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I have just finished reading "Seabiscuit". I thoroughly enjoyed each and every page. Your descriptions of Smith's battles with the press for privacy are priceless. Great work!
Angelo E. Quaranta <>
Pittsburgh, PA USA - Friday, April 27, 2001 at 22:42:54 (EDT)
I absolutely loved this book and got very teary eyed when it was over, even though SeaBiscuit had a nice retirement(though short). I own and ride two horses. Such beautiful, carefully researched writing. WONDERFUL! Congratulations. Sally Cruikshank
Sally Cruikshank <>
Northridge, CA USA - Friday, April 27, 2001 at 21:46:08 (EDT)
Laura, I love the book and can't wait to see the movie! I'm your typical horse grandfather owned a small racing stable and a string of polo ponies in New England in the early 1900s. I was born with "the bug" and have owned and ridden horses all my life. Probably not the first to notice, there is a typo on pp 89. It should read "Gallant Sir" not "Gallant Six" on line 20. Can't put the book down; keep up the great also a fan of your Equus articles. Sincerely, Pat M. Mumford
Pat Martinez Mumford <>
USA - Friday, April 27, 2001 at 18:30:44 (EDT)
Dear Laura: Your accounting of "Seabiscuit" with all the emotions of courage and faith in one-self is also an accounting of yourself with your battle. I also am a survivor of CFIDS and work with animals. I am a dog trainer with unique techniques because I have such respect for courage of animals and their tolerance of us. They are the only thing that keep me going most days. I loved your book and am in the process of writing a dog training book myself. It's hard to stay focused sometimes. You've given me a shot in the arm. I applaud your courage. I would love to hear from you. Sheila
Sheila Murray <>
Ojai, CA USA - Friday, April 27, 2001 at 16:53:03 (EDT)
USA - Friday, April 27, 2001 at 15:46:06 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Thank you for evoking emotions I thought I had lost somewhere in becoming an adult. Seabiscuit was all heart and spirit. I just bought a second copy for my father who was a trainer in the 40s and 50s. I hope that someday someone with your literary skills and caring insight will focus on the darkly bizarre and medieval treatment of mares and their foals in the making of Premarin until they finally meet with a bitter end when they can no longer produce. Thankfully the Texas horse slaughter houses are finally getting national attention on the big news networks. Keep up the good work, Laura. Your book has given us hope.
Gary Eagling <>
Ocean City, Md USA - Friday, April 27, 2001 at 15:25:40 (EDT)
From one who has had a life-long passion for good horses and good books - thank you for a wonderful, beautifully written story - you made me feel like I was right there on the track with Seabiscuit - congratulations on your perserverance to share this story with all of us & on your success - it is extremely well deserved!
Christine Arthur <>
Silver Spring, MD USA - Friday, April 27, 2001 at 14:04:04 (EDT)
Laura, what a FANTASTIC story; it's one of the top books I've read. What a horse!! A dressage rider.
annette kroger <>
mayfield hts., oh USA - Friday, April 27, 2001 at 11:39:21 (EDT)
Thank you for a wonderful book. Hopefully, someone in racing will recognize your talents and get you involved further in promotion somehow. How about a PBS series on the Greatest Races in History?
Cary Krosinsky <>
Guilford, CT USA - Friday, April 27, 2001 at 10:45:54 (EDT)
I loved your book! My father grew up on the poor side of the depression, helping his mother support a fatherless family of five by selling her homemade pies from the inside of a his toy wagon,pulling it up and down the streets as he sold them door-to-door. He was 8. Seabiscuit became his horse to love and revere for his lifetime. The little underdog horse that could do it time and time again. It was a quality he prized in his friends and his family. Thank you so much for bringing Seabiscuit, and daddy, back into our lives!
Cathy Girard <>
Manchester, CT USA - Friday, April 27, 2001 at 10:33:33 (EDT)
I grew up on a horse farm in Kentucky. There truly is nothing better than a great horse. Thank you for so eloquently demonstrating the truth of that statement.
Matthew R. A. Heiman <>
Leesburg, Va USA - Friday, April 27, 2001 at 07:01:11 (EDT)
The guys taking my orders for medieval textbooks at the History Book Club for the past 25 years must have been startled when I ordered a book about a horse. But I remeber the Biscuit and yours is a magnificent, moving and exciting book. A friend called to talk about my skiing accident - the broken humerus; I wanted to tout Seabiscuit. It was just damn brilliant, and I suspect that, like me, most of your readers never gave a rat's ass about racing. Until now. Thanks. gs
geoff smith <>
Redmond, wa USA - Thursday, April 26, 2001 at 22:19:53 (EDT)
I just finished reading SEABISCUIT - read the last chapters on 3 hours sleep, it was so well told! I am a 70 year old female that lived as a teenager in the shadow of Santa Anita and never went to the track until I retired! I became enamored with Silver Charm and joined his fan club, took photos of him in the paddock and also did some charcoal-pencil drawings of him. I hope you will add the story of Silver Charm to your endeavors! Bravo SEABISCUIT and the men and women who shared him with us.
Lee Mitchell <>
Upland, CA USA - Thursday, April 26, 2001 at 20:10:25 (EDT)
I recall, as a child, of perhaps 10, seeing the movie "The Story of Seabiscuit." Whether it was good or bad, it made an impression on me. That name was one I always recalled with other well-known horses,ie. Man O'War (which I did not know was related.) I read this book because my wife saw you interviewed on TV not long ago and borrowed the book from the library. I just finished it today (she hasn't had a chance to read it yet; I know she will. I found the book to be engrossing. Well-written, it brought the personalities involved to life for me. Most of them were unfamiliar to me intially. Thanks to your writing, they are no longer strangers. Thanks
Dr. Marshall H. Cossman <>
Flint, MI USA - Thursday, April 26, 2001 at 19:43:42 (EDT)
dear ms. hillenbrand: i greatly enjoyed reading your book. it gave me new insight into the racing game. i was especially intrigued with the number of races that seabiscuit ran. is it possible to e-mail me a copy of hhis racing form containing all of his races, or have it published on the website. it would be extremely interesting to view his complete record with times , distances, competition, speed rating, etc. thanks again for writing such an interesting book.
jeffrey m rubin <>
new york, ny USA - Thursday, April 26, 2001 at 18:13:23 (EDT)
This book rocks! Please make a film that does your book and Seabiscuit justice. If you need a 170lb. actor to play Pollard, I'm your guy. Kudos and many thanks for one of the best "reads" in quite some time.
jeff corbett <>
LA, CA USA - Thursday, April 26, 2001 at 18:10:53 (EDT)
I was one of the seventy odd thousand fans sitting in the grandstand for the 1940 Santa Anita Handicap. I was nine years old and had seen every Santa Anita Handicap up to that time. My Uncle was a great horse fan and a typical two dollar bettor. One thing that I thought occurred on that day was that Charles Howard had declared to win with Seabiscuit and that the track announcer, Joe Hernandez, stated this to the crowd as Seabiscuit and Kayak were on the track. This declaration led to the speculation that Kayak actually could have won the race, but Jockey Buddy Haas had instructions to let Seabiscuit win. I hope I didn't dream this, as I have fervently believed I heard Hernandez make this announcement. Anyway, your book was terrific, and without a doubt, the best race horse book that I have read. I hope that the movie version comes across as well as your book.
Dan Arrighi <>
Washington, Ut USA - Thursday, April 26, 2001 at 14:07:01 (EDT)
A brilliant book, a wonderful book -- I'd stopped riding but I have to get back on a horse, just to enhance my mind's images of this entrancing story. Did I add beautifully written? I'm grateful to you for writing a book so compelling that it instantly ranks with the finest I've read -- I imagine this will be true for the millions of readers who are certain to consume this book, and dream of it for years afterward. Best of luck with the movie - your artistic sense of this story is so strong, I already cannot wait to see the film. This book is a gift to our time.
greg manning <>
new york, ny USA - Thursday, April 26, 2001 at 13:15:52 (EDT)
I can only echo the glowing comments that your book is receiving. My first trip to a racetrack was to Santa Anita as a teenager in the late 50's. I recall that we would park in the lot on the north side of the track off Colorado Place. You went under the backstretch via a tunnel, came up in the infield, and then went on to a 2nd tunnel under the homestretch that led to the grandstand area. We learned that the entrance gate was opened 5 minutes early on that side of the track and if we ran like hell we could get to the grandstand before the people who came in through the regular gates. Choice seats every time! My grandmother was very annoyed that I was into horse racing and betting and gave me a pretty good lecture about its evils and how my grandfather (depression era) once traveled from Philadelphia to Baltimore and lost his paycheck betting on a big horse race. It's my guess that he bet on War Admiral! My favorite was Ruffian. I'm not ashamed to say that I cried the day she broke down.
Richard Bauer <>
Irvine, CA USA - Thursday, April 26, 2001 at 12:54:51 (EDT)
I can't comment on the book yet, because I just picked up my copy yesterday. However, I was driving from Austin to San Antonio when I heard your interview on NPR. As I drove into San Antonio I was losing the station, and desperately toggled from 90.5 down to 90.3 then up to 90.7, so that I could hear the end. When I got home that night I found the interview on the NPR website and listened again. I told several people about the interview too, and two of them have purchased the book. I'm also excited, because I would bet the world that my grandfather knew the folks involved. He worked at Santa Anita during this time period. He was an amazing horseman--a cowboy by training, he trained thoroughbreds for racing, trained quarter horses and was a quarter horse jockey, played polo, rode in all categories of English--hunter/jumper, dressage, etc. He also was a stuntman in the early 30's, and worked for a while as a riding instructor at Griffith Park, where he was Clark Gable's riding teacher, as documented in Liberty magazine and several Gable biographies. He was a farrier, drove a stagecoach in the 1939 World's Fair, and was known to jump while riding four horses--one leg on each of the inner two! The most amazing horseman I've ever known. I can't wait to read the book! Bill Durham P.S. I noticed a typo in the NPR review on your website--"it's" instead of "its."
Bill Durham <>
Austin, TX USA - Thursday, April 26, 2001 at 10:47:50 (EDT)
While in the process of reading your marvelous book about Seabiscuit, it occurs to me that you would be the perfect person to write the definitive book about my all-time favorite athlete, Secretariat. I will remain hopeful.
Julie Smith <>
Lexington, VA USA - Thursday, April 26, 2001 at 10:18:13 (EDT)
In a message dated 04/25/2001 7:52:55 PM Eastern Daylight Time, DBrowsky writes: << Tell me....what is the tape you are listening to that I HAVE to buy right away???? >> SEABISCUIT GOOSEBUMPS, CHILLS, AND MANY TEARS WHILE LISTENING. It is probably the best horse book I have ever listened to and is definitely the most well written. Plus, it is a TRUE story.(Why oh why was it Abridged. Of all the books I have listened to this one deserved to be UNABRIDGED) So many things I could relate to. I get teary just thinking about it. They are going to make a movie (I can see Clint Eastwood as Tom Smith the trainer). I also bought the book so I can look at the pictures. Will someday read the book since the tape is abridged.... I just hate that..... Am going to try and find an unabridged copy. Will contact the publishers if I have to. This will be Christmas presents for a lot of folks this year. You deserve all the awards and cudos that I am sure you will receive. I will re-read this book many times in the time I have left. Thank you for all you have done for the history and future of the horse racing industry. Joy D. Cox
Joy D. Cox <>
Morriston, Fl USA - Thursday, April 26, 2001 at 09:43:12 (EDT)
The book was simply a masterpiece. I encouraged two of my friends to purchase it. Have you ever considered directing a project about thoroughbred racing similar to the miniseries about baseball and the civil war by Ken Burns? Best wishes. By the way, who do you like in the Derby?
David Zeoli <>
Greensburg, PA USA - Thursday, April 26, 2001 at 00:51:25 (EDT)
I finished the book late last night and it evoked such emotion that I just could not sleep. It was a beautiful night on the farm so donned my sweet horse smellin' barn jacket and walked out into the field. The horses, not accustomed to such a late-night visit, could not contain their curiosity and ambled over to this dark shadow with the familiar voice. I patted the yearling colt and dreamed of greatness. As the colt blew in my hair,I felt a bonding - an old man who also could not sleep and the nights spent with Seabiscuit in his paddock at Ridgeway; a carrot, a pat, the recollections of greatness...
Carla Deminchuk (cont'd) <>
Aldergrove, B.C. Canada - Wednesday, April 25, 2001 at 23:22:08 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I read an article on you in the LA Times and noted that you are a fellow CFS sufferer. Please contact me at my email address for information regarding a specialist MD who treats CFS. He is a leading researcher and clinician and has helped many. Best wishes on the continued success of your book. I have a friend who used to follow horse racing for years and said he literally could not put the book down until he was done. Hope to hear from you as this MD may be able to help you. Jim
Jim Chesser <>
Downey, CA USA - Wednesday, April 25, 2001 at 22:48:43 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I wish they would come up with a pill that could erase from one's memory a book recently read and loved. To get a fresh shot at all that heart, and beauty and almost unbearable excitement written with the kind of magisty Seabiscuit himself must have had...? Yeah, I'd be poppin those pills until they cut me off. Thank you for one of the greatest times I've ever had reading- Tom Leopold
Tom Leopold <>
New York , N.Y. USA - Wednesday, April 25, 2001 at 22:25:53 (EDT)
I visited Santa Anita many times as a child and well remember the statues of Seabiscuit and George Wolff. Thank you for your wonderful book that so poignantly brings those great individuals back to life. I have read dozens of horse racing books in my life, but for the first time I feel I really know the jockeys, owners and trainers of America's greatest sport. Thank you most of all for giving the gallant Seabiscuit his due. You deserve to win both the Pulitzer and the National Book Award!
Lynn Coffey <>
Norfolk, VA USA - Wednesday, April 25, 2001 at 19:41:23 (EDT)
Hello Linda. I just got back from driving to Atlanta and "listened" to your book the entire trip. It was wonderful, though I missed seeing any pictures of the characters (and Seabiscuits head was not on the cover of the tape box). When I was a young kid in the 1960's my family would travel to large state fairs in the midwest, and my favorite game on the "midway" was the horserace game (which was a pinball game for about 20 people) and each station was named after a famous racehorse. I always sat at the seabiscuit station when i played. I cant get over the jealousy that Dick schapp and Tony Kornheiser have toward you for the success of the book. Do you know why? Lastly, do you know where we can try to buy any seabiscuit collectables ? Thanks, JL
pensacola, fl USA - Wednesday, April 25, 2001 at 18:08:28 (EDT)
This book was a pleasure to read - sorry it ended. Why was Seabiscuit's head not on the cover? Totally except for the cover an enthralling read.
Irene Crady <>
Covelo, CA USA - Wednesday, April 25, 2001 at 15:52:17 (EDT)
Laura, fantastic book! Look for a mention in my column of 4/25/01 at (The same column appears a day later at Well done.
Gary B. Smith <>
Bethesda, MD USA - Wednesday, April 25, 2001 at 15:42:22 (EDT)
I have just received a copy of your book and can't wait to read it. I have been a fan of Seabiscuit for about 28 years! Ever since I read a children's book at age eight called Come On Seabiscuit. I think it was written by Ralph Moody. Have you ever heard of it! You would really love it. I haven't been able to find a copy of it since losing mine in 1986. I also haven't been able to find a copy of the inscription on Seabiscuit's statue described in this book. The statue was moved here to the racing MUseum but the inscription isn't the same. I'd love to hear from you. I know you would enjoy this book. Sincerely, Jutta Carlson
Jutta Carlson <>
SaratogaSprings, NY USA - Wednesday, April 25, 2001 at 15:27:50 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I own my old family home in Elloree, SC and was pondering writing a book about our fallen friend Chris Antley. After reading your brilliant work, I realize that the greatest book on horseracing has been done by you and have hence "scratched" the project. An absolutely perfect work : mandantory reading for the nation. If you are ever in the Charleston area, I would be honored to buy you dinner at my restaurant. Thank you for such immeasurable joy. Love, Chef Philip D. Bardin
Philip D. Bardin <>
Edisto Island, SC USA - Wednesday, April 25, 2001 at 13:52:59 (EDT)
Just finished your wonderful book. I grew up in the midwest and my father was a bookie and he had a partner who owned a few racehorses of questionable ability. As a youngster I would accompany my dad's partner to the track to muck stalls and walk the "hots". I have fond memories of those times and al the characters you meet in that microcasm of society. Your book brought back many memories and it accurately portrayed a life style that few people are ever exposed to. It is a fantastic book, and I hope that everyone reads it.
Dan Kelly <>
Alexandria, Va USA - Wednesday, April 25, 2001 at 12:13:59 (EDT)
Hi, Besides raising running quarter horses and being a great fan of horse racing, I found your interview on NPR extremely inspirational personally. I am going to be in Fairfax for a real estate class May 16th and planning to attend the Preakness that weekend. If you're in the area I would love to have you autograph my book. Great job. Thanks Jenny McGraw (970-222-2358)
Jennifer McGraw <>
Ft. Collins, CO USA - Wednesday, April 25, 2001 at 12:05:18 (EDT)
HI my name is Cate i live in maryland i've just started the book and it is fanominal the way i got the book was i'm doing a book report i love the book and have read a hundred pages in just two days i was wondering if you could come and visit my school everyone loves authors to come and talk and everyone would love you even if you didn't know they front end of horse from the back e-mail me back if you can cate
Caitlin Rooney <>
Bethesda, MD USA - Wednesday, April 25, 2001 at 08:59:47 (EDT)
Greetings Ms Hillenbrand, I just finished reading SEABISCUIT...a friend loaned it to me...I intend on buying my own copy ! As much as I love horses I was a little sceptical as to just how interesting this book would be, but before I even finished page 1 I was hooked! The best times for me to read are going to and from work on the streetcar and let me tell you, more than once I almost missed my stop (either coming or going) because I was so caught up in Seabiscuit's story...and I cried more than once, especially during the match race with War Admiral, and the final hundred-grander (I felt like I was there!)..., not to mention everything the individuals in the story were going through ! Thank you so much for writing such a remarkable book about such a remarkable horse and all the remarkable people surrounding him ! (my only critisism...the picture chosen for the cover...would have been nice to actually see ALL of Seabiscuit)
Jane Barnes <>
Toronto, ON CANADA - Wednesday, April 25, 2001 at 02:11:30 (EDT)
Great book. I can't believe how emotional I am about a horse that I never heard of before who died over twenty years before I was born! You have truely woven an interesting tale about a unique historical landmark. Good luck in your next efforts. I look forward to it, not matter what the subject may be....
Larry Reiter <>
San Diego, CA USA - Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at 20:22:49 (EDT)
Hi Laura, Great story, well written, Congratulations. Jer
Jerry LaFleur <>
Manchester, Ct USA - Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at 18:55:54 (EDT)
I own a Trophy horseshoe of Seabiscuit entitled "WORN BY SEABISCUIT DEFEATTING WAR ADMIRL PIMLICO SPECIAL NOVEMBER 1st 1938 1:3/16 M. TIME 1.56 3/5 NEW TRACK RECORD". I am interested in selling it. After reading the very touching article about you, and your story about Seabiscuit in the Los Angeles times paper (March 2001) I thought you might be interested in it. if so please contact me. A>J>ALEX
LOS ANGELES, CA USA - Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at 18:51:04 (EDT)
You have written one of the greatest books I have ever read from one of the greatest stories ever. Just saw old movie and it's worth it for the racing film. You should be very proud of your work. Ruffian is also a good story but with an unhappy ending. Do not like match races. Hope to meet you someday.
Gary W. Shields <>
Forney, TX USA - Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at 14:30:06 (EDT)
Your writing is multi-dimentential, the subjects literally walk off the page, great book. As a child I read a fantastic book on Man-O-War, but cannot find any reference to it, Do you have any suggested reading on that great horse? Best of luck in all future endeavors.
Martin O'Malley <>
Berea , Ohio USA - Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at 13:39:24 (EDT)
Please call me at your earliest convenience I thought your book was exceptional Farrell W Jones
f w jones <>
hemet, ca USA - Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at 11:27:54 (EDT)
Hello Laura: Wonderful read. Yours is talent that captures the essence of horse racing and some of its memorable personalities. I would hope you might consider continuing with another Thoroughbred personality the american public found that captured their heart and soul. There are of course only a handful that qualify but one that sticks out to me is Swaps. He had the same level of talent, the nagging unsoundness, and of course the colorful personalities surrounding him. I took gread pleasure reading your book and about people I had know in the past.
Geno Castillo <>
Lexington, Ky USA - Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at 10:15:08 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I wanted to let you know that I have bought the book, and I'm afraid to start it, because I know that once I do I won't be able to put it down! I'm saving it for my honeymoon in two weeks, when I'll really be able to enjoy it. I am so happy for you and this incredible achievement -- you don't even know.
Karen Lasko <>
Middletown, CT USA - Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at 09:21:30 (EDT)
Bravo, Ms. Hillenbrand! Rarely have I read a book more satisfying and touching than your tribute to Seabiscuit. Was he the "greatest" of them all? Probably not, but who cares? The beauty of horses and those of us who love them is that the greatness of one doesn't diminish our love for another. As long as there is racing there will be heart pounding, gut wrenching debate over who was the best. We will never know how the horses that have come down through the years would have compared had they been challenged by one another. Oh we have our beliefs and biases and we feel sure in our hearts who the greatest of all time is, but we will never know and it is bettewr that way. I don't really want to know how my beloved Man o' War would have done against his son, War Admiral, or Whirlaway, or Citation, and Secretariat, et all. All any of these great horses could do was run against their contemporaries and leave the rest up to history. Your wonderful book gives me an insight into the lives of some fascinating people that I would have otherwise never known and I offer my eternal thanks to you for doing this. I especially found Mr. Smith to be intriguing. His methods and idiocyncrasies will never be forgotten by me. I knew that the life of a jockey in the "old days" was difficult, but I had no idea of the hardships that their love for the horses they rode subjected them to. In many ways Mr. Pollard is a tragic figure, but he lived the only life that he could. His love for racing made any other lifestyle impossible. He knew the risks, but in the final analysis he had no choice. He had to do whatever was demanded of him becasue being a jockey was what he was born to do. If you never write another book you can still take tremendous satisfaction that you have enriched the lives of millions of people with this labor of love you have created. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Sammy Bates <>
Eddy, TX USA - Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at 01:18:14 (EDT)
One of my favorite books as a child was a battered paperback called "Come On, Seabiscuit!" which I read over and over again. I was heartbroken when I dicovered that it had been lost in a move. This wonderful book has filled a place in my heart. Thank you very much.
Debbie P. <>
Morris, IL USA - Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at 00:30:24 (EDT)
thyank you for bringing all these "persons" to life. i became a racing fan in the late 40s at santa anita. citation, noor, on trust, ponder, two lea, longden, 17-year old willie shoemaker and, of course, joe hernandez. seabiscuit seemed like ancient history back then. i tried to access videos at abc sports but couldnt. pls help with this or any otherr placesd to views race movies, etc.
mike gettelman <>
berkeley, ca USA - Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at 00:10:44 (EDT)
You have written a narrative about four exceptional beings who somehow found each other and made history. Do you realize how many happy readers are out there thinking what a wonderful person you must be to have created such a book?
Mike Fry <>
Torrance, CA USA - Monday, April 23, 2001 at 23:53:32 (EDT)
what a magnificent tribute to the greatest racehorse that ever lived! your book was the best 25$ i 've spent in years. i 've read the book twice so far, and been moved to tears multiple times both readings. seabiscuit,smith,howard and pollard were each integral parts of this legend..none would have been there without the others. i would really like to know more about tom smith, but with his tight-lipped personalty i'm not sure how that would pan out. i can hardly wait for the movie! god bless you for seeing the story that was "hiding" in all of the information you assembled, and making such a moving story for all to enjoy!!!!
susan martyn <>
coarsegold, ca USA - Monday, April 23, 2001 at 22:05:10 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I just finished your wonderful book about Seabiscuit. Secretariat was the legend while I was growing up, but this book about this horse brought back those old passions for horse racing. I grew up riding other people's horses and running in little piddly bush races. A few years ago, I fulfilled a lifelong dream and purchased a filly named "Princess Cashalina", a granddaughter of Quarterhorse racing great "Dash for Cash". She was intended to be a race horse, but an injury prevented her from ever enjoying the track. Consequently, I had been training her the "mellower" disciplines of Western Pleasure. She has picked it up, but not with any sort of enthusiasm. After reading your book, I thought about her background and took her out for a run. No flexing, no reining in. Just pure as-fast-as-you-wanna go lap around the dirt! She ran like a bat out of hell! Those racing genes took over and afterward she pranced around like she was the cat's meow! I would never race her for fear of the old injury (even though she is perfectly sound), but reading that book reminded me that there are some things horses just love to do. My horse loves to run, and I love to run her. Even though we will never win any races, we have rediscovered a passion that we share. The run at the end of the day is now her reward. That ole Seabiscuit still inspires us dreamers to do what makes us happy. And THAT is what makes us great! Thanks for sharing his story.
Kristen Studebaker <>
Federal Way, WA USA - Monday, April 23, 2001 at 22:02:42 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I want to thank you for SEABISCUIT. It gave me pleasure to learn the story of the greatest horse that ever ran. It also gave me a better understanding of horses and their owners, trainers and, finally, of the jockeys and their merable lives. It also brought back to me something I never understood. Firstly, unless I'm mistaken, I don't recall any person or animal besides the racehorse, or any team that is punished or handicapped because they are better than any other competitor. Who gives the stewards the power to weight the horses? How do they decide? Is there one rule or criteria for all stewards, horses and tracks? How are they chosen? Who hires them? How long do they serve? Who supervises (polices) them? They seem to act so godlike and sometimes so vindictive! No appeal pprocess! Just seemingly arbitrary decisions as to weights, etc. I've not found any information about this in the book. Again, thank you for the book. It was truly one of the most exciting and enlightening book I've had the pleasure to read in a long, long time. I hope you can give me the answers to the above questions. Thank you again for the book and hopefully for the answers. Sincerely, Jack
Jack Wiesenfeld <>
Tampa, Fl USA - Monday, April 23, 2001 at 19:42:48 (EDT)
Hi Laura, I am a reference librarian working in a public library on Long Island. I am planning a thoroughbred racing display this week and plan to give pride of place to your book. I thoroughly enjoyed the story,especially your description of Seabiscuit's personality. I was wondering what happened to Pumpkin his stablemate. I hope he had a long life! I,too, had a small board game with 5 racehorses(including Seabiscuit)that I enjoyed playing with. Good luck and look forward to the film. Edwina Van Dam
Edwina Van Dam <>
Franklin Square, NY USA - Monday, April 23, 2001 at 17:23:28 (EDT)
I have had some inquiries from New York and L. A. asking me about doing a documentary film on Seasbiscuit. Would you please contact me to verify the inquiries or your thoughts. Farrell W Jones
Farrell Jones <>
Hemet, Ca USA - Monday, April 23, 2001 at 16:24:51 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Back in the '50's I was one of those horse-crazy Montana CITY girls who read all the Black Stallion books, and who asked for a horse every year for Christmas, but of course never got one! After listening, with unstoppable tears, to your NPR Scott Simon interview a few weeks ago, I bought your book along with an accompanying box of Kleenex tissues. I read Seabiscuit last weekend cover to cover, using the tear-out portion of the Kleenex box as a bookmark! What a fabulous story AND it's true! Not only did Seabiscuit have heart - so did the Howards, Tom Smith, Red Pollard, and George Woolf. And so do you! Your book is non-fiction at its finest. You transported me THERE, training, riding, watching, cheering, weeping. THANK YOU for the gift of Seabiscuit!
Barbara Rocheleau <>
Sitka, AK USA - Monday, April 23, 2001 at 16:13:01 (EDT)
I can't improve on the comments already on this site, but as a 40+ year racetrack fan I can now say that you have written the best book about horse racing I have ever read. Please accept my deepest congratulations for this very important contribution. Regards, Peter
Peter Suazo <>
Columbia, MD USA - Monday, April 23, 2001 at 16:02:12 (EDT)
Dear Laura. What a fantastic read. Even though I grew up on the racetrack (my father trained Native Dancer, Bold Lad and a few others of note) I think I learned as much about racing reading your book as I did hanging out on the backstretch at Belmont, Saratoga and Hialeah. My father often talked about Seabiscuit and I only wish now that I remember what he said. I so wish he were still alive and my grandfather too, who was also a Hall of Fame trainer, so I could talk them about Seabiscuit. Congratulations on a wonderful achievement.
Carey Winfrey <>
New York, NY USA - Monday, April 23, 2001 at 15:24:37 (EDT)
Until a few weeks ago, I had never heard of Seabiscuit, and I (still) know virtually nothing about horseracing. I was hurrying my way to my office when your interview and reading was broadcast on NPR. The story itself and your telling of it caused me to sit in the parking lot until the piece concluded. I was so impressed with what I heard that I bought the book. I enjoyed reading it so much -- both for its story and for its writing -- that I ordered it for my Advanced Composition course for next fall. I'm sure my students will benefit from reading a tale told so well. . . . Anyone who reads this book and doesn't experience its pathos doesn't have a soul.
Patrick <>
USA - Monday, April 23, 2001 at 15:08:50 (EDT)
What a beautiful literary work! I loved it all the way through! I have another small book about Seabiscuit I read a few years ago. Ever since, even though I was only 13 or 14, I have loved the story of little Seabiscuit. Now, thanks to this well-written book, I know not only about the little horse that could, but the men behind him. Thank you so much, Miss Hillenbrand! I love reading anything about horses, but this book I would recommend to strangers on the street! Thanks again so much!
USA - Monday, April 23, 2001 at 14:36:55 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Great book! I too want to help with csf. I have been pain free for 5 yrs and have my life back!! Look up I don't have e-mail so please call me when you have a few good minutes.As a nurse I have looked at lots of stuff!!Very sincerely yours, Trina 616-317-7026
trina sleper <616-317-7026>
battle creek, mi USA - Monday, April 23, 2001 at 14:07:36 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I grew up hearing about Seabiscuit and Red Pollard because Paddy Pollard (Norah Patricia) and I were best friends in elem. school (St. Leo School in Pawtucket, R.I.) My family moved away, and Paddy and I lost touch. Sometime in the early 70's, I received a letter from her; unfortunately, my husband and I were in the process of remodeling a house and somehow the letter got lost before I had a chance to respond or record her address. Over the years I have tried to get Paddy's address (for example, from St. Leo's School and from relatives still living in Pawtucket), but with no success. I would like very much to get in touch with her. If you prefer not to give me her address, perhaps you would be kind enough to let her know my e-mail address. I assure you this is a legitimate request, and she will remember me well. I lived on Littlefield Street, and she and her mother and brother lived on Vine Street. She and I used to walk to and from school together every day. Thanking you in advance, Laurel Miller Pesez
Kerrville, TX USA - Monday, April 23, 2001 at 13:33:33 (EDT)
Laura: Congratulations both on a fine literary achievement and on coping with your afflication. I was not aware of your condition until the Diane Rehm broadast last week. On the subject of your book, that is some of the finest, best written and most moving work that I have read in a long time, racing-related or otherwise. You insert just enough "information" to give a non-racegoer the necessary background to appreciate your message withtout insulting or bogging down a seasoned racing fan. The characterization that you undertook on such a diverse assemblage as were involved with the beloved Seabiscuit was carried out perfectly. One can't read the book without identifying with the plight of "Red" Pollard, the rags-to-riches saga of Charles Howard, and the misunderstood methods of the fine trainer Tom Smith. You did a wonderful job. I just wish all books related to racing measured up to your high standard. Sadly, few even come close. I read the Walter Farley books (The Black Stallion series and of course Man O War) when I was in grade school, and have never really found books of that quality in the thirty-five years since, I'm sad to say. Your work was outstanding. Best wishes with the movie. The industry needs the boost - thanks for taking so much of your time and devoting your considerable expertise to the project. It would have done "The Biscuit" proud.
Ron Canady <>
Oklahoma City, OK United States - Monday, April 23, 2001 at 11:18:39 (EDT)
Thank you so much for such a wonderful book. When I was finished, I cried. Maybe because I was done the book. I wanted to start reading it all over again. Terrific!!
Kenneth King <>
Stevensville, MD`` USA - Monday, April 23, 2001 at 05:57:43 (EDT)
I just finished, in tears, reading your book SEABISCUIT. It was an emotional reaction to a great story, beautifully written. I'm a child of the Depression and was a teenager when Seabiscuit was racing. I can remember listening to the gruff-voiced Clem McCarthy call some of those races, adding an extra measure of excitement to an already exciting event. In contrast to Seabiscuit, I slowed down in the stretch while reading your book, not wanting the story to end. Thanks for a masterpiece.
Bob F <>
Mount Vernon, VA USA - Sunday, April 22, 2001 at 19:54:42 (EDT)
Dear Laura, If the movie studio is looking for someone to cast as Red Pollard in the movie, I'm your man. I am an active professional jockey. 40 years old jockey WITH acting experience, who is currently riding on the county fair horse racing circuit on the Northwest (Montana, South Dakota, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada and Wyoming)I am 5' 7" and weigh 120lbs. (We can ride a bit heavier on the fair circuit) I have plenty of horse racing referances available and over 20 years of horse racing experience. I also have an acting agent (Jennie Saks, N.A.S. Talent Management in Bozeman, MT 406 586-7045) that repesents my acting career and have been in several movies and comercials in the last 3 years. I am available at any time. It is a rare combination to find someone who has acting experience and experience as a jockey AND is still actively riding races. I would love an opportunity to audition for the part! Thanks Clint C. Goodrich
Clint C. Goodrich <>
Ennis, MT USA - Sunday, April 22, 2001 at 18:55:01 (EDT)
Ms Hillenbrand, As a child back in the 50's we had a gameboard featuring all the great horses to that time including Seabiscuit, Citation, Man o' War, Whirlway, Gallant Fox and others. When I learned of your book on PBS I had to go out and purchase it the next day. What a wonderful read and what an engaging writer you are. The story of Seabiscuit opened up a world I never knew much about. It was fascinating, I couldn't put it down and am now looking forward so much to the movie. Thank you so much, R.J. Lorette
Bob Lorette <>
Phoenix, AZ USA - Sunday, April 22, 2001 at 16:10:47 (EDT)
Dear Laura: I listened with great interest to your interview on ESPN yesterday (April 21, WTEM) and I think Willie Clark was the oldest active rider you were trying to recall. Anyway your American Heritage article was superb and looking forward to the book which I just purchased. My first contact with racing was at Charles Town as well. As a board member of a local museum in Northern Virginia I would like to inquire about the possibility of arranging a book signing this fall or next year. Thanks.
Meredith Light <>
Aldie, VA USA - Sunday, April 22, 2001 at 16:00:25 (EDT)
Thank you so much for writing this book. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute, even when I cried. As a huge fan of racing and horses in general, I commend you for your contribution to the sport. I heard you on ESPN radio talking about your friend writing a book about Man o' War. If it a fraction as good as Seabiscuit it will be another huge success. Am telling everyone I talk to about your book!
Janice Kincaid <>
Santa Ana, CA USA - Sunday, April 22, 2001 at 13:46:51 (EDT)
Hope your wonderful book will inspire new interest in this great sport. Was the Clem McCarthy race call from the match race with War Admiral,recorded or are any other race calls available? I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Best of luck with the movie. Jerry Gavil
Jerry Gavil <>
USA - Sunday, April 22, 2001 at 12:06:11 (EDT)
I am only at the quarter-pole in the book, but this is one horse race that should become another jewel in the triple crown!!
Carla Deminchuk <>
Aldergrove, B.C. Canada - Sunday, April 22, 2001 at 02:21:44 (EDT)
Wow! This is a great book. I am reading it very slowly to savor every word. I think this book puts Laura in the same class as CW Anderson. Great job!
Karen Mills <>
Pittsburg, KS USA - Saturday, April 21, 2001 at 22:58:29 (EDT)
Thank you for writing your book. I heard your interview on National Public Radio and went out and purchased your book the next day. I grew up as a young boy in New York City reading about this horse in the sports pages and never knew the story. I could not put the book and wanted to know what would happen next. What a great writer! I finished the book in three sessions and had tears in my eyes at the end. Thanks again and I hope your physical condition soon improves. Dick Francis look out! Truth is better than fiction!
Joseph Chromy <>
Ctr Ossipee, NH USA - Saturday, April 21, 2001 at 22:38:49 (EDT)
Ms Hillenbrand I just finished Seabiscut and I felt I would do something I have never done before and that is write to the author of a book. This was the best book I've read in many many years you made me feel like I knew the people in this book and I fell in love with Seabiscut you would think he was my horse. Great Job I,m looking forward to the movie. I'm not a Racing fan and have only been to the track a few times in my life (i'm 55)but you brought a whole new meaning to the sport for me. Thank you John
John Calabrese <>
Watertown, CT USA - Saturday, April 21, 2001 at 19:32:08 (EDT)
How absolutely marvelous that the gallant Seabiscuit has a web site. I hope, as he munches on celestial oats and nestles down in the most velvety of heavenly straw, that he knows how loved and admired he is...and that he appreciates, as well, his talented biographer. I grw up, a million years ago, on CW Anderson (Black, Bay& Thouroughbred and more), and so I very much enjoy reading 'the rest of the story' about this special little horse. How did he do it......thanks, Ms. Hillenbrand for such a fine salute to equine talents & charisma.
Alexandra Moffat <>
Lyme, NH USA - Saturday, April 21, 2001 at 19:29:05 (EDT)
My grandmother who died in 1986 lived in the same house in the San Gabriel Valley for over 50 years. She told me the story of Sea Biscuit when I was a horse-crazy little girl. We would take the bus to Santa Anita at 6:00 in the morning to have breakfast and watch the horses exercise - no betting! Just watching and then we'd walk around the paddocks to look up close. I used to pat the statue of Sea Biscuit on the way home. I so enjoyed your book - I wish I could see some of the footage of him racing - especially the match race with War Admiral. Thank you for bringing Sea Biscuit back.
H.Llewellyn <>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Saturday, April 21, 2001 at 18:26:36 (EDT)
What can I add that hasn't been said by all the wonderful people who have left comments.Truly incredible book. I was worried about finishing it shortly after starting it.This can't be the end of your great horse and people stories. Give us another one! You and your characters have a lot of heart,courage and love. This is a book I will never forget!
Carole Jones <>
Hurricane, WV USA - Saturday, April 21, 2001 at 18:04:11 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I've never written to an author before, but your book about Seabiscuit was so moving-exciting and poignant- that I felt impelled to let you know how wonderful it was to read. The exceptional intelligence, integrity, and courage of all involved (including yourself) was very inspiring. My father was a racing fan and he took me to the track in Saratoga, NY when I was 10 or 11-years-old to watch the thoroughbreads. I liked standing by the rail so I could feel the ground shake as the horses thundered around the backstretch toward the finish line. He booked my bets for 2 cents (instead of $2)to teach me at a young age that you can't win betting on the races. But he did tell me that it's great to be a sucker- if you can afford it. Thank you for writing Seabiscuit's story. I heard your interview w/Lenny Lopate on NPR, and I hope that your health allows you to continue writing such wonderful stories. Best wishes, Maurice Vort
Maurice Vort <>
HO-HO-KUS, NJ USA - Saturday, April 21, 2001 at 16:29:23 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I read your book and was moved to tears. It was a great human story, even though it focused on a horse. It's almost more moving to read about an animal that worked so hard for the pure love of what he did. I really had no idea who Seabiscuit was, but this did not in any way diminish the story's power. I am also more aware than most of the parallels to your own life, because they are also to my own life. I am a CFS sufferer and writer too. The really strange thing is I graduated from Kenyon College. I was wondering if there was something in the water there, or maybe it was that Brit Lit class with G. Roelofs. Anyhow, I have been trying to get a certain project completed myself and often feel pretty daunted, but what you have done is an inspiration to me. Thanks for hanging in there fighting against this horrific Thing that only another sufferer understands. Sincerely, Karen Stern, Class of '77
Karen Stern <>
USA - Saturday, April 21, 2001 at 15:37:29 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand: Simply great book, written in crisp descriptive style, most enjoyable and most informative page turner. Thanks for a superb read. But, don't let that go to your head. Seabiscuit was NOT the most important event of 1938. The most important event of 1938 occurred on October 20. That's the date yours truly was born. OK, so Seabisuit was the SECOND most important event.
Robert FREEHILL <>
Austin, TX USA - Saturday, April 21, 2001 at 14:14:54 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand: I have just finished reading your beautiful and incredibly written book. While reading the chapter recreating the 1940 Santa Anita Handicap, it was the first time in memory that I can recall tears of joy streaming down my face while reading. Such intense feelings of exhilaration, redemption, perseverance and humanity - thank you so much for resurrecting the greatness of the legendary Seabiscuit, and allowing your readers to gloriously bathe themselves in his wonderful journey - including the poignant and heartwarming life journeys of his human connections. To paraphrase Jolly Roger on that wonderful March day in 1940 - "oh, that I lived to read this book." Thank you so much for such a perfect legacy to such a magnificent horse and his incomparable legend!
Larry Marcus, MD <>
Avon, CT USA - Saturday, April 21, 2001 at 12:40:39 (EDT)
Hi Laura, I have really enjoyed this fascinating book. It was odd, I was painting a mural for a client one day when he said something about Seabiscuit, and asked if I knew who that was, "Of course" I replied, "doesn't everyone know who Seabiscuit was?". The very next day I heard you on NPR, not only do I find your book so well written, but I thoroughy enjoyed hearing you tell this story to Dian Rehm. As a young girl I read stories and gazed at paintings and photos of Man O War, Seabiscuit and others. I even had a kitten named Seabiscuit. Thanks for writing such a wonderful story. Carol
Carol Kistner <>
Lewisville, TX USA - Saturday, April 21, 2001 at 11:25:10 (EDT)
After reading Seabiscuit my heart has down a complete change-around. We have two horses that our daughter takes care of and I have ignored them because I cannot ride. Why get involved? You have showed me through your story of the beloved Seabiscuit that horses are so much more in their love for their owner, more heart, intelligence, and the want of your love and attention. They now will have it from me. And I’m sure I will get much in return. Good luck with your consulting on the upcoming movie. As is usual with most books becoming movies, the books are so much better. I hope your advice and words are heeded.
Nancy Grunch <>
Charlevoix, MI USA - Saturday, April 21, 2001 at 08:04:18 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I heard you interviewed on NPR a few weeks ago and had to run out to get your wonderful book. I read it over Easter weekend, and found that I could not put it down. I think my family was getting concerned on how much time I spent reading your book and talking about it. It has been many years since a book has moved me so much, that I found my self tearing up and not caring that I was in the Denver airport. How can one get a photo of Seabiscuit? I own a hotel outside of Fort Worth/Dallas and would love to have one for our lobby. If your ever in Stephenville, please let me know, as I will have a room for you at the Best Western Cross Timbers. #254-968-2114. We are one of the few hotels in the country that have horse stalls available for our guests animals. There is nothing like waking up to see horses in the stalls, right here in town. I wish you the best and wanted you to know that I have ordered 10 copies of your books to give as gifts. You should be very proud of your work, as your efforts and dedication have paid off. With all my respect, Jerry Robinson
Jerry Robinson <>
stephenville, tx USA - Friday, April 20, 2001 at 23:22:51 (EDT)
There is an interesting twist in my life when it comes to the subject of Seabiscuit. My father, who died 10 years ago, had very few possessions. He loved horse racing and I can remember Saturday aftenoons as a young boy overhearing him on the phone in his bedroom talking to his bookie and placing bets. No one in the family can remember when the "photograph" first appeared, but my father who worked for NBC in New York City, came home one day with a framed print (about a foot and a half by two feet) of a photograph of a horse in a full gallop with a second horse (no others in view) a length or two behind. When my father and moved moved to South florida in the 1960's the print went along. When they retired in the 1970's the print was moved into the the bedroom. I was always fascinated by the photo for its image alone. I never asked my father the name of the horse. When my father died my mother was quick to offer me the print because she was "sick and tired of waking up all these years and seeing that damn horse on the wall". My mother has passed away but the print has been hanging on the wall in my den since my father's death. On occasion, my wife and I would think about trying to track down the identity of the horse or more about the photographer. The print is signed Jack Shipley, 1938. The rest is history. It has to be Seabiscuit! The photo shows the blinkers with an H inside a triangle. If anyone has more information about Jack Shipley I would appreciate it. Laura Hillenbrand's account of Seabiscuit was such a terrific "read" And now I know that my father had an appreciation for a wonderful horse with the "mystery" on my wall now solved. Jim Philips Orlando, Florida
Jim Philips <>
Orlando, Fl USA - Friday, April 20, 2001 at 21:02:41 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I want to sincerely thank you for such an extrodinary book. I have just finished your study of horses and humankind and find it truly magnificent. I am a profuse reader, yet continued to go back again and again to read passages of virtually every chapter you had to offer. This story is much greater than Michael Jordan in our era and deserves a true reproduction of "The Biscuit" to place him and his family where they deserve to be. I grew up with a grandfather who loved horse racing, I am not a "better per se" yet find every element of what we all dream in this biography. No fiction could reproduce this in any form. Shirley and Mickey did a wonderful job for "fiction" but the buscuit deserves better. Thank you again!!
Jerry Baird <>
Glenarm, IL USA - Friday, April 20, 2001 at 19:26:50 (EDT)
ben kneavel <>
baltimore, md USA - Friday, April 20, 2001 at 16:13:08 (EDT)
Dear Laura: I haven't read the book yet, but can't wait to do so. I heard you interviewed last week and was moved not only by the story, but by your telling of the writing process. On behalf of The Learning Annex, a national adult education organization, I wish to invite you to share your insights on writing. More information about The Learning Annex may be obtained at our site at You or your representative may contact me to discuss the possibilities of your speaking in any or all of our cities, which include Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York and Toronto. Tannis Kobrin - Programmer - The Learning Annex
Tannis Kobrin <>
L.A., CA USA - Friday, April 20, 2001 at 14:38:19 (EDT)
Laura: just finished your book about Seabiscuit. I was very impressed with the work you did. I particularly enjoyed your notes and observations. I also am an American historian who has written extensively on the subject of jury nullification in America and England. As a fellow writer and researcher I applaud you. You made your subject matter come to life and resonate. What do you know about Secretariat? He was the most interesting horse to race in my lifetime and I am interested to know if there are any books written about him that you know of.
William Blair <>
Los Angeles, Ca USA - Friday, April 20, 2001 at 14:26:12 (EDT)
Rose Doyle <>
Cleveland, OH USA - Friday, April 20, 2001 at 11:07:37 (EDT)
Query: Can I obtain a copy of Laura Hillenbrand's original AMERICAN HERITAGE article on Seabiscuit thru this site? Thanks so much.
Jean Rigg <>
New York, NY USA - Friday, April 20, 2001 at 10:50:21 (EDT)
Hello again: I apologize for leaving three copies of the messages which I constructed. Unfortunately, I was suffering from computer problems. I do hope that you may be able to edit the unnecessary copies out. Thank you once again for a great read, and I hope to hear from you in the near future on the Three Bars topic. Kindest Regards (for the umpteenth time), Ryan O. Neel
Ryan Neel <>
Lisbon, OH USA - Friday, April 20, 2001 at 03:17:17 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand: First, let me congratulate you on such a wonderful work!!! I was captivated from the moment I picked it up!!! I was wondering if you might also consider doing another work on Three Bars, another famous thoroghbred sire. To the best of my knowledge, there exists no comprehensive documentary on his life, or the men that rode him to greatness. I often think that perhaps general audiences and horse lovers would be very receptive to a work about this grand sire, particularly in the gifted languages of you pen. Please feel free to contact me regarding this topic, and I would be more than happy to introduce you to some possible research materials. Kindest Regards, Ryan O. Neel
Ryan Neel <>
Lisbon, Oh USA - Friday, April 20, 2001 at 03:07:43 (EDT)
Great story about racing from a horsemen's perspective ! I only wish you had interviewed Howard Conley before completing your book. He had a hand in helping with Seabiscuit's training at Bay Meadows or Tanforan. He was a jockey back then and rode with Woolf, Pollard and others. He also made a movie with Bing Crosby "Riding High" in which he rode his own horse. He also doubled for Roddy McDowell in "Thunderhead Son of Flicka". His wife, Adonda, doubled for Dale Rogers. He rode Citation's stablemate Coaltown when training for the Derby. He also helped with Silky Sullivan's training and had seen Pharlap being grazed hours before he mysteriously died. He's 92, alert,witty, and at Sacramento Fairgrounds in CA. If you would like to contact him, I can arrange it. Also, if your book is available in large print, he would enjoy that. You can reach me at the e-mail address below. Thank you again for ajob well done.
Mandy Ebbets <>
Sacramento, CA USA - Friday, April 20, 2001 at 00:45:53 (EDT)
I heard you on the Diane Rehm show this past week. I enjoyed your stories very much. I have been a horse lover since the age of three when I had my imaginary horse, Lightening. We have family stories of my grandparent going to the track and betting on the "horses". I hope you are well. It does seem as though you have made the best of a bad situation; and because of that, we are treated to some great storytelling. Thank you.
Mary O'Neil <Niessleindental>
Oakland, Maryland USA - Thursday, April 19, 2001 at 22:59:34 (EDT)
GREAT WEBPAGE! I work in a Bookstore here in Baltimore MD. We have not been able to keep your book in our store. Julie Kurland from Random House is our representative. I called her today on 4-19-o1. I have a dear friend who has some Seabiscuit pictures he would like u to have..He bought 3 of your books, one for him and 2 for gifts..If u would please contact me throug email...he would love to see that u get them, he says he don't think you have these pictures. He is a collector of autographs and old pictures of history. Please get in touch with me....your book is the best, God Bless you.....
Shirley Egbert <>
Baltimore, Md. USA - Thursday, April 19, 2001 at 22:53:41 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I just finished your book and had to contact you. I'm not sure why, but the story of Seabiscuit has always made me cry. As a child I repeatedly read Ralph Moody's book "Come On Seabiscuit" and I have a feeling that I will do the same with yours. You made the characters truly come alive for me; I wish I could have had a beer with Red Pollard. Seabiscuit was dead long before I was born, but somehow he speaks to me. My own horse is distantly (very, very distantly) related to Seabiscuit and I think he got the Hard Tack disposition too! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing this book. Now how 'bout a book on Majestic Prince? Sincerely, Becki Brawner
Becki Brawner <>
Glen Avon, CA USA - Thursday, April 19, 2001 at 20:32:39 (EDT)
I bought the book in order to read about my cousin, Louise Howard, whom I had met once. (Her father was my great uncle)I bought the book around noon on Friday and finished it Saturday around noon. (Obviously, it held my interest enough so that I only put it down to sleep.) Well, she wasn't in the book. However, upon reading your Guestbook, I found her son, my cousin, who says it was his son, C.S.Howard, Jr. that she married. Now, I know about Louise and have found a long lost cousin, Fred. Thank you, Ms. Hillenbrand. Burton Anderson
Burton F. Anderson <>
Aptos, CA USA - Thursday, April 19, 2001 at 19:34:36 (EDT)
I have read many books about horses and Seabiscuit moved me like no other. The story in itself is captivating beyond imagination but your writing style mixed with such a marvelous combination of sensitivity, horse intelligence and pure grace, results in an unbelievably exhilarating journey into the world of horse racing. Thank you for your gifted talents and genuine insights, tears have been shed! Sincerely, maree healy
maree healy <>
portland, or USA - Thursday, April 19, 2001 at 18:23:04 (EDT)
SEA CLIFF, NY USA - Thursday, April 19, 2001 at 16:18:42 (EDT)
dear laura: i vaguely knew the story of seabiscuit but, once i began reading your book, i took off a day of work so i could finish. i got the same thrill i remember as a child reading 'black stallion' books. this is what racing is about - the ups, the downs, the total dedication and commitment, and, most importantly, the absolute greatness of the thoroughbred. we have a small racing stable and i'm going to buy a copy for each shareholder. thank you for giving seabiscuit to us.
pam michael <>
davidsonville, md USA - Thursday, April 19, 2001 at 16:03:14 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I am a producer on Bob Costas' HBO show, On The Record - Your book has been passionately read by our staff and we would like to do a short feature about horse racing and your book for our final show on May 2nd. You can reach me via email to discuss this further, thank you. Sincerely, Michael Mandt HBO Sports
michael mandt <>
NY, NY USA - Thursday, April 19, 2001 at 15:00:17 (EDT)
Dear Laura, It would be an honor and privilege to have you give the Keynote Address at the opening of the 2nd Annual Cornell at Saratoga Symposium of Equine Health presented by New York Thoroughbred Breeders,Inc. The 3-day symposium is an educational program for thoroughbred owners and breeders on health issues for equines. The proceeds of the program are dedicated to equine research at Cornell University School of Equine Veterinary Medicine. Because equine researchy is vital to our industry, most of our speakers donate their services and we reimburse them for their expenses. I know that you probably command an appearance fee that is not within our means, but I hope that you would consder our mission so worthwhile that you would be willing to help our cause and accept a minimum honorarium plus reimbursement of expenses. We would also provide you withy a receipt for a contribution for the value of your donated services. This would be a great opportunity to visit and participate in the greatest racing in the world at Saratoga. Of course we would get you a personal tour of the famous racetrack and do anything else to assist in the promotion of your book. We would also make your book available for sale at the program and we could arrange for a book signing at the Saratoga Racetrack. The dates of the symposium are August 13, 14, and 15 at the Desmond Hotel in Saratoga Springs. Please advise is you would consider this invitation and we can discuss the details further. Thank you for writing such a powerful and beautiful book I look forward to hearing from you. My telephone number is 518-587-0777, e-mail and mailing address is New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc., 57 Phila Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Jane Decoteau on behalf of New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. and Cornell University School of Equine Veterinary Medicine.
Jane Decoteau <>
Saratoga Springs, NY USA - Thursday, April 19, 2001 at 14:47:27 (EDT)
Laura, Another thought came about how to address the dizziness. After the peroxide application, then apply some drops of high quality Tea Tree oil (Melaleuca), an antifungal. It will be important to pare carbohydrates greatly during this aspect of the healing process. I have some suggestions and will wait to hear to from you. Best to you, Nimueh
Nimueh Rephael <>
Scottsdale, AZ USA - Thursday, April 19, 2001 at 14:40:43 (EDT)
I heard your facinating interview on the Diane Rehm show and will find some time to read the book! I heard you mention suffering from vertigo. Very recently I had my first experience with vertigo - in fact I was rushed to ER thinking it was a stroke. Fortunately not! I find a very helpful series of excerises help a lot. Go to (Dr. Epley has videos etc on various movements that help). Acupuncture also may help as there are 2 places on the body which, if you press hard, often clear it up ('til the next time). One is between the eyebrows just above the bridge of the nose and the other on your foot I think just to left of the middle toe about 2" toward the ankle - in between the tendons. Since my attack I have come across several friends and relatives who have had similar experiences. Some violently move their heads up or down and side to side. also moving your eyes around. Hope this helps. I am able to control it as above.
Ken Gold <>
miami, FL USA - Thursday, April 19, 2001 at 13:09:21 (EDT)
I just finished your book last night, my Dad only gave it to me a few days ago. It was incredible, I don't know how else to describe it. Though I've been around horses most of my 17 years of life, I recommend this book to EVERYONE, even if they aren't involved in horses. Reading it was just such an amazing experience, thank you!!
Justine <>
Rochester, MN USA - Thursday, April 19, 2001 at 11:00:53 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I will add my voice to the chorus of well-deserved praise.Wonderful book, full of fact and feeling, wonderfully achieved. As a dog-lover, I see a comparison between how jockeys, especially the "bug boys"you describe, were treated then and how racing greyhounds are treated now. Ill-used,exploited, then discarded. But the stars of your book somehow transcend the greed that results in this kind of abuse of body and spirit. Best wishes and good health to you.
Evelyn Friedman <>
Brooklyn, NY USA - Thursday, April 19, 2001 at 10:22:13 (EDT)
Dear Laura,I enjoyed your appearance on the Diane Rehm Show. Congratulations on your success! I am a healing consultant and I am currently working extensively with a woman with CFIDS. Her symptoms are different but I have some ideas that may assist you. For the dizziness, first, I would recommend a protein-based diet, low in carbohydrates. I have a special approach in diet that may assist, if you are interested in learning about it. Also, it is possible that ginger may assist--ginger tea, ginger chunks to chew or hold in the mouth as much as is comfortable, even ginger essential oil (a fragrance)--only if it is 100% pure--applied on certain points. Also, it is possible that using hydrogen peroxide in a dropper, in the ear canal, may after it stops bubbling (which isn't real comfortable but isn't too bad), may add oxygen to your inner ear and assist any small abrasions to heal. It may stir up the dizziness during the application, but then it would calm it, I think. It couldn't really hurt, could it? It's only oxygen. We cleared up a huge situation for my friend just applying hydrogen peroxide superficially. Be sure to have a towel to catch it pouring out, as it could lighten your beautiful hair around the ear--who needs that? Please email me at, if I can be of any assistance. Blessings to you, Nimueh
Nimueh <>
USA - Thursday, April 19, 2001 at 02:25:32 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I just purchased your book this morning and I am at work until 10:00 p.m. I have hardly been able to put it down after lunch and each fifteen minute break. My father is Raymond (Ray) Adair. He rode a matched race against Seabiscuit. My father was on a horse called "San Luis Rey (or Ray)". The race was for one mile, and Seabiscuit barely beat San Luis Rey at the wire. I haven't found that race in the book yet, but I haven't been able to read much yet. I looked in the index and noticed a lot of familiar names. My father was supposed to ride Wedding Call in the One Hundred Thousand, but was "sat down" the day before the race after riding a horse called "Up The Creek" for Mrs. Ethel V. Mars. He won the race, but was accused of bumping another horse out of the gate and was disqualified. My father rode "Wedding Call" at Tanforan in the Inaugural Handicap and won. My father also stated that he was supposed to ride Toro Mak, but Rosengarten refused to let him because Jimmy Sullivan was married to Rosengarten's sister; and they needed the money. My father rode in other races there the day Jimmy Sullivan was killed. My father also rode for C.V. Whitney, Rosedale Stables, Horacio Luro, C.S. Howard (my dad calls Mr. Howard "C.S. Howard"), and he rode Mameluke for C.V. Whitney in the Kentucky Derby (Mameluke was the favorite, but broke down and my dad pulled him up immediately), he was named on Double S for Mrs. Ethel V. Mars (of the Mars Bars, M&Ms Company) in the Kentucky Derby, but Double S was the favorite and was murdered. So, my father ended up riding the second entry for Mars, "No Wrinkles" and won sixth place). My dad rode "Sea Sovereign", and finished second in the Preakness on "Counterpoint". My dad was good friends with Johnny Longden and Ralph Neves. He told me that story about Neves being pronounced dead when I was a little girl. He has so many stories to tell, and the stories are always the same. He doesn't add a bunch of things to them. I hear these stories all the time, and some are the same story. I could recite most of them, as the details stay the same. His memory is just better than mine. He rode for 32 years, in every state there was racing, and in three foreign countries. This book is so exciting, I must go buy another one for my father. I was going to give him this one, because it was the last one left at the book store, but he said he would wait until the new ones come in. He can hardly wait to read it!!!!!!! Thank You. I would love to tell you all the stories about the wrecks he was in and his friends were in and all the wild happenings. Perhaps I will some day. Robin Rae Adair
Robin Rae Adair <>
Rye, CO USA - Thursday, April 19, 2001 at 00:12:59 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I just finished reading your book and I feel a little lonely that I can't revisit Seabiscuit and his wonderful career. Your book was nothing short of fantastic (fantastic is an overused word, but it's all I've got). You're painstaking research recreated an era when a racehorse could be a national hero. It seems like we don't have any heroes like that anymore;man or beast.But, I felt while reading the book, that Seabiscuit's incredible career, despite his massive imposts, were a metaphor for the struggle many humans must have felt getting through the Depression. However fanciful that sounds, just watching 'The Biscuit' race must have been enthralling. By the way, I'm not a jealous person, but when I read that you have the film of Seabiscuit beating Red Admiral, I'm GREEN. Seriously, I believe you've got the makings of a great movie here. Just be careful that Hollywood doesn't smarm it up too much. Your book was good at showing these people as they really were;the dourness of Smith, Red Pollard's risk taking, and the Howard's unpopular, but justified stance, in not allowing Seabiscuit to race in the mud. These people weren't always a pretty picture, but they were the perfect team who made a superstar out of a horse who probably wouldn't have been much without them. Sincerely, Nikki Vinci.
Nikki Vinci <>
Harvard, MA USA - Wednesday, April 18, 2001 at 21:26:12 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Your book on Seabiscuit was exceptional for many reasons. You presented such a exceptional story of horseracing history about this great horse from the thrilling drama of the races to the reality of life of unique and interesting people in the sport. Life has many heros, many of whom are underdogs, and it is wonderful to witness Seabuscuit's accomplishments along with people who believed in him. I hope to read another book from you in the near future. This book was truly outstanding. Thank you.
David Mahon <>
Jackson, Mi USA - Wednesday, April 18, 2001 at 20:34:13 (EDT)
I just got the book, and I am soooooo excited! And a movie too? You see, Silent Tom was my granddad's brother, my great-uncle. I have his obituary, and other pictures of him at the pool at Glenwood Springs, and when I sought to do some more work on my geneaology, his sister refused to talk to me. These references will help so much. THANK YOU. kAT
Kathie Walker <>
Kerrville,, TX USA - Wednesday, April 18, 2001 at 18:00:12 (EDT)
I just finished wiping away the last of many tears, some of joy, some of sadness, and closing the cover on your wonderful story of Seabiscuit. Having been a lifelong fan of throughbreds, I was so moved and excited by the way in which you totally captured the sport and the wonderfully eccentric characters who populate that special world. My congratulations and sincere thanks for a wonderful experience.
bthomson <blthomson>
pasadena, ca USA - Wednesday, April 18, 2001 at 17:15:33 (EDT)
Laura, THANK YOU! After listening to you interview on NPR with Diane Relms you motivated me to start walking! Being an athlete for over 35 years and an Air Force Pilot(RET)I had to have knee surgery--also I was laid off! I WAS definitely feeling sorry for myself!!! I jumped (hobbled)out of bed, took a shower and walked my retired greyhounds. While walking the dogs I thought about your interview and some antedotes that you might have come across! 1st-a cartoon was made about a horse named "Seabiscuit" by WB's or another affliate in the early 50/60'-the horse was always a "pain" for the trainers. 2nd-When I was stationed in upstate NY my neighbor was a Jockey by the name of Harold Geno that told me plenty of stories about the tracks he rode on for over thirty years in the Northeast. Did you ever contact him? I hope & pray your condition will find its solution!!!! Thank you for being so sturdy & will definetely walk with my dogs for it! Don Carr
Don Carr <>
Somersworth, NH USA - Wednesday, April 18, 2001 at 16:40:42 (EDT)
Laura, THANK YOU SO MUCH! I have ridden and loved horses all my life. I am also a great fan of history and of course I love to read, so when I found your book I was in total bliss. I am on page 80 right now and I am so amazed. Your detail about the industry is fasinating and although I don't ride race horses, the talk of trainers and owners is transerable to any type of riding. It just makes me sick how these terribly wealthy owners had no compassion for the poor jockeys who risked their lives for a win I have just finished the chapter 5 where you talk of that and I was appaulled that the medical care for the jockyes was so poor. But I guess those were the time. I also read Jane Smiley's Horse Heaven recently and I must say some of her story and charactors must be based on this crazy rags to riches story. I am a subscriber to Equs so I will start to pay more attention to articles you have written. I hope you can make it to Seattle and I am sorry to hear you are suffering from Vertigo and I wish you well and if you are ever in Washington State and want to go for a ride just let me know!
Caroline Schaefer <>
Seattle , WA USA - Wednesday, April 18, 2001 at 15:48:59 (EDT)
Great book. It was nice to hear you on the radio. Slaínte, Bob McCarthy
Bob McCarthy <>
Winnisquam, NH USA - Wednesday, April 18, 2001 at 15:46:47 (EDT)
Hi Laura: I really enjoyed your interview, and wanted to call in but was in my car. Your story about Seabiscuit reminded me of a similar theme..I was raised in Australia in the 30s and learned of the legend of Phar Lap, a NZ born horse that made his career in the 30s in Australia, and also raced in the US. He is known to every Australian as the greatest horse ever, and I wonder if he every raced against Seabiscuit. A film was also made about Phar Lap, as with Seabiscuit. I was always taught from an early age that "the Yanks killed Phar Lar", but I understand that this is debatable. Keep your spirits up with the chronic fatigue problem. John
John Giovanelli <>
Kensington, md USA - Wednesday, April 18, 2001 at 14:39:25 (EDT)
Almost forgot! When are you coming to Boston for a signing??
Larry Catyb <>
Revere, Ma. USA - Wednesday, April 18, 2001 at 14:32:48 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I hope your condition is improving, you have my best wishes for a complete diagnosis and full recovery. I finished reading your book, and I must say Seabiscuit's story moved me in ways too broad for mention here. The term 'page turner' is used to excess these days, but your book fits the phrase to a tee. I would like to ask you a few questions: I live 5 minutes from Suffolk Downs Racetrack in Revere. The track is split between East Boston and Revere, and I was wondering if you had this information. Also, Winthrop Hospital is located in Winthrop Mass., I have 2 aunts who were born in that hospital. Did you find it simpler to just put the hospital in Boston? I hope you are well, good luck. L.C.
Larry Catyb <>
Revere, Ma USA - Wednesday, April 18, 2001 at 14:11:54 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Being a horse owner and having loved thoroughbred racing for 50+ years I am only sorry I have finished reading your fabulous opus. I marvel at the detail and facts you were able to compile to create this wonderful saga. I doubt you will be surprised to know there were several moments when I was really quite emotional reading what was unfolding. Congratulations on a superb effort and I very much look forward to whatever your next effort proves to be. Very respectfully, Robert F. Shapiro
Robert F. Shapiro <>
New York, NY USA - Wednesday, April 18, 2001 at 13:39:15 (EDT)
Hi Laura- Well, I seem to be late to the party. Put me down as yet another one of your fans after hearing the wonderful interview broadcast on NPR a few weeks ago. I'm an animal rights advocate, and I therefore have mixed feelings about horses being employed for the entertainment of human animals, but your chroncicle of the life of one remarkable stallion demonstrates the complexity of moral considerations vis-a-vis the relationship between horses and humans. I was touched to hear you describe the affection you felt for this exceptional being and marvelled at the events surrounding his life. As well, I resonated with the comments you made regarding your health issues, some of which I share. In my case, chemical sensitivity has left me largely house bound and feeling like the world is too toxic to deal with. I manage my condition by eating a strictly organic vegan diet, drinking distilled water and living by the beach in an area with relatively clean air. Lastly, I'm attracted to you and would like the opportunity to talk to you in order to see whether we have any chemistry (non-toxic, of course). I bet you weren't expecting that! Fred Sobel
Fred Sobel <>
Oxnard, Ca USA - Wednesday, April 18, 2001 at 13:10:30 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, WOW! Thank you for sharing the unforgettable story about three remarkable men and one amazing horse. As an English teacher, I admire your gifted prose; as the loving owner of my own little thoroughbred, I am in awe of your ability to capture the heart and essence of this magnificent animal. I can't begin to express how much I enjoyed every page of this book...your skill has made the saga of Seabiscuit and the men who loved him, the most compelling biography I have ever read. Thank you!
Barbara Smith <>
Clifton, VA USA - Wednesday, April 18, 2001 at 12:30:31 (EDT)
Dear Laura- I am 10 years old. I am a absoulute horse fanatic!I just finished reading your book with my mom.I have a non-fiction book report coming up in school and didn't know what to do.Then I say your book in borders.I stayed up very late on more than one ocashion.The book was extra interesting because I have visited Santa Anita with my uncle who lives not far from it. I wish I could go back soon so I could look for the statue of Seabiscuit and the one of George Wolf. Thank you for your wonderful adventure of Seabiscuit, an american legend
Anna Randall <>
Kirkland, WA USA - Wednesday, April 18, 2001 at 11:50:19 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Hello! I recently read an article in the Washington Post regarding "Seabiscuit" and your struggle with CFIDS. I also happened to catch your interview yesterday with Diane Rehms on NPR. On the air you said that your vertigo had worsened, that you were in more of a relapse lately and that you are only able to read a few E-mails daily, but I hope somehow that this one reaches you. I am a 37 year old female who has had CFS for 10 years. I have seen dozens of doctors and tried many experimental medications. At my worst I was much like you have described yourself. Bedridden, (in my case I hardly left my bedroom for four years) with many confusing symptoms(profound fatigue, vertigo, memory problems,weight loss, muscle weakness, feeling to weak to speak or eat or even watch televison) which consumed my life. Finally in 1996, I ended up at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and was diagnosed with Neurally Mediated Hypotension( a low blood pressure disorder) after undergoing something called a tilt table test. I presently take two medications, take salt tablets daily and drink large amounts of water in an effort to keep my blood pressure up. Since beginning treatment, I have improved considerably and have my life back. I was saddened to hear that you were feeling so very ill and was hoping in some small way that I might be of some help, if I passed along the name of the Doctor at Johns Hopkins Hospital who was so instrumental in my road to recovery. His name is Hugh Calkins and he is a Cardiologist/Electrophysiologist. The CFS Coordinator's name is Sally Snader. The medical personnel at JHU are extremely supportive. From all of the research I have read and from what the JHU doctors have told me, a very large percentage of people with CFIDS have Neurally Mediated Hypotension ( I believe it's around 80%-90%). Being an author and someone accustomed to doing research I am sure that you are proably already aware of the above information, but if I can pass along any information to you that might be helpful, please feel free to contact me via Email. I am really looking forward to reading "Seabiscuit" and towards seeing the movie. You are an inspiration to anyone who has struggled with a debilitating illness. I truly hope that the future brings you improved health!
Carol Miller <>
Ashburn, Va USA - Wednesday, April 18, 2001 at 11:34:52 (EDT)
Hi Laura, Enjoyed listening to your story of Seabiscuit on NPR. I'm writing with an idea that may help with the CFS. If you have not done so already, I would like to encourage you to research long term antibiotic treatment. The fact that your condition can be traced to a food poisoning incident, makes me wonder if you might have contracted a certian type of "atypical" bacteria. I am not a doctor. What I've learned was the result of wanting to help my girlfriend who had a similar "auto-immune" condition ("fibromyalgia"). A long term antibotic protocol has eliminated her symptoms. Anyway, here is a web site for more information: Also follow the links list especially to the Institute for Molecular Medicine. Incidently, Dr. Gabe Mirkin, the radio doctor here in DC, has treated patients with lta's with some success (see Hope this is helpful and thank you for your book. ---Pete.
Pete Farina
Washington, DC USA - Wednesday, April 18, 2001 at 11:16:42 (EDT)
Though not a "horse person", I was so drawn in by the radio interview on Weekend Edition that I had to read about this incredible horse and those who loved him. One of the best stories I have ever read. You took me into a world that I don't want to leave. I'm looking for the books you used as reference now! Thank you for such a passionate tale.
Wendy Majeske <>
Swartz Creek, MI USA - Wednesday, April 18, 2001 at 10:27:13 (EDT)
NEW YORK , NY USA - Wednesday, April 18, 2001 at 09:58:12 (EDT)
I heard you yesterday on Diane Rehm's show, and your book is definitely on my "to buy" list. Mention of the proposed movie adaptation reminded me of an earlier movie "The Story of Seabiscuit" which I have seen occasionally on TV. It must have been made about the time he died, and featured, to the best of my memory, Lon McAllister as Red Pollard and teenaged Shirley Temple as one of the owner's children(although her exact character may be fictitious).
Margaret Middleton <>
Little Rock, AR USA - Wednesday, April 18, 2001 at 07:18:45 (EDT)
With regard to the book-I could go on with a lengthy panegyric but won't allow you to suffer through that. I know when I'm reading a truly great story when I keep putting it down near the end because I can't bear to be done with it. Moving, uplifting, a genuine masterpiece. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story.
John Ippolito <>
Eagle River, AK USA - Wednesday, April 18, 2001 at 02:43:43 (EDT)
Thank you! Just fabulous! Every accolade deserved, and then some. Reading your research notes was as evocative and moving as the rest of your wonderous writing. Wonderful book! Write more soon! Joel Reingold
Joel Reingold <>
Stamford, CT USA - Wednesday, April 18, 2001 at 01:35:39 (EDT)
I just got my TV remote back again. Teri is engrossed in your book. Thank you, if only for the brief control I have over programming. She says I must read it when she finishes so again thank you for the peace that will permeate our home while we both read it.
Bill MacQuoid <>
Gold Canyon, AZ USA - Wednesday, April 18, 2001 at 01:23:46 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I listened to your wonderful interview with Diane Rehm. (I also heard you on Weekend Edition.) I haven't bought your book yet, but I intend to -- not just for me, but for my father who loves horses and was a teenager in the 1930s, and no doubt followed Seabiscuit's exploits in the same way I did Secretariat. Which brings me to my question: Do you have any thoughts about these two great horses? How do they compare? I admire your courage for researching and writing a difficult tangled story while fighting a debilitating illness. You have my very best wishes.
Howard Lavine <>
Baltimore, MD USA - Wednesday, April 18, 2001 at 01:20:28 (EDT)
I suppose you must be pretty awed with the overwhelming response to your interview today with Diane Rehm. What a wonderful story you've put before us. We were horse people for a while, but moved away from it when our child lost interest. I was intrigued, as have been many of your listeners, with your chronic fatigue syndrome. Are you aware of Dr. Andrew Weil, who heads up the Integrative Medicine Department at the University of Arizona, at Tucson? He wrote a number of books, including "Spontaneous Healing." He is a favorite on the Larry King TV show and has a very useful webpage. Here is a reference to what he has to say about CFS:,1412,30,00.html. The best to you in addressing your most important project -- your health.
f.w.bishop, m.p.h. <>
san diego, ca USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 23:51:38 (EDT)
I was so taken by your story today, and would like to give you my services for free. I am an artist and will be leaving this area of Phoinex Az. soon to travel. I am going to make the worlds largest living sculpture. You inspired me so with your enthusiasm, and I could hear your heart and passion in your voice. I would like to illustrate, paint, draw, scribble, or attend to your yard work for you. Perhaps a children's book, or just a personal project. I am in search of my family, I am 48 years old and have just lost a lifetime of art work. Although what is inside can not be lost. So I continue trying to connect with my two children and grandson. On my travels I would love to be in touch with you. I have the freedom to move and have been blessed with abundant enery, however I remain very isolated as you seem to be, but in an entirely different way. I am people phobic you might say. In my travels I am trying to make a difference for my grandson's generation. Well again thank you so much I do have to go now. Take care. And for the energy you summened up for the world today I thank you, you did give me hope with your story and commitment to such an adventure. Thank You love Michael Anthony
storekeeper <>
phoinex, az USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 23:13:50 (EDT)
Dear Laura, A friend suffered for many years with CFS. Finally, she connected with a doctor at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore who hypothsized and documented with research that an underlying diagnosis to CFS was low blood pressure. My friend now leads a pretty normal life. I believe the physician is a pediatrician. Some of the leading specialists in the country looking at CFS are located at Hopkins. Some docs believe that for some patients, a cause to this low blood pressure is a narrowing of the spine. Treatment in these cases is more controversial. This may be old news to you, but if not, hope it helps. If you would like the name of the doc at Hopkins, I will be happy t to ask my friend and pass it along to you. Your book sounds amazing. Completing it under the circumstances of your health problems is remarkable. Eileen Koenigsberg
Eileen Koenigsberg <>
Hunt Valley , MD USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 22:32:50 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, After hearing your inspiring interview on NPR, I purchased a copy of your book. I have just read it cover to cover and am absolutely in awe. I am now sending the book to my sister-in-law and she is to send it to my dad. Thank you so much for telling this story. Respectfully, Tricia Mathis
Tricia Mathis
USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 22:20:01 (EDT)
My husband heard about Seabiscuit on the radio this morning. He took special notice as the conversation with you continued to reveal that you suffer with cfids. He scribbled your URL down on a piece of paper for me. I, too, have cfids ever since October 1996. Your book sounds quite interesting, and I plan to surprise my husband with a copy. I know he will enjoy reading it. I am glad for you. I know you must have paid dearly for the effort such a book demands. Congratulations on a job well done! I hope cfids gives you some "good" days now and then!!! Joyce
Joyce <>
USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 21:52:14 (EDT)
When I lived in Texas I owned and rode quarter horses for nigh onto 20 years. My beloved mare was out of the Queenie Bar line from the Bar Ranch in South Texas. I bred her to a retired AAA stud. Reading your book reminded me of the tremendous power and raw bursts of speed. We raced in pasture bareback, and I remember thinking her offspring was full out, until an attempt at passing him led to another level of performance. Thank you for writing one of most inspiring stories of such a unique combination of a horse and those who loved him, understood him, and were capable of taking the Throughbred to his potential. Without the wise owner, gifted mustang trainer, and Wolf and Red on board, the Biscuit would not have shined as bright.
Marty BeHannesey <>
San Jose, Ca USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 21:06:38 (EDT)
To fight off the depression of having finished your wonderful book, I find myself going back and re-reading sections and whole chapters. I can not remember when I enjoyed a book as much as yours. As a criminal defense lawyer/cynic I am amazed at how I was moved by the story that you told so well. Thank-you. Any chance you will visit Cleveland? Did you attend Kenyon College here in Ohio?
Warren L. McClelland <>
Shaker Heights, OH USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 19:45:53 (EDT)
Hi Laura. I'm writing because the description you gave of your vertigo symptoms in the W. Post profile of you reminded me of the symptoms suffered by my sister-in-law in England. She was eventually diagnosed with Menieres disease which i beleve is a permanent disability of the inner ear. The good news is that she has learned to manage her condition by totally eliminating all salt from her diet - and I do mean all. These days she lives on baked potatoes and fresh vegetables, fish and chicken. This makes life inconvenient for her sometimes especially in restaurants but it's definitely worth it to her not to have those symptoms any more. I realize that you suffer from CFS and that there may be no Menieres connection at all, but I just thought I'd mention it in case you hadn't heard about the condition and would like to check it out. Congratulations on the book - it sounds great.
Fiona <>
Washington, DC USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 19:05:43 (EDT)
Dear Laura...Like all the others, I heard you this morning with Diane. My wife has Fibromyalgia and is taking a supplement formulated with a new carbohydrate technology thats aids cellular coding and communication. CFS is an auto-immune disorder and research is showing these molecular 'sugars' to be immune system modulators. Would be glad to tell you more about this. My number is 602-973-2326. There is a where you can look at research papers. I haven't said anything bout the book...I inyend to get it first chance... All the best to you, John Renner
John Renner <>
Phoenix, AZ USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 18:17:11 (EDT)
Laura, I heard you on public radio. I immediately went out and bought the book. I have no interest in horses and even less interest in horse racing...It was one of the most wonderful books I have ever read...I had tears in my eyes at the end...I can't thank you enough for a truley wonderful experience. I loved it!!! I am only sorry that I haven't the money to buy the rights to the book, it will make a GREAT movie. Thank you again!
clayton Liotta <>
, USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 18:13:07 (EDT)
I haven't read your book but I would like to. My mother told me about this web site and I had to check it out. I absoultly love horses!!!! I have been a horse lover ever since I was a little girl and I still am I am 13 yrs old and I am still in love with horses.I am working on a book myself I have 167 pages right now and I am not even close to being finished!!!! Horses have inspired me to write and at one point before I was introduced to horses I was kind of on the blue side and not feeling always as happy but then horses inspried me and I was for once really happy in my life. I love reading horse books and I will try to get a copy of the book Sea Biscuit Ok well I have to go bye bye Thank you Always Erin
Erin <>
Greenfield, NH USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 17:36:06 (EDT)
I just finished reading the last chapter and Epilogue with tears of joy and sorrow in my eyes. What an astonishing, straight forward book you have written. Thank you for your incredible work. I do hope that Gary Ross and all those involved with making the movie will honor your work and not "mess it up" like so many Hollywood movies do. If it's done right, I know it will be a huge success and continue to honor the memory of this spectacular horse. Sincerely, Helen Helfer
Helen Helfer <>
Cotuit, MA USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 17:08:41 (EDT)
You are so inspirational;I cannot wait to read your book.(I heard segments about it on NPR.)I see many other people feel the same.I,too,have CFS,and it has been a rocky journey.However,recent treatment has helped my symptoms.I like to share the info but suggest people e-mail me because the main point of this website is your wonderful book.May you be blessed with a return to health and success with your writing.
Cherie <>
Baltimore, MD USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 15:38:16 (EDT)
This has been the most amazing reading experience of my life. Your account of this horse and the people around him has effected me deeply. Years ago I was driving down the Redwood Highway and came upon that sign,"Home of Seabiscuit" I relived that feeling of awe on every page of your book. My congratulations to you, and thank you. Sally Flood
Sally Flood <>
Seattle, Wa USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 15:29:58 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, congratulations of your success with this book. I read "Come On Seabiscuit" when I was a little girl, and have a copy of it in storage. He always was one of my very favorite thoroughbreds of all times and I'm delighted that you've written a book for adults about him. I do think it interesting that so much is made of War Admiral being a son of Mas O'War yet little is said about the fact that Seabiscuit was a grandson of Big Red having been sired by Hard Tack, a son of Man O'War. Blood will tell after all! Best of luck to you in your continuing battle with CFS and I can only wait impatiently for your next book.
Lynne Montavon <>
Phoenix, AZ USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 15:10:09 (EDT)
Just crossed the wire on "Seabiscuit" and regret very much that the ride is over. Wonderful book--well told and impressively researched. I grew up next door to Santa Anita. You refreshed many a fond memory of great horses, great jockeys and the incomparable Joe Hernandez. I do a little writing now for Ruidoso Downs. Come on out for our Million Dollar Futurity on Labor Day. No Seabiscuits but some of the finest two-year-old quarter horses in the country. Andy Beyer was here last year. Best of luck.
Robert LaRue <>
Lincoln, NM USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 15:00:51 (EDT)
Forgot to mention _ There is a very simple and accurate test to tell if you have NMH, called the tilt table. If you have this condition, this test will be able to quickly tell if you are positive for it.
Dennis Champney <>
glen arm, md USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 14:55:40 (EDT)
Like so many others in your guestbook, I heard you on the Diane Rehm show this morning, and thoroughly enjoyed the hour. Not only am I excited about the book (I plan to purchase it before the week is out), but I am inspired by your bravery, considering what you had to face in your personal life to write it. When I hear about someone like you, who is embracing life and using your intellect while dealing with such a debilitating condition and facing real challenges each day, I feel ashamed at worrying so intensely about my "problems." I sincerely hope that your condition will improve and that you enjoy continued literary success. I encourage everyone who visits this site to write their government representatives and encourage support for CFS research.
Toni <>
Bel Air, MD USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 14:51:49 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, heard you on the Diane Rehm show today. In listening to you describe your sysmptoms I was struck by the similarities to the condition my wife and three sons suffer. They are afflicted with neurally mediated hypotension. This essentialy is a condition of low blood pressure caused by some disfunction of the body. There are many sites on the Net which can further explain this syndrome. It may behoove you to check into this!!!
dennis champney <>
glen arm , md USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 14:44:44 (EDT)
I just finished listening to the Diane Rheem show on NPR and just want to say that this is one of the best "animal" stories that I have heard. I love all animals and horses and learned so much that I didn't know. I am only 53 years old and did not live during those times, but I have always been interested in "underdog" racehorses and was interested in the Seattle Slew story (a few years ago) in my area (Washington State). Seattle Slew was a relatively inexpensive horse that turned out to be a winner because people had faith in him. I will definitely go out and buy your book. I also want to commend you for your open and informative attitude about your CFS which makes your writing of this book even more remarkable. Those of us who get "tired" during the day and complain about being tired, don't really know what it is to be confronted with your illness and be REALLY tired. Contratulations on your efforts to overcome your fatigue and be able to write this book. I am looking forward to reading it. I am a student returning to school for a second degree, and I have no time to read anything other than school books, but I will MAKE time to read this book. Thanks again for the book and the interview that you did with Diane. Holly Kaczmarski, Dayton, Washington
Holly B. Kaczmarski <>
Dayton, WA USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 14:39:07 (EDT)
I can't even express in words how exciting the story sounds. I knew about the greatest race ever but not the little bits and pieces of all involved. What an amazing horse and what a miracle. Congratulations on having a #1 bestseller about a horse story, that is a miracle. i think I lived at the wrong time as far as horse hero's. Thank you! I hope you get well someday, my stepmother also has it and she does alot of natural health stuff to help. Good Luck.
Paula Carson <>
Phoenix, AZ USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 14:14:37 (EDT)
I was fasinated with your interview this morning with Ms. Ream, who I always listen to as well. First, I hope you get well and at least enjoy life as much as you contribute to it for all of us. I will buy your book - even though I'm not a big horse racing fan, you gave me insight that has to be explored further. Thank you and best wishes.
David Fontaine <>
Owings mills, MD USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 14:05:29 (EDT)
I heard your interview with Diane Reahm this morning and enjoyed it greatly. It brought back a lot of memories....I was the girl who checked every horse book out of the school library multiple times. I got a Barnes and Noble gift certificate for my birthday, and I plan on using it to purchase your book. I would like to know if you have written other books, and also what books you would recommend on the subject of thoroughbreds and racing. thanks.
Lynne <>
St. Louis, MO USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 13:41:31 (EDT)
Laura, your interview on The Diane Rheem Show on NPR this morning was most fascinating and enjoyable. I join others here in extending accolades and I look forwarding to reading your account of Seabiscuit, et al. I also hope that your comment about the NIH dropping its research re CFS did not go unnoticed, and that hopefully there will be renewed interest (pressure?) in getting the much-needed medical research to help find treatments and a cure. Much good luck to you in your health and career endeavors. Sincerely, Larry Goodsite
Larry Goodsite <>
Watertown, NY USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 13:28:01 (EDT)
Dear Laura, As with so many others, I heard your interview with Diane Rheem this morning. I have heard a couple other promos on your book as well. I am very eager to read your book. I applaud your strength, perserveranc, and good humor in the face of such a debilitating condition. I have a friend who is similarly disabled. It is hard to under- stand how someone who sounds so energetic and vital can be so drained by simple activities, but I know it is true. I will continue to look for more of your writing in Equus and other places. Thank you for your great gift to horse lovers.
Marjorie Torelli Haizlip <>
Canandaigua, NY USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 13:27:14 (EDT)
Hello Ms. Hillenbrand Thank you for this story. If you decide to put it to tape for even countless others to hear, I would like to audition for you and your publishers. I know you will be healing for with all these wonderful people here on your page, they'll have you coming down the homestretch in no time!
USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 13:14:32 (EDT)
I heard your interview on NPR this morning and I am going out at lunch to buy your book. It was a pleasure listening to this story and I can't wiat to read every word. I hope you get stronger and you feel well again. Thanks, klee
Kathy Lee Haskin <>
Fort Worth, Texas USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 13:12:57 (EDT)
Laura, caught the end of your interview with diane rheem, can't wait to get the book. Love horses and love books! regarding your miserable disease, have you tried magnets? many people have had amazing results with your condition. I know you are inundated, but i would love to help if I can. You are an inspiration!
Catherine Riegel <>
baltimore, MD USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 13:11:45 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand: Wonderful read; among the finest novels I've come across.
Rob Pinckard <>
Queen Creek, Az USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 13:04:28 (EDT)
I have been very moved by your work and very disturbed by your handicap. I am a neighbor. I live in Washington at the Westchester and I have had some physical problems similar to yours. I would like very much to offer some assistance to you. I realize that your strength is very limited and that the last thing you need is a distraction which provides no substance. I would not waste your resources in that way. If you would be interested I would be happy to share my experience with you and to give you some information which I believe will be helpful to you. You can respomd to this emsil at or you may call me at 202.333.4493 or at 202.232.3100. Sincerely, Richard Basch
richard basch <>
washington, dc USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 13:01:48 (EDT)
I just caught part of your interview w/Diane Rehm. I'm a librarian and can't have the radio on when I'm on desk assisting patrons! Our fiction librarian was sent an advance copy of your book and she passed it on to me as she knows I love horses. After I was widowed in 86 while studying at UCB to get my Master's in library and info. studies, I "bribed" my then-six-year-old daughter to come to Texas w/the promise of horse-riding lessons. That was in 1987 and little did I know that we would both become horse-aholics!! I don't ride but I do believe that the spirit of a horse is good for nearly everyone. I enjoy being out at the barn and the shows. Sam rides English and does jumping events now. I know for a fact that one particular horse saved my daughter's life. Dudley was a marvelous and handsome thoroughbred w/a hammy sense of humor and there was never any doubt that he loved her when you saw them together. He was a gift to both of us. Now that the Lone Star Horse Park is open we've been to a few races and they are thrilling! I have FMS and do sympathize w/you over your challenges w/CFS. I'm sure you've done a great deal of research into the subject. 2 years ago some local groups hosted a visit by Dr. Paul Cheney who specializes in CFS. Just in case you haven't heard of him thought I'd pass along his name. Take care and write more horse stories!!
Jo Anne Sherlock <>
Irving, TX USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 12:59:49 (EDT)
I caught your interview on the Diane Rhem show this morning; wonderful interview and you sound so lively - despite your affliction. Your comments of your struggle with CFS are going to be far more powerful than you might imagine: please keep up the commentary. A book on this in your future?? During the 70's I worked with a large number of the horse farms (racers and trotters) in the Lexington, KY area and was constantly bombarded with stories of SeaBiscuit: interesting in light of the Man-O-War dominance in the area. Most recognize winners are winners despite all impressions and prejudice otherwise. This has to be one of the, if not 'the most', ultimate man-animal cooperate 'come-back story'. I've not read your book, but just ordered it online and I am really looking forward to reading it. I wish you the best of luck on the movie (can't wait to see it, too) and on dealing with the CFS. God's speed. Please keep in touch with your public and thank you for your display of courage and determination. The FLASH intro is a nice touch!!
Les Booth <>
West Lafayette, IN USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 12:53:30 (EDT)
Laura,I have also been interested in horses my whole life and have recently been involved in an embryo transfer scam with my mare. It has really evolved into a great story even though it has not been in my favor. It involves a person that imported an Irish Draught stallion to breed Irish Sport Horses in the U.S. He opened an embryo transfer facility in 1999 and made offers to me and another person for donar mares in exchange for 1 live foal. Both Mares were there for 2 months and according to him there were no successful transfers. We took our mares home. Later we found out that we both could have had 10 or more tranfers so we pulled manes from some of the foals when they were born for DNA testing. Two came back positive. We had embryo's stolen from our mares. He has since been forclosed on by the bank but the rumor is he will be going into buisness in Va. I would like to warn people and I would also like to talk to you about writing the story. Thanks
Linda M. Dennehy <>
Monroe, NC USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 12:45:23 (EDT)
Hi, Laura. I enjoyed your NPR interview very much, and I will get the book. I'm writing because you mentioned your chronic fatigue. Looking at your other email messages, I see that there are several others who are offering suggestions, so I hope you aren't feeling that these are more of a nuisance than help. I have had chronic fatigue myself for about ten years, and am doing pretty well these days. In the process of researching the disease for my own survival, I developed credentials as a nutritionist and served as office manager and director of patient education in a medical practice. My experience has been that there isn't a simple answer to chronic fatigue syndrome but that it is a complex interaction of factors. I am very familiar with Mannatech and with the effects of omega-3 oils, for example. They may be able to offer some benefit, but they aren't "the" answer. One of the main elements of CFS is a depression of the hypothalamus that creates a pattern of subclinical hormone insufficiencies, including for many people, adrenal, thyroid, and reproductive hormones in different proportions depending on the individual. I have had great success in my own case by carefully supplementing those hormones to recreate a more robust hormone balance. Your dizziness, incidentally, is probably due to orthostatic hypotension, which is common with CFS. CFS patients tend not to hold adequate amounts of fluid, and tend to have inadequate blood volume to maintain normal blood pressure when standing or sitting. I have research on this I can forward to you if you want. I believe it's an artifact of the adrenal slowdown that comes from the reduced function of the hypothalamus, which is the master gland that tells the adrenals and other glands what to produce. There are various, noninvasive approaches to reestablishing the balance of cerebral blood flow that are being offered by some of the leading CFS doctors, and I can tell you the sources for the information if you're interested. The dizziness may also be from hypoglycemia, which can be due to a reduction in the adrenals' ability to produce adequate cortisol. Cortisol tends to be low in CFS patients. It's a "glucocorticoid" hormone, which means that it is needed to maintain blood sugar levels. Again, that goes back to the generalized hormonal slowdown due to the suppression of the hypothalamus. There is also very often an element of food or chemical sensitivity that plays into the fatigue, which can be tracked down and addressed, and in many cases, intestinal dysbiosis plays a role. There also tends to be a downregulation of cellular mitochondrial function. The mitochondria are the cells' energy factories. There are several approaches that have helped many people get the mitochondria working better. With all of these elements, some work better for some patients than others, and it's a matter of sorting through and trying out to find which ones are the best for any one person. If you would like to discuss this further, please send me an email. I consider it my responsibility to make whatever information I have available to anyone with chronic fatigue who is looking for relief. Best wishes, Jerry Freeman, C.N.C.
Jerry Freeman <>
Syracuse, NY USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 12:42:06 (EDT)
Just finished listening to you on NPR this morning. I cannot wait to purchase the book. I asked my husband if he remembered the Sea Biscuit story and he did. So, I will now "pick his brain" and am sure he will want to read your book also.
Melanie Streety <>
Crawfordville, FL USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 12:37:16 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I just heard you on the Diane Rheem show which I have listened to for over twelve years. Each year I give the best book I've read over the course of the year, to four of my friends, as Christmas presents. One year I gave Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, the next year it was Wally Lambs I Know This Much Is True. Both authors I heard, by the way, interviewed on Dianes show! Each year I quietly lament that there is nothing worthwhile out there that I can share with my friends about my true passion...horses. We own two Arabs and like you, as a child I became obsessed with the equines, thanks in no small part to Margurite Henrys King of the Wind. Now this year I know that I will be sending YOUR book, even before I read it, I know it will be THE one to share. Thank you for your hard work, all the research and your love of our beautiful equine friends. Most of all, thank you for these Christmas presents! I hope that something will come over the horizon that will help your medical condition. My prayers join countless others in the wish that you will find relief and maybe someday a cure. Most sincerely, Sandra Brown
Sandra Brown <>
Reston,, VA USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 12:28:37 (EDT)
Laura, Congratulations on the book. Can't wait to read it. Hope you find a cure for the CFS. For a nation of sports fans who, as far as horse racing is concerned, only pay attention to the Kentucky Derby, I'm amazed that a story about horse racing is doing this well. Perhaps, if the excitement and drama of horse racing was promoted like pro football, baseball, or basketball, horse racing's popularity would take off once again.
Steve Janofsky <>
Baltimore, MD USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 12:20:01 (EDT)
A horse lover since childhood, I eagerly read anything to do with horses as a child. I remember reading about Seabisuit, but not very much. One of my favorites was about Man O' War, and I think it ironic that such a beautiful animal, War Admiral, came from Man O' War, who was almost as ungainly in looks as Seabiscuit, and who not only was nicknamed "Old Bones" but in his early years was described as a clothes rack. I hope to read your book. It sounds like a winner.
S. Chetwynd <>
Lake Ridge, VA USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 12:12:48 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand: I heard you on NPR discussing Seabiscuit (my sister loved it by the way, and I plan to read it too) and heard you mention you suffer from CFS. I wanted to let you know about a treatment for it that you may not have heard of. Several years ago, some Scandinavian researchers did a well-controlled study of the benefits of fish oil in CFS. The study showed a profound benefit from the fish oil (a great source of omega-3 fatty acids). I am a psychiatrist who treats a variety of people, some with CFS or related syndromes, e.g., fibromyalgia, and have seen benefit myself from it, as well as in psychiatric disorders. I have been struck by the fact that the benefit seems to accrue slowly over the course of months, very unlike placebo effects. There are other sources of omega-3 for those who dislike fish oil--many people take flaxseed oil, for instance. There is growing evidence that deficiencies of these essential nutrients play a role in a variety of diseases. Of course, I have never seen or evaluated you, so cannot make a formal recommendation that you try this treatment (my medical disclaimer.) If you would like to see the Scandinavian study, email me back and I will fax it to you. Craig Boyajian, M.D.
Craig Boyajian <>
USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 12:00:03 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I would like to help you with your ailment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibromyalgia. I am a 22 year veteran with the Tulsa Fire Department and have attained the rank of Captain. A little more than a year ago, I started working with a nutritional research and development company, Mannatech, Inc. This company has a product that allows our immune system to communicate properly. When it can do that, it works properly, and does not attack our own bodies. Please, don't take my word for it. Please check out our company--we can stand the scrutiny. Sincerely, Ken Barton, President Retail Control No. R494480 Web Barton Global Consulting WORLDWIDE HEALTH AND BUSINESS CONSULTANT AUTHORIZED MANNATECH REPRESENTATIVE 2641 W. El Paso Broken Arrow, OK Home: 918.251.2640 Pager 918.621.7216 E-Mail:
Ken Barton <>
Broken Arrow, OK USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 11:48:54 (EDT)
At the age of 5 I became the owner of a Grandson of Seabiscuits, Tippy Tin, by Sea Sovereign. My Dad, and his best friend, had owned Tippy and raced him successfully in Northern California. Like his Grandpa, he was a work horse, running frequently and winning often. When it came time for his retirement, Dee Kirkpatrick, my Dad's friend gave him to me as a Christmas gift, knowing my Dad would take care of him. This was the early 60's and he was a beautiful black with a white star and stripe. I would be interested in finding out more about his race record, any suggestions, as both by father and Dee have passed on. suggestions on where to look? Thank you for the book, it reminds me of the wonderful times I had on the back strectch with my Dad.
Sherrie Cooper <>
Orland, CA USA - Tuesday, April 17, 2001 at 00:52:22 (EDT)
Oh Laura, What a fine writer you are! I just enjoyed your book immensly. Today the announced the Pulitzer Prizes and I believe with all my heart that you should be awarded one. Your approach to this work was so dilligent and unique. Your writing skills are so extraordinary. Thank you for giving me the chance to experience a most exciting page in American history. Please immerse yourself in another project immediately. I cannot wait!
sheila benner <>
cincinnati, oh USA - Monday, April 16, 2001 at 20:12:50 (EDT)
This was not just an example of great sportswriting, but great writing in general. History written in such an engaging style is a joy to read!
Cynthia Couture <>
Algonac, MI USA - Monday, April 16, 2001 at 18:58:10 (EDT)
Hello, I'm half way through the book and it's really hard to stop after finishing a chapter. I was just wondering if the book is all about Seabiscuit, then why don't we see Seabiscuit on the cover? It's just his rear end. Also, I sure would of liked more pictures of this amazing horse. I can't wait for the movie.
M. Schullian <>
Kent, Wa USA - Monday, April 16, 2001 at 18:29:00 (EDT)
I could not put your wonderful book down. So beautiful, vivid and full of heart, courage and character. YOu are the Seabiscuit of writers. Now I know there is no finer praise.
Jennifer A. Renton <>
Edgewater, MD USA - Monday, April 16, 2001 at 16:42:26 (EDT)
Laura: I've never been to a race track, nor been interested in the sport. I have owned a horse once and loved the lessons he taught me. After hearing this story, being brought from each place in the story to face my own faith, trusting you with the next right thing to come, I could smell the barn, taste the dust, feel the pain of man and horse! This experience has been more than I could ever have imagined and has put drive in my spirit to write, and write I will. I would someday like to cause my readers to cry openly at the end of a tense horse-race! Thanks for your perserverance, courage, and Truth, to yourself, and to us who aspire.
Bill Allen <>
Marietta, GA USA - Monday, April 16, 2001 at 15:43:38 (EDT)
I just finished reading Seabiscuit An American Legend. What a wonderful book about horse racing and the "back stretch". This book turned out to have much more meaning to me than I ever anticipated. You see, I was born in January of 1937 and my dad was riding at Santa Anita race track. We lived in Monrovia until 1940 and then moved to Burlingame where my dad rode the northern California circuit for the next 20 years (except during the war); Bay Meadows, Tanforan, Golden Gate fields, and the county fair circuit during the summer. He told me a few stories about his early years starting with the "bull rings" in Wyoming at age 16 and then migrating to the west coast.He rode in Canada, Washington, Aqua Caliente, and California. Your description of the "bug boy life" sounded harsher than he ever talked about, but maybe it was closer to his early years than I ever knew. I think I gained more insight into his fiesty personality with your descriptions of jockeys of that time. I would like to further investigate those early years at Santa Anita and try to find any memorabilia that might include my Dad. What could you offer in direction alog these lines? I would like to send you two pictures that date to the mid 1930's which might be of interest to you. One is of a "bull ring" track and group and the other a group of riders at Santa Anita. Please send my your email or address where I could forward these copies. Thanks for bringing back to life those wonderful days of horse racing. It certainly was the "King" of spectator sports in that era. Respectfully, Jim C. Carter
Jim Carter <>
Boise, Id USA - Monday, April 16, 2001 at 11:57:04 (EDT)
When my daughter was in fourth grade and going through preadolescent horse love she brought home a little book and gave it to me with the words "you'll love this mom." It was called "Let's go Seabiscuit" by Ralph Moody. Unfortunately she returned it before I had a chance to finish it and I scoured bookshelves for the book. I finally found it at a library used book sale. We both fell in love with the crooked-legged little horse. I even went so far as to buy the Shirley Temple movie simply for the footage of the Seabiscuit/War Admiral race. I was so entranced with the determined little horse, I spent hours looking for more information, but lacking resources, came up with very little. So I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to thank you for your book, your research and your fascinating story. Thank you for sharing the story of the little horse and his devoted family and making it a part of our own history. By the way my daughter's preadolescent love of horses is now full fledged and we own our very own thoroughbred. Don't tell her, but Seabiscuit is still my favorite.
Jane Luddy <>
Glenside, pa USA - Monday, April 16, 2001 at 11:42:28 (EDT)
Laura, Wonderful book that captivated this fellow like a stretch run at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in April.Howard,Smith,Pollard,and the tragic Woolf and of course the "Biscuit" made for the best read I've had in a couple of years,and I'm a reader.Being a easterner I know my money would have been on War Admiral,has there ever been a handsomer colt?The chapter on the match race was fantastic,I could here Clem McCarthy's voice as they hit the quarter pole and chill went right up my spine. I read in the Blood Horse of your condition and quite frankly was stunned that such a talented and attractive gal had been stricken by this malady.Hope you weather the storm well and if you improve think about a book on Samuel Riddle,Man o War and his get. Watch out for Congaree,or as I refer too him as Arizi's revenge.
Bruce Mitchell <>
Hasbrouck Heights, N.J. USA - Monday, April 16, 2001 at 05:12:10 (EDT)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, I have just finished reading your book and, as unlike me as this may be, I must tell you it was fantastic. I have been training thoroughbreds since 1968 and although not to any national (or even local) acclaim, I have managed to make ends meet on most occasions. I have also had the pleasure to have used the services of a jockey by the name of Tina Hines, and, although I have not contacted her lately, she has remained a very good friend. I am not completely sure, but I believe she is the same Tina Hines you have acknowledged as one of your contributors. Back to Seabiscuit. I was moderately familiar with Seabiscuit's record but I was highly influenced by the old Shirley Temple movie. Your book had me totally enthralled. I found myself getting as excited reading about races as I do watching them ( and I already knew the result of most of them). Reading about the "Biscuit's" final race brought tears to my eyes, something I have usually reserved for my own horses and reruns of Secretariat's Belmont. Learning about the people involved with Seabiscuit's career was enlightening; I now have a new hero in Tom Smith. Reading in detail about the lives two of our Canadian Jockeys was both satisfying and disturbing. Thanks you so much for such a wonderful experience. Be assured that if word of mouth helps, Fort Erie Racetrack will be a hotbed of fans for SEABISCUIT. Thanks again, Thomas G. Gostlin 257 Douglas St. Fort Erie, Ontario Canada L2A 3X3
Thomas G. Gostlin <>
Fort Erie, ON Canada - Sunday, April 15, 2001 at 21:20:05 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I just finished reading your book which I enjoyed very much. I thank you for all the research and hard work that made this story about Seabiscuit come back to life for all of us to enjoy. My friend Tom Shehan who lives in Scarborough, Maine, remembers Seabiscuit racing at Suffolk Downs. Tom is in the Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Tom will be 90 in July. I bet he would love to hear from you. Do you know yet when the movie will be released? Clark P. Thompson Bangor, Me.
Clark P. Thompson <>
Bangor, Me USA - Sunday, April 15, 2001 at 19:59:24 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand. I was certainly surprised to see a new book about Seabiscuit, but I must admit, I was glad. You see, I grew up in a racing family. My father and my uncle were both riders during this time period. In fact, both of them, rode against George Wolf, Charlie Kurtzinger, Sonny Workman and the like. My parents were both in the in field at Pimlico for the match race with War Admiral. Sadly, though both of them are now deceased. I know that you are a very busy lady, but if you could find the time to email me back, I have a proposition for another book that I think you might find challenging and I would like to see it written and possibly help with the writing and you may just be the person that can assist me. Thank you. Warmest Regards Dave Treptor
Dave <>
Newark, DE USA - Sunday, April 15, 2001 at 19:40:46 (EDT)
Laura, I admire you so. I saw you on television recently. I recieved an e-mail today, via an organization by the name of "CO-CURE", with your web site. I understand that you have Myalgic Encephalitis, as do I. I have been trying to rise up to a level where I will be able to write the many "stories" I have in me. This condition has made that path very slow and "bumpy". After 8 years on that path, I think I am close to starting my first book. I had no idea that this condition could rob you of your very life, let alone any project that may be on ones' agenda. YOU HAVE GIVEN ME HOPE, AND I TAKE COMFORT IN KNOWING THAT YOU DID ACCOMPLISH YOUR DREAM, WITH WHAT SOUNDS LIkE TO ME, MUCH TANASITY AND PERSEVERANCE. CONGRATULATIONS. I would like to read your book. I look forward to the day that my condition allows for that to happen. I will be looking for your up-dates on the progress of your movie, and will go to see it when it premires! Sincerely, and Congratulations, Chris
Chris <>
Lacey, WA USA - Sunday, April 15, 2001 at 17:45:04 (EDT)
Dear Laura: Thank you for a masterful depiction of passion, dedication, and commitment to being one's best, no matter where we come from or what life hands us. You, the Biscuit, Tom, Pollard, and Georgie stand tall before me as beacons that light my way by the exanple of courage each of you set before us. Can you or any one else guide me to where I can get a picture of the Biscuit?
Maria Velez <>
Gibsonia, PA USA - Sunday, April 15, 2001 at 15:47:52 (EDT)
What a marvelous book! I took a bath this morning instead of my usual shower just so I could keep reading. I knew the ending but your skill as a writer never lets up. The level of tension throughout the book is spellbinding. Thank you for telling the story. I hope it sells a million copies for you.
martin wilke <>
boise, id USA - Sunday, April 15, 2001 at 15:28:50 (EDT)
Great book1 I never realized that a non-fiction book about horse racing could be so exciting.Ms. Hillebrand is a fantastic writer.Why not try baseball?
Lep Rettig <JOLEE43125@AOL.COM>
CEDARHURST, NY USA - Sunday, April 15, 2001 at 14:03:25 (EDT)
I just received the book as a birthday present from my wife. Enjoyed it immensely. What a great story, and so skillfully told! Great job! I will be recommending this book to many people. I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't enjoy it.
Dean Way
USA - Sunday, April 15, 2001 at 13:37:05 (EDT)
Dear Laura, My name is Diane Duffy, I'm 21, & I'm an amateur steeplechase jockey in Ireland. My uncle, who lives in New Jersey, recently sent my Dad (who lived in the US from 1960-1974, and has a keen interest in American politics, history, and especially horse-racing.) your book. I wrestled it off him & read it in about 5 days!! I just loved it-it was immensely entertaining, enjoyable, and very sad. I read the last few pages through tears. I did think the deaths of all the characters were sad, of course Seabiscuits' too, but I thought that Red Pollard's life was extremely sad. The Howards & Seabiscuit lived out their days like kings, but Red Pollards' end was too sad for words-it wouldn't even have been as bad if he went out in a blaze of glory like the Iceman. I was very surprised that, as somebody who studies racing at every level, I had never heard of this exceptionally great racehorse and, for that reason, I think it is wonderful that his memory has been brought back to life for this generation & generations to come, by your excellent portrayal of him & all his brilliant & skilled connections. I also have an added interest in ugly-duckling type stories because of my own race-horse, Herb Superb. Bred by Dad's cousin, we bought him as an unbroken 5-year-old, first ran him as a 6-year-old & he won his first race as a 7-year-old. He is a point-to-pointer. I don't know if you are familiar with this type of racing. It's hugely popular in Ireland. Point-to-points are all-amateur steeplechases run over 3 miles, with at least 15 fences, and the season runs from January until May, every Saturday & Sunday. Herb has won 7 point-to-points, and been placed on nearly all of his completed starts. I & 3 of my siblings have all ridden him. I won 4 races on him in 1998 and, most recently, my little brother Peter won on him on his only start this year. He is bred to sprint over 5 furlongs, but dourly stays 3 miles & jumps like a stag! At the moment, Irish racing has been halted for 8 weeks, due to start back next Monday, but point-to-points are abandoned for the year, so that is quite a disappointment to us. I was interested in e-mailing you not just to congratulate you on your excellent & thrilling book, which I both laughed & cried at, and thoroughly enjoyed, but I was also interested in contacting people who knew or were related to any of the people in the book, as it is of great interest to me. Also, my great uncle Johnny Duffy was a very successful steeplechase rider in the 30's. He rode mainly for Ivan Enko, Whitney & Balding (I'm unsure of their Christian names), was champion rider in Aiken, SC & Saratoga, NY. I would love to hear from anyone who knew of or heard of him, even the smallest thing about him would interest me. Thank you again for a brilliant book, and I will no doubt be visiting this site again, and reading any further publications by you & watching the film when it comes out. Best of luck to you, Diane Duffy.
Diane Duffy <dianeduffy1980>
Summerhill, Meath, Ireland - Sunday, April 15, 2001 at 12:45:42 (EDT)
Wonderful story. Hope there are more planned. Thanks, Gary Hempel
Gary Hempel <>
St Louis, Mo USA - Sunday, April 15, 2001 at 12:40:10 (EDT)
Laura you should be inordinately proud of your self. Not only have you written a best seller - no mean feat. But to do so whilst suffering from myalgic encephalomyelitis, this devastating but often mocked disease, is astonishing. I am delighted for you. I heard your interview on Weekend Editon and you did splendidly. My copy of Seabiscuit is heading to me from
Jean Harrison <>
Salem, MA USA - Sunday, April 15, 2001 at 11:13:46 (EDT)