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HI LAURA! Finally got around to seeing the movie- first time I've stepped into a movie theater in 15 years. Terrific! Kudos to Gary Ross and the entire cast for creating a good old-fashioned race track yarn, told in the true spirit that you created. Because of my own medical condition, it isn't easy for me to sit through a movie unless it's fairly "clean". This one qualified, thank goodness. I don't know anyone who wouldn't love it. The best thing about it is that it's getting more people to read your book- and, even if they own it already, pick up the coffee-table edition. Didn't you love Bill Macy? Adding his old-time sports announcer was a great touch- sort of a combination of Oscar Otis and Clem McCarthy. I also read your moving New Yorker (and Smithsonian) pieces. I remain incredibly proud of you for this book and all you've done. One day, I'm coming to D.C. to meet you and get your autograph. Thank you again, Laura, for the greatest story- on or off the race track- ever told. I will gladly re-read it (and watch the movie- as soon as I get a DVD player)- again and again. Godspeed and best wishes always.
Jonathan Cohen <>
Brookline, MA USA - Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 22:03:46 (EDT)
Laura, thank you so much for involving me in such a beautiful adventure. I have heard the name Seabiscuit all my life but never knew much of his story. At times reading your book my heart and breathing responded as if I were actually in the stands at one of the races. As a former track- and long distance runner and coach, I could relate to a lot of what you wrote about training and injury issues as well. I can't remember a book that has involved me to this degree in years.
Phil Kampel <>
Sacramento, CA USA - Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 21:12:20 (EDT)
Hello Laura, I'm sorry I didn't get to communicate with you before this, as I could have added some to your story. My father, Russell Russell, is a longtime trainer as was his father. They witnessed Phar Lap's win in the first 100 grander in N. America, and were somewhat involved with him, as was my Dad with Seabiscuit. He worked for Tom Smith as a groom in the thirties. My Dad was also a good friend of Buster Millerick's and rubbed Native Diver as a "swing man" in the sixties, while training his own. My mother was also the second woman trainer in CA. My mother is dead, but my father is alive and his mind is sharp. I would love a real writer to capture some of his stories. He's not stricken with hyperbole as are so many old trainers, and his memory is good. Lots of good wishes for you with CFS, I have a friend who suffers with it. Wendy Russell
Wendy Russell <>
Portland, OR USA - Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 20:35:11 (EDT)
Ms.Hillenbrand, Thank you so much for an incredible book about an amazing animal and historical icon. You infused you book with just the right amount of personal touches to make it a very memorable, highly readable, and extremely recommendable read. I'm sure that you hve been inundated with an influx of e-mail and praise since the publishing of yout book and especially since the making of the movie. I must admit that I saw the movie before I read the book, but for me that was only an inspiration to find and read this wonderful story. Like all good writers you were able to take me the reader and allow me to feel like I was on intimate terms with all of the characters and there time and place in history. The name Seabiscuit will now and evermore prompt fond memories in my mind. Thank you so much for making this very touching part of history a part of my life!
Anthony Miles <>
Washington, NC USA - Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 19:59:35 (EDT)
Hi I finished reading the book. Like the first part it is magnificent. I think Tom Smith could have been qualified as a horse genius. I don't mean that figuratively. I mean it literally. If he had been born at this time they probably would have tested him and found him with an above average IQ in several fields. This would explain his spending most of his time with horses instead of people. He probably found that people didn't understand him, what he did or what he thought. Horses are understanding and forgiving of differences when people aren't. When he worked he performed with logic, a knowledge of lines and angles like a biomedical engineer. He also understood the most important aspect of working with a horse in an arena such as his, anatomy. I deep understanding of anatomy is as important in this area as to a good surgeon. If neither one understands the discipline of anatomy they can only be adequate. He also lived in the confines of,"being a natural" at it. He had no books or journal articles to back up his contentions or hypothesis. Smith just did it, naturally; in gifted way. I'm rereading it. I just love it.
James G. Johnson <>
Rockwell City, IA USA - Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 19:29:22 (EDT)
Thank you so much for all you have done. The ripples of it are being felt everywhere. Friends and family are finally begining to actually understand what this darn disease is like. A few have even called me after seeing you on television talking about what you can and cannot do. I believe the light is finally dawning on them. For that I thank you! I know personally just how hard that tv interview had to be for you - not to mention writing the book! I haven't read it yet. Holding is hardback is just too hard, so I'm waiting for the paperback version. Meanwhile I've had many people I know read it and I think it is loved by all. I used to love riding, but that was another life. Keep up the good work! Helen
Helen <>
VA USA - Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 19:24:13 (EDT)
Laura - Congratulations on a wonderful book. I'm glad to learn that a fellow DC woman has provided this country with such an interesting story! My 89 year old grandfather sent me a wonderful e-mail reminiscing about seeing Seabiscuit race in Massachusetts when he was young (I think at Belmont) and he loved your book and is looking forward to seeing your movie. He remembered an East Coast horse whom he said was very popular at the time, but whose name he couldn't quite remember -- it also began with an "S," he thought, and perhaps was something like Swashbuckler. I have searched the internet to find the name of this other horse, but without success. In your research have you come across other horses racing during Seabiscuits time that fit this description -- popular on the East Coast and perhaps beginning with the letter "S?" It was not War Admiral, but another horse. Thanks very much. And kudos on a great book for all generations.
Christine B. Cox <>
Washington, DC USA - Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 19:07:08 (EDT)
Seabiscuit was the best book I ever read. I enjoyed the movie also. Thank you for telling this wonderful story. I think I will read the book again since I enjoyed it so.
Stephanie Lowell
USA - Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 18:35:42 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Thank you for the great story of Seabiscuit. I really enjoyed the movie. I am writing to tell you about people feeling better using noninvasive products by NIKKEN. It is a Japanese wellness company started in 1975 by a fine gentleman named Isamu Masuda whose revolutionary concept was total wellness. The basis of the total wellness rests on the 5 pillars of health, Healthy Body, Mind, Family, Society and Finances. I would love to talk to you about these wonderful life changing products, introduce you others with CFS who have benifited from the products and help you feel better. Please don't hesitate to contact me by email and I will be glad to talk with you. Be Well Jackie Tropp RN,BSN,MSN
Jaclyn S. Tropp <>
Skokie, IL USA - Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 18:12:48 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Thanks so much for your enthralling story of Seabiscuit. Even sitting alone,I yelled aloud at various passages. You did so much evident research and told the story so well, I felt I was an active participant myself. I rarely collect fiction for my library, dealing chiefly in reference/non-fiction, but you rank as one of the classics. Thank you for your involvement in this story. Keep writing! Patricia Lennon
Patricia Lennon <>
Santa Rosa, CA USA - Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 17:35:15 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I first read the book and then saw the movie. Disappointed with the movie. At least Toby McGuire could have provided the sugar cube versus the sliced apple when he first approached the "biscuit". The book was genuine and heartfelt. The crowds, the times, and of course the horse must have been tremendous experience who gave themselves to it. Given once to travel back in time, I would pick the War Admiral match race. Animal on Animal. One question, where did the name Seabiscuit come from? Thanks for providing such an extrordinary story with extrordinary characters during such an extrordinary time. God Bless you and your family.
Aaron Judy <>
Aventura, Fl USA - Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 16:53:29 (EDT)
Have loved horses all of my life and live only 1 hour from Saratoga, where I am a very frequent visitor of the track and the town and hope to move there in a year or two. LOVE the movie and the book and really enjoyed seeing Seabiscuit's tack, etc. in the Racing Museum in Saratoga. Would love to correspond with horse lovers from all over the world!! Thanks for so much enjoyment, Laura!!
Alison A'Brial <>
Hudson, NY USA - Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 14:10:45 (EDT)
My family has pretty well comcluded that the "Yummy" in Sebiscuit is a member of the Braiterman family. Comments by Ken Braiterman: This is definitely our (great) uncle, Pop Will's younger brother, the Damen Runyon character who took me to my first bar in Times Square when I was about 4 years old. He told me "The name's Yummy, not dummy." And he told about someone using his name in a story of Seabiscuit (couldn't have been this one) and insisting on being paid for it. And Phyllis adds that Yummy did not have a harelip and was always resented for choosing a nomadic lifestyle, then coming around asking the family for money when they were trying to raise kids in the Depression. That's very different from the family reaction I observed years later, when the family was more prosperous. Then, they thought he was a funny character and a black sheep, except maybe Pop Will who thought everyone should be a mensch. As a teen-ager, I thought he was a sick, pathetic old man, a late-stage alcoholic, though I didn't have that concept at the time. He couldn't have been 60 at the time because he was at least five years younger than Pop, who was born in 1900. In 1965, someone sent me an article about him in a track magazine by an old writer who'd known him for years. The tone was, "You don't see Damon Runyon characters like this at the racetrack much any more." Marvin Pearlberg used to go to the track sometimes and always asked if Yummy was around. Once, in the '60s, someone warned him to stay away from that guy. "He's the worst tout at the track." Sheldon was his guardian at the very end, when he was dying an alcoholic's death in a VA facility. Yummy always had complaints. Sheldon once tried to get me to take over the guardianship on the theory that Yummy wouldn't bother me as much because he didn't know who I was. I didn't do it. But my favorite memory was when I was four years old, and Pop and Sheldon took me to visit him at the Edison Hotel in Times Square. (Don't remember if Thea and Marvin made that trip.) Yummy took me to a nightclub, and I vividly remember trying to look sophisticated as I watched the little jazz band and sipped ginger ale through a straw. On the rare occasions when Yummy used a last name at the track, he called himself Yummy Allen or sometimes Kaplan, never Braiterman. But to most track people, including the author of this book, he was just Yummy, not Dummy.
Lisa Braiterman <>
Concord, NH USA - Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 14:06:51 (EDT)
I would like to obtain an autographed copy of the Collector Edition, personalized to a very special young American artist with whom I am acquainted. I will place this in her hands ASAP, if you can help me . Regards,Gary
Gary Fitzgibbon <>
Watsonville, CA USA - Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 13:59:40 (EDT)
Are there any posters of the original seabisquit? Or prints? Please let me know. Dorothy
dorothy <>
scottsdale, az USA - Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 12:46:26 (EDT)
Laura: You already know your book is pretty successful so I don't know whether you need to hear from another person about what an enjoyable read it was. But being a writer myself, I know you probably wouldn't mind just the same. Your prose really brought the excitement and suspense of being there and made me care about the people you were writing about. It was a darn good job and I feel all the more proud of you (though I don't know you) because it appears from the dust jacket that a) this is your first book and b) you are a freelance writer like myself. Would that I could make the grade as terrifically as you did. Congratulations again. Now I guess I'll have to see the movie, although I don't think it will be a patch on your book for gripping entertainment, despite your work on it as a consultant. I know how movies are made and I know just how much input writers and consultants generally have. Best regards, Leslie Smith
Leslie Smith <>
Toronto, On Can - Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 11:54:42 (EDT)
Dear Laura: Fabulous Movie. I am now reading book and a close friend of Phyliss Rogers who you mention in the introduction. I am a native of Winchester, Ky. and also close friends with Arthur Hancock and Hal Price Headley, Jr. and that is two strong links to your story. I am a portrait painter, musical composer, and writing a collection of short stories. I want to send you a CD of my original music which is Symphonic Jazz and will be in Premier Concert at Palm Beach. I like the film music for Seabiscuit and what John Barry did for Somewhere in time. Mine is of that level. I am using this pipeline to get us in touch and will call Phyliss to help me if this doesn't get to you. Jack
Jack Kennedy Hodgkin <>
Stuart, Fl. USA - Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 09:01:04 (EDT)
I've never been a horseracing fan, but after reading your book, I realize that's because I didn't know anything about the subject. Thanks for educating me. Thanks for a great book that touched me. Now...I will go to the movie. I thought it sad that neither Pollard or Howard went to Tom Smith's funeral.
Gene Nelson <>
St Cloud, MN USA - Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 08:24:51 (EDT)
After losing close to a decade of my life to CFS, I finally found a doctor (after seeing 40,) who got me well. It wasn't standard medicine. My heart aches for you & all CFS sufferers. If you would like info re: recovery through my doctor, please feel free to contact me. Loved Seabiscuit. Recovery is possible. Sincerely, Rebecca Heisler
Rebecca <>
San Diego,, CA USA - Wednesday, August 20, 2003 at 02:52:57 (EDT)
I went to see the movie with my three girls.We are all equestrians.To me it is simply the Best True Movie of all time.
Debbie Ward <>
Vanceboro, NC USA - Tuesday, August 19, 2003 at 21:50:05 (EDT)
I imagine that you have had countless emails regarding this book and movie,but after seeing the movie(twice)and reading the book,I can only hope you read this message. Both are masterpieces of movie making and literature,it's been a long time since I saw such an inspiring and uplifting movie. Movies that touch your heart and soul are so few and far between,it was long overdue! Sometimes we read a book or see a movie,and you know you've witnessed greatness.You don't need to be a movie critic or book critic to realize this.
Troy <>
Bismarck, ND USA - Tuesday, August 19, 2003 at 21:18:17 (EDT)
Kimberly Primeau <>
Fitchburg, Ma. USA - Tuesday, August 19, 2003 at 20:03:32 (EDT)
Thank you for making such a wonderful, entertaining, hearwarming movie. Why can't other Hollywood producers and writers see what an impact this movie has on people.....No sex, violence, sexy ladies and porn....who needs it? If more movies like this one is made, the moviegoers would stand in line after line......again, thank you!
Glenna & Darrel <>
Warsaw, Mo USA - Tuesday, August 19, 2003 at 18:56:03 (EDT)
Laura, I just finished reading the article you wrote regarding your chronic illness for the New York Times. How horrible for you. I am a nurse practitioner and was diagnosed with CFS and Fibromyalgia in 1993 after years of symptoms. Two years ago, after worsening symptoms (mostly neurological), the physician I work for told me of a doctor in Bedford Texas that is a specialist in Chronic and Acute Lyme Disease. I hesitantly and skeptically made an appointment, not wanting to waste his time or my money. After a physical exam and specialized blood work (not the standard Lyme test), I was told I had Lyme and Erlichiosis. The amazing thing is that I was treated for 14 months (ending March of 2003) and I have my life back. I urge you to look into this. But let me warn you also, that very few physicians believe there is such a thing as chronic lyme disease. I'm sure you are used to these short sited doctors). I will be happy to share the name of my doctor with you. If you want more information, you can email me and check with the International Lyme Disease Foundation web site at Also look up Dr. Stephen Burrescano. I know you are tired of doctors and people giving you advice, but it is my passion to help others.
Kim Eagleton, RNC, MSN, WHCNP <>
Denton, TX USA - Tuesday, August 19, 2003 at 18:54:48 (EDT)
Great book and movie.It seems that I have caught Seabiscuit fever!Now, I want to go to horseraces, but I am now temporarily living in a state with no tracks.
Alan Vanderpool <>
Ft Bragg, NC USA - Tuesday, August 19, 2003 at 18:51:09 (EDT)
and i thought National Velvet with liz taylor was the best horse movie i ever saw....seabiscuit is just as great and toucking...gracias
kingsville, tx USA - Tuesday, August 19, 2003 at 16:54:39 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, If you would possibly have time to address this message, I would be very grateful. My 10 year old daughter and I absolutely loved it. It ignited a desire to re-read my mother's diary from her temporary internment at Santa Anita during WWII. Her family name is SATO. As SATO is a very common Japanese name, I can only assume that it is a coincidence it is the same as the family who lived in Seabiscuit's stall. My mother recorded her Santa Anita address and I wonder about the proximity to Seabiscuit's stall. I have a burning desire to know who to contact to learn more about where my mother lived at the racetrack. She mentions Seabiscuit Avenue and fulfilling a 3-month desire to climb the catwalk above the grandstand, among other significant details. I wonder if I can trace my mother's existence at Santa Anita similar to what you did to find out about Seabiscuit's SATO family. Is it possible for an average person such as myself? Very best regards.
Jo Ellen Nichols <>
Sunnyvale, CA USA - Tuesday, August 19, 2003 at 16:21:33 (EDT)
Laura, Thanks for a great story! We have always lived near Santa Anita but were never racing fans and until recently only had been inside the track just twice, once for the 1984 Olympics Dressage and once in 1990 for an afternoon of racing with some friends. Since the movie came out we visited the museum on the track and enjoyed it immensely. We had no idea that Santa Anita figured prominently in the national racing scene, I always figured that the east coast tracks carried the weight nationally. The story of the converging of the lives of these three men with an unlikely champion was, in my eyes, bordering on Divine Providence. The level of synergy achieved was really incredible and beyond mere coincidence. The fact that Mr.Howard never really sought out first class bloodlines for Seabiscuit after he was retired helped to ensure that the Biscuit will be forever legend. Thanks for that great book and a good movie.
Mr. & Mrs. John Goss <>
El Monte, ca USA - Tuesday, August 19, 2003 at 15:50:41 (EDT)
I have just finished reading your book, SEABISCUIT. I was totally overwhelmed by your writting style and research ability. It is one of the best written books I have ever read. I also must admit that I am not much of a horse racing fan but this book blew me away. I am now going to see the movie. Laura, thank you for an outstanding reading experience. May God bless you with good health.
Richard F. Adamick <>
Loudon, TN USA - Tuesday, August 19, 2003 at 13:57:05 (EDT)
Having been interested in racehorses since I was very young, of course I read your book, Seabiscuit. I loved it, particularly since it was more than a "horse book" it captured the characters and teamwork involved in racing in general, but this story in particular. Thanks! Hope you were as pleased with the movie as I was. I also wanted to mention to you that I know of someone who has had great success working with CFS and EB through dietary changes. If you are interested, I will pass along the contact info. Hope you are getting your rest. Thanks for the book, Laura.
kristl <>
Red Creek, NY USA - Tuesday, August 19, 2003 at 11:55:51 (EDT)
I read just about everything I can lay my hands on; 2 books a week since I travel a lot. And during my 65 years I have never been so thrilled, so emotionally involved, so pumped up & exhilerated as I was when reading about our Seabiscuit. You truly captured the emotion of the crowd in your description of the Hunmdred Grander. I cried when he won & I cried again when he passed on. Bravo & congratulations. Being a Canadian I am also proud of Red. Thanks again & bless you for letting me participate in such a thrilling ride with Seabiscuit.
Dave Parsons <>
Kansas City, KS USA - Tuesday, August 19, 2003 at 11:24:17 (EDT)
Hello! Seabiscuit is an awesome book! I am just starting it and i LOVE IT!!! I am only 11 years old.
Savage, MN USA - Tuesday, August 19, 2003 at 11:13:50 (EDT)
I cannot add to the praise that you have received already. Usually a reader of fiction, I fell in love with the true story you told. Working out one morning on an exercise bicycle at my athletic club, I was reading the book and found myself pedaling faster and faster through a well-described race. When I realized what I was doing, I laughed out loud. People around me must have thought I was crazy. Thank you for all of the history and the life lessons it held.
Diane Bullock <>
Denver, CO USA - Tuesday, August 19, 2003 at 10:43:45 (EDT)
I just finished reading "Seabiscuit" and wanted to congratulate you on your writing success. I was mesmerized by you descriptions, especially of the races, and felt like I was right there at the track. Your research must have been astounding. I noticed in your acknowledgements that you were able to interview so many figures from the past. What a thrill that must have been! Thank you for brining this story to the current age.
Margaret Eby <>
Muskogee, OK USA - Tuesday, August 19, 2003 at 08:34:13 (EDT)
DARDANELLE, AR USA - Tuesday, August 19, 2003 at 00:43:24 (EDT)
I read your book when it first came out and posted to you on this website and was thrilled when you responded. I waited for a long time to see the movie. If I had never read your book, I would have thought the movie was really excellent, but your book is so much more thorough and really brings the people and this amazing horse back to life. I wish that you had written the screen play, because then these portraits would have been complete. Your book remains the best non-fiction book I have ever read. After seeing the movie, I read it again and enjoyed it even more, if that's possible. I can't wait for your next book.
Mary <>
Memphis, TN USA - Tuesday, August 19, 2003 at 00:10:54 (EDT)
I enjoyed reading the book and the movie. You provided a lot of insights into horse racing. I also read in People magazine that you'd like to write a second book. Do you have any ideas on when you'll start writing and what the subject of the book will be?
John Stephenson <>
Phoenix, AZ USA - Monday, August 18, 2003 at 23:56:45 (EDT)
Many prayers and good wishes for Gary Stevens (jockey George Woolf in the movie), since his nasty spill in the Arlington Million at Arlington Park this past Saturday. Hope you have a speedy recovery Gary, thank goodness it wasn't worse...
Beverly <>
Duluth, MN USA - Monday, August 18, 2003 at 22:36:41 (EDT)
I have taught U.S. History and the Great Depression for over 20 years. I viewed Seabiscuit 8 17 03. Wow! I never knew. This a story that I will use from now on when I teach about the Great Depression. Thanks Steven Calelly
Steven Calelly <>
Friendswood, TX USA - Monday, August 18, 2003 at 22:18:11 (EDT)
Heard your editor on NPR talking about your book "Sea Biscuit". Was fascinated and went immediately & took my spouse to see the movie. We both loved the movie. Now the problem is I would like an autographed copy of your book. The collector's edition. My spouse said he would buy it for me for my birthday. How do we go about getting this? Thanks for your inspiration. Mary Anne
Mary Anne Wittkowske <>
Frankklin, Wi USA - Monday, August 18, 2003 at 21:18:03 (EDT)
I've been looking around, and I cannot figure this out, was Seabiscuit a gelding or a stallion. And, if he was not a gelding was he ever bred. All I can find is that he retired to the Howard's ranch, and died at 14. Would love to hear a comment or answer on this one!
USA - Monday, August 18, 2003 at 20:31:21 (EDT)
My wife and I of 34 years went to see Seabuscuit at the movies we truly loved the film what an inspiration! We reciently lost a wonderful horse ( Dick) that has touched so many lives, a Belgian work horse with a heart as big as himself. We bought the book and it is wonderful. Thank you so much for giving us the opertunity to know the story of all these wonderful people and of course Seabuscuit. I will treasure this story always and it inspires me to continue my quest in life to teach people about the work horse. Thank you again. Farmer Brown (jim and linda)
Farmer Brown(jim) <>
Hunt, NY USA - Monday, August 18, 2003 at 19:30:44 (EDT)
Bravo! I read the book, then saw the movie. I loved them both! What a great story. The only thing I was a little disappointed with in the movie was that they didn't portray the personality of the horse as well as the book did. When I finished the book, I felt that I knew the Biscuit, that I had been a part of the story. Thank you, Laura, for such a wonderful story.
Scott Francken <>
AZ USA - Monday, August 18, 2003 at 19:30:41 (EDT)
My wife's father passed away last year. He grew up in the depression and also had a passion for breeding and training race horses. He read your book at lease seven times and would regularly quote sections of the book. When his belongings were divided among the children, all my wife wanted was his book of Seabiscuit!
Mark Mulkey <>
Mason City , IA USA - Monday, August 18, 2003 at 18:05:03 (EDT)
Dear Laura: I am struck by how the characters in Seabiscuit's life parallel your own personal adversity. Your struggle to maintain a sense of purpose while managing CFS proves an inspiration. I am impressed by the fact that you were determined to share this magical piece of history with new generations of new readers. Seabiscuit, Smith, Howard and Pollard were quiet heroes, who could have easlily remained unknown to generations of people. For all of us who had never heard the name Seabiscuit before reading your book, I thank you.
Bonnie Wadsworth <>
Mashpee, MA USA - Monday, August 18, 2003 at 15:56:19 (EDT)
Laura: My 88-year-old father has been an avid racing fan his entire life. I bought him your book as a present, and he loved it! We are desparately trying to find I RIDE TO WIN by Eddie Arcaro which is referenced in your book. No one (Borders, Barnes & Noble, etc.) has any record of this autobiography. Can you help us find it? With much appreciation and gratitude. Valerie Di Maria (email:
Valerie Di Maria <>
stamford, ct USA - Monday, August 18, 2003 at 13:33:17 (EDT)
OH MY GAWD, all I can do is thank you for bringing Seabiscuit, Tom Smith, Howard, Pollard, and all the others and their story to us.
Mary Ann <>
Lansing, MI USA - Monday, August 18, 2003 at 13:03:45 (EDT)
Laura and all "Biscuiteers" I have been in a blue funk for about 3 weeks now and I finally figured out why. It has nothing to do with the book or movie. Book is the best I have ever read, I have no quarrel with any of the changes made in the movie because the essence of the story and the humanity of Red, George, Tom, and Marcela remains intact. What is bothering me is a story with real people acting heroically and compassionately and remaining "true" to themselves and each other(what a concept!!), cannot outdraw the garbage that passes for entertainment these days. The idea that people of any age would rather watch S.W.A.T. or American Wedding or Jackie Chan has convinced me the "common denominator" is indeed dangerously low in this country. I do have an idea. What if everyone who has already been to see Seabiscuit were to try and see it again this weekend? Would the bump in box office receipts cause any ripple at all?
Stephen Morris <>
Seattle, Wa USA - Monday, August 18, 2003 at 11:39:54 (EDT)
DITTO to all that has been said. What more can I say about a wonderful piece of literature.
Vicki Anderson <>
Orlando, FL USA - Monday, August 18, 2003 at 08:37:34 (EDT)
I spent this last week relaxing in the Napa Valley --fishing, swimming and... reading your engrossing tale of an underdog with the heart of a champion. I admired your research and the honest, straightforward style of your writing. You made it look easy, pulling away the curtain on 60 plus years of cobwebbed history and "rememberring " for us a time when America needed heroes, even more than she does today. I wanted to thank you. Jim Williams, Sebastopol, California
Jim Williams <>
Sebastopol, Ca USA - Monday, August 18, 2003 at 01:04:08 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand - Thank you so much writing this most wonderful story for us to enjoy; both in written and screen form. I bought the book as soon as it came out, and my husband took me to see the movie the Friday it premiered. (I seemed as though it took forever to finally open in theatres.) I have been totally engrossed in Seabiscuit. I wonder if you would consider Phar Lap as your next subject? Thank you again for giving all of us the thrill of hearing this glorious story. The best of luck to you in all future endeavors.
Kathi Lyons <>
San Antonio, TX USA - Sunday, August 17, 2003 at 23:28:23 (EDT)
What a wonderful book. I bought the hardcover edition for my daughter when it was 1st released but she did not read it. I saw the movie and then read your book. I felt a keen sense of melancholy as I finished the book. And I find it curious that such a story that had taken the nation on a wonderful story could all but be forgotten but for you and your desire to find those that were there and share their stories and recollections. I felt a tinge of sadness as I read of the aftermath of Seabiscuit and his handlers, riders, and owner.But things do come to an end no matter how glorious and sometimes it is sad. Thank you again for a remarkable book .
w.andrew <>
ann arbor, mi USA - Sunday, August 17, 2003 at 22:56:03 (EDT)
What a wonderful book. I bought the hardcover edition for my daughter when it was 1st released but she did not read it. I saw the movie and then read your book. I felt a keen sense of melancholy as I finished the book. And I find it curious that such a story that had taken the nation on a wonderful story could all but be forgotten but for you and your desire to find those that were there and share their sories and recollections. I felt a tinge of sadness as I read of the aftermath of Seabiscuit and his handlers, riders, and owner.But things do come to an end no matter how glorious and it is sad. Thank you again for a remarkable book .
w.andrew <>
ann arbor, mi USA - Sunday, August 17, 2003 at 22:54:29 (EDT)
I saw the movie and just finshed reading your very entertaining book. I literally could not put the book down. If my eyes didn't tire I would have read it one reading. My wife and I first saw the movie and it seemed to have left out several transition stages and left us both wondering about certain connections between the various characters potrayed in the film and there history. I later felt that the film might have gone too long and someone decided to hack out large chucks of the film and left them on the editing floor causing these missing links that left my wife and I debating over various interpretations of what really happened. So we decided to get the book and felt that it would clear up these missing links and indeed it did. I was sorry to hear that you suffered vertigo for so long. I had a bout with it that lasted a week and that was about all that I could take. I don't know how you were able to endure it as long as you did. If this is any help mine was caused by an alergic reaction to Saw Plametto Berries that I had just began taking. Fortunatley between my doctor and I we were able to isolate the cause. After discontinuing the berries the vertigo ceased in a couple of days. I also read Professor emeritus Ralph Shaffer's comment on the Santa Anita Handicap that Seabiscuit won after both horse and rider overcame seemingly career ending leg injures. Shaffer claims that Howard informed the officials shortly before the race that Seabiscuit was "declared to win". Meaning if the race came down to Seabuiscuit and his stable mate Kayak II that the jockey, Buddy Haas, on Kayak II was instructed to allow Seabuiscuit the victory. As we know it did come down to the two horses and Seabiscuit won. If Shaffer's claim is true it does take something away from Seabiscuit's legendary great comeback story. What do you know about this aspect of the story? According to Shaffer that story made the papers at the time and many of the fans who witnessed the race, including Shaffer himself, believed that Haas did allow Seabiscuit to win. Were they just sore losers? Did it deserve some mention in the book since this claim was in the news papers and since your book is a factual account of the history of this fine horse? Or is Shaffer trying to make a name for himself by hanging on to your bridal as you race to the finsh line with a wonderful best selling historical account of the facts.
Gene Costa <>
Homosassa, FL USA - Sunday, August 17, 2003 at 21:46:41 (EDT)
Only a question (because I cannot find where to look on the internet and have no other source for a horseracing question. There was a famous jockey, I think of the 50's and/or 60's whose frist name I think (again -- sorry!) was Eddie or Johnny. I know this is a lousy clue, but does anything come to mind? This is driving me crazy. And a P.S.: have heard of Seabiscuit all my life, as has my husband, so first watched with great enjoyment the PBS piece, then saw the movie, and made a beeline immediately afterwards to Sam's for the book, which he is now reading. Afterwhich, I will. Thanks so much. Donna Allen
Donna Allen <>
Bulverde, TX USA - Sunday, August 17, 2003 at 19:16:02 (EDT)
I was in Barnes & Noble the other day picking up books, had $50 to spend. I wanted to spend it wisely, picked up your book and put it down and walked around. I picked up 2 books and was headed to the checkout and picked up your book again. I am so glad that I did. I am not a race fan, but I am now. It made me laugh, cry, get up and walk around the room thinking I can't read anymore, it made my heart race and pulse pound. I loved the book and everyone in it. What a horse, what an owner, what a rider, what a trainer. I read alot of books, but this one rates at the top. Thank you so much.
David L Boren <>
Kansas City, mo USA - Sunday, August 17, 2003 at 18:48:04 (EDT)
dear laura, have just finish the book and i love it, it made laugh and cry you pulled me right into the story. i only wish i could have seen him race in person, the book took me there and it was great but i can only imagine what it would have like to actually be in that time and in those places. i'm sorry the book had to end but i know in life all good things come to a end.thank you for writing this book and i hope to go see the movie soon.p.s. i didn't want to see it untill i read the book
mary palermo <>
jackson, mo USA - Sunday, August 17, 2003 at 18:35:25 (EDT)
Read the book...saw the movie...liked the book. One thing I would like to know is what ever happened to Pumpkin? I'd like to think that Pumpkin is buried next to Seabiscuit.
Michael <>
Tuscaloosa, AL USA - Sunday, August 17, 2003 at 18:22:04 (EDT)
Wow!! That is all I can say Laura. You have an incredible gift for writing. I REALLY enjoys reading SEABISCUIT. I am a history teacher and have read many books. I can honestly say that your bokk was one of the best I have ever read. I could not put it down. Thanks you. Sincerely, Michael Marr 6 Mohican Lane Plattsburgh, NY 12901
mike marr <>
Plattsburgh, NY USA - Sunday, August 17, 2003 at 16:02:31 (EDT)
Laura, I am still reading your book; am about half way through it. I love it...and only just purchased it after I finally saw "Seabiscuit" this past weekend. I went by myself, loved it so much, went home and told my husband and son about it. They went with me that same night and I watched it again, now with my son and husband. I felt the movie was so spectacular and contained so many of life's lessons to be learned, that it was appropriate enough to take our son. I cannot tell you what a thrill it was to watch that movie.
Kim Ii <>
Danville, CA USA - Sunday, August 17, 2003 at 15:37:03 (EDT)
Great horse, great book, great complement to you for bringing this story to us all. I breathed the air of pre war America in it's pages and gained a new admiration for that 'great generation'. Sigh. What we have lost.
augusta , GA USA - Sunday, August 17, 2003 at 14:37:33 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I just want to thank you for giving me hope. I feel connected to you and admire your strength and courage and the fight to write this incredible book. I have CFS, FMS, rheumatoid arthritis, IC, migraine headaches, and a two year survivor of breast cancer:):) - I can only enter in to your debilitating illness because I have had the experience of being "prisoner in my home" for quite some time. You can't begin to imagine what you have done for many many people, including me - my heart is touched and I get "chills" when I think about what you have done. Congratulations and thank you. Brenda Fritz
Brenda Fritz <>
Newburyport, MA USA - Sunday, August 17, 2003 at 13:24:15 (EDT)
I picked up Seabiscuit and could not put it down. Your descriptions and narratives brought goose bumps more times than I care to tell.As I continued through the book, I realized what a special gift you have for writing an unforgettable story. I have bent more pages and re-read the material countless times. The dual between the Biscuit and War Admiral was spectacular. The strategy leading up to the race and the unbelieveable story told as the horses raced into history was wonderful. You talk about the relationship between the jockey and the horse. You describe the strengths of both and the combination which offers a sum of one plus one equaling three. I can't say enough good things about this book and the special way in which you have written it. I will not see the could not offer the sensations I've felt and enjoyed ..reading your marvelous book. Thank you for the literature. Thank you for the experience. My best wishes....Patrick
Patrick Jenkins <hoff2jen@aol>
Roscoe, il USA - Sunday, August 17, 2003 at 13:24:03 (EDT)
Gag me with a spoon ... if I hadn't already spent money on the movie AND the paperback you wouldn't rub two of my pennies together. What balderdash ... P3 (Paperback) ... "Howard began his adulthood with only that air of confidence and 21 cents in his pocket", then p8 (of paperback) "(Howard's father)..While accumulating a vast fortune ..."! I see, then Howard, while on his adventure to California with his 21 cents (forgot to stop by the ATM I suppose), and even later (it's the depression mind you) he, by your implication, SOMEHOW manages to come up with money, contacts, etc .. just at the right time. Yeah ... right. The author must of been an ad agency writer in another life.
Mike Shaw <>
Granbury, TX USA - Sunday, August 17, 2003 at 11:38:42 (EDT)
I have fibromyalgia and possible CFS. Even though I am older than you, you give me hope that I might get that writing career that I have wanted since 2nd grade off the ground, and yesterday I ordered a notebook, so that on days when I am bedridden I can still write. I have a friend who breeds black & white paints. She wanted to breed more thoroughbed into them for the English riders. She found one that had been rescued from the track, but it was living in a shed with a big pile of manure. Her husband wouldn't let her buy it, so I did. That was when I first became interested in horses. I was only able to keep her 6 weeks as she had this stubborn streak and refused to do things to the point of seriously injuring herself. She refused to be loaded into a trailer, so it meant paying extra for a vet to make a farm call. I changed her barn name from Piglet to Igget. I wanted to name her Iggy after the character in "Fried Green Tomatoes" Iggy had so much independence and courage and pulled me through the first year of my illness. When I felt myself failing I would pop in the movie and gain the will to go on. Her name had been Piglet, but that didn't suit her at all. My friend said I needed to change the name gradually, so I called her Igget as the first step. I hadn't joined the Jockey Club, but I knew her pedigree was good, so I found a page online that listed the winners of the Triple Crown races with their pedigrees and links to m ore information. Since she had Native Dancer in her pedigree she was related to a lot of great race horses. In the research I discovered she was related indirectly to Seabiscuit. In the time I had her I got her to quit the bobbing and weaving which the vet (a veteran of the track) had said was normal with racehorses as they are kept in small stalls and only get out for a short time once a day to exercise. I was really proud of this as this was a behavior o she had probably practiced for the whole fifteen years of her life. She still did it when she wanted my attention, but instead of being in that dazed state she would look at me with a gleam in her eye that said. " I'm misbehaving. What are you going to do about it?" Whatever animal I adopt gets my heart and it broke mine when we had to sell her. With my limitations I didn't have the strength to handle her misbehavior. My friend didn't have the time. It took about 6 hours to get her into the trailer to go to the auction. She was a bloddy mess, but not seriously injured when they finally succeded. (I wasn't there. I was home crying and couldn't face saying good-bye.) While reading your book I began to see just where she got that temper and that teasing sense of humor. I also saw a parallel in her race record. (She raced only 6 times and lost them all.) With a trainer like Mr. Smith there is no telling what she could have done. She sold at the auction to a woman who planned to breed her for about $200. When they went to load her they used a chute, and she went right in. I hope she is happy an producing lots of little race horses though she was 15 when I got her and had never been bred. I went on to buy an arthritic foundation quarter horse. She does have Whiskbroom and Gold Mount in her background. I tried and invested more than I can afford trying to breed her, but gave up when she became ill. Since I though I was losing her I purchased A paint foal (filly). My mare suddenly pulled out of the decline, so now I own two horses I can't afford. I hope you have enjoyed my long horse tale. If I can't ride them, at least I can love them and brag.
Jeanine F. Keeney <>
Lakeview, MI United States - Sunday, August 17, 2003 at 10:52:44 (EDT)
Please let me know where I can order bow ties like the vintage beauties that William H. Macy wore in "Seabiscuit."
John Pope <>
New Orleans, LA USA - Sunday, August 17, 2003 at 09:21:00 (EDT)
Laura - Seabiscuit - An American Legend - was the first book I have read in four years. Three kids under the age of five and a job that keeps me on the road and my head in a business journal - this was treat. I later find out that you are a fellow Kenyon Alum. I cannot tell you how proud I am of you and this beautiful piece of work you have created. You are an asset to the American literary community and to the country as a whole. Good work and God Bless.
James C. Hebert <>
Baltimore, MD USA - Saturday, August 16, 2003 at 22:56:34 (EDT)
Laura - Seabiscuit - An American Legend - was the first bood I have read in four years. Three kids under the age of five and a job that keeps me on the road and my head in a business journal - this was treat. I later find out that you are a fellow Kenyon Alum. I cannot tell you how proud I am of you and this beautiful piece of work you have created. You are an asset to the American literary community and to the country as a whole. Good work and God Bless.
James C. Hebert <>
Baltimore, MD USA - Saturday, August 16, 2003 at 22:55:40 (EDT)
Wow... After seeing the movie for the fourth time, the tears were Still welling-up in my eyes : ) It's so GR8 how the four lives came together to bring-out the very best of one-another... Thank You very much for such a touching story. Ralph
Ralph <>
NY USA - Saturday, August 16, 2003 at 22:54:35 (EDT)
I first listened to the audio book version of Seabiscuit about a year ago. I was often late to work because I would sit in the garage unable to break from the story. I followed by reading the book. You have such a talent with words--you are able to bring so much life to the story. I must admit, though, I was disappointed with the film. The truth was so amazing it did not need embellishment from Hollywood-why they always feel compelled to rewrite the story, especially one as well written and researched as yours, I will never understand. Many thanks for sharing the story with us all!
Jennifer <>
Overland Park, KS USA - Saturday, August 16, 2003 at 22:52:01 (EDT)
Hi Laura, I finished your book last week and am giving it to my neighbor and friend, a reading teacher for her to read. I saw the movie and then read your book. I thought the movie was 75% correct if I compared it to your book. The movie lead us to believe that Frank was an only child and alone when he crashed. According to your research he was not an only child and with friends in the truck. Also, the truck did not go out of control avoiding an oncoming truck but hit a rock. It was interesting to learn that jockeys go through the same sick and life threatening techniques to "make weight" as high school coaches make wrestlers go through so the guys can compete two weight classed below normal weight. I rescued an old Doberman that was dying in a boat in 1996, she died 4 weeks ago. I bought your book to get my mind off of her and instead found myself finding similarties. Her name was Scarlett. She was obviously, or maybe not, a puppymill dobie, white on her chest and beautiful natural ears which she loved to have rubbed, I clocked her with my car when she got abway at 28 miles and hour. She could run. Scared me to death. I thought either a car would hit her or a car would hit a tree avoiding her. She was very intelligent and to survive her lonliness and starvation for the six years until I found her was remarkable. Anyway, she died of a heart attack at age 14. I told the vet that I wanted to rescue a horse because their lifespan was longer and then the last page of your book said that Seabiscuit died at age 14 of heart attack, just like my dog! I cried. Horses can live to 40 or 50 according to some of the articles I have read. How did such a well loved and taken care of horse have a heart attack? My dog was diagnosed two years ago and had much medical and surgical intervention. Unfortunately, a vet at Colorado State was the only one in the country that could have actually prolonged her life more but my dog was terrified of motor travel of any kind. Also, the surgery would have been 65,000 with no quarantees. It was called dynamic cardiomyoplasty. The shoulder muscle is wrapped around the heart and a pacemaker inserted. We just finished dinner and I cooked for the first time since she died, pasta and green beans, I cried because she always had those big brown eyes looking while she sat patiently for her portion and to lick the pot. I also lost two cats that I had rescued this spring. One was 26 and died of kidney disease and a cat that was the runt of the litter of a heart attack at 11. Two questions: One, where can I get a copy of Charles Howards Christmas Card pictures with Seabiscuit and his fouls? Two: Where can I get a family tree for Seabiscuit? I grew up without any pets but could not believe that since my friends wanted cars why I could not have a horse and it could live in my garage. Looks like I will have to retire and move to have a horse. Until then, I can read wonderful horse books such as yours and give money to the Hooved Animal Humane Society and other animal rescue organizations. I am especially unhappy about the fact that idiots think it is alright to shoot the wild Mustangs that I saw just grazing on people's yards when we drive around the West. My mother and siste have lived in Arizona for 30 years. Good luck with your illness. Mega vitamin therepy helps but does not cure and just a healthy lifestyle in general. thanks for writing the book. Don't plan a wedding. Just elope and have fun. My husband and i did. No anxiety, no planning, my mother and sister and a justice of the peace. We went skiing in Aspen for our honeymoon with one way plane tickets. It was great.
Sharon Jabkowski <>
Huntington, NY USA - Saturday, August 16, 2003 at 22:05:41 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I recently finished reading your book about Seabiscuit. It was fantastic. I am a lifetime horse lover with one horse of my own. I have never really been interested in racing but I could not put this book down. I wish I was around to have seen Seabiscuit and to have known of the people around him. I would give anything to be able to go back in time to be there. I recently had to put down a horse I loved very much. I keep thinking If someone like Tom Smith was around now maybe he could have saved her. Maybe that is why I feel such a strong connection to this story. It seems such a shame that some of the great people around Seabiscuit vanished almost unknown. The main thing I was wondering is if the farm that Mr. Howard owned is still around today? It would be really interesting to go there someday if it is still around. Thank you very much for you time
Candace Leedham <>
Brooksville, Fl USA - Saturday, August 16, 2003 at 21:59:37 (EDT)
Laura, I absolutely loved your book. After seeing the movie it touched me so that I had to read your book immediately. I was three years old when Seabiscuit died but I remember going to the grocery store with my grandmother and seeing orangecrates with Seabiscuits picture on them. It really triggered my memory--I'm now asking everyone I know who is 80 or older if they remember Seabiscuit. EVERYONE so far that I've asked does even all the women too. I have a question--are any of Mr. Howard's relatives still living in the area of the Ridgewood Ranch and what has become of the ranch. Could you be more specific where it was or is still located. Does Cpl. Howard mind receiving mail about his great grandfather and if so how can he be reached? Thanks ever so much for such a heartwarming story and I look forward to doing more research on Seabiscuit and his family. Thanks again.
Carol Carbonetti <>
Apollo, PA USA - Saturday, August 16, 2003 at 21:44:17 (EDT)
I loved the book, and I think the movie caught the gist of it. I also remember Seabiscuit when I was a child. He was a natural, and so are you. which of Seabiscuit's records still Stand. . .Branley Allan B
Branley Allan Branson <>
richmond, Kentucky USA - Saturday, August 16, 2003 at 20:27:27 (EDT)
In a wrenching moment early in the movie, Red Pollard's parents dumped him, along with a bagful of books, with a horse trainer. They promised to keep in touch but, in the movie, didn't. In real life, did they ever re-establish contact with their son after he became famous?
pinckelopes <>
New Orleans, LA USA - Saturday, August 16, 2003 at 19:50:17 (EDT)
Awesome book, but disappointed with the movie. I would like a list of the offspring (progeny) of Seabiscuit. Thank you
Vera N. Bryan <>
Yuba City, CA USA - Saturday, August 16, 2003 at 18:34:29 (EDT)
WOW!!!!!!!!!!! I know nothing about the sport of horse racing. I got the book when i heard your interview on the Diane Reams Show on NPR. You sounded so fresh and courageous I had to get the book. I am a slow reader but never this slow. I pick up your book in the evenings. I can only read sections of it, because I GET SO INVOLVED IN THE STORY. I have to read it with dinner because I fear I will chew my nails off ( I am not a nail biter) because of it and because I am exhausted with the intrigue and fascinated with the people who were involved with this tale. I have just finished the duel between Seabiscuit and War Admiral. I am spent. My dear woman you have a gift. I thank you for writing this book and sending me into hysteria daily......
Marcia S. Glatt <>
Tamarac, FL USA - Saturday, August 16, 2003 at 18:28:45 (EDT)
Dear Laura, In your research of Seabiscuit, was the horse ever used at stud, and what was the outcome of his offspring, if any? Thank you for a great book and great movie.
beverly smith <>
laurel, de USA - Saturday, August 16, 2003 at 17:24:49 (EDT)
Laura, I am enjoying your book a few pages at a time. I am currently flying helicopters in Iraq. I read a few pages each night before going to sleep. It will be some time before I am able to see the movie. I am looking forward to seeing it. Take care and keep up the good work. Wayne
Wayne Ray <>
APO, AE IRAQ - Saturday, August 16, 2003 at 17:13:30 (EDT)
Laura, Thanks for the great read. Looking forward to the movie. Best regards, Joe
Joe Boulton <>
Seattle, Wa USA - Saturday, August 16, 2003 at 15:06:00 (EDT)
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and the movie. I saw the movie with my grandson and then my husband. I have been around horses most of my life and we currently own Quarter Horses and raise one or two babies a year. I am interested in their Pedigrees. Could you possibly send me an extended pedigree on Seabiscuit. I know he was the grandson of Man of War but I would like to fill in the blanks. Too bad that people did not put forth more of an effort to breed mares from all over the country to try and get another Seabiscuit or to further his line with fine mares.
Marjorie Rose <MMargierose483@cs,com>
Covington, La USA - Saturday, August 16, 2003 at 12:23:02 (EDT)
Hi Laura, Is there an address where someone could send you a letter? My husband wishes to send you a letter of encouragement... God Bless you in Jesus' name, Dawn
Dawn Brown <>
New England, ND USA - Saturday, August 16, 2003 at 12:16:28 (EDT)
Hi Laura, Thank you for a wonderful vacation book! The information I learned about the times and your description on the races made me experience the emotions and thrills of the event. I do not know much about horse racing, but the way you protrayed the horse's will to win humanized it for me. It is obvious you care very much about the horses. You have changed my perspective of the sport and I will watch it with much more interest especially for the people caring for the horse. Thank you
Noel Tenoso <>
West Linn, OR USA - Saturday, August 16, 2003 at 10:55:30 (EDT)
b>Ms. Hillenbrand, thank you for your time and patience in researching and writting this book; but whatever happend to the jockey, did he ever become re-united with this family?
jim <>
Kennesaw, GA USA - Saturday, August 16, 2003 at 08:51:23 (EDT)
In my imagination I was right there with Red Pollard as Sea Biscuit poured his heart into breaking the spirit of War Admiral. Fabulous trip! Moving work/great writing. Thank you for your wonderful work and for your book.
Kip Rodecker <>
Reno, NV USA - Saturday, August 16, 2003 at 08:18:02 (EDT)
My last experience with a horse was my first on a horse. While he took off at a gallop, I slowly began sliding off the English saddle, front hooves coming ever closer into view. Thankfully, he knew to come to a stop before I fell. I swore I'd never try to ride again. While reading Seabiscuit..., I fell in love with and learned so much about horses that I will whole-heartedly be learning to ride with my wife, Rae this fall, and, bonus, in Maryland. I'll be thinking of "The Biscuit" on Nov.1. Thank you so much, Laura, for your beautiful book. The hearts and souls of Seabiscuit and all around him came shining thrugh. I also enjoyed the movie. I thought all the characters were right-on.
Doug <>
Baltimore, MD USA - Saturday, August 16, 2003 at 02:56:53 (EDT)
I really enjoyed your book. My 12 year old daughter, who is a competitive swimmer, is reading it. Something interesting happened tonight. We, my wife and I were out with friends, and we were enjoying Rolling Rock beer. I always wondered what the "33" meant on the back of the bottle. In the PBS special, they showed Seabiscuit and two other horses on a Rolling Rock advertisement. I thought that maybe the birth year of Seabiscuit and the # of races he won might have something to do with the "33" on every bottle of Rolling Rock beer. What do you think? Mark
Mark <>
Naperville, IL USA - Saturday, August 16, 2003 at 02:08:18 (EDT)
Just saw the movie tonight and it is one of the best stories of a hero to the whole nation during desprite times. I grew up just blocks away from Bay Meadows and I've been talking to my 85 year old friend who used to ride seabiscuit somewhere above the north bay area. Is that Ridgewood Ranch? If so Where is it located, I would like to visit. Thanks for writing the book.
Michael Murtagh <>
Mi Wuk Village, ca USA - Saturday, August 16, 2003 at 02:00:49 (EDT)
Hi I'm part way through the book. I'm at the beginning of chapter 10 on War Admiral. For me the book has been like going home because when I was growing up in the horse business men like Mr. Howard and Tom Smith were much more plentiful than they are now. My grandfather was that way and a trainer I worked for in Omaha, NE had come up through the business starting in Minnesota in 1929. My great grandfather used to have a team of work horses that he worked without bridles just by voice command. I knew a farrier that came up out of Manhatton, KS who used to make each horses shoes by hand. I must admit and unashamedly that I feel like I know Mr. Howard, Tom Smith, Red Pollard and the Seabiscuit. It's odd you know I can't keep from thinking of Charles Howard as Mr. Howard. I used to know some owners like him around the horse show circuit. I feel very fortunate to have know the horse people I have as they handed down thier knowledge to me and I know alot of it is either lost or been adulterated by now. No, I'm not terribly old, just 49 but I started just a little young. I wasn't on a horse quite as young as George Woolf but was by age 4. I must admit I didn't really realize how I missed people like this until I began to read your book. The movie and the documentary doesn't really do the book justice. Smith's way of studying horse reminds me of Tom Bass' way of figuring out horses by watching and listening to them when he worked for Potts and Clark in Mexico, MO back in the later part of the 19th century. Tom Bass also took problem horses and dealt with the equine psychology of problem solving. I noticed from reading that Smith never tries to force the will of his human weight on 1500 pound horses. Horse becomes irritated, man looses. Thank you kindly for writing this book as it has lightened a time of heavy load for me as I can't find people like the charecters in the book to be around in real life. James G. Johnson
James G. Johnson <>
Rockwell City, IA USA - Friday, August 15, 2003 at 21:41:28 (EDT)
I have listened to this wonderful story on tape during my commute to and from work. Today, on my way home, I will hear the epilogue. I don't want it to end! This is the first non-fiction book I have listened to, yet it was one of the most exciting. I learned so much about thoroughbred racing, jockeys, the depression, etc. I just want you to know you did an awesome job and I plan to buy the collectors edition so I can have lots of pictures to look at of my biscuit. I just love him! Thank you.
Kerry Newborn <>
Whitesburg, GA USA - Friday, August 15, 2003 at 17:21:57 (EDT)
Mrs.H.,What a great book and it made for a very good movie.I was born in 1937 so I was a tottler when Seabicuit was a national hero,but I did have some sort of board game that I had forgotton about until I read your book.The game had 6 little tin horses.I can remrmber Man of War,War Admiral,Gallant Fox,Seabiscuit,the other two escape me.I read a paperback copy,but I am going to purchase a hard back to keep in my home library. Sincerely Jerry Fisher
Jerry Fisher <>
Punta Gorda, Fl. USA - Friday, August 15, 2003 at 16:14:09 (EDT)
I am writing on behalf of the Literary Ladies Book Club of Brooklyn, N.Y. We enjoyed your book so much that we decided to go to Belmont Park and spend the whole day discussing your book and Seabiscuit. We also went together to see the movie and talked more about your wonderful book. Thank you for giving 12 women a terrific literary experience!
Ariella Sadofsky <>
Booklyn, New York USA - Friday, August 15, 2003 at 14:44:42 (EDT)
I admire Seabiscuit for all he is worth!! I´ve always loved horses, but Seabiscuit is one of my favorites!! I´m already working on persuading my father on buying me the book!!!!
Sabine Botha
Weinstadt, Germany - Friday, August 15, 2003 at 14:34:28 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I never cared much for horses. (Aren't they those dumb animals that run INTO a burning barn?) I'm not even a sports fan. I don't even gamble. But then I saw the film, "Seabiscuit". "Wow"! It made me buy your book on the way home from the theatre. Double "Wow"! I don't read much fiction. It's usually based on fact with the names changed. So why not go to the real story instead? It IS often stranger than fiction...and much more exciting...because it's real! Yours truely is one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. You made me care about the people involved. You even put this old horse hater in the saddle. You taught me what a horse racing "handicap" is and much more, you made me like it. Boy, what a ride! What an animal! What a story! What an author! My parents, who're in their '80's even went to see the movie...something they haven't done in years. Then with tears in their eyes they began to tell me stories of what this horse meant to them as they were growing up in the depression...stories I'd never heard. All the best with your personal challenges and thanks, oh, thanks for such a fantastic read! Like that sportswriter said about seeing Seabiscuit's "hundred-grander" win..."Oh, to have lived to see this day". You put me right there and I really hated to leave. I read every footnote, every acknowledgement. Anything I read next will surely be a disappointment. Paul C. Marietta, GA
Paul C. <>
Marietta, GA USA - Friday, August 15, 2003 at 09:11:37 (EDT)
Haven't read the book yet. Read "A Sudden Illness." Really interested in getting some more information on Laura's illness and chronic fatigue syndrome. Is there a publicist, agent, friend with whom I can speak or e-mail?
Greg Copeland <>
Seattle, WA USA - Friday, August 15, 2003 at 01:21:46 (EDT)
I really loved your very interesting and detailed book! Seabiscuit really struck a chord with me, being the classic underdog who fought and never gave up. He showed everybody what you could do with a little guts and a lot of "heart". You really brought this awesome competitor and sweet, quirky personality to life. Reading your book, you can see why his trainer, jockeys, and owners believed in him, and he in them. They were a great team! Thanks again!
Elayna <>
Canada - Thursday, August 14, 2003 at 23:58:41 (EDT)
I recommend seeing the movie first, then reading the book. I never read the book. Never was interested in horse racing. Then I saw the movie "Seabiscuit." Its almost like a religious experience. I'm now reading the book, and I'm glad I saw the movie first. The book is so much more detailed, and some questions being asked on here are answered in the book (like about Irwin, the huge wild west showman - yes Tom Smith worked for him). Anyone wanting to wait till the video or DVD comes out to see the movie, forget about that. Go see it at the movie theatre! Its a movie best experienced on the Big screen. There is an A&E documentary called "The True Story of Seabiscuit." It has footage of the actual race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral. The whole race. Plus, more live footage of our beloved little brown horse, Seabiscuit. Its an excellent documentary. I haven't seen the one on PBS, but I plan to purchase it. Jeff Bridges, who played Charles Howard in the movie, has his own website with Seabiscuit stuff and lots more.
seabiscuit fan
Tx USA - Thursday, August 14, 2003 at 23:36:32 (EDT)
Never have I been so enthralled with a non-fiction book. I started reading last Sunday night, and couldn't wait to get home each evening to continue! You made me feel like Seabiscuit was a part of my family - so much so, that the tears flowed on the final pages. Thank you for bringing this marvelous story to light, so many years after the fact. In my mind, the "ugly little knock-kneed horse" will always be the most beautiful champion of all time. God bless, Wendy Coffin
Wendy Coffin <>
Hickory, NC USA - Thursday, August 14, 2003 at 23:15:28 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Just finished your book. Thank you for a realistic glimpse into the past and a wonderful story of humans and horses. I will see the movie, but can't imagine that it captures the emotion of your writing. Wonderfully written and beautifully portrayed! Success is yours!
Jen <imajen54@netscape.met>
Candia, NH USA - Thursday, August 14, 2003 at 23:09:57 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: My family loved your book and the movie as well. I admire your work especially since you suffer from CFS. I desperately wanted to contact you because I know you are an advocate for CFS rsearch and I would love to share some hope for recovery with you. About 5 years ago I too suffered from all those debilitating symptoms and after about 3 years and 10 different doctors I was finally diagnosed with CFS and Fibromyalgia. I spent many months bedridden, with a few good days sprinkled throughout. I prayed so desperately for a miracle as I was only 38 with a husband and two beautiful little girls who needed their active, fun mommy back! I saw too many doctors and was overmedicated, to no avail! Finally I caught an episode of ABC's 20/20 about April 2000. It featured a neurosurgeon named Dr. Dan Heffez, in Chicago, that noticed most patients diagnosed with CFS/Fibromyalgia symptoms actually had compressions in the back of the head and neck causing the symptoms we know to be diagnosed as CFS/Fibromyalgia. He found that most of us were sent to rheumotologists INSTEAD of neurologists. Most doctors blame our symptoms on blood or immune system problems which he feels is incorrect. Anyway, his findings were amazing and about 90% of the patients referred to him with CFS/Fibro actually did have compressions/spinal stenosis in the back of head or neck causing the problems. He performs a procedure of shaving some bone back there, which relieves the compression returning the flow of the spinal fluid back to normal, thus eliminating the horrible symptoms. What I'd like to share with you is that after viewing the show,I forwarded my "so-called" normal MRI to him. He received thousands of MRIs after the segment aired as he stated that most radiologists "miss" these compressions and read the MRI incorrectly or as normal! My family prayed every night for three months until he was able to read my MRI. He called me and stated that indeed I had a compression, called a "Chiari Malformation" and that surgery could help me. As strange as it may sound, I was thrilled about the prospect of surgery! I live in Florida, but my husband and I flew to Chicago for two days of testing and upon all the results, I was considered a great canidate for surgery. I had decompression surgery in August 2000, and am here to tell you that within 3 months ALL of my symptoms were GONE. No more insomnia, memory loss, fatigue, body pain, difficulty swallowing, IBS, confusion, etc. I am 100% back to normal. I am so thankful for this miracle and try to spread the word whenever I can. I have referred many local sufferers to Dr. Heffez, all with success! When I read your story/bio in PEOPLE magazine, my heart broke when I read that you'd liked to marry but aren't sure if you'd feel well enough to show up! I know exactly what that feels like! Do you know I had mornings when I couldn't even remember how to drive my girls to school? Every day was a challenge and guessing game - would it be a good day or a bad day? That is no way to live. Since my surgery I now live life to the fullest again. I take no mement for granted! I would love to help you and anybody else interested in the procedure. I was in the hospital for 3 days and the recovery was less painful than childbirth! ANYBODY diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and/or Fibromyalgia owe it to themselves to get an MRI of the back the the head and neck and forward it to Dr. Heffez. He performs miracles every day! Anyone wishing more info can feel free to contact me at(561) 433-3318 or E-Mail me at: You can also look on ABC news website and find info on the segment regarding Dr. Heffez and fibromyalgia. Laura, please contact me!!!!!!!! Good luck to all and good health!
Rita Rothberg <>
Lake Worth, FL USA - Thursday, August 14, 2003 at 21:41:02 (EDT)
i belive this to be one of the best books that i have ever read in my life. as an educational administrator, i am going to ask the board of education to implement your book into the curriclum. this is a must read for everyone. not only does it illustrate the premise that no one should ever give up .. you have painted a very clear picture of what a heroic icon can do for people - especially during trying times as was the period of the depression. please take the time to write another book!! ;-)
bill freeman <>
coal city, il USA - Thursday, August 14, 2003 at 20:49:38 (EDT)
Laura, I am a yoga therapist who has experienced symptoms of CFS. If you are interested in yoga techniques that could help, please let me know. I am constantly learning and would love to share. FYI, there is a paper on CFS from a yoga perspective on (select yoga therapy journal). I taught an 8 week class on CFS and Fibromyaliga (similar) that proved very beneficial for many. Thank you for bringing attention to this condition and blessings to your own healing journey. Seabiscuit was a wonderful story and movie! Thank you for that!
Sally Weber <>
Bay St. Louis, MS USA - Thursday, August 14, 2003 at 20:27:23 (EDT)
Laura, It just hit me how fitting it is that an unknown writer emerges from places unknown with a book that blows all others off the track. A book about three people unknown who go on to blow the country off the track. If sixty years from now, someone writes a book about you, no one will believe it, and certainly by then nobody will believe the Seabiscuit story.
Boyd Cannon <>
Westlake, CA USA - Thursday, August 14, 2003 at 19:30:05 (EDT)
Miss Hillenbrand: Thank you so much for "Seabiscuit: An American Legend". This is one of the most beautifully written and exciting books I've had the privilege to read. I did see the film before reading your book, in fact, I saw it twice because I loved the characters so much. On both occasions I heard/saw people weeping at the end and after reading your book, could fully understand the emotions they must have felt. I admit I wept at the final pages of the book because these characters lived such hard and wonderful lives and because I am too young to have seen or known them. You did an extraordinary amount of research to give us a clear picture of life during those times and what Seabiscuit meant to the world. Thank you again for all the hard work and beautiful story. I hope to see something else of yours soon; you are a very gifted writer.
Debbie Denney <>
Quincy, MA USA - Thursday, August 14, 2003 at 15:10:14 (EDT)
I must add my thanks for your wonderful,beautiful Book-"Seabiscuit' The three men are un-forgetable and that marvelous horse will be in my mind and Heart-I felt he was going to gallop right out of the pages I was reading-Thanks so very much!--suzanne Coe
Suzanne coe <>
san marcos, Ca USA - Thursday, August 14, 2003 at 14:27:56 (EDT)
Laura, With respect to Seabiscuit, I saw the movie first, loved it so I bought your book and loved it even more. I also bought the PBS documentary and it really brought the book to life. My initial reaction after the book and documentary is why did the movie change the facts? The real facts are equally compelling as the changes they did in the movie. I guess I should let you know, that wondering why movie makers have to change things has been a pet peave of mine for a long time. For example, the movie "Catch Me If You Can" could easily have followed the book and would have been just as good. Fortunately, in the case of Seasbiscuit, the changes were in the spirit of the true story, so I can "buy in" to the movie and still enjoy it. But why do it? I have concluded, that Hollywood writers are so egotistical, that somehow they believe they are the only ones who can make a story interesting. In the case of Seabiscuit, the real story is so off the map unbelievable that it did not require one change. What are your thoughts on the changes? Did they really enhance things? One example would be when in the movie Red's parents dumped him to a huge protest from Red. That was not fact. He volutarily left because he wanted to, or did I misread your book? Boyd Cannon
Boyd Cannon <>
Westlake Village, CA USA - Thursday, August 14, 2003 at 14:06:53 (EDT)
I am 2/3 of the way thru your book. Love it. This is re: CFS/Adult Grown Hormone Deficiency I was struck by the fact that you have been diagnosed with CFS and could not go and do some interviews. Please check out Forest Pharmaceuticals. Inc. for natural thyroid. l-800-678-1606, ex 7180 Switching from synthetic thyroid to natural got rid of my fibromyalgia. Most drs. do not want to prescribe Armour. It is an FDA approved drug. You must you the conversion chart. Adult Growth hormone deficiency will cause extreme fatigue and muscle pain. A simple blood test, IGF-l will determine if there is a problem. Then a longer test involving a drug to jumpstart your pituitary, and 6 blood draws over a 3 to 4 hour period will determine if there is a problem. Most ins. will cover the drug if your pituitary is not working well. Check the website www. site check adult growth hormone deficiency on the internet. Do not take my word for this. Daily injections have cured my fatigue and muscle pain which kept me bedridden and housebound much of the time. Armour cured my joint pains. I wish you well and hope this info can be of some help to you.
Jeanette Holveck <>
Seattle, Wa. USA - Thursday, August 14, 2003 at 13:21:47 (EDT)
This book was able to interest me in a sport - amazing. Written by a person who is obviously heavily involved with horses and horse racing, it also touches on a topic which seems to have been missed by many readers - the human cost which the sport imposes. During the worst years of the depression some very rich people found nothing better to do with their lives than to play with horses. They seem to have had a genuine affection for their four-legged pets, but something less for the humans who helped them with their recreation. Seabiscuit, when his racing days were over, was given a very comfortable retirement. His trainer was less charitably treated. His jockeys were chewed up and spit out, with broken bodies. God only knows what happened to the grooms and stable hands - Ms Hildenbrand neglects even to record their names.
USA - Thursday, August 14, 2003 at 13:10:40 (EDT)
When my 90-yr.-old mom read Seabiscuit, she made an unexpected discovery. I thought you might be interested in hearing how your book touched one elderly woman's life personally. As a teenager growing up in Hempstead, Long Island around the time of the Depression, my mom (then Josephine Kelly) had a babysiting job with the family of Wallace Leischman. She had often talked about this experience, reminiscing about Leischman's having been a jockey at Belmont Racetrack. Apparently, he lived some distance from the track so that he could avoid being tapped for funds when he won a purse. Once when she was babysitting, he warned her not to open the door to anyone because his winnings were at the apt. He often talked about how much money he made racing, and braggig that he could earn more in one race than her older brother could possibly make at his office job in NYC! During chats with my mom, she had often wondered aloud about what had happened to Leischman and his family. She remembers asking her stepfather, who spent a lot of time at the track what had become of him. His response was that Leischman had gotten "in trouble", but he never explained what that "trouble" was. Much to my mother's surprise, her answer came as she was reading your book, for there on p. 77 she found the picture with the caption recording his death on the track. She continues to marvel at how this information "came" unexpectedly to her after so many years! Since this incident I have gone on line trying to learn more about Leischman, but have been unable to find any additional information. Do you by chance know anything more which I might share with my mom? My mom and I are so glad to have had the wonderful opportunity to read Seabiscuit. We thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading your next book! Nancy Cahill
Nancy Cahill <>
Clinton, NJ USA - Thursday, August 14, 2003 at 12:17:13 (EDT)
Your book is one of the best books I've read. I'm basically a mystery reader, but truly enjoyed this one. Thank you so much for writing it.
Judy Stover
USA - Thursday, August 14, 2003 at 09:25:22 (EDT)
Laura, I was so excited about hearing about your Seabisuit book as my distant relative was married to George Woolf. Her name was Gnevieve Braun. If you could tell me anything at all about her that you might have found in your research I would really appreciate it. I was in my teens at the time so was not really interested in grown up stuff! Do you have any addresses of any one that was related to George that I could contact? Have not read the book yet but the movie was wonderful! PLEASE contact me! Betty Richardson
Betty Richardson <>
Longview, Tx USA - Thursday, August 14, 2003 at 07:23:36 (EDT)
I just finished this book and have to say it is a great one. I am not real knowledgable on race horses, but any book that has an underdog animal or person come back and do great things like this horse and these Jockeys did, is ok in my book.
Darrell McGill <>
Conroe, tx USA - Thursday, August 14, 2003 at 01:15:59 (EDT)
I have never ridden a horse in my life or been interested in horse racing. I just finished reading your book and I loved it. I read most of it out loud to my husband as we drove home from St. Louis and when we got home, he stole it from me to finish reading it. We fell in love with Seabiscuit and your exciting storytelling.
Jennifer Connoley <>
Morgantown, WV USA - Thursday, August 14, 2003 at 01:00:17 (EDT)
Dear Laura: I have just completed reading your: special illustrated collector's edition of: "SEABISCUIT." I will keep it in my library as an example of a wonderfull work by a marvelous researcher & gifted writer. I am going to compare you to James A. Michener's style, if I may. I have a question regarding the Howard ranch; is it near, Willits & is it still in the family & can it be visited? Thanks, Earl Carlisle
Earl Carlisle <>
USA - Thursday, August 14, 2003 at 00:51:56 (EDT)
im a 26 year old guy who knows less than nothing about horse racing. nor have i ever cared about learning. but i love to read a good book. i just finished seabiscuit and i am floored. the story of these men and this horse is incredible and its telling is sensational. i never imagined that the world of horse racing could be remotely this interesting. my heart was slamming into my ribs in every race scene. and i laughed out loud and teared up throughout the rest of the story. i never thought i could care so much about an animal. much less one that was gone long before i was born. incredible. thanks for the thrill!
charlie moore <>
houston, tx USA - Wednesday, August 13, 2003 at 23:04:12 (EDT)
Dear Laura - Superlatives abound about the book, the work, the effort & the horse. One cannot add to them. Suffice to say that reading the author's bio at the end, takes what wind is left in the sails, clear out. Well done 'Biscuit' is all that springs to mind. His final race is run!? A fitting postscript to a remarkable tale. Thanks, & God bless you.
Ian Vorster
Santa Barbara, CA USA - Wednesday, August 13, 2003 at 22:58:14 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Read the book before I saw the movie and thouroughly enjoyed it. I have come to the conclusion that horses are real people too?! :-) I especally enjoyed the stories where Seabicuit would toy with his rivals (on the track) and upset the other horses like Kayak who took a swipe at Seabiscuit (out of frustration) after their workout together. I laughed out loud. Another incident comes to mind where one horse was so upset, didn't eat or sleep. The trainers made the horse beleive that Seabiscuit left town by keeping them separated on opposite ends of the stables. I also appreciated how you did your homework which is an understatement. I cannot beleive the amount of investigative work you did not to mention writing the book??!!!!! Sincerely, Mike Moyer
Michael J. Moyer <>
Roanoke, VA USA - Wednesday, August 13, 2003 at 22:11:02 (EDT)
Congratulations on a great book it is one thing to collect data but another super accomplishment to integrate it into a great story. I was especially touched by your description of Seabiscuit as we had a horse from the same blood line ( Moonflood X Lll Foolish ) back to Man O War she was a small mare that my daughter competed with as a hunter all heart and alwalys placed high if not first in her classes
Bob A <>
Littleton, Mass USA - Wednesday, August 13, 2003 at 21:29:06 (EDT)
having owned an anglo-arab whose Mother had Man O'War on both sire's and dams side made your beautifully written book a real treat for me to read. I felt as if I was reading a top thriller and couldnt wait to find out the outcome. I was only 4 years old when this happening occured so don't remember the excitement my family must have had. Radio and newspapers were their windows to the world. Thank you for such an exciting equine adventure! I hope you produce another literary blockbuster! Truly yours Marcia Davis.
Marcia davis <>
Santa Rosa, CA USA - Wednesday, August 13, 2003 at 21:21:40 (EDT)
Laura, congratulations on a fantastic book that deserves nothing but accolades for your fine writing style and the obvious extra mile that you took in creating more than a book... this work brings pictures into ones head and a warm feeling within one's heart. More than most leaving their personal thoughts, this book was written for me as the first 60 pages of the book brought back some great memories. Growing up in the Berkeley area of California and attending the races at Golden Gate Fields, Bay Meadows and the Fair Circuit regularly with my father beginning in the early 60's (while just turning into my double digits in age), I remembered trainers Buster Millerick, Farrell Jones and of course, Noble Threewitt all mentioned with significance. Buster ran one of the best ever seen in the west, Native Diver and Noble could ship about anything up north and win. I did not even know that Farrell Jones had been a jockey but I do remember cussing a few of his Southern Cal shippers that took some nice purses out of the bay. Your book made me remember Kissin' George who ran through the 60's in Northern of the fastest horses I have ever seen, he could run a "hole in the wind" and I remember him hanging with Dr. Fager in an east coast trip for quite awhile before giving up the ghost in a race too long in distance for George. Racing was one of the most fun things from my teenage years. My father was an outstanding handicapper...together with a professional horse player from the bay area named Frank Strojan, they developed a "track variance" divided into sprints and distances. They taught me how to create and keep it. Painstaking hours to be sure. Eventually the Daily Racing Form started keeping a variance. I wonder if they spend the time I did. That track variance brought me more than one good price winner. So many things from my past came back to me thanks to your book and I must have smiled 50 times at difference points as I learned something new or remembered something important. I owe you greatly for your efforts. I will never forget you and I will buy your next book even if only recites the alphabet! Thank you and I only hope that someday I will get the honor of meeting you. You and the 'Biscuit are the absolute tops. Ken Ekman
Ken Ekman <>
Minneapolis, MN USA - Wednesday, August 13, 2003 at 20:57:58 (EDT)
I commented on your book and the film at lunch one day to some people who thought they wouldn't be interested in a "race horse" story. I told them it is a love story, a perfect illustration of how love can heal broken souls--in this case both equine and human--if you're lucky and embrace it when it comes your way. I wish my parents were still here so that I could ask them about their memories of the Seabiscuit phenominon. They would have been in their 20s, and I'm sure they would have loved reminiscing about those times and that great little horse. You are a wonderful writer, and I hope you have a sense of the joy you have provided so many of us. Mr. Howard was right...there will never be another Seabiscuit!
Carolyn McGreevy
Portland, OR USA - Wednesday, August 13, 2003 at 18:41:38 (EDT)
Just a fantastic book and the movie is wonderful!!!!! From two horse people. Thanks for all your effort.
Suzanne Miller <>
Canisteo, NY USA - Wednesday, August 13, 2003 at 16:32:56 (EDT)
I would like to congratulate you on your fine book and movie – Seabiscuit. I am an author myself and was on tour with a new book signing when the movie initially came out on July 25. I had my young 19 year old son with me and we visited a Barnes & Noble bookstore (one of the places I was doing a book signing) early that day and picked up a copy of the book. We then went to see the movie that evening. After the movie I came back to the hotel and read through the night and the entire next morning. To tell you the truth I am envious of your fine writing style. You make the period in the late 1930s that Seabiscuit raced come alive and you were able to take the reader behind the scenes in so many ways. My most recent book is a biography on the coach and founder of the popular Green Bay Packers football team. The period is from the 1920s to the 1940s. The small town of Green Bay and the hometown boy, coach Curly Lambeau, competing against larger teams from Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, etc. reminds me of the underdog theme that was so brilliantly done in your book and movie. You may not be a football fan, but I would love to send you a copy of the book if you would like. It’s really not a football book per se, but a biography of a national celebrity during that time. P.S. I read that you were also dealing with chronic fatigue syndrome when you were working on the book. When I was about your age, I had Epstein-Barr syndrome that is similar to chronic fatigue syndrome. I can’t imagine how you could physically work on the book and even focus on what you were trying to accomplish. I recovered over a period of time, however, it took a few years before it left my system completely. Again, congratulations on a fine piece of work and I thought the movie was extremely well done. If you would like a copy of my new book, Lambeau, The Man Behind the Mystique, you can reach me at, or call 800-525-0133.
David Zimmerman <>
Hales Corners, WI USA - Wednesday, August 13, 2003 at 16:12:57 (EDT)
Loved the book, Laura Hillenbrand. What a labor of love. Thanks for writing it.
Joe Brady <>
Newark , DE USA - Wednesday, August 13, 2003 at 14:26:25 (EDT)
You truly are an incredible inspiration to us all. I have CFS and can't imagine how you accomplished such a herculean feat of magic. You are remarkable.
fairfax, va USA - Wednesday, August 13, 2003 at 13:25:36 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I have just finished "Seabiscuit" and I want to tell you what a rare pleasure it was to read your exceptional book. I cannot remember when I have found anything as moving and compelling as your chronicaling of the people, the times, and of course the trials and the triumph of this amazing animal and the people who believed in him. I understand that you suffer from CFS. I can only wish for your speedy and complete recovery. You are a sensitive and gifted writer. I know that the countless readers who have been enriched by your work look forward to the publication of your next book. Yours truly, Eliot Tuckerman
Eliot Tuckerman <>
White Plains, NY USA - Wednesday, August 13, 2003 at 13:09:46 (EDT)
Thank you so much for the book. I was reading it on the plane and started crying with excitement over the racing scenes. I'm sure the guy sitting next to me thught I ws nuts. Again thank you.
jim schratz <>
sonoma, ca USA - Wednesday, August 13, 2003 at 12:52:03 (EDT)
Dear Laura, -Heard your interview weeks ago with Terry Gross. Sorry, not to have read your book...or to have seen the movie...yet. I did read large portions of your guest-book archive. Nice to see that equine remarks outnumber infirmities. I know little of your walk with CFS...only small highlights that caught my ear as NPR was background brain- candy on a busy day. I am 36 and own an interior design-build firm with clients in Manhattan, Buffalo and Toronto (stress). A year after a very minor car accident with torso and neck twisting, I began experiencing profound fatigue. With 8 hours of sleep, I could not stay focused/productive in my work day past 1:00pm. At the worst point I began losing cognitive recollection of basic skills. This brought episodes of incredible anxiety and eventually physical collapse. I was hospitalized twice in three weeks for passing out on the job. My physical symptoms included predominately left side numbness and strength loss in hand and leg. I had sinus occlusion (without allergy symptoms) and eustachian blockage which impacted my middle ear and subsequently my balance. Mouth sores, weird acne outbreaks.....I went from King of self-accountable-ville to frightened mess. Within my high-end client pool, I found five other individuals who had very privately suffered with CFS and recovered. All were power achievers with high stress loads.....Lawyers, Doctors, CEO's. All commonly were athletic in high school and college. Three former swimmers including myself. (cervical spinal health) CFS was a diagnosis of omission after six months of the finest conventional testing available, including input from Meyo and Cleveland. My clients helped me find a proven Holistic therapist. This was essential for diet tuning and homeopathic inclusions for immunity boost. My personal Holy Grail was very simply a physical therapist licensed to manipulate. This is my compulsion for writing to you. Nearly a year of profound technology and conventional brilliance had brought little if any change. I then found a modest man with a sideline interest in Eastern/Asian medicine. After 45 minutes of physical examination he was completing my sentences regarding specific symptoms. Tears welled up in my eyes as I finally felt mystery fading. Ribs 4,5 and 6 were out from my spine. When the ribs popped back in it was plug back in socket. Subsequent careful cervical spinal adjustments and sub-cranial masage fully cleared my sinus almost immediately. Essential to six-months of recovery was a regimen of 'range of motion' exercises with dumbells and tune-up manipulations. My life is profoundly changed with the inclusion of the daily exercises. Forgive any ounce of patronization. I believe we are all unique in our repective levels of mechanical breakdown. Everyone must adopt their own cocktail of treatments in recovering. I sadly see many silver-bullet testimonials......full recovery for me has been extremely multi-faceted. I do not adopt viral-incursion as a primary cause.....the antibiotic therapies were strongly discouraged by all sides of my 'get -well -team' Last I dearly hope you find a way to live each minute demanding health and recovery. It would be terribly sad for you to become the CFS poster-girl as a consequence of advocacy. Cervical spinal health was my core leap forward....tepid- icky- kelp- powder baths and profound positivity were equally important. Mental Divorce from 'living with disease' is the flour of the cake. Daily exercise equals health maintained for life.
Charley Tarr <>
Buffalo, NY USA - Wednesday, August 13, 2003 at 11:38:03 (EDT)
The book was excellent, but some questions remain. Is Seabiscuit's grave still untouched today even though the ranch may not remain there? Also was Howard buried near Seabiscuit when he died?
Margaret MIcco <>
USA - Wednesday, August 13, 2003 at 10:13:23 (EDT)
Hi, Laura. My husband and I loved the movie. We are curious about Seabiscuit's name. What does it mean and how did he get it? Thanks for your wonderful contribution! Kathy
Kathy <>
Rockville, MD USA - Wednesday, August 13, 2003 at 09:28:12 (EDT)
dear laura, i would like to know the dates for when charles divorced fannie mae, when and where fannie died, when charles met marcela and when he married marcela. where was charles' oldest son's home (with wife anita) and how many years difference in age where these 2 sisters? what did lin do for a living. who was marcela and anita's father and where was he a lawyer. is there a website with this kind of info? thanks so much, the book was good. --dave
david love <>
silver city, nm USA - Wednesday, August 13, 2003 at 04:01:45 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Thank you for providing such a riveting story and opening my eyes to a great era and great horse. Coming from Maryland near Pimlico where my great Aunt attended virtually every meet for 50 years from the 1930's on, I knew the name, Seabiscuit. What I did not know was the role Alfred Vanderbuilt, a great friend if my father's, had to play in getting the match race off the ground, and of course the wonderful details and feeling of the era your book provides. My Mother, who grew up in the turbulent 20's and 30's was not at the race, but she said; "we didn't know much about the western horse, being from the east. We were shocked when War Admiral lost." Unable to find a radio station in Hot Springs, WVA, she rushed to a phone and called her best friend in Baltimore who gave her the news. The movie is great, but it does not do justice to your work and writng. Thanks and regards, Gary Black Jr.
Gary Black Jr <>
Sun Valley, ID USA - Wednesday, August 13, 2003 at 00:47:28 (EDT)
Thank you. Growing up in a rodeo family in rodeo country I had heard about Seabiscuit, sort of, as all horse people have the common thread of the love of the animal. We went to the movie on opening night and knew that book had to be read. Just finished it today and I am in total awe. A horse that not only overcame the physical handicaps he was born with but to break all those records carrying the huge weights he was given seems almot unbelieveable. The faith that team Seabiscuit had in him even when the future must have looked very bleak shows the love he evolked in all that he came in touch with. Thank you for describing in such wonderful detail the life of Seabiscuit and all his human caretakers.
Robbie <>
Calgary, Canada - Wednesday, August 13, 2003 at 00:30:11 (EDT)
Dear Laura, before last weekend, I knew nothing about Seabiscuit the horse, Seabiscuit the movie, or Seabiscuit the book. Then it happened! My husband and I went to see the movie because of a recommendation of a co-worker. I was so impressed, excited, enthralled, fascinated and uplifted by the story that I mentioned to my husband when going home from the movie that I would be interested in reading the book to fill in the gaps that the movie didnt cover. Well, to my surprise, I came home from work Sun. evening and there was a copy of your book on the table. I started reading it that night and just completed it tonight. Wow, it was wonderful reading. You have educated me on a subject I knew nothing about and now am very interested. Thanks you so much for such a marvelous book. And I admire your courage in the midst of unfavorable circunstances (just like the heroes of this book) to take on this project and to accomplish such success. Congratulations and God bless you. I pray He will grant you healing.
Lynn Hair-Segura <>
Lafayette, La USA - Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 23:51:58 (EDT)
I'm not one to write a fan letter, but your book, which I first read when it came out in hardback a couple years ago, has prompted this response. I'm a forensic psychologist by profession and a pro hydroplane racer as well. Your book, beautifully written, expressed the essential element of racing- the striving, the disappointments, the need to face up to reality and adjust accordingly, operating within your limitations and recognizing your strengths, and the physical, mental and emotional courage that such an enterprise ultimately requires. This story resonates with many different people and on many different levels. I'm happy to say that I've induced several of my friends and family to read the book and see the movie, which is quite good but not as good as your remarkable book. I'm not a fan in any traditional sense. Rather, I appreciate good writing, good character, and a good story. Seabiscuit had them all. This is a book and movie "with legs". Well done. I'd like to hear about other things you've written and where you're going from here. Regards, Ken Muscatel, Ph.D.
Ken Muscatel <>
Seattle, WA USA - Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 22:35:39 (EDT)
Wow!!!!!!!!!! What book of great breath and detail. I first learned about the "biscuit" through bringing my daughters and wife to see the movie just last week. We all cryed and sheered at the end. I felt compelled to read the book to further my own understanding of the animal that captured the imagination of my grandfather's generation. As a teacher, I plan on weaving some aspect of the book, movie and the life of Seabiscuit into some of my daily lessons. Thank you for writing this wonderful work of literature. God Bless.......:)
DavidBonner <>
West Seneca, ny USA - Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 21:49:00 (EDT)
WOW . . .just saw the movie . . . . a "10" . . . and I thought Secretariet was something else . . . I am an old employee of The Morning Telegraph and The Daily Racing Forn in New York and think the movie was a masterpiece!
jack flood <>
boca raton , fl USA - Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 20:09:14 (EDT)
Laura, I absolutely adored your book, Seabiscuit. It is not often that I come across a book that is so good, it leaves me with a good feeling inside. Its hard to explain, but after reading your novel, I felt truly touched. I loved it so much, that began to read it all over again! I just don't know what to say. It was so teriffic and touching, I just immediately fell in love with it. It's so hard to find a GOOD horse novel, and i just found it! Excellent work! Surprise us all with another one! Maybe Secretariat or something! Whichever books you come out with next, I truly look forward to reading them!
Kelly McDowell
ONT - Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 19:51:14 (EDT)
My reaction and E-mail to Louis Guida. I can't believe you actually passed off that pathetic article insinuating that Seabiscuit was possibly drugged by his trainer, with absolutely no evidence or hint of evidence of such a thing ever happening. You say in your article that there are "more than a few racing skeptics", yet, unbelievably, YOU NEVER NAME ONE! What a jealous little backstabber you are. This woman writes a fantastic story right out from under your nose (being a documentary filmmaker and all), and you just have to try and throw mud at it. You don't name one single skeptic; you just throw it out there like it's fact. Then you turn around and say she writes about a cryptic past as though it were Gospel. Have you taken the time to read the book? Did you read the credits, sources and acknowledgements? Unlike you, she cites countless sources, including people who actually worked with the horse and saw the horse daily. People that are still alive today who actually were around the horse. You, on the other hand, cite nothing, nada, zilch. Lastly, this horse, as witnessed by countless people, was as gentle as a lamb. He was hostile and violent under his old trainer after being 200 pounds under weight and forced to run in way too many races. Did you ever take your ego for a walk and consider how this horse that was supposedly drugged could be as gentle as a kitten before and after races when he was running for Tom Smith? What, you think Tom Smith was giving him Valium to help him run faster? If you had accused Fitzsimmons of drugging the horse it would have made more sense. No, you just wanted a headline. You truly are pathetic. And I think you know it.
TR <>
USA - Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 19:49:59 (EDT)
Dear Laura: Wow. I saw the film, then read your book and ate it up like cotton candy. Couldn't get enough of info on SEABISCUIT. I am now obsessed about this wonderful animal and the people in his life. I am fortunate to live in Burbank/Toluca Lake - California, not very far from Santa Anita Race Park and I plan to go there and do a tour and watch a few races. Because of your book and consequently the film, Santa Anita is NOW offering tours of the paddock where Seabiscuit was stabled and of course his statue is there as well as one of George Woolfe, too, I believe and I so look forward to seeing where the real story took place. YOU are my hero. You did a beautiful job on this book. I saw a profile on you on CNN and had no idea how ill you were when you wrote this story. I am a freelance writer and working on my own book about becoming an emergency medical technician at a late age and I am ASHAMED of myself. I procrastinate so much and when I saw how you had to struggle with your health in order just to write a few chapters or paragraphs, I was dumbstruck and astonished. I so applaud you. Your book moved me to tears, as did the film. I've seen it twice already and plan to see it again and again and will most likely purchase it when it comes out on DVD. I pray for your good health and I truly hope you find some kind of medical relief for your condition. It's so cruel. You have so much talent, heart, spirit and creativity and Seabiscuit's story so moved me. I saw the film first, but then read the book and just devoured it because so much was left out in the film or turned around a little, as only movies can do for time sake. I thought the film was done well and 'touched' on some of the more detailed information in the book. But you can't adapt everything from the book onto the screen, it would take too long. I did feel the director did a great job in trying to convey some of the more detailed work. He did it justice. SEABISCUIT opened my eyes to the world of horse racing. Now I want to rent "PHAR LAP" - the Australian version of SEABISCUIT. Also I plan to read some biographies of race jockies. It is not a glamorous sport. I work sometimes as a medic on the polo field and it breaks my heart when both rider and HORSE go down. The horses suffer so badly. Both polo and thoroughbred racing can be so hard on the poor animals. Jockey's don't do well either and your book explains that in fascinating detail. Thank you. Thank you. SEABISCUIT has touched me as no other book/film has. I can't explain it. I am looking forward to visiting Santa Anita this fall when it opens and doing more research on my own on my beloved "biscuit". I hope it wins tons of Oscars - and you are to be remembered for a job well done. thank you.
Linda Simeone <>
Toluca Lake, CA USA - Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 19:20:01 (EDT)
As the mother of a PWC for 9 1/2 years I want to send a special thank you for what you are doing for CIFIDS sufferers. You have done what no one else could do. Thank you to you (and Borden). God bless you! Susan Blok
Susan Blok <>
London, Ontario Canada - Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 18:14:28 (EDT)
I would like to send you 2 Bookmarks, inspired by your wonderful book,SEABISCUIT. Please send address you wish me to use. I wish you, Kali Dynami, "More Power", as we Greeks say.
Chris Tsioropoulos <>
Marblehead, MA USA - Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 17:08:53 (EDT)
Laura, i fell in love with Seabiscuit and his story, but also with your style of writing-how it lets the reader become a part of that era and a part of Seabiscuit's world. i wrote a review on it for school, which was later published in the Jan 2003 issue of Teenink. i noticed an article in the New Yorker that my mom had placed on my chair, titled "Sudden Illness" with your name highlighted. after reading the piece, i immediatley wanted in some way to contact you, to not only congratulate you on your book, but to inquire how you are doing. i fervently hope that you make a strong recovery. you have touched us all through your writing, you have an incredible talent. Sincerely, Rachel Shmookler
Rachel Shmookler <>
Buffalo, NY USA - Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 16:28:14 (EDT)
I have never FELT a book as much as I FELT Seabiscuit! Thank you!
New York, NY USA - Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 16:05:55 (EDT)
Laura, I also suffer from CFS. I can help you. I am not a quack! I have found medication and herbs that not many people know about. I am writing a book about it. It would be worth your while to email me!
Kim Murphy <>
Urbandale, IA USA - Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 15:42:53 (EDT)
To all you folks reading this site because you LOVED the book, the movie, or both, don't miss the link (listed under LINKS) to the page for Norah Pollard's (Red Pollard's daughter) poetry book 'Leaning In'. Even if you don't normally read poetry, if you love Seabiscuit, I can guarantee these poems will touch your heart. Check out the sample poems on the site! When I first came across the site, I was afraid the poems would be schmaltzy, but they're not --they're wonderfully written! I went ahead and ordered the book, and the editor even sent me a little e-mail thanking me and asking me how I had heard about the book. I told him I was surprised they weren't promoting it more, but I guess they just don't have the inclination. Anyway, just spreading the word that 'Leaning In' is a wonderful companion to 'Seabiscuit'. Even Laura Heillenbrand gave it a wonderful review. Here's the link:
V. Dawson
San Francsico, CA USA - Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 15:30:19 (EDT)
Dear Laura: I took "Seabiscuit" with me on vacation this Summer. It was one of the highlights of the trip. You took a wonderful series of events and wove it into and even better story. It's one of the best books I've ever read. While reading I found myself stopping occasionally and appreciating how well-written it was. Thanks for bringing this wonderful story to us.
Bob Becker <>
Lakewood, OH USA - Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 15:26:36 (EDT)
Dear Laura- I am not a avid reader. When I got started on your book I was hooked. I used to kid my wife of 47 years on how much reading she did, but, the worm has turned. I saw the movie on opening day and it brought me to tears !!! In rating the movie, 1 thru 10, it was a big 10. Your book had so much emotion and in great detail. I humbly give it a big 11 ( highest ). Having 7 grand-children I will be covering the book with them. At the present time I have seen the movie twice !!! Congratulations on your success and future health. God bless you and your family. Sincerely, Gordon C. Langstaff
Gordon Langstaff <>
Anaheim Hills, Ca USA - Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 13:07:03 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I’ve recently read your wonderful book on Seabiscuit, and am enchanted with the history of this fabulous horse and the people who cultivated his ability with such dedicated attention. Thank you for your meticulous research and your eloquence in capturing the true spirit of this stirring story. In “Seabiscuit: An American Legend,” you have create the perfect time machine, and your portal back to the lively era of the 1930’s is a source of inspiration for us all. You have enriched the lives of millions of people everywhere!
T.J. Perrotti <>
Newport, RI USA - Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 12:49:05 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Just as SeaBiscuit raced from the heart, you wrote from the heart. I felt like I lived that time with them. The experience lifted my heart and I thank you.
Joyce M. Cossin <>
Hayesville, NC USA - Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 12:48:22 (EDT)
Dear Laura, First of all my Family Loved the Movie Thanks for bringing a Great Athletes story back to Life! I am Local in McLean Va and if you or any of your friends are interested in finding out how to Raise Money for Horse related Charities or the like please contact me at my aol email address There are great tax advantages and we have financial institutions willing to finance the programs if you quualify Thanks again for the inspiring book Mike Roberts
Mike Roberts <>
McLean, Va USA - Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 12:19:55 (EDT)
There is a little of Seabiscuit in all of us. Against the odds we strive, and if we have heart enough, we are winners. There is more to this horse than what is on the outside and more than winning the race that makes us winners....Go Seabiscuit!
Sandra Clement <>
Hawk Point, MO USA - Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 11:42:32 (EDT)
Im very sorry to say that I have not read your book or have I seen the movie. Although, I intend to. My interest is in your dealing with CFS. I have had this god awful illness for sometime. about 2 1/2 years now. I have tried every recommended cure under the sun with little results. the struggles are endless, every day becomes a different challenge. The emotional stress is sometimes overwhelming. To occomplish what you have is amazing and I admire you for your strength. If you have any inspiring words of support and incuragement that I can take with me day to day I would appreciate it very much.
Sherie <>
ma USA - Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 11:22:58 (EDT)
Ms. H., Many thanks. Timing really IS everything!
Caledonia, IL USA - Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 01:42:36 (EDT)
Dear Laura, My sister gave me this book and said "you have to read this!" I just finished the book (I had to, before seeing the movie) and was just overwhelmed! I found myself cheering for "The Biscuit" during the races and just felt the love that Charles Howard, Red Pollard and Tom Smith had for him. I'm still sobbing as I write this, and as a horsewoman from California, thank you for all the work and effort you and your collegues did to get the story told. Absolutely unforgettable!
Debbie Cabrera <>
San Jose, CA USA - Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 01:16:31 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Thank you for the enriching experience of your book! I don't believe I have ever been so enthralled by any single discovery in my life as I have been this one about Seabiscuit. I have a hunger to learn more about the life and times of this wonderful being and have read everything I can get my hands on. I look forward to a trip Ridgewood Ranch where I hope to experience firsthand the spirit of the special time of Seabiscuit's retirement. Thank you again for your great gift to us!
Gerry Rutz <>
Indianapolis, IN USA - Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 00:58:53 (EDT)
Dear Laura ... excellent book ... tremendous research ... I saw the movie before I got the book and really never intended to read the book because I never followed horse racing and know very little about the sport. If it wasn't for Mike Francesca and Chris Russo's radio program, WFAN in New York, I would have never been curious enough to know how fascinating the sport is and just how much of an athlete jockeys are. I live 35 miles from Pawtucket and 60 miles from Suffolk Downs. I actually do business in the Narragansett Industrial Park, a part of where the race track was ... as they tell me. Thanks for your brilliant insight and winning over a true fan. You are a gifted writer. Best to you in the future. Norman
Norman Letendre <>
New Bedford, MA USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 23:31:43 (EDT)
Thank you for the incredible story you told, the picture of America that you recreated, and the tears that your epilogue brought to my eyes. Your obvious labor of love is truly a story that needed telling. I read the notes as I read the book, and I am so impressed that you were able to locate as many people as you did to confirm/relate the facts of this amazing story. Your research was impeccable. I just finished reading your book last night, and after immersing myself totally in Seabiscuit for the last several weeks or so (I read Moody's Come On Seabiscuit and saw the movie adaptation of your book as well), I find myself feeling a bit lost, as if I have nothing else--no more Seabiscuit--to absorb! I do know two things for sure: you are an excellent writer with just enough "down to earth literary expertise" (if that makes sense) to satisfy the most discriminating reader and Seabiscuit was robbed when he was only ranked #25 in The Blood Horse's published ranking of the top 100 thoroughbreds of the 20th century. He truly was a horse of and for the ages. I wondered if you had learned much about Seabiscuit's stud career other than what you shared in the book. Did any eastern farm offer to stand him? Charles Howard obviously loved him too much to let him go, but I wondered if any offers had been made. I also wondered how many foals he sired and if his blood survives in any major stakes winner or good sire today. Again, thank you for a wonderful read. God bless you in your fight against your illness.
Cheryl Hoye <>
Johnson City, TN USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 23:06:02 (EDT)
Dear Laura, How wonderful to have someone out there to inform the world about this dreaded illness. God has truly blessed you more than you realize through your story, Seabiscuit I too have been blessed with a special gift, as you have during one of the most difficult times of my life. There is no person that can truly understand what one experiences when you have cfs. except for one who has had it. My personal description of the illness is that it simulates, MS, Alzheimers and a stroke all combine into one desease. I am so fortunate though because most of my symptoms have disapated over the past couple of years. My therory as to why I have gotten better is because I moved out of the house I lived in for 20 years. I know now, without a doubt that it was truly making me sick. I am allergic to so many different chemicals that they treat lunber and building materials with. When I moved away in 1998, I gradually began to get well. To this day, the only time I seem to have any symptoms at all is when I go into a building material store such as Home Depot, Lowes, etc. To this day, I don't really know the rhyme or reason of it all, but I seem to do ok as long as I stay away from the building supply centers. I have been writing, poems, stories, and a personal life story since being diagnosed with cfs back in 1996. I have had two of my poems published, and was a semi-finalist in the International Poets Society convention held in Washington DC in 1997 with my entry "His Masterpiece". I would love to send you a copy. Do you have a P.O. Box or a personal e-mail address that I can send it to? I truly hope and pray that someday very soon your health comes back to you as mine has. May God Bless and Keep you in His tender loving care. Sincerely, Linda Gail Bartlett
Linda Gail Bartlett <>
Laguna Niguel,, Ca. USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 22:39:36 (EDT)
Hi Laura, I have something for Seabiscuit and you Roger
roger nord <>
fairfax, va USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 22:34:41 (EDT)
I have spent several days writing you a letter of admiration, for you and what you have done. I wish I could have said it in a couple of terse paragraphs but I simply had too many thoughts I had to express and share with you, strictly as an extremely appreciative fan. I just sent a printed copy (my preference) to what I feel was a wrong address in CA, and would now like to resend it to where you are, which is apparently in Washington, DC. If you would give me an address at which it will reach you.
Jim Donovan <>
Del Mar, CA USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 22:20:40 (EDT)
I just saw the movie and just finished reading the book. Of course the book is much better. I could picture all the people and places. It made me remember the days when I went to the track to watch the workouts of a filly I helped to train. She never was able to race, but I got to know some very interesting people. The book made me feel like I was there.
Cathy Heagy <>
Narvon, Pa USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 22:03:20 (EDT)
Thankyou for a great read. The love and tenacity shared amongst Seabiscuit,Red, To, and the Howards will stay with me forever. Whenever I need a lift I will return to this book. I finally have my favorite non-fiction book on the shelf next to my treasured copy of "Wuthering Heights"by Emily Bronte. She loved her people with her heart and soul asyou loved those you wrote about so well. Thankyou
Mary Anne <>
NY USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 21:53:06 (EDT)
I have a question In the movie there was a scene about the trainers past and it showed large banners for Irwins wild west show,did he indeed work for C.D.Irwin at one time? He is one of my favorite persons in American west history.Also, my mother-in-law who is 87 loved the movie,and remembers listening to the race broadcasts on the radio,and said times were very hard then,and Seabiscuit was a true inspiration for everyone.When my husband was small she used to tell him the story of Seabiscuit.Thank you for bringing this wonderful story to life again in print and on screen
barbara conroy <>
pgh, pa USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 20:28:48 (EDT)
Hi,I am contacting you because I just read your story in People Magazine about your chronic fatigue. I have a very close friend that had severe problems with fibromyalgia and is pain and symptom free today because of a product called Reliv. It is a nutrition product that has helped sooo many people I know with this illness. It is not a cure, but their quality of life has improved drastically. I would love the opportunity to help you and to give you an avenue you may not have tried or had luck with that could turn your chonic fatigue symptoms into feeling great. Contact me by email if you are interested in talking to me more or if you would like for me to send you some information. Janice
Janice Gordon <>
Alto, MI USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 18:59:31 (EDT)
I just wanted to remind any of you who visit the site today, PBS is rerunning An Amercian Experience: Seabiscuit tonight at 8:30 (CST). I only saw fragments the first time it was run, so I am looking forward to seeing it tonight. We loved it and I am going to recommend it to everyone. Once again, great job Laura!
Pam Jaeger <>
Austin, TX USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 17:30:43 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Thank you for all the love and energy you gave toward completing such an inspirational literary gem as "Seabiscuit". My family grew up with horses since most of the Southern Indiana Hillenbrands were farmers in the early nineteen hundreds so we especially appreciate this true story and the care with which it was written. Blessings of health be with you and may your efforts continue to bless the world. Love Mary Lee
Mary Lee Hillenbrand <>
Ferdinand, IN USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 17:22:09 (EDT)
I just finished reading Seabiscuit and I just had to tell you how much I enjoyed the book. When I was getting close to the end of the book, I was sad because I did not want it to be over. I cried when I finished it. Your writing brought the story to life! The detail and interesting facts made it so enjoyable. I was a city kid, growiing up in Detroit. I had not had much contact with horses. We moved to Middle Tennessee 12 years ago. I was blessed with a daughter who, from the time she was a year old, loves horses! There could not be a better place to live if you are a horse lover. Going to riding lessons with her for the past 4 years (she is 10) has opened up a whole new interest to me. I love going to the barn with her. I do everything but ride. I braid manes and tails for her horse shows, clean out stalls, tack, etc. The past two years we have become interested in horse racing. We watched hopefully as War Emblem and Funny Cide almost became Triple Crown Winners. I did not hear about Seabiscuit until I saw the movie previews. I knew then, I had to read the book (I have yet to see the movie). I even bought my daughter a stuffed Seabiscuit made by Breyer. I have only read a few books more than once. Seabiscuit will be added to that list!
Linda Olson <>
Thompsons Station, TN USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 17:10:05 (EDT)
Thank you so much for opening the eyes of so many people to the beauty and grace of the horse! I read your book and was first in line at the theatre when the movie came out. Your telling of this awe-inspiring story spreads warmth throughout my heart in the same way walking into the barn leaves me feeling awash with peace. Thank you, thank you for your wonderful contribution! Also, I wanted to pass along my deepest admiration for your strength and courage in putting together such a work of art while struggling with CFIDS. I am a massage therapist and work with many people who are chronically ill -- many are CFIDS patients. Again, thank you for bringing awareness to so many people who might otherwise never have an understanding of this debilitating condition. All my very best to you for your continued success and wishes for health.
Catherine Pollitz <>
N. Andover, MA USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 16:49:43 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, We do not ordinarily write letters like this, but we would both like to thank you most sincerely for the enormous labor you put into your research for the Seabiscuit book, and for your most admirable result. Neither of us can recall a more sympathetic, yet objective, tale, nor can we recall any book we've read that was more carefully documented. As scientists, we appreciate knowing your sources; as people with a great interest in animals, we appreciate the truly extraordinary story you have told of a truly extraordinary animal. We are most grateful to you for the care and remarkable effort you have put into sharing this horse's story with us. We're not quite sure we want to see the motion picture; it can hardly be a more effective story than what you have already shared with us! Most sincerely, Charles and Lillian Billings The Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio
Charles & Lillian Billings
Columbus, OH USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 16:24:47 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I first saw you on Book TV introducing Seabiscuit to that audience. On Sat. 8/9/03 I went to see the movie; I had already finished the book and purchased the collector's copy, also. Like you, I have been an avid horse lover all my life and I passed that love to my daughter as well. That is meant to share our mutual respect for horses, but I would like to add something a bit more special. I have been recovering from surgery (total hip replacement)on 7/7/03 and have been very limited; the movie was my first long outing and it was well worth it---such an inspiration. I now have firsthand appreciation for the challenges from the many injuries and wanted to say that I felt their struggles very personally. Another thought came to me as I read the story. I will be teaching American history and reading to 6-8 grade kids. It is a new setting for me and I have decided to begin my school year with this story. I want history/reading to be alive and something everyone can relate to immediately. There is no finer example than this book to use, in my eyes. I would welcome any suggestions that you think would add to my plans. I want to thank you for bringing this fabulous story of heart and dedication for all to know. I think the greatest message you brought is your deep love and respect for this and all horses, and the people who have vision. I hope some of my students will be interested in contacting you as we continue. Thanks, Virginia Bowman
Virginia Bowman <>
Bay Point, CA USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 15:56:01 (EDT)
Laura, I would love to find out if you are planning on doing any author signings in the future? I have the new collector's edition and would love an autograph. Margaret McManis
margaret mcmanis <>
Lake Jackson, tx USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 15:46:04 (EDT)
I just ordered the book after seeing the movie last evening. What a great story! I can't wait to read the book...The movie was very moving and inspiring as I am sure the book will be. Hope to get more details from the book than were contained in the movie.
Angela Strickland` <>
Mobile, Alabama United States - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 15:25:17 (EDT)
Saw the movie last Friday and read the book yesterday. I can't believe how well you described the race against War Admiral in the book. I was cheering as I was reading--I have never done that before. The movie was incrediblely great but the book set it apart another level ahead. The way the book ended it seemed that Ridgewood no longer exits. Is that true? I'm so thankful to you for writing about this American legend. I openly wept watching the trials and tribulations of all the characters coming from where they came to becoming whole because of this incredible horse. If this doesn't win the oscar, I will be terribly dissappointed. I can hardly wait to read your next book.
Dan Johnston <>
Redondo Beach, CA. USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 15:19:34 (EDT)
Wow! What a book the tapestry of each moment was beautifully etched as it transformed you back to a time, just thinking of the greatness of the horses when innoncense of the moment was rapped as it is in the next great horse as much as two titans struggling for dominance and the victory was in the making seabiscuit the movie only lets off so too make the book a lifetime of memories . Ty laura for such a great book and look forward to hearing about more legends in the hoprseracing world. seabiscuit was definitely the Babe Ruth of his sport.
Michael Marshall <>
Salina, KS USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 14:08:52 (EDT)
Dear Ms Hildenbrand I have just finished your truly wonderful and mesmerising book. I have also seen the movie which was adapted very well. What a magnificent story you unearthed, even more so because it is true. I was curious as to whether you know what happened to Seabiscuit's faithful friend Pumpkin. Did he remain on the Howard ranch and how old was he when he died? He played a large role in Seabiscuit's life and success. I hope his fate was better than the two other protagonists in his life. Congratulations on your own success. Thank you for writing such an astounding book.
Sandra Levy <>
Washington, DC USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 13:41:59 (EDT)
You have a true gift for narrative fiction. As I cried at the finish of SeaBiscuit's win at Santa Anita, I knew I needed to start reading your book for a second time. This time, I could digest it, read the notations citing sources, and gain a deeper knowledge of exactly how much the Biscuit/Howard/Smith/Pollard/Woolf team accomplished. I completed the first reading on Saturday, began the second reading the same day, and saw the movie on Sunday. I congratulate you and all the players for a wonderful story. The movie was extremely well done, from casting to the editing of your all-inclusive work into a 2.5 hr. movie. This story could become a small obsession as I intend to see again the documentary as well as the movie I viewed last night. As an English teacher for too many years to count, I admire your ability to weave the facts into narrative form so gracefully. That you were contributing throughout the scripting of the movie is evident. The directors were wise to allow the story to remain as cleanly told as the one you wrote. Thank you for your gift to readers,horse lovers, and SeaBiscuit.
Holly Clifton Gaul
Brick, NJ USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 13:23:02 (EDT)
I always tell myself to read the book before the movie, so I've recently purchased SEABISCUIT. I'm only a few pages into the book, but I can't wait to read the rest of the book! Are there any other books of yours out there?
Melissa O. <>
Middletown, PA USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 13:13:29 (EDT)
this is one of the only books that reduced us to tears as we read it out loud AND that we did not want it to end. I think that the book surpasses the movie but am grateful to have been able to absorb both!! This week we are going to Arlington Park to see racehorses run--something I have never seen--knowing that they will be beautiful but not like Seabiscuit. I will look for future books of yours.
mary luckhardt
USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 12:14:32 (EDT)
ST PETERS , Mo USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 11:25:29 (EDT)
I don't usually read non-fiction but ,after hearing about the film and then seeing a doccumentary about Seabiscuit and Red Pollard, I decided to read the book. Excellent read. I would liked it to have had more photographs's a niggling complaint. I look forward to seeing the film now, equipped with information from the book that no film can ever really relate.
Rusty Douglas <>
Petersburg, VA USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 05:18:05 (EDT)
Laura, thank you for one of my favorite books of all time. I became familiar with Seabiscuit from a race horse board game my parents gave me as a child. It must have been made in the 40’s, because Citation and Whirlaway were also horses in the game. That game kindled my interest in racing, an interest that almost died with the death of Ruffian, but which emerged again through your beautiful work. The Seabiscuit story is indeed a story of the values which permeated our culture for most of 50 years. The movie summed it up beautifully, when talking about what began to move the country out of the Great Depression, it was simply that "somebody cared". That is your story. Somebody truly cared about Seabiscuit, gave him an opportunity and a path, and as the horse shot across history, he helped make his team whole and helped a nation survive a time of national tragedy. Laura, I must say, in every page, in every picture, in every site, and in every word of this book, and in the making of this movie, as well as the PBS documentary, somebody cared deeply and it showed. Somehow it seems natural that your own story folds so seamlessly into the struggles of Charles Howard, Tom Smith, Red Pollard, and "Pops". Today I took one of my best friends to see the movie for the first time – it was my third. Her grandfather was a jockey who raced against Seabiscuit. She had seen many pictures of the Biscuit and heard many stories. Among them was the telling of Seabiscuit’s eyes. He had said no horse had the eye of Seabiscuit – the confidence, the intensity, the will, the domination. There were so many touching parts to this work. My 18 year old son cried in the movie when Pollard told Woolf, "It’s not in his feet, it’s in his heart." Both the book and the movie had me at the edge of my seat, fidgeting and cheering. I must say, though, that having lost my wife 5 years before the printing of Seabiscuit, the burial of the Biscuit, in an unmarked grave, on his Ridgewood Ranch brought me to tears. Thank you, Laura Hillenbrand, for this wonderful story, a story which renewed my interest in the sport of horse racing and the love of writing. Take care, Jim
Jim Pettyjohn <>
Portland, OR USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 03:03:22 (EDT)
For any guests who desire a book about Secretariat, there is one available that Laura gave a favorable review of. There should be many subjects for Laura once she is in shape to write.
Leonard A. Lucenti <>
Maple Shade, NJ USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 02:09:37 (EDT)
I just wanted to congratulate you on a wonderful job. I came across your book while at the library and being a lover of nonfiction I checked out a copy of it on CD. I was totally taken in by your telling of this remarkable story. I would be sitting at work, listening to it and trying to hold back tears of sorrow and joy. Just listening to the blow-by-blow re-telling of the races got my blood pressure up. About a week after I finished the book I was excited to learn that a movie was being made and would be released this September. I was sort of skeptical at first as sometimes the movies pale so much in comparison with the actual book that it really ruins the experience. Last weekend, my husband and I saw the movie and I must say, it was the first time that I have ever sat in a movie theater and had people actually cheering. I kid you not, during the scene where Seabiscuit wins against War Admiral, the theater erupted. Unbelievable...and at the end of the movie, the crowd stood up and applauded. I hope the academy remembers you all come Oscar time. Everyone involved deserves an award. Thank you again...keep up the good work...
Karen Lee <>
Ramsey, MN USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 01:46:09 (EDT)
What happened with Charles Howard and Ridgewood ?
dennis <>
USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 01:33:02 (EDT)
Laura: Good job! Haven't read the book yet (I will), nor seen the movie (probably won't), but I caught the story on PBS - I am familiar with CFIDS, and impressed with you! One question: what was Seabiscuit's height? All I can find after 2 hours of internet searching are references to his being "undersized" - but by how much? Thanks for the good work!jw
Jesse Williams <>
Brigham City, UT USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 01:17:37 (EDT)
Years back, when I was growing up in Northern California, I remember passing the sign you talked about at the Howard ranch entrance. You could see it easily from old highway 101. I believe I asked once, "Who was Seabiscuit?" so I knew from the answer he was a racehorse, and a pretty good one. Still, I always wondered what inspired the people in such a remote part of the state to install a very predominant sign about just one horse. As I remember it was done in very large gold or black letters, on a bright white background, and it said "HOME OF SEABISCUIT." I’ve seen the movie twice, and I read your book in between. The second time was even better than the first, with all the rich details of the full story still fresh in mind. Thanks for bringing it all back so vividly for we who were there, but a little too young to get in on the excitement. ( I was 5 when Seabiscuit ran his final Santa Anita Handicap, then the war came etc, etc.) Also, thanks to you, I now know why his people put that sign for all of us to see from highway 101.
Dale Pfremmer <>
Encinitas, CA USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 00:19:55 (EDT)
Laura, Your book was fabulous! Thank you for sharing Seabiscuit's story, especially to those of us that are new fans of horseracing. My only regret is that I didn't read the book sooner! Thanks again.
Laura <>
Bedford, TX USA - Monday, August 11, 2003 at 00:16:24 (EDT)
I loved your book! Does Seabiscuit hold any US track records and any world records currently? Are you interested in writing about Secretariat?
Tom Wikstrom <>
Jacksonville, FL USA - Sunday, August 10, 2003 at 23:15:36 (EDT)
I have an original photo of the 1938 Pimlico special of Seabiscuit at the finish line and War Admiral behind. Any idea if a collector would want to buy it?
Bronya <>
Denver, NC USA - Sunday, August 10, 2003 at 22:08:30 (EDT)
You have told Seabiscuit's story beautifully. Your book is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I worked at The Jockey Club in the late 60's and early 70's so I knew Mr. Vanderbilt slightly. Again, a grand story told with great style.
Brian F. Gibbons <>
Kennebunk, Me USA - Sunday, August 10, 2003 at 22:07:46 (EDT)
Just saw SEABISCUIT this afternoon and all I can say is WOW!I loved the movie (the actors were all great!) and now I've got to read the book. Normally it's the other way around, but not this time. Great story, great subject (Seabiscuit) and so sad that they aren't still with us. But, the memories we'll always have!
Teri <>
TX USA - Sunday, August 10, 2003 at 21:57:51 (EDT)
laura, near the beginning of the movie/book, red's dad was reading a poem from emily was a great verse...i would like to hear this verse again....can you please send it or tell me what poem it is from...thanks and great job...
m <>
USA - Sunday, August 10, 2003 at 21:56:25 (EDT)
What an inspiriation to all of us with CFIDS!!! You are a True miracle to have finished this book!! I know what it is like for I have had CFIDS for 13 years now and know what dedication it took for you to have achieved this truley desrved success. All my best to a CFIDS sister. Luv ya, Jan
Jan <>
Scotts Valley, CA USA - Sunday, August 10, 2003 at 21:45:27 (EDT)
Saw the movie last night WOW...Thanks Laura for bring us the Biscuit's the book and cant wait to read it! Thanks again and God bless!
Kelly D. <>< :)
Orlando, FL USA - Sunday, August 10, 2003 at 21:32:59 (EDT)
I am not sure what prompted me to buy the paperback of Seabiscuit. I had seen the title on the best seller list for quite some time. I like true stories and I guess I wanted to see what was so good about a book that was about some race horse I knew nothing of. I have never been that interested in history or watched many horse races. My reaction to the book was one of awe, sadness and wonder. I wish I could go back in time to witness Seabiscuit in person. The writing really brought him to life as a real living being. I was fascinated by the history of the era and the sport of horse racing. Every person in the book came to life; it was an amazing story and it was told so very well. When I finished the book I couldn't wait to read it again. I loaned out my paperback, only to have it not returned, so I purchased the hardback Special Edition. It is THE BEST BOOK I have ever read. Seabiscuit stole my heart. Thank you, Laura, for the beautiful story of Seabiscuit (and the history lesson). It is a story I will not forget.
Eugene, OR USA - Sunday, August 10, 2003 at 21:32:47 (EDT)
Last night I saw Seabisquit, and it is the best movie I have ever seen! Now I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of the book! Thanks for a very moving story.
Linda Hendrex <>
Evergreen, CO USA - Sunday, August 10, 2003 at 21:29:32 (EDT)
Laura: I read your book--terrific. Can't wait to see the movie. I am waiting until my mother is feeling a little better before taking her. She was at Pimlico for the Seabiscut-War Admiral race. She has some pictures that she took of the race. If you are interested send me an email address and I will send them to you. I will be interested to see if the movie has the horses in the same blankets going to the paddock that they actually had on in 1938. Once again a great book from a guy who went to all the 1/2 mile tracks in Maryland when growing up.
Sam Mace <>
Baltimore, md USA - Sunday, August 10, 2003 at 21:27:30 (EDT)
Dear Laura, thank you for writing such an acurate account of history and SEABISCUIT. For days at work my employer and I shared details in your book and discussed the movie. It is truly a treasure to read and I can't wait for the DVD to come out. Thank you.
ODESSA, TX USA - Sunday, August 10, 2003 at 20:20:44 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I hope that if someone is screening your mail that they will see the importance of what I have to say and be kind enough to place this message in your hands. While in the process of reading your book, low and behold, you showed up on TV yesterday. Thanks for the book and I hope that the movie is as good. Your illness and your determination to overcome diversities is what really caught my attention and the reason for this mail. Your personal story reminded me of myself and many others that were injured back in 1989 by a contaminated in a product call L-Trytptophan. They call our syndrome Eosinophilla-Myalgia Syndrome(EMS)www.nemsn. Thirty five people died at the on-set and many more since. Others including myself was very close to death and ended up with severe health problems such as lung , muscle, brain, nerve, and heart damage including severe fatigue. I have searched for almost 13 years and found an assortment of alternative lifestyle changes that has contributed to my better health. My mission is to spread the word to others about doing their home work before taking a drug or alternative for a health solution and to inform those that will listen about safe and effective lifestyle changes for their better health. Two years ago I found the answer to my fatigue problem with a new health product just on the market. Please call the toll free recorded message and listen to what a Harvard M.D has to say about this new Immune System balancing and support product and how it has done wonders for others. My wife Gunilla (Retired Nurse) or I will be happy to give you more information and explain what it's done for us and others. We also have contact with the researchers and doctors that are the experts. 1-800-570-3231 x 6401. Sincerely, Joe and Gunilla Hayes Health Awareness International Newsletter Editor EMSN 141 Dunbar St Bryson City N.C. 28713 828-488-6398
Joe & Gunilla Hayes <>
Bryson City, NC USA - Sunday, August 10, 2003 at 19:54:01 (EDT)
A week ago today, I saw the movie. I got a copy of the book and finished reading it today. I cannot remember when a book had such a grip on me as this one. What a tremendous story. I have never been to a thouroughbread horse race. I want to go and see the action upclose. Thank you, Ms. Hillenbrand for an historically acurate and beautifully written story. What a masterpiece! I couldn't put it down.
Cindy Hemenway <>
Stoneham, MA USA - Sunday, August 10, 2003 at 19:42:42 (EDT)
I watched the movie last week. Read the book this week and went to see the movie again last night. I've never openly wept while reading, but that's exactly what I did during the last chapter of Seabiscuit. What a story. Thanks for piecing together such a wonderful story of American history. I love this book! Jeremy Carroll
Jeremy Carroll <>
San Francisco, Ca USA - Sunday, August 10, 2003 at 19:05:34 (EDT)
What a wonderful book. I wish the movie would have had an epilogue telling those who don't know what happened to Seabiscuit and the principal players. Also Agnes (Red's nurse and his future wife)is never mentioned. I suppose if things left out of the movie were to be in the movie it would be 4 hours long. Thanks again Laura for a great book.
Doug Hogenson <>
Cando, ND USA - Sunday, August 10, 2003 at 16:52:13 (EDT)
I didnt know a single thing about horseracing but after this book, I know all the terms and the thrill of it. It only took me a couple days to read it beacuse I would read every chance I got. It was a highlight of my vacation. The story was just so interesting and how these lives interlinked with each other, it was like a big soap opera. When ever they would have success, they would shot down and have a tradegy or an upset. I think this will be one of my favorite books forever.
Andrew <>
Lynchburg, VA USA - Sunday, August 10, 2003 at 16:50:07 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I saw your interview on CNN. There should be a support group for those of us who have experienced severe episodes of vertigo! My heart goes out to you and you are in my prayers. I don't think anyone can imagine the misery of severe vertigo unless they have experienced it themselves. I am reading Seabiscuit now. What a grand story! I have seen the movie twice! I am thankful you felt well enough to finish the book. Thank you for bringing the story of Seabiscuit to the attention of this generation. My parents were married in 1938. Again, you are an inspiration to others and I hope you will never need antivert again. My prayers for healing and good health. Sincerly, Melanie Greene P.S. I am trying to read all of the many entries in your guest book but can only take so much vertical movement (scrolling) at a time. You know what I mean!ha
Melanie Greene <>
Belpre, Oh USA - Sunday, August 10, 2003 at 16:19:30 (EDT)
My husband and I went to go see the movie Seabiscuit. We really enjoyed the movie. However, we were waiting at the end of the movie for more comentary on the horse and his rider, but were waiting in vain. That is the only downfall to this movie. It left us wanting to know more about the horse and all the people involved with him. The movie does have great pictures and scenery from the era. I hope this movie wins an academy award. It is the best movie I have seen in a while.
Linda Barnes <>
Derby, KS USA - Sunday, August 10, 2003 at 13:22:43 (EDT)
Hi Laura Just finished reading Seabiscuit - it was the best read I have had in a long time, looking forward to the movie but wanted to finish the book first!! I know they will change the story for the bigscreen!! I have 2 questions, Do you know what happened to Ridgewood? on the last page it sounds as though it doesn't exist anymore. and secondly, what about Santa Anita, my grandfather used to go there all the time, and I thought it still existed as a race track, but what happened after the internments during ww2 and the soldiers being there. I am mostly interested in what happened to the statues of Seabiscuit and Woolf? Can anyone answer my questions? White Rock is 30 miles south of Vancouver, and 1 mile north of the American Canadian border. Hope your health has improved, Laura and you are able to write many more books for us all to enjoy. Maureen McMillan
Maureen McMillan <>
White Rock, B.C. Canada - Sunday, August 10, 2003 at 12:31:39 (EDT)
This is a fabulous book and a great movie but I do have one question. Why, with such terrific story, does hollywood have to play with the facts? It seems to me that truth was much stranger, more inspiring, and more interesting than fiction.
Bob Hirsch <>
Katy, TX USA - Sunday, August 10, 2003 at 11:54:06 (EDT)
Laura, thank you for your marvelous book and for the hardwork you put into it. Your professionalism as a writer and your humanity as a human shines through on a grand scale! I just finished reading your book five minutes ago and have also seen the movie twice (and I am going to see it again this afternoon). Both the book and movie are inspiring. I am sure one or both will touch many people who see and read about the story of Seabiscuit, Charles Howard, Tom Smith and Red Pollard in a manner that will produce more great achievers among those who might, otherwise, think of themselves as underdogs in their lives. I wish you health and even more success in your life as a writer.
Morrie Bowden <>
Knoxville, TN USA - Sunday, August 10, 2003 at 11:47:42 (EDT)
Dave Blumlo <>
Tamarac, FL USA - Sunday, August 10, 2003 at 09:52:30 (EDT)
best book i ve ever read wish i could have been there
mike <>
hermosa beach, ca USA - Sunday, August 10, 2003 at 00:14:45 (EDT)
Hello Laura, I did not know you suffered with CFS, until I began to read your guestbook, I am sorry, if you read my note I mentioned about me walking again. I suffered with CFS, RSD and a few others things throughout my entire body. I came across Transfer Factor in a medical magazine, after one week my sleep hours went from 2 hours a night for 3 years to 4 hours, after one week, I walk a couple of steps, after one month I jog for the 1 minute after such a long time. I beg you and other to look into this, I tried everything, this help, I was able to start a new life go to school, become a gemologist. That's why I wrote you about the movie Seabiscuit - I saw a lot of my life in it. Go to the link below to find out about thte product that I'm taking that has made such a significant difference in my life. PLease let me know if this informatation was useful. My e-mail is
USA - Saturday, August 09, 2003 at 22:17:49 (EDT)
Excellent Book and good movie. I love horses and history. Your excellent method of writing brought my two (2) favorites together. Some don't understand the bond between man and his horse; your book may enlighten those. God Bless America.
Terrie Race <>
Cleburne, TX USA - Saturday, August 09, 2003 at 22:16:42 (EDT)
Mr. Hillenbrand. What a brilliant way to bring History back to life. You have done a great job. Congratulations on Seabiscuit. I hope I am not being too forward in asking if you would autograph the Special Illustrated Collector's Edition of SeaBiscuit that I just purchased and read. You have given us a treasured piece of History. Thank you. George.
George Arab <>
Buffalo, NY USA - Saturday, August 09, 2003 at 22:14:01 (EDT)
Hello, my name is Betty, I am a GIA c. Gemologist. This is my first time to actually respond in writing about a movie I saw and this is what I have to say: Seabiscuit and Red may have been each others mirrors (funny thing-both their legs got hurt around the same time and they became a source of healing for each other)and heros and great hope for the people of that time 'no kidding'. The movie is just as great if not greater for the people of today. I would say hope - when you are trodden down and think you will never be able to come back or walk again, (I would know) this movie puts you right back on track. I saw a lot of my own life in this movie. I hope it wins the most awards ever. It has become my favorite movie of all time and will always be. My love to you, Seabiscuit and the others who had the guts to make this movie (you did not just make a movie, you have created something so much greater, it is a bit difficult to put it into words...) thank you! thank you so very much.......Betty
Betty <>
USA - Saturday, August 09, 2003 at 21:51:25 (EDT)
Please someone tell me if Red Pollard's parents ever got in touch with him later in his life (or did he contact them?) I have searched everywhere for this info. I have seen the Seabiscut movie, but haven't read the book. If this info is included in the book, just say "Read the book!" Thanks. KC
KC <>
Newport News, VA USA - Saturday, August 09, 2003 at 20:41:55 (EDT)
Hi Laura, thank you so much for writing such a wonderfull book; if this was fiction it would be a masterpiece - the fact it is a true story makes it more the unbelievable..just when you think that the story ends, another unexpected turn occurs..brilliant! Beautifully written and researched. Sincerely, Andrew
Andrew Smith <>
Ireland - Saturday, August 09, 2003 at 19:58:49 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Please look into alternative medicine re: chronic fatigue syndrome. There is a wealth of information there. Best wishes for your healing.
ariana <>
Elk Grove, CA USA - Saturday, August 09, 2003 at 18:17:19 (EDT)
My father, an old horseman told me the story of Seabiscuit many times when I was a child. I never fully understood his infatuation with this horse. Now, many years later thanks to the book and movie, I do. I only wish he was around to see the movie, he would have loved it just as my family does.
Dorie <DJGuy7717>
Reno, NV USA - Saturday, August 09, 2003 at 14:33:00 (EDT)
I LOVED the Story, Seabiscut and his family!Thank you for proving that Heros and beauty are real people and animals.The book and the DVD will be something I sahre with mt children(and grandchildren someday) God blessyou for remebering the beautifl horse and his family!!! Debbie
Debbie Martin <>
Turlock, ca USA - Saturday, August 09, 2003 at 13:35:30 (EDT)
Hi Laura, My husband and I just saw the movie and loved it. We have talked about buying the book now as well, but there is something I just have to know before I do. Did Johnny ever meet up with his parents again? At the end of the movie, I was so disappointed that there was no reference made to this affect. I wonder if you address this subject in your book, and if not, do you know if he does or can you suggest a resource where I might find more information on this family? Thanks so much for bringing such a wonderful story to life.
Debbie Schwalbe <>
Whitefish Bay, WI USA - Saturday, August 09, 2003 at 13:35:28 (EDT)
Laura: Fabulous work! While I haven't seen the movie, its trailers sparked my interest in your book, which for some reason I had delayed reading. What I found was a story which enthralled me, one which made the people, the horses, and the era spring alive with a rare depth of character. I commute to and from Chicago on a train every day, and this is where I read 25 or so books each year. Your work had me smiling broadly at times and weeping unashamedly at other times, and probably made my fellow commuters think I'm a little unhinged. Thank you for your diligence in researching and writing this masterpiece; it has earned an eternal place near the top of my alltime favorite books. My prayers are also with you in your physical struggles.
David Marshall <>
Naperville, Il USA - Saturday, August 09, 2003 at 13:07:19 (EDT)
Laura, What a great book! Thank you for writing it. Many things can be learned from a story like this. I guess that's what makes America Great. Thank you again! Chris
Chris Wright <>
Friendswood, TX USA - Saturday, August 09, 2003 at 11:25:12 (EDT)
Hello, my grandfather, Herman Struck, was commissioned by Sea Bisquit's owner,Mr. Howard, to paint his precious horse. Unfortunately (or fortunately for me), he did not like the rendering. It was painted in 1939, was given to my mother in 1945 as a wedding present and is now hanging in my hallway. It is a rather large oil with the jockey astride. I am searching to see if there is someone who would like to purchase it. Any help would be gratefully received. Thank you, Dianne Struck
Dianne Struck <>
boise, id USA - Saturday, August 09, 2003 at 10:59:16 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I glanced through the many emails you have received and noticed that several people have extended their advise for treatment. I want to add mine to your list, and anyone else suffering from CFS looking for a cure. My husband is a chiropractor. We have seen so many different afflictions helped with the use of chiropractic. Always remember, your spine is your life line. If you have any misalignments,it can, and will, cause nerve damage, resulting in miscommunication to your organs. If your body isn't being sent the proper signals -you end up with disease. I encourage you to look into having your spine x-rayed (standing up) and a complete examination done, followed up by a spinal adjustment (not malipulation). I also suggest a "deep-tissue" massage. Our muscles are the dumping grounds for the waste our bodies do not dispose of. You may have to visit your chiropractor for a few weeks, but I know you will see awesome results! Good luck. (Great book by the way!) If you should ever have time and wish to email back with any questions, I will help as much as I can.
Hope <>
Fort Gratiot, MI USA - Saturday, August 09, 2003 at 09:57:44 (EDT)
Laura, Just finished reading the book and once I started, I couldn't put it down. Although I didn't know him very well, my father was a jockey and a horse trainer, working at Arlington Park near Chicago and other tracks in California. I didn't realize the grueling life that these people lived, yet your book brings it all vividly to life. Thanks for giving me a new perspective and the insight into what my father's life might have been like, while working the horses. Can't wait to see the movie! Kindest regards and God bless, Greg
Greg Clare <>
Houston, Tx USA - Saturday, August 09, 2003 at 08:54:57 (EDT)
I just finished reading "Seabiscuit" and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it. I only allowed myself to read one chapter at a time so I could make it last longer. It is truly one of the best books I have ever read. Can't wait to see the movie now. Thank you. Sally Stacy
Sally Stacy <>
Canfield, OH USA - Saturday, August 09, 2003 at 08:43:57 (EDT)
The story of Seabiscuit is almost fable-like. Thanks for bringing this story back to life. I enjoyed the book and the movie.
Glenn Horvath <>
USA - Saturday, August 09, 2003 at 07:34:55 (EDT)
Just finished the book. Amazing. I actually-literally could NOT put it down. I am ashamed to say I even read it while cruising down the interstate! (I have told everyone I know who'll listen how much I HATE people who do that!)I bought it on Wednesday afternoon & finished it a few hours ago. For those of us who may fancy ourselves writers, read this book & then reassess...I realize now that I am no writer, but I know a gripping, compelling & flawlessly told story when I read one. Awesome. There's no way the movie can possibly live up to the legend you have masterfully brought to life.
Shannon T.
Rock Island, IL USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 23:44:31 (EDT)
This is a good site on neurasthenia/dysautonomia touching on neurologic susceptibility as origin of condition This is a scientific article exploring the connection between and how to strengthen both the nerves and the immune system God places people in the world that can help, and He is able to strengthen with but a Word.
USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 22:13:54 (EDT)
Hi Laura, I wanted to let you know that there is a natural medicine doctor located here in northern Ca. who specializes in cfs and can actually cure it. It takes a long time but it can be done with natural means. The medical community does not recognize a cure but natural medicine does and my doctor has saved my life. I promise he can absolutely cure you of cfs-there is hope!! Isn't that awesome?? Email me if you would like to give him a call or email him with your questions. Again, I promise you he can give you your life back. Joanna
Joanna <>
Redding, Ca USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 21:56:55 (EDT)
At the age of 52, I had despaired of ever again reading a book that had the power to absolutely enthrall. I was wrong. Kudos to you for a brilliantly written story. I'm sure my friends wish I would kindly shut up about Seabiscuit and the men who owned him, trained him, jockeyed him and loved him. It was an awe-inspiring story and your telling of it more than did them all justice.
BusySignal <>
Milwaukee, WI USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 21:13:17 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Could you tell me if, other than the young Frankie, Did Charles Howard have any other children, either with his first or second wife? Thank you so much. Sincerely, Donna Bernstein Running Wind Art
Donna Bernstein <>
McCall, ID USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 19:23:45 (EDT)
loved the book, liked the movie alot.I wonder if someone can help me out on a bet. My roomate says they never showed Red's wedding in the movie. I thought that they did, maybe in a montage scene. Who is right? If you saw the movie and remember, please email thank you
Dan Davis <>
USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 18:08:02 (EDT)
Blessings, Laura~ Saw Seabiscuit last weekend and was inspired by the incredible story. Thanks for your gift of writing and determination! I have a "true love story" I want to share with the world and would like to find a writer/screen play writer to hear this spiritually amazing, against all odds, fated meeting. Sending healing to you, dear one. Kindest wishes, Cynthia M. Long
Cynthia <>
San Ramon, Ca USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 17:25:56 (EDT)
Dear Laura: I have not yet read Seabiscuit, but did read your incredible article in a recent New Yorker recounting the onset of your chronic fatigue syndrome. I have been torured by chronic fatigue syndrome for many years. I do not mean to be intrusive, but I urge you to call the Clymer Clinic in Pennsylvania at 800-300-5168 and ask for Mark Drury. They have treated Chronic Fatigue syndrome for decades with holistic and unorthodox methods that have given me miraculous relief. Please call. Regards, Jennifer
Jennifer Cuce
USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 16:53:39 (EDT)
is there not an available picture of Agnes Conlon Pollard? Interest is piqued to pitch as to this long suffering wife of "Red" upon reading the book
rjmcgill <>
oakville , ontario canada - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 16:08:17 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Like everyone else who's read it - I just love your book! I've read other people's comments and see that there's a lot of concern for you health. I'd like to mention another possible therapy - hydrogen peroxide therapy administered intravenously. There is a book written about it - "Hydrogen Peroxide, Medical Miracle" by William Campbell Douglass, MD, and also information on the internet. I have located a doctor in CT who administers this, but cannot recommend her yet, as I have yet to make an appointment. Perhaps there is someone in the D.C. area who is familiar with this treatment. Thanks again for telling the story of Seabiscuit - you write beautifully.
Marilyn Steenburgh <>
USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 16:05:07 (EDT)
What a wonderful work. The book, audio, and movie are all great. I don't remember enjoying anything so much. Thank you so much Laura for bringing us this story.
Steve Epley <>
Maysville, NC USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 14:28:59 (EDT)
Again, the other day I was talking with a local horse enthusiast who did not share my estimation that Seabiscuit should be higher on Bloodhorse Magazine's list. She sneered that there were many greater horses than Seabiscuit. I asked her to mention some - of course she included War Admiral on her list. I pointed out that Seabiscuit had defeated War Admiral and done it soundly. She simply stammered, confusedly. But she would not admit that that said anything at all about Seabiscuit's quality and speed. Bloodhorse's article about Man O'War justifies his placement at number one on the list partly on the basis of legend. Fair enough, since when it comes to comparing athletes, there is simply no foolproof numerical or factual way to do it. If we were to list the top 100 baseball players of all time, surely Babe Ruth would be number one on the list and few would dispute that, but it's mostly based on the power of his legend, which is perhaps the most overwhelming in sports. Then again, when it comes to legend, Seabiscuit is perhaps second to none. Wait, I forgot, Seabiscuit's legend isn't entirely flattering to the horse breeding and training elite, is it? The Eastern elite, in particular. In fact, the rascal Seabiscuit defeated one of the eastern elite's darlings. He must have been drugged. His trainer manipulated the race. It was a great ride by George Woolf. Seabiscuit had an unreal day. He was a freak. Whatever. Anything rather than acknowledge that Seabiscuit was a superior horse who overcame great difficulties to prove himself the greatest horse of his era, at least, and a great inspiration to a country badly needing inspiration, not only then, but also now. By the way, the highest weight Citation carried during his great win streak was 127 pounds. Seabiscuit, during the height of his career carried 127 pounds or more 20 times, according to Laura's book.
Paul Kane <>
Bloomington, in USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 14:24:27 (EDT)
Hi Laura, I can't wait to go see the movie, since I've heard and read so many terrific reviews. I just heard that you have been suffering with chronic fatigue syndrome. I too have since 1977, but last year, thankfully finally found something that changed my life of suffering. I've been well now for nearly a year, and thank God for it. Not healed, but 85-99% better on any day. Such a blessing. I made a personal website with my testimony as well as alot of links with info about the wonderful tropical fruit God made that has been helping people restore their health in the French Polynesian Islands for thousands of years, since 1996 in the US. Hope you aren't burned out on 'new' things, because you never know the one thing that will help you. Don't give up, keep praying for the Lord to show you, and He will provide a way. He loves you! I understand the 'darkness' of this disease, but there is hope. Blessings,Joanne "I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good helath, just as your soul prospers." 3John2
Joanne <>
Franklin, TN USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 14:20:27 (EDT)
Dear Laura I recently read your book and throughly enjoyed it. I finished it just before the movie came out. My husband and I then went to see the movie. It was wonderful but only touched on the lives of the characters. My husband was very intrigued by the story and wanted to read the book to learn the whole story. He started it on Friday night after the movie and finished it on Sunday. He was totally absorbed in it and went through withdrawals when he finished it. They had Seabiscuit day at the Del Mar Racetrack last weekend so we went to it. They had one of the horses there that played Seabiscuit in the movie and also Gary Stevens was signing posters. We also got two of the commerative Seabiscuit mugs that day and bought Gary Stevens book also. We have since purchased the collectors edition of your book and we were wondering if there is any way we could get you to sign it? We could send it to you with return postage included. WE WOULD BE SO PROUD TO HAVE A SIGNED COPY. I know with you being ill this is a big request but we thought we would ask. Thank you for considering our request, Doreen and Scott Jones (
Doreen Kirkpatrick <>
carlsbad, ca USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 13:30:21 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Wow! What a book. I have told anyone who will listen what an incredible story this is. I look forward to your next one and the movie. PS - I swear I'm not being fresh but your picture is GORGEOUS. Sincerely, William M. Sculley
William M. Sculley <>
waxhaw, nc USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 13:01:37 (EDT)
I can't say enough about this book and movie. I've reembraced my love of horses, of riding. I am reading the book and have seen the movie once; I plan to see it again! Spread the word: Seabiscuit is a marvelous story.
Long Island, NY USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 12:30:40 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I heard a interview you did on the classical radio station recently and I want you to know that you could be healed of all your health issues. I was healed at Pleasent Valley church of a so called incurable heart condition in 2001. I would encourage you in the strongest possible terms to contact them at or 800 453-5775 You may also do a search and see what others are saying about -Pastor Henry wright. Actually I just completed a fliming of my testimony for TBN broadcasting which will be shown this November. You may read my story at my URL as well I pray blessings and healing on you.In His love Caspar
Caspar McCloud <>
Canton, ga USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 12:22:17 (EDT)
I recently read aloud, that numbingly sad, yet spectacular, final paragraph to my fiancee who, up to then, had managed to pleasantly avoid listening too closely to my occassional pronouncements regarding the quality of "Seabiscuit: An American Legend". Her reaction? Silence, a couple of tears and then, "I don't know if I could watch something like that without crying." You really tossed a bone of irony into the world of literature. Thank you.
Colin Kiernan <>
Syracuse, NY USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 11:59:49 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand. Thank you for uncovering one of the most moving stories that I have ever read. It is rare that a book brings tears to my eyes. The relationships between man and beast is remarkable and I was entranced by the events that transpired to bring this true story to life. It is amazing that this story wasn't revealed years ago. I cannot wait to see the film.
Brad Willard <>
St. Louis, MO USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 11:31:58 (EDT)
Laura, It is really hard to put down your book. The detail makes me feel like I'm stand right there in the barn, on the track, on the horse, etc. Also, not knowing a whole lot about jockey's and trainers, I now have a new appreciation of their trades. Thanks.
John Metz <>
Waukee, Ia USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 10:39:27 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I read Seabiscuit when it first was published and was so taken by the story that I have passed it around to friends and family. But I write you not just to applaud your impactful book but to thank you for your openness to discuss your experience with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. While I have not felt healthy for several years (ironically, since being thrown from a horse that required knee surgery) I was not diagnosed until my astute doctor determined something was going on and referred me to a specialist who is a godsend especially when he keeps assuring me that this is not all in my head. I too am frank in telling people that I have chronic fatigue even though friends and family never can really understand. But your interviews and your article in the New Yorker have done wonders in helping people better appreciate my own circumstances. As tough as it is for us to get up and start each day, I am so grateful for your efforts and encourage you to continue to help people understand how serious this illness really is. Gratefully yours, Laura Barnett
Laura Barnett <>
South Euclid, oh USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 10:23:13 (EDT)
I just wanted to drop in and thank Laura for an awesome reading experience... I read the book during a business trip. It is a great read. Thank you Laura.
Eric <>
North Andover, MA USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 09:00:18 (EDT)
I just wanted to say that I bought and read your book when it came out. Liked it a lot. Just finished re-reading it again. Absolutely loved it - it had me in tears several times, especially towards the end. The subtlety of your pen made those people and events come alive inside my head. I'm sure I'll read it again in a few years.
john beasley
New York, NY USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 08:35:59 (EDT)
My wife and I enjoyed the movie thoroughly and I'm reading your wonderful book. You didn't miss a thing. Your mention of the Japanese American Internment at the racetracks in California hit home too, since my Mother was in one of those places until she and her family were shipped off to the final internment site. My Father remembers Seabiscuit and is just getting into the book now. He is enjoying it and it is bringing back some good memories for him. He's a WWII vet who is still a practicing attorney at age 87 and he had a lot of stories to tell about the era that Seabiscuit lived and thrived in, not to mention several stories about Charles Howard. I saw your story on CNN tonight and I wish you well with your battle for good health. I hope the good wishes from all of us who have been touched by your marvelous gift of writing will help you. Thank you for a lot of good reading this summer and a great movie.
Paul Yonemura <>
Berkeley, CA USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 04:08:59 (EDT)
CHRONIC FATIGUE The following URL will take you to a place which may help. I too experienced the same symptoms as you have and found relief when I was treated by Doctor Leonard Landesberg at the New York Presbytrian Hospitals respiratory clinic. I suffered from a condition known as Sarcoidosis. I was in the dark after seeing many a doctor. If you have had a problem with moisture anywhere in your house that may have brought on mole spores which are associated with Mycotoxins which will be explained at the website. I didn't read the book but I did see the movie and so I must congratulate you. Congratulations! Copy the URL into your browser and read what it has to say. Good luck and get well soon.
Irving F. Medrano
- Friday, August 08, 2003 at 02:26:44 (EDT)
When did Pumpkin die?
Chuck B <>
San Francisco, CA USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 02:07:23 (EDT)
Your writing is absolutely first rate; but of course you know that. I find myself re-reading entire paragraphs from Seabiscuit just to hear again in my mind the beauty of words joined into sentences. I am now anxious to read more of your work! I know nothing of horses other than they are animals and always seemed like "big dogs" to me.
Kathleen <burbomom1>
Chicago, IL USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 01:38:42 (EDT)
Dear Laura, First, I want to say how much I enjoyed your book! An inspiration on so many levels! Secondly, I read the article in the New Yorker and found your own story to be an inspiration as well. I do have one question for you...Have you tried Homeopathy for your CFS? I myself have had wonderful results with the same problem and know several others who had great results from Homeopathic Doctors/Pratitioners. Best of luck to you, Paula
Paula <>
Encinitas, ca USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 01:05:32 (EDT)
Dear Laura, This is probably a very strange letter, but I just had to write and let you know how deeply your book on Seabiscuit impacted my world. It was a wonderful book of such insight into a world that I have never known before except for bits and pieces expressed to me from my brother. Dennis Roche Kelly was born on May 18, 1938. Just an infant when Seabiscuit was at his best. He was a troublesome child, and he and I were 2 of four children born in a family of strife. He was a bright child but very small from infancy on. He was 11 months my senior, but in eight grade only came up to my shoulders. Of course this lead too many of his troubles for he ran away from home numerous times and was always in some kind of trouble. The kids his size were 2 to3 years younger, and those of his age would have nothing to do with him. He felt so very alone. At 16 Denny wanted desperately to quit school, but my father would not let him. Denny devised a plan, that of flunking out of all his classes. When this occurred, my father told him that if he allowed him to quit school, he would not be allowed to sit around home doing nothing, so a decision was made to have him start hot walking horses at Hazel Race track. I do not know all the details of this decision but this was the deciding factor in Denny’s future. At the age of 16 my brother Denny quit school and went to work at Hazel Race Track in Detroit, Michigan. From that moment on his dream was that of becoming a Jockey. At 5’4” and 107 pounds and 23 years old, Denny, as an apprentice jockey, won his first race at La Mesa Park in Raton, NM. It was a six-furlong race for three-year-olds. He was riding a thoroughbred called “Maker Call”. Denny was now truly living his dream. I rarely saw Denny after that. Perhaps in the beginning, every couple of years or so he would come home. Then as his and my world changed, we became strangers to each other, sad as it was, our connections were even more scarce. He traveled the race circuit and perhaps every ten years or so we would see each other. Denny and I always touched each others hearts at those times when we came together, but then another span of years of separation would occur. I certainly did not understand his life. It was so very different then anything I had ever known. March 6th of the year 2001 Denny passed away in Phoenix, AZ. I don’t know if anyone was with him at the time. He may have been alone in a tack room with the horses. He may have died in his sleep. I just don’t know. We didn’t find out about his death until several months after his passing away. Physically he was a broken man @ 63. Unable to ride anymore he had told my mother that the young jockey’s called him the old man. Riding was in his blood and he knew nothing else. This was his life of 47 years. He had had so many injuries over the years that he could hardly walk anymore. He still lived the jockey’s life, living in the tack rooms, sleeping with the horses, hanging out with his buddies, all the time breathing in the air of the race track. He absolutely loved it. Dennis Kelly died living his dream. This man, one that I never really understood until now, is gone forever, but because of you, will always remain close to my heart. While reading your book, my life and Denny’s merged as never before. I was able to become a part of his world for those few hours of reading. My heart opened up, and tears filled my eyes as a new understanding of his life entered my heart, and our worlds merged together as never before. I have finally found my brother after 47 years. Thank you, Geri Kelly
Geri Kelly <>
San Diego, CA USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 00:53:35 (EDT)
Hi Laura; Saw you on CNN tonight and was concerned about your Vertigo problem. I had the same trouble and was helped by a Neurolotist, who laid me on a table with my head hanging over the end of a table as he tapped the back of my ear. Good luck, will be Praying for you.
John Wagner <>
Odenton, Md. USA - Friday, August 08, 2003 at 00:18:02 (EDT)