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Dear Laura, Thank you for an exquisite book - I never wanted to stop reading about those three two-legged heroes or the glorious four-legged one and when I did finish, your eloquent writing and the story that you saved had me in inspired, grateful tears. I will give it often to inspire others to never give up.
L J Weil
Montgomery, Al USA - Monday, June 25, 2001 at 18:54:45 (EDT)
That was a great freakin' book! Your writing style is like a long train, the words just come with such a rhythm you can't stop reading. Secretariat was the first horse I ever saw race (on tv) and shortly thereafter I went to my first racetrack(Saratoga)when I was about 11 and actually won the daily double! Unfortunately, I grew up in Texas and I still live there and there is no racing to speak of, but I always have vivid memories of the track. If you are ever in Austin, I'd like you to sign my book. You're awful pretty for a writer. Thanks again, hope the movie doesn't rape your book.
Peter Ten Eyck <>
austin,texas, Tx. USA - Monday, June 25, 2001 at 17:49:16 (EDT)
I just bought the book Saturday, and already I'm homesick for CA. The book has a lot of history of CA in it. Not too many people have written books about famous people or animals that have made a name for themself, from the bay area. I wish my parents were alive and I could ask them questions about SEABISCUIT and his races. Don't know too many people left in CA that would know anything about him and his winnings. I don't have horses anylonger, but when I was growing up, I did. Thank you from the wonderful book. It's hard to put down. And thanks for the memories.
Margo White <>
Ogden, UT USA - Monday, June 25, 2001 at 17:10:05 (EDT)
As a throughbred racing fan for more than 40 years I found your book very educational and as a sports journalist for more than 30 years I found your book very entertaining. The term "a book you can't put down" is often misused but not in this case....remarkable...a must read even if you aren't a throughbred racing fan or even a sports fan. Can't wait to read your next book.
John Hinds <>
Georgetown, MA USA - Monday, June 25, 2001 at 16:16:38 (EDT)
See Seabiscuit's Cup from the 1938 Agua Caliente Handicap on Ebay at the URL above. Amazing piece! I'm just a fan, and not related to the sale!!
Matt Noreen <>
Somerset, NJ USA - Monday, June 25, 2001 at 14:50:57 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I just finished reading the story of Seabiscuit and found it fascinating & heartwarming! I'm so thrilled that his story of heart & valor was told, as well as the stories of 'his people', and this did not become a lost footnote in history! Thank you for a compelling book on an unlikely hero! Luanne Howard
Luanne Howard <>
Fort Worth, TX USA - Monday, June 25, 2001 at 14:43:35 (EDT)
Laura, previously wrote you on your wonderful book and also inquired regarding video of Seabiscuit's races, unfortunately couldn't locate any. I have not seen any of your interviews mentioned by other readers, how about some biographical info if you get a moment, wish you all the success, any plans to come to the Miami area... Thanks Steve any
stephen a. kandell <>
miami, fl USA - Monday, June 25, 2001 at 14:33:00 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I just finished reading your book and as others have so often mentioned, "I cried and was depressed over finishing it." I wanted it to go on and on. My husband bought the book for me when I was laid up with a severe leg injury from being thrown from my Thoroughbred ex-racehorse. Your writing is magnificent and I can honestly say this the best book I have ever read. Please write more books about famous racehorses. I will be the first in line for the movie. I can only hope it will do your book justice. I would love to have you sign my book. Are you going to be in the Sacramento area? May I send it to you? I can't stop thinking about this book. It has made such an impact on me. Thanks, Laura.
Kelly Rinehart <>
Sacramento, CA USA - Monday, June 25, 2001 at 13:49:29 (EDT)
Dear Ms.Hillenbrand: We are a family that adores horses. My husband saw your interview with Charley Rose and told me that this sounded like a book "right up my alley." I read about two books a week. I asked our local library to purchase this book and checked it out. I simply could not put the book down! I kept reading passages to my husband, who will now read it for himself, inasmuch as we need to purchase it for our own library. You told such a moving story that,as I told my husband, "the hair was standing up on my arms." I laughed, I cried, I was delighted, I was sad. It's been a long time since I've read such a perfectly crafted tale. Both humans and animals became so alive, I felt as though I had known all of them personally! I am recommending this book to everyone I know who reads. Thank you for giving us this treasure.
Nina S. Sparks
Manhattan, IL USA - Monday, June 25, 2001 at 12:55:45 (EDT)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, My wife, Mickey, picked up your book in a Laguna Beach, California bookstore. ‘O look,’ she said to me, ‘a book about Seabiscuit!’ Her dad had taken her often to Santa Anita as a young girl. She was there the day Geoge Wolff died. She has told me that it was the only time she had ever seen her day cry. Her dad was an industrialist whose face once appeared on Fortune Magazine’s Man of the Year. She grew up with stories about Seabiscuit. She bought the book and began to read it in bed. Sometimes she read out loud to me, when a particular passage was especially moving. She could not put it down and she hated to finish it. But finally, she did and gave it to me, saying she would read it again when I was done. I have just finished the read. It is always a lovely and sometimes a very beautiful book. I too hated to finish it. We hope you will be given the Pulitzer for it. Thank you for your wonderful achievement. Don’t forget ‘Gatsby’ and ‘The Old Man and the Sea’. Hollywood can film the explicit but not at the same time, it seems, the implicity. The beauty of Seabisuit is that the explicit and the implicite resonate together at times with breathtaking passion and compassion. If they make schlock out of your book, it will not be surprising. But miracles even in Hollywood can happen. God bless. Mickey and I have published a poem ‘Flashing Face’ (in The Burning Green, Wipf & Stock: Eugene, Oregon, 1996). We thought you might enjoy it: Flashing Face Over the green hills The wild horse runs With flashing face, Galloping like the sun Upon the warm earth. Who spurs this strength As clouds would stride The wind swept sky Until among the stars Wide open as the moon His eyes would gaze, No words I know can tell. Yet a great magnificence Moves across the ages, Where we are made to glimpse The way his love has gone. Did you give the horse might? Do you clothes his neck with strength? Do you make him leap like a locust? Hi majestic snorting is terrible. He paws in the valley, and exults in his strength; he goes out to the weapons. (Job 39: 19-21) Again, congratulations on writing such a fine book. John and Nancy McKenna
John McKenna <>
Pasadena, CA USA - Monday, June 25, 2001 at 12:00:53 (EDT)
LA, CA USA - Monday, June 25, 2001 at 11:02:42 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Thank you for writing such a terrific book. It was a great read. While I am not crazy about horses, I am discovered a new-found admiration about them due to your book. Talk about adversity! Am looking forward to the film...don't let anyone write the screenplay except you! Regards, Deborah Herfort Tiede
Deborah Herfort Tiede <>
Westport, CT USA - Monday, June 25, 2001 at 10:02:43 (EDT)
It's been a long time since I picked up a book and didn't put it down until I finished. It was wonderful. It also opened up a terrific conversation with my dad (a recent stroke victim) as he remembered about the War Admiral/Seabiscuit race. Thank you for this wonderful book. Sharon
Sharon <>
Grand Rapids, MI USA - Monday, June 25, 2001 at 09:07:32 (EDT)
Hi Laura! I just finished your book on Seabiscuit. It was the best horse book i have read ever or in a long time!!! I love how you put so much detail it to it and I felt that I actually knew the people in the story!!! I finished the book in a week and couldn't put it down either!! Well that's all just wanted to say that it was an awsome book and i would suggest it to any one that loved horses!!
Laurel Gardner <>
Alberta Canada - Sunday, June 24, 2001 at 21:54:09 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, over 40 years ago I devoured every book about horses in our tiny village library. From Marguerite Henry to Walter Farley, I read them all. My best friend and I could name all the Kentucky Derby winners and I could trace the lineage of all the great runners and harness horses. My father, Orlow Owen, was responsible for getting pari-mutuel betting legalized in Michigan and for many years was the general manager of Wolverine Harness Raceway which operated from the Detroit Race Course in Livonia, MI (sadly, now the site of a giant shopping center). I grew up around horses and all the odd and assorted characters associated with horse racing. I never thought as an adult I was ever again a read a true story about a horse that would move me and transport me like all the stories I read as a little girl. Thank you for your incredible history of a magnificent animal and the men who cared for him. Thank you for a memorable ride.
Maggie Owen Laster <>
Southfield, MI USA - Sunday, June 24, 2001 at 21:52:14 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Just received a copy of your wonderful book on Seabiscuit. It was a marvelous read. My wife, Catherine Bayley Hawkins, is the daughter of Albion Bayley who worked for George Conway, War Admiral's trainer during his triple crown and subsequent race with Seabiscuit. We noted with interest your reference to Dorothy Ours ... your source for info on Sam Riddle. We are working on a project involving the old Riddle Farm in Berlin, Md. and would love to be able to communicate with Ms. Ours. It would be appreciated if someone could let us know how to get in touch with her. Thank you for a fine book.
David Hawkins <>
Lakewood, NJ USA - Sunday, June 24, 2001 at 18:24:52 (EDT)
dear laura thoroughly enjoyed your incredible book about our incredible way of introduction, i am publisher of american turf monthly magazine, and president of the belmontchild care center, a not for profit organization that is building a center for workers on the backstrecth of belmont racetrack. every summer we have the fourstardave gala, fourstardave is our horse, which raises money for our charity. also, my husband is president of the nytha. i was wondering if you would consider donating some autograped copies of our event? it would be greatly appreciated. thank you for your consideration. yours truly, diane bomze, president, belamont child care assoc.
diane bomze <>
long beach, ny USA - Sunday, June 24, 2001 at 17:22:32 (EDT)
My name is David Tuttle. I am the father of Sarah Tuttle Horner,your friend from Kenyon. Sarah gave me your wonderful book on Father's day and I just finished it today. The story of Seabiscuit resonates with me because we both were born about the same time and because my parents were always interested in horse racing. Additionally, my grandfather raised Arabian horses in New Hampshire. By odd coincidence I ended my working career with Bessemer Trust, the Phipps family investment bank. In all the years that I worked for the Phippses I can never remember their having owned a winning horse remotely approaching the stature of Seabiscuit. Thank you for immortalizing a wonderful horse about whom very few of this generation know anything. Best luck in the future and can't wait to see your next book. Sincerely, David Tuttle
david tuttle <>
Old Saybrook, ct USA - Sunday, June 24, 2001 at 17:16:06 (EDT)
Hi Laura, just finished your book today. I received 'Seabiscuit' as a graduation gift from my friend Julie when I finished grad school in May. She enclosed a note relating the odds against the underdog Seabiscuit to how I must have felt completing my degree - there were many obstacles to overcome. 'Seabiscuit' shows that it is possible to overcome the odds with desire and persistance. One of the most enjoyable things about this story was being able to see inside a world (thanks to details!) that I knew next to nothing about - I enjoyed the trip! This is one of the more meaningful gifts I have received for another reason. The typewritten note that my friend enclosed in the book has a significance apart from the store- bought graduation cards received. Julie can't drive to the store to buy a card - she was blinded in a fall while exercising a racehorse about 20 years ago. She knows about overcoming the odds. She loved the story of Seabicuit and passed it on as a gift to me. Thanks Julie, Laura, and 'Biscuit! P.S. Julie still rides and teaches others, me included.
Kathie <>
Brewster, Wa USA - Sunday, June 24, 2001 at 14:41:57 (EDT)
Laura, Havwe been trying to figure out how to reach you to tell you that the cure for chronic fatigue re my specialist ( yrs ago is 500 mg magnesium. I use Nature Made 250's and take 2. 250 got me out of bed. 500mg got me to normal. This is in the literature now although it wasn't then. My daughter found out for me in college in her feeds and feeding course for animal science, that Mg is necessary for the ATPto ADP reaction in the Krebs Citric Acid cycle in the mitochondrion on the cell, which is where cell respiration takes place. When the ATP looses a phosphate it releases energy. This reaction cannot take place without mg, which many people do not get enough of in their diet. Check with your OBGYN when you do this because I ended up with calcium deposited all over my body which was probablyleached from my hips as I now have osteoporosis. However I had other things which may have helped this happen. Now they say to take calcium and mg in tandem or one will outdo the work of the other. This turned my life around. Hope it helps you. You will know almost immediately, at least I did. If it doesn't work in a few hours or days then I don't think it will. But I'm not a dr. I had immediate relief, within hours. Have yet to read your book, but friends say it was good. Carol Tighe
Carol Tighe <>
Annapolis, MD USA - Sunday, June 24, 2001 at 10:39:58 (EDT)
Laura Hillenbrand, what a great great book. My father was born in 1901 and died in 1994. He was as we use to say a true horse ball. He knew all the track you spoke of and I am sure he would have relived most of your story. He told us as kids most of these adventures. During the depression years he worked for a local "Bookie" and lived this at the lower level. I could not put the book down. Thanks for the adventure and a real rememberance of my father through Seabiscut. RJA
Ralph J. Argen, MD <>
Amherst, NY USA - Sunday, June 24, 2001 at 09:52:13 (EDT)
Laura, I felt compelled to voice my admiration of this work. You have created something of which you should be proud. In retrospect, you have created a body of work that will outlive us all. Thank you for sharing your gift with us and your marvelous work ethic. You atain such a level of detail yet never interupting the flow. Best of health...I Look foward to your next work, Dan
daniel graham <>
tampa , fla USA - Sunday, June 24, 2001 at 09:33:18 (EDT)
Laura, I'm also an author, published in the IT world by major publishers. I preface my remarks with this, because, girl, I LOVE your writing. I read Seabiscuit from cover to cover. Like many of your other readers, I didn't want to put it down. You are a REMARKABLE writer, not just a good one. Aside from your intimate knowledge of your subject, your style is one of the finest I have run across in the world of non-fiction, and, for that matter, literary fiction. You not only wrote a work of history, you wrote a work of art. Thank you for the experience.
Paul Greenberg <>
Manassas, VA United States - Sunday, June 24, 2001 at 08:18:37 (EDT)
Laura- I just finished reading your book. It is an absolutely amazing story - I loved every bit of it and I honestly hated to see it end. You have done a wonderful job of pulling your readers into the book. I became interested in horse racing after watching the Kentucky Derby last month. I am a true novice, but after reading your book, I think I may be hooked! Thank you for a tremendous work. Thank you to 'The Biscuit'.
Steve Imboden <>
Santa Rosa, Ca USA - Saturday, June 23, 2001 at 23:46:52 (EDT)
Hi Laura- I am 28 years old and never heard of Seabiscuit until I listened to your interview with Diane Rehms several weeks ago. I sat in my car an extra 25 minutes after reaching my destination in order to hear the end of the interview. I bought your book that same day but then put it aside until this past week. Once I finally started reading your book I didn't want to stop. I have a new five month old baby girl and am a stay at home mom. Every night this past week I stayed up late after my daughter and husband went to sleep and read. I have earned two bachelor degrees studying literature and as a result have read many books, but I honestly can't remember the last time I enjoyed a book this much. I love Seabiscuit! I can tell by all the responses that I am not the only one...
Mary Stempien < >
Livonia , MI USA - Saturday, June 23, 2001 at 22:35:39 (EDT)
DEAR Laura: I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I laughed and I cried.I was also happy to see that Seabiscuit spent some time here in South Carolina. Kudos to you and to my newest hero-Seabiscuit!
w r sims <>
kershaw, sc USA - Saturday, June 23, 2001 at 21:00:19 (EDT)
I am so pleased that this story is to, once again, made into a movie. Your comments regarding the previous film are well taken. However, the previous film did have one aspect that you book did not cover. What did you find in your research about the rumor that Kayak II was held back in the Big Cap so that Seabiscuit could win? Never believed it myself, but would be interested in your comments.
Terry Crow <>
Irvine, CA USA - Saturday, June 23, 2001 at 19:46:08 (EDT)
Dear laura Have read your "Seabiscuit" & loved every word, could'nt put it down. Your writing of the people, horses & events is beautifully done!! We rave about it to everyone, truly! were in love with that special "cow pony" our BELOVED SEABISCUIT! Thank You, with warm affection! Mrs.Ken Gustafson "Rosebug"
Mrs Ken(Rosemarie) Gustafson
Elmhurst, IL USA - Saturday, June 23, 2001 at 16:43:44 (EDT)
Thanks for your marvelous work "Seabiscuit"! It's a great comfort to know that miracles like the confluence of 5 such GIANTS of indominable detrmination & courage still occur & do not pass without notice, rejoicing & salutation. WONDERFUL!!
Kenneth A Gustafson
Elmhurst , IL USA - Saturday, June 23, 2001 at 16:20:31 (EDT)
Wow , What a wonderful story and so well written. I have always enjoyed Ms. Hillenbrand's articles in Equus and of course had heard of Seabiscuit but had no idea of the incredible story behind him. There is just something special about the thoroughbreds and Laura understands this . I hated to finish it but wanted to hurray and give it to my daughter and husband. Please accept my thanks again for a wonderful few hours and also my wishes for your good health
connie napier <>
Aubrey , Tx USA - Saturday, June 23, 2001 at 15:52:26 (EDT)
Laura - You know how to make a grown man cry. I just finished your wonderful work while watching hippos and crocs on the Shire River in Malawi and shed tears after reading of the Biscuit winning the Hundred Grander at age 7. I grew up in LA in the 50's, spending more than my share of time at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park (Johnny Longden was my idol) and viewed Seabiscuit's statue on many occasions, really not understanding the fascination - now I do. One observation - don't you find it staggering that Stagehand, at age 3, beat the Biscuit in the Big Cap in February - that sure wouldn't happen today, even with the 30 pound weight difference. One criticism - I wish that you had mentioned something about the odds in some of the races - I suspect you did not do so for a good reason. Again congratulations for a tour de force. Can't wait for the flick and your next opus.
Larry Hill, MD <>
Pretoria, South Africa - Saturday, June 23, 2001 at 14:25:15 (EDT)
Thanks a million for the inspiration!
gregor <>
USA - Saturday, June 23, 2001 at 12:13:49 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I saw an interview with you on the local PBS station. I knew I had to read your book. I went to my library to get on the waiting list only to find there were 57 others ahead of me. But I waited, and finally finished the book. I'm sorry it's over. I hate to have to take it back to the library. I plan on buying a copy of my own. I live close to Tanforan, which is now Tanforan Shopping Center. There is a statue of Seabiscuit in motion, with Red Pollard riding him. I have passed by this statue a million times, but yesterday I went and actually went up to it. There is a plaque telling about the owner and the jockeys. I stood there motionless for a few moments Also, I have driven through Willits, never realizing the significance of Ridgewood or that Sabiscuit is buried there under an Oak tree. I will never look at Tanforan the same again. I cried when I read of Seabiscuit's win at the Santa Anita Handicap. Thank you for writing such a truly wonderful book.
Verna McGann <>
San Bruno, Ca USA - Saturday, June 23, 2001 at 02:39:44 (EDT)
One of my daughters gave me "Seabiscuit: An American Legend" for Father's Day. She chose well. It's a wonderful book, but it left me a bit sad because, clearly, the general public is less interested in horse racing these days. Maybe this book will stir interest again.
George H. Gates <>
Buffalo, NY USA - Friday, June 22, 2001 at 22:52:09 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I lived not far from Tanforan and Bay Meadows and my parents were friends of the Howards. Naturally, I knew of Seabiscuit, who didn't? Quite obviously I wanted to read about Biscuit and the times etc. As I got into the story I realized I was reading the work of a very gifted author. The story of Seabiscuit and the surrounding characters was fasanating. Your telling of it was truly masterful. You could write about catsup flowing out of the bottle and make it interesting. Thank You !
Arthur Samuel <>
Palm Desert, CA USA - Friday, June 22, 2001 at 18:34:44 (EDT)
I just finished reading your wonderful book. I was most impressed with the way you let your reader know and feel just how close all three of the men involved in Seabiscuit's life were with him. As a horse owner and being involved with horses for over 35 years I can certainly relate. I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the book. I realised that I have two numbered edition etchings, one of Man O War and the other of Seabiscuit. They both were done by Pierre Nuyttens a Belgian artist. On the back of the etchings is a newspaper article of Seabiscuit and Red Pollard. After reading your book and now looking at Seabiscuit's portrait it feels good to know all about him. Thanks.
Linda C. Gardner <>
Rockport, mass USA - Friday, June 22, 2001 at 17:05:19 (EDT)
Madam, you have created a true CLASSIC! As a 72 yr old man I lived through the time you write about,and I have spent the large part of my life on the race track. Most books on the races are filled with inaccuracies, yours is not. I had the privelege of knowing many of the people you write about. Buster Millerick, Farrel Jones, Lin Howard, Neves, Longden, Mosbacher, Dorfman, Whittingham etc. Smith was in fact "typical" of the trainers in that era. Close mouthed, distrustful, secretive, they had to be in order to preserve the integrity of thier stables. A close friend of mine married George Woolf's widow , he passed away in 1991. I just wanted to let you know that those of us that know the "backside" appreciate your hard work, and admire the results. I read the book in one day!
Larry Sullivan <>
Hendersonville, NC USA - Friday, June 22, 2001 at 13:59:27 (EDT)
Your writing is magnificent. I have not read an author since Hemingway that can create for the reader a mental image like you can. I am enjoying your writing very much. I thought the "shit godzilla" was delightful.
Al Chidester <>
Denver, CO USA - Friday, June 22, 2001 at 13:28:58 (EDT)
Laura: Great book, captures the spirit of the times, and well-written, as one would expect from a Kenyon gal. The Kenyon literary tradition lives on! I look forward to more of your writings. Al Cuda, Class of 1970.
Al Cuda <>
Succasunna, NJ USA - Friday, June 22, 2001 at 13:23:52 (EDT)
I just finished reading "Seabiscuit" and now I'm bummed that I don't have it to look forward to at the end of each day! He was even in my dreams! It was a wonderful story. My Dad had raed it and told me he had just finished reading about Seabiscuit. I asked him if that was a racehorse which since I was born in 1961 I don't know how I had heard the name. Now I'm telling everyone about Seabiscuit and your wonderful book. Thank you so much!
Chester Springs, PA USA - Friday, June 22, 2001 at 13:02:43 (EDT)
A few years ago in San Francisco at a vintage photography shop, I happened to come upon the sepia photograph of Seabiscuit and War Admiral that is partialy displayed on this website; having no real knowledge of horses or thoroughbred racing, I found it interesting that I would be so facinated by this photograph, and especially the animal in the foreground. I bought the picture and, not being able to decide the appropriate location to display it in my home, I stored the photograph until a few months ago, when I hung Seabiscuit above my french doors. Three weeks ago, my girlfriends uncle came to our home and upon seeing the picture, stammered, "Is that Seabiscuit?" He quite fairly could not believe his eyes, just having finished your book and realizing at no time, had I exhibited any knowledge of horse racing. He sent me your book which I have just completed; thanks to you, I now understand why I had to have the photograph of that omnivorous, effulgent face.
Scott Cameron <>
Seattle, WA USA - Friday, June 22, 2001 at 12:50:53 (EDT)
In the past you were under the docturs care. Can you please tell me what was wrong, And how did you recover from it... Thank You.....
James R. Doty <>
Culver , IN. USA - Friday, June 22, 2001 at 10:40:49 (EDT)
I am half way through the book. I asked my mother, who was born in 1928, if she had heard of Seabiscuit. She knows nothing about horse racing and nothing about sports. There is no chance that she knows who Secretariat is, much less Seabiscuit. Yet I only said Seabiscuit's name, and she said he was a famous race horse who had some health problems. That was stunning. She could not have heard or read his name for nearly sixty years, and when she heard it she was about ten years old. Seabiscuit must have burned in quite a memory.
Michael R. Smith <>
Barnesville, MD USA - Thursday, June 21, 2001 at 22:32:06 (EDT)
The audio version often sent literal chills over my arms and legs.
Deniz Hardy <>
Bowie, MD USA - Thursday, June 21, 2001 at 21:41:07 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand: I have just finished your book "Seabiscuit" and must tell you it is the most wonderful book I have ever read. I laughed out loud and tears rolled down my face reading the triumphs and trials of this spectacular horse and the special people who brought out his greatness. I feel sorry for anyone who misses out reading this great book. Thank you. Sincerely, Lorraine Findlay
Lorraine Findlay
St. Charles, MO USA - Thursday, June 21, 2001 at 21:15:45 (EDT)
I enjoyed your book especially about Yummy. I was born and raised on the race track. My dad was assistant starter at the time. He worked six days a week at Santa Anita then drove to Agua Caliente for Sunday racing. My dad, mom, and I drove back to Chicago from California. One year Yummy rode with us. I remember having to stop for gas. Yummy had to go to the bathroom so bad that he rushed out of the back seat of the car kicking over a gallon jug of homemade wine, breaking it on the ground. My dad was mad as "hell". If you write another story about the race track, I have many stories.
Johnny Carra <>
Tinley Park, IL USA - Thursday, June 21, 2001 at 19:56:41 (EDT)
What a great read. The match race was page turner and I found my heart racing as if I had a grand on Seabiscuit. Thank you for a wonderful book!
Paul Magee <>
Aldan, Paul USA - Thursday, June 21, 2001 at 18:35:24 (EDT)
I have purchased your book as a gift for my father and would like to have you sign it if possible. Is there and address I can send it to you with return postage. Thanks, Steven Joseph
Steven Joseph <>
Chesterfield, MI USA - Thursday, June 21, 2001 at 14:48:31 (EDT)
Wow! I am reading Seabiscuit right now and it's all true! My math teacher asked me today if it was a novel or history, I told him it was both (well, it is!) Kudos, wonderful job, I'm enjoying it and I haven't spoken to one person who hasn't!
Caitlin D. <>
Farmington, CT USA - Thursday, June 21, 2001 at 14:18:10 (EDT)
We laughed, we cheered, we cried. What a great horse and insight into the whole of the horse racing venue. Thank you
Barb-Rita <>
Homosassa, Fl USA - Thursday, June 21, 2001 at 11:07:04 (EDT)
Thank you very much for such a fabulous book. I am a huge horse racing fan, and I used to work for the race track here in Iowa. The best part of my job was getting the chance to go to the barns and visit with the horses and the people who worked with them. In reading your book, I was so wanting to be a part of this all. To be with Seabiscuit, to watch Tom Smith, to have a sip of that wine with the Cougar, and to talk to Mr. and Mrs. Howard and try to get into words what it was like to own such a courageous and talented animal. Also, I wanted to be a part of that era. The book smells of the 30's. It's a feeling only great books can give you, when you think you are actually there. It certainly wasn't a great time in American history, but I wish I could go back and sense it and be a part of it. Thanks, again, very much for a great book and maybe our paths will cross in the future where I can talk to you about it in person. Sincerely, Chuck Reed
Chuck Reed <>
West Des Moines, IA USA - Thursday, June 21, 2001 at 10:58:07 (EDT)
Laura: Thank you so much for this wonderful story. I was born in 1939, so I do not know why Seabiscuit's name was so familiar to me, but it was and as soon as I heard about your book I knew I had to have it. I have just finished reading it and wish I could see the movie today. I also hope they don't ruin the story. Please write more books! I wish the news media carried horseracing news today like they used to.
Linda Kurtz <>
Ann Arbor, MI USA - Thursday, June 21, 2001 at 09:44:32 (EDT)
Just finished the book.Great job.You should do more such books.The sport could use more writers like you. And you should go on book signings and lectures,the story of writing the book sounds like an adventure unto itself. I just hope the movie folks hold true to the book,instead of "Steven Kinging" the movie version. I don't see how a great writer like King can have so many of his stories turned into crap on the silver screen. Like I said,please do what you can to keep faithful to your book. Good Luck!
shannon stephens <>
oklahoma city, ok USA - Wednesday, June 20, 2001 at 23:19:44 (EDT)
I'm an avid book reader and heard Larry King recommending your book on his program when he interviewed you. It's the best book I've read in several years ... just wish Spielberg had the film rights. (Gone With the Wind and The Godfather are the only films that I think did justice to the books ... but I'll be buying a ticket anyway.) Thank you for all your painstaking research and interviews that formed the basis of this book. You brought Seabiscuit to LIFE in your narrative. PS - I'd like to know a little more about that "Dan Patch" horse one of the other posters wrote about also. Will hope to see more of your work in the future.
J Bennett <>
Richmond, VA USA - Wednesday, June 20, 2001 at 22:53:12 (EDT)
Laura: I hadn't read any reviews, or seen any of your appearances on TV, just innocently walked into the small library in my small town in NC and check out the audiobook verson of SEABISCUIT. What a wonderful surprise, laughter and tears, I felt it all. Listening to it in my car during my work day, I found myself sitting in my parked car with the motor running when I should have been on an appointment! I've never owned a horse, but have been a devoted fan all my life, and got to visit Secretariat in his paddock in Lexington, KY before he died, and what a thrill! I would have loved to have seen Seabiscuit race, and my heart jumped when I heard that he was racing on February 9, 1940, the day I was born! A great book, outstandingly read for audio by Scott Campbell. You've enriched my life!
Linda Whicker <>
Mooresville, NC USA - Wednesday, June 20, 2001 at 22:50:54 (EDT)
Dear Laura Thank you for writing a terrific story,and thank you for all the hard work that you obviously did. It is a pleasure to have this book. Once again Thank You
Pt Pleasant , NJ USA - Wednesday, June 20, 2001 at 21:08:00 (EDT)
Laura: Even in my worst days as a "handicapper," I have never lost my love of Thoroughbred racing. Yet, until reading your book, I never fully understood my own feelings for the sport. Thank you for your considerable efforts. The passions of your book's characters has been exceeded only by your eloquence in telling their stories. I wish you the best of health in which to enjoy your well-deserved success.
Mark Schwartz <>
Deerfield, IL USA - Wednesday, June 20, 2001 at 18:14:58 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand - Thank you for rendering such an engrossing and magnificent book. Having read the comments from several of the other contributors to your "Guestbook," I endore enthusiastically the sentiments expressed. Motivated by the Sports Illustrated review, I bought Seabiscuit for my son, who lives in Lexington, KY. While visiting Lexington last week, I picked it off the coffee table for the return flight to Baton Rouge. Your description of the match race between Sea Biscuit and War Admiral was so realistic that I felt I was witnessing the event in real life. I was so worked up I confess that I jumped ahead a few pages to be certain the right horse won. Wow! Best of luck with the movie version. Hard to see how it could surpass your excellent contribution. Let's hope that Hollywood is equal to the challenge.
Bill Baird <>
Baton Rouge, LA USA - Wednesday, June 20, 2001 at 13:58:07 (EDT)
I read the book and it was great. I bought it thinking it would be about the horse. But all aspects of the book were very interesting. I learned alot about the way people lived during that era, the live of the jockies (I always wanted to be a jockey when I was a little girl and had a horse of my own), and the trainer and owner. I'm really anxious to see the movie and you can bet I will be in line as soon as it opens in my area. GREAT JOB! Do you plan on writing about any of the other great race horses. I can remember my Grandma telling me about a race horse named Dan Patch. Does the name ring a bell? Thanks again for the opportunity to read about these interesting people and animals. Betty Scheldt
Betty Scheldt <>
Carlinville, IL USA - Wednesday, June 20, 2001 at 12:44:03 (EDT)
SAINT LOUIS, MO USA - Wednesday, June 20, 2001 at 12:04:27 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Thank you for "Seabiscuit: An American Legend," a superb novel, exquisitely executed. I have also written feature articles about historical figures and I know how exciting it is to discover the details. What I really want to write to you about is that I am also a victim of chronic fatigue. After several viral illnesses I was diagnosed with C.F.S. in 1995 at the age of 29 with a 5-year-old child and a husband to tend to; every day was a physical and mental battle to get out of bed because of fever, flu-like symptoms, and unrelenting fatigue. Over the last four years the disease has subsided somewhat because of regular exercise, but my immune system has been compromised. I truly hope that you can overcome your affliction to the extent that I have, the success of which I attribute to a return to receiving the Lord's Supper every Sunday and regular worship. Drugs aren't enough, nor are the strange eastern methods of accupuncture and herbal therapy. You need to get right with God. May the Lord Jesus Christ heal your body, soul, and spirit.
Michelle <>
MI USA - Wednesday, June 20, 2001 at 11:19:27 (EDT)
Laura, I have only just begun reading your book. I have been captivated since page one. I work with 37 horses in a State facility in CT. My favorite boys are the ones off the track that have been graciously donated to our unit. I am very excited that someone has taken the time and energy to write about these wonderful animals. I look forward to finishing your book. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for bringing to light that there were and are still people in the world like C. Howard and T. Smith. That even a crooked legged cow horse can succeed in a race world dominated by elite athletes. Thank you, Gret
Gretchen von Schneden <>
Granby, CT USA - Wednesday, June 20, 2001 at 10:09:32 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I loved your book. I have been owned horses all my life. Recently I purchased a four year old gelding. After I received his pedigree from the Jockey club. unbeknowst to me, he is out of War Admiral through Hoist the Flag, War admiral's son. In addition, he is the grandson of Alydar and great grandson of Secretariat. Knowing he is out of Man o'War and War Admiral made reading the book even more exciting. I felt as if I were reading about his heritage - in fact, I was. But more importantly I am proud to have a link to Seabiscuit. What an extrordinary horse. I hope you continue to profile horses in the future.
Laura Frantzen <>
Chatsworth, ca USA - Wednesday, June 20, 2001 at 00:35:22 (EDT)
Dear Ms.Hillenbrand, I have just finished your book and it was AMAZING!!! I know nothing about horses but I know alot more now! Your ability to place the reader in the time period of the Depression and more specifically, in the setting of jockeys and horseracing was fascinating! I felt awe and respect for the tough, hardscrabble men and women who you brought to life for your readers. I have a new found respect for what they endured. You have truly done a great service to these otherwise unknown, larger than life heroes. The horse had a great heart too! I will be looking for the movie but once again, it could never be as good as a well written book! Thanks so much for a quality book that you deserve praise for! Sincerely, Kristin Gillard
kristin gillard <>
redlands, ca USA - Wednesday, June 20, 2001 at 00:28:41 (EDT)
Dear Laura, What a beautifully written story! I thoroughly enjoyed your book on Seabiscuit including the stories about the people involved and the background information on the lives of jockeys and racing, in general. I have been horse crazy almost my entire life. Last May, I purchased an eight year old Thoroughbred gelding, who I affectionately call "Artie". I am riding him as a hunter. From his lip tattoo, I was able to find out from the Jockey Club in Kentucky his family background. I was able to reach his breeder in Minnesota and we had some very interesting conversations regarding Artie's family. I enjoyed reading about Seabiscuit's family and found it intriguing that he and War Admiral were related! Your book brings back memories of my childhood growing up on the San Francisco Peninsula. (I have been in the Midwest for nine years) We used to attend races at Bay Meadows. I am saddened to learn that Bay Meadows will probably be torn down for real estate developments in the next year or so. Tanforan in San Bruno was converted into a shopping mall, and I don't know when that was done. I have some questions for you. Did Marcela and Charles have any children of their own? Did they really live in Burlingame, or was it Hillsborough? Where did Seabiscuit stay when he was racing at Bay Meadows and Tanforan? Always at the track when he wasn't relaxing at Ridgewood? Thank you for a great book that detailed alot of history as well as told a moving story of a great horse with a big heart! I'd love to be an "extra" in the Seabiscuit movie!
Suzanne B. <>
New Berlin, WI USA - Tuesday, June 19, 2001 at 23:54:17 (EDT)
Laura, Your talent for writing and relentless searching out every miligram of facts is what will makes this story immortal. Seabiscuit will be a ledgend forever. As I read the book I was struck by how much painstaking effort you devoted to writing this story and bringing it to life. As I progressed in the book each chapter brought the story to more and more of a crescendo and needless to say I devoted the better part of 3 days to devour this book including the epilogue. I held my breath when the race track was too soft and muddy..I felt I was there with the throngs of people holding my breath, cheering, short..this book was THE BEST..thank you for it. I've also fought Chronic Fatigue..I'm winning the battle and so can you.
Suzanne Heiligman <>
Cazenovia, NY USA - Tuesday, June 19, 2001 at 22:10:26 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I loved the book and couldn't put it down. Even though I knew the outcome of the two main races my heart pounded as I read it. Your writing is superb. The ending was very moving. YOu brought the thirties to life for me Sincerely, Elzabeth von Dreele
Elizabeth von Dreele <>
USA - Tuesday, June 19, 2001 at 21:44:57 (EDT)
Laura, A wonderful book. The amazing research is only topped by the brilliant writing. I used to edit "The Oregon Horse" magazine for the Oregon Thoroughbred Breeders Association and I have a few clips from the magazine (one is about Mioland, a stablemate of Seabiscuit, another is about a jockey,Denny Jones, later turned Oregon state legislator, who rode the West Coast circuit in the 1920s) I'd like to send you, as well as a copy of a book I wrote a few years ago about a season following the women's professional golf tour called "Tee Times." Is there an address I can mail to?
Jim Burnett <>
USA - Tuesday, June 19, 2001 at 19:37:19 (EDT)
I just completed your book. What a writer!! This book was the most reading fun I have had in years and I read a lot. I wanted to reach out and touch Seabiscuit and kept telling myself that he was 'just' a horse. What heart! Your writing of this book is amazing. You have such talent! I got the book at the library, but plan to buy it right away. My 79 year old father will love to read this. I would love to have you autograph it and will gladly mail a copy to you with return postage included. I have about 30 autographed books and would love to add you to my collection. Pleas let me know it this request is possible.
Patsy Robinson <>
Lilburn, GA USA - Tuesday, June 19, 2001 at 18:22:10 (EDT)
I am sorry that I have not the chance YET to read your book. I just wanted to add that like you I have been fighting the CFS, fibromyalgia, and vulvodynia (I am 30). I saw your story on television and just wanted to let you know that I am praying for you. Just wanted to see if you were tested for hypothyroidism. I have been tested for the last 5 years and it has been negative, until I found Dr Kenneth Blanchard (Newton Wellesley Hospital, Mass) and he diagnosed me. It does not have to show on lab tests. He is helping me get back the years I have lost and work on having a child. He believes that fibromyalgia is actually a misdiagnosed thyroid. He guarantees the fatigue will disappear with the medicine. Other ideas that may help: having mercury fillings removed and being tested for an atypical yeast infection (candida albicans or T. Glabata, etc.). Please read the book The Yeast Connection and the Woman. The fatigue it can cause is completely debilitating. I promise to read the book soon. I wish you a full recovery and healthful future. best wishes, Laurel
Laurel West <>
Ma USA - Tuesday, June 19, 2001 at 17:51:55 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hellenbrand, I just wanted to applaud you for your book on Seabiscuit. I was a remarkable book, I could just not put it down. It really opened my eyes and taught me a lot, for that I thank you. After seeing a short segment of you on the NBC evening news I had to go out and buy the book. Also on the segment, it a talked about you having been stricken with Chronic Fatique Syndrome. I can understand the pain each day of dealing with it, I was diagnosed with approx 13 yrs ago. But I was able to overcome it, I would say it was miracle. But I kept positive through out the difficult times. I just wanted to wish you the best and godspeed for a complete recovery. Kind regards.
Guil <>
OR USA - Tuesday, June 19, 2001 at 16:57:12 (EDT)
I just finished your book. Wow! Thanks for a fine book.
Steven A.Ruggiero <>
W. Melbourne, FLl USA - Tuesday, June 19, 2001 at 16:41:23 (EDT)
A wonderful tale, masterfully told. As a member of the horseman community I wish to express my thanks to you for showing the inspiration that our sport is capable of producing. I have countless stories of equine heroism, that will bring a lump to the hardest soul's throat. Tales of the obscurly bred quarter horse SLM Big Daddy who went from cheap plater to world champion, and in doing so caused the discovery and rescue of his starving sire, and a band of broodmares. Or of the 11 year old Racin Deal who last night (6/17/01) won a stakes race at Retama Park, to score his 21st lifetime win, this after suffering a terrible injury to a wire fence. The honesty, and heart of a good race horse can and should inspire us all to try to do better every day. Final note to the gentleman who questioned the statement as to the speed of quarter horses, Retama Park is a notoriously slow racetrack. The world record for 1/4 mile, from a closed gate, and a standing start is 20.94 seconds, the timer starts as the gate opens so the average speed of the race is not the top speed due to the time that is required to reach top speed. When Evening Snow set that world mark, it was reported that at some point during the race he reached 60 mph.
Trey Hanover <>
Bryan, TX USA - Monday, June 18, 2001 at 23:58:08 (EDT)
This is by far the best book I have ever read. I knew the outcome of the match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral, yet read it with my heart pounding and bearly able to stay in my chair! You covered all the bases with grace and depth that brought me from laughter to awe to tears and back again. Your writing brought to the public what we horsemen already know...there is nothing as wonderful as a horse's ability to play with both humans and eachother; competetiveness unmatched; and above all heart...that just won't quit! Thanks again. I'll read this book again and again and enjoy it each time!
Stefanie Falzone <>
Cambridge, MA USA - Monday, June 18, 2001 at 21:58:17 (EDT)
An AWESOME book, a very great read. I have taken the book on vacation with me as well as to work....have gotten through about 60% so far. A question about the cover picture on the dustjacket. Where is Seabiscuit's head ???? Can't the picture be re-sized or else continue the Biscuit's image around the fold??? He deserves to be on the cover of his book ! A reminder to all admirers of Seabiscuit is that a wonderful statue of him stands outside the Racing Museum in Saratoga gazing across to the racetrack.
Jim Conroy <>
Saratoga Springs, NY USA - Monday, June 18, 2001 at 21:27:00 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I just started reading your book and I'm getting ready for a good cry! I've been "horsie" all my life and it all began with Black Beauty, the first book I ever read "all by myself". I can assure the person who questioned the speed of the racing Quarter Horse (by my own experience) that if you are about 14 years old, riding such a creature bareback and forget to grab the mane, the difference between accelerating to 45+or-mph as opposed to 50+or-mph is really're going to the emergency ward either way! I grew up in Binghamton, NY, home of the Kilmers and the Swamp Root Cure, and have always wanted to research and possibly rewrite the story of Kilmer's famous horse Exterminator but since I'm a songwriter,it will probably have to be under 3 minutes and have a catchy chorus, so maybe I should leave it to someone like you. There is a book about Exterminator that I read as a child, which I loved, but I'm sure there is more to tell. Enjoying your book, Joey Errigo P.S. My favorite hardknockin' racehorse of all times, or at least the 60's, was the heart stopping, obscurely bred, come from behind,(sometimes in time)common looking little horse Carry Back who dueled Kelso in Handicap races for Horse of the Year honors way back when........and I have the scrapbooks to prove it.
Joey Errigo <>
Register, Ga USA - Monday, June 18, 2001 at 18:54:51 (EDT)
I LOVED your book about Seabiscuit, I couldn't put it down! Are you thinking about writing any more books?
USA - Monday, June 18, 2001 at 16:30:28 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I have just finished reading your wonderful Seabiscuit, An America Legend. I am not a great horse racing fan, but a lover of horses. I was born in the depression era, so didn't really know that much about Seabiscuit until I got a little older, but that name has always been on my heart. I knew he was great but did not know his story. Thanks you for his story, and the life of the owner, trainer, and jockey's. His heart must have been huge. I cried, and was very touched by your book. I am an avid reader, and I can't tell you when a book touched me like yours did. Thank you, thank you,
Gay Allen <>
Stockton, ca. USA - Monday, June 18, 2001 at 13:43:40 (EDT)
Shedding tears over the story of a racehorse? Preposterous, I thought...that is until I read Seabiscuit's story. Curious about why a book about horse racing could make the top of the New York Times bestseller list I began the book and could not put it down. It is a must read...and I can already picture Paul Newman as the laconic, mystical Tom Smith! Thank you, Ms. Hildenbrand!
mary millar <>
tucson, az USA - Monday, June 18, 2001 at 12:46:25 (EDT)
Great book and so exitingly written - could hardly put it down. I knew horse racing was dangerous, but your descriptions of the life of a jockey was unbelievable. Thanks so much for writing this book.
Ed Stockbridge <>
acton , ma USA - Monday, June 18, 2001 at 09:39:32 (EDT)
I have been reading your book. The heart and courage of this great horse has leapt from these pages and has touched my life.
Rose S. Fitzsimmons <>
Santa Rosa, CA United States - Monday, June 18, 2001 at 03:17:28 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I am hoping you can help. For many years I have had orginal photos of Seabiscuit and other horses from the CS Howard ranch in California in my possession. I would like to return them to the family. Is there any way you can help me? Sincerely, Maureen Clendenen
Maureen Clendenen <>
Reno, NV USA - Sunday, June 17, 2001 at 23:50:03 (EDT)
Laura, Upon reading in Us Weekly about your chronic fatigue syndrome, I'm in even more awe of your indefatigable work in researching "Seabiscuit." What detail. Not to mention drama. Thanks to you, I'm a racing fan again. Hollywood Park, here I come.
Charles David
USA - Sunday, June 17, 2001 at 22:44:34 (EDT)
Words, mine anyway, will be wholly inadequate in trying to tell you how wonderful your book, I'll simply say thank you.
Kris Johnson <>
Charlotte, NC USA - Sunday, June 17, 2001 at 22:30:27 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand: I have not read a book in it's entirity since I can't remember when. But I bought your book on the wonderful "Seabiscuit" and I could not believe that I just could not put it down. I read the book in less than 1 week. I can't remember when I did thatlast. The book was so moving and I was caught up in the excitment of each page. I really can't wait to see the movie. Keep up the good writing! Thank you for "Seabiscuit".
Mary Lou
USA - Sunday, June 17, 2001 at 21:51:59 (EDT)
I was wondering if anyone knew where I could find information on a horse named Silky Sullivan. Are there any books, movies, websites, or other media on this horse? Any feedback would be appreciated. Thank you.
Paul <>
Westport, CT USA - Sunday, June 17, 2001 at 21:32:29 (EDT)
Dear Laura Hillenbrand, My wife recently bought your book for me. As a child in England I have vague memories of watching the movie in the sixties, and I was intrigued to find out the real story of this plucky little fellow, as I had a feeling that this was one of these cases where the truth was much more compelling than fiction.Your treatment is superbly researched and beautifully woven together, and set in proportion against the backdrop of the troubled times of 1930s America. I have lived in Canada for five years and am something of a racing literature buff. Your book rates amongst the very best in its sphere that I have ever read, along with "Arkle" by Ivor Herbert and "Calling the Horses" by Peter O'Sullevan. Congratulations Andrew Taylor
Andrew Taylor <>
Wasaga Beach, ON Canada - Sunday, June 17, 2001 at 21:22:57 (EDT)
Thank you for the laughter, joy, and yes, even the tears. It was wonderful, and beautifully written, compelling all the way through. Would you consider doing a book on Black Gold next? Another of my sentimental favorites from my childhood. I think more people need to know about him and his heroic life and equally heroic death. Thanks again.
Kim <>
Colorado Springs, CO USA - Sunday, June 17, 2001 at 18:28:42 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I loved reading your book. I kept my 75 year old father up todate on the details as I read. He reminded me that in Mickey Rooney's book Life is too Short, Mr. Rooney talks about giving Seabiscuit a short workout at Hollywood Park.
TIna Byrd
USA - Sunday, June 17, 2001 at 16:42:02 (EDT)
Thanks for such a great description of an era, the horse and his humans. Your recounting of the races was breathtaking-the best written 1:36 ever. It is curious that Sea biscuit died at a relatively young age and so little was said about the cause. I'm sure his fans grieved as did Secreatariat's. Horses are wonderful companions and it's good to read that a money driven sport has room in it for loyalty, love and respect among Sea Biscuit's handlers and for a great horse. I hope the movie avoids the hollywood traps and maudlin melodrama.
PegTaylor <>
Parkers lake, KY USA - Sunday, June 17, 2001 at 15:48:03 (EDT)
I recently attended the Belmont Stakes and looked at old photos of horses and people you wrote about in your fabulous book "Seabiscuit". You captured the essence of the era and transported me back to a time when horse races must have lifted the spirits of people dealing with the Depression. Thank you for the wonderful book and when I visit Saratoga this August I'll be certain to seek out memorabilia about Seabiscuit.
east islip, ny USA - Sunday, June 17, 2001 at 15:34:24 (EDT)
I've been an avid reader all my life and always have a book that I'm reading. But, it isn't often that I finish one within a week, or come home from work, and skip dinner so I can read, or that my husband teases me that we haven't spent much time together since I've started a book. Thank you, thank you for a wonderful book. I may just start reading it again tomorrow.
Pi Polletta <>
Tucson, AZ USA - Sunday, June 17, 2001 at 12:56:02 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand - WOW! Terrific book. I feel as though I know Smith, Howard, Pollard, Woolf and of course, Seabiscuit. Thanks to you, I was able to relive those great races and times. You are an incredible writer.
Bruce Harris <>
Scotch Plains, NJ USA - Sunday, June 17, 2001 at 12:24:36 (EDT)
Laura, I just finsihed reading Seabiscuit and wanted you to know haw musch I enjoyed it. Your attention to detail and research came togeather with your talents as a fine writer to make and excellent story. Thanks Mike
Mike J. Liles <>
Murfreesboro, TN USA - Sunday, June 17, 2001 at 10:50:05 (EDT)
It was the best book I ever read, and it gave me a better appreciation of thoroughbred racing. Around 1939 my Dad who is 80 years old was bitten by Seabiscuit in Northern Calif. and has bragged about it ever since. Needless to say, my Dad loved horses and especially thoroughbreds
Sherry Docken <>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Sunday, June 17, 2001 at 00:21:08 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand- I have just taught Pony Club camp for 6 hours, mucked my barn and fed and turned out. I couldn't wait to finish your book and cried most of the way through...tears of joy and sadness! What a fabulous group of individuals and of course, Seabiscuit, with a heart the size of the moon! My 5 year old daughter rides in her 2nd horse show tomorrow, so I'll be up at 6am to feed, bathe and braid; I'll be thinking of Tom Smith when I walk into that barn! Thanks for a superbly-written, spellbinder! I was sorry when it ended!
carolyn Jackson <>
Charles Town, WV USA - Saturday, June 16, 2001 at 23:03:08 (EDT)
Ms Hillenbrand, Yours is the best book i have ever read! I developed a passion for Horseracing in the 1970's at the early age of 5. I felt i was well educated on the sport, until i read your book. Thank you for all the fascinating details of the sport, that wonderful horse, and people involved. Your book moved me to tears! My passion for this sport is now so much stronger than it has ever been. Telling this story is exactly what the sport needs to return it to what it once was, full of class, grace, excitement, and, most of all, HEART. I would like more information on the movie development. I would like to audition for a part in the movie. I HAVE to have a part in this movie! Could you please forward any info you may have on who to contact for auditions. Thank you. Im am your new biggest fan!
Suzanne Flores <>
L.A., CA USA - Saturday, June 16, 2001 at 23:02:52 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, Today is the Belmont Stakes. I'll be looking for the 'biscuit out there on the backstretch and cheering him on to the wire...
Larry H. Dickason <>
Livermore, CA USA - Saturday, June 16, 2001 at 14:33:18 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Seabiscuit lives on in your beautifully written book. His particular personality and charms are so well captured as are the main characters of his story. I didn't want it to end but the race was won. Thank you for giving another generation a chance to know and love this extraordinary horse. I hope he finally got all the carrots he wanted in his retirement.
Daniel Irvine <>
Mesa, AZ USA - Saturday, June 16, 2001 at 14:06:20 (EDT)
I haven't read your book yet but am looking forward to reading it. It's great that a book on a racehorse made #l on the N.Y. best seller list. It's good for racing. I'd love to see the movie when it comes out. Anne
Elsanne Cramer <>
Philadelphia, Pa. USA - Saturday, June 16, 2001 at 03:39:43 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I like some others who have written was also introduced to Seabiscuit through Ralph Moody's wonderful tale when my Dad gave me the book as a nine year old, I've since read it 11 times. I was coincidentially reading that same book to my children 7 and 9 and mentioned it to a friend who asked me if I knew about your book. Please understand that at first I was a little skeptical being such a fan of Moody's tale, but I am so glad I read your book, and am so proud the story fell into the hands and heart of someone such as yourself who could pen not only the facts, but the emotion connected with such a great champion. Although I was in the middle of reading Moody's version to my kids, I went ahead and read yours at the same time and was able to share stuff with my kids as I read the other book to them that made the experience so much more wonderful. Needless to say, my kids are perstering me daily now to take them to a horse race. Thank you for sharing not only your love of the great Seabiscuit but also your love of horse racing with those of us who are not regular fans,(although I think you could make me into one) and thank you for giving me a book that I can hand down to my kids, as my Dad did me with Moody's book. Good luck in the future and I hope you write another book soon. Steve Newsom
Steve Newsom <>
Levelland, TX USA - Saturday, June 16, 2001 at 00:10:53 (EDT)
Congratulations on this fabulous book. When I was 8 i read Come On Seabiscuit by Ralph Moody(while I was reading every other horse book I could put my hands on) and had the opportunity to read it again this past May when it was sent to me by mistake after I tried to order your book through interlibrary loan. While it was fun to revisit Ralph Moody's story, I thank you for putting together a first rate history of Seabiscuit. I did truly feel I was riding those races-you have a remarkable power of description. I plan to reread the book as I just did not want the story to end, however, I don't intend to wait 35 years for that reread>
Carol Nordstrom
Chicago, IL USA - Friday, June 15, 2001 at 21:19:18 (EDT)
I'm interested in getting Laura on my radio show on Sports Radio 950 KJR in Seattle. We're on live Saturday and Sunday from 8-9 am Pacific. Please e-mail or call at (253)288-7721. Thank you.
Joe Withee <>
auburn, WA USA - Friday, June 15, 2001 at 20:24:07 (EDT)
Congradulations on the success of your wonderful book! Being a horsewoman, myself, I found it extremely informative, a heartwarming tale for all of us who occasionally feel like "longshots". Can't wait for the movie.
Ann <>
Sacramento, CA USA - Friday, June 15, 2001 at 19:55:54 (EDT)
Thank you for a wonderful rags to riches story for the little guys. All of the hard working and unappreciated people and horses that make up a great sport. A delightful read and its all true, thats what makes it even better. Thanks for the great book
Cynthia Terrill
USA - Friday, June 15, 2001 at 19:05:45 (EDT)
Laura, I can't find the words to describe your accomplishment! Your ability to not only capture this piece of history, but, more importantly, your ability to capture the emotions of that history are phenomenal. Thank you for enriching my life's experiences by sharing this story, and for preserving it for future generations! Your comment about the lone fan cheering for the Biscuit, well after the hundred-grander, epitomized everything that is so very right about this great sport! In some small way, to honor that fan, i have named a 2 yo. gelding "Lone Fan." "Hoo-ray for Seabiscuit", and "Hoo-ray for Laura." fff+++ +
dave siuta <>
knoxville, md USA - Friday, June 15, 2001 at 18:55:52 (EDT)
FILM CLIP OF SEABISCUIT AND WAR ADMIRAL!!! Can be viewed at: Scroll down the page... don
don <>
Canada (eh!) - Friday, June 15, 2001 at 16:13:15 (EDT)
Am I the first person from Britain to add my congratulations to you for a superb book. I laughed out loud at the antics of Seabiscuit when the goat Whiskers was introduced to his stable and dumped over the door. Unhappily I am nearly at the end of reading the book and it is a mark of a good book when you hate the thought of finishing it. People in the U.K. are now beginning to talk about it and I know it will have the same success over here as in America. Margaret Johnson Blackburn Lancashire Great Britain
margaret johnson <>
blackburn, lancashire U.K - Friday, June 15, 2001 at 15:47:06 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I can add little that is original to the extravagant and well-deserved praise already set down, except to say that your acknowledgements are among the most entertaining and touching parts of the book. Extraordinary! Best wishes for a long and exciting career. You are a gifted writer, and we are very grateful for your immense achievement.
Debra Roush
University Park, MD USA - Friday, June 15, 2001 at 12:52:50 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I did not know the outcome of the great match race until I read your book, but I don't think it would have mattered. Pages 267-274 are the most exciting I have read in literature, fiction or non-fiction. "Seabuscuit: An American Legend" is simply wonderful. Thank you.
dan ashley <>
New York, NY USA - Friday, June 15, 2001 at 09:28:26 (EDT)
Congratulations,Laura Hillenbrand, for writing one of the best works of nonfiction I have ever read. I went to my first horse race as a child at Saratoga and I have always loved the horses and the pageantry. But not until I read your book, did I fully understand the ins and outs of the sport. Your skill as a writer is amazing. You brought the main characters to life and Seabiscuit, himself, becomes a real "personality." Each and every horserace you describe is exciting and different. I give you credit for being able to write the same kind of scene several times and each time the result is fresh and breathtaking. I wish you much success and happiness. As a fellow writer, I am awestruck. I can't wait to see the film! Please keep writing! Suzanne Delman
Suzanne Delman <>
Lake George, NY USA - Friday, June 15, 2001 at 09:16:55 (EDT)
Ihave just read your interview on beliefnet,& would just like to say I have a friend who suffers from C.F.S. but he can't seem to cope the same as you.So all the best for the future &I hope you recover.
Reginald L. Buick <>
Adelaide, Australia - Friday, June 15, 2001 at 06:35:10 (EDT)
Just finished the book last night. I have been a Man O'War fan since I was a little girl, and only knew of the name Seabiscuit. I never thought a horse could be as wonderful as "Big Red" but you convinced me otherwise. I work in the racing industry (harness racing), and I see what hardships these people go through. To read about Smith and Pollard, in particular, I could imagine them before, and after Seabiscuit. I look forward to the movie. Thank you for such a touching and personal story of these legends.
Stacey Blanton <>
Salyersville, Ky USA - Thursday, June 14, 2001 at 23:46:34 (EDT)
Jim Henson once said in a wondering way, "Imagine making millions of people happy." Well, Laura, that is what your book is going to do, and that is what Sea Biscuit, Charles Howard, Tom Smith, and Red Pollard did. Your writing has given me happiness, like the many people whose comments are on your website.
James Berry <>
Bethesda, MD USA - Thursday, June 14, 2001 at 22:22:22 (EDT)
A beautifully written account of a wonderful horse. One of the finest books i've read in years. I literally couldn't put it down for more than a few minutes. Laura, you are to be congratulated. where can one obtain video of Seabiscuit"s races, please advise. Again..thank you
stephen a. kandell <>
miami, fl USA - Thursday, June 14, 2001 at 21:54:36 (EDT)
To say that "Seabiscuit: An American Legend" is about horses is to say that Poe's "The Raven" is about a bird. Both were far, far more. Seabiscuit is a tale of four men, a slice of history, and a wonderful animal who epitomized an era of wistful hoping for better days by millions of people who saw in the runty little horse hope of a sunnier future. I remember Seabiscuit; in truth, I hadn't known he had lost his first sixteen races before he went on to Horse of the Year honors. It was an era of great sports heroes: DiMaggio and Gehrig, underdog Notre Dame teams finding so many faithful fans in the subway alumni. It was also the time of evil men planning the destruction of freedom. Thank God the good guys won. Laura, you brought it all together in a lovely, sad, mystical and joyful way. If there is a reader out there who didn't well up upon learning of Red Pollard's dying in a nursing home built on the site of the former Narragansett Race Track, scene of so many his earlier triumphs, I would suggest perhaps that person just doesnt get it. Yours is a talent, Laura, few possess. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.
Jock Reese <>
Holiday, Fl USA - Thursday, June 14, 2001 at 20:28:32 (EDT)
Laurs What a wonderful book and a great boost for the sport of racing. I attended my first race at Hot Springs Oaklawn Park in 1967 and have loved the sport ever since. I always named my stick horse Seabiscuit as a child. Nothing can equal the excitement of a good horserace, and the jockeys are pound for pound probably the best athletes in the world. Your book was totally engrossing. I read it the first time quickly because I couldn't put it down, and am on the second reading savoring each page. Hope your health improves. You have a truly God given talent. Thank you for a wonderful reading experience. Mary Williams
mary williams <>
nash, ts USA - Thursday, June 14, 2001 at 18:16:44 (EDT)
I concur with everyone else who's read this masterpiece, a wonderful, wonderful book, brilliant writing, genuine care about the subject, just a gift to enjoy! Laura, The Maryland monthly horse magazine, The Equiery, would like to do an interview with you, focusing on the book and the movie to come. Please email me so we can work out the logistics. Thanks very much and I hope to hear from you soon.
Kathy Blumenstock <>
Washington, DC USA - Thursday, June 14, 2001 at 18:16:26 (EDT)
I'm not a horse lover nor a race lover but I just finished Seabiscuit and it was one of the best, most moving stories I have ever read. Thanks Loads.
Dick Kelly <>
Hot Springs Village, AR USA - Thursday, June 14, 2001 at 18:01:49 (EDT)
Laura, I have not enjoyed reading a book in recent history as much as I did reading SEABISCUIT. You are truly an excellent author and obviously conducted an immense research. I am an unpublished author of fiction mystery, but nothing I have written compares to your story. I am also an avid fan of racehorses and while reading your book, everytime Hialeah Racetrack was brought up, I was anticipating a race by Seabiscuit there, but none developed. Hialeah is special to me because I used to live there and was at the track almost daily. I am loaning the book to my daughter who loves horses and I know she will thoroughly enjoy reading it as much as I have. I said loan it to her because I plan on reading it again. I found the story exciting, with some humor and at the end I cried. I guess I wanted everything to come out happy in the end, but being realistic, I know that's seldom the case. SEABISCUIT should live in our hearts forever. I look forward to the movie, but please don't let them make it like the one with Shirley Temple. This great American horse deserves better. The movie should depict his life and those around him just as you did in the book. My congratulations on a great book. Dave Corey
David J. Corey <>
TEMPE, AZ USA - Thursday, June 14, 2001 at 16:33:15 (EDT)
Enjoyed your book immensely. I read the Dimaggio book before I read this. Both were great books. The difference between the Clipper and Seabiscuit: Joe had personaliity flaws. I am a big horse race fan and go to the track about 50 times a year. Maybe it's the book, but I hear a lot of people saying bug boy lately.
John Herring
Hoboken, NJ USA - Thursday, June 14, 2001 at 09:43:07 (EDT)
Great story!!, Ive never been much of a horse person, but I came across the interview of you on belief net and I have a friend that has a passion for horses if ever there was a horse whisper she is it. And she had just talked about Seabiscut the other day and had told us that he and his owners over came alot. I thought it odd I found this so I sent her this web site.and I also plan to purchase the book for her,I know it will be an insperation to her. Like you and Seabiscut and his handlers she is overcoming alot of difficult things now. She owned an amazing stallion that was posioned last year,and put her into severe depression. (The PreacherMan, affectionally known to her as "Her Man", he look like the horse that was used in the movie Pippy Longstocking, spots all over him.) She had him for thirteen years, and she and that horse were inseperable. We used to joke that she belonged to him not him belonging to her. They overcame alot themselves in those thirteen years he took her through her pregnacy when her boyfriend left her,helped her deal with an alcholic father, and two more broken abusive realtionships. And she took alot of ridicule by men who had a problem with women who rode stallions, but she rode him everywhere, you would think that they would cut her some slack, but she never let that get to her, she said Mans behavior and temperment, always made the biggest statement so she never argued with them she didnt need too, Man always made them look as ignorant as they were. But they could be cruel sometimes. If it hadnt of been for two of this stallions colts and her boyfriend I am afraid to say where she would be at now. Its been slow, and she is still not herself. Im not sure if she ever will be, If it wasnt for those colts, she would never leave her house. The first two weeks she didnt. She still crys alot,and isolates her self too. It was cruel and evil the way he was taken from her(from everybody). But she really has no idea how strong she is, We know shes hurting so badly, at first she wanted to quit horses all together but her boyfriend asked her to give it thirty days, and reminded her that Man wouldnt live on if she didnt help him too. So now she keeps Man going by the struggle of trying to keep his colts going,and its really strange the way they are. So much in attitude and temperment of their father. We know its hard for her, she had a true love with that horse. Its strange too how the oldest colt has helped her deal with Mans death, much in the way Man helped her deal with becoming a single parent and the other hardships shes dealt with. And the last colts birth was really strange. He was born on the month anniverary of his fathers death, around the same estimated time Man died and only a few feet away from Mans grave and he looks just like Man. And he has a spot on his back that is the shape of a heart with a chunk missing out of it. She says thats her heart and the chunk is where Man was at. We all in our hearts believe that colt is Mans gift to her, saying hes still with her, and doesnt want her to give up. We know that he wouldnt leave her even in death, he was so attached to her. Several of us here where we live tell her she needs to write about him, just being around him you got the idea that Disney should have a movie about him, what an amazing horse, there are so many outstanding and comical things that he did, that completely changed attitudes about stallions. It would take a book to tell about them. And he passed his gentle nature and loving soul to his babies. He wasnt a blue ribbion show horse, cutting or reining champion, or a top racing throughbred, but he could of been, she just refered him to her little Bama Bumpkin Backyard Stud. But God to know him was to love him. You couldnt help it. You just fell in love. But she was the only one lucky enough to be blessed with his love in return. If he had been a nationally known stallion I promise you, it would of been headlines of his passing. but He was just a locally loved stud, that achieved great things out of the lime light and touched so many in his short thirteen years. I am so sorry I didnt mean to go into all of that,I guess after reading your article,I realized how Im grieving his passing also, and it just seemed alittle strange how she and I were talking about Seabiscut and his accomplishments the other day and then all the things you have overcome also. I was just so touched by it. and I seen it so connected in a way with her. If you know of any advice on how we could write about him, please let us know. Thank you so much, Kay- K
Montgomery, Al USA - Thursday, June 14, 2001 at 02:52:16 (EDT)
A great read, now I am ready for the movie!
denise <>
USA - Wednesday, June 13, 2001 at 21:05:06 (EDT)
Thanks for the thrill ride! This story runs wire to wire with no slacking in pace. I've read many biographies about racehorses but yours is the sure winner! I've always wanted to know the "afters" of their stories and your book told us. It also makes you wonder how many horses have had their lives ruined by improper training and how many champions waiting to be unearthed by horsemen with a true eye.
Tracy Meisenbach <>
VA USA - Wednesday, June 13, 2001 at 20:14:56 (EDT)
After reading all of your reader comments, I see I am not alone with all the emotions your fantastic book has brought out. I had tears in my eyes so many times, even while reading in public during lunch. I was so sad when it ended, and feel a hollow empathy for the Biscuit and his cast of characters, for theirs was a time long gone by, but forever captured by your pen. This was the best of the best.
Dennis Wooten <>
Lafayette, La USA - Wednesday, June 13, 2001 at 20:14:51 (EDT)
A NOTE TO READERS FROM THE AUTHOR: In his post in this space on Tuesday, June 12, David M. questions the accuracy of my statement on p.52 about quarter horses being capable of sprinting at 55 mph. While he's right about the average speed of horses at Retalma Park, my statement concerned top speed, not average speed over a distance. As my annotation on page 355 indicates, my source on this was Dr. George Pratt, professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who used a radar device to guage top speed of stakes-level quarter horses. He found that the winner of the race he was studying was moving at an amazing 56 mph. Thanks to everyone for their posts!
Laura Hillenbrand
USA - Wednesday, June 13, 2001 at 18:09:57 (EDT)
I would just like to say that Seabiscuit was the greatest racehorse of all time. Laura your book is fantastic and 99% accurate. Being a long time railbird and enjoying nothing more in life than going to the track and watching these beautiful beings run, your book just reinforces racing as the greatest sport of all time. Now on to business. If anyone reads this who has any knowledge of the industry, please email me. I have an idea to turn the old Trinity Meadows race course in Fort Worth Texas into a world class training facility. The track is still there, but of course needs the cushion. The grandstands can be renovated into rooms for the trainers, grooms, exercise riders, and all other hired hands. The stables are standing, but need alot of work. It is on a ton of acreage and is just dorment. It is ripe for the taking. The basics are all there and it is located off I-30W. The visibility from the freeway is awesome. From the highway going West you can see the whole facility, down in a valley. To much detail to write here, but if anybody is interested in pursuing this please email me at In a time when the industry is gaining popularity again and Texas and other southern states are breeding class horses this is the perfect time for this venture. Everything is in place.
Scott Busa <>
Grapevine, Texas USA - Wednesday, June 13, 2001 at 14:52:55 (EDT)
My daughter gave me the book for mother's day, and I certainly have enjoyed reading it. In Feburary of '47, my father drove me up to Ridgewood to buy me a horse. Of course, we stopped by the stable to see the great Seabiscuit. What a memorable moment that was! I did take a couple of pictures of him with my Brownie box camera. Of course, I still have those pictures. Which brings me to a you think that there is a possibility that the picture on chapter 13 is a ringer for Seabiscuit? That horse looks to be about 16 hands tall, judging by the men he is next to. I pulled out my pictures, and the handler towered over the horse, despite being farther away from the camera. After reading all the tricks Smith played on the reporters, it seems possible. Anyway, the book brought back lots of pleasent memories... yes, I still have a TB mare.
Marylee Carli <>
Guerneville, CA USA - Wednesday, June 13, 2001 at 14:27:53 (EDT)
Laura: Thanks for the wonderful book. I wish you could go on a promotional tour of American racetracks. No doubt I'll think of your book on my next visit to Emerald Downs.
Tim Culver <>
Seattle, WA USA - Wednesday, June 13, 2001 at 12:38:35 (EDT)
Thanks so much for your marvelous book. If I knew an appropriate racetracker term, I'd say that Papa Heminway would feel pride by playing groom to your Thoroughbred. But as I laughed (the section on old Tijuana had me rolling), I cried, and got goosebumps serveral times during your descriptions of the races. Let me add what Spencer Tracy noted about Katherine Hepburn in "Pat and Mike": you and your book are cherse (sic). Hope to see you name in prominet postions when awards are announced!
Joe Whealon <>
St. Louis, MO USA - Wednesday, June 13, 2001 at 03:02:58 (EDT)
I ,like soo many who have signed your guestbook,was totally ignorant about horseracing.I came across an exerpt from your book in Vanity Fair and could not put it down.Had to buy the book and was grateful I did. Laura,it is a wonderful book-you must be soo proud ! Just wish you could have put in one of the photos of Seabiscuit and all the little biscuits! I shall now add this to your plethora of admiring fan letters. Thank you again soo much !
Martha <>
Alexandria, Va USA - Wednesday, June 13, 2001 at 00:05:32 (EDT)
I went into Barnes and Noble, the nerdy guy knew immediately about your book, had even read it himself though he knew nothing about horses. I took it to work and was to my dismay, hooked. I can say no more than what has been said. I've bought copies for many of my non-horse owning friends. God, good job. George Naas
george naas <>
sylmar, ca USA - Tuesday, June 12, 2001 at 23:56:45 (EDT)
It has long frustrated me that I can digest, in a relatively short period of time, a work which has taken the author years to craft. Seabiscuit:An American Legend is just such a work. I can not say more than has already been said. At 40, I'm a grad student currently reevaluating the direction of my life. Your fine work has "taken me away" (I never knew that Laura was spelled c-a-l-g-o-n...)and I just want to offer a heartfelt thank you. Your work is very much appreciated -- thanks so very much. And the best of luck as you fight your own "War Admiral."
Mike Fleming <>
Longmont, CO USA - Tuesday, June 12, 2001 at 23:05:40 (EDT)
53 years old last month. My sister gave me your book. I'm not a horseracing fan so I didn't think much her gift. How wrong I was. Please excuse me as I'm cutting this short so I can start reading your book again (for the third time!)
Larry Gardner <>
Cedar Rapids, IA USA - Tuesday, June 12, 2001 at 22:10:01 (EDT)
A good story. It catches the essence of the race track, which has to be one of the greatest melting pots in the world. I do have one small criticism regarding the speed of quarter horses. This year the 10 finalists for the Retama Park derby averaged 19.974 seconds for the 400 yds. Let's round it off to 20 seconds for 400 yds (1200 ft). That's 60 ft per second which is about 42 miles per hour, not 55 as was stated in chapter 4.
Dave M
Tampa, FL USA - Tuesday, June 12, 2001 at 21:46:36 (EDT)
Thank you for writing one of the best books I have ever read. I am recommending it to my friends.I look forward to the movie.
Arlene Wyszomierski <>
Lowell, Mi USA - Tuesday, June 12, 2001 at 21:20:58 (EDT)
I have no other superlatives to offer that haven't been already written here, but I, too, wanted to say thank you for what is one of the best books I've ever read. I knew nothing about horse racing before your book, and very little about horses. I'm now searching the Web to learn more about the sport and can't wait to attend a few races. I'll never forget Seabiscuit and the people around him. Someone here said it: this is a story about the human condition, and values that we just don't see often today. This is a great story, but one made unforgettable by your wonderful writing.
barbara mack <>
New York, NY USA - Tuesday, June 12, 2001 at 19:19:10 (EDT)
Hi Laura, I realize that you spent years researching and writing your book and I read it in two days. If I hadn't had to go to work, it would have been one day. Thanks for a great read!
Helen Crawford <>
Wyoming, Mi USA - Tuesday, June 12, 2001 at 16:09:44 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand: Thank you so much for the wonderful book. I purchased it after hearing your interview on NPR. I own a mare with many of the featured horses of your book in her bloodline (Native Dancer, Jet Pilot, Man O'War). I look at her with new reverence knowing at least a few of the stories of the sires that produced her. Your book is the best read I've had in years. I could not put it down. Thanks again.
Kitron Tate <>
Hartsburg, MO USA - Tuesday, June 12, 2001 at 15:03:22 (EDT)
Dear Laura, It's one thing to read a book that has a great story at its heart, but for it to be so wonderfully written that's a real bonus. I had saved the book for a cross country flight and finished it on the return trip, that is all but the last race, that I read later in the day. With a tear in my eye and smile I finished the book. So thank you for a great read and good luck in your own personal battles with CFS. One of the nations best bookstores is down the street from me "The Book Passage." Many of the best authors appear at this store. I can't wait for the day that you too make an appearance. Good Luck (P.S. Have you read the wonderful William Murray series about Shifty the Magician who combines magic and the track? I learned more about the horseracing business in those books, than a MBA at Santa Anita might have offered) Norm
Norm Berlin <>
Greenbrae, Ca USA - Tuesday, June 12, 2001 at 13:53:30 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I am the Deputy Racing Commissioner for the State of Michigan. Previously, I served as the Assistant General Manager of the Michigan State Fair. In our ongoing effort to promote horse racing in Michigan, the Office of Racing Commissioner will be sponsoring an exhibit at this year's State Fair, located in Detroit. As you are indelibly aware, Seabiscuit turned things around at that location. We would love to have you as our guest at the Michigan State Fair. It runs from August 21st thur September 3rd. We believe this would be a wonderful opportunity to promote your book, promote horse racing, and promote the Michigan State Fair. Please contact me at 734-462-2400 or 734-260-7683 (cell) so that we could explore the possibility of your appearance. Respectfully, Steven R. Jenkins Deputy Racing Commissioner
Steve Jenkins <>
Livonia, MI USA - Tuesday, June 12, 2001 at 08:44:42 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Thank you for the truly awe-inspiring story of Seabiscuit. I believe you have written a masterpiece, and I am looking forward to seeing the movie. Best of luck, and thanks again. Doug
Doug Moore <>
Springfield, VA USA - Tuesday, June 12, 2001 at 08:19:55 (EDT)
I was selling papers on the corner of 48th and Western in southwest L.A.from age 8(1935)to age 14 (1941) and remember the Seabiscuit headlines so well. "read all about it, Buscuit wins Cap"! I was enamored then and have remembered the horsse all these years. So super to relive those times throught your marvelous book. Best regards and many thanks, Ken Kvammen
Ken Kvammen <>
Newport Beach, CA USA - Tuesday, June 12, 2001 at 03:57:47 (EDT)
Hullo Laura, Well seeing you're a big star and all and probably have a swelled head by now I won't heap a ton of praise upon you. But please know I gulped up your book over the last few days and didn't have much desire to do elsewise. Instead, I looked forward to the moments when I would be alone and at home with the Biscuit and his crew. Tonight as I followed him toward the finish I almost cried during the battle with War Admiral and swelled when he finally got the "Hundred Grander." So let me leave off the worship for a moment and ask just a question or two? I found it odd that you never gave the odds. Probably, it's because I've spent too many Saturdays at Bay Meadows feeding a part of my paycheck to the ponies but a big part of horse race is how the public bets. I can imagine a number of fine reasons to have left this part of history off but rather than imagine - I wanted to ask you, how come you never quoted the betting odds or the final odds on any of Seabiscuit's races? It would have been an interesting and reflective ephemeral mirror into the public's confidence as it related to the Biscuit. A couple months ago the Form did a story on War Admiral, with the running lines of his entire career. As I remember he went on and ran and won some more races after the match race, maybe I'm a sloppy reader, but you kinda made it seemed like he was all washed up after that race. I know the book was not about him but how come you didn't put a litte note at the end about him? Last (I promise!) it seems interesting that horses of the Biscuit's era were both mure durable and slower. The times quoted as record breakers would now be no great shakes. Curious what you would attribute this too? Medications, training techniques, breeding, track surface changes? On the other hand, the idea that you could train a horse up to a big race by running him in a Stakes race the weekend before seems ludicrous. And yet it makes me wonder if the reasons that horses are faster and less durable are not inextricably linked? All right enough from me - thank you for a wonderful book, I lived with your words for a couple of days and was taken to a different time. And somehow admidst the cruelty and hard luck I saw the beauty that still breathes just a little bit at every broken down oval across America. Thanks for taking me there.
Eric Singer <nathanrico@earthlink.netSa>
San Francisco, CA USA - Tuesday, June 12, 2001 at 01:20:04 (EDT)
Laura -- Thank you for a joyous book in celebration of horses and people who love them. I have a very grumpy quarterhorse with Man O' War in his pedigree. It was great fun to read about the other grump Man O' War horses! Perhaps mine comes by it honestly! FB
Francie Boland <>
Honolulu, HI USA - Monday, June 11, 2001 at 18:48:22 (EDT)
Laura, it was a joy to see "Seabiscuit's tree" on CBS yesterday . . . of course I cried to think he is buried there. And that is the first time I have seen actual movies of my Uncle Tom. Because of it, I now know I have a photo of my gramps and Uncle Tom and Mr. Howard with The Biscuit. My mother and I will be in Saratoga for the induction of Tom into the National Horse Racing Hall of Fame in August. My mom knew him; I have photos of him with my dad, gramps, and mom the year after the "scandal" broke as well. And I have discovered yet another "Smith" who has a horse breeding operation near the Unaweep in Colorado. I'll bet you never thought your hard work could mean so much to so many! We Smiths are so grateful....
Kathie Walker <>
Kerrville, TX USA - Monday, June 11, 2001 at 18:08:02 (EDT)
Laura: Your book brought back memories of my backstretch career. Excellent! I am, however, disappointed in your underportrayal of the other personnel that make horseracing what it was, and is today.
Stephen P. Austin <>
Longview, TX USA - Monday, June 11, 2001 at 17:04:54 (EDT)
I am the wife of a nephew of Red Pollard. I think that Robert Duvall would be great playing C.S.Howard in the movie. Robert Redford would be the natural for Tom Smith. And of course for Red Pollard the one and only Leonardo DiCaprio. The Leo has the youth, energy and the audacity to pull off the role perfectly. Also, it would be a hoot to think of him in the makeup department as they wipe that pretty boy look off his face. Seriously though I think that he has the talent for the role; it might be the challenge of his career.
Linda M. Pollard <>
San Diego, Ca USA - Monday, June 11, 2001 at 14:33:45 (EDT)
I just finished reading Seabiscuit and am so happy to be able to tell you what a wonderful story it was! I heard about you and the book from a television interview on CTV in Ottawa, Ontario, and found the book in Las Vegas Nev. on a trip! So well-written and so absorbing that even someone with no knowledge of horse-racing couldn't put it down. My best wishes to yo for improvement in your own health - and thanks for a great book!
Joyce Roome <>
Ottawa, ONT Canada - Monday, June 11, 2001 at 14:03:33 (EDT)
I consider it my good fortune to have been in the right place at the right time, or I would not have caught the review of Seabiscuit which compelled me to buy your book. Without any background or knowledge of horse racing, I fell in love with Seabiscuit and his extended family from page one. I still have little interest in horse racing but I would have loved your book to go on and on.
Janet Cosby <>
Bethesda, MD USA - Monday, June 11, 2001 at 13:58:25 (EDT)
Laura, About twenty minutes ago I closed your book and sat digesting the story of Seabiscuit, a remarkable tale, remarkably told. I am a television writer located in Los Angeles, I have been to the track once in my life, no nothing of horses and the world of racing- I was spellbound. It surely is one of the "dingbustingest" tales ever told. Thank you for a great read and a swell ride. Best wishes, Marc Flanagan Santa Monica Ca.
Marc Flanagan <Marcmarc48@aol>
Santa Monica, Ca USA - Monday, June 11, 2001 at 13:47:51 (EDT)
Congratulations on an excellent book. I will never step foot in Santa Anita again without feeling the history and legend of Seabiscuit. Your writing is enthralling, couldn't put the book down until I was finished and then I went back through it again.
Bryan Sullivan <>
Woodland Hills, CA USA - Monday, June 11, 2001 at 12:54:39 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I never thought a book about a Horse would be "a page- turner" that would keep me up late, or one that would make me cry at the end. Your book is a great read. Now for the MOVIE: I hope Hollywood does you and the Biscuit justice. This movie can do for Horse racing what Jurrasic Park did for Dinasours. Now I must "WEIGH IN" with my casting: Charles Howard:Bob Hoskins, Liam Neeson, or Nicholson Tom Smith: Robert Duvall, Ed Harris or Nicholson Red Pollard: Matt Damon George Woolf: Ben Afflick or Tom Cruise Marcella: ? ideas, anyone Riddle: Danny DeVito. Ok, so this might cost 100 million to make! it will be a WINNER. Regards, Rich Turk Arlington, MA
Rich Turk <>
MA USA - Sunday, June 10, 2001 at 22:02:41 (EDT)
By chance, I came across a book-on-tape version of Seabiscuit, An American Legend, read by Campbell Scott. I went on a road trip with 2 friends, and took the tape along. We were mesmerized, entranced, spellbound! Thank you for bringing Seabiscuit and his entourage alive for us! What a great talent you have!
Kathy Goodman <>
Fairfield, IA USA - Sunday, June 10, 2001 at 20:34:23 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Really enjoyed your book. Am sure my 85 year old mother and several others will read. I heard your interview on Public Radio. I remember you saying you have trouble with being dizzy and having vertigo. I have found a help for that. Please let me share with you.
Carol Stromberg <>
USA - Sunday, June 10, 2001 at 17:07:20 (EDT)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, I have just finished your book and I was enthralled. I have lived in both Massachusetts and the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as northern California. As a small child I haunted the county fairs always hanging around the stables. Those "claimers" were the first horses I ever loved. You brought to life the hardships and poverty of those people. Thank goodness times have changed somewhat. I cannot wait to see the film and hope it does justice to the working class people who really did the work. Kathleen Clementi
kathleen clementi <>
boston, ma USA - Sunday, June 10, 2001 at 16:21:14 (EDT)
I absolutely felt as I was there. What a great book, and what a heart Seabiscuit had. It made me laugh, cry and feel like I was right in the middle. Can't wait for the movie. The facts, the way the backside of a racetrack is, everything is so acurate. Most times writers really don't know the truths on racetrack life. Thank You for a great book.
Kelly Lewis <ljimkelly>
cypress, ca USA - Sunday, June 10, 2001 at 15:47:48 (EDT)
Hi Laura, Great book & for me great memories.In 1938 when I was 4 my dad was a milkman. He had a horse & wagon route in New Jersey. I was allowed to go with him & help sometimes. The old horse knew the route better than any of us. I called him Seabiscuit after the the little stuffed horse my dad give me for my birthday.I have loved horses ever since. I have been to many of the great tracks& museums but I learned more about The Biscuit then I ever knew.Thank you & I look forward to the movie.Where was Tanforan located? Was that operating before Bay Meadows? Thanks, Don
Don Lupfer <>
Natick, MA USA - Sunday, June 10, 2001 at 15:32:14 (EDT)
the best book i have read in ten years.thanks for a wonderful story. he was, undoubtedly the greatest racehourse we have ever seen. thanks.
Kathleen Kimber
McPherson, KS USA - Sunday, June 10, 2001 at 13:17:28 (EDT)
Dear Laura. Congrats on a wonderfully written book and a great read! Good luck and much success with the movie!!... Jay
Jay mann <jay@JAYMANN.ORG>
JACKSONVILLE, FL USA - Sunday, June 10, 2001 at 10:14:22 (EDT)
I just wanted to let you know, the time you spent researching the life and times of Seabiscuit, was surely not wasted. The book was a great read. Good luck in the future and, thanks for the entertainment.
Ron Baker <>
Topeka, KS USA - Sunday, June 10, 2001 at 09:32:09 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Thank you so much for taking a great story and bringing it alive so eloquently! I had never heard of Seabiscuit before reading your book, but now I can't stop telling my friends about his amazing story. I am very grateful that there are people like you who can bring the past alive and keep truly amazing stories in the minds and hearts of all of us. Your book was so well written that I became nervous before reading every race; maybe because I had no idea who would win (knowing nothing about horse racing), but more likely it was because you made me feel like I was there. Thank you for taling the time and care to bring the incredible Seabiscuit into the 21st century.
Half Moon Bay, CA USA - Saturday, June 09, 2001 at 20:44:06 (EDT)
Seabiscuit lives! He came, grasped the attention of the world, always true, just doing what he was meant to do. Looking back, it shows how everything falls into place - the right people at the right time. Racehorses were a big part of my early life. Growing up in New Orleans and hanging out at the Fair Grounds are some of my happiest memories. My love of the track was influenced by my father who bought his first racehorse in 1952 when I was 14 years old. You resurrected memories held deep in my heart - the feel, the smell, the sound of the track; the environment and the people were still the same in the 50s as in the late 30s and 40s. Life couldn't have been better than those days of "shooting the breeze " with the grooms, jockeys and trainers, watching the early morning workouts with my father, followed by breakfast at the track kitchen. Understanding the lives and hearts and characters of Tom Smith (the type of person my father was), the charismatic Charles Howard and Red Pollard who gave his all and more, led me to appreciate now my father's devotion and sense of responsibility to those creatures he loved and for whom no sacrifice was too great-even health. Was it the people of that era?! I loved every detail of the book-the close of each chapter was oh so cool! I couldn't wait to get into the next. I was obsessed with the book until I finished it. As we see in the life of this uniquely gifted horse and those who played a part in it; the fruition of greatness can only be achieved through a lot of blood, sweat and tears of which you so generously poured into this book. There is no other way. Seabiscuit will tug at my heartstrings forever. All creatures of this earth; as seen, we live alone and we die alone. As long as a Seabiscuit and a Laura Hillenbrand come our way every now and then-all's well with the world.
Sammie Montali
USA - Saturday, June 09, 2001 at 17:08:44 (EDT)
PONTE VEDRA BCH, FL USA - Saturday, June 09, 2001 at 09:44:28 (EDT)
Paul L. Schuett <>
Palatine, Il USA - Saturday, June 09, 2001 at 08:17:33 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand....What a wonderful book! It is a great tribute to a great horse. I have passed this book along to others knowing they will enjoy it as much as I did. The book was so beautifully written and so enjoyable to read. I noticed that there is going to be a movie based on the is book. If there is going to be a soundtrack for the movie then whoever is responsible for that ought to get a hold of the composer Frank Wildhorn. He writes such beautiful music. Some of his work are the musicals Jekyll and Hyde, The Civil War and The Scarlet Pimpernel. He also did the music for the Goodwill Games. His wife, Linda Eder, starred in Jekyll and Hyde and has the most glorius voice. She is an avid lover of horses and actually will be singing New York, New York at the Belmont Stakes. They even have horses of their own. I can almost hear the music and her graceful voice being sung in the background of what I am sure will be a beautiful movie. Thanks again for writing such a terrific book.
Shelley <>
Munroe Falls, OH USA - Saturday, June 09, 2001 at 08:17:10 (EDT)
Laura! I have recently become your biggest fan. I have the paperback test copy (before Seabiscuit went to hardback). I know it is hard for you to travel, if ever I'm in your neck of the woods I'd love to get you to sign my book. Wonderful story!!! Bobby Lillis
Bobby Lillis <>
Baltimore, , Md USA - Saturday, June 09, 2001 at 07:37:24 (EDT)
Have just finished your superb book, which brought back many memories of the great horses of that time. When I was a small child, my father took me to Court Manor Stud, Newmarket, Va. where I sat on Sun Briar's back. In 1940, he took me out of my high school physics class over the protestations of my teacher in order to see Exterminator. Old Bones was at Court Manor, and the stable was being dispersed that day. We arrived there just at the end of the sale, but in time to see that wonderful old horse. At that time, I had a dog named Hard Tack, but he never gave me a Seabiscuit! Thank you for a fascinating read!
Eliz. Carmichael <>
Rixeyville, VA USA - Friday, June 08, 2001 at 22:59:22 (EDT)
FROM THE AUTHOR: For a perspective on the Belmont Stakes, check out my op-ed piece in the New York Times for Saturday, June 9.
Laura Hillenbrand
USA - Friday, June 08, 2001 at 21:12:41 (EDT)
Here is a great Horse racing & television schedule site for thoes interested.
tlaborde <>
USA - Friday, June 08, 2001 at 18:19:00 (EDT)
What a great book! I couldn't put it down. It really made me appreciate the sport of racing and what everyone involved in it goes through. I have purchased several copies of your book for gifts. The history of the race tracks here in California were of special interest to me since I have attended them from childhood. I can't wait until Santa Anita opens again and I can look at the statues with a different perspective. I have always heard of Seabiscuit, but didn't really know the story of this wonderful horse and the people who cared for him. I did wonder what happened to Marcela Howard after her husband's death. Thank you for such a great history lesson.
Teryl Burke <>
Thousand Oaks, CA USA - Friday, June 08, 2001 at 17:20:54 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I can only echo the comments of many others, this is a great book and the best tribute to my favorite sport that I have ever read. I first attended the races as a very young boy at Santa Anita in the 50's....I still think Joe Hernandez was the most unique race caller of them all. Many of the people you mentioned in the book were very much involved in California racing at the time. I can still picture the racing silks of Lin Howard and C. V. Whitney. My wife, who is not a fan, also read and immensely enjoyed the book. She noted that you filled us in on what had happened to all the major players, but not to Marcela Howard. We would like to know how her life played out if that is possible. Thanks again for your fine work.
Bruce Eckhoff <>
Fullerton, CA USA - Friday, June 08, 2001 at 16:51:32 (EDT)
Great book! You have done as much for racing as Secretariat----but. You may want to revisit the statement on page 162, "He Did, whose main claim to fame was having sideswiped Granville etc, etc. He Did, among other stakes, won the Santa Anita Derby, The Christmas Day Handicap, The Derby Trial and The Carter Handicap(George Woolf). My Father J. T (Tommy) Taylor trained He Did----also Victorian(1930 Coffroth Handicap), Head Play, Charley O, Can't Wait, Ariel Lad, Southarlington, Patch, Threesome, Prince Khaled in addition to breeding Grey Flight (Phipps bought her at the Keenland sales)who, I believe, still holds the American record for producing the most stakes winners. He brought out Charley Kurtsinger, who lived with my Mother and Father as an apprentice. He and his brother Walter were described by the San Francisco Chronicle as " the James boys of racing". B. K. Beckwith wrote his bio in the Throughbred. Incidentally, in that 1936 Kentucky Derby, He Did, who was really a 1 1/16 horse at the most, was leading into the stretch when Kurtsinger drew his whip left handed and had it snatched out of his hand by a spectator along the inside rail. This is listed as "strange things" that have happened at the Kentucky Derby. You will note my E-mail refers to Patch, who, had he not won the 1950 Del Mar Futurity,---I would never have gone to college. So keep up the great work you are doing. As Grantland Rice once said---" when I want the best sports stories, I go to the backstretch of a racetrack"
Tom Taylor <>
Carlsbad, Calif USA - Friday, June 08, 2001 at 14:25:01 (EDT)
I am not a race horse fan. And what little understanding I have comes from skimming the media. But I am a big fan of your book. My wife and I both read it. I gave it to my Father for Father's day and I have commended it to dozens fo friends. It is very well written. Best I have read in a long time and very well organized. You and your team did an outstanding job. I cried when I read your description of the race with War Admiral. I do not cry at books only movies.
Jon Lee <>
Perrysburg, OH USA - Friday, June 08, 2001 at 12:00:23 (EDT)
Just got done reading this wonderful book! I have been down a lot here lately due to a long term ankle injury that has prevented me from doing what I love most.....riding. This book is one of the most amazing and uplifting novels that I have ever read. I made me laugh and cry, but best of all, it gave me hope! THANKS!
Sarah <>
MO USA - Friday, June 08, 2001 at 09:45:28 (EDT)
Hi Ms. Hillenbrand, I didn't want to keep you in suspense any longer. The "Gray Ghost" was Native Dancer. He was thoroughbred racing's first TV star, and sired some of the best horses. I read that you like fiction. Imagine if the "Gray Ghost" was rescued today from a feedlot by some down and out trainer who saw in him is only chance at redemption. With your excellent writing skills and imagination, you could turn that idea into such a great story. Sincerely, Frank
Frank Martin, Jr. <>
Bethesda, MD USA - Friday, June 08, 2001 at 04:51:54 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand: I am 62 years old and have never before written a fan letter. This IS a fan letter! Thank you for your book about Seabiscuit. To me, it's honestly written, inspirational and a poignant account of a gallant horse, and the surrounding human ensemble, all exhibiting, despite their frailties, courage and honor. For me, and doubtless others, your book recalls lost values, well-remembered. It is simply one of the best books I have ever read!
Sam Moffett
Tucson, AZ USA - Friday, June 08, 2001 at 01:58:47 (EDT)
Hello Laura...Wonderful story and book. Your passion for the sport, the people and the horses in it, comes through on every page. And your writing is as exhilirating as Secretariats homestretch run in the Belmont. sls.
SLS <>
New York, NY USA - Friday, June 08, 2001 at 00:39:30 (EDT)
Ms Hillenbrand: As opposed to most of the others who have written you here, I couldn't care less about horse racing. I'm more of a Tom Clancy fan. However, I am a sucker for most any well-written prose. Once I read the excerpt in "Reader's Digest" I knew I had to read the whole book. You do, indeed, deserve a literary award, as someone else suggested. Thank you for the wonderful read. Chuck
Chuck Seeger <>
Indianapolis, IN USA - Thursday, June 07, 2001 at 23:34:35 (EDT)
Hi Laura, Way back in middle school, I read a book about Seabiscuit and I have captivated by the entire racing life. Thanks so much for telling about such a life and such a horse.
Susan Besaw <>
Arlington, Va USA - Thursday, June 07, 2001 at 22:00:03 (EDT)
Hi Ms. Hillenbrand, I just wanted you to know how much I enjoyed reading your book. It was great! I grew up in the thoroughbred racing business, and you were able to successfully capture life on the track. I'm an attorney now in DC, and live about fifteen minutes away from you. I think for your next book you should explore the story of a horse that was affectionately called the "gray ghost." Do you know which horse I'm referring to? Thanks for bringing a great story to life. Sincerely, Frank
Frank Martin, Jr. <>
Bethesda, MD USA - Thursday, June 07, 2001 at 19:27:16 (EDT)
Wow- what a book! You are a fantastic writer. Thank you for honoring Seabiscuit with such a work of art. One thing troubles me though- what is the low down on Seabiscuits legs, especially his left foreleg? Plently of pictures reveal how bent it really was- I wish you'd spent a little more time discussing the pounding Seabiscuit's leg took and about such practices as blistering or nerving to keep lame horses running.
Helen Weatherall <>
Boston, MA USA - Thursday, June 07, 2001 at 11:56:54 (EDT)
I love your web site, quite an amazing intro. I plan to read your book while on a trip from INDYanapolis, to HARTSELLE, AL. I'll drop back after I have finished it, but I know it's going to be good.
Daniel W. Short <>
Indianapolis, IN USA - Thursday, June 07, 2001 at 07:48:20 (EDT)
Laura..thank you so much for writing Seabiscuit. I just finished it and a calmness has descended upon me. One that comes from saying goodbye to a good friend. I almost regret finishing it for what will I do tomorrow? You brought to life an era of our past long forgotten and of people whom I will never forget. Just an incredible job and again thank you sharing four years of your life with us so those of us who did not know Seabiscuit could experience him. Even the Epilogue and acknowledgements were spell binding. I will be giving this as a gift to all my horse-racing buddies, both of them.
Scott W. Allard <>
Minneapolis, MN USA - Thursday, June 07, 2001 at 00:18:16 (EDT)
Laura... When I heard your interview with Scott Simon on NPR, I was taken aback. I immediately ordered the book and read it cover to cover with the most exhilarating pages being numbers 321-325. You gave the reader an insiders view of the time, the place, the pain and the joy of being the owner, the rider and finally the fan of a horse like Seabiscuit. Cheers! Brian Earl
Brian Earl <>
Hermosa Beach, CA USA - Wednesday, June 06, 2001 at 23:48:31 (EDT)
I jyst finished reading Seabiscuit and I can honestly say that it is one of hte best books I have ever read. I cannot remember a time when I was not fascinated by horses and I will always remember the first Kentucky Derby I saw (1987, Alysheba, on tv, unfortunately). This book has strengthened my resolve to see a horse race in person and hopefully capture some of the drama that was conveyed in Seabiscuit. I would also like to thank you for introducing me to a horse and a time period in racing history that I would otherwise never have known, or cared about. Now, I can only wish that I had been alive to see Seabiscuit race.
Alexis Smith <>
Columbia, MD 21046 - Wednesday, June 06, 2001 at 21:09:00 (EDT)
We need more classics like this to keep the great sport alive. Congratulations! Gus Boyd
Gus Boyd <>
Bay Head , NJ USA - Wednesday, June 06, 2001 at 20:38:11 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I have just finished Seabiscuit, an excellent book. I laughed and cried at the same time. You are a fantastic writer. I look forward to the movie but it can't be as good as the book. Thank you for the great pleasure. Sincerely, Virginia
Virginia McLeod <>
Kansas City, MO USA - Wednesday, June 06, 2001 at 20:05:00 (EDT)
Like all other supreme athletes (Bobby Orr, Pele) Seabiscuit has to be seen to be appreciated. There's a link to a short film clip at and scroll down the page. I've always idolized the greats, and there are some interesting films of Pele doing impossible things on the soccer field, of Orr defying physics, and when I saw Seabiscuit pull away from the field, I felt that same sense of greatness these other individuals possessed. Its a kind of 'did I just see what I think I saw' moment, totally unexpected because it defies our sense of what should happen. don
canada - Wednesday, June 06, 2001 at 18:06:17 (EDT)
Dear Laura: I want to thank you for your exceptional story. It is the only book I have read that tells the story of the racetrack like it really was (is), especially, from a jockey's standpoint. The public, for the most part, has had to gather their knowledge from corny B movies. Many sports writers today, apparently, have no knowledge what so ever of the real horseracing world, nor do they care, as often evidenced by their written words indicating they would prefer to be elsewhere. But, tragically, they have become experts and influence many of those who have no access to further knowledge. I rode my first race at Caliente in the mid-fifties and know many of the people in your book. Although I rode at 28 tracks during my 18 year career it is still Caliente that holds the most intense memories for me. The good times were great and even the bad times were good. Never before in my time has anyone captured the emotions, heartaches and struggles on the backside as you have in your story of Seabiscuit. Certainly few have known of the profound dedication the jockeys have, to do what they must, to live their dreams. I am truly awed at the research you have done. And, have never before seen it presented. It has always amazed me that a sport could have been so popular and so few know so little about it. With your emotion packed words I am sure you and you alone are responsible for the increase in interest re the Derby (up 40%) and the Preakness (up 56%). There are still those that equate race riding with driving a car i.e. step on the gas when you want to go -- turn when you want to turn, etc. It is not like that. You have shown that through your exhaustive research and I have 18 broken bones to attest to the fact. With your extraordinary talent, Seabiscuit has returned to us as a teacher of truths; these wonderful horses are living, breathing, intelligent, masterpieces of a great creator. Through you, his incredible story will last a lifetime and I thank you again. Please stay close to the Hollywood connections that are doing your story!
Former Jockey John Cantarini <>
- Wednesday, June 06, 2001 at 16:08:38 (EDT)
I was born in 1935, one year before Mr. Howard purchased Seabiscuit. I remember hearing about this great horse growing up, but never gave much more thought to him. Since Secretariat won the Triple Crown, I thought him to be the greatest horse of all time, but after reading Seabiscuit, An American Legend their is now two greatest horse's of all time. One big one. One little one. An amazing story. Thanx.
Maurice Sosnoff
Miami, FL USA - Wednesday, June 06, 2001 at 15:13:15 (EDT)
I read a book about 'Biscuit as a child and have always had a fascination about him. The only other horse to ever inspire the fascination was Secretariat .... I couldn't believe it when I saw that book in the store. I am reading it slowly, savoring each event in 'Biscuit's life. Thanks for a wonderful read. I am very hopeful that the movie will be done so that more people will learn about that wonderful horse. Have you thought of writing of Secretariat?
Diane Hopkins <>
Relay, MD USA - Wednesday, June 06, 2001 at 13:58:50 (EDT)
Salutations on one of the finest stories ever told. Your work was captivating from beginning to end. For those of us in the racing industry it brought us back to the days when racing was truly America's sport and SEABISCUIT was America's horse. Thanks for the memories and the dream of seeing our sport return to its former prominence. Scott Savin-Gulfstream Park
Scott Savin
USA - Wednesday, June 06, 2001 at 13:23:22 (EDT)
I am looking forward to reading your book. Would like to hear more about your Chronic Fatigue as I suffer also but work hard, volunteer hard and want to hike and write but am too tired. How do you manager?
Rose Purpel <>
Alexandria, VA USA - Wednesday, June 06, 2001 at 13:06:20 (EDT)
I've never really been a fan of horse racing until I read your book. I certainly never thought I'd ever care about the Triple Crown, but I can't wait until Saturday for the third leg. I must say that I don't think I'll get quite as lost in a t.v. version of a race as I did when I read about the ones in your book. Thanks for all the hard work you put in to making this book tops on my all time favorites list. I can't wait to see the movie and to read your next literary masterpiece.
Keith Dugger <>
Montgomery, TX USA - Wednesday, June 06, 2001 at 09:37:52 (EDT)
to see a film of seabiscuit, go to : You'll see what I saw, the fearsome acceleration. Wow, this horse would destroy any field, you can feel the power as he pulls away at will, like he could have run another race, like he was just toying with the other horses.
USA - Wednesday, June 06, 2001 at 03:41:50 (EDT)
My dear Laura, What a remarkable storyteller you are!! Your telling of the "race of the century" was so thrilling that I plan to read it many times over for the sheer joy of the prose. My dad used to take me to Arlington Race Track with him when I was a young girl in the fifties. He is gone from this world now and I found myself missing him terribly with each chapter of Seabiscuit's amazing life. My dad was a great reader and I know that he would agree with me that you have produced a masterpiece. A thousand thanks.
Sally Fortier <>
DesPlaines, IL USA - Tuesday, June 05, 2001 at 23:52:40 (EDT)
Exhilarating ride. Felt I was there.
Michael P. Dailey MD <>
Alpharetta, GA USA - Tuesday, June 05, 2001 at 21:44:11 (EDT)
BRAVO!!!! What a wonderful story about a talented and noble warrior. Since the age of nine, when my father first smuggled me into Aqueduct race track, I have been in love with these beautiful beings. As a child, I didn't know much about the "Biscuit" but now your wonderful book has brought him back to life for all to honor and cherish. Thank you Laura for your marvelous book and thank you "CREATOR" for Seabiscuit.
Nick D'Esposito <>
Bayshore, NY USA - Tuesday, June 05, 2001 at 21:01:44 (EDT)
I'm naming my first child "Seabiscuit"!
Neil Glasser <>
Edgewater, NJ USA - Tuesday, June 05, 2001 at 16:25:48 (EDT)
Oh, I took a little gasp when the 'Biscuit' died. I wasn't ready to let go, not yet. I cried, and I wished with all of my heart I could have seen Seabisuit race. I hope they show his statue in the movie. Also, it seems strange that Borders Bookstore is placing your book in the games section. It doesn't belong there.
Jeanne Mahaffey <>
Orlando, FL USA - Tuesday, June 05, 2001 at 15:34:17 (EDT)
I'm half way through this book and I think it is possibly the best book, bar none, that I have ever read. Thank you!
Karen <>
Lincoln, NE USA - Tuesday, June 05, 2001 at 12:03:40 (EDT)
I want to tell you your book made me feel. I am a 20 yr old thoroughbred race fanatic. Never has a book made me feel like I was part of a horses life like yours did. I was carried back to a time where my life never existed. I have watched replays of the great match race of Seabiscuit and War Admiral. When I first saw it I was amazed that this horse could beat such a champion. Now that I have read the story, I can see. Coming from the Thoroughbred capital of the world, you hear of these amazing "cinderella" stories of the racing world but this once warms the heart and makes the tears flow. Thank you so much for a glimpse back into our history.
Jonathan Fowler <>
Lexington, Ky USA - Tuesday, June 05, 2001 at 12:00:03 (EDT)