand, thank you for bringing me this story of this wonderful horse. i've fallen in love with him. and your book was so engrossing that i plowed through it, and was so sad when it ended. as a matter of fact, it's still sitting on my bedside table. i just don't have the heart to put it on the shelf. thank you again, d.stone
deborah stone <deborahstone3@yahoo.com>
new salem, ma USA - Thursday, July 12, 2001 at 22:55:17 (EDT)
This was a wonderful surprize for me. I don`t read very much but had to see why a book about a race horse could be a best seller. You did a great job! The most fun i`ve had in years, can`t wait for the movie.
Rodney Nelson <renelson@sigecom.net>
Newburgh, in USA - Thursday, July 12, 2001 at 18:26:31 (EDT)
A wonderful achievement about a true sports hero and legend. I always liked the name,Seabiscuit, having heard it now and then and perhaps I saw a newsreels of a race. The book confirms my affinity for the horse. The book is outstanding.
RJ Rosamilia <rayrose@infi.net>
Toms River, NJ USA - Thursday, July 12, 2001 at 18:03:52 (EDT)
I'm with BowTie Press a division of Fancy Publications. I would appreciate any information on how to contact Laura Hillenbrand's Publicist. Please contact me via Email or by phone. Thank you, Katharine Salas Katharine Salas Editorial Assistant (949) 855-8822 ext. 404 3 Burroughs Road Irvine, CA 92618
Katharine Salas <KESALAS@FANCYPUBS.COM>
Irvine, CA USA - Thursday, July 12, 2001 at 17:46:23 (EDT)
I just finished your book and really enjoyed it. I do wonder if you have and informations as to what happened to Mr. Howards wife Marcella. Again thanks for the ride. ED Powers
ED POWERS <pattypxmas@aol.com>
Albuq, NM USA - Thursday, July 12, 2001 at 16:21:51 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I just finished reading "Seabiscuit" last night and wanted to add my compliments to the tens of thousands! I don't pay much attention to horses and my experience with horse racing is limited to one day at the Preakness years ago. When I heard you on NPR, however, and they played the broadcast of Seabiscuit's match race against War Admiral at Pimlico I had tears in my eyes. I rushed out and bought two copies and was moved to tears on several more occasions. Kudos! Now I can't wait for the movie. I loved the story and who wouldn't love that little horse? Outstanding job! Thank you.
Mike Frederick <wwiigeek@aol.com>
Gaithersburg, MD USA - Thursday, July 12, 2001 at 13:51:47 (EDT)
Your interview on NPR hooked me. Now that I own the book--rather, now that the book owns me--I stay up way too late reading into the wee hours of the next work day. Thanks to your hard work, I get to stand closer to Seabiscuit than Tom Smith ever would have allowed. What a gift!
Mark Wright <mwrightdc@earthlink.net>
Washington, DC USA - Thursday, July 12, 2001 at 11:22:27 (EDT)
thank you for telling the story of Seabiscuit. His time for greatness is long over-due. I am originally from Louisville and I can tell you, that horse never got the recognition he deserved. born sort of ugly and small, he was not what the owners were expecting and hopeing for so they overlooked Seabiscuit. But one day, the right man saw the little horse and Seabiscuit had the spunk to let him know it. the tales of him are endearing and the pictures were wonderful. you can see "those eyes" and know exactly what Smith was talking about. You tell the story of the lives of 3 men of a time so long ago, actually 4...Howard, Pollard, Smith and some of Woolfe, a time forgotton. There were times when I had to put the book down, the story was so sad but there were also times that I laughed out loud. Thank you very, very much for telling the story of Seabiscuit, especially so well.
beverly mcminn <bmcminn@wcupa.edu>
west chester, pa USA - Thursday, July 12, 2001 at 09:49:18 (EDT)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand.I have just finished seabisuit the best book i have ever read.Iwas the ex-rider for seattle slew so i could relate to the love Pollard Smith Howard had for Seabiscuit.You did such a wonderful job expressing it .I will remeber you in my prayers .God bless you.
michael kennedy <slew385@aol.com>
franklin square , ny USA - Wednesday, July 11, 2001 at 23:13:50 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I can't tell you how much I enjoyed your book, but I will. As an author I can appreciate the amount of research involved in developing your book. You went to the max and beyond in your research. I truly appreciated the fact that the Trainer ,Mr. Smith brought back Seabiscuit after some serious ailments in an era when drugs and modern Veterinary Technology was non-existent. I have just about given up on Training T.B.'s ever again until I read your book and discovered how Mr. Howard, Red Pollard and Mr. Smith as well as Seabiscuit himself never gave up. I'm now looking for something to Train for the winter meet here in N.Y.thanks to your encouragement through this fantastic book.I would love to send you a copy of my text"PROFESSIONAL GROOMING & CARE OF THE RACEHORSE" published by Equine Research.I would need a mailing address or perhaps I can give it to you in person at one of your up-coming appearances.Again I wish to thank you for book that truly a masterpiece. Congradulations! Sincerely, Ted Landers
Ted Landers <Hosstcher@aol.com>
Floral Park, N.Y. USA - Wednesday, July 11, 2001 at 21:10:19 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Thank you for the most wonderful book I have ever read... "Seabiscuit" Through your words I could see the races through the eyes of Red Pollard & George Woolf, I could feel Seabiscuit beneath me coming down the home stretch when he changed leads... What a wonderful feeling. Thank you again for doing this for me... Sincerely, Donnie Blackmur
Donnie Blackmur <awdlb@earthlink.net>
Berea, OH USA - Wednesday, July 11, 2001 at 20:21:49 (EDT)
Thank you for the hours of pure pleasure you have given me. I haven't seen but a few races, except for TV, and love to watch the wonderful horses and Jockys. You have written a beautiful story.... I will treasure it. I hope you write about other people and horses. I was very moved by the book.
Lois Hill <littleloves@socal.rr.com>
Reseda, CA USA - Wednesday, July 11, 2001 at 19:29:42 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I can't tell you how much I enjoyed your book. I've had a serious "horse problem" all my life, and yet I found myself loving these beautiful animals even more after reading your moving and exciting book. Thank you for a great piece of art and for passing on your great understanding of the world of racing.
Emily Deck Harrill <eharrill@sc.rr.com>
Columbia, SC USA - Wednesday, July 11, 2001 at 19:13:45 (EDT)
Thank you for this wonderful story. My father was a race fan and a fan of Seabiscuit and Mr. Howard. I came along a little late for "The Biscuit" but I was there the day Noor beat out Citation, Ponder and Two Lea. (Another great story). In your book you mention that a well known artist was fooled by Seabiscuit's "double" and actually drew him as Seabiscuit. I have a copy of "Black, Bay and Chestnut", written and illustrated by C.W. Anderson in 1939. In the book there's this drawing of Seabiscuit with an exercise boy up. Could this be the artist and the drawing you mention in your book? Again, thank you so much. I hope your wonderful book becomes a motion picture. I'm not much of a movie goer these days - but I would stand in line for "Seabiscuit - an American Legend".
Jim Barthell <jbarthells@aol.com>
St. George, UT USA - Wednesday, July 11, 2001 at 18:48:28 (EDT)
Dear Laura: THANK YOU FOR THIS BOOK. I finished it last night and I am crazy about SEABISCUIT, Smith, Howard, Pollard, George. How human and how touched I am by their commitment to this horse. I heard your interview on NPR and was hooked by your own story - your courage and your inspiration are on each and every page. I don't know how the movie can honor your tribute. I hope you will be seriously consulted throught its production. I am not only crazy about this Seabiscuit story, I want to read everything you have ever written. Who YOU are lives on each and every page of your book. I hope you are feeling well. From a fan, S.K. Murphy
S.K. Murphy <yoginni1@aol.com>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Wednesday, July 11, 2001 at 17:14:26 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Seabiscuit was a wonderful book to read. My mother worked for the George H. Howard in San Mateo, Ca., in the mid to late thirties. Would you happen to know the relationship between George and Charles. I have a photo of George's estate in San Mateo and a picture of my mother at Ridgewood. She passed away 3 years ago at the age of 99. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for writting such a wonderful book. Bill
Bill Utikal
San Ramon, Ca USA - Wednesday, July 11, 2001 at 17:08:12 (EDT)
Dear Laura: I finished your wonderful book last night and I am still teary. I could not put it down. I could hardly wait to read it and I dreaded how I would feel when it was over. I love that horse; I love the story; I love the people in the story. I was brokenhearted when Smith came out alone. I savored every minute. I don't know how the movie can honor your tribute. I hope you will be seriously consulted throughout its production. Your sensitivity and lyrical language is incredible. THANK YOU FOR this book. I heard your interview on NPR and was hooked by your own courage and inspiration. Who YOU are lives in those whom you write about. I am not only wild about this book. I want to read everything you have ever written. S.K.Murphy
Susan Murphy <yoginni1@aol.com>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Wednesday, July 11, 2001 at 17:04:14 (EDT)
Thank you for sharing your wonderful gift with not only the horse community, but the rest of the Country. Seabiscuit true captures the highs and lows of competitve sports with horses as well as opened my eyes and heart to the race community. THANKS
Jennifer Dzakowic <jjdzakowic@hotmail.com>
Folsom, CA USA - Wednesday, July 11, 2001 at 11:17:04 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand: You are a magnificant storyteller - the likes of which we see very little anymore! Thank you for telling us the story of Seabiscuit and his family! I'm trying not to read the book too quickly because its a story I don't want to end.
annie
arlington, va USA - Wednesday, July 11, 2001 at 09:50:57 (EDT)
I never or hardly ever buy a book at Borders. I use the library. I heard an interview about your"Biscuit" story, saw the book on display, sampled it , purchased it and have been enthralled, reading in controlled segments to prolong the flavor. Born in '39 I have intimations of "Biscuitry", Santa Anita, Der Bingle, and gags about the track. In light of Bing's life it seems sadly consonant that he didn't enjoy the winners circle. Charles Howard a really big man. His final placement of the great horse was worthy. I love the picture of Seabiscuit stirring in recumbent glory to raise an eyelid to survey the discomfort of his two-legged attendants and then returning to equine dreams. I would have liked to see a picture of the lovely Agnes Conlon. It was very interesting to learn about racing and Tiajuana whose alleys I got to know during a tour of duty at NTC. I like you because of your marvelous book. I have been regaling anyone who will listen with gems from your mine. Great job!
Jack Joyce <jjoyce@adelphia.net>
Snyder, NY USA - Wednesday, July 11, 2001 at 02:01:14 (EDT)
Dear Laura,I thoruoghly enjoyed your book.I am not an avid racefan and not an avid reader,but I devoured the book in just two days.Your book is a tribute to all the interesting characters who shared life's stage with the champion of horses,Seabiscuit.Thank You. Ray Civitella
Ray Civitella <RayJCiv@AOL.Com>
Mount Laurel, NJ USA - Tuesday, July 10, 2001 at 22:54:29 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: "Seabiscuit" is a work of art. A rare combination of excellent writing and extensive research. Stealing time away from my toddler, my husband, my business, I savored every moment of reading it. It is a classic I will always keep and re-read. I understood the enormous amount of work that went into creating it. Being only 35 years old, I'd known of the name Seabiscuit -- at one point I'd named an exercise machine after him, hoping for inspiration! But I knew nothing of his history or fame. When I purchased your book, I didn't anticipate such a thorough and enjoyable accounting of the personalities involved. I especially appreciated your accounts of the men's lives up until their death. I've been inspired to reserve a "Seabiscuit" Virginia state license plate for my little 1970 Triumph Spitfire. It exhibits some of the same fiesty characteristics as "The Biscuit" -- as do I! Thank you for taking the time to create a truly excellent book. Sincerely, Teresa Pitts
Teresa Pitts <tpitts@radford.edu>
Blacksburg, VA USA - Tuesday, July 10, 2001 at 19:20:58 (EDT)
dear ms hillenbrand: as a youngster in the 40's my brother and i would play a horse racing board game, the mechanics and name of which have long been forgotten...i do remember the 5 horses that were the contestants in the game, though...ASSAULT, WHIRLAWAY, ALSAB, MAN O'WAR, and SEABISCUIT...and then later as a teenager, i closely followed Alfred G. Vanderbilt's NATIVE DANCER, feeling so disappointed at his close Kentucky Derby loss... your wonderfully crafted book brought back fond memories, but much more than that, it re-vitalized that nostalgic era..i have not been so mesmerized by a book in years...your ability to make those people and races come alive put me in the stands, cheering for "The Biscuit", and leaving me almost breathless...thank you for your diligent research and re-introducing me to that wondeful horse...
gary taryle <gartar@aol.com>
st louis, mo USA - Tuesday, July 10, 2001 at 18:31:01 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Thank you, thank you, thank you for this memorable, moving experience. I can't imagine how hard you must have worked on the book but I want you to know how much I (and others, obviously) appreciate your efforts. It was so well written, I had to pinch myself from time to time to remember that I was reading about real events! YOU ROCK!
John Mirabile <jmirabile@loop.com>
Torrance, CA USA - Tuesday, July 10, 2001 at 17:56:26 (EDT)
Cover to cover; captivating. As a horsewoman myself I usually avoid horse books and movies because I find it hard to overlook the inaccuracies usually embedded in the stories of the horseworld. Although I raise paint horses now, I spent one summer riding racehorses in New Mexico as a gallop girl. Your book so accurately portrayed the behind the scenes world of racing; the awesome raw power of a TB underneath you, white knuckled fingers entangled in mane and reins, 1400 lbs. of pure muscle pulling on your shoulders pushing your athletic abilities and riding abilities to the limit. You have recreated a story with historical characters that I now mourn not having had the chance to know. As my physical body sat answering 911 calls at work as a police dispatcher, my spirit and soul were transformed back to a magical time and place filled with true horsemen. Thank you for recreating their story with unparalled journalistic talent!
Michelle Simmons <equispot@gte.net>
Gilroy, CA USA - Tuesday, July 10, 2001 at 14:38:30 (EDT)
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 <fmckeown@pszyj.com>
los angeles, ca USA - Tuesday, July 10, 2001 at 12:14:01 (EDT)
Dear Laura, My daughter for Father's Day gave me Seabiscuit. She had read it and told me that through it she had laugh, cried, and in short thoroughly enjoyed it. She knew I would love it as well. She was right. As a boy, I read stories of Justin Morgan, Man-o-war, Seabiscuit, War Admiral, Whrilaway et.al. My love of horses was passed on to our daughter. We shared it and still do so today. One question: With the Howard stable's colors red and white and with the jockey "Red" Pollard, why was the jacket of the book black and prominent orange? It is no doubt a trivial question but a curious one in my mind. The book was excellent no matter the color of the jacket. I have passed it on to a friend and am sending it to another as a gift. Vin Sgrosso
Vin Sgrosso <vsgrosso@bellsouth.net>
Atlanta, ga USA - Tuesday, July 10, 2001 at 11:35:17 (EDT)
Dear Laura I am the owner operator of The Beresford Gallery and would like to talk with you about doing something with yourself and your book at Saratoga this August. We are the top sporting art Gallery and have a super location on Union Avenue within walking distance of the musem and the track. EWB 301-916-4941
Elizabeth Beer <e.w.beer@att.net>
Boyds, MD USA - Tuesday, July 10, 2001 at 10:25:11 (EDT)
Good day!The book is wonderful. I read it in one sitting. I am the unofficial historian for the Maryland Jockey Club. I have something that I would very much like to share with you. It is the original contract to race between Charles Howard & Sam Riddle. It is witnessed by Alfred Vanderbilt. A correction to the racing terms is written in the margin. Would you be interested in seeing this item ? I can travel to you, if you wish. Thank you for bringing horse racing to the forefront again. Ryan Kelly 410-542-9400 xt. 4342
W. Ryan Kelly <rkelly@marylandracing.com>
Baltimore, Md. USA - Tuesday, July 10, 2001 at 09:52:39 (EDT)
Ms Hillenbrand, I am in the middle of reading your wonderful book - I literally hate putting it down at night to go to bed! I am a lifelong racing fan, and reading about the immortal and incomparable Seabiscuit is sheer joy for me. I have three words for you about promoting your book and Seabiscuit even further: Breyer Model Horses! Please contact them at www.breyerhorses.com Breyer is a leading manufacturer of equine models, and it is not unheard of for them to immortalize famous horses in their equine line, both racehorses and others as well. Breyer also has a bi-monthly publication, Just About Horses, and I would love to see Seabiscuit's story in an upcoming issue. I urge you to contact them, and good luck!! I will email again once I have finished the book. Best Wishes!
Kay Koeller <kkrbs@mindspring.com>
Florissant, MO USA - Tuesday, July 10, 2001 at 00:23:07 (EDT)
Dear Laura - your wonderful book, Seabiscuit An American Legend, I'm afraid is misnamed - for I think you will become an American legend for being such a careful, joyful and special writer. Just reading the comments in this guest book brought tears of rememberance to my eyes - tears which were far short of the tears and emotions experienced in living, savoring every word, every action of the wonderful men - an that unbelievable horse Seabiscuit in your most special book. I have never written to an author before, but when I found such an easy way to do so, I knew I had to share with you my feable attempt at thanking you for such a deep, profound and moving experience. My parents were teenagers in the glory days of Howard and Smith and Red and Seabicuit, farm kids from Wisconsin, Norwegian by blood and therefore rather circumspect. As I lingered and savored every word of your book, I felt I learned something more of my parent's youth. You have a special gift, that far transcends the love and world of horses - you are a consumate story teller and history keeper. I thank you for sharing your gift with me. I thank you for reminding the world that there were (and always will be) extraordinary men, special times and above all transcending atheletes like Seabiscuit that will forever inspire mere mortals such as I. I hope you have much influence in your upcoming movie in order to retain the unbelievably inspring sense of things that can be. My humblest regards and awe for an effort well done. Randi Martin-Rude, Sierra Vista, AZ - a fan.
Randi Martin-Rude <randi@sinosa.com>
Sierra Vista, AZ USA - Monday, July 09, 2001 at 23:13:05 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, My husband & I were traveling to the country when we heard your interview on NPR. We became so enthralled with your stories (all involved) that I went out & bought two copies of your book. Instead of being letdown after the wonderful build up of that interview, I was captivated by your narrative & the substance of this tale, made more remarkable by the telling. I have been working my way the last fews years through the classics, ignoring contemporary literature, but yours is surely the finest thing I've had the pure pleasure of reading in a long time. Accordingly, I'm your unofficial literary agent in the Chicagoland area & must be personally responsible for a marked increase in sales in our area. Bravo & thank you.
Nancy Hixon <prisment@concentric.net>
Hinsdale,, IL USA - Monday, July 09, 2001 at 22:53:28 (EDT)
FROM THE AUTHOR: Want to hear author 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 BasBleu2001@aol.com 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 http://www.oprah.com/email/reach/email_reach_fromu.html 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 - Monday, July 09, 2001 at 21:43:46 (EDT)
Loved your book. I have an original 1940's etching of Seabiscuit by the sports artist R.A. Pelensky. Do you know if there is any interest or value in this work?
anne farris <farrisa@aol.com>
chevy chase , md USA - Monday, July 09, 2001 at 21:38:55 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand: I am 47 years old and have been in the horse industry all my life. Although not in the racing industry, I have bought many horses from the track to retrain them for jumping and dressage. I am not an avid reader. To tell you honestly, I have NEVER read a novel from cover to cover. The ones I had to read in school I read only to skip through them. I never understood when someone said, "the book was so good I could not put it down". After all these years, I understand the feeling in that statement. I was amazed to find out that bug boys were traded and sold to other trainers in those days. Being in the horse business, I can relate to many of those people you wrote about. I cried throughout the book and smiled as well. The hardest piece of history that I could not believe was that Mr. Smith never got the recognition which he richly deserved before he died. There are many horse people in the world, but so few true horsemen. Thank you for writing such an inspiring book. Gigi Nutter
Gigi Nutter <Giginga@bellsouth.net>
Whitesburg,, GA USA - Monday, July 09, 2001 at 18:45:12 (EDT)
Dear Laura Hillenbrand. No book has caught me up like Seabiscuit. It was like my prayers had been answered as I was a child in 1940 and his name has always been linked to that time for me. Now am so riched to know all about this. Your book is truly a masterpiece of history. I have worked in the thorougbred industry since 1981 and have been with Sid and Jenny Craig at Rancho Paseana for the last 5 years. The prior 15 were spent with a small TB farm where a man named Lin Howard brought his two horses. He talked about his sister and the trouble he was having with the estate, etc. I believe she has passed away and since it has been a long time since I have seen Lin, I assume he is gone also. I will always be thankful for your bringing this wonderful gift of history to my door.
Patricia Cassidy <rpaseana@aol.com>
Rancho Santa Fe, CA USA - Monday, July 09, 2001 at 14:14:30 (EDT)
P.S. I forgot to mention in my previous note that a non-fiction book group to which I belong has chosen your book for reading this fall. I know everyone will enjoy it a great deal. R.C.Dickins
r.c.dickins <rcdickins@networksplus.net>
USA - Monday, July 09, 2001 at 12:04:28 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Your book is fascinating. Interesting to see a horse depicted as more than an investment by his owner. And thanks for your generosity in sharing notes about your research process. Is the health and fitness of jockeys today better than it was in Seabiscuit's time? What safeguards exist for them? Thanks again for your outstanding work.
r. c. dickins <rcdickins@networksplus.net>
USA - Monday, July 09, 2001 at 12:00:34 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I loved your book so much, I can't begin to tell you. I cried throughout and my husband (who also loved the book) and I have started calling our very wonderful dog, who has quite a personality and is rather opinioned, "the Biscuit". Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful story with us. Sincerely, Kathleen Amon
Kathleen Amon <lkamon@princeton.edu>
Princeton, NJ USA - Monday, July 09, 2001 at 10:53:01 (EDT)
Just finished reading your book last night. I had tears in my eyes at the end of the book. You really brought me into the world of racing and the world of that wonderful horse, Seabiscuit. My daughter owns a thoroughbreed who had a short racing career (she is now teaching him dressage). I personally learned a lot about thoroughbreeds and saw similarities between Seabiscuit and Dealer (our horse). I look forward to seeing the movie in the future and I know I will recommend this book to all my friends (those with and without horses). I also love your website. Linda Wright
Linda Wright <lwright582@aol.com>
Western Springs, IL USA - Monday, July 09, 2001 at 10:00:59 (EDT)
I throughly enjoyed the book. It was the best biography I have read. It brought back memories as a child driving past Tanforan Race Track. You really brought the history and the times in an exciting way. You are an excellent writer. Each chapter was adventure. Thank You
michael price <mprice123@earthlink.net>
San Jose, Ca USA - Monday, July 09, 2001 at 09:55:18 (EDT)
Dear Laura - I would like to add my thanks to the many listed before this. Your fabulous book affected me deeply. I remember my grandfather talking about seeing Seabiscuit at Arlington Park, and he loved to recall listening the the radio whenever Seabiscuit ran. I do believe that Grandpa loved racing in general, but Seabiscuit was his favorite. You have made what was once a childhood bedtime story come to life. Thank you.
Julie Silverman <Legendsmom@aol.com>
Skokie, IL USA - Monday, July 09, 2001 at 09:24:21 (EDT)
Dear Laura: Your book was wonderful. I have been a horse lover all my life and this was the best "horse" book I had read since I was a kid and read and re-read the Black Stallion books. I hated to have the book end. Thank you for sharing the lives of so many interesting people with us.
Karen Krueger <kfkrueger@att.net>
St. Louis, MO USA - Monday, July 09, 2001 at 09:22:39 (EDT)
I loved the book! Everytime I picked up the book, I felt as though I was in the 1930's. You really brought the story to life. My husband (who doesn't even like horses) kept stealing the book from me. I can't wait to see the movie. Thank you for writing such an educational and entertaining book.
Rosemarie Wilson <pwilson55@cs.com>
Miami, FL USA - Monday, July 09, 2001 at 09:15:28 (EDT)
As american as apple pie! Even though the outcome of each race is already a piece of history,I still felt myself pul- ling for the "Biscuit". You have done a magnificent job conveying his story,which in a way is somehow all our story.
jim bostwick <boxeboy@aol.com>
staten island , ny USA - Monday, July 09, 2001 at 05:57:18 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Thanks for an incredible experience via your "Seabiscuit" book. As a child growing up (mostly on horseback) outside of Louisville, my favorite book was "Come On Seabiscuit." I expect I'll be reading your work as many or more times as that one. Never have I been so enthralled by a book, breathlessly pulled along by your recreation of events and personalities. I found my heart racing, my legs and arms tightening as I "rode" with Red and George. Like so many who have written here, I could hardly tear myself away from the book, your descriptions are so vivid and the story so compelling. As a former journalist, I am enormously impressed by your exhaustive research and your obvious passion for your subjects. There's a spiritual depth to your book that elevates it above any categorization or simple description. Thanks for transporting me to this other world and providing what will probably be my favorite book for the remainder of my life. I wish you the best with your health and look forward to reading more of your work. -- Pam Parrish
Pam Parrish <pam@azinfo.org>
Tucson, AZ USA - Sunday, July 08, 2001 at 19:54:59 (EDT)
I caught your appearance on the TODAY show and finally had the opportunity to read Seabiscuit An American Legend. I loved the book. Would you please call me at your convenience 202 225-5965?
Congresswoman Shelley Berkley <mrslehrner@mail.house.gov>
Washington, DC USA - Sunday, July 08, 2001 at 18:41:33 (EDT)
Laura, My sister loved Seabiscuit and gave it to me on July 4th to read. I just finished it and I agree with her. It is so well written, I loved every minute of the book and was sad that it ended. I look forward to the Movie and wish you well. Thank you for an unforgettable experience.
Anastasia
USA - Sunday, July 08, 2001 at 18:07:25 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: You have a gift for turning a true story into a "darn good yarn". I thoroughly enjoyed your story of Seabiscuit and his entourage. Prior to reading your book my knowledge of horses and racing was limited to attending a couple Kentucky Derby parties. You not only educated me, but you enthralled me. I could picture Seabiscuit and his devilish demeanor and competitive spirit, as if I were at the track. In addition your documentation of the life of a jockey, a trainer, and the race world was thoroughly enlightening. My thanks for writing such a good history. Regards, Mike Fury
Michael L Fury <mfury@nc.rr.com>
Raleigh, NC USA - Sunday, July 08, 2001 at 17:54:42 (EDT)
Ms Hillenbrand; I am a Family Practice physician living and working in rural North Alabama. I have not been able to read a book straight through since Junior High, but totally enjoyed the story of Seabiscuit over the 4th of July. Your writing ability and subject matter touched a lot of visual pictures for me. My mom was born october 29,1929 - the day that the Stock Market crashed. My grandfather George Gore had died in a hunting accident while my grandmother was in her sixth month of pregnancy with my mom. My grandmother managed and ran a general store with my great aunt during the Depression. Both were widowers and never remarried. My grandfather on my dad's side lost his farm during the same time frame. He was a lover of horses, and owned several. As a lad my dad never liked riding the horses. One day my grandfather put my dad upon one of his fastest,slapped the horse's rump, and away my dad went with my grandfather Frank boasting to all the checker players at the Franklin,Tn courthouse under the Johnny Reb statue that"Itold you all that boy could ride." Doc Babcock must have been a real horsetrader himself. He not only memorialized CS Howard's son Frank, but also got a hospital out of the deal. The parallel of Seabiscuit and War Admiral was pictured in the ability of the Western country doc being able to out treat the Ivory tower back East Boston physicians when he reset Red Pollards leg. Thanks so much for your story telling ability. Look forward to the movie. Rob Taylor
Rob Taylor <cuzican18@hotmail.com>
Arab, Al USA - Sunday, July 08, 2001 at 14:04:06 (EDT)
Seabiscuit An American Legend is a fantastic book, I read Man O' War by Walter Farley and fell in love with him, then I was given Seabiscuit as a gift, and what a great gift. Since I am only 15 I never saw either Man O' War or Seabiscuit race and I am just waiting for the next champion to come along. I also can't wait for the movie to come out, I wish one would be made on Man O' War. I don't think the public knows how much horses mean to our nation and how greatly they were valued and how much horse racing was apart of everyday life for people, much like baseball or football today. Your book showed that to me even more. Such as the amount of poeple that showed up just to watch a race for a little over a minute and a half is amazing. Thanks Again, Diana
Diana <Chicaconno@aol.com>
Woodward, IA USA - Sunday, July 08, 2001 at 03:41:24 (EDT)
A great book. Glad that you wrote it as it brought back many memories. I was at Santa Anita on the day Biscuit and Kyack (wrong spelling) ran one two. I was in the Club House as my father had invested a small sum with Dr. Strub and was a stockholder. Many great memories of the racing days, but there is one question I have for you. I remember vividly that there was question if the other part of the entry was purposely held back so that Seabiscuit would win. Did you run into any of this in your research ? I would love to have your answer, if there is one. Thanks, Harland Hoffman (HJTENNIS@AOL.COM)
Harland Hoffman <HJTENNIS@AOL.COM>
SAN FRANCISCO, CA USA - Sunday, July 08, 2001 at 00:44:27 (EDT)
I'm not even to part two of your book, but I am SO in love with it already. You have an amazing writin style, one that I've been wishing for since I decided that writing was my thing. I write a lot about horses (or try), and I hope someday I'll write something like Seabiscuit. Also, while reading your book, you mentioned Gallant Fox, and I realized that my horse may be related to him. Of course it'd go waaaay back, but her name is Vixen, she's a purebred TB. Maybe someday I'll figure it out for sure (haha). Anyway, thanks so much for writing Seabiscuit: An American Legend, and keep it up!
nicole <pooky@hotmail.com>
Healdsburg, CA USA - Sunday, July 08, 2001 at 00:21:50 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Loved your book on Seabiscuit. Went to the Ridgewood Ranch and saw his barn and the Howards House. The museum in Willits are working on a exibit for Seabiscuit. Would like to know more about his dam, Swing On. Did she produced any more stakes winners and who were her Sire and Dam?
Diane Canadas <dcanadas@pacific.net>
Middletown, CA USA - Saturday, July 07, 2001 at 22:37:27 (EDT)
Have read and printed out every page of e-mails to you, going back to December when they first appeared, through the very latest entry. The story that these letters tell about the affect your book has had on the reading public is a book in itself. You have become an American heroine, and deservedly so.
howard kronish <hkro@msn.com>
New York, NY USA - Saturday, July 07, 2001 at 22:12:59 (EDT)
Loved the book. My eyes well up with tears at the same pages of the book even though I have read it many times. Looking forward to the update with the past performances and new cover. Take Care and thanks! Alma Minter
Alma Minter <amint@pacbell.net>
Sunnyvale, CA USA - Saturday, July 07, 2001 at 16:24:27 (EDT)
Thank you for a wonderful story. I am an avid reader and lover of horses; being married to an honors history major has enriched my life with a love of real history -- and this book is more than just a story about a magnificent animal. I will be buying several to give as gifts, and am going to recommend it to the school board for required reading in American history/literature classes. Let's read about real heroism instead of some of the depressing anti-heroes our children study covering that time period. Thank you for your hard work and research--this is a GREAT BOOK!!!
susan fisher <petefisher@mindspring.com>
Peoria, AZ USA - Saturday, July 07, 2001 at 14:14:36 (EDT)
I loved the book, I couldn't put it down. Now I am curious as to where I can find offspring of the seabiscuit line. If anyone knows please drop me a line. teystitelerjr@mailcity.com
stiteler <teystitelerjr@mailcity.com>
USA - Saturday, July 07, 2001 at 13:21:54 (EDT)
Brilliant book. Period. Bought it knowing little about that period in racing and the book went way beyond racing, filling us in to what many of us believed was a cultural vacumm existing before the Was. To Laura: as a fellow author (nine scientific/tchnical books) and as a former denizen of Fairfax County AND as Kenyon, 1978, I would love to write a review for the Kenyon alumnni bulletin and damn skippy it will be praiseworthy. The mentoring aspect that you emphasized in your acknolwedgements is what makes Kenyon great. Your permission? By the way, somewhere along the line you had an excellent psychology class or series of classes..... Bill McCown, Ph.D. Psychology and Anthro/Sociology Majors Associate Professor, Dept of Psychology Univ of Louisiana Monroe (Last book co published, ironically was on compulsive gambling, Best Possible Odds.} Bill M
Bill McCown, PhD <gstone@jam.rr.com;psmccown@ulm.edu.>
Monro, LA USA - Saturday, July 07, 2001 at 13:15:18 (EDT)
Loved the book and cried at the end! Can't wait for the film. Thanks for bringing this brilliant true story to England!
Lili <pjk28645@netscapeonline.co.uk>
hunstanton, Norfolk England - Saturday, July 07, 2001 at 11:19:26 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I supose I shouldn't be surprised, in this age of instant gratification, that an option to email the author of a book I so throughly enjoyed would be found on the backleaf of the jacket. But I was "gratified" by your writing ability and the story of Seabiscuit in an "old-fashioned way." May I explain? Just as your book began with the coming together of 3(later 4) such unlikly men and a horse, I'll give you a little sequence of how I came across your book (probably a good thing for your publicist to know). I heard part of your interview on NPR, and saw a review of your book on "Sunday Morning" on CBS" and then came across the book at a sale held by a "traveling book show" that came to the hospital where I work. I only paid $15 for your lovely book and now feel that I should send the other $10...for I certainly got full value for my purchase. But the deeper themes of my reason for purchasing and now valuing your book on Seabiscuit are these: 1) The undoneness of my relationship with my dad, and 2) The joy I find in observing the human (and now I guess I have to add Equine [sic]) spirit flurishing. My dad was born in 1906, I in 1962. The 56 years that separated us chronologically also kept us apart in every meaningful emotional way. I raise this only to say that I've found myself seeking out printed material that would give me the "FEEL" for the times in which my dad was growing. From '35 to '40 he would have been aged 29 to 36. I'm just past that point now but your book allowed me to get a feel for his world; to conceive of the stories of his life with the proper "set" in place. I never heard his stories. But I do remember obscure (to me) references to names such as Jack Dempsey and Seabiscuit. Your book gives me context, texture, reality...for a man who remained as elusive as a horse working out at 4am. The other issue, about the human spirit on display, is not quite as subjective. You masterfully unfolded the story of the men and their horse. How each brought his unique gifts to their destiny would have made for a good story, but you went the necessary step farther by also fitting their unique weaknesses into the saga. That's reality. That's life. The "Sunday Morning" piece contained one personal fact about you that mentioned that an illness had been part of your life during most/all of the time that you were writing this book. I think my highest praise then could be summed up thusly: I find your spirit to be linked to the men and the horse of which you wrote so masterfully. My prayer would be that you continue to enjoy the race of which we are all a part. God bless, Brian.
Brian Pleasants <brianp@htn.net>
Sebring, FL 33876 USA - Saturday, July 07, 2001 at 08:06:00 (EDT)
Hello Laura, Would you please contact Ede Wilde at her residence in Sidney. If you have misplaced her number as she appears to have your , contact me at this address and I will forward it to you. Thank you for your time and consideration. Best regards
Bill Wilde <billwilde@pacificcoast.net>
Duncan, BC Canada - Saturday, July 07, 2001 at 01:47:58 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand-I just finished you wonderful book on Seabiscuit. It was a great diversion for 3 days of vacation. I can't wait for the movie, although it will have to go a ways to beat the book. Congratulations on a wonderful work and may you have many more.
Mike Kirkpatrick <mkirk5@aol.com>
Lubbock, Tx USA - Saturday, July 07, 2001 at 00:04:28 (EDT)

Billy Marshall Stoneking <billy@stoneking.every1.net>
Sydney, Australia - Friday, July 06, 2001 at 20:14:49 (EDT)
Echt Super die Seite macht weiter so.
thomas pohl <pohllando@aol.com>
Düsseldorf, Germany - Friday, July 06, 2001 at 15:49:40 (EDT)
Just reading the cover of your book gave me chills....what an amazing story! You brought the characters and the events of the day to brilliant life. This book is for everyone, whether they know the least bit about racing or not (I don't). This may be my favorite book of all time. Thank you!
Janice Smith <sherlocksgirl@yahoo.com>
Columbus, OH USA - Friday, July 06, 2001 at 15:34:45 (EDT)
Great book! Wonderfully written. Beautiful story! Good job!
lisa <lsinger@hotmail.com>
greenbrae, ca USA - Friday, July 06, 2001 at 11:58:04 (EDT)
I very much enjoyed your book. I am an avid racing fan and knew of Seabiscuit but not his remarkable story. Your descriptions of the races were as exciting as the races themselves. I was struck by many of the pictures in the book, specifically the pictures of the races. They could have been taken today and there would be little noticable diffrence. The silks, the saddlecloth, the tracks, the overall look of the sport has been untouched through the years. That's what I love the most about this sport. It's history is as important as it's future. It's past heros are remembered and revered. There was only one Seabiscuit.
Ken Zurski <kzurski@earthlink.net>
Chicago, IL USA - Friday, July 06, 2001 at 10:19:34 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Having spent many years in Boston, I became familiar with Suffolk Downs. I would go from time to time and particularly love pouring over the Racing Form (I loved it apparently more than it loved me) and listening to the railbirds. Sometime along the way two brothers from Boston, I believe, named Martin, bought a filly named Timely Writer. She went from nowhere to one of the Triple Crown races, I think. I all too vividly remember her snapping a leg in the race and having to be put down on the spot. I completely lost all interest in racing at that moment. Your beautifully researched and told tale of the Seabiscuit crew brought me back a little closer to racing, but I could only hope, as the husband of a woman with combined training horses, that more trainers cared about their horses as Tom Smith did and my wife does. I know that they do not. Anyhow, did you have any idea what became of the Martin brothers? Also, I do find the art of the jockey interesting and would like your recommendation on books on the subject. Thanks for many fine moments and a wonderful book I was eager to come home to. Sincerely, Ken Olshansky Ken Olshansky
ken olshansky <keno@blast.net>
califon, nj USA - Friday, July 06, 2001 at 07:49:30 (EDT)
Dear Laura, just finished reading Seabiscuit and I loved it! I have been a horse woman all of my life and as a child I would watch the local broad casts of racing from Sullfolk Downs so it was kind of a thrill to read that Bisciut was found by the Howards there.Your book eloquently reveals the love that Biscuits people had for him and would be a great read for even a none horse person.I plan to pass it on to a friend who loves to read about US history.Good luck with the film,can't wait and I'll be the first in line in ME to see it!!
vickie <capricerdr@aol.com>
cumberland, me USA - Thursday, July 05, 2001 at 18:59:09 (EDT)
You have written a Classic. This is a wonderfull book about human and animal spirit. Words can not describe the joy I got reading SEABISCUIT. This is a must read for everone !!!
Al Metz
USA - Thursday, July 05, 2001 at 16:20:56 (EDT)
Dear Ms.Hillenbrand:I just finished your remarkable book and have four regrets. (1) that the book is over; (2)that, in spite of the Depression, I was not around in the late 30's to experience all that was Seabiscuit; (3) that my Father, who regularly invoked the name of Seabiscuit during any race in which a come-from-behinder came charging down the homestretch, and who died six years ago, never had a chance to read your book; and, (4)that, unless I missed something, I never found out if Mr. Howard and Mr. Smith ever discovered Red Pollard's partial blindness. Did they?
John Haire <dhaire2958@aol.com>
Churchville, NY USA - Thursday, July 05, 2001 at 12:47:24 (EDT)
Dear Miss Hillenbrand, Finished your book - it's a masterpiece!!! I have requested your book accompany my burial. I have been a "student" of this horse for over 30 years. MUST talk with you. I have many questions and probably some enlightening facts!! A children's book was written @ Seabiscuit and it was a good one. Please need to speak with you. Call me collect if necessary. My work number is 561-451-9070 We must talk. Regards, Sandy
Sandy Mendez <sandi@juanovm.com>
Boca Raton, FL USA - Thursday, July 05, 2001 at 12:27:23 (EDT)
I finished your outstanding book in the wee hours this morning and I am now doing something I have never done, that is, telling the author what a great piece of writing you have accomplished. Although I have been a thoroughbred fan for 30 years, I have never read a non-fiction book on the subject (other than handicapping tutorials). Your book is much more than a book about a horse or horse racing. The story is a compelling one and you tell it well. It reads like a suspenseful piece of non-fiction. Your development of Seabiscuit's and the three main humans' "personalities" involved in his life left me knowing all of them, as if they were contemporary. Your book also gave me some previously unknown insights into the era in U.S. history depicted. So, a history lesson, biographies of some very interesting people and a horse, and a suspensful storyline, all extremely well written, adds up to one of the best books I have ever read. You are to be commended for your research and the book. You and your work are terrific! I cannot wait for the movie.
Norm Forsyth <forsyth@localaccess.com>
Chehalis, WA USA - Thursday, July 05, 2001 at 12:14:35 (EDT)
FROM THE AUTHOR: Several readers have asked about the availability of film footage of Seabiscuit. You'll all be happy to learn that the famed documentarian Stephen Ives is now creating a documentary on the horse's life. It will air on PBS' American Experience; the date has not been announced. This documentary will include filmed interviews with many of the sources I used for the book, plus extensive, rare footage of the horse. Check back on this website for updates! Thanks for all your support!
Laura Hillenbrand
USA - Thursday, July 05, 2001 at 10:33:05 (EDT)
Laura, I hope everyone knows that the Seabiscuit exhibit will open later this month at the National Museum of Horse Racing and Hall of Fame at Saratoga, and that our Uncle Tom will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on August 6.
Kathleen Smith Walker <kwalker@ktc.com>
USA - Thursday, July 05, 2001 at 09:16:02 (EDT)
Did you make a mistake in the book about Seabiscuits age? You state he was 8 when he won the Santa Anita Handicap, but in another place in the book he was introduced in 1934 as a yearling, which would have made him 7 when he won not 8. When was he born 1933 or 1934?? I enjoyed the book, but I would have liked a more accurate dates of all his records. Did he ever win the triple crown or the Kentucky derby?? Fred Elkins
Fred Elkins <elkinsf@yahoo.com>
Liverpool, NY USA - Thursday, July 05, 2001 at 09:13:19 (EDT)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, Thank you so much your beautifully written book. I heard you interviewed on NPR and consequently bought the book. Like the others before me, I couldn't put it down. Each time I opened the book, I escaped into another world.I was born in Seabicuit's day - 1938. I grew up very close to Santa Anita, learned to drive on the parking lot there. I've never been around horses, but that was not a requirement for the enjoyment of this book. You are a gifted writer. Thank you again. Marilyn anderson
Marilyn Anderson <marilyn@servr.com>
San Diego, Ca USA - Thursday, July 05, 2001 at 01:43:37 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: From the preface of Seabiscuit through the epilogue and acknowledgments, I enjoyed every word! It was a great read about a superb horse and the humans who loved him. I must confess a tear or two as I reached the end of the book having been touched deeply by the nobility of Seabiscuit and those close to him. Thank you very much for telling this compelling story and bringing Seabiscuit to life for those of us who had not been born when he was racing. Please tell me that racing footage of Seabiscuit will be available soon! I shall always think fondly of Seabiscuit, the Cinderella horse with "the sad little tail".
Judith Millar <judmillar@aol.com>
High Point, NC USA - Wednesday, July 04, 2001 at 23:26:39 (EDT)
Ms Hillenbrand, I heard you interviewed on talk radio in Kansas City. I have no back ground or previous interest in horses, but your story sounded fasinating, I asked for it for Father's Day, and it honestly is the best present I've ever gotten. What a wonderful setting for a History lesson! What a captivating story. I enjoyed this book as much as any I've ever read. There is greatness in all us, and all who we love. How we root for an unlikely one who has their gifts discovered and nurtured! Thank you.
Mike Rice <mrice@carolnet.com>
Carrollton, MO USA - Wednesday, July 04, 2001 at 23:13:07 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I can hardly wait for the "Seabiscuit" episode of Ken Burns' next PBS documentary, ""They're Off!"-the Story of Horse Racing" - Oh Well, I can dream, can't I? Can you tell me if there are any films available of any of Seabiscuit's races? I would dearly love to see the newsreels of this great horse in action, particularly against War Admiral.
Kenneth H. laidlaw <kenneth_laidlaw@hphc.org>
Norwell, MA USA - Wednesday, July 04, 2001 at 21:46:28 (EDT)
Hi Laura! I just wanted to let you know that I'm still here! I have passed the book along to everyone in my family! Please email me if you get a chance-I lost Susan's email and would like to contact her!
Lisa Iannucci <l.iannucci@worldnet.att.net >
Washington, DC USA - Wednesday, July 04, 2001 at 18:32:23 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I really loved your book. It was a book that I couldn't put down. It is good to know some down and outers can win big time. I hope you write more books like Seabiscuit. Carol.
Carol Messchaert-Smith <tomclintsmith@aol.com>
Burke, VA USA - Wednesday, July 04, 2001 at 17:35:54 (EDT)
Thank you for writing such a well written book. Your voice is clear and your empathy for the leading characters is quite evident. I will highly recommend it.
Ben Bycel <benbycel@aol.com>
Lake Elmore, VT USA - Wednesday, July 04, 2001 at 14:50:14 (EDT)
Laura: Seabiscuit is wonderful book, and an exceptional piece of literature. I grew up near Santa Anita Racetrack, and have had an interest in the horse for quite some time. This is the first thorough historical account I have read, however, which is so compelling. There are simply too few writers around today with your ability to turn a phrase or hold the reader's interest. I tried without success to get a signed first edition. Are you signing any owned copies on request? Please advise via e-mail. Charlie Ratigan
Charlie Ratigan <cratigan@rayberndtson.com>
Chicago, IL USA - Wednesday, July 04, 2001 at 14:31:17 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand: Just finished "Seabiscuit." I am saddened that the story had to come to an end. I wanted to read more. It was a most interesting and inspirational story. The best since I read "Undaunted Courage" by Stephen Ambrose. Your writing style was very reader friendly. I was born in the middle of the period you describe and was too young to remember the events. But, in reading the book, I gained a better appreciation for what was going on in America at that time in our history. I only wish my Dad was still alive so I could compare notes with his memory of the events you described. He was a horse racing fan and I remember him taking me as a youngster to the Detroit Fairgrounds for my indoctrination to the world of that sport. I distinctly remember his "bias" against west coast "nags" as he called them. No doubt he viewed Seabiscuit as an exception. Thanks for writing the book. Jim Lewandowski
Jim Lewandowski <LewanJJ@AOL.com>
Rapid City, MI USA - Wednesday, July 04, 2001 at 12:55:23 (EDT)
I'm listening to the book on tape, and it's fabulous. I've bought copies for friends and family.
Linda Lael Miller <millerll1@aol.com>
Cave Creek, AZ USA - Wednesday, July 04, 2001 at 12:41:54 (EDT)
Laura: I just finished reading your wonderful account of the legendary Seabiscuit. Your re-enactment of the 1940 Santa Anita Handicap brought tears to my eyes. I salute you for this magnificant effort and thank you for introducing me to those unique individuals responsible for making Seabiscuit the horse that he became.
Granville A. Morse, Jr. <ganthonyjr@yahoo.com>
USA - Wednesday, July 04, 2001 at 03:29:59 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I have just finished reading your book and you should be proud: what an amazing story! Even more amazing is the fact that you brought back to life all the main characters who have been dead long before you started the book. You did a great service to them all! Personally, I am not a horse-person. I never owned a horse. I've never heard of Seabiscuit. I've ridden maybe four times in my life. But I love animals and your book sounded fascinating to me (as well as your own struggle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), so I picked it up and I'm glad I did. I have recommended it to everyone I know. Horse-lovers alone are not the only ones who could appreciate this book. I have newfound respect for horses and their owners, trainers, and jockeys. I watched the Triple Crown on TV recently for the first time in my life. Thank you for showing me this fascinating world of horseracing, of Seabiscuit's life, and the ingriguing and talented people who helped make Seabiscuit a star. I hope you will write more books, be they about horses or not. --Cheri
Cheri <ChSmith048@aol.com>
New York, NY USA - Tuesday, July 03, 2001 at 23:14:19 (EDT)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, I do not know what I could add to all the superlative comments I read about your book. I am actually reading it and am completely enthralled by it. My grand-father raised horses and I always been a horse racing fan, but beyond all the statistics that I know, you provided me with suspense and emotions, exactly like a great race should be. I want to thank you for this, it is a talent that few writers, in any field, master as well as you do.
Marie-Claire Girard <mc-5@sympatico.ca>
Montreal, Canada - Tuesday, July 03, 2001 at 21:50:02 (EDT)
Ms Hillenbrand, I have just completed, "Seabiscuit, An American Legend," and must tell you how very much I enjoyed the book! I have loved horses for as long as I can remember, and always wanted one; however, I was 23 before I owned my first horse! Since that time I haven't been without one, (or several, as now,) and anything equine gets my attention. I first read a review of your book this winter, and knowing it was about a noted Thoroughbred, (what an understatement for Seabiscuit, "noted," is!) I knew I wanted to read it; the reviewer said your book was not only about a horse but also a history of the thirties, and the American depression and a story of what people were experiencing and dealing with at the time. I was born in 1940, just about the time that Seabiscuit, the Howards, Smith, and Pollard were culminating "Biscuit's" racing career, but recall my parents telling about the Depression, and their, as well as so many other individuals' struggles! Your book was so well written, that I could get into the mind of Seabiscuit and almost feel what he was feeling during each of his races! An earlier contrbutor to your guest book referred to "Dan Patch," and asked you if the name was familiar. I'm sure it must be! For me, being raised in Minnesota, his name surely is, with the city of Savage, MN, being named after his owner, Marion Savage, and Mr. Savage's estate being located south of Minneapolis, St. Paul, MN. As a child, I recall my family driving past "iron gates, and seeing a large metal statue of a horse," who had to have been Dan Patch: I have no knowledge of whatever happened to that place, or the statue, etc. Dan Patch, too, was scorned at first because of his less than ideal appearance, but he proved that he had heart, and with that, managed to achieve track records, amass a huge following of fans, and inspire in his owner the love and respect that Seabiscuit did for each person who played a part in his life. For me, those qualities of heart, intelligence, and "guttiness" in horses I have known, (and loved,) are some of the things for which I will long remember them. You, have, by your special writing style, and your extreme depth of research of Seabiscuit, and his "people," shown that you not only understand the horse racing industry, but that you clearly love your subjects! Thank you so much for a book that I will pass on to those who love horses as I do, but that I plan to keep, so that I may re-read it. What a story! Your book is one more reason that I have told former students," reading is one of the best things you'll ever do for yourselves!" Take care of yourself, and please write of other equine "Greats." Incidentally, being an owner and admirer of Quarter Horses, I can support your statements about their blinding speed. It is a fact! Sincerely, Coralie DeWald
Coralie DeWald <dewcor@wcta.net>
Staples, MN USA - Tuesday, July 03, 2001 at 18:35:27 (EDT)
Dear Ms.Hillenbrand, When Seabiscuit and War Admiral went head to head at Pimlico i was a wee lad of three living in a small village called Leonardtown, less than 100 miles from the track. Thank you for bringing this exciting event to life. I am passing the word to all of my Rowing buddies who will surly enjoy reading about the true heart and spirit of Seabiscuit. By the way i found out about your book while listing to a sports radio talk show KNBR in the San Francisco Bay area. So what's next ? Cheers, David Hamilton
David W. Hamilton <dwhphoto@home.com>
San Anselmo, Ca USA - Tuesday, July 03, 2001 at 18:14:01 (EDT)
I received your book as a father's day gift. I asked my wife to suggest it to my son after hearing it reviewed on NPR's All Things Considered! I'm so grateful for my son's willingess to buy it for, grateful for having heard about it on NPR and so very grateful you wrote the story. A fantastic piece of work! Thank you very much.
Bill Lardy <wjlardy@prodigy.net>
Bismarck, ND USA - Tuesday, July 03, 2001 at 17:22:56 (EDT)
I got your book from my wife and kids as a late father's day present. I think it is the best one I have ever gotten. I read it in 24 hours during my vacation. The story is excellent but the writing style is good as well. It made me appreciate what all the jockeys have to go through to race.I can't wait until the new movie. Let me know if you ever have a book signing in the Tulsa/Oklahoma area! I have a question- Did War Admiral sire any winners? Again thank you for a most enjoyable book!
Rob Brookey <Rbrookey@teamoiltools.com>
Tulsa, OK USA - Tuesday, July 03, 2001 at 16:31:20 (EDT)
Your book is terrific - can't put it down. I live outside Baltimore and have been involved in horses all my life. I have been a trainer of steeplechase horses for 30 years and in fact was lucky enough to win the English Grand National at Aintree in 1980. My family and I are coming to Washington on the weekend of July 14th and would love to buy you a drink or meal if appropriate/convenient. Once again, fantistic job. Charlie Fenwick
Charlie Fenwick <cfenwick@erols.com>
Butler, MD USA - Tuesday, July 03, 2001 at 13:13:16 (EDT)
I have my family and book club reading Seabiscuit. No one has anything bad to say. We all love it! Thank you for many hours of enjoyment.
Donna D. Gibson <jdgibson@prodigy.net>
Bellbrook, OH USA - Tuesday, July 03, 2001 at 12:51:47 (EDT)
Dear Ms.Hillenbrand; I have just recently concluded the joyful reading of your magnificent book Seabiscuit. It is not just the best book I've ever read on thoroughbred racing, but a wonderful well researched book, that tells about another age. I have also read in the Blood-Horse that there is to be a movie based on your book. If this is so, I hope that you will keep a close eye on the Hollywood crowd so that they live up to the quality of this splendid book. I was fortunate enough to see your interview on PBS "The Newshour." I watched with admiration and respect as you made mention of the struggle with your medical affliction. about a year ago, I was diagnosed with a degenerative muscular disease that is imparing my ability to walk as freely and vigorously as i once did....I hope that before too much longer there maybe some effective remedy found to help us both. with every good wish, Melville L. McInnis Vancouver, B.C.
Melville L. McInnis <blash@home.com>
Ottawa, Ontario Canada - Tuesday, July 03, 2001 at 12:19:18 (EDT)
My father in law was wondering if they ever divulge the location of the horses grave? How they came up with the name Seabiscuit? Is the painting called Frank at Howard Hospital the orginal painting talked about in the book? He said Seabiscuit was a excellent book.
Bonnie <bonnie@mcn.org>
Laytonville, ca USA - Tuesday, July 03, 2001 at 11:23:02 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Thanks for a wonderful book. As a horse owner & lover, I found the history fascinating. I'm not into the racing scene. I'm just someone who has never outgrown their childhood love of horses. I would be lost without a horse in my life. Thanks again for a great read. I look forward to the movie.
Gayle Patterson <RockyBayouBlue@aol.com>
Niceville, FL USA - Tuesday, July 03, 2001 at 10:20:40 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand - I am only on page 100, but from page 1 I have been riveted to your novel on Seabiscuit. I have been riding and owning horses my whole life, and now that I am living in D.C. and working full time I have not had the chance to ride every day as I would like too. Reading your book brings me to the barn, even as I am on the metro on the way home! I also like that your book has already made me both want to cry and laugh. Thank you! Have you wrote any other books? Sincerely, Gretchen Learman
Gretchen Learman <GLearman@aol.com>
Washington, DC USA - Tuesday, July 03, 2001 at 09:32:57 (EDT)
Laura, I live in Reno and have owned a private business tied to the stock market for many years. However I have also been a horse owner for the past 13 years and horses have been my passion. I love horse racing and over the years I have been distressed with the decline of the sport due to so many alternatives such as casinos. I want you to know how much I loved your book about the life of the horse and the people surrounding him. The book was more than a horse book to me. It was a study of the times and most especially, the reality that life is not a dress rehearsal. Some of the greatest moments in our lives we don't realize how important they were, until long after. I reaffirmed my desire to live every day to its fullest because of your great study of the poignant people involved with Seabiscuit. Thank you again. You are the kind of person I could spend hours with, just talking about shared experiences. God Bless. George Muzea Reno Nevada
George Muzea <GMUZEA@PYRAMID.NET>
Reno, NV USA - Tuesday, July 03, 2001 at 01:22:34 (EDT)
I have loved reading about horses all of my life and have especially loved those about famous racehorses. I have read other books about seabiscuit but none as well written as this one. I truely love it and will be passing my copy on to others to read and if they want it they will have to buy their own. Please let me know if you ever do on on the Great Man-o-war. Thank you so much for all the work you did to bring this story to life.
Lynn M. Houston <lynster5@hotmail.com>
LaGrande, OR United States - Tuesday, July 03, 2001 at 01:11:18 (EDT)
You totally captured the strength of Human and animal spirit in this beautifully crafted book.Ah,if only I could have been there!But alas,you did bring me there.Thank you, Mark Wayne Pollard
Mark Wayne Pollard <mpollarde@cs.com>
Bristol, Ct USA - Tuesday, July 03, 2001 at 00:13:41 (EDT)
I find horse people in my state(Connecticut)to be arrogant and vain.I dont like sports or horseracing in general.I bought your book because of the name "Pollard" which is on every page.Anyway to the point of my letter.You have written a beautiful book about the amazing spirit that lies within all living creatures.You will touch all who read this incredible book.I hope the movie does justice to your book.Thank you so much. Mark W Pollard
Mark Wayne Pollard <mpollarde@cs.com>
Bristol, Ct USA - Tuesday, July 03, 2001 at 00:02:03 (EDT)
What a wonderful book!!! I bought it because of the reviews. They were full of praise but after reading it, they did not do it justice. This is a story of majestic proportions and it has found it's Homer. I am a writer myself and, perhaps more importantly, a long time fan of good writing. You blew me away. I think in terms of Joseph Mitchell and A.J. Liebling. You are that good. One question I have. Through out the book you quote David Alexande, who was a journalist who was a friend of Red Pollard. I am a mystery writer myself and am familiar with a David Alexander who wrote many mysteries in the 1950s and 1960s. He was a good writer, unfortunately forgotten today. From what I know of his background, it is the same Alexander you quote. David Alexander (1907-1973) was managing editor of the New York Morning Telegraph from 1930-40 and publicity director of the California Jockey Club (1941-43) and a free lance writer after that but that included work as a columnist for Blood-Horse and Thoroughbred Record. I think it has to be the same guy. Am I right? Richard A. Moore
Richard A. Moore <moorich2@aol.com>
Alexandria, VA USA - Monday, July 02, 2001 at 23:49:41 (EDT)
The most fascinatiang book I've read in my 70 years. Great story and great presentation. If you ever get to Atlantic City I'll definitely buy you a drink at the Anchorage Tavern in Somers Point. You got me hooked and I will read your other books. Thanks again for an enjoyable return to reading.
Tom Major <truckbuster@aol.com>
Somers Point, NJ USA - Monday, July 02, 2001 at 17:44:11 (EDT)
I just bought the book today (7/2). Several (okay, many) years ago, I was a college undergrad preparing to apply to veterinary school. I wanted more than anything to be an equine veterinarian (aka 'horse doctor'!). My best friend's father then told me a very interesting story: As a young boy growing up in Pasadena, CA, he used to watch the horses at Santa Anita exercising in the morning and generally hung out at the track. He must have been around 11 or 12 at the time. One morning, he was watching Seabiscuit and his trainer going through the morning's exercise when Seabiscuit threw a shoe...and someone on the track GAVE it to him! And the best part is, he gave it to ME! I've been trying to get a picture of that horse ever since to frame with the shoe... I can't wait to begin the book. Thank you.
Holly Clearman <Syren123@pacbell.net>
Pasadena, CA USA - Monday, July 02, 2001 at 17:40:51 (EDT)
Thanks for bringing me to this wonderfull real life storey. I couldn't put the book down - I'm not much of a book reader. Your PBS interview had me looking for the book - it is now finally appearing on bookshelves here. I await the movie and appreciate the complexity giving the storey and these wonderfull horse people justice in the short attention span movies are forced into. Greatfully, Peter.
Peter H Jekill <peterjekill@home.com>
Calgary.AB. Canada, - Monday, July 02, 2001 at 17:23:26 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Because of vision problems associated with diabetes, it took me almost two weeks to read "SEABISCUIT." It was frustrating at times when I'd get to a chapter and get caught up in the action and want to read on, but couldn't. Thank you so very much for a wonderful book.
Devon Ressler <jadesong50@yahoo.com>
TN USA - Monday, July 02, 2001 at 16:35:36 (EDT)
I recently read your Seabiscuit book. Best race track book I have ever read, bar none. My brother, a former horse trainer, left a scrapbook from the Seabiscuit years and there is a newspaper photo and article which you might be interested in. My daughter has the computer and would furnish me the information where to forward if you are interested.
Joseph Gural <windytj@aol.com>
Berwyn, IL USA - Monday, July 02, 2001 at 14:20:03 (EDT)
I recently read your Seabiscuit book. Best race track book I have ever read, bar none. My brother, a former horse trainer, left a scrapbook from the Seabiscuit years and there is a newspaper photo and article which you might be interested in. My daughter has the computer and will furnish me the information where I might forward this to you if you are interested.
Joseph Gural <Windytj>
Berwyn, IL USA - Monday, July 02, 2001 at 14:05:47 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I just finished reading Seabiscuit for the third time and just wanted to tell you this is the finest book i have ever read. I felt as if i was right along Tom and Red living with the Biscuit. I hope the movie turns out half as good and it will be a winner. How about David Caruso playing Red, George Clooney playing George Woolf and maybe Gary Sanise playing Tom Smith? Anyhow thanks again for writing such a wonderful book. P.S. I gave the book to my sister a huge Secretariat fan and she was shocked to learn about such a great horse! Thank You.
George J. Polizio <Gpole8in@worlldnet.att.net>
Astoria, NY USA - Monday, July 02, 2001 at 13:19:24 (EDT)
The country is mesmerized by Seabiscuit again, thanks to your book. I saw a segment about Seabiscuit on the NTRA program on CBS June 10. It was a really nice segment. Unfortunately, I did not tape it. Does anyone know how I can get a copy of it? CBS says it was part of a package provided to them. I could never get a response from NTRA. Thanks!
Sharon George <Sharon_George@via-christi.org>
Wichita, KS USA - Monday, July 02, 2001 at 13:13:21 (EDT)
What a wonderful book!! I went to the beach for a couple of weeks and a friend brought the book. I started reading it and couldn't put it down. I kept rereading the races over and over again. Laura, this is a great story and I hope that the movie does it justice. I think it should be made into a mini-series, similar to Pride and Prejudice. The story needs to be told completely over at least six episodes. I'm afraid the movie will leave too much out. I saw that horror of a movie "The Story of Seabiscuit" with Shirley Temple before I read your book. PLEASE make sure they do it right. Your book is so rich in language and characters. It is the best book I have read in sometime. Thank you for telling such a riviting true story. I too would like to get an autographed copy of the book if possible.
Neil Guttler <Lvsguitar@aol.com>
Reston, Va. USA - Monday, July 02, 2001 at 13:03:41 (EDT)
I just finished reading your book on Seabiscuit. GREAT is all I can say. I have been a horse racing fan for over 35 years and have seen the likes of Secretariat, Forego, Affirmed, Alydar, Ruffian and many more. After reading your book, I felt like I can also include Seabiscuit on that list. He and his connections came alive. Thanks for bringing his story to life for all those born too late to experience his great career.
Neil Dorsman <nwd47@aol.com>
Wilsboro, NY USA - Monday, July 02, 2001 at 11:56:07 (EDT)
What a goood reading book.whew!.. I'm still "sucking wind" and breathless...Now for the second lap. Thank you for the great story and for your perserverance in presenting Seabiscuit
Franklin G. LaCava <fglacava@hotmail.com>
Euclid, Oh USA - Monday, July 02, 2001 at 10:30:18 (EDT)
A Friend mentioned she hear an add for the book on the radio and said it was a book that was right up my alley. I loved every bit of the book and can't wait to read it again. I read most of the book on the plane going to and from a business trip. I oftened talked out loud, cheered and felt sad everytime Seabiscuit was hurt. Your writing style made be feel like I was physically in the stall next to Seabiscuit or actually riding him in the big races. My Father called the horses to the post playing the bugle at Narrangsett Rack Track for many years. I was thrilled when reading the book to the local reference of Suffolk Downs and Narragensett. I wish my father was still living so I could ask him if he remembers anything about the greatest horse ever. I have told everyone I know about the book and can't stop thinking about Seasbiscuit. The only sad part of the book was this great horse died at a young age and his blood line for champions wasn't continued. Congratulations on a great story. Its the best book I have every read.
Ann Archambault <Golf4ever@worldnet.att.net>
Smithfield, RI USA - Monday, July 02, 2001 at 10:07:35 (EDT)
Laura, my mother gave me this book for my birthday this year because she had heard such good things about your work. I am an avid horse lover, and ride horses regularly. You did a wonderful job with this book, and continued to hold my attention until the very end of the book. Great job! I would love to read more about other historical race horses. I just hope that the books will be as well put together as yours has been! I will continue to enjoy Seabiscuit for a long time. Thanks for the great story! I will pass on the great experience I had in reading this book to many other people. Joylynne
Joylynne Harris <joylynne7@home.com>
Lubbock, TX USA - Monday, July 02, 2001 at 10:06:35 (EDT)
Laura, This book is an incredible read! It's appeal is in its character development. The story, one could say is about the greatest race horse of all times. However my thoughts were that it dealt with so much surrounding this great horse. The depression era was a hard time for this country and this horse made people forget. That is what is so great about going to the racetrack. My first exposure to the track is when Thunder Rumble captured the 1992 Jim Dandy cup. He went on to win the Travers in a spectacular fashion. This horse is unique in New York "big time" racing because he was bred from the New York Sire, Thunder Puddles. Your book brought me back to my first days at the track. Thanks for such a thoughtful look at America's greatest sport.
Andrew Greenberg <blainhou@swbell.net>
Houston, TX USA - Monday, July 02, 2001 at 09:55:09 (EDT)
Laura, I enjoyed your book immensely. I have purchased a copy which I would like to donate to the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs for their upcoming fundraiser, "The Auction for the Animals", which will be held on August 24, 2001. I would like to mail it to you for your autograph, as I know that would add to its value at the auction. Where would I send it? Would you mind signing it for us? I am the chairperaon of the auction and it would mean a lot to me to have a signed copy of your book in the event. Thanks, Nancy
Nancy Ray <mnray@frontier.net>
Pagosa Springs, CO USA - Monday, July 02, 2001 at 09:54:21 (EDT)
I forgot to ask one thing, the only thing that bothered me about the book - why did they cut Seabiscuit's head off the picture on the jacket? Couldn't they have run the photo around to the inside? I realize that they wanted the men in the picture but I find it odd that they cut off the subject's head.jr
j.i.Roberts <jirart@yahoo.com>
USA - Monday, July 02, 2001 at 09:52:34 (EDT)
A riveting book. Best book I've read in years. I'm a horseperson and authors are often misinformed about horses. I couldn't find fault with anything in your book. Again, it was riveting. I've told everyone I know, whether a horseperson or not that they should read this book. Thank you. jr
j. i. roberts <jirart@yahoo.com>
USA - Monday, July 02, 2001 at 09:48:38 (EDT)
Among other superlatives your books is great social history. There was more to the 30's than the dust bowl. I envy your adventure in writing this book. Your notes on sources are almost as good as the book. Do you have a horse? Mine is Bruce a nice old thourghabred who has a personality like you know who.
Bill Fleming <fbrucey@aol.com>
Doylestown, OH USA - Monday, July 02, 2001 at 01:31:05 (EDT)
Hello Laura, Reading the Book, I was taken back some 10 years in time when I worked as a groom in standardbred racing in Upstate New York. The Book was well researched and written in that it told the true story, not one subject to historical correctness. Have you ever heard of Dan Patch? He was a standardbred race horse in the late 1800's early 1900's that also created a national obsession. The Book is truely inspirational and I anxiously await the movie. I am not a fan of Hollywood, but with your work as a consultant, the movie is one production I will not miss. Thank you for such a remarkable story.
Ricky J. Setticase <KCBluesMan@aol.com>
Overland Park, KS USA - Sunday, July 01, 2001 at 23:10:42 (EDT)
Laura, Thank you for an absolutely incredible book. I loved every minute of it and became so emotionally involved in the story. You have a gift that really made the story play itself out vividly in my mind. Do the living Howard family members know where Seabiscuit is buried? Were you able to go to his grave? Again, thank you, thank you for the best book I have read in many years!! Kathie Montoya
Kathleen Montoya <kathiemontoya@webtv.net>
Fremont, CA USA - Sunday, July 01, 2001 at 21:47:08 (EDT)
I REALLY ENJOYED YOUR BOOK. IT WAS GREAT. I WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE IT IF YOU COULD GIVE ME AN ADDRESS WHERE I COULD POSSIBLY SEND YOU THE BOOK TO HAVE IT AUTOGRAPHED. ALL POSTAGE WILL BE PAID FOR BE ME. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND CONSIDERATION. MIKE HART
Michael Hart <mikeyh953@home.com>
Baltimore, MD USA - Sunday, July 01, 2001 at 21:43:01 (EDT)
Thank you, Laura, for Seabiscuit. You generously thanked so many for their help and encouragement, but unless you yourself had not initiated and then implemented the undertaking we would not have Seabiscuit. Nor would we have it without your talents and gifts. I would venture to say that even if all that research had been handed to any other, we still would not have Seabiscuit. I think you might enjoy this anecdote: I had already read the book when I happened to be watching my husband reading it on the patio. Usually he assumes a relaxed posture while reading, maybe even dozing off, but now I noticed that he was sitting on the edge of the chair and soon he was crouching forward (almost in jockey position). Suddenly he tossed the book onto the table saying he couldn't take it anymore. The suspense and excitement was just too much tension. Yours is not the book you just can't put down, but, at least for my husband, the book you MUST put down. Should we ever get to Santa Anita again, the experience will have new life and meaning for us. In fact, as long time fans of horse racing, horse racing is forever changed for us. And so has our conception of Seabiscuit. Thank you!
Marcia <bemeup@execpc.com>
Waukesha, WI USA - Sunday, July 01, 2001 at 19:39:50 (EDT)
Just finished your wonderful book. I enjoyed it very much and understand why it is doing so well. I will never look at a horse race the same again. That sounds trite but to me it is the highest complement I could give an author- please take it with the depth that it is offered. Have you read The Orchid Thief? I was similarly impressed by that book in so far as that I could never look at an orchid in the same way. You have enriched my (and I suspect many) lives with your book. Enjoy your success and I await your next project!
Jonathan Jaivin, M.D. <jaivin@scoi.com>
Encino, CA USA - Sunday, July 01, 2001 at 19:31:58 (EDT)
Dear Laura: This is a great way to comment on someone's work. I do hope someone reads it. I've been a horseplayer since 1968 when I hit the Daily Double cold at Belmont on Belmont Stakes day. My $2 bet turened into $22 and I've been a fan since. Started the read the book. My friend tells me there's a list just printed by the newspaper Newsday which lists the top 10 movies for each sport. Racing only has two movies produced in the past 20 years. So, by all accounts, the book and the movie are welcome to give the sport a long needed awareness. One question and criticism: How do you produce such a book and NOT include the lifetime past performances? Did Crist and the gang at The Daily Racing Form refuse you and your publisher? This is a MAJOR omission. As I said, I just started the book. By all accounts of what I've read, it will be the ONLY omission. Good luck. We all need it. John...
John DeMetropolis <jdemet@aol.com>
Wantagh, NY USA - Sunday, July 01, 2001 at 19:02:50 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand:- The comment in your spendid book,about the wrong horse winning the movie race, reminded me of the following: For some twenty years, following retirement from academia, I have been an actor performing in plays and musicals across the country. In between, I have performed in NYC in movies and soaps as an extra as I did for the film "A Bronx Tale", directed by Robert DeNiro based on a one-man, one-act play, written by Chaz Palmenerri(spelling is wrong I know). There had been rumors in the trade and in the general press that mob money had been used to get the movie produced. I was on location one day at the "BigA" to watch ,as an extra, a horse race to be won by the(movie) mob horse; but in the reality of the script won, alas by another. The tech director was Eddie Arcaro. We were seperated into cheering sections, some for the mob horse, some for the ultimate winner. The horses were started at the far mid pole and the finish line was in front of us. "Action" was called and the horses were off with the two groups cheering and reacting to what was supposed to happen, only it didn't. The wrong horse won. The extras, who were happy, whooping it up and cheering, looked rediculous, of course, because the horse they were cheering for had lost, yet they were reacting as if it had won. People were moved around, cameras relocated. and after about an hour and a half, a new set of horses was ready to run. In conversation with a fellow actor sitting next to me, I was told that he was certain that(real-life) mob money had been used."See that big, tall, dark, mean looking SOB, down there?", he asked. "I've seen him any number of times around an Italian deli in Queens with those three other tough guys standing with him. They're all mafia, every last one of 'em. Trust me." By this time I had become accustomed to performers speaking in superlatives about matters they knew little, so I thought no more about it. The second race was shot and again the wrong horse won. Broke for lunch. Shot again. Same wrong result. Went home with a day's pay. Left in another week to tour in a show and forgot about it. About six months later, I noticed a revue of the film in the NY Times with a picture of the author and star of "A Bronx Tale". It was (surprise, surprise) that"tall, dark, mean-looking, SOB, member of the mafia" ,Chaz Palminnneri!!( who , to the best of my information,has never been in Queens) So much for "eye" witness at a Queens deli!!(Another one of the "tough" guys also was not from Queens. His brother was spotted at Jones Beach by the film's casting director, asked to audition, refused, but said he had a brother who wanted to be in films.The brother acepted and has since become a star.) All the best, and thank you for turning your considerable talents to the exposition of an extraordinary champion while spinning a fascinating tale I shall always cherish. Tom Rooney
Tom Rooney <GranpaRoo@AOL.com>
New Hyde Park, NY USA - Sunday, July 01, 2001 at 17:22:23 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Hi! My name is Ariel Shaker. I am a thirteen year old girl and I just finished your book, Seabiscuit. I really enjoyed it. I loved Seabiscuit. He must have been a really cool horse. I loved the fact that he was just a fat little horse with shaky knees, and short legs. Yet, even though his body is not perfect, he manages to beat every perfectly built opponent that comes his way. That is how someone once described my little mare, Surprise. They said that her name fits her perfectly. She goes into a show ring and doesn’t look like much, but when she jumps, tucking her knees up to her ears, you pay attention. That’s how I think of Seabiscuit. He doesn’t look like much, but he sure is good at what he does. Do you own a horse? Do you ride english or western? Do you show in any disciplines? I ride english, and I just got my horse last summer. I have started doing some really small three day eventing, dressage, and hunter jumper showing. I am trying everything and I haven’t decided what disciplines I want to really settle into. I am in a mother Daughter book club, and I am going to have Seabiscuit be my book when I get to chose one. I was wondering if you could answer some questions that I have that would help me out with the book club. When I write, I usually find the research for my report to be deadly boring, but the writing is fun. What was writing Seabiscuit like? How did you find out about Seabiscuit? Was it always fun to write and research Seabiscuit or was it hard and boring some of the time? Are you planning to write any other books? I really enjoyed Seabiscuit and I would love to read another book about a horse. I find that it is really hard to find a good book about horses. Most of the horse books that I have read all end happily ever after with the main character getting her horse through some rather corny situation that would only happen in a book. It was great when I read Seabiscuit and it wasn’t corny or stupid. If you could answer some of my questions that would be great. My email address is ariel@theshakers.org. Thank you- Ariel
Ariel Shaker <ariel@theshakers.org>
CA USA - Sunday, July 01, 2001 at 16:00:50 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, For almost 50 years I have been an avid reader in many genres, including strong doses of Tom Ainslie and Andrew Beyer. I just finished reading Seabiscuit and consider it one of the five best books I have ever read in my life. I have laughed out loud with Woody Allen and Jean Sheperd, thrown Michener's The Covenant in anger over the genesis of apartheid, but have never cried, repeatedly, with such joy as with your narrative. My heartfelt thanks for your fine work. Sincerely, David Callahan
David Callahan <Callahusk@home.com>
Sarasota, FL USA - Sunday, July 01, 2001 at 15:49:48 (EDT)
Laura Hillenbrand: You are a seductress and a siren: I couldn't tear myself away from your gripping narrative, couldn't sleep, wouldn't answer the 'phone or eat, read all night till I finally completed the book at 5:30 this morning. It totally absorbed me. I found myself at the track in crucial races, simultaneously becoming Seabiscuit's owner with all the attendant anxieties and passion, and his jockey, embracing the mud, dirt, turmoil, and danger while urging him to win, win, win. My daughter, a horse owner and lover, is forever ascribing to horses feelings, awareness, and sensibilities at which I scoffed. No more. Finally, you captured the tenor of the times so vividly. As a child of the Depression, I have repeatedly attempted, with little success, to communicate to "younger generations" the atmosphere, the insecurity, and the desparation of those days. Your book brought it all home in a way I never could. In future, when the subject of "What was it like in the 30's?" arises, I shall point to your book. I'n addition to penning a rip-roaring true story, you have done us all a great service. Thank you.
Les Lear <leslear@msn.com>
Timonium, Md USA - Sunday, July 01, 2001 at 11:48:25 (EDT)
Ms.Hillenbrand: Thank you so much for this very special book. I'm a horse-racing dilettante (I know- BOO!), but I live just a few miles down the road from Santa Anita, so I can indulge the whim easily. I think next time I'll stop and ponder those statues of The Biscuit and George Woolf... Thanks again!
Carl Matthies <cfmatthies@yahoo.com>
Alhambra, CA USA - Sunday, July 01, 2001 at 11:30:47 (EDT)
Dear Laura: When I was a young horse-loving girl, I devoured every horse book in the library. But my favorite one was a book called "Come on Seabiscuit". I must have read that book dozens of times. When I saw a review of your book I was so excited that I was going to get to read about Seabiscuit all over again. Your narrative style is wonderful and the description of Seabiscuit finally winning at Santa Anita brought me to tears. I am going to find a copy of "Come on Seabiscuit so I can read it to my little girl. Thank you so must for the gift of this book. The story of that plucky little horse with heart brings something out in me that I can't describe...
Tamara Evens <tamara@mitkof.net>
Petersburg, AK USA - Saturday, June 30, 2001 at 23:20:24 (EDT)
You mentioned that Seabiscuit came at a time in history when we needed a hero. I must say that you, Laura, are our hero for now and for future readers of this great work! This marvelous book is joining my shelves of champion books, to be read again and again! Your writing captivated me as Heinlein did,(he was also known for his thorough research). I didn't know Seabiscuit existed until I saw the excerpt in Readers Digest. As a horse owner/lover for 40 years, I had to have it. A wonderful story! I appreciate all your hard work to bring this story to print,(and to the screen),knowing the struggles you face daily(my sister has CFS). We all need heros reguardless of the circumstances surrounding us. Thank You, thank you! I am giving you a standing ovation! (p.s: the shit Godzilla was priceless!)
Beth <SofieT@aol.com>
Eagle Point, OR USA - Saturday, June 30, 2001 at 13:52:13 (EDT)
Miss Hillenbrand, we own one of Seabiscuit's racing shoes that he wore in the War Admiral race. His owner had it made into a sterling silver ashtray inscribed with the pertinent details of the race, and gave it to my father-in-law, Charles Hatton. Do you know anyone who is qualified to appraise this precious memento? We might wish to sell it someday. Thanks very much! Kay Hatton
Kay Hatton <mogokid@earthlink.net>
USA - Saturday, June 30, 2001 at 13:14:51 (EDT)
Thank You for Seabiscuit.It was a marvelous book. I hated to finish. It has everything one admires in life humor,wisdom,courage,compassion,loyality. My beloved father Rudy Fox passed away Oct.2001 dad loved the track figuring the weight of the jockey condition of the track et al. Dad and his friends would do the New Jersey Delaware circuit. My father was well thought of at the track as his life was lived by the principals contained in your book. when my father was dying and I holding his hand as his soul left I said "dad you just crossed the finish line" With much gratutide for a splendid book. Carole Fox Edwards
carole edwards
Oakland , Ca USA - Saturday, June 30, 2001 at 12:10:01 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I came upon your book by accident...flipped to the Barnes & Noble website which had your book prominently advertised as "the best" of it's type. Being a fan of Dick Francis, I read the excerpt they offered of the 1st chapter...I was HOOKED. Imagine I am reading this from my computer screen at work and am so enraaptured that my phone rings on my desk and I jump, not knowing where I am for a moment....I was gazing at the horse scene you were describing as if I were there... Needless to say, I went home that night and immediately ordered your book and told all my reading friends of it's impending arrival. Finally it arrived and I was in readers heaven...I savored each page and read it sparingly so that the words and images could linger with me longer. Please be proud...you have done something remarkable and once in a lifetime, just as Seabiscuit was...Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. This was the best present I ever gave myself.
Alana Morgan Ross <skippy2@san.rr.com>
San Diego, CA USA - Friday, June 29, 2001 at 22:56:03 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I just finished reading Seabiscuit and many of the comments in your guestbook. There isn't anything I can add but that I agree with all the wonderful things others have said about your book. Thank you for writing it. I enjoyed the history of the horse, the owner, trainer, jockey, and the era. It should remain on the best seller's list for months to come. You have to be proud of yourself. I'm looking forward to the movie and hope its quality is as good as the quality of your writing and research.
Aurora <aurora_ashley@hotmail.com>
USA - Friday, June 29, 2001 at 20:37:29 (EDT)
As a part of a group who's numbers are dwindling (true race fans), I loved your book. It was so well written and it encompassed the areas that I love about this sport, the personalities. Hopefully the Thoroughbred Racing Association will come to understand this, and stop focusing on the simulcast bettor and place an emphasis on marketing the athlete (horse and jock) and it's other personalities (trainer and owner). Can't wait till the movie comes out. Don't let them change it from the book too much! Any future books? Hope so!
G. YOUNG <cigar@preferred.com>
bristol, tn USA - Friday, June 29, 2001 at 16:45:46 (EDT)
Dear Laura: Sorry, but your historical information is all wrong, Pollard or woolf never rode Seabiscuit into history, it was me, John "D" that was in the saddle in all the races. When I first opened your book, I booted both of those jockies off the horse and took their place on that magnificent animal..I'm a very slow reader, but when the first word of print hit my eye, this transformed a Physical Education Teacher into a world-class jockey and I broke all records in speed reading..could'nt put it down, what a book - amazing - (I don't know how you did it, but you put me on Seabiscuit - sorry "pollard & Woolf)..Please don't let the movie run contrary to your great book..IT MUST MIMIC THE BOOK11. On a serious note - go to page #222 and seek the passage where Pollard is in bed, in a "prone position" with his leg up in traction...a slight mistake in anatomical terminology takes place...prone means face down, the word for being on ones back is the "supine position" I guess a Physical Education Teacher schooled in anatomy caught this "minor" mistake....I LOVED YOUR BOOK..BEST WISHES - ALWAYS John L. D'Andrea (AKA _ John "D")
John L. D'Andrea <j.l.dandrea@worldnet.att.net>
Newark, New Jersey USA - Friday, June 29, 2001 at 15:49:15 (EDT)
My family owns a few hundred acres of what was the Howard Ranch on which Sea Biscuit is buried. I have heard of his racing prowess but did not realize how much more there was to the story. You wrote a wonderfully entertaining book, thank you. If you ever want to drop in and see how beautiful the area is, just let me know. My mother and father are there most the time. They just planted a 50 acre vineyard.
Dan Lindsey <lanvest@juno.com>
Redwood Valley, CA USA - Friday, June 29, 2001 at 14:21:52 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I have just finished reading your book, Seabiscuit. You have written a story for the ages. As a youngster I had a green large pony with a large scar below each ear. He got his head stuck between a post and the barn and did the damage. He wasn't much to look at but he had a great heart and drive. He went on to beat a lot of better looking show ponies, ran point to points, did pony club 3 day events and real field hunter trials and could go all day long, jump any fence and be there at the end of a foxhunt. Your book makes me smell the lather and feel the thrill of headlong gallop. I can only remember one other book that made me think of my horse days so vividly and that was "Memoirs of a Foxhunting Man" by Sigfreid Sassoon. I hope and pray that the movie will bring forward the action and character details that you have so brilliantly captured in your book. Tell the producers no computer generating just real live horses with pounding hooves!!! Done right this could be one of the best movies ever. Thanks again, I can smell my pony right now. Bill Reilly
Bill Reilly <reilly@nxi.com>
Brownfield, ME USA - Friday, June 29, 2001 at 13:52:31 (EDT)
I would just like to say that I have had the oportunity to read Seabiscuit now and it is WONDERFUL!! All I hoped of and more. Thank you, Howard, for a wonderful gift. Also thanks to J.Val Smith for a second very kind offer, people like you leave me with hope for our ever deteriorating world.
Rachael Longtin <tallyho@lakeland.ws>
Centuria , WI USA - Friday, June 29, 2001 at 13:40:30 (EDT)
Laura, after finishing the book and previously posting all my accolades on this guest book, I thought I’d buy the audio version so that I could “force” my non-book-reading, techie boyfriend to listen to it as we drove up the coast of California. Well, he LOVED it. He practically cried in the car and he kept slapping his knees as to help Seabiscuit win during the descriptions of the races. He now talks about the book to every one he meets. While he absorbed every word with interest, I on the other hand was disappointed on how much stuff was left out of the audio version. Such as: some interesting background information on Seabiscuit, Tom Smith and much of the other characters, the “other” match race with Ligoratti and the controversy over the jockeys, and hardly a mention of Pumpkin! I wish you’d come out with an unabridged version for those of us who want to savor every word! I believe it would be worth it.
Teresa <tlaborde@cusa.canon.com>
ca USA - Friday, June 29, 2001 at 13:26:26 (EDT)
Magnificent horse and beautifully sensitive story, Seabiscuit is the first nonfiction book I have read in 10 years. Thank you for your effort and your for sharing your gifts.
Andrea Culberspn <mculberson@mindspring.com>
Weston, FL USA - Friday, June 29, 2001 at 12:53:44 (EDT)
Laura, Am enjoying the book immensely. Not being a horseracing fan, need clarification on "posting". Is posting heavier weights on the likely winning horse like golf handicapping? Please let me know and hope you will continue writing more books about American legends!
Tony Rollins <neatony@aol.com>
Bethesda, MD USA - Friday, June 29, 2001 at 11:50:23 (EDT)
Amazing story! So well written it reads like a suspense novel. I loved it, couldn't put it down and was sorry when it was done! The movie will not be any better. Thanks for a GREAT story! Nancy Holland
Nancy A. Holland <nah@nauticom.net>
Wexford,, PA USA - Friday, June 29, 2001 at 09:18:33 (EDT)
what struck me was the passion which your writing brought out, thank you. too few accounts of history, whether sporting or other, fail to capture the mood, challenges, and setbacks of their era when being taught or described... you have suceeded in bring this to life. being an avid sports fan drew me to the book, but the drama and personality have me recommending it to all I know. this is a story which should be taught as a companion to the military and financial history in the 1st 1/2 of the 20th century, as i'm sure it would infuse some excitement into the teaching of america's youth, there are many lessons. great read!
steve <sshocker@msn.com>
duluth, ga USA - Friday, June 29, 2001 at 00:34:24 (EDT)
Reading your book I felt as if I was at the track watching Seabiscuit and War Admiral race. I can hear the announcer screaming over the cheering crowd. Thank you for a fabulous read.
Michael D. Klein <kmd9@qwest.net>
Denver, CO USA - Friday, June 29, 2001 at 00:27:39 (EDT)
Laura, I am in the midst of your astonishing account of one of the greatest legends ever to don a saddle. I am on the edge of my couch waiting to see if Seabiscuit and War Admiral race, and how it unfolds. This is the 1st night that I haven't even turned on the TV, and I have The Racing Network, which makes it a rarity. Thank you for the pleasure you are providing for me and I will write again after I finish....p.s....Are you married ?
Dave Schadick <daddysjet@yahoo.com>
Endicott, NY USA - Thursday, June 28, 2001 at 22:54:01 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Your book is wonderful...!!! I live in Willits and have walked over the Ridgewood Ranch where Seabiscuit roamed. I have have always loved the connection between Willits and the Howards and it was while sitting in the hospital (Howard Memorial) waiting room that I first read your article in American Heritage Magazine. From that momment on I could not wait to read the book... it was beyond my greatest expectations. I smile, when I drive past Ridgewood knowing that Seabiscuit has been once again been given the respect and adoration that he deserved. Thank you for doing that. I wish you all the best.
Carlie Borba <hohotline@aol.com>
Willits, CA USA - Thursday, June 28, 2001 at 20:06:34 (EDT)
Hi, I've been a horseracing fan for 25 years now, but my interest has dwindled lately, partly because of family responsibilities and partly because I'm turned off by the outrageous purses. A horse can win 5 or 6 races and be a millionaire. But I've always loved Seabiscuit, the little guy who tried so hard. I was thrilled to see that your book is a best seller. I've always wondered if Seabiscuit's earnings were grossed up for inflation where he would end up on the list of all time money-winners. I just started the book, by the way, and love it so far.
Christina W <introibo2000@yahoo.com>
Oxford, CT USA - Thursday, June 28, 2001 at 19:48:56 (EDT)
My grandparents had a copper impression of a horse on their wall which we called "Sea Biscuit". I asked my brother if we had any connection to the horse and he thought it was just that he was very famous. When I picked up the book in the library, I didn't expect to find what was there -- something so well written, something I had difficulty putting down, something I've referred to in numerous conversations, a book where the research notes were of interest. You should feel very proud of what you've written.
Joan Mokray <jmokray@att.net>
Franklin Lakes , NJ USA - Thursday, June 28, 2001 at 18:49:22 (EDT)
Hi, Laura: I really enjoyed your book entitled "Seabiscuit". Your writing and research skills are certainly apparent. I conduct research with horses. The magazine you write for (Equus) has done some stories on some research we have been conducting re. to Fescue Toxicosis in pregnant mares and the drug Equidone (domperidone) that we developed. I sent a note to Dell Hancock, co-owner of Claiborne Farms, suggesting that she read your book. I look forward to the movie. Best wishes, Dee Cross
Dee L. Cross, Ph.D. <dcross@clemson.edu>
Clemson, SC USA - Thursday, June 28, 2001 at 17:51:17 (EDT)
I wanted to thank you for writing this book. I just finished it last night and spent yesterday afternoon crying my eyes out when the Biscuit won the match race. I would like to have one of the photographs from the slide show as a screensaver-is there any way to do this? Thanks again.Kate Fourchy
kate fourchy <kcf2484@qnis.net>
USA - Thursday, June 28, 2001 at 14:05:36 (EDT)
I spent the first 30 years of my life in a house across the street from Santa Anita. We used to sneak in when we were young pretending to "belong" to an adult entering the turnstyle. This was back in the late 60's so I never saw Seabiscuit but the book was fantastic. I've been to the Derby Restaurant 100 times and I never understood why there were dozens of photos of George Wolfe. Now I know. My only complaint is that the author never mentioned the actual pari-mutual odds of the subject. That would have been interesting.
David Daggett <dcdaggett@aol.com>
Phoenix, AZ USA - Thursday, June 28, 2001 at 13:08:22 (EDT)
Is the 1940 film made of the newsreels of his races available in video or any other format?
Jeffrey Kuhman <jeffkuhman@glycon.com>
Tecumseh, MI USA - Thursday, June 28, 2001 at 13:07:17 (EDT)
hi Laura, If you ever require the services of a screenwriter , though it might be a bit presumptious of me, I've always had a knack for writing dialogue. My reason for the offer, I'd like to see a great story and book turned into a great movie (double presumptious?). Anyway, stranger things have happened, as your book so wonderfully details. regards, d
d <dmezei@islandnet.com>
ca - Thursday, June 28, 2001 at 03:57:50 (EDT)
Laura: If you ever need a good double for Seabiscuit in your movie, I would recommend trying to get CIGAR who has more than a passing resemblance to Seabiscuit. That is if you could ever pry him loose from his present owners. I read he is not doing too well as a sire maybe this will revive his career. Your book bought back memories of the times I saw Cigar race at Suffolk Downs on his quest to break Citation's win streak record. The whole track was going crazy with anticipation over seeing Cigar arrive at the track in his police escorted van. Vendors were selling Cigar pennants, coffee cups, T-shirts, photos which were gobbled up in an instant. The track record for attendance which was formerly held by I think Seabiscuit was broken as more than 30,000 fans poured in. Granted the Kentucky Derby attracts more than a 100,000 fans but that is to watch a racing event, not a single horse. Anyways, I know what the feeling is like to witness a great horse race that is beloved by the public and it is electrifying. I just wish I was there to see Seabiscuit in one of his great races after reading your book. I'll never forget as an ordinary looking Cigar emerged form the paddock and as they saddled him and the jockey rode him out onto the track he was transformed into a fire breathing dragon prancing back and forth as the crowd cheered him on. That moment will live with for the rest of my days just as your story of Seabiscuit will.
terry <ttm@netway.com>
hamilton, ma USA - Thursday, June 28, 2001 at 01:55:31 (EDT)
Dear Laura: Thanks so much for this wonderfully written book about a magnificent horse and those people who loved and had faith in him. It's the best non-fiction book I've read in many years. I'm happy you are consultant for the movie and hope that Universal will follow the book exactly as you wrote it. Again, congratulations and many thanks. Shirley G.
Shirley G.
Seminole, FL USA - Wednesday, June 27, 2001 at 22:22:52 (EDT)
Laura: Thank you for writing this incredible book and telling the uplifting and heart wrenching story of "Sea Biscuit". You have told the story of an incredible racehorse with a heart so big that he would never give up! The odds were always against him, but Seabiscuit and the people that loved him pushed on. Charles, Tom, and Red truly loved this great horse. They were all on the ride of their lives, and the history and times of the great depression came alive! Congratulations on a fantastic book that people of all ages will enjoy reading.
Patrick Newbold <pplnewbold@netscape.net>
San Luis Obispo, CA USA - Wednesday, June 27, 2001 at 21:52:57 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: You have written by all odds the most enthralling book about the world of sport that I've ever had the great pleasure of reading. Your research was meticulous, your ear for the the characters, both man and equine, spot-on, and your writing simply marvelous. I was drawn to Seabiscuit as a horse lover, yet I was captivated by the enormous pull of the remarkable stories of the principals themselves. The end came all too soon. Thank you very, very much for delivering such an absorbing story about a great horse and for adding immeasurably to the legend that will always be Seabiscuit.
Mark Reed <markhreed@email.com>
Minneapolis, MN USA - Wednesday, June 27, 2001 at 17:52:10 (EDT)
It's been a long time since I read a book that moved me to tears as did this one. This was an incredible read - very touching and emotionally satisfying. Let's hope the movie comes to pass because I will be first in line, cheering Seabiscuit on !
SUZANN DAVIS
LAKE WORTH, FL USA - Wednesday, June 27, 2001 at 17:06:08 (EDT)
Oh, did you have a winner with this BOOK.Wow!!!Let me be first in line for the movie.A great read with great research. Thank you.
Stephen C. Hill <ibdaman00@yahoo.com>
WInston Salem , NC USA - Wednesday, June 27, 2001 at 16:34:26 (EDT)
Hi Laura, go to http://images.google.com and type in 'seabiscuit preakness' for a very beautiful photo. And type in just seabiscuit for interesting pics and toys... don
don <dmezei@islandnet.com>
USA - Wednesday, June 27, 2001 at 14:16:08 (EDT)
The other night as I lie reading in bed, Seabiscuit and War Admiral had just left the starting line when my wife turned to me and barked "ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE THAT LIGHT ON ALL NIGHT!!?". It was probably the closest I have come to committing homicide in 29 years of marriage. It would be hard to find someone with less interest in horses or racing than me, but I would gladly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great story that is extremely well written.
Brad Townsend <bdtownsend@mwci.net>
Byron, IL USA - Wednesday, June 27, 2001 at 09:50:33 (EDT)
www.seabiscuitonline.com Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I just finished reading Seabiscuit and to sum it up in one word - superb! I have been a horse-racing fan for fifty years and after reading your book have a new insight of this great sport. I know both horses and jockeys are great athletes and I always said that thoroughbreds know where they are and why they are on the racetrack; that is to run and to win. Through your words, you reinforced my theory. I never realized the horrendous conditions that jockeys and trainers labored under during the thirties and so few made it to the big time. I'm sure many of these things exist today but not on such a grand scale. You brought these things out in your book and didn't dwell on the hero. I was thrilled while reading of the match race in 1938 between Seabiscuit and War Admiral and the 1940 Santa Anita Handicap. Your description of both races made me feel as if I was in the stands. Your description of how the horses came down the homestretch actually had me on the edge of my seat. Reading doesn't get any better than that. After reading the acknowledgments, I concluded you did your homework. You must have spent timeless hours doing your research and I truly appreciate your candor in making this great book. I do not usually write to authors but I just wanted to share my feelings with you. I look forward to seeing the movie and any future publications. Sincerely yours, Guy E. Esposito, 115 Woodley Avenue, West Roxbury, MA 02132
Guy E. Esposito <angie@c-m.com>
Boston, MA USA - Wednesday, June 27, 2001 at 09:42:43 (EDT)
Your book really brought an era to life through horse racing. I cannot help but compare Seabiscuit's effect on the public to that of Secretariat's. In 1973 with a country still divided by the Vietnam War, we needed a national hero that everybody could cheer. Secretariat becomes the first triple crown winner in 25 years. I'll never forget Secretariat's 31 length win in the Belmont. The crowd went nuts, fists jammed in the air, and darn few of those winning tickets were ever cashed. Seabiscuit and Secretariat are both heroes for me. Thank you Laura!
David Milliman <milliman@eznet.net>
Middlesex, NY USA - Wednesday, June 27, 2001 at 09:09:47 (EDT)
My three and a half year old daughter and I were on our way somewhere when we caught the middle of your interview on National Public Radio. Last year, my daughter fell in love with the movie Black Stallion,(Stephen Spielberg?) and when she realized you were talking about a racehorse she was instantly interested. We arrived at our destination, but stayed in our car because we had to keep listening. If only you could have seen her face as the recording of one of Seabiscuit's races was aired...I was equally mesmerized and thrilled. At the risk of being late, I stayed in the car, desperate to hear if you had written a book about this precious animal. I was so moved by what I heard in your interview that I couldn't wait to read it...What a wonderful gift for you to give the world. I am very grateful for your dedication and work, especially given your health issues - I thank you for this wonderful book about this most lovable creature and the people who loved him.
Kristen Williams <majoleen@earthlink.com>
Glenside, PA USA - Wednesday, June 27, 2001 at 01:55:56 (EDT)
Your book was fabulous and when I took it to my book club as a suggestion they were delighted. Our book club is full of horse people, a third generation steeple chase trainer, a bloodstock agent, pony club parents. I can't wait for my nine year old who loves to ride to read Seabiscuit. We live on a horse farm that has trained horses for over fifty years. I will reread the book for our meeting and enjoy every moment of it. Your writing is so fluid, like Seabiscuit himself. I heard you on Chip Franklin, WBAL and thought you were delightful. I am trying to get as much material as possible together for our book club meeting. Care to join us??? Thanks for a wonderful story that I am sure our family will read for years to come. Can't wait for the movie. Colleen McKenna Slavin
colleen mckenna slavin <colleenm@collateralgroup.com>
baltimore, md USA - Tuesday, June 26, 2001 at 22:05:44 (EDT)
I have been involved in betting on thoroughbred racehorses for a long time, often skipping high school when I was a young man, to go to the track. It has been quite an exciting hobby over the years. However, your book put me through a truly exciting experience which I never felt at the track, even when urging my horses home during the races I personally attented. Your magnificent writing style is grounded in the way you crafted the background stories of the major characters in your book and then brought them together in describing Seabiscuit's pursuit of War Admiral, his demolishing of him in the match race and the stories beyond that event. And throughout your book, you made these characters seem so real and the story you wove so compelling and emotional that this is one book I could not put down. Thank you for the enjoyment you brought me. Since I live in your original home town (or Fairfax County, I should say), please let me know of any book signings you may have in Fairfax or the D.C. area. Once again, thanks for your wonderful book on an absolutely magnificent racehorse. Joe Ciolino
Joe ciolino <cefalusicily@aol.com>
USA - Tuesday, June 26, 2001 at 21:19:00 (EDT)
Dear Ms.Hillenbrand, I wish to thank you for this vivid, inspiring, and heartfelt book that I just finished reading. What a story!What a horse! The colorful characters come alive, straight out of history. I cried for thirty minutes upon completion of the book. I wanted Seabiscuit to live on forever. And he will, thanks to you and this literally work. I operate diesel locomotives that develope 4400 horsepower each. Seabiscuit has more strength and stamina than a hundred of them.
Joseph S. Still, Jr. <JoeSam13@earthlink.net >
Lenexa, , KS USA - Tuesday, June 26, 2001 at 18:38:38 (EDT)
Thank you for writing such an inspiring book - the heart and spirit of the people and the horses. Their stalwart efforts encourage me today. It's not the winning that comes through alone but their spirit. But I wanted to ask you, since I am a horse breeder myself, I have a hard time looking at the cover of your book as Seabiscuit's head is missing! I sure wish there had been some other way of designing the cover. Am looking forward to the movie for sure.
Rosie Schluter <spiritx2@cannon.net>
Cannon Falls, MN USA - Tuesday, June 26, 2001 at 12:57:06 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I am speechless and in tears even now, as I write this note, and on every page. You have done a magnificent job. You've taken me back in time and brought me back to hear and now. Your book has loved me and I am loving it! God Bless you for a job well done. The movie too should be great and grand and majestic. Thank you Laura Hillenbrand, I am a new and grateful fan, Jennifer Stace
Jennifer Stace <jen@telnor.net>
San Diego,, CA USA - Tuesday, June 26, 2001 at 12:32:12 (EDT)

 
   


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