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Dear Laura- My family just saw the movie. It was fabulous! Congratulations for a remarkable accomplishment. Hope all is well with you. If you are able, please contact me at my office 202 225-5965. Your devout fan Congresswoman Shelley
Congresswoman Shelley Berkley <>
DC, DC USA - Monday, September 01, 2003 at 10:21:22 (EDT)
Dear Laura Hillenbrand, Why the excessive, and seemingly gratuitious, blasphemy in the Seabiscuit film? It does nothing in particular to further the development of Pollard's character, and you write in your wonderful book that he carried a rosary with him at all times! Thanks so much for your attention to this, and for your valuable time. Sincerely yours, Marion Long
Marion Long <>
Southport , CT USA - Monday, September 01, 2003 at 10:13:57 (EDT)
Wow! "Jumpin' Jehosephat!" What a truly great movie. Thanks so much to people like Dreamworks and Spyglass Entertainment for being able to recognize such a moving and wonderful story and bring it to the screen in such a loving and miraculous way. We don't need non-stop fast action and violence in movies to make up for a poor story. A good story tells itself. Thanks also to Laura Hillenbrand for writing such a wonderful book. Heard your interview on PBS radio. With your severe case of chronic fatigue syndrome your description of the best time in writing the book as "when I became Seabiscuit" is a truly touching and fitting testimonial to the Seabiscuit in you and in all of us. Truly moving. Thank you. Thank you. Barry Scholles
Barry Scholles <>
Dover, OH USA - Monday, September 01, 2003 at 09:52:47 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand -- not a big horse racing fan, but bought your book -- loved it. Went to see the movie -- nice, but nowhere near the caliber of your text, which I proceeded to read again to better register the story in my head (just finished reading #2 today, Labor Day 2003). I have become a big fan of the Biscuit and his crew, and want to thank you for so magnificiently capturing them and their time for those of us today and our posterity to come. It would have been a tragedy for such a wonderful true story to become subsumed in the tides of time. Your tribute will ensure that Silent Tom, The Cougar & The Iceman, Charles & Marcela and the great Seabiscuit will sail into history together, riding high for as long as people strive to overcome adversity and misunderstanding to reach their goals. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to so wonderfully share your passion with the rest of the world. Eric P. Dawson, Lt.Col., U.S. Army
Eric P. Dawson
Aiea, HI USA - Monday, September 01, 2003 at 03:22:03 (EDT)
I had heard this book was good but little did I know I would become ENTHRALLED. I love it. I love the way the characters are made real, you feel like you know them personally and the horses: I love the way they are described, their emotions, etc. The races are so real my heartbeat speeds up and I get tense - I might as well be at the race. The detail in this book is wonderful - thank you, Laura for writing this wonderful book!!
Frankie L. Forrey <>
Bisbee, AZ USA - Sunday, August 31, 2003 at 22:10:40 (EDT)
Hello, just saw the movie, loved it. I would like to know where Seabiscuit's name came from. Thank you, Lynda Williams
Lynda Williams <>
Athens, PA USA - Sunday, August 31, 2003 at 22:01:34 (EDT)
Thank You for such a wonderful book! You definently bring Tom Smith, Red Pollard, and Charles Howard to life .You go into such detail, I feel like I was there.You are an excellent author. Thanx again and keep up the great work!!!
Sandra Gomez <>
Collinsville, Il. USA - Sunday, August 31, 2003 at 21:00:27 (EDT)
I want to tell you how much I enjoyed the movie Seabiscuit.A true masterpiece.A real timeless classic. Also I bought your book.It is the special collector's edition.This book I will treasure it always.I give it 4 stars.You make Seabiscuit,Charles Howard,Tom smith come alive for the reader.I tell all my friends to buy this book.It is money well spent. Long live Seabiscuit
Luke Periard <>
alexandria, ont canada - Sunday, August 31, 2003 at 20:38:50 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillebrand: Thank you for writing "Seabiscuit". This is an heroic story, and your writing of that story is breath-taking. You let us readers truly feel the rush of glory and sorrow that typifies the racing world. Thank you so much for caring, and for allowing us into that world. With deepest respect, Charlotte Shoaff
Charlotte Shoaff <>
No. Hollywood, Ca USA - Sunday, August 31, 2003 at 19:23:49 (EDT)
Dear Laura: I just finished one of the best books on why I love America and proud to be an America. In these times people kind of forget how great this country is, reading this book made me face the American flag that flies at my house everyday, and say God Bless America. Reading your book was like reading an adventure story.... three men that came together with a horse and came to glory...only in America. I Only hope more teachers in america make this book standard reading material so more kids can see what made this country as great as it is. Sincerely, Bob
Roberta Haney <>
Melville, NY USA - Sunday, August 31, 2003 at 19:13:59 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Thank you for writing "Seabiscuit". This is an heroic story, and your writing is absolutely breath-taking. You make us readers to truly feel the rush of glory and sorrow that typifies the racing world. Thank you so much for caring, and allowing us into that world. With deep respect, Charlotte Shoaff
Charlotte Shoaff <>
No. Hollywood, Ca USA - Sunday, August 31, 2003 at 18:01:55 (EDT)
i am reading your book for a school book report. so far it is good. i like how you switch lives you know what i mean. ~Brielle~
Brielle Dunham <>
SpringHill, KS USA - Sunday, August 31, 2003 at 17:22:25 (EDT)
I know you had a great story to tell and you told it so well. Thank you!
Carol M. <>
Clearwater, B.C. Canada - Sunday, August 31, 2003 at 16:34:09 (EDT)
I just wanted to say how happy I am to know about Seabiscuit and his story. I went to the movie because a friend wanted to see it and enjoyed it so much I've seen it 3 times! Then I bought the book because I wanted to know what happened to everyone (especially Seabiscuit) and liked it even more than the movie. You do write beautifully and I can't get enough of this beautiful horse!
Susan <>
FL USA - Sunday, August 31, 2003 at 11:42:31 (EDT)
SACRAMENTO, CA USA - Sunday, August 31, 2003 at 11:06:27 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand; I am an avid reader, but I have never read a book like yours. It truly qualifies for the term, "page-turner." During the description of the actual races, I at times had to put the book down, simply to break the tension. And your ability to set the stage in providing descriptions of people, of the racing events, the crowdsu are a remarkable writer. You have a gift, a true gift and I as a reader appreciate it very much and thank you. Please! Write another book -- and please do it soon! Sincerely, Joyce Dean
Joyce Dean <>
Dahlonega, GA USA - Sunday, August 31, 2003 at 05:39:54 (EDT)
Ms.Hillenbrand I love your story its so touching,im going to see the movie when it comes out!My mom has already read your book and ive been on your website a hundred times.I think im going to buy the movie when it comes out on video and watch till i cant watch it anymore.Im 15 yrs old and i love every movie to do w/ horses i think im going to like yours the best becuz it about how they trained the horse and how 3 men became friends i think that is so touching when that happens,we live on a ranch and we know whats is like to have a horse like that and we always have faith in htem becuz u dont now what they will do till u try.That is what my grandpa taught me,never give up on a horse.I feel sorry for the jockey though with hes eye the way it is.If that were me i wouldnt have given up either,well i would have tried but knowing my mom i wouldnt have.I junior rodeo and i cant let myself give up and besides im not just doing it for me im doing it for my grandpa and hes been died for about 3 yrs and he was the best guy i know.I saw the statue of seabiscuit on the internet,that was cool that they stuck a statue up for him well he was a legend.well g2g bye
Shana <>
Wikieup, Az USA - Sunday, August 31, 2003 at 05:07:02 (EDT)
I am really enjoying reading your book. I usually can't read books written by women, but you don't write like a woman. There is power and a sense of humor in your prose, along with a no nonsense approach to the narrative -- well, it's just a pleasure to read. This is a great book. Good luck in the future.
Ed Bremson <>
Raleigh, NC USA - Saturday, August 30, 2003 at 22:54:34 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Thank you for your writing. I too suffer from chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. On my website you can shop for natural supplements. The OPC3 changed my life so that I could go grocery shopping and not be so house bound. Please email me if you would like more information. I just had to let you know how amazing this product is. It absorbs in 5 minutes and you get 95% absorbency. I wish you good health.
Linda L. Hebert <>
Edmonds, WA USA - Saturday, August 30, 2003 at 22:02:34 (EDT)
I am a 53 year-old ranch raised fellow from far West Texas. Horses are one of my true lifetime loves. I am a certified farrier through the New mexico Board of Veterinary Medicine [Certification #910]. My farrier hero, who is now dead a few years, was Mogens Rasmussen or "Raz". He invented the gooseneck clincher and the Ras-Bar shoe for injured horses, among other things.He was very famous in his own right and a very brave man. The story of his rescue of a foundered Shetland "Peter Pan" was in Western Horseman magazine many, many years ago. This poor pony had not had hoof care in literally years. The hooves measured over 24" rendering the pony unable to get to its feet. It had lain on its side for years. Raz did not have much use for any type of pony but he advised the owner of him that he [Raz] would be taking him home. The fellow resisted and Raz said it could go home with him or else. Kids saw Peter Pan's story in Western Horseman and sent letters, cards and money to New Mexico State University in Las Cruces NM. Raz and others carefully cut back those curved hooves [hence the name Peter Pan] and in a year or so the little pony got up. With Raz dead I don't know how many letters still survive. But many were marked simply to "Peter Pan, Las Cruces NM". The Postal Service delivered them - all of them- to New Mexico State. It was a sad day when that little pony died at Raz's ranch. I cried, and other big men cried, like I cried today at the movie about Seabiscuit. We need heroes today more than ever. In these seeminlgy dark times, this story brings light - a ray of hope to many. I want to thank you so much. A horse whose name I knew all my life has been brought to life. I have the book also. God Bless you and protect you. There are a good many other stories waiting for your telling of them. Thank you again. Wild Bill
Bill B <>
Moses Lake, WA USA - Saturday, August 30, 2003 at 20:23:52 (EDT)
I have an old newspaper article that my grandmother had pasted in her scrapbook. It was about Seabiscuit, E.E. Howard, manager of Charles S Howard's Ridgewood ranch and Charles McCartney, the ranch horseshoer. He stated that he discovered that Seabiscuit was not properly fitted for his horseshoes and that was making the horses' foot sore and made it harder for the injured leg to improve! So,he changed the style of the shoes until Seabiscuit regained strength in the injured leg, and then he was turned out into pasture with rough ground! The walking on rough and uneven ground helped stengthen the Seabiscuit's muscles! Also, mentioned Seabiscuit and "Red" Pollard coming back to Ridgewood Ranch to recouperate from their injuries.And about the surgeon, Dr. Raymond A. Babcock, who cared for Pollard after he injured his leg and helped him get back on his feet so he could race again Seabiscuit, Babcock and Pollard were called the "Willits trio." I think this article came from the "The Willits News." This is in Mendocino county, California. There is more to the story but those were some of the highlights! I had just taken my granddaughter to see "Seabiscuit," when it brought this article back to mind. Luckily, I still have my grandmother's old scrapbook and the story was of great interest to my granddaughter, who is a great horse fan! Great story and movie! Ruth Thomas
Ruth Thomas <>
Eugene, OR USA - Saturday, August 30, 2003 at 20:02:37 (EDT)
Laura, You are a remarkably gifted writer. Thank you for capturing the heart of a truly memorable horse and team of men. On a personal note, I have a friend who is a researcher who has a treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome. I would be happy to put you in touch with him as he may be able to help you. I enjoyed every minute of your book and felt the movie didn't adequately translate the real story on screen. Again, thank you.
Karen Dodge <>
The Woodlands, TX USA - Saturday, August 30, 2003 at 19:31:44 (EDT)
Hi Laura, I have just finished reading your remarkable book today and I must compliment you on the absolute masterpiece you have written. It is a book that is impossible to put down as I found myself reading in the wee hours of the night this past week. I thank you for a great experience Laura. I do hope your health problems are improving and by the many, many messages here on your web site, i'm sure the encouraging words from your readers has helped a lot. I was involved in a serious automobile accident during the summer of 2001, nearly losing my life. I have been through a lot of difficult struggles trying to regain my complete health and I think I can relate to your daily frustrations that i'm sure your desease presents to you. This is the first book I have read in 2 years, as I suffered with some cognitive problems due to the accident. I want to thank you for your book, your honesty about who you are, as i'm sure you know you are an inspiration to a lot of people. I am sure your family and friends are very proud of you and love you very much. I will be going to see the movie soon and I hope it is as great as your book. Again, thank you very much for writing your book Laura. Please keep writing!! I hope you have a chance to send an e-mail to me, it would be awesome to hear from you. Sincerely, Darryl
Darryl Salach <>
Mississauga, ontario canada - Saturday, August 30, 2003 at 14:07:59 (EDT)
A story that had to be told....insight to the spirit of real life...for many creatures...the persistent quest of excellence....this story champions the thriving force of being.
Blair Lawrence <>
London, ON Canada - Saturday, August 30, 2003 at 11:01:38 (EDT)
Absolutely a magnificent account of history!! I felt like I played all the characters (including Seabiscuit) feeling their pain and losses and also their success and happiness.
Margie Petrucci <>
Jim Thorpe, PA USA - Saturday, August 30, 2003 at 10:46:52 (EDT)
I just want to say "thank you" for writing this remarkable book. I didn't want this amazing story about this horse and the lives of the people responsible for his greatness to end. I have read numerous books but this one will forever remain one of the most enjoyable and enlightening that I have ever read. You made my day with this outstanding piece of work. Again, thank you.
Ernest Jenkins <>
Gainesville, FL USA - Saturday, August 30, 2003 at 10:45:59 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I have just completed, your book and like everyone else I thought it is a wonderful account! I am anxious to see the movie. I think I will see it with my son tomorrow. I came to this websight in hopes of corresponding with you, as I see you have a million fans and I can understand the stress it would put on you if you had to answer each correspondence yourself. In reading some of the e-mails from your obvious, adoring fans, I realize I am not alone. Also, I would like to learn more about CFS. If by chance you do answer you own mail, I would love to chat. Thank-you again for the wonderful "escape" you have given me. Looking forward to hearing from you. If you are ever in Phoenix please be my guest at my restaurant.
Eugene Jarzab, Jr. <chef@>
Tempe, AZ USA - Saturday, August 30, 2003 at 10:13:28 (EDT)
My entire family loved Seabiscuit - if only we had a hero like him now. On another note, anyone suffering from CFS/FMS should visit the website I had FMS and have been symptom free for over a year. My thyroid tests came back "normal" for six years but a lot of problems with my system pointed to thyroid. The book Thyroid Power by Dr. Shames gave me the information that I was seeking and the means to turn the disease around. I hope it can do the same for you.
Lynne <>
Mansfield Center, CT USA - Saturday, August 30, 2003 at 06:56:32 (EDT)
Dear Laura. Damn thats a great book! Ive never out of all the thousands of books Iv'e read, reread one right away. I'm afraid Iv'e got a crush on you and the biscuit. whoa is me.
Jon lawrence <>
LOS ANGELES, ca USA - Saturday, August 30, 2003 at 01:28:02 (EDT)
I have fallen deeply inlove with Seabiscuit. The more the think about the book and the movie, the more I appreciate how well the movie stayed true to the real story and to the book. The entire story of Seabiscuit, the small, overlooked, and the greatest comeback in history, is such an ispiration to aspiring athlete's and when everything is done, I feel so good and smile everwhere I go. Thank you.
Peter Barna <>
Portland, OR USA - Friday, August 29, 2003 at 23:43:20 (EDT)
dear laura, you wrote with such ability that i was able to ride seabiscuit and feel the strength and emotions connected to the whole story. your book was the best written book that i have ever read. your words gave me the opportunity to feel the drama and percerverance of all the characters involved. i'm waiting for your next book. thank you for taking the time and effort that you exhibited within your seabiscuit book.. florence rudio
florence rudio
queensbury, ny USA - Friday, August 29, 2003 at 22:19:04 (EDT)
I can't tell you how much I enjoyed your book. I get goose bumps thinking about sections in the book. I was completely on edge and couldn't think about anything but Seabuiscut! I'm taking my family to see the movie this weekend. Your style of writing was amazing. I really feel like I KNOW these people. I picked this book up on the way to the airport expecting to get bored and go to sleep and I was completely shocked at how well written and exciting the book was. Thanks for a fantastic read!
Jill Paul
Phoenix, AZ USA - Friday, August 29, 2003 at 20:50:15 (EDT)
Loved the book. Loved the movie. Loved the American Experience. Thanks for making me feel good again. Steve Pierce Martinez, California
Steve Pierce <>
Martinez, CA USA - Friday, August 29, 2003 at 20:30:57 (EDT)
I just loved this movie and I'm glad it's consistantly been in the top ten. Wouldn't it be great if it was the first movie to not make to #1 at all until Labor Day weekend? : ) Has it reached the 100 million Dollar mark yet? It sure should.
Tammy Sue <>
Garland, TX USA - Friday, August 29, 2003 at 20:16:59 (EDT)
Laura, I just wanted you to know from yet another person how much joy you have brought us with Seabiscuit. I love the book, and have read it more than once. My girls loved the movie, as I did, when it first opened. I made my husband go with me yesterday to see the movie. He rarely goes to movies. I was teary and moved, and then I saw this composed and stoic man was teary too. The Biscuit and his humans have touched so many hearts, and those hearts will never be the same. Thank you again for the beautiful gift you have given millions of us. As an aside, I had Gillian-Barre as a young teenager. I started falling off horses (English saddle)and tripping while walking and that is how the growing weakness in my legs was discovered. Over time, I ended up fully recovering. I pray you do too. Again, thank you for an amazing and emotional connection with the Biscuit and his humans. Melissa
Melissa Kula <>
Phoenix, AZ USA - Friday, August 29, 2003 at 18:27:29 (EDT)
loved the book. presently reading it for the second time. the movie casting was excellent. everyone cast fit the real life character in appearance and attitude in my opinion. i was in the t/b breeding business for 20 years. so i know first hand some of the shanaginnins that went on in those years. any way you could find out if grog and seabiscuit were twins? their small size and identical appearance makes one wonder. living twins are rare but do happen. thank you for such a well written book about a wonderful set of lives in a world i've loved since a child.
magda wheeler <>
pinon hills, ca USA - Friday, August 29, 2003 at 16:47:51 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Thanks for the great ride!
tom vandervoort <>
CENTERVILLE, MARCIA USA - Friday, August 29, 2003 at 16:40:40 (EDT)
Laura ; WOW!!! Seabisquit and the group of "common" folk/characters - your book brought them all to life again. Their story has been a marvelous tell by you and your love of the horse, the characters, the game shows through loud and clear. The thoroughbreds of the horse, the characters and YOU all show in your telling. Even though the lives of the horse and the characters have ended - the legend, spirit and soul do live on thanks to you. Thank you. Bring more legends back for us. You are a wonderful writer. Waunita
waunita brown <>
arizona city, az USA - Friday, August 29, 2003 at 15:47:49 (EDT)
Hello Laura, I just want to tell you that this was one of the best books I've ever read and believe me, I've read tons of them. I laughed and cried as I read the story of Pollard and horseracing here in this country. I think Hollywood did a good turn in telling the story of Seabiscuit and I especially liked that they included real footage of this wonderful horse. Thank you so much for a wonderful story and a great retelling of the legend of the three horsemen involved. Sincerely, Margarete
Margarete Raab <>
Springfield, NJ USA - Friday, August 29, 2003 at 14:10:29 (EDT)
Hi! I have enjoyed Seabiscuit as the book and now at the theater. The film version was great, I mean award caliber, but the book is just wonderful, it is world class writing. There is much more character flesh in the written word. Laura does something I have never been aware of before. She introduces you to two characters, unknown to each other, the reader knows each of them intimately, and then has them meet. I couldn't make up my mind which side of the corral fence I was on! Read the book ...thanks Laura
Jeremiah Buckley <>
Oakland, USA - Friday, August 29, 2003 at 13:41:54 (EDT)
Laura: Truly enjoyed your book as well as the movie. Both were "masterfully" done. Great Job! As a thoroughbred race horse owner, I related to many of the behind the scene events and stories. None of my horses have compared to the results that Seabiscuit accomplished, although some acted like him. I only wish I was around to enjoy him in real life. Your book almost put me in that era. Thanks again, Laura.
Gregg Moseley <>
Troy, MI USA - Friday, August 29, 2003 at 12:33:14 (EDT)
Though I've spent many of my 53 years in news writing and broadcasting about sports, I never appreciated horseracing fully until I read your book. Calling it a labor of love doesn't do it justice. I've told my Daily Times readers to see the movie; now I'll urge them to read the book. I've read columns, stories and books by great sportswriters such as Arthur Daley, Red Smith, Grantland Rice, Tom Murray, Shirley Povich, Blackie Sherrod and Dan Jenkins, and you deserve a place among them. I hope that you have another book in the works, and that someday you'll do a bio of the great King Ranch horse Assault. Thanks for letting me share these thoughts, and keep up the good work. Fraternally, Joseph Benham (ex-AP, US News & World Report, NBC, Dallas Times Herald, etc., newsman, now a columnist for the Kerrville Daily Times).
Joseph Benham <>
Kerrville, TX USA - Friday, August 29, 2003 at 02:40:13 (EDT)
We recently read your wonderful book and now can't seem to get enough of Seabiscuit. There are a couple of questions that we'd appreciate answers to, if possible. First, what happened to Ridgewood Farm, and second, does anyone know what happened to Pumpkin, Seabiscuit's stall mate and companion? Thanks so much for bringing the unforgettable Seabiscuit, and the people who loved him, to life again for another generation of Americans.
Lisa P. and Kathy E. <>
Pittsburgh, PA USA - Thursday, August 28, 2003 at 22:04:36 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I am thoroughly enjoying my reading of Seabiscuit and I want it never to end. I just finished the chapter about Seabiscuit vs. Ligaroti and I have a question. Why was Ligaroti allowed to carry 15 pounds less than Seabiscuit? Is that usual for a match race such as this one was? Didn't War Admiral and Seabiscuit carry the same weight? Thanks again for a great read!!
Joanna Thomas <>
Cherry Hill, NJ USA - Thursday, August 28, 2003 at 20:16:57 (EDT)
Dear Laura, writing again! Is it true that you went to B-CC High School? That is the school I attend! If you really are an alumni, it would be great to be able to contact you!
Emma <>
Kensington, MD USA - Thursday, August 28, 2003 at 19:01:52 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I am 15 years old and have just finished reading your book. Horses were my passion for a very long time and I showed many and owned one. I quit because of the expense and time conflicts, but I still love horses so much and I really appreciated such an in depth, accurate novel about Seabiscuit. Now, I devote so much time and energy trying to be everyone else's idea of perfect, academically and socially. Your novel made me realize that I want so much more than that, that I want to be my real self, and say how I feel, and take risks in my life. None of the "Seabiscuit people" achieved greatness by doing what everyone else told them to do or expected of them. Please write me back. There is so much I would like to ask you about how you wrote the book and about your own experience with horses. As I was reading part of your guest book, I was impressed by how much people responded. Congratulations on writing a piece that touched so many people's lives. You should be very proud. ( By the way, I thought one of the most touching moments in the book is when Fitzsimmons asked to hold Seabiscuit (page 179). I went into my room to read happy, and emerged sobbing.) Thank you!
Emma <>
Kensington, MD USA - Thursday, August 28, 2003 at 18:50:33 (EDT)
I just finished reading your book, and had to write. It was an awesome book. While reading the racing sequences, my heart was racing, you had us right there. I could feel the pounding of the horses, the cheering of the crowds. You brought it all to life. Thank you for writing such an interesting book. I'm so glad I got the collector's edition, the pictures are well worth it.
Mary Lou Walters <>
Cleveland, oh USA - Thursday, August 28, 2003 at 18:40:00 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I wish to bring to your attention my following observation. On page 40 of your lovely book, you wrote that Seabiscuit lost 16 times to start his career and for no explicable reason he finally won in the Colt's 17th start. In reviewing the official racing chart located in the back of your book, I count 17 losses, and winning in the 18th race on 22 June 1935. I look forward to your reply. Thank you for writing such a great book! Robert Bradley
Robert Bradley <>
Westlake Village, CA USA - Thursday, August 28, 2003 at 17:50:14 (EDT)
I`ve seen the movie and now also read the book and must say I`m a changed person. I love the history that you opened my mind up to. Is there any way to obtain the footage that was used in The Life of Seabicuit? Thank You so much for enlightening me to the past.
Mike Rocha <gilliestrucking@aol>
Stockton, ca USA - Thursday, August 28, 2003 at 12:50:49 (EDT)
From all of us who are housebound with CFIDS, we truly thank you for bringing attention to this disease. Thumbs way up on all levels.
Bonnie Ferrante <>
Webster, N.Y. USA - Thursday, August 28, 2003 at 09:36:21 (EDT)
Laura, just finished your book. It was the most touching and moving book I have read in a long time. What a magnificent horse!Congrtatulations and thanks for bringing this wonderful story to life for all of us who were not around at the time. It made me cry; it was filled with so much love!
Linda Mayer <>
denver, co USA - Wednesday, August 27, 2003 at 23:31:15 (EDT)
God Bless you Laura, A friend was kind enough to send me the article in the New Yorker magazine. I too was felled with CFIDS and Fibromyalgia after smoke inhilation from a fire in a hot water heater in my basement. No one believed how sick I was.NO ONE ! Thirty nine doctors..three hospital stays. One doctor (who I thought was a friend) told me to come and get my file as he thought I was fake. I spent two years in bed..gained 100 lbs. Tremendous suffering. Body temperature dropped downto 94. Eyes would not focus..spinning room... Its been 10 years now..I feel vindicated because of you. How can I ever thank you for restoring my sense of self? You are my hero. Don Kelly
Don Kelly <>
Green Valley, AZ USA - Wednesday, August 27, 2003 at 19:37:36 (EDT)
I just finished the book. I am impressed by your scholarship and storetelling ability. It was a great read.
Gayle Boesky <>
Singer Island, Florida USA - Wednesday, August 27, 2003 at 17:35:24 (EDT)
Laura,I just had to write and tell you how much I enjoyed your book. I thought it was wonderful. I have seen the movie and enjoyed it also but the book gave so much more information about the main characters lives. It was fascinating.
Davie Kay Cary <>
Martin, TN USA - Wednesday, August 27, 2003 at 16:56:25 (EDT)
On August 26, in Estevan, Me, my Mom and My Grandma went to our theatre. I really enjoyed the movie and so did my family. It's veryfamily oriented movie. I even cryed in the end. When it said that the horse Seabiscuit would never give up in life. He'd keep going on. That's what I want to do. I have a very rare disease, my doctor from along time ago said I wouldn't do anything and I am doing stuff write now. So Seabiscuit will always be a part of mine and my families life. From year's to come. Excellent movie. Enjoyed it thoroughly. And my family did too. Hope there's more horse movies to come.
Charlene Zieglgansberger <>
Estevan,Saskatchewan, none Canada - Wednesday, August 27, 2003 at 16:23:09 (EDT)
I just finished reading your book on Seabiscuit. It was given to me for my birthday. I have never been much of a fan of horses or of racing but from the minute I started reading about Seabiscuit I could hardly put the book down. You did an excellent job of writing about an outstanding animal. Thank you for bringing him back to life for those of us who didn't get to see or know him and the people that were also a part of Seabiscuits life. Thank you for an outstanding job.
Creel Hammond <>
Filer, ID USA - Wednesday, August 27, 2003 at 16:12:02 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I just finished your splended book Seabiscuit. The book gave me enjoyment to no end. I have yet to see the movie, which I entend to soon. Knowing little to nothing of Thoroughbred racing. The question I have is what determines the amount of weights that are placedon a horse in handicaping. If you could give me an answer it would be great. Sincerely Robert Alber
Robert Alber <>
Comstock Park,, MI USA - Wednesday, August 27, 2003 at 15:48:44 (EDT)
Laura, I just received "Seabuscuit" for my birthday and I LOVE it. I work at our local Racetrack and am around the jockeys and horses. I just love to be able to be around them and watch the beauty of the Horses. I am an avid Horse fan and just wanted to thank you for the insight as to why some Jockeys are the way they are.I must say that some of the jockeys here are my friends and I work to protect their lives as well as that of the horse they ride. I again say Thanks for the wonderful story of "Seabiscuit" and I pray you can over come your illness one day.
Becky Rivera <>
Doyline, La. USA - Wednesday, August 27, 2003 at 15:47:21 (EDT)
Dear Miss Hillenbrand: As a fellow sufferer from vertigo, though not CFS, I have what was a solution for me. I hope it is of help to you. Take a 50mg tablet of niacin upon waking in the morning. Eat nothing for twenty minutes. In ten to fifteen minutes you will tingle all over(from opening of the capillaries), but this tingling will subside soon. Do not take 100mg though this tablet is easier to obtain. Continue through the day at 2, 3 or 4 hour intervals. These instructions were given to me after I had suffered day after day for more than a week, and I needed to get out a newsletter for our county's League of Women Voters. The day after I started this regimen I was able to get out of bed and was back to normal the day after that. And without the fear of the next attack. Thank you for writing with such compassion of Depression-era lives, one of whose was my late husband whom I met when he was working as a cashier at Santa Anita. Sincerely, Loretta Morrissey
Loretta Morrissey <>
Ojai, CA USA - Wednesday, August 27, 2003 at 14:56:46 (EDT)
Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your wonderful book and the movie, "Seabiscuit." I have two questions: 1. The book notes Red Pollard's frustratin and guilt about never telling Howard or Smith about his blindness. However, in the movie he tells them both about it. Which is correct? Also, in a "Los Angeles Times" article author Penner mentions that Gary Stevens played the part of George Woolf. I had thought that Stevens played the part of Pollar. Which is correct? Thank you so much for your years of hard work on your wonderful book. Sara
Sara Blecker <>
Santa Monica, CA USA - Wednesday, August 27, 2003 at 14:44:44 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I read your book "Seabiscuit" and saw the movie and enjoyed them both. While reading the book, I wondered why Seabiscuit never ran in the Triple Crown races. I don't believe this was explained in the book. Could you please address this question? Sincerely, Hiro Kageyama
Hiro Kageyama <>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Wednesday, August 27, 2003 at 13:41:50 (EDT)
Laura: I am a newspaper editor on the Main Line, the western suburbs of Philadelphia - Mr. Liddle's former stomping grounds - and have been in journalism for three decades; I doubt that there has been a better biography better told than "Seabiscuit." Congratulations ... and thank you. A couple asides, if I may. One, I understand that screenwriter Robert Towne wanted to play up a Seabiscuit angle in his splendid movie, "Chinatown." In the end, Seabiscuit's impact was reduced to a headline in a newspaper read by detective J.J. Gittes (Jack Nicholson) in an L.A. courtroom. The camera then panned to a herd of sheep running down the courtroom aisle, to Gittes' great amusement. Metaphorical segue, perhaps? Secondly, I can relate to your circumstances in composing "Seabiscuit" because of a colleague of mine, Patricia Stilley Schmidt, who had to retire from journalism on a CFS disability at a very young age some time ago. She has since become a dogged, national CFS advocate, lobbying - when her scant energy reserves allow - for more funding for a cure and better, affordable medication. She tells me she knows what she'll do each morning depending on how she feels when she wakes up. It was a loss to our profession. Finally, I saw that you have been taking some heat from a California native and 1940 hundred-grander patron regarding the role of Charles Howard and Kayak in Seabiscuit's final race. Based on the available evidence, it seems unlikely that Seabiscuit was conquerable that day. I would concede, however, that the Seabiscuit story would not have been diminished at all had the controversy at least been addressed in your book. May I have your thoughts on that (this is not for print, just a private inquiry)? Thank you for your time and I eagerly await your next publication. Warren W. Patton
Warren W. Patton <>
Berwyn, PA USA - Wednesday, August 27, 2003 at 12:40:15 (EDT)
Hi Laura I have not read your book yet but I find the story of Seabiscuit facinating for several reasons. One of those reasons is that I acquired a horse shoe about 15 years ago that is chrome plated with a plaque attached by a small chain saying "Seabiscuit's Shoe". I am looking to trace what ever history I can on this horse shoe. Thank You, Bill, OLga and Spencer
william Katerynuk <>
Winnipeg, MB Canada - Wednesday, August 27, 2003 at 11:33:58 (EDT)
Hi Laura, I wanted to write to thank you so much for bringing CFS all the positive press it has received because of your efforts. I have had CFS for 9 years. I had a few years that I got a little better, but the last 3 years I have had the worst relapse of my life. I am at a point that I just don't know what to do next as I deteriorate. You are truly an inspiration. I would love to talk to you to see what you have done to try to improve. Again, thank have done so much for the CFS community. Regards, Kim Turner
Kim Turner <>
Medway, MA USA - Wednesday, August 27, 2003 at 10:45:06 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Thank you for introducing Seabiscuit to generations of Americans who never had the good fortune to experience him in real life. Your talented hands brought us into his world and made him real to us. What a wonderful and compelling story. Please know that I am not one who reads many novels or writes letters regarding them, but I found your book so absorbing it was very difficult to put down. I just wanted you to know how profoundly your writing is affecting your readers. Thank you again for your wonderful work. Plese know that I will keep you in my prayers. Sincerely, Carl
Carl Krull <>
USA - Wednesday, August 27, 2003 at 00:38:30 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I just finished reading "Seabiscuit", and wanted to send you a note telling you how much I enjoyed the book. I had already seen the movie, which was superb, but the book was even moreso. One usually does not read the acknowledgments, but this time I did, because they were so fascinating. Thanks to you and your staff, and all of the people who helped you,for devoting so many years to this project. It was wonderfully done. Yours truly, Judith A. Baca
Judith Baca <>
Las Cruces, NM USA - Tuesday, August 26, 2003 at 22:17:11 (EDT)
Laura: I just finished your book on Seabiscuit and had to visit this website. As a young girl some (ahem!) 30 yrs ago or so, I had read the book COME ON SEABISCUIT by Ralph Moody. I loved the story of Seabiscuit and probably read that book about a dozen times growing up! I'm so happy that you have brought his story back into the public's imagination; it's such an inspiring one. I have already seen the movie with my mother--I could not convince my dad to go with us. He told me that Seabiscuit was a hero to him when he was a little boy, and that he remembers listening to his races on the radio. He wouldn't come to the theater, because he just knew that he would probably cry and embarrass himself!! Maybe I can change his mind when the DVD comes out! Then he can cry in the privacy of his own living room! Your telling of his story was such a wonderful read. I have enjoyed it tremendously. I received the book as a gift from my cousin, who had also read the Moody book when we were children (she has great taste in gifts!). Thank you again for bringing the story of Seabiscuit back to me--and others--(like my dad!). I wish you great success. Wendy Gergick-Smith
Wendy Smith <>
Lansing, KS USA - Tuesday, August 26, 2003 at 20:40:32 (EDT)
Hi Laura, I did not read your popular book nor did I see the movie yet. My reason for writing you is to share my story of struggling w/ CFS for 27 years. I was a happy, health 30 year old mom of 3 small children and a recent college grad when I came down w/ CFS in 1974 after a severe bout of the "flu". I, like you, was almost completely bedridden for 3 years, w/ no one to turn to except many many doctors who told me "there is nothing wrong w/you, you are depressed, malingering, etc." Needless to say I lost my promising teaching career and was just barely able to cope. I suffered fevers, swollen glands, night sweats, severe dizziness, sore throat, muscle aches, low blood pressure, memory loss, ringing in my ears, digestive problems, inability to think clearly, left temporal lobe seizures and debilitating fatigue to name some of the symptoms. I was barely able to cope ~ getting my children off to school, going back to bed, sleeping all day, then doing the bare necessities when they got home, going back to bed, only to wake up the next morning feeling the same if not worse than the day before. At this time I tried to hide how rotten I felt from my family, after all I was "crazy." After a few more years, w/ some of my symptoms worse, some slightly better I decided again to seek medical help. I went from doctor to doctor again looking for answers. Test and more tests ~ all w/ "normal" results. Again I was told it's all in your head, we can't find anything wrong w/ you, think positive, etc, etc. The neurological symptoms became much much worse. I could barely remember from minute to minute, extreme dizziness plagued almost every minute of my day along w/ severe ringing in my ears, horrible headaches, inability to think and reason clearly, loss of all but the most basic of math skills (I was always excellent in math). I passed out on several occasions, having to be taken to the hospital due to dehydration (once requring 6 bags of IV fluids). during this period I always had very low blood pressure, suffered sleep disturbances, excessive sweating, always cuts and canker sores in my mouth, abdominal pain and diarrhea and devastating fatigue. I saw a new internist who ordered more tests(more negative results), but was referred to a neurologist who dx left temporal lobe seizures. He treated me for this, which helped somewhat but didn't explain all the rest of my symptoms. During the next couple of years I started seeing articles on a new unusual disease called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I couldn't believe the first article I read, because it described almost to a "T" what I had been experiencing for the past 15 years. CFS was regarded at this time(late 1980's) as nothing more than "a group of hysterical middle class women who weren't sick at all." I continued to see different doctors for the myriad of medical problems that continued and as new ones occured(i.e. severe endometriosis, requiring extensive surgery, including the removal of one ovary), never knowing that all of my symptoms (medical problems) were almost all directly related to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I continued to read all I could about this mysterious and devastating illness. I faced this battle all alone, I knew of no one else who had CFS. 1996: I happened to see the book "Osler's Web, Inside the Labyrinth of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Epidemic' by Hillary Johnson. I discovered that Anthony Komaroff, MD, (Professor, Harvard Medical School; Director, Division of Internal Medicine, Brigham&Women's Hospital) and a research team were doing extensive research on CFS at Brigham/Women's, Boston, MA, not forty miles from my house. After many months, I obtained my extensive medical records from the multitude of doctors I had seen over the years, and after making many, many phone calls, leaving message after message for the research team at Brigham (they weren't taking any new patients), Dr. Komaroff agreed to see me. Thank God part of my personality is determination and never taking no for an answer. After some specific testing I was placed on Trental which has helped a lot of my symptoms (increases the blood flow to the brain and small capillaries and also turns down the cytokines in the immune system) so for awhile my life became somewhat better. At 52 years old I started working part-time as an adult literacy, citizenship, ESL coordinator (human services is in my blood!), thanks to the Trental and a very understanding boss who let me come in later in the AM, take naps during the day and have lots of flexibility. Even w/ these accommodations, working was all I could do. When I got home, I could do nothing else, no social life, etc. Work, rest, sleep ~that was my life. It finally got to the point where I could only work a few hours/day two days per week. Even though I loved my job, I knew I had to do something. 1999: I took the demoralizing step of applying for Social Security Disability, filling out paperwork and more paperwork. After being denied twice (I hear this is standard procedure for CFS), I hired a disability attorney. I met w/ him on several occasions, filled out more paperwork, had to get my extensive medical records, get numerous forms filled out by my primary doctor; naturally this was avery demanding process. After a 2 1/2 year odyssey, I waited for a hearing date. I went for my hearing in August 2001. This was also demoralizing as the judge, work rehab specialist and independent doctor made me feel as though I had nothing wrong w/me. However, I was successful, I was awarded $165. /mo (if you call that success with my education and all I had been through). 2000: I became very ill w/ a bad case of Bronchitis, which kept my immune system upregulated for the next 1 1/2 years. During that timeI had a sever relapse of CFS and again spent the most part of that winter in bed. At this point in time I am doing better, thanks to my determined spirit, good nutrition and knowing how to deal w/ a chronic illness. Thank God I am an optimist and believe the glass is always half-full. Life is not easy or fair, but no one ever said it would be. There are some disappointments; I have always been very athletic and adventuresome (I still am, but in different ways); I would love to backpack across Europe, hike a mountain, play softball, etc., but instead I read a whole lot, crochet, kayak, do crafts, enjoy nature, healthy eating and spending time w/ my grandchildren. I have told my four wonderful grown children that my TIME with their kids (my 9 terrific grandchildren) is the greatest gift I can give them! In college I was an activist (still am) and have no fear of speaking in public ~so if you need a voice please feel free to contact me. I would gladly speak before Congress to raise more awareness/ funds for research into CFS. I attended one international conference on CFS in Boston several years ago and stay very updated on the current research. I have had to completely readjust my lifestyle, pace myself, and appreciate the simple things in life. My purpose for sharing this with you, Laura is to let you know that life is fantastic (as I'm sure you know) and I won't let CFS define my life. I will always decide what I want to do! Sincerely, Arlene Smith 56 Crestwood Court Cumberland, RI 02864
Arlene Smith <>
Cumberland, RI USA - Tuesday, August 26, 2003 at 18:17:14 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I, too, have CFIDS, and when I found out how long you have been suffering, I listened to every interview of yours that I could find. More than anything, I wanted to find out how to recover. What I got was, the idea that maybe I could write something, too. Well, it certainly will not be such a labor intensive project. But, what I wanted to tell you was that a month ago, my doctor put me on a medication that gives restorative sleep - and it is working. Please e-mail me directly. You have inspired me, thank you. Regards,Sabina
Sabina Bednarski <>
New York, NY USA - Tuesday, August 26, 2003 at 16:59:40 (EDT)
I actually read your astonishing New Yorker piece before reading Seabiscuit. And if you happen to read them in that order, the dedication page of the book becomes incredibly moving. Anyway, I thought the New Yorker article beautifully expressed (amongst other things) the poignant connection that a writer can feel to a particular story. I do hope there’s a memoir in your future. Thanks and Good luck.
Kevin Cahillane <>
NJ USA - Tuesday, August 26, 2003 at 16:37:28 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I understand you had Chronic Fatigue while writing the book. My brother also has Chronic fatigue, and has difficulty making it (literally) from hour to hour. If anything helped you, that you can pass on, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank You.
cyndy sandberg <>
USA - Tuesday, August 26, 2003 at 16:21:10 (EDT)
Laura -- Thank you for your effort to chase down the story of Seabiscuit. I am in absolute awe. I am one of those people who can sometimes be consumed with the idea of rising above the ordinary. Seabiscuit and his humans propelled me on one of the most amazing journeys I've been privileged to take. I look forward to reading your book to my 8th grade English students this year. I know they will hang on every word as I did, and as I'm sure to do again.
Suzy Weibel <>
State College, PA USA - Tuesday, August 26, 2003 at 15:16:50 (EDT)
First, congratulations on your book – I enjoyed it. I think the story is as amazing as your story. Second – I also read the New Yorker article about CFS. One part of the article particularly resonated with me – the dizziness. My Mom has had vertigo on and off since I was a teenager. She has been diagnosed with various middle ear problems, has had a bunch of medications, and nothing worked. The dizziness comes and goes as it pleases. I am slightly over 50, and one night I woke up with a really odd feeling. As I headed to the bathroom, I walked into the wall, twice. I realized I was unable to walk straight – the room was spinning. I carefully inched back to the bed and fell asleep. I woke in the morning to a spinning bedroom, and my heart dropped – I had it too. I lay there with my eyes shut, trying to figure out how I could live with this problem. I am a software consultant, and can’t really work from home very often. I recently read a book by Barbara Kingsolver called Prodigal Summer. Parts of it were kind of hokey, and I almost didn’t finish it. At near the end, one of the characters has repeated spells of vertigo – a neighbor shows him a small exercise with his head that stops the spells. I found the passage I was looking for – the exercise was called the Epley Maneuver. Desperate, I tried it as described in the novel. In 3 minutes, the vertigo was gone. I then researched it on the internet, and found although many doctors don’t know about it, it relieves the symptoms of a very high percentage of sufferers. My Mom is now 83 – I showed her a printout of the positions from WebMD, and she was skeptical, to say the least. However, eventually her vertigo returned, and she did try it, and it worked. I just had to pass on this information on the chance that you had not heard of it. All the best for your health and your career,
USA - Tuesday, August 26, 2003 at 09:14:33 (EDT)
Dear Laura: God Bless You! And God Bless Seabiscuit, Charles Howard, Ray Pollard and Tom Smith -- and all beings who see and live "the greater story." You wove the tapestry so beautifully. Do you believe in re-incarnation? I must tell you that from the minute I saw your book and the photo of Seabiscuit, I "knew that I knew" this horse and the memorable humans who were a part of Seabiscuit's story. Your incredible ability to weave a story, your artistry with words, and most importantly, your ability to "take us there" as though we were in the story is huge. The gift you have given me - and others - is outside of words. God Bless You for your inner "seeing," and God Bless the Seabiscuits of the world and those who are able to recognize and nurture them. You have warmed my heart, Laura. Thank you. Montana Gray
montana gray <>
evergreen, co USA - Tuesday, August 26, 2003 at 06:28:02 (EDT)
Dear Laura: You are to be commended for writing such a story. The movie was so good I saw it three times, have yet to read the book, but bought the "Collector's Edition". Everyone involved from you with CFS, to each of the characters--including Seabiscuit, did not let life get them down. This was a timely story for me as I have been battling breast cancer for a year. I, too, made it thru some rough chemo, radiation and surgeries. Everyone of you have given me hope to keep on going and not give up. I have never been so touched by such a story. The movie was great and the actors portraying the characters perfect. This should become a classic in both book and movie form. Thank you for your strong spirit that would not let pain and suffering keep you from such a good work and thank all of the people who cared enough about a "little" horse to find his heart. The world needs more of that. Thank you again.
Carol Wood <>
Centralia, WA USA - Tuesday, August 26, 2003 at 03:30:45 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrandt: Thank You for introducing me to one of The Greatest of Athletes. I have always considered horse athletes, because of the rigorous training they undergo. Forget their breeding, they still train as do all great athletes. Seabiscuit proved his prowess by overcoming a career ending injury for most horses and defeating horses 1/2 his age of almost seven. Charles Howard, "There will never be another Seabiscuit". I went to see the movie again yesterday, because I didn't remember the movie focusing on the racing. I was wrong, I enjoyed the movie more the second time, but your book was awesome. It's the first book I've completed in over twenty years.As,Red Pollard, said, "Seabiscuit fixed everyone of us" Each of the four main characters were down in different areas, they were all lifted to new heights. I thought your treatment of ,Tom Smith, sort of stole the book I wish the movie had been able to bring out his character as you were able to in the book. I was moved to tears as Seabiscuit won the Santa Anita Handicap after fighting back from life threatening injury. Let me know when you write another book!
MONTGOMERY, AL USA - Monday, August 25, 2003 at 23:35:22 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I have just finished reading your book. I have never read a book as well written, interesting and informative that has so emotionally moved me. You are to be commended for the thorough, dedicated four years of research that went into gathering and verifying the facts contained in your novel. I share your appreciation to all those who provided personal knowledge, documentation and other data relative to this fascinating story of Seabiscuit, the owner, jockey, trainer or others involved in this great national drama which tugged at the hearts of the nation. If this were a work of would be deemed too incredible to be unbelieved. You have my vote as having written a true American classic novel that should be required reading for all students. Please accept my gratitude for your writing talent. David Heim
David Heim <>
Culver City, CA USA - Monday, August 25, 2003 at 23:10:50 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillebrand, I heard the interview you did on "The Infinite Mind" for the second time last night. The first time I heard it, I was totally bedridden, unable to sit up, often unable to speak or turn over in bed, like you described. I have been sick since 1977. I researched all the CFS literature over the years and never found any mention of the therapy I'm now doing. I got my life back within 2 months of starting the protocol. I looked into everything talked about on "The Infinite Mind" and the interview on the Diane Riehm show - and none of it worked for me. I strongly urge you to read "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Fibromyalgia" by Dr. Paul St. Armand, or look at Dr. St. Armand's website I had never heard about it in all my research on CFS, but this doctor believes it is the same disease. I can do things now that I haven't been able to do for 27 years when I was 23. I'm now 50 and healthier than I've been since before I was ill. I'd be glad to correspond with you or talk to you about this over the phone. I was diagnosed as psychiatric - depression and bipolar for 15 years! PLEASE LOOK INTO THIS - I was far sicker than you, for far longer. Thousands of people who couldn't find relief anywhere else have been helped by this protocol, and we support one another in the process. Best wishes for an improvement in your health. Susan Dale
Susan Dale <>
Concord, CA USA - Monday, August 25, 2003 at 23:01:42 (EDT)
I am in total awe of your book and the movie. Both have propelled me in to cyberspace to find out more and more about Seabiscuit and the men who were closest to him. Although I am a woman, I am totally amazed at how your book didn't portray a "woman's version" of the story. You are to be commended. I just know the movie will be up for many awards as will the cast - although one would be hardpressed to say one actor was better than the others. Jeff Bridges has long deserved an academy award but seems to be overlooked. I hope he gets one this year. Tobey McGuire - what a doll! He was so believable as Red Pollard and did a super and memorable acting job - was he acting? I believed he WAS Red Pollard. Then there's Chris Cooper - superb job as Mr. Smith and Chris is a fellow Missourian. Then there's William Macy as Tick Tock McGlaughlin - he was hilarious! I had so many emotions running through me throughout the book and now because of the movie. I just can't get enough of Seabiscuit. Many many Kudos to you Lauren as well as all who were involved in the movie. Thank you so very much!!!
Linda Gentry <>
Holts Summit, MO USA - Monday, August 25, 2003 at 22:30:16 (EDT)
Dear Laura... I forgot to ask you a question.... who played Seabiscuit in the movie? Thanks, Suzanne McTighe
suzanne mctighe <>
san carlos, ca USA - Monday, August 25, 2003 at 22:17:53 (EDT)
This book moved me more than I can express. Thank you for sharing your gift. May God bless you and heal you.
Angela Daughtry <>
Wilmington, NC USA - Monday, August 25, 2003 at 21:47:31 (EDT)
Dear Laura... Your book about Seabuscuit ranks in the top five books I've read in my life... that honor comes from the emotions any art form, such as written words, film, paintings, evoke in me. And Seabiscuit ran the gamut with my emotions-- from smiles, to whoops, to fear and sadness... A truly good author brings it all out in a human. Thank you for your book. I hope you are resting and taking good care of yourself... Sincerely, Suzanne McTighe
suzanne mctighe <>
san carlos, ca USA - Monday, August 25, 2003 at 21:20:16 (EDT)
My wife and I are in the midst of reading your excellent book. We read a chapter aloud aftrer dinner every night. I dimly remember Seabiscuit and the great match race with War Admiral. Would like to make two points: a)Can you possibly direct me to a source where I might get a list of the horses named by the late, great Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt? He had a superb gift for coming up with names which ingeniously derived from the names of sire and dam, and b) If you are just possibly ready to write another book about a thoroughbred, I commend to you, without reservation, the amazing story of Canonero II. Again, grateful thanks for your wonderful book. Ernie & Helen Nagy
Ernest A. Nagy <>
Washington, DC USA - Monday, August 25, 2003 at 20:41:58 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, My wife Philomena is from County Galway and was very moved by Seabiscuit, both book and Film, as was I. When we go to Ireland, the first stop is the Curragh, Horses : Irish as dogs : Canadians. Would you sign her book for her if I sent it to you? Or perhaps you have the new collectors edition at hand and I could simply send you the necessary funds... In any case thank you for a story well-told and for having opened my eyes, now clouded with tears, to what Philomena had been seeing all along. Bernard Brackett
Bernard Brackett <>
Québec, Canada - Monday, August 25, 2003 at 19:29:50 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I have always been fascinated with horses and had one when I was growing up. I had heard of Seabiscuit but knew nothing about the story surrounding him. When I heard of the movie coming out I couldn't wait to see it and went on the second day it opened with my best friend (since we were 14) who I don't see very often. We loved the movie and cried and yelled all through it like we were at the races! I was hooked and knew I had to know more about this horse and the people who helped make him so great. A few days later, my husband surprised me with a copy of your book and I just finished it a couple of days ago. Reading the racing scenes got me so excited I could hardly go to sleep after reading a chapter each night. You have a wonderful gift for bringing the story to life. I was sad when I finished it and wished there was more to read. You have stirred up an excitement within me for the racing world. I have always watched the Triple Crown races on TV but that was all I knew about. I attended the Kentucky Derby in 1985 and that was a thrill. After reading the book and learning of all the many kinds of races and that they go on all through the year, I have a new interest. I have been looking at sites on the Web and learning about today's racehorses, trainers, riders and owners. Thank you for eloquently telling the story of one great little horse and touching my life with that story. God Bless you and I pray that your health improves and that you get to do all the things you want to do in life!
Bonnie Dumas <>
Arlington, TN USA - Monday, August 25, 2003 at 17:48:10 (EDT)
Hello Laura, My name is David Martin and I run a company that puts classic films out on DVD. I believe Martha may have asked you (on my behalf) about the "lost" Seabiscuit documentary made in 1939 by Charles Howard. She forwarded your email to me saying that you had it and that it was good and worth having. I appreciate that. I have bought a very nice print on 16mm and my company is thinking about putting it out on DVD, and possibly also putting it in color. Do you know if it's out there at all now? How rare is the film? I know you must be exhausted, but would you like to be a part of what we are doing in any way? Please email me if you have a minute at Thanks, and I absoulutely loved your book. the movie is good, but it doesn't even come close to the images and emotion brought forth in your writing. David
David Martin <>
San Diego, CA USA - Monday, August 25, 2003 at 16:21:02 (EDT)
I wrote directly but didn't realize that this wouldn't work. I wanted to say how much I enjoyed the book but there is a lot more to you than this. I heard your interview with Terry Gross and read your New Yorker article. Two things: I was undiagnosed with fibromyalgia for many years so I understand and empathize. I was born in the thirties and re-visiting my childhood through the pages was magical. You are truly a hero yourself, Laura. I salute you.
Marj Sargent <>
Greenacres, FL USA - Monday, August 25, 2003 at 14:48:12 (EDT)
There are no words to express the beauty of the movie. Never have we gone to a movie where everyone is holding their breath and not a word is heard. It stole our hearts, made you cry, laugh, and at the same time made you want to go place a bet to win. You found yourself cheering on the the little guy. Very well done...THANK YOU.Hope you go to the awards and win everyones heart there also.
Mr & Mrs Ricardo Morales <>
San antonio, Tx USA - Monday, August 25, 2003 at 14:43:24 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I have never written to an author before, but I was so moved by Seabiscuit's story that I just had to email you. I can't say enough about how good the book is. I am not a horseracing person, but I do love animals. After seeing the movie, I wanted to know more. So, I purchased the book. This is a first for me. Usually I read a book first then go see the movie. I realize you can only fit so much of a story into an over 2 hour movie, but the movie left me wanting more. It did not matter that I knew how the story would end. Your descriptions of the races throughout the book left me exhausted making me feel I was racing the horses. Describing Tijuana in its glory days was simply sinful. This story is almost too good to be true. That is why I believe certain events have to happen to people in order for their lives to cross the paths of others. My father always says, "Things happen for a reason". This book definitely proofs that. Thank you for going through a tough 4 years to write this book. I understand you don't have book signings because of your illness, but hopefully one day I will be able to meet you.
Maria Sermon <>
Natrona Heights, PA USA - Monday, August 25, 2003 at 13:32:50 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I have spent the last few moments reading other entries in your guestbook. In spite of the fact I have little to add, I feel compelled to offer these words. Your wonderful work brought forth very powerful feelings and emotions, most of which had virtually nothing to do with the subject matter of your book. Though I would wish to be able to share them, they are quite personal and this would not be the appropriate forum. I would like to say that I am humbled with respect that you were able to write with such fluid grace, passion and excitement in the physical and mental condition you have had to endure. You wrote about individuals who rose to the occasion with great determination, focus, courage and class. Though I would not be so presumptuous to suggest that you surpass those individuals with such admired qualities, in my book, you are certainly their equal. I do pray this note finds you in significantly better health. I hope your life will be filled with continued well earned success and that success will bring you true happiness, love and lots of laughter. Please do not think my sincere wishes are not without an alterior motive. I would very much look forward to reading another Laura Hillenbrand novel. Thank you, David Arntzen
David Arntzen <>
N Hollywood, CA USA - Monday, August 25, 2003 at 12:11:32 (EDT)
Hi Ms. Hillenbrand, Enjoyed your Seabiscuit novel. Was wondering why Seabiscuit never competed in any of the Triple Crown races? Did I miss that reference? Thanks- Karen B.
Karen B. <>
MD USA - Monday, August 25, 2003 at 11:15:29 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand May I start by saying what an impressive guestbook!!! My comment/question is somewhat of a more personal request. Sources have shared with me that you suffered from a disorder(for lack of a better word) called Guillian-Barre. My mother-in-law was recently been diagnosed with his condition. Her life has been altered sigificantly and has not been given that much concrete information from the medical world. I am searching for any links/info to enlighten her with. If you indeed are familiar with Guillian-Barre, I would greatly appreciate any information as you are most probably extremely well reseached and sourced. My mother-in-law, myself, and our family would be very grateful. Thank you in advance. Moira
moira laird <>
lake mary, fl USA - Monday, August 25, 2003 at 10:25:46 (EDT)
Laura, I was originally drawn to the story of Seabiscuit because my mother read your article about having CFS. I have suffered from CFS for 3 years, also. I am currently reading a very enlightening book called, Tired or Toxic? by Sherry A. Rogers, M.D. (She was a CFS sufferer herself.) It is a book about environmentally-induced illness. The neurodevelopmentalist that is currently treating me believes that all chronic fatigue is related to some type of toxicity in one's body. I certainly have no idea what options you have explored in your own battle with CFS, but if you have not been to an environmental-illness specialist, it may be worth it. You are quite an inspiration. Thank-you! I will be praying for your recovery.
Lisa Polakowski <>
USA - Monday, August 25, 2003 at 07:45:53 (EDT)
Dear Laura, A tremedous achievement. Hemingway, I think, would have been proud to have written your story. It's the only non-textbook that I can recall that I read twice. What's next? What became of the Howard stable or Lin's stable. How about the history of Northern Dancer and Sandy Hawley in Canada or Lester Piggott in the UK or Man of War? I hope you keep writing. I live in Edmonton and no one ever heard of Red Pollard until your story but then again, most people think Edmonton is a good place to come from (Wayne Gretzky, Warren Moon,etc). Good luck, Bill Piggott
Bill Piggott <>
Edmonton, AB Canada - Monday, August 25, 2003 at 04:56:53 (EDT)
Sorry. I guess his name would help. Willie Lee Johnson, sometimes called W.L. Johnson. Thanks again, Houston
Houston Clark <>
Calhoun, KY USA - Monday, August 25, 2003 at 03:33:46 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I wanted to write this e-mail and inform you of a piece of living history that I have in my family. My Grandfather was a jockey during the late 1930's and rode against seabiscuit at Agua Caliente around March of 1938. He finished third on a horse called Little Nymph. He rode until the early 1950's but had to quit due to his weight and injuries sustained in the war. I believe he was second leading rider in the country in 1938 so he was very successful for his time. After he stopped riding he trained for a while and again had some success with a horse named Royal Greek. I grew up with my grandparents and have enjoyed listening to racetrack stories all my life. He read your book and enjoyed it immensely and we took him to see the movie which he also enjoyed very much. It was the first time he had been in a theater since 1956. I just thought you might be interested in knowing that there was a jockey still alive that actually rode against teh great horse. He will be 83 in November and lives in Calhoun, KY where he has lived since 1957. You did a great job on the book according to him and I also enjoyed it very much. Thank you for your time Houston
Houston Clark <>
Calhoun, KY USA - Monday, August 25, 2003 at 03:09:07 (EDT)
Dar Laura, You are an inspiration. I saw the movie twice and read your book. I am an artist and would love to apint the horse Seabiscuit and a jockey riding the horse with the same costume on. I got a good picture at the Delmar Fair this year when seabiscuit was there. I do not know how to get permission from Universal Studios,???Is there any clue that you could give me. I really want to paint this picture? Please help. You know the ins and outs and I want to be above board. Thank you. My telephone number is 619-698-2298. I would really really appreciate it. I feel that it could launch my art career which has been a very long haul. Thankyou.
angie Crompton
USA - Monday, August 25, 2003 at 03:07:57 (EDT)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, My name is Beth Warren. I just turned 21, and live in NJ. I am the youth trustee of the New Jersey Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Association (NJCFSA - website is I have been homebound since age 13, though my doctor believes I have been sick since birth or since age 4. I spent 4-5 years bedridden, as you did...from 8th grade through high school, I was bedridden and had to be hometutored. Ever since I was a baby, I've always loved horses and riding. Giving up riding was the hardest part for me about being sick. I hope to start riding again soon. I identified with your experiences, and loved the book, as well as the movie. What is even more important to me is that you are using your celebrity to raise public awareness of CFS. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I would love to talk to you about other ways to raise awareness, if you'd like to discuss it, please feel free to call me at (609) 737-2160. I know you must have a lot of requests, but you have done so much to raise awareness of CFS, I hope you will consider getting in touch and discussing other ideas to raise awareness...particularly of pediatric CFS. Few people seem to know that children can get CFS. Being able to raise awareness of the disease has helped me cope with being sick, and it gives me a new sense of identity...rather than being Beth the invalid, I'm Beth the advocate. "Seabiscuit" provides a story of hope to anyone going through any kind of crisis that to have some misfortune strike you does not mean you will always be identified in that way. Seabiscuit, while thought of as a 'cripple', became one of the greatest racehorses. Red Pollard, rather than being thought of as someone with a vision problem, became known as a great jockey. Your book, and personal experiences both provide hope to those who need it. Thank you, and congratulations on achieving such success. Sincerely, Beth Warren
Beth Warren <>
NJ USA - Monday, August 25, 2003 at 00:00:08 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Rarely has any book affected my emotions the way your book SEABISCUIT did. I just finished reading it last night and was in tears as I read of his final triumph at Santa Anita. He was indeed a very special horse surrounded by special people and your book has helped him to reclaim his place in the annals of American horse racing. I asked my 87 year old mother if she remembered him and she said yes, the whole family would listen to his races on the radio. This on a farm in Oklahoma. You did a wonderful job of bringing the immediacy of the races onto the written page~~reading about the race where he was nosed out by Stagehand made me feel as if I was really there. Congratulations on all the well-deserved recognition your book has gotten. It's a wonderful story, very well-told.
Mary Carter <>
Antioch, Carter USA - Sunday, August 24, 2003 at 20:07:06 (EDT)
I thought the book was amazing, what a story! I truly loved it and wish to know if this book will be translated into Spanish some day? I would love for my parents to read it and know what an amazing horse Seabiscuit was. Thank you, ~Brenda
Brenda <>
TX USA - Sunday, August 24, 2003 at 19:48:52 (EDT)
Hi Laura, I own an original satin jersey that reads "SEABISUIT" and has the HOWARD logo in the triangle on the front. I have some information on the actual owner (late 1930's), but need to know more and am having little luck. Could you contact me direct so that I may ask you some questions in regards to your research and in hopes you may have come across the name of this person and what status he may have held while working for Charles Howard back then. Any help would be appreciated. Elenie M. Antonsen
Elenie Antonsen <>
USA - Sunday, August 24, 2003 at 19:03:23 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I do not normally read sports books but cannot tell you how much I thoroughly enjoyed Seabiscuit. Too bad the film version is so pale by comparison. One thing, though, for a later edition: on page 338 you mention a US bomber named Seabiscuit which "survived 694 missions over Japan." No US aircraft flew 694 combat missions, the largest number being just over 100 and that was in Europe and exceedingly rare. Regular missions over Japan began June 15, 1944. For a single plane to have flown nearly 700 missions would have meant flying 1.6 missions per day. That aside, a splendid book! Very truly yours, Wayne A. Silkett
Wayne A. Silkett <>
Boiling Springs, PA USA - Sunday, August 24, 2003 at 11:55:06 (EDT)
I saw the movie, read the book. What an amazing horse. What a truly good story.
Rita Plante <>
Barrie, ON Canada - Sunday, August 24, 2003 at 11:38:22 (EDT)
Dear Laura, You have volumes of emails these days, so I hope you will actually see this. I am an equestrian and author too ("Ride Pennsylvania Horse Trails" and loved your book! But I am writing as I was wondering if you checked that you do not have Lyme Disease? It can disguise itself in many forms and can be hard to detect. Just a thought. I hope you are able to find a treatment or cure for your symptoms in the near future. Best Regards, Carolyn Cook
Carolyn Cook <>
PA USA - Sunday, August 24, 2003 at 08:41:49 (EDT)
I've never ridden a horse in my life, but that didn't stop my appreciation and admiration for your wonderful book. I could feel every emotion as if I was on Seabiscuit myself. Thank you for one of my best reads of the summer.
Edward Ratyna <>
Andover, MA USA - Sunday, August 24, 2003 at 08:28:19 (EDT)
Thank you so much for bringing this wonderful story to me. A lifelong lover of horses, I am now housebound by fibromyalgia and CFS. I miss horses desperately and your book was so good that after reading it I immediately started it again! You brought these wonderful characters and this great horse to life and helped me escape pain and depression for a time. Thank you Laura once again.
Shari Craven <>
Indianapolis, IN USA - Sunday, August 24, 2003 at 04:38:44 (EDT)
Your book is all at once Inspiring, Heartbreaking, and Joyous beyond words. I have never considered myself a thoroughbread horseracing fan, but thanks to you, I have fallen in love with the sport and all its intricacies and tribulations. Needless to say, Seabiscuit and horses I have loved before him simply for the personalities they were (including Affirmed and Secretariat) will stay on my mind and in my heart long long long after I stop re-reading your book. Thank you.
Michelle M <>
Honolulu, Hi USA - Sunday, August 24, 2003 at 04:16:06 (EDT)
Thank you for telling a story so compelling. As a horse lover I know that the Horse has a spirit and a mind all his guy loves to torment the other horses and I have seen him totally destroy another horses spirit with a look. Folks told me I was nuts, I may be, but I am right about this one thing, a horse is a special animal and we can learn from it.
Barb <>
Cresson, PA USA - Sunday, August 24, 2003 at 02:00:18 (EDT)
I just finished the book last night, I couldn't put it down. You took me back in time and made me feel like I was at the track, seriously. I am thinking about planning my next vacation around attending a horse race. I have only been to a track once and was not really into it. I want to see the horses and the jockeys and picture what it was like back in "the day". Thank you for opening my mind to another world.
Mary Daun-Lindberg
Rochester, MN USA - Sunday, August 24, 2003 at 01:58:43 (EDT)
Wonderful book!! But one small correction. You stated that Charles Howard lived in a mansion in Burlingame. He actually lived in San Mateo, one block from Burlingame and about three blocks from Howard ave (in burlingame). I know this to be true because I grew up in this house (two owners removed). When my parents moved into the house in 1972 there was a door in the garage/barn with a horse shoe attached. Painted uderneath the horse shoe was an inscription "CH + SB"!! One memorable story was of Bing Crosby and howard riding their horses into the house. You describe house as a mansion. This is a small exageration. Its really just a very large (6000 sf), nice house, but a bit shy of a Mansion. Your book actually prompted a woman who grew up there (after howard)to write a letter to my folks, about living in the place after Howard sold it. Anyhow it was really pleasurable reading your book, it reminded me of childhood and my parents' home (they still live there) and own, albeit remote, connection to Seabiscuit. Thanks Enrique Agorio
Enrique Agorio <>
Portland, Or USA - Sunday, August 24, 2003 at 00:08:25 (EDT)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, I can't express the joy of finally reading a very well written book--so hard to put down. I read it on our vacation a few weeks ago after seeing the movie. Just bought the collectors edition today at Costco. So proud of you that we, as Americans, have such a wonderful person as you, who took the time to research and get this magnificent horses' story out for all of us to appreciate. What a horse!! I truly have tears in my eyes as I think of how he ran his heart out for his family (owner, trainer, jockey). How many years does the average horse live to? 14 seems very young--but he went through so much it must have affected his heart. Once again, I loved your easy to read book and would appreciate it if you could let me know if there are any more books to come from your earnestness. Sincerely, Diana
Diana Norton <>
Altamonte Springs, Fl USA - Saturday, August 23, 2003 at 23:35:56 (EDT)
I tearfully add my note to your guestbook, as I just finished reading your wonderful book. It is by far one of the best books I have ever read. Thank you for the knowledge granted of such an amazing time in our history and the horses and people who made it so. Blessings for your sharing this with the world.
Linda L. Smith <>
Orange, CA USA - Saturday, August 23, 2003 at 19:10:23 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I went to the links part of this site and read some of the Poetry Norah Pollard wrote. The one called Narragansett Park was especially touching. To be able to go back in time and be someplace and with something/someone you loved again sounds like what heaven must be like. Candace Leedham Brooksville,Fl
Candace Leedham <>
Brooksville, Fl USA - Saturday, August 23, 2003 at 19:01:53 (EDT)
dear ms. hillenbrand, in 1963 i was 10 and read a book titled Seabiscuit by ralph moody. until the age of 9 i lived on a farm in oklahoma. unfortunately, i spent a great deal of my early childhood ill. my mom taught me to read by the age of 4. i read everything i possibly could and my mom would read shakespere, wilde, tolstoy and others to me. having given my background, the book on Seabiscuit is my most treasured book. i still have it today and must have read it a thousand times. even at the young age of 10 i was inspired not only by Seabiscuit's heart but the men who surrounded him. having never attended a horse race and never following the sport, i naively thought that he had been forgotten. when i heard a movie was coming out about Seabiscuit i was thrilled. i feared that not many people would see the movie. not only did i discover that there was another little girl who had been inspired by Seabiscuit's story but she had the wonderful talent to bring his story to the masses. now i can say that Seabiscuit by Mr. Moody is my favorite childhood story and Seabiscuit An American Legend is my favorite book of my adult years. both continue to help me through my struggles. i am so grateful that you wrote this book my sons now have the opportunity to be inspired throughout their lives as well. thank you again for sharing your talent!
margie debord <>
garland, tx USA - Saturday, August 23, 2003 at 18:52:41 (EDT)
Dear Ms.Hillenbrand, I was wondering what happened to all the Howard's race horses after his death? Did Mrs. Howard continue in the race horse industry for any length of time? Do you know if any of Seabicuit's line are still around today and do they have careers on the track? Thank you Sincerely Candace Leedham Brooksville,Fl
Candace Leedham <>
Brooksville, Fl USA - Saturday, August 23, 2003 at 18:20:23 (EDT)
I've read your book and seen the movie. Both superb. I've also read about your health problems including the long piece in the New Yorker. It seems to me that you stopped searching when you found someone who said he couldn't cure you but would help you manage the disease. You liked his honesty. Meryl Streep made a movie "First Do No Harm" in which a child has epileptic seizures and he gets worse with the treatment. Eventually, with the family financially devastated, the mother (Streep) starts a search and finds a little known diet program at John Hopkins University. The doctor knew about the program but followed the standard procedure of using experimental drugs on the child. My personal health experience and from reading are that food allergies are probably a major factor in your health! Also, there is a man named Jordan Rubin who has his own story of a devastating disease and how he survived it. You can find him on Yahoo!
Larry <>
USA - Saturday, August 23, 2003 at 18:14:29 (EDT)
I had just learned that I had breast cancer, and my wish before surgery was for my husband to take me to the movie Seabiscuit. My children got me your book. The movie gave me such hope, the book helped me to recover. I could not put the book down during my recovery period. I was lost in your wonderful way of writing that I forgot myself. Thank you so very much. God has given you such a talent. I am doing fine, and will start radiation this next week. Bless you, Joanne
Joanne Tveidt <>
Santa Barbara, Ca USA - Saturday, August 23, 2003 at 17:58:25 (EDT)
I thouroughly enjoyed your book, and plan on reading it over again and again. It is certainly worthy of being called a "classic". My favourite character in the book? Seabiscuit by a mile! I am so glad that this wonderful story has not been lost, but has reappeared to inspire us all.
Carmine G <>
Montreal, QC Canada - Saturday, August 23, 2003 at 17:14:46 (EDT)
Hi, Great story - thanks for writing it! However, I'm in the middle of it now and the big crash has just happened with Pollard and Fair Knightness. You never let us know what happened to her? The last we hear is that she was going to have x-rays, poor thing. But I haven't heard anything about the results. Did she die? Was her back broken? Thank you, Susan Marshall
Susan Marshall <>
Albany, CA USA - Saturday, August 23, 2003 at 16:09:37 (EDT)
Laura, Great story. Wonderful book. You live the highs and lows with these people. I had an uncle who was a jockey in that era. He was one of those jocks that lived in the minor leagues of racing. My regret now is not being old enough at the time to appreciate some of his stories. He has long since passed away. I now wonder if he ever crossed paths with the characters in your book. The sad part is that time passed can not be gotten back. How I would love to be able to sit down with him and relive his youth and stories. Your book brought back fond memories of people I loved and miss. Thanks so much for awakening those memories.
Lee Warfield <>
Forest, MD USA - Saturday, August 23, 2003 at 13:17:36 (EDT)
Saturday – August 23, 2003 Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I have wanted to write you since I first read your book “Seabiscuit” in July, 2001. Your book brought back many memories from my childhood. I was born in Folsom, Louisiana and went to grammar and high schools in Covington, Louisiana. Buddy Haas lived in Covington in the forties and fifties. He owned a bar called “Buddies Bar” in Covington in the alley next to the court house. He was really nice to me in those years. I had a snow ball stand, selling snowballs for a nickel and a dime using a hand scrapper. Lots of time he would buy a snowball and give me a five dollar bill and tell to keep the change. A five dollar bill back then could help feed my family for a week. Buddy used to talk about “Seabiscuit” and “Kayak II”. He stated many times that “Seabiscuit” was the best horse that ever looked through a bridle and could pull an apple cart and beat “Kayak II” from one jump to as far as they run. I galloped horses in the mornings before school and Buddy gave me an insight into the business that was invaluable to me for all my years on the race track. I went to old Sunshine Park in Oldsmar, Florida. (Florida Downs) in 1951. I quickly became too heavy to gallop horses and I groomed horses until 1966 until I started training horse. I retired in 1999. So many of the people you acknowledged in your book I knew from my days on the race track. I knew Yummy and Red Pollard in the fifties. I got to know Woody Stephens in early eighties. He came to New Orleans and spent some time with me. I really enjoyed his stories. Bobby DeStasio, Dave Hicks and I worked to together in Boston. Buddy Abadie was a friend of mind for years and years until the day he died... There are so many others too numerous to mention. You are indeed one of the most gifted writers, I have ever read. Lord Chesterfield said and I quote: “NEXT TO DOING THINGS THAT DESERVE TO BE WRITTEN, NOTHING GETS A MAN OR WOMAN MORE CREDIT, and OR GIVES HIM OR HER MORE PLEASURE THAN TO WRITE THINGS THAT DESERVE TO BE READ.’ Ms. Hillenbrand, “Seabiscuit” deserves to be read by the whole world. Thanks for taking time to read this Email and I hope you are feeling better and your health continues to be good. Sincerely, Jim Chehardy
Jim Chehardy <>
Knoxville, TN USA - Saturday, August 23, 2003 at 11:46:25 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I have not read your book..yet, but I did hear your very interesting interview on our local PBS radio station. The program was aired on July 29 on "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross. You mentioned how, in 1987, you thought you saw a brilliant meteor and also almost hit a deer one evening while driving your car. You thought it was a hallucination, since it was at the onslaught of your chronic fatigue syndrome. Well, I must tell you it was not! I will never forget that evening when my then three-year-old daughter was sitting in the car in her car seat, waiting with my husband for me to come out from a visit with my parents. In her sweet, childish voice she said to her father, "Daddy, I think I see my first shooting star!" My husband looked up and still had plenty of time to follow the path of the most brilliant meteor he has ever seen. She delighted in the fact, as she grew older, that her first meteor was so spectacular. So, if you were in the D.C. area and we are in PA, there would be good reason to believe it was the very same one. Hope this clears up one aspect of what you thought was a surreal occurance. (I don't doubt that the very large deer you saw was also "real.") I'm so sorry for all the anguish your illness has caused you, but I'm glad you are doing better. Best wishes.
Ruth Hollinger <>
PA USA - Saturday, August 23, 2003 at 09:48:55 (EDT)
Dear Lauren, I loved your book very much and also saw the movie twice. I am an artist and am writing to ask a favor of you!!! I love painting horses and am very good at it. I have a wonderful photgraph that I took at the Delmar Fair when "Seabiscuit was there is the Seabiscuit attire as well as the jockey David Neusch. What would it take and to whom do I go to ask for permsission to reproduce the costume and the horse. I have tried and tried to no avail to get in touch with Universal Studios. I would love to make this a famous picture. Can you help? I am going to be changing my E.Mail address soon. It would be fabulous and so much appreciated if you could give me a clue? My telephone number is 619-370-2262 anytime. In anticipation of your advice. Living in hope Angie Crompton. If have an art webstie FYI if you wanted to see the quality of my artowrk. Thankyou. Angie
angie Crompton <>
lamesa, ca USA - Saturday, August 23, 2003 at 00:16:07 (EDT)
I absolutely loved your book! I had a hard time putting it down. I never followed horse-racing but now I am interested. My heart was pounding at every race. What an incredible story!! And written so well!!!
MACUNGIE, PA USA - Friday, August 22, 2003 at 23:43:07 (EDT)
I have no partiuclar interest in horses, the sport or business of horse racing, the intricacies of horse ownership, the details of racehorse training or of working as a jockey. I couldn't put down the book. Brilliant job!!!
Steve Fabian <>
USA - Friday, August 22, 2003 at 22:06:47 (EDT)
Dear Lauren: Just finished the book. I am a voracious reader and I want you to know that Seabiscuit was one of the best books I have ever read. I live about 3 miles from Bay Meadows so it really had some local interest for me. I could hardly get through the last pages because of the tears. It really gave me an insight into the lives of the jockeys and all that they give to the sport. Thanks fo much for writing it. Look forward to your next endeavor. Sallie Scannell
Sallie Scannell <>
San Mateo, CA USA - Friday, August 22, 2003 at 21:04:40 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I wrote once before to tell you how much I loved your book. It is simply one of the best I've ever read. And like so many other readers, I have wondered what would be a good next project for you. I don't know if there is a story comparable to Seabiscuit's to be told, but I'd love to see what you'd do with the story of Ruffian, the fast and fiery mare that was destroyed after suffering a racing injury in (I believe) the mid- or late '70s. She sounded like a horse with great heart; even kept running despite her horrible injury, as I remember it. And you do seem to be drawn to characters (equine and human) who persevere against great odds. I look forward to reading whatever you next decide to write. Good luck, Laura.
Suzanne Johnson <>
Portland, OR USA - Friday, August 22, 2003 at 20:25:34 (EDT)
I just want to thank Ms. Hillenbrand for the wonderful work she has given us all. I have never been touched by a story as I have this one. Her writing style is amazing. I couldn't put the book down but at the same time I didn't want it to end. I also thought the movie captured the true spirit of these lives. I would like to ask if anyone has an email or web address for Gary Stevens. I would like to send a get-well message to him. I tried his website with no luck to email back. Thanks again to Ms. Hillenbrand for all she has done to bring this story back to life.
Melissa <>
Crossville, AL USA - Friday, August 22, 2003 at 19:21:43 (EDT)
Laura, I've seen the movie Seabiscuit twice, and just bought the Collectors Edition of your book. What a movie! I'll be shocked if it doesn't win the Oscar for Best Picture of the year. I really can't remember the last time, if ever, I've been in a movie theater where people clapped (more than once) due to the movie touching them in a way that this movie did. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for bringing this wonderful and inspiring story to life. Best wishes that a cure will be found for your illness
Don Brunner <brunnerd!>
Chambersburg, PA USA - Friday, August 22, 2003 at 18:50:45 (EDT)
Ok here go's!!!Hi I am only 12 and i finished your book in a week it was the best horses book ever!!! I know horses and I really think you do to! Let me tell you,have a very good perpetive on books!:)
cookie <>
san degio, ca USA - Friday, August 22, 2003 at 18:05:36 (EDT)
Dear Laura, It's difficult to describe how much I loved your book. I literally had chillbumps during each race. Reading the chapter of the match race outcome brought tears of excitement that obscured the page and I found my self shouting hurrah out loud. I admire you for working through your health problems to create such a masterpiece. Thanks!
Sharla Stack <>
Dallas, TX USA - Friday, August 22, 2003 at 17:26:41 (EDT)
Greetings from Montana! Just wanted to let you know that your book brought tears to our eyes. What an incredible story!! Loved reading the history behind racing in Butte, Mt. We had no idea! My husband and I decided that the saddest part of this book was that it had to end. Now that I have finished the book, we can go see the movie. My poor husband has had to wait since he finished the book first! Final thought - since reading this story, our interest in horse racing has risen enormously! We found ourselves cheering wildly for Funny Cide in all three of the races we saw televised! Too bad he missed out on the Triple Crown. That could have been a great story about another underdog!
Susan Burgess
Anaconda, MT USA - Friday, August 22, 2003 at 16:21:49 (EDT)
Hi Laura I would appreciate if you could confirm or correct this: In your book you say that Tom Smith was buried in Forest Lawn Glendale in 1957. The only Tom Smith I've found in that year is a Thomas MacAdory Smith, 1874-1957. His niche tablet reads "SMITH, T. MAC, 1874-1957" Could this be him? Thank you
John Warren <>
USA - Friday, August 22, 2003 at 15:47:45 (EDT)
I simply think Seabiscuit is one of the ten best books I have ever read. I teach in a private school here in Miami and I am using the book as the basis for a Nonfiction class I am teaching. What a wonderful book. The movie did not do it justice.
James Mulder <>
Miami, FL USA - Friday, August 22, 2003 at 14:31:29 (EDT)
Laura, I am not an avid reader, but your book has inspired me to be one. The people waiting in line to see the movie were talking about how wonderful your book is, I decided to read it, and I'm so glad I did! I have always loved horseracing, but now have a clearer picture of the sacrifice many make for what they love to do. Thanks for opening my eyes. You have the gift of making the reader feel that they were part of your wonderful reinactment. Will you be having a book signing anywhere in California soon? I will be first in line.
Sylvia M <>
Duarte, ca USA - Friday, August 22, 2003 at 14:05:26 (EDT)
I saw and thoroughly enjoyed the movie, twice in one week. I haven't read your book but learned as to your amazing struggle of writing it during your illness. That, too, is an amazing triumphal story. After reading many of the messages to your guestbook, looks like a sequel is in order? I know I'd love to know more about what happened after the Santa Ana race. Love this story!
pacific pixels
japan - Friday, August 22, 2003 at 11:53:42 (EDT)
Laura, Thank you SO MUCH for your book on one the greatest inspirations that came about - Seabiscuit! You are wonderful to write such a delightful and true story. What a pleasure to read. Thank you Laura and Thank you, Seabiscuit, wherever you may be. We love you. This nation needs another hero like him right now. Sad, but true.
Princeton, NJ USA - Friday, August 22, 2003 at 10:13:43 (EDT)
Laura - your book was a delight to read - thankyou!!If you are looking for a great racing story for your next project I may know of one - it involves a great horse that was shot just before the big race and then captured the hearts of his country - let me know if you know who I'm talking about.
John Taylor <>
Stoufville, ont canada - Friday, August 22, 2003 at 10:01:57 (EDT)
WHAT BLACKOUT ?! Received "Seabuscuit" on my birthday and finished it during the blackout. In fact, read 20 pages before realized I could put the flashlight down and use the reading lamp. Seabiscuit is first book I read start to finish, since... a book about some curious monkey and a guy with a big hat.(?) I knew Seabuiscuit's story, as a former groom and racing fan. I had left school to join the circus, but only the track was around. Your book brought back all the sights, sounds and smells of racing, that I miss. The charactors from 1938 were still on the backstretch in my days '72 and probably are still around in 2003. Heck if I fell for, "the key to the 1/4 pole." But never the "bucket of stream" You really capture the heart of racing, as though it is a business, for most backstretchers, it's their life. Horse Racing can go from the most beautiful sport, and in the blink of an eye, be the most brutal sport. (best wishes to Gary Stevens). I'm an amateur screenwriter and it was your endorsement of the film that convinced me to see it. Fianlly a Film with heart and hope and a story to it. Now I hope the Film and Racing Community recognize what a great service your work has done, for both industrys.
Rob Knoop <>
Toronto, On Canada - Friday, August 22, 2003 at 09:19:07 (EDT)
It's hard to express how much I enjoyed Seabiscuit. I was initially attracted to the book after reading an article on you Laura, the author. What a labor of love this must have been for you to keep going through your battle with CFS. Once started I couldn't put it down and was often surprised by actually laughing out loud. You paint wonderful pictures in the minds eye with your words. In fact, I'm almost afraid to see the movie for fear of overwriteing the images your words created. My very best to you in all that you do!
Jay Barnes <>
Red Wing, MN USA - Friday, August 22, 2003 at 04:15:26 (EDT)
This was one of the best books I have read in YEARS!! I couldn't put it down. Congratulations on a wonderful book
Steve Scherieble <>
Hoquiam, WA USA - Friday, August 22, 2003 at 00:24:11 (EDT)
Laura- Totally awesome novel! Loved it from start to the very last page. Totally captures the sport of horseracing. Wonderfully written!
Jo Karlin <>
Williston, ND USA - Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 21:57:41 (EDT)
I just finished the book and couldn't put it down. I am not a fan of racing, yet your writing made me feel like I was actually there watching the races, and I found myself captivated and totally involved. I started my Seabiscuit fascination when I first saw the documentary and then I viewed the movie, and finally read your book. The movie was absolutely wonderful but the book made it all come alive! Because you are involved in horses, I would like to bring to your attention the fact that 2 TBs-winners of prestigious races both wound up in slaughterhouses in Japan. War Emblem, himself close to being a Triple Crown winner is now in the hands of someone in Japan...I am sure that if he doesn't produce winning offspring, his fate will follow Ferdinand and Excellor. It is shameful that these horses give themselves to their owners and bring in millions only to wind up in the slaughterhouses when their winning days have ended. I apologize for bringing this up here, but this is the only access to you that is available, and because you are involved-maybe you can do something??? (Like making the public aware of what is goin on just like you made them aware of Seabiscuit???) Again, your book was tremendously well written and just made the entire story come alive. Seabiscuit seemed like a wonderful horse with a sense of humour. It is too bad that ther are not more owners around like Charles Howard.
Elizabeth Devlin <>
Pierson, FL USA - Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 20:58:18 (EDT)
I just finished the book and couldn't put it down. I am not a fan of racing, yet your writing made me feel like I was actually there watching the races, and I found myself captivated and totally involved. I started my Seabiscuit fascination when I first saw the documentary and then I viewed the movie, and finally read your book. The movie was absolutely wonderful but the book made it all come alive! Because you are involved in horses, I would like to bring to your attention the fact that 2 TBs-winners of prestigious races both wound up in slaughterhouses in Japan. War Emblem, himself close to being a Triple Crown winner is now in the hands of someone in Japan...I am sure that if he doesn't produce winning offspring, his fate will follow Ferdinand and Excellor. It is shameful that these horses give themselves to their owners and bring in millions only to wind up in the slaughterhouses when their winning days have ended. I apologize for bringing this up here, but this is the only access to you that is available, and because you are involved-maybe you can do something??? (Like making the public aware of what is goin on just like you made them aware of Seabiscuit???) Again, your book was tremendously well written and just made the entire story come alive. Seabiscuit seemed like a wonderful horse with a sense of humour. It is too bad that ther are not more owners around like Charles Howard.
Elizabeth Devlin <>
Pierson, FL USA - Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 20:57:59 (EDT)
What a wonderful book, story, horse! I felt like I was riding Seabiscuit myself!! Thank you for such a marvelous reading experience!
vicki marchant <>
graniteville, sc USA - Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 19:51:02 (EDT)
Seabiscuit was captivating...I read the novel from cover to cover in one day. The only regret was not being able to discuss the story with my grandfather before his passing. To bad our society no longer is passionate about the good life has to offer! Thanks for capturing such a great story.
Mount Vernon, OH USA - Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 18:14:55 (EDT)
Laura, I just finished reading your wonderful book. I have never enjoyed a book as much in my 58 years. I especially appreciate your writing style and as an animal lover your many funny stories describing Seabiscuit's personality. Thank you for bringing so much reading pleasure to so many people. Diane Harris
diane harris <>
burke, va USA - Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 17:41:55 (EDT)
Laura, I am not an avid reader of many books. But this one could not put down. I was wondering if you have any other books in print right now? Thank you so much for writing this wonderful true story of a remarkable horse. Horses are companion animals in many ways and are capable of amazing things. I hope this book helps people understand the wonder and the potential of all horses. Sincerely, Andrea Nicozisis
Andrea <>
Katy, TX USA - Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 17:19:19 (EDT)
I am now 78.5 years old now and moved from Baltimore 11 years ago to retire. In November 1938 my best friend and I were just 12 and had heard about the race. We road our bikes to Pimlico, leand them on the fence surrounding the track and ran for a place to watch. A barn roof seemed like a good spot. Up we went with a police officer giving us a little salute. The barn just happened to be directly opposite the starting spot We heard the bell, the first start (called back) and then the second. The biscuit did indeed get the jump on the Admiral and we could see nearly the whole race. When they came around the last turn right where we were neither one of us could believe it. I never forgot it. My wife and I read the book, saw the movie and both brought tears to my eyes. Thanks so much for recording a beautifull memory that has lasted 66 years
Raymond Tompkins <>
Rehoboth Beach, DE USA - Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 16:30:40 (EDT)
Thrilling book and movie. What was his record i.e starts/wins/losses, etc. Thanks
Ray Zukowski <>
Utica Utica, NY USA13502 - Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 14:53:57 (EDT)
I loved SEABUISCUIT and I just now realized that Seabuiscuit and War Admeral were Half Brothers.Both by Man O war
Alycin Black <>
Katy, TX USA - Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 14:49:47 (EDT)
Thank-you,for such a wonderful story. It is truely hard to believe thats it's true! I look forward to seeing the movie.I have been around horses, but not horse racing.The way you informed me on certain racing terms and technics, while blending the story with it, proves that you are a great author! Congradulations and good luck....Bill
W. Allen <>
O USA - Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 13:58:37 (EDT)
Your book Seabiscuit was wonderful. I especially enjoyed the background and was amazed at all the research you put into it. It gave light to a little known but much loved horse and how amazing he was. The part that really amazed me was the game he would play by letting his opponents catch up, look them in the eye, and then speed off to win. What a horse he must have been. I am so glad you brought him into light. I enjoyed the movie too and will be in my video library as soon as its out. I hope and pray your health improves and that you will be able to continue doing what you seem so talented of.
Ella Bizik <>
Elgin, IL USA - Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 13:50:29 (EDT)
I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your book. I have seen the movie twice -- and enjoyed it a great deal. However, your book is so very much more. I had the privilege to own several horses (mostly Quarter Horses; only one Thoroughbred)for much of my life -- and even hung out at a few Chicago racetracks with friends who worked for a trainer (getting the chance to hot walk and even to bandage the legs of one the horses) and your insight into the racing world was incredibly exciting. I could not put down this book and could not wait to see it up on the screen. Thanks so much for a wonderful experience.
Beverly Boksa
Chicago, IL USA - Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 13:38:50 (EDT)
I loved your book!! I could feel each hoofbeat in your accounts of the various races. As a young girl one of my father's friends had a horse "Dark Sea Queen" who he raced...she did well on the small Washington Circuit. She was a Seabiscuit descendent. Do you know where I might find out more about Seabiscuit's offspring?? Thank you for writing such a memorable book.
Phyllis Rice <>
Anchorage, AK USA - Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 13:17:02 (EDT)
PINELLAS PARK , FL USA - Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 12:46:46 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand -- Your book was phenomenal! While I was reading, I could actually see every detail of the races in my mind and felt like I was in the saddle, hunkered down and looking over Seabiscuit's broad neck. There were times when I was reading that I found myself actually holding my breath because of the suspense. This book gave a whole new meaning to "vicarious experiences"! Thanks for creating one of the most exciting and touching stories I have ever read. You are truly a genius! Donna Miller
Donna Miller <>
Grand Junction, CO USA - Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 12:24:51 (EDT)
Just a short note to tell you what a great book you wrote. I have been to most of the race tracks mentioned in your book and I never knew that a horse in a claiming race was referred to as a "plater." Best of luck in your future endeavors.
William H. Kelly <>
Northport, NY USA - Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 11:56:14 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I read your article, A Sudden Illness -- How My Life Changed and received a real education on how debilitating CFS is. While looking up the American Herbalists Guild on the internet one day I clicked on "Herb Links" and click on a site called Simply Healing. Dr. Aleks Strande, N.D., Ph.D., is a naturopath and a microbiologist. One of the articles he wrote is titled "A Doctor Who Has Not Suffered from a Chronic Illness May Not Understand." It's about how he once suffered from CFS just like you described on your article. He ran into the same problems you have. You may find his article helpful. Again, the site was www.american I wish you all the best and a cure to your CFS.
Maggie Copp <>
Washington, DC USA - Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 11:18:31 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, As a recently retired professional photgrapher, I naturally chose the well ilustrated collectors edition of your marvelous book "Seabiscuit". Not only did I read the story, but every word written in your acknowledgement section. Your parents must be very fine folks to produce a person with your empathectic nature. The way you brought each character (including the dogs and horses) to life with such a loving touch....was great. When I studied my profession at a prestigous school in California, I was told that I lacked talant and that working in a Photo Lab would suit me. I spent 42 years as a Yearbook Photgrapher and Sales Rep. I struggled and have acheived an envieable reputation for my craft and dealing with people. If you ever wish to write about my field, I would be privliged to give you as much time as necessary. Aside from your book I have seen the Seabiscuit documentry on PBS. From a professional standpoint, your image is much more pleasing in color than the one taken for your book. Congratulations on a wonderful book. I look forward to seeing the movie. Sincerly, Italo
Italo A. Vassalluzzo <>
Ardsley, Pa USA - Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 11:10:46 (EDT)
Hello Laura, My name is David Martin and I run a company that puts classic films out on DVD. We have invented a new patented cutting edge way of putting old films in color. And not the bad color of Ted Turner years ago, but beautiful color. We are currently doing a lot of joint ventures with classic actors from the 30's and 40's to rerelease their films. I believe Martha may have asked you (on my behalf) about the 1939 Seabiscuit documentary made by Charles Howard. She forwarded your email to me saying that you had it and that it was good and worth having. I appreciate that. I have bought it and my company is thinking about putting it out on DVD, and putting it in color. Do you know if it's out there at all now? How rare is the film? Would you like to be a part of what we are doing in any way? Love to have you take a look at our color design. Please email me if you would like at Thanks, and I absoulutely loved your book. the movie is not bad, but it doesn't even come close to the images and emotion brought forth in your writing. David
David Martin <>
san diego, ca USA - Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 11:07:31 (EDT)
I read Seabiscuit some months ago and tonight it is the book our Book Club is discussing. So, I thought I'd better glance thru it again. I just reread Chapter 23, One Hundred Grand. Reading it on its own, it is one of the finest pieces of sports writing I have ever read, capturing the excitement, the intimacy, the sounds, the pathos, the thrill, the tension, the suspense, all in prose that just flows! Thank you.
judy gates
Marblehead, MA USA - Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 08:42:17 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Heartfelt congratulations on your beautiful rendering of the history of this incredible horse and the amazing lives of those who so lovingly surrounded him. As I live in France, the film has not yet come out here, but my parents in Dallas saw it and said it was was of the most fabulous films they had ever seen. So, I bought the book at the airport on my way back from the States. I was unable to put it down until I finished it. I am the second cousin of Larry McMurtry, author of Lonesome Dove and others. My life in Texas has always centered around cattle horses, cattle drives and the stories that surround them. My grandfather was the owner of the Goodnight Ranch as well as others. Thank you for illuminating an elegant and highly technical side of equestrian life that I have never really come to know. I have a technical, ignorant question: What does imposting mean? Are the horses saddled with additional weight based on their handicap? Is this based on age or speed record? Is this satisfied by the jockey weight, or weighted saddles, or under-saddle weights? As a novice, I don't completely understand this. I realize that it figures into the handicap somehow. Thank you again for the two days of pure joy reading your book (I inhaled it), and I look forward to seeing the film come out in France! Yours truly, Ashley Lemarie
Ashley Lemarie <>
Paris, France - Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 05:58:46 (EDT)
I finished reading Seabiscuit and I've seen the movie. What a wonderful story. I was born six months before Santa Anita opened. Thanks for this great work.
Charles Hill <>
Phoenix, AZ USA - Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 01:33:48 (EDT)