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hi, i absolutely loved your book and the movie. i'm just confused about something: what was the relationship between war admiral and seabiscuit? were they cousins? man o war was war admiral's dad and seabiscuit's granddad?
harriet lipsitz <>
new york, ny USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 20:54:19 (EDT)
Fantastic book and great movie. I live in Gary Stevens country. He did an excellent job. Thanks for bringing the story to life. My stepdad was their at Santa Anita in 1940 for his last race. He was about 15 or 16. Would it be possible to find out your web address or some address that I could get for my stepdad. He would love to talk to you or write a short letter to you about what he remembers. Has a couple things you might not have known. thanks for your time. Rich Nicolona
Rich Nicolona <>
Boise, Id. USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 20:52:59 (EDT)
Dear Laura Hillenbrand, My name is Robby Thomas, I am 18 years old and suffer from Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, also known as CFIDS. From reading Seabiscuit, I have been incredibly inspired by not only this amazing story, but yours as well. I am currently writing a novel with slow, difficult progress, but am positive it will be a "big hit." My family is urging me to take my time and finish it, as they too know I have something special. My Mom also has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, borderline lupus, Fibromyalgia, and many other things. She is mostly bedridden. I have a wonderful family: a great mother, Shawn, a twin brother named Ryan, and my older brother Ricky. I also suffer from severe, constant neck/head/eye pain as well as frequent migraines. Imagine this on top of CFS - I think you can understand. Because my Mom is ill, as well as myself, and Ricky has heart conditions, we are very poor but cannot help it. Before we all had to comprehend the illnesses that has struck our family, my Mom was working, we were looking forward to college, and supporting the family...but now it is impossible. I was wondering if there was anyway you could kindly contact me and my family. You can write me at I love Seabiscuit! My family got it for me and my twin Ryan for our 18th birthday! It is beautifully written! :o) I am thrilled that you were also on 20/20 and spoke about not only Seabiscuit, but about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome! It needs exposure!! My family applauses your amazing efforts! I hope for your success to continue, as my family also prays for a cure from this horrible disease! Please Write Me When You Find the Time and Strength, Robby Thomas E-mail:
Robby Thomas <>
IN USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 19:11:53 (EDT)
Ms.Hillenbrand, I believe the Today show piece might have been the longest segment they have ever run. This is a tribute to your research and to Seabicuit himself. Additionaly, it is somewhat amazing that Mr.Pollard lived a fairly long life, considering all that he went through. I was quite surprised by what you were able to reveal what the jockeys had to do to make weight.(goals)
Rick Kaesemacher <>
Denver, CO USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 18:00:24 (EDT)
I knew Mrs. Howard who was a zeigfield girl before she was Mrs. Howard,I was hitch hiking home during the Korean war,and she picked me up and Let me drive her caddy 41 convertible ,She had me stop to buy beer ,but I was too young so she went in and bought it and I had to open the bottles on the bumper, she said that was the way her husband did sometimes,she said he was killed in an oilfield fire,she then showed me her scrap book with Pics..of her when she was in the follies .I think her life story would be interesting...
bob gifford <>
west richland , wa USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 17:50:14 (EDT)
I have one burning question: Did Red Pollard ever find his real Mother and Father again later in life?
Jo Anne Sturdevant <>
Morrisville, NC USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 17:45:27 (EDT)
Dear Laura, My grandfather was a racehorse lover and spent much time with them while working at the Pomona fairgrounds. He collected horseshoes of some of these racehorses and gave them to me many years ago before he died. Seabiscuit's horseshoe is one of them. I never knew what a special item I had until your book. Unfortunately, I have lost track of which of the 5 shoes I have is Seabiscuit's. Do you have any suggestions of who I could contact or what I could do to figure out which one was his? I appreciate any help you can offer. I also want to thank you for writing the book and for helping people be more aware of CFS. I heard your interview on NPR the other day and was very moved by your love of your subject matter and the courage and effort it took to complete this project. You are an inspiration. Sincerely, Sandi Goodwin
Sandi Goodwin <>
Portland, OR USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 17:40:49 (EDT)
Thank you for writing a wonderful book. It brought a lump to my throught as I read it. What an exciting era and horse! -Cat
Catherine Nunes <>
Forest Ranch, CA USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 17:31:48 (EDT)
I just got my Collector's copy of Seabiscuit after reading a borrowed copy. I did not want to finish this book! I will read it again and again I'm sure. You did such a wonderful job and am proud to have this in my library. I feel like I must have been alive during his reign and have returned in another person--it all seemed like I was there during the time!!! I'm sure I've read your "works" in Equus magazine from time to time, as I have been a subscriber from Issue #1 and just recently gave my collection to an up and coming equestrian. Again, I LOVE THIS BOOK and will cherish it. Jan McAdams
Jan McAdams <>
Brighton, IL USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 16:36:53 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I will keep this short as I know you are busy and receiving lots of requests. I am in the process of writing a book on triumph over adversity. It will be a series of short stories with antedotes than anyone can apply to their lives. I love your story and how you have succeeded despite great difficulty. I would like to know if you would consider allowing me to interview you via phone for my book. We could have a short chat first so that you could determine whether you might want to allow me to put your story in my book. I want to write an uplifting book that will hopefully inspire people to move through the difficult times and to live their lives with purpose. There are a couple of reasons why including your story might be beneficial to both of us. For me to be able to use your story is an obvious benefit to me and the possibility of publication. If picked up, by the time my book would come out, it would be about 1-2 years before it hits the shelves. You may be working on another project and this book might be helpful in promoting a new project or there could be a renewed or continued interest in Sea Biscuit. Also by participating in my book, this would call further attention to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I would love an opportunity to talk with you and I would like to tell you how much I admire your perseverance and persistance. If you would be interested in talking about my project sometime, I would be happy to contact you. You can reply through the above website or email or my personal email: Thank you for your consideration and congratulations on your success. Best Regards, Gloria McDowell
Gloria McDowell <>
Gilbert, AZ USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 16:10:17 (EDT)
You are an inspiration. I just found out I have EB. Wondered why after all of these years so tired and such a poor immune system. It seems good to know the truth but I am a little nervous about it all. Thank you for showing that in spite of being ill, a person can still contribute to society in a positive way.
Linda <>
Greenville, MI USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 16:04:38 (EDT)
I have always loved horses, although I've rarely been near them and only ridden once in my life. After reading your wonderful book, I now know why. I cried so much during the reading, I am almost afraid to go see the movie. Thank you for one of, if not the best, books I have ever read. Your own struggle with adversity is an inspiration; I am certain that Charles Howard, Tom Smith, and Red Pollard would have been proud to have you in their ranks and to have told their story. May God bless you richly.
Carol Kaufman <>
Candor, NY USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 15:52:18 (EDT)
Hi Laura, Well this is just great, another Kenyon grad makes good! You just don't know what kind of pressure that puts on me. All my friends keep asking, 'so what happened to you?'. I don't know, I think it's more fun watching everyone else get famous. Seriously though, congratulations on the success of your book, the movie and life in general! I had the opportunity to listen to NPR the other day at work and heard your interview on Fresh Air. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to everything you had to say, and you said them so well. It was very refreshing to listen to someone who didn't stammer over everything and fill their answers with meaningless glop. Like so many others, I was unaware of the real debilitating nature of CFS, though my wife suffers from vertigo as well so I am familiar with a part of it, thank you for sharing that part of your life with us. I know that's not a very easy thing to do. I would love to hear more about your trip back from spring break when you saw the deer and the meteor but I know you can't really answer everyone's questions. I'm just curious as to where you were, what road you were on, and where in particular on that road, if you can remember. I'm a 1976 graduate and was living in Alexandria, Va. at the time and drove back and forth many times to Kenyon. My father still resides in Alexandria, off Fort Hunt Road. In fact, he's the one who called me about this wonderful new book he was reading, called Seabiscuit, at the same time I was reading about it in the Kenyon bulletin. To be honest, I am just starting your book as I was trying to finish two books I had started while on vacation. But I did see the movie and thought it was wonderful and only makes me want to read the book that much more. I normally try to do it the other way around though, book first, movie second. My father, one way or another, manages to relate things to the Great Depression. I think most people our age don't have any idea really what it was like living at that time. You probably have a much better idea after talking to the numbers of people you did for your book. But that was one thing I thought the movie did very well ( as does your book most likely). It really gave the feeling of just how many people felt so down and out...looking for that second chance. Seabiscuit personified that American spirit I think at that time. The horse that was down but not out, getting that second chance. Four forces had to come together to make that happen, Seabiscuit, Red Pollard, Tom Smith and Charles Howard almost like the perfect storm. I know you already know this, I don't mean to be rambling. Anyway, you could see that as Seabiscuit got stronger it appeared the rest of the nation grew in strength as well. The nation got that second chance. Okay,I'm telling you what you already know and have said much more eloquently than I ever could so I'll stop. I wondered what happened to your boyfriend but I'm actually reading a clipping my father cut out and saved in the book that says he's teaching at American University now so that's cool. I was hoping he didn't just split when things started getting rough for you( I hadn't read the newspaper article yet and you didn't go into anymore detail on the NPR interview so Ididn't know for sure,)but it seems things worked out just fine and I'm happy for both of you.(Hopefully, most Kenyon men can be counted on to stick around!) I've babbled on for way too long now but I also wanted to ask if you knew, while you were at Kenyon, that you were going to write a best seller one day. I'll close by saying that if you should find your way over to Delaware some day, perhaps visiting Rehoboth, Bethany or Dewey Beach, you and Borden have a standing invitation to drop in any time. Thanks for taking the time to read all this and again, a tremendous congratulations on your achievements, both professionally and personally! Take care. John Harvey
John Harvey <>
Wyoming, DE USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 15:27:56 (EDT)
Horse Lovers, Sea Biscuit is an amazing story. The story of another Kentucky Derby winner and horse of the year, Ferdinand, did not have a great ending. Ferdinand, the 1986 Kentucky Derby winner who went on to capture the following year's Horse of the Year title with a dramatic victory over 1987 Derby hero Alysheba in the Breeders' Cup Classic, is dead. The Blood-Horse has learned the big chestnut son of Nijinsky II died sometime in 2002, most likely in a slaughterhouse in Japan, where his career at stud was unsuccessful. You can read about it here: Sadly, horse slaughter continues here in the USA, but CANTER and other groups are making every effort to help all horses -- even those that could not even win a low level claiming race. However, these organizations that are trying to prevent other horses from suffering the horrors of a slaughterhouse need your help: (CANTER Webmaster)
Linda Long <>
Schaumburg, IL USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 15:23:44 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I think you book is great!I've never read anything so interesting.I was wondering how you got the idea to write this book. Since I was in eighth grade I have been facinated by the old racing style and the horses like seabiscuit. Mostly Man O' War and War Admiral and many others. I wrote a paper on Man O' War for a project and reading your book has given many ideas to write something bigger and better. I like your writing style. Well I hope to hear from you because I still have a few questions.
denise <>
hamilton, Oh USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 14:43:52 (EDT)
You have given so much of yourself in bringing this incredible story, this true story, to another generation..and when the wonderful Katie Couric piece had to go on this morning without you, I was devastated. You are important, and so valued, and in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for giving us the courage of Seabiscuit and his amazing Team, and that includes You! Stay well.
Martha Lake <>
Las Vegas, NV USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 14:28:14 (EDT)
Laura, I absoluely loved the movie. I really enjoyed the book as well. I read the book a lot and one day dream of being able to be a jockey when I grow up. I want to be just like Pollard , courageous and sticking to it when I could be done forever.I also really enjoyed the movie and was amazed at how well they followed the book.(for the most part.)My favorite part of the movie is when Red was fighting Howard to let him ride.Seabiscuit ran as if he was just at a jog. I really enjoyed it a lot.
Kilee <>
Erda, UT USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 13:57:44 (EDT)
I never dreamed that I would live to encounter another historian of the calibre of Barbara W. Tuchman. Thank you so much for the story of Seabiscuit; it has taken me on a roller-coaster ride of emotion and left me breathless and exhilarated at the finish. I cannot wait to read your next book. Sincerely yours, Eric Alan Van Gelder.
Eric Alan Van Gelder <>
El Cajon, CA USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 13:45:23 (EDT)
I had the opportunity to see the movie, and while it was a good movie, it was nothing compared to your book. The race action in your book was more real and vivid for me than the "actual" race action in the movie. I have read the book several times, but I can't tell you the number of times I have re-read the recounting of the Santa Anita Handicap loss to Stagehand; that is as fine a piece of writing as I have ever read. Thank you for this great book. It was my choice for our book group and we discuss it in a few weeks.
Peter Montenaro <>
Spencerport, NY USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 13:18:49 (EDT)
Laura- I saw the Today show about Seabiscuit today and Katie Couric mentioned you were too sick to appear. I had severe chronic fatigue, actually fibermylygia, for several years. It completely disappeared when I underwent treatment for aplastic anemia in 1996, which I almost died from, and was scheduled for a bone marrow transplant, which I ended up not having. I had been taking gold shots for arthritis for 10 years (the doctors think the gold may have gone toxic & caused the aplastic anemia), and the arthritis symptoms also disappeared after the aplastic anemia treatments. I am doing well now and am one of the few success stories at OHSU in Portland with aplastic anemia. The OHSU doctor at the bone marrow transplant center in Portland did a really radical treatment for the aplastic anemia. I was on cyclosporene for 2 years, at first megadoses, and then slowly taking 2 years to taper off of cyclosporene, which is a cancer drug. I also had undergone 2 AGT intervenious treatments (which is a horse antigen) in the hospital previous to that for aplastic anemia. I am convinced the drug treatment for the aplastic anemia got rid of both the fibermylygia completely and the arthritis, which I now only have minimal problems with. I am taking no medication for anything now related to the 3 things above. I know how bad it can be, and I wish the best for you. I bought the book and am going to see the movie. Thanks for the inspiration, and if you want any more information, I suggest you mention my improvement to the research teams on chronic fatigue and maybe they can look into cyclosporene and ATG (Anti gobulin). Check out with your experts what happened to me. The really bad chronic fatique is gone, and that is one blessing I can say aplastic anemia gave me. I was in bad shape with the aplastic anemia. It took 200 donors to replace the blood they transfused into me, as my body completely shut down and quit producing blood. All the above problems are autoimmune related. Now today I am healthy and doing well. I hope the same for you. Valerie Rose
Valerie Rose <>
Hermiston, OR USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 13:15:03 (EDT)
After watching "Seabiscuit" in theatre, I was captivated by the story. I walked out with tears streaming down my face knowing I had just seen the best movie ever. I literally cried the entire movie...start to finish It is by far the most moving story I have heard and now I have started the book. Beauty is captured in every sentence, word and image. Thank you for making my feel so much for this story.
CC <>
USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 12:18:42 (EDT)
I just got done reading the book and I thought it was great! Definitely one of the best nonfiction books I've ever read. I've always been interested in the legends of horse racing but never knew much about any of them. Thanks for letting me experience the trials and rewards of horse racing.
USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 12:04:12 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I saw your story on the Today show this morning. Although I have not read your book yet, I was very interested in the story. What really prompted me to write you though was the mention of your own difficulties and your struggle to complete the book. It just so happens that my husband was recently diagnosed with skin cancer, and we were introduced to some completely natural, non-toxic food supplements. After reading much about the science behind them, and hearing personal testimonies, I am convinced that these supplements are missing from our modern diets. Our bodies are fighting to produce them, but they are being taxed even with the best of eating habits. I don't know if you have heard of the company or not. It's called Mannatech. If you haven't, please check out several web-sites for information. I suffer from terrible Migraines, so I know in a small way what it is like to struggle through pain that comsumes your every thought and move. My prayer, is that maybe this might offer you a glimse of hope for a healthier pain free future. Let me know what you think. Check out You can click on consolidated benefits reviews. Also check out They have personal testimonies from people who have been taking them. You can also check out the company Mannatech at I also have a web site there. Blessing to you, and I'm so happy to see so many people have enjoyed your book. Here's to many more!! Victoria
Victoria Allen <>
Glendora, CA USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 11:57:16 (EDT)
Dear Laura- I have been sick for 1 year. Have gone thru so many highs and lows, trying to cope. I am constantly looking for sources of encouragement. As I read your book and the article in the New Yorker, I was touched more than anything has touched me thru this year. Thank you so much for sharing your talent and your story. There are so many people that suffer in different ways. Your story and that of"Seabiscuit" reminds me of that never give up saying, and I needed reminding. Sincerely, Paula
Paula DeSpain <>
SLC, UT USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 11:55:42 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I saw your story on the Today show this morning. Although I have not read your book yet, I was very interested in the story. What really prompted me to write you though was the mention of your own difficulties and your struggle to complete the book. It just so happens that my husband was recently diagnosed with skin cancer, and we were introduced to some completely natural, non-toxic food supplements. After reading much about the science behind them, and hearing personal testimonies, I am convinced that these supplements are missing from our modern diets. Our bodies are fighting to produce them, but they are being taxed even with the best of eating habits. I don't know if you have heard of the company or not. It's called Mannatech. If you haven't, please check out several web-sites for information. I suffer from terrible Migraines, so I know in a small way what it is like to struggle through pain that comsumes your every thought and move. My prayer, is that maybe this might offer you a glimse of hope for a healthier pain free future. Let me know what you think. Check out You can click on consolidated benefits reviews. Also check out They have personal testimonies from people who have been taking them. You can also check out the company Mannatech at I also have a web site there. Blessing to you, and I'm so happy to see so many people have enjoyed your book. Hears to many more!! Victoria
Victoria Allen <>
Glendora, CA USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 11:48:40 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I began seeing the previews for the movie on television and knew that Seabiscuit would be the very next movie my husband and I would see. Then, I heard about the book, which I am reading now. I usually dive into books without reading the cover. I was not aware of your illness until I was watching TV. I hope and pray that your health and quality of life will improve with time. You see, I have been plagued with illness for the past 6 years. Similar to cronic fatigue, mine is an immune system breakdown. The immune system doesn't recognize what/what not to fight. So, since 1997 it has been an uphill battle. Illnesses/infections, allergies, depression... I have been fortunate to have a physician who never gives up and we have made much progress, but, life is very different these days. You see, I spent my entire life involved with horses. I also worked for 17 years as a human resource executive. Life was very full. You are truly amazing and an inspiration. Life sometimes takes us in different directions and that can be a very good thing. We just have to recognize that. I admire you and your hard work and long hours writing this beautiful story. To rise from a place that most people can't even imagine and become who you are today gives us hope. I have been an avid reader for years and especially enjoy the writing style of Patricia Cornwell. But, you have a great gift. Your style and Heming-way descriptions lead readers into another land. Please take care of yourself and know that medical breakthroughs are happening every day. We all look forward to many more great works from you.
Liz Staib <EARSLOFT>
Upland, Ca USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 11:48:15 (EDT)
I absolutley loved your book, Seabiscuit. I honestly can say it is my favorite book. Your book was so well written I could not put it down. Each page brought new insite into the world of horse racing...its ins and outs. I grew up down the street from Keenland in Lexington KY and remember going just to see the horses. Little did I know the struggles and rewards the owner, trainer, and jockey received from this occupation. Your depiction of the races were amazing. Never before have I laughed, cried, cheered, and loved my way through a book. I felt as though I knew each person, and Seabiscuit in a personal way. Thank you for a wonderful reading experience. I look forward to watching the movie tonight and hope it lives up to the book. I also look forward to reading any future books you produce. You are an excellent writer. Thank you! God Bless!
Kristin <>
GA USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 11:30:59 (EDT)
I read your book when it first came out and loved it. You are a wonderful writer. I really liked the movie also. I have to say though that what you accomplished by writing your book and keeping going is an inspiration to all whether or not they have faced great adversity. Even if we don't have horrible illnesses or overwhelming problems everybody has some daily something that takes that extra bit of guts to deal with and thinking of your example at these times is very helpful. Also, I hope you get feeling well enough to be around horses again. As the proud owner of two little Arab mares I feel privilaged to be their friend and care taker...its wonderful to be in their world. Thank you for your book...keep writing...good health and good luck. Ann
amurdock <>
USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 09:57:28 (EDT)
During World War II, Winston Churchill said that courage was the most important virtue because it makes all the other virtues possible. As a 26-year old veteran of front-line combat in two wars, I came to understand that Churchill was not quite accurate. Courage is not the prime virtue.It is faithfulness/loyalty/commitment that is the prime virtue. It is being faithful that makes all other virtues possible, including courage. The Corps has it right: semper fidelis. Always Faithful "Moreover, it is required of stewards that a man be found faithful." I Corinthians 4:2 Dear Laura: You have been both! Faithful and Courageous! Please know -- I'd take you in my rifle squad anytime! Sgt. Jim Baxter USMC WWII & Korea + + + + +
Jim Baxter <>
Santa Maria, CA USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 09:50:20 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I had read the book about a month ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, though not particularly inclined to write. This morning was watching the piece on the Today Show and kept wondering throughout the piece...why they were interviewing all of these other people? What about the author? It wasn't until the end of the piece when Katie Couric mentioned your struggle with CFS that I thought I should write and say what courage and perserverence you've demonstrated in the face of irony in light of one of the themes of your book (I would say!) But, I will keep you lifted in prayer and the prayers of Nativity Gospel Choir in Washington, DC! Keep the faith!
Phyllis Chesley <>
Silver Spring, MD USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 08:51:16 (EDT)
Being head-injured, coma almost three weeks, find out what I found out when I went to Heaven. You'll be very surprised and enlightened by the Trinity's bombastic, mellifluous knowledge: With such a price-tag on our souls, human beings are clearly precious beyond cheap-o diamonds; Declarations can never describe how effusively rich, colorful, and illuminating Upstairs was... and is forever. Sign the Guest Book, too. God Bless You. PS Read 'Lui et Moi' by Gabrielle Bossis (published by a French/Canadian firm - all in English). A book that will give you a lot of insight and revelation-to-this-fallen-nation of how God Almighty works. DOMINUS VOBISCUM
KoldKadavr <>
Topeka, ks USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 07:06:02 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I am so happy to have the opportunity afforded by this guestbook to express my deep admiration and gratitude for the publicity you have brought to the hidden world of CFS sufferers. Now more people can grasp just what a HUGE achievement it has been for you to become a writer and to produce such an exceptional work which has touched so many. Those of us who share this diagnosis (it's been 19 years for me) are even more appreciative and awestruck, because we can read between the lines and understand the steep price your body must surely force you to pay after such outings as a dinner with the President, though you don't even mention it. I am so happy that you have a wonderful person in your life who undoubtedly has helped you to stretch so far beyond your physical limitations. I know the precious value of this because I have a husband who has definitely been a major cause of my avoiding sinking into depression during all these years of struggle. Just one more voice to let you know how many of us are out here quietly but passionately pulling for you! I've bought two hardcover copies of your book so far, and am sure I will be buying more as I think of who will most appreciate such a special Christmas gift! Keep up the great work! It sounds trite, but you truly are an inspiration, just like Seabiscuit & co., and I will continue to follow any news I can find about you in the coming years.
M. Schardt <>
Merion Station, PA USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 07:01:35 (EDT)
Dear Laura Thank you for a wonderful book, I have just seen the film nearly as good. I also have CFS but have recently found relief with my new doctor Dr Derek Enlander in New York. He uses immunoprop and a kutapressin complex. His web site may be a help to you Best regards Barbara Ells
Barbara <>
New York, NY USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 05:48:22 (EDT)
phyllis sedlacek <JSEDLAC@PROGRESSIVE.COM>
concord, ohio USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 02:27:26 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I enjoyed your book immensely. Thank you for writing it as I know it wasn't easy because nothing is easy when you have CFS. I know you probably have heard every suggestion for remedies known to man, but as a former CFS sufferer I can tell you there is a way to permanently control this disease. I am not selling anything. I'm a 70 year old woman who has been symptom free for 10 years. It is not practical for me to detail my journey in this space. I really hesitated to write at all, even when I reread this it sounds like a "nut" letter to me too, but I saw your interview and I know exactly what you are going through. I don't know if what I know will help you, but I will be only to happy to tell you if you care to contact me.
Joyce Gastler <>
Dallas, Tx. USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 00:52:23 (EDT)
Dear Laura, My wife and daughter, a 4-H rider, read Seabiscuit and just raved about it. I'm next in line to read it now. We saw the film on opening weekend and were deeply moved. It is one of the best movies I have ever saw. I'm not sure if you can comply with this request, if not I understand, but I would love to have a personally autographed book (the new special edition) to present to my daughter Jessica on her 11th birthday. If that is possible, I would be more than glad to pay for the book, cost of shipping and any other inconvenience. I would love for you to encourage her in her love of horses. Her 11th birthday is in February and that would be most touching. We are also praying for you. I have read of your illness and before I married my wife actually dated a young woman with a similar health issue. My heart goes out to you. May God touch and heal you. Blessings! John Moser, Wescosville, PA
John Moser <>
Wescosville, PA USA - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 00:07:17 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I just finished the book and wanted to congratulate you on a wonderful piece of literature. I was almost shouting out encouragement to The Biscuit on the train ride home from Chicago as he blew down the track against War Admiral. Your race descriptions were uniquely and pointedly described making every page an adventure. I had to finish the book before seeing the movie. Can't wait to see it this weekend. Thanks again and best regards, Ernie Davis, Hinsdale, IL
Ernie Davis <>
Hinsdale, il USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 23:38:32 (EDT)
I saw the movie, Seabiscuit, with my daughter and we absolutely loved it! I have loved horses all my life, and my emotions,love, and tears that I felt for this horse to win. I could not help it but clap my hands when he won! And it is so much more, the people and trials they went through--it gave me a renewed outlook and courage about life, the people around us, and of course our beloved animals. My horse died last year, and it was very hard for me-it still is when I allow myself to think about it. My horse's coloring were similar to Seabiscuit's color. I bought your book today, and I can't wait to read it and find out more detail about this beautiful horse and the people who must have loved him so much. Thank you for all your work in writing this book, through this we shall never forget.
E. Rea <>
Burlington, Wa USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 23:35:55 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Your book was amazing!! I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for all of the time, energy, and research that you put into writing your book. As a mother of two and working full time, I do not get a chance to read much. Everyone was telling me about your book because I used to be a jockey. I let it sit on my shelf for a couple of years and when I went on vacation this summer, I finally got a chance to sit and read it--I could not put it down. When I did put it down for a minute, my dad would grab it! As a female jockey, I really appreciate all of the great detail that you put into your writing. I have told everyone I know that they NEED to read your book!!! I bought many copies for my friends and family. The Northern California connection is great as well. Your book brought me to tears, and I am looking forward to any future books that you write!!!!!!!!!!! Loved it thoroughly!!!!!!!!!!!! Ursula Behiel
Ursula Behiel <>
Pleasanton, CA USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 23:16:00 (EDT)
I'm told that my grandfather was one of seabiscuits jockey Archie Ball Gerome Roberts. He may of been called Archie Gerome at the time. If you know anything about him please E-mail. I will be going to see the movie. I love history on animals.
Lottie M. Roberts Young <>
Nevada, Mo. USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 22:38:11 (EDT)
Hi Laura, I enjoyed the book Seabiscuit very much. I can't wait to see the movie. I'm disappointed that it hasn't come to my local theater. I wanted to suggest that you write a book on John Henry. John and Seabiscuit had some things in common like they were both small, both didn't have great breeding, both retired all time money earnings and both had cranky dispositions. Seabiscuit's owner once repaired bicycles and John Henry's owner made and sold them. John Henry's owner was a complusive gambler. He decided to buy a horse or two. Also Ramblin' Willie would make and good book and movie (famous harness horse). The book was called "The Horse that God Loved". He was another horse they didn't expect to mount to much but he became one of the greatest. I hope you'll let me know what you think of these 2 ideas. I hope the movie "Seabiscuit" has great success. Anne
Anne Cramer <>
Philadelphia, Pa. USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 22:27:05 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Just want you to know what an amazing and wonderful writer you are, and how much I enjoyed reading "Seabiscuit." Your description of each character made me feel as though I was meeting them and I was walking with them through their lives. I could feel their pain and joys through what life dealt them which made me cry several times along the way. My daughter & I plan to see the movie this weekend and I truly hope that it's true to your story line. Thanks so much for your precious time. Sincerely, Sharon Foster
Sharon Foster
Norco, CA USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 22:03:30 (EDT)
Ms.Hillebrand, I heard last night your Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross, no doubt rerun because of the movie. I enjoyed what you had to say about writing and selling the book and was dismayed to find out about your CFS. It seems as if you've lost hope on it. There is hope. Please put the word cortisol in your search engine. Please look at a site called The cortisol connection. Please look at a book by Dr.Talbot (who runs the aforementiond site) called The Cortisol Connection: Why Stress Makes You Fat and What You Can Do About It. Cortisol is a steriodal hormone produced and overproduced by our adrenal glands. Thus, Please look at a book called Adrenal Fatigue, by James L. Wilson. And, Please consider Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: An Updated Guide to Stress, Stress Related Diseases and Coping by Robert Sapolsky. I'm betting supplements recommended by Dr.Talbot could be VERY helpful. Some of the best include Magnolia Bark, Passion Flower, L.theanine(from green tea), epimedium (Horny Goat Weed), also a couple more amino acids (L.theanine is a amino), L.tyrosine and DL.phenalayline (the best form of phenalayline as supplement) My roomate and I have researched these things for years but have just found Dr.Talbots site and book. I really think this information and the supplements mentioned could help you and others in dealing with health matters.
Rick Kaesemacher <>
Denver, CO USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 21:13:38 (EDT)
i just want to thank you for the wonderful story of seabisuit...i have read the book twice and will see the movie this weekend..I can remember has a child we use to have a board game of race horses and iwould always be sb there was war admiral and whirlway ...wish i still had that game...but we sure had fun playing it ..
ann <>
houston, tx USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 21:07:09 (EDT)
Sorry, my previous note got submitted accidently, I was not done. I just want to again thank you on such a great book, just thinking about this story makes me feel good. I really enjoyed the movie also. Thanks again. Scott
Scott Brozowski <>
Warren, MI USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 19:53:55 (EDT)
Wow. Though I can't imagine you actually keeping track of all your E-mails, I didn't see anything like what I'd like to suggest. I love children's picture books, Little Golden board books, and would love to see your wonderful research condensed and illustrated for the pre and early school level kids. I have 8 grandchildren and two more on the way and would love to see Seabiscuit's story fashioned for this age group!...especially since dvd's or vidio's of the movie will soon be availabel. Haven't seen the movie yet--hope we can fast-forward through inappropriate scenes. I would love to see my grands excited by Biscuits story. I was a city girl reading horse stories growing up. Hope to see the kids get as much joy from reading great books such as this. Thanks so much.
T. York <>
Russia, Ohio USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 19:51:49 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, What a wonderful book. That is the most excited I have ever been reading a book, I could not read fast enough. Thank you so much for writing such a great book that gave me so much enjoyment. I have a request, please write a book about Secretariat. I don't know his story, I am sure there are other books about him. However, no one could write a Secretariat book as good as you could. If you want a proof reader, I would love to help, email me and get to know me and you may find that I would be a good helper. I love horses.
Scott Brozowski <>
Warren, MI USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 19:51:32 (EDT)
Simply fabulous----where can I purchase a first edition copy of the book? Please advise. Kindest regards, Pat
Patricia Craig <>
Houston, Texas USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 19:41:28 (EDT)
I read your book right after it was released and have read it again before I saw the movie on opening day. I enjoyed it as much or more the second time! What a wonderful tale you told. You write with such feeling and empathy for horses and horse people. Seabiscuit and his "humans" were a remarkable team. I am also amazed at how you could write this book under such dibilitating conditions. That shows great courage and determination on your part. I loved the movie and will see it again. My best wishes to you and my heartfelt thanks for giving us such enjoyment. Sandy Thielz
Sandra Thielz <>
West Chester, PA USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 19:15:37 (EDT)
Hi. my grandpa has just written a book about his beloved passion which is horse racing. He is forever fond of your book. He wanted me to try to fine your address on the web so he could send you his book.He would be honored and feel great if you could anwser this guestbook comment and i could fofill his wishes
Audra <>
fort salonga, ny USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 18:58:36 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, Thank you so much for a wonderful bit of American history. When I first heard of Seabiscuit by watching PBS, I just wanted a bit of him (or his spirit)with me. While I loved the PBS special, i really loved the detail in the book. My family listened intently while I read sections of the book; my three year old saying, "why are you stopping mommy? Read more." Thank you again from a Bisuit lover.
Lynn Ivan <>
El Paso, TX USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 18:00:30 (EDT)
Thank you for bringing us your wonderful story of Seabiscuit! I have never enjoyed a movie and book as much as I did this very heartfelt, suspensful drama. As a "horse girl" for most of my life, I truly fell in love with all four of your main characters. Wish all trainers could be more like Tom Smith. I'm spreading the word of this wonderful story and again, thank you for very obvious hard work in research.
sandra thompson <>
raleigh, nc USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 17:42:58 (EDT)
I first heard about Seabiscuit many years ago when I read Come On Seabiscuit. I found it then and find it now to be one of the most moving stories I know of, but very uplifting and also mysteriously very sad. Your book is a great contribution. Thankyou for the great research and great writing. Recently I saw Blood-Horse's list of the top throuroughbred racing horses of the 20th century. Honestly I was very disappointed to see Seabiscuit listed at 25th. I'll admit that I don't know as much about racing as many (I'm learning more all the time), but that seemed awfully low to me, considering Seabiscuit's fame and accomplishments. The other day I was talking to a gentleman who used to be a race horse trainer (he was kind enough to show me some great snapshots he had taken of Secretariat!). I asked him what he thought of the race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral and he said that he thought WA had just had a bad day and S had his best day. I thought that that was wrong and your book confirmed it - War Admiral showed great heart in that race and ran his best time for the distance. Seabiscuit just ran a great time and probably could have run it faster. One thing I wonder - do you know how many times WA ran that distance? Anyway, WA is rated at 13th on the top race horses list. I tend to think that that is about right for him - he truly had a great career - but makes a bit of a mockery of Seabiscuit's place on the list, considering that Seabiscuit ran away from him in their match race. Sure, Man'o'war lost to Upset, but the match race between WA and S was not a weak performance by WA and S was no Upset. I think that in that race, Seabiscuit solidified his claim to being considered in a very elite group of the top horses of all time. How many times have two horses of such standing met? And how many times has one defeated the other so soundly in a race where both performed well? What does that say about how competitive Seabiscuit might have been with the other great horses of history? Do you have any thoughts on Seabiscuit's ranking in the top 100 list. Don't get me wrong. 25th is a great ranking, when you think about how many thousands upon thousands of race horses there have been. I just don't think it is high enough.
Paul Kane <>
Bloomington, IN USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 16:24:09 (EDT)
Great Horse, great book, and great movie! It's nice to see something out there that's true, no violence, no cruse words, just clean entertainment with a good message. I would like to know what happened to Pumpkin and did SeaBiscuit die of natural causes?
Sue Noll <>
Selinsgrove, PA USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 16:20:03 (EDT)
Hi, just wanted to thank you guys for getting such an informative site. Excellent graphics and easy to navigate. Your site is indeed wonderful and I bookmarked it. Kind Regards, D. Flatrate
Dsl Flatrate <>
USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 16:00:05 (EDT)
Can you or anyone tell me: Does the Howard family still own the property? What happened to "Pumpkin"? What happened to "Kayak II"? Thanks, Buddy
Buddy <>
New Orleans, LA USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 15:53:37 (EDT)
NORWALK, CT USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 15:27:17 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I've read the book twice, and it is a great book. I live near Bay Meadows in San Mateo, and he is even more popular today. Thank you. Bill Swain
Bill Swain <>
San Mateo, CA USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 14:27:25 (EDT)
Hi, I just started your book and so far it is just great. I have a question that you may or may not be able to help me with I have a signed lighograph of Rufian by Sue English and I wondered if you had ever heard of her or knew where is might be contacted.
lessaris.pat <>
St Petersburg, fl USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 13:51:25 (EDT)
I closed the book and siad "What a horse! What a story! What a book! What an author! Thank so very much for a terrific treat! Best of luck to you.
Frank Newman <>
Kirkland, WA USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 13:02:51 (EDT)
Dear Laura, your book is so very dear to my heart. It was very easy to fall in love with the time period in which it was written and certainly the lives of Howard, Pollard, Smith, Woolf, and, of course, Seabiscuit. The extraordinary research you accomplished despite a prolonged illness will stand firm in my mind that great things can be accomplished despite overwhelming obstacles. I am so glad you continued to work when your body may have told you to stop. Seabiscuit has quickly risen to my personal “top 10 list” of favorite books of all time. You are an extraordinary author. Like many, I looked forward to the opening of the film. Although the casting and cinematography were superb, I was deeply saddened that nearly all of your intense work wasn’t even addressed in the script – and that so many of the unique characteristics of the horse and the four extraordinary men who brought him to victory were forgotten. Why the producers needed to tell a different story about the Seabiscuit “underdogs” other than the one you so expertly crafted will remain a mystery to me. I wish with all my heart that they would go back and try it again. I can only compare the filmed version of Seabiscuit as a rape of your good work.
Lisa Francescone <>
West Seneca, NY USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 12:56:32 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I want to say THANK YOU for giving the world a story of hope and what can be if we just keep going. Despite the odds. If Tom Smith would never have come along, Seabiscuit would have died without out ever having reached his full potential. It reminds me of an old saying, "When the student is ready the Teacher appears." and "When the teacher is ready the student appears." The response to your book and the movie is obviously overwhelming. America NEEDS Seabiscuit now, just as much as it did back in the '30s. I read your book in one day. I couldn't put it down! My 77 year old Father read it in one day also. We both agreed we would see the movie when it came out. We stood in line for over an hour to see it. Let me tell you, my Father doesn't stand in line! But he did. I sincerely hope you will write more books in this vein. You are truly gifted. When I found out you were 35, I was amazed. I hope someday you find a cure for your illness, but in a way, I think that maybe it is because of it that you were able to write such a touching book. Polio was a terrible to happen to Franklin Roosevelt, but it was his "trial by fire." It made him reach down deep inside of himself and he became the great Leader that he was.You are truly a gifted person. I saw you on American Experience. You are a beautiful woman! Both inside and out! Please write a book about Mr. Howard. Or perhaps you could write a book about each of the men who were a part of Team Seabiscuit! I loved the book. I loved the movie1 You have a great gift, please use it. We love you! Thank you sooo much!!! My Best wishes.
Bill Danitz, <>
Conshohocken, PA USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 12:36:38 (EDT)
Thank you so much for writing this book. My grandfather Maurice Peters was there when Red went down and hurt his leg. You truly gave me an appreciation as to how life was back then and how the jocky's lived. Moose as he was know rode Seabiscuit as well as well as War Admiral. If you could send me an autographed book I would be honored, as I will put it right beside the picture of Pop and his win on War Admiral.
Amy Sullivan <>
Ashburn, vA USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 12:21:55 (EDT)
Dear Laura, After reading your book and enjoying all the details about Seabiscuit I was afraid the movie would not measure up. How delighted I was with the movie too! Thank you for all of your dedication to this story. I would like to write to you via your publisher. Is there an address you would be willing to share? Sincerely, Maureen
Maureen <>
Reno, NV USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 11:44:21 (EDT)
Laura....I would just like to say THANK YOU for writing the wonderful story of Seabiscuit...I read the book in two days, unable to put it grandson sent it to me as a gift and I can`t thank him enough !....I remember my father talking about Seabiscuit when I was a child, I was born in 1940 so I missed it all but re-lived it in my father`s stories and now with your beautifully written story of the horse and the fascinating people and events that made this awesome team winners in every sense of the word...It is always a delight to see the little underdog given a chance to show what he can do and come out the winner !...I am seeing the movie also, wouldn`t miss it for the world !...thank you again for a heart-warming trip back in time......Jan W.
Janet t. wieland <>
loysville, PA United States - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 11:31:03 (EDT)
Laura, Heard your interview on NPT last night, but turned it off early because I haven't finished the book yet, nor seen the movie. When you discussed the fact that you did all your interviews for the book via telephone, I had an idea. It would be great if you could get a videoconference system so that you can communicate face to face with people. My primary mission as the director of the Virtual School at Vanderbilt is to connect VU faculty, staff and community to kids in K-12 classrooms nationally, via videoconferencing. It is a very powerful medium, the connections now are close to tv quality and lots of schools across the nation are coming onboard. I don't know if you are interested in talking to students or have the time...but would love to talk with you about this possibility.
Jan Zanetis <>
Nashville, TN USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 11:20:17 (EDT)
A second documentary, done for A&E, is excellent. Hope the movie wins big at the Oscars! Laura Hillenbrand, now part of the Seabiscuit myth herself, has written one of the most exciting books ever published. Sincerely, Maggie Van Ostrand
maggie van ostrand <>
pine mountain, ca USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 11:14:10 (EDT)
Thankyou for Seabiscuit! By far the best book I've read this year. I finished it yesterday, and today I am depressed, wondering what to read! God Bless!
Kern Coleman <>
Fort Worth, TX USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 11:10:05 (EDT)
laura, as soon as you started speaking out about CFS, you began having a direct and immediate impact on my life. you may or may not recall, but we spoke via phone last year about doing publicity and interviews with CFS. it was just when my new book, That Takes Ovaries!: Bold Females and Their Brazen Acts, was coming out. (p.s. i've gotten great press and done lots of interviews. thanks for yr help!) laura, i just wanted you to know that you -- and a horse who lived 65 years ago -- are changing my life in a very real, concrete way. here's how: by and large, i tell most folks i get to know about my CFS (my own personal education campaign that has been going on for 13 years). only now things are different, immediately different, all due to you and seabiscuit. now when i tell folks, they take me seriously on a much deeper level, and they are more compassionate. i sense the change and it is dramatic. AND they have a frame of reference ("oh, is that the same thing that that woman who wrote that horse book has?"). a frame of reference that comes in the form of a credible, legitimate, attractive person. last week alone (the week the movie came out) 3 folks, all people i had just met, said just that line. the week before, when your NEW YORKER article came out, 5 friends called me and said they now understood my struggle better. i'm trying to do my part too. i talk about CFS in my interviews about my book, and now my play, too, adapted from the book. and also i have included me, as a character, in the play. it is a character who is struggling with CFS as she writes her book, That Takes Ovaries!, with a disability. again, thank you, laura, for the important work you are doing speaking out about CFS. again, please know that you are having a direct and immediate impact on my life. --rivka
Rivka <>
USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 10:34:25 (EDT)
Haven't seen the movie, but I really like your book. More than that, I have a friend with CFS whose daily life is a mudder's romp down a never-ending backstretch. You have given a big dose of help and hope to a lot of people.
George Stuteville <>
Washington, DC USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 10:27:42 (EDT)
Laura: I read your book when it first came out. I loved it then! Now I've seen the movie last night, aftering begging my husband to take me since it opened on the 25th, and was amazed. At the showing I was at, the audience clapped at the end also. My husband, who has never owned or ridden a horse, commented on the way home that "Seabiscuit" was one of the best shows he's seen in a long time! I'm planning on going again!! Anyway, I also pulled your book off my shelf and am planning on re-reading it. It's really too bad that someone hasn't invented a time machine yet. That is the first place that I would go. Sure, time's weren't fun then because of the depression, but the events and emotions surrounding Seabiscuits career would have made up for it. Wouldn't it be nice if this would happen in the world today! The book and the movie both gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes. Are you planning on writing anymore horse stories in the near future? I'd love to know if you do because I'll be in line to buy one! Thanks so much for allowing me to "feel" Seabiscuit! Betty Scheldt
Betty Scheldt <>
Carlinville, IL USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 10:07:56 (EDT)
I heard you on Public Radio last night and I now want to read Seabiscuit. Quite a story. best to you, Gerry
Gerry <>
Williamstown, MA USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 09:59:25 (EDT)
Your book and your writing are masterful and compelling in conveying Seabiscuit's story to me, the reader. I would start each chapter and could not lay the book down without finishing that chapter. Before I knew it, I just had to get into the next one to find out what happened. After seeing the movie just yesterday (July 29th), I am spellbound by your story of this great (but not so well known before now) thoroughbred racehorse. Being someone who has a keen interest in the Sport of Kings ever since as a boy living very near Old Woodbine (which became Greenwood) Racetrack in Toronto, and actually saw Secretariat run away with the Canadian International on that bleak October afternoon, your book gets that racing blood going again in my veins. Thanks for an excellent read and for agreeing to turn it into an Oscar-worthy film which I will definitely purchase on DVD when it is released!
Pat Anderson <>
Toronto, ON Canada - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 09:45:46 (EDT)
I was struck by Seabiscuit's uniqueness, i.e. his ability (and eagerness!) to sleep lying down for long periods of time, and his voracious appetite. Do you think this could explain his unusual stamina, perhaps contributing significantly to his winnings? The power of the book, for me, was the enormous amount of topical detail from the period which took it beyond "a horse book". Such brilliant writing! And such extensive research. Just another grateful reader saying thank you.
Liz Lea <>
Boston, MA USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 08:31:07 (EDT)
I'll be flying over to do some things inside the beltway in mid August. Care to do lunch? Dusty
Dusty Nathan <>
Surrey , England UK - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 07:50:46 (EDT)
Dear Laura, it's so great to see you hit a grand slam. I remember the first time we met, and the hours we discussed Seabiscuit. I was online today, and found an old story that I wrote for some horse rag that I thought you might enjoy, so I'm sending it along to you now. Much love and good health to you . . . Lock'em In and Send'em Out-- It's Kentucky Derby Time By Dusty Nathan Somewhere in time, legends begin. It was ten years after the Civil War ended, when on 80 acres of land three miles south of downtown Louisville, secured by John and Henry Churchill, 15 horses were loaded into the gate for the first Kentucky Derby. The date was May 17, 1875. Ten thousand people, a goodly share of the local population, showed up to see Aristides win the race. He earned $2,850, going 1 1/2 miles in 2:37 3/4. The clubhouse, a one-room building located where the stable is today, was built by M. Lewis Clark, grandson of the explorer William Clark (better known as one half of the Lewis and Clark Expedition). By 1878, new French technology called "parimutuel wagering" (which means "amongst ourselves") was introduced, marking a continental first. Bookmakers protested and the machines were barred in 1889. Today they're back in use. In 1896, the distance of the Derby was switched to the historic, current distance of 1 1/4 miles, because racing secretary Charlie Price felt the race was too long for 3-year-olds so early in the season. Oliver Lewis rode Aristides to victory. William Walker won with Baden-Baden in 1877. Erskine Henderson won it. So did George Jarret Lewis, Babe Hurd, Issac Murphy, Isaac Lewis, Alonzo Clayton (at age 15), James "Soup" Perkins (also 15), Willie Simms (in 1896 and 1898) and James Winkfield (who scored in 1901 and 1902). All these men had one thing in common. They were African-Americans. They were sons of slaves. But the wealthy plantation owners knew who the best horsemen were, and used them for their raw knowledge and keen ability. A number of black trainers have also had Derby success. Hank Allen was the most recent, taking Maryland-based Northern Wolf to a 6th-place run for the roses in 1989. That horse went on to win many racers on the East Coast. Women love to gamble as much as men, but only four women have rode in the Kentucky Derby: Diane Crump (1970), Patricia Cooksey (1984), Andrea Seefeldt (1991) and Julie Krone (1992). Women are the fastest growing segment of most American jockey colonies. They number up to 50 percent at many of the nation's smaller tracks. What's the mystique behind our nation's most popular horse race? Why do crowds numbering 135,000 push through the turnstiles to witness this equine extravaganza? Could it be that this race is the epitome of all sports and gaming? Two minutes of the most grueling action, pitting the best from all corners of the nation, and more recently Europe, Japan and South America, against each other. Whatever the reason, 163,628 attended the 100th edition in 1974--a crowd more than 50 percent larger than any Super Bowl. It would be remiss not to talk about Derby favorites. The last public choice to win was Spectacular Bid (1979). Some recent notables that didn't live up to their backing were: Rockhill Native (1980); Proud Appeal-entry (1981); Air Forbes Won (1982); Marfa-entry (1983); Life's Magic-entry (1984); Chief's Crown (1985); Snow Chief (1986); Demons Begone (1987); Private Terms 1998); Easy Goer (1989); Mister Frisky (1990); Hansel (1991); the ill-fated, odds-on Arazi (1992), and Holy Bull in 1994. They all met defeat. But Easy Goer and Holy Bull did go on to become great racehorses. This year the talk centers around Pulpit, undefeated in three sensational tallies in Florida, including the $200,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes. But talk is cheap. To join the ranks of Triple Crown winners he'll have to do more than he's done. Those horses that have worn the coveted Crown include: Sir Barton (1919); Gallant Fox (1930); Omaha (1935); War Admiral (1937); Whirlaway (1941); Count Fleet (1943); Assault (1946); Citation (1948); Secretariat (1973); Seattle Slew (1977), and Affirmed in 1978. Because if one thing other than death and taxes is certain, it's that to beat the best horses on any given First Saturday in May at Churchill Downs, one has to be more than good. More than lucky. To win the greatest race in the world, with about 2:00 minutes in which to figure how to do it? Go figure.
Dusty Nathan <>
USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 07:29:50 (EDT)
a qstn about the movie: why was the running of the '40 Big Cap so unlike the real race (as seen on Biography recently)?
mg <>
berkeley, ca USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 01:45:59 (EDT)
I loved seabiscuit because it is a touching story it love it sooooooo much I named my horses baby Seabiscuit!
Alexis <>
littleton , Co USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 01:15:25 (EDT)
SOUTH ORANGE, NJ USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 00:34:24 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I have enjoyed your book on Seabiscuit more than I can say. Not only have I learned a great deal about the business of raising and racing thoroughbreds, but I have felt such excitement and drama as your story unfolds -- even though I already knew many of the racing results! You have written this book so well and it is a wonderful tribute to Seabiscuit and his "team". I wish you the very best in your future writings and in the challenges of your personal life. Thank you again for your gift.
Laurie Carlson <>
Northridge, CA USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 00:31:55 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I have been a Seabiscuit fan my entire life with good reason. My family moved to Willits in 1947 when I was 3 months old. I attended school there and still consider it "home." My mother always told us the story of the great horse that was buried on Ridgewood each time we traveled south to Ukiah. In 1965 I graduated from Willits High School and wanted to attend nursing school. My parents were of modest means and college tuition would have been a hardship for them. My mother had heard that in addition to building the hospital in memory of Frank R.Howard, there was also a full scholarship available to local students for nursing school. I received that gift, graduated from a private nursing school and three years later returned to Willits. I worked at Howard hospital for two years before moving to Ukiah. I just wanted you to know that your book has inspired others, but Seabiscuit and the Howard family have always been in my heart. I know my mother had me thank the Howard family many years ago. However, I would like the family to know that I have been telling my Seabiscuit story for over twenty-five years to encourage my nursing students to continue their education. (Now, they listen to the story!!) The number of lives that have been touched by this family and Seabiscuit are unknown, but I will be forever thankful. Thanks for the book and best of luck to you.
D. Fillmore <>
CA USA - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at 00:10:20 (EDT)
I read your wonderful twice and could not wait for the movie to come out! We just saw it opening weekend and I loved it and was moved to tears. Just so you know, my audience applauded after the match race with War Admiral and the movie also got a round of applause at the end, too. Thanks so much Laura, for all your research and your hard work in getting your book written. It is a classic. Pam Jaeger
Pam Jaeger <>
Austin, TX USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 23:24:30 (EDT)
God has blessed you with a wonderful talent. I loved the story. Now just sit back and watch the power of God work in your life for sharing this story with the world. "Bringing people together to advance their lives!" Philipians 3:13 May you write another wonderful book!
Sandra Larmeu <>
Round Rock, TX USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 23:09:24 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I can't put your book down. I'm only on page 191 and every single page is just as interesting as all the others. I keep thinking "this must be the end of the story" but then it continues. I saw the movie last weekend and it was wonderful also although different in places from your book. You have a great way of telling a story, a great way with words. You emphasize all the right incidents, big and small. This book is just wonderful, a great inspiration, and I love it. The people come alive, the times come alive, and the personality of Seabiscuit is a delight also.
Sandy S. <>
USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 22:58:56 (EDT)
I just saw the movie based upon your book about Seabiscuit. It was most moving. At the end the audience applauded. I've never heard of a movie audience clapping at the end of the show.
Tait <>
Saratoga Springs, NY USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 22:57:31 (EDT)
I listened to your interview with Terri Gross today-twice (long day traveling). I read your book two years ago and when I put it down, I couldn't help but reflect on what an amazing author you are. In your interview with Terri, you gave most of the credit to the subject matter-a fascinating time, amazing people, unusual circumstances. I disagree. There are so many subjects that at first glance would be far more interesting subjects. It was you-the author, the research scientist who made the subject matter come to life. The way you told this tale, the ability to present factual information both chronologically and magically sets you apart from the average great story teller. Yes, fascinating material but the presentation is the key. I was surprised and saddened to learn today that you suffer from such a debilitating disease-on that I had never even heard of. I hope that soon, a meteor will come from the other direction and erase all the suffering you have endured for so long. I hope you can take solace in the fact that you have accomplished more than most men or women with far better luck can ever hope to achieve. You said you wish you were more like Red Pollard. Lady, you ARE Red Pollard. You fought and clawed your way to the top. You ignored impossible obstacles that would have stopped most of us in their tracks and are now at the top of your field. I believe you will get better. You have shown you have shown a unique fortitude to accomplish the impossible and somehow, some day, hopefully soon, your suffering will be a thing of the past.
Steve Groetzinger <SGroetzinger>
Raleigh, NC USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 22:46:21 (EDT)
Laura: the real hero of your book is yourself. You are truly Seabiscuit. Congratulations to a beautiful filly winning with a large handicap. bert rosen
bert rosen <>
little neck, ny USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 22:29:21 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I heard your excellent interview on NPR today, (7-29-03) and must tell you that I cried and laughed at the same time when you said you had read "come on Seabiscuit" as a young person. My goodness, I must have read that book 15 times at least, and cried and laughed everytime! It was one of the pivotal books of my childhood, up there with "Shackleton's valiant voyage" and the story of Helen Keller. I thought it was just me, and here comes Seabiscuit! Good going, girl. And God bless you with my heart, your spirit is perfect and I bless that too. thank you, kristin
kristin strachan <>
pueblo, co USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 22:08:47 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I read your book last year and found it to be a "must read, can't put it down" story that is absolutely fascinating. I just saw the movie version of your book and still feel that although the movie is very good, your book is still better. The movie captures some of the emotions and lives of the main characters of Seabiscuit's story, but it compresses the massive soap opera into approximately an hour and a half. I would have liked the ending of the movie to be extended...I won't say what it is...those reading this letter should go see the movie, however. What I will say is that after reading comments from some of the ophthalmologists who have made comments in your guest book...I will make a comment or try to guess what was the cause of Red Pollard's blindness in his right eye. Since he was a prize fighter, along with being a jockey...chances are that he was punched in the right eye. Also, if he was not wearing safety goggles at any period in time while racing, he may have gotten dirt kicked up in his eye. I think that he had a retinal detachment which eventually may have caused a traumatic cataract to form. In those days, cataract surgery was probably not done, and if it was done, it was very major surgery. If he had been living in this day and age, he would have probably been a candidate for a procedure called a vitrectomy and possibly a lensectomy and scleral buckling. He would also probably could have an intraocular lens implant placed in his eye...but unfortunately, he died before any of these surgeries could possibly have helped him. I do not think that he had hemi-vision (tunnel vision) that affected both his eyes...he had good vision from his left eye, hence, his blindness was probably limited to the right eye due to trauma. By the way, I am a surgical nurse who has worked in eye surgery for many years. I also am an animal artist who has just finished painting a picture of a white Thoroughbred named "Patchen's Beauty". I painted a portrait of Whirlaway (a horse who it would be nice if you wrote a book about, by the way...he was a character...) and my next endeavor will be to paint a portrait of Seabiscuit (probably a makes the pictures stand out).
Anita Silverman <>
Chesterland, Ohio USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 21:50:05 (EDT)
In May at my friend's birthday party, I ran into an old friend whose husband rode horses with me about 35 years ago. Dr. O'Conner had a beautiful Arabian horse and I had a Welsh pony. He was in his forties and I was about ten years old. His wife remembered my old riding days and mailed your book to me. What an inspiring book. I saw the movie last Saturday. And, my husband purchased the collector's edition last night for me. I am fascinated by it. Your book is such an inspiration that my niece, Alison, and my husband Burce and I decided to name our running team for the SUSAN G. KOMEN RACE FOR THE CURE (for breast cancer) "Seabiscuit and The Trotters" and our slogan is "Trot for the Cure." There should be a crowd of runners on September 28th 2003 in Newport Beach, California racing with red & white jockey caps with our team name "Seabiscuit & The Trotters." Thanks for the inspiration.
Sara L. Parker <>
Newport Beach, CA USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 20:54:34 (EDT)
I just had to thank you for a wonderful book about this memorable group of characters, especially the 4-legged one.
joe helfand <>
alameda, ca USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 20:36:55 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I finished your fabulous book a few weeks ago. I was astounded by the detail that went into this monumental work. It is truly a masterpiece! The movie opened last weekend and I have already seen it twice. Also an astonishing piece of work, thanks to your collaboration. I have searched the "net" trying to find birth data on Red Pollard and George Woolf. If you or anyone has a suggestion as to how I can come by that information, it will be very much appreciated. I will keep you in my thoughts and pray for your good health.
Laura Pine <>
Ashland, OR USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 19:56:38 (EDT)
Hi, At the screening of SEABISCUIT that I went to, there doorprize of really cool seabiscuit movie Tshirts. I thought it would be fun to buy one, but I haven't been able to find any for sale. I saw your link for and saw that some money for the apparel goes to the CFIDS Organization, which is cool. I unfortunately share the wretched diagnosis. The ppl only had hats and sweatshirts (no tees) and in a different style. The movie tees were dark blue or black (hard to tell) and had "Seabiscuit" printed on it in the same font as the book. Is there any way to purchase these? BTW, the movie was quite fulfilling. The entire cast was great, and Chris Cooper especially did a fine turn of acting. It was wonderful to see Laura's accomplishment brought to the screen!
Robin <>
NY USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 19:44:58 (EDT)
Hello Laura... Just want to let you know how much I enjoyed your book. Prior to reading Seabiscuit, there have been only two books that I read from non-stop from start to finish, i.e., The Autobiography of Malcom X and the Godfather. I now add Seabiscuit to this short list. Thank you for a great non-fiction work which gave me insight into the events in a part of American history which I'm sure would have been overlooked by me had it not been for you. I will watch for your works in the future. Thank you very much. Herb Wakamatsu
Herb Wakamatsu <>
Everett, WA USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 19:25:36 (EDT)
Dear Laura, My husband and I were with a cast of thousands on that cold November morning at Keeneland Race Track in Lexington KY,, although at the time neither of us had read your book,, but after the shooting of the movie, I went and got your book,, and we both couldn't put it down,, so exciting,, We went to see the movie "Seabiscuit" Friday night,, great movie,,, so very humorous too. You take care. Laura Biehl
Laura Biehl <>
Frankfort, KY USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 19:24:20 (EDT)
I have just recently heard stories on Seabiscuit an l would like to find ou the name of your book and where l could obtain it .I'm a horse lover and have 2 on my own and l am very interested in reading your story,Could you please e-mail me back adn give me some direction as to where l could obtain a copy.Thank you Mrs.M,Grant Millbrook, Ontario Canada Postal Code is Loa 1GO
maureen grant <>
millbrook, ontario canada - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 19:09:10 (EDT)
In listening to your interview on "Fresh Air" I was VERY disappointed to hear that you went to the White House to watch a sneak preview of the movie with BUSH! George W. Bush represents the EXACT OPPOSITE of the kind of earnest, honest, success-through-hard-work heros found in your book. His life story is one of a spoiled, privileged underachiever who has been handed everything on a silver plate. I was just getting ready to re-read the book, but finding out that you would socialize with the man whose arrogance and ineptitude is RUINING our country has tainted the Seabiscuit story for me forever. Can't you see how wrong it was to tacitly endorse Bush by allowing his name to be associated with Seabsicuit's story?
A disappointed fan
Charlottesville, VA USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 19:02:41 (EDT)
Laura, I recovered from CFIDS after five years. I know what a struggle it can be--before I fell sick, I was a professor at Virginia Tech. After years of specialists and experimental meds, I finally turned to complementary meds and therapies . . . with two weeks at Canyon Ranch's Life Enhancement Program. My disability insurance said I was one of only two who had recovered that they insured. There is no one right "cure" for CFIDS, and I still feel the effects when I try to do too much, but quality of life can improve. What you've done in writing "Seabiscuit" is truly extraordinary, and I salute your perseverance and talent. All the best, Valerie
Valerie Jones <>
Virginia Beach, VA USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 18:37:43 (EDT)
Dear Laura, After looking at the volume of "guests" at your site I know the odds are against me in getting a few questions answered but I've got nothing to lose in asking. First of all, why did the movie so poorly portray Red Pollard's parents? I wonder if they're not turning over in their graves having it so unjustly appear as though they abandoned "Red" without so much as a phone call. Why didn't they stick to the facts conveyed in your book? And also, due to my ignorance in horse racing, I thought the movie was totally unrealistic when they had the jockeys yelling to each other during a race. I just assumed that with all the noise and the incredible focus necessary to ride they couldn't possibly hear each other let alone waste energy and focus by communicating to anyone but their respective horses. But in reading your book I saw that your account backed that up so apparently they really could and did yell to one another during the races. So I'm just curious, how, with the noise of the horses, the screaming crowd, and the need to stay focused were they also able to use energy screaming to each other? By the way, thanks for all your hard work on this book. It was excellent. The movie doesn't even compare I'm afraid. Good as it was, they didn't come close to doing this incredible tale justice. I appreciate your persevering to finish this project in spite of your chronic fatigue syndrome. Well done Laura. Carole Lisson
Carole Lisson <>
Glen Ellyn, IL USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 17:57:28 (EDT)
Laura, I was just wanting to write because I heard you have CFS. I have Fibromyalgia.I am 29 years old. It is simaler to Cfs but not the same. I guess it has some of the same symptoms. I head your interview on the radio and read you article in the new yorker. i enjoyed them.I would love to talk to you about your illness and tell you about mine Bronwyn
Bronwyn Simpler <>
Kodiak, Ak USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 17:49:09 (EDT)
Laura, A magnificient book. I had heard about Seabiscuit from my grandparents in the 1940s but never understood their fascination. And they only had part of the story. My best, Paul Lovett
Paul Lovett <>
Baltimore, MD USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 16:29:22 (EDT)
Laura, I saw your interview on TV (forget where tho'), and it prompted me to pick up the book when I saw it, just by chance, at the grocery store the next day. (Now I'm putting off seeing the movie until I finish the book and can really 'see' the full story and more deeply enjoy the movie.) I'm about to start chapter 2, and have been enthralled with the writing, literally from the first sentence!! Can't wait to read more but am also reluctant to, because I don't want to get to the end and have nothing more of the book to read! I'm savoring it, little by little now. BRAVO on your writing skill! Am anxious to read anything else you write, so please continue the battle against your Chronic Fatique illness. All the best, and thank you for such fine entertainment!
Anne Josselyn <>
Glendale, AZ USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 16:19:38 (EDT)
Hello Laura, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to your interview with Terry Gross on NPR. I have helped many CFS patients without any medication. You may visit my website and respond via e-mail if interested. There is absolutely no obligation. Looking forward to hear from you. Best wishes, Raj Kapoor,MD
Raj Kapoor, MD <>
Pittsburgh, PA USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 16:01:17 (EDT)
Dear Ms.Hillanbrand, I am a physican in Santa Barbara, CA and had the honor of taking care of a lovely lady named Marcela Fenton. She had a cast of a horse with a very small foot print. I have always wondered if this was Marcela Howard One of her nurses told me that the casting was of Seabiscuit. I never thought much about it at the time,but I was impressed at the grace and kindness she showed during her final days. Your book is great and so are you on your interviews. My favorite horse used to be Citation,now it is Seabiscuit. Thank You, Could you let me know if I had the right Marcela? Dean Vogel M.D.
M Dean Vogel MD <>
Santa Barbara, CA USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 15:58:21 (EDT)
Dear Miss Hillenbrand, On page 343 in the acknowledgments section of your wonderfully written book about Seabiscuit, you make reference to the Seabiscuit Liguor store in Hercules, California. I am an active member of the Hercules Historical Society that is in the process of writing the updated history of this City. We are interested in contacting the operator of the store or any other source you may have regarding the Seabiscuit liquor store, for information to be included in the history of the city. Our main interest is in learning of the location and years of operation of the store. I would greatly appreciate any pertinent information you could furnish our group. Thank you very much.
Patrick Patton <>
Hercules, CA USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 15:54:26 (EDT)
Dear Ms.Hillanbrand, I am a physican in Santa Barbara, CA and had the honor of taking care of a lovely lady named Marcela Fenton. She had a cast of a horse with a very small foot print. I have always wondered if this Marcela Howard. One of her nurses told me that the casting was Seabiscuit. I never thought much about it at the time,but I was impressed at the grace and kindness showed during her final days. Your book is great and so are you on you interview. Thank You, Could you let me know if I had the right Marcela?
M Dean Vogel MD <>
Santa Barbara, CA USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 15:54:03 (EDT)
dear laura hillenbrand: THANKS SO MUCH for the wonderful book, "seabiscuit." having finished reading it, after crying my eyes out, i DEVOURED the acknowledgements!! what a WONDERFUL story!!!! i loved it!!it must have been quite a labor of love for you to write. an equestrienne in my youth, i could FEEL seabicuit's power and motion as you decscribed it. i marvel at the love and insight, care and dedication to his handling. harness-racing prevails in this area, but i have never been so mesmerized as when watching the "flat" races! your narrative captured the heart and soul of this story, the very essence of these magnificent horses and the people who knew them best. i was born shortly before seabiscuit's final retirement. but, i am sure that my father, an avid racing fan, must have seen him run at least once. i regret that i may not have been in a listening mood when he told the tale. no, i probably won't see the movie. there were times when i didn't think i could read another page of the disasters! i don't think i want to "see" them happening. and, i would prefer to remember the legend as it has so heart-warmingly been told by you. again, my thanks. most sincerely, helen brooks
helen brooks <>
washington, pa USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 14:37:00 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Congratulations to you on your book and movie. I am so thrilled to have met you and Borden at one of AliceAnn's parties. The movie was beautifully made, very moving, and elegantly presented. It deserves at least six Oscars. I wish you and Borden the best. Sincerely, Lisa
Lisa Sileo <>
Lakewood, Co USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 14:26:48 (EDT)
Thank you Laura, this book really can open up new doors of appreciation for the sport and the horses. What a wonderful book.
Miranda <>
Roswell, GA USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 14:17:31 (EDT)
My thanks to Ms. Hillenbrand for throwing wide open the window to a world I'd only been able to peek through before. The work is magnificent and worthy of all the acclaim being bestowed upon it.
Jake Parrish <>
birmingham, al USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 14:12:07 (EDT)
More than fifty years after his death, the little horse continues to inspire a nation. Here's to living "ALL THE WAY UP"
Bill Muncey <>
Stephenville, Tx USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 13:45:09 (EDT)
Thank you. You gave a part of yourself into your work and we are rewarded with believable characters pitted against unbelievable odds. :-) Maybe you could do a follow-up story on "Tick-Tock" McLoughlin? I can only imagine how he started. ;-) Peace.
E. A. <>
Roselle, IL USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 13:40:35 (EDT)
I must say, that in my 35 years on this earth, I have never read a book that has touched me as deeply as "Seabiscuit" has. It is such a wonderful story of heart and determination, that it brings out the underdog in all of us. Thank you for bringing back to life an inspirational part of American history!
Elizabeth Rollyson <>
Greenville, SC USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 13:31:47 (EDT)
Your book was beautiful. The movie was inspiring. Together they renewed my love for a sport I used to follow with the greatest of interest. Funny how time passes so quickly. It seems like only yesterday that Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, and Spectacular Bid (who should have been the 12th Triple Crown winner) were racing. I lost interest after losing them, but your book has brought be back. Thank you.
Pat Reavy <>
Chicago, IL USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 13:24:59 (EDT)
Thank you for writing such a masterpiece!! To get me to actually read through an entire book is saying something. I just caught horse racing fever in January while on a business trip just outside Louisville. While on the trip I picked up a copy of Seabiscuit and am reading it for the second time. I have also passed the book on to many of my friends who have enjoyed it as well. I just watched the movie and thought it was great, however I wasn't crazy about the way it ended. What is you opinion on the ending of the movie? Also, if you could write about another race horse, which one would you write on?
Scott Tipson <>
Winooski, VT USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 13:02:41 (EDT)
My family and I just finished "listening" to your book on CD during a long car trip this weekend. We all loved Seabiscuit. Your descriptions were so vivid, the characters so rich in detail, it's as if we saw the events unfold as the book was read by Campbell Scott. To capture my 13yr old sons attention is quite a feat, but your book did it. Thank you for opening up such a fascinating piece of history for us.
Deidre Grant-Hampton <>
Islip, ny USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 12:59:58 (EDT)
I love Seabiscuit! I have given my book to everyone in my family, and they all loved it. I love the movie, the book, and everything Seabiscuit!I have only riden a horse once, and got hurt in the process,then after Seabiscuit I am totally obsessed with horses!And i want you to know not only adults read your book, since I am now 14, and read the book when I was 13. I LOVE SEABISCUIT!!!!
Kelcie Morgan <>
Stoughton, WI USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 12:21:53 (EDT)
To a Bight Kenyon Lady! My 1929 Birth Certificate listed my fathers occupation as "Capitalist" By 1935 he was working for the WPA. My wife had loved your book, so picked our weekend Movie. About a 3rd of the way into the show, I asked her if there would be any horses? The last half kept me in tears of joy. You have won this Kenyon Lords heart! Kenyon 52-5 Trustee Emeritus 1972-90 Depression
B. Bosworth Ranney <>
Tampa, FL USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 12:17:04 (EDT)
I bought my tickets for the movie early. I cried through most of the movie. I am a horse person and the emotion of the events really touched me. But I LOVE the book! Thank you! Please find another horse subject really soon!
Kimber Plemons <>
Avon, IN USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 12:07:32 (EDT)
Having been born at Howard Memorial Hospital in 1942 under the care of Doc Babcock and growing up in the shadow of Ridgewood Ranch (in Redwood Valley at the base of Laughlin mountain)I have been following your book and the renewed attention to Seabiscuit with great interest. My parents used to talk about Seabiscuit a lot when I was very young, probably because he was one of the few things that ever put our part of the world on the map (before Jim Jones and other sordid affairs). I want to thank you personally for bringing back a lot of good memories of life in rural Northern Califorina. We will be passing though Willits next week as part of a trip to visit remaining family and friends in the area and will definitely stop to have a look at all the Seabiscuit memorabilia which is apparently now on display. Best regards, Don Jameson
Donald L. Jameson <>
Bethesda, MD USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 12:02:15 (EDT)
Laura;We have met.Some years ago you were doing a piece at Keeneland and Jim Williams introduced us. My company Turf Catering has been the food and beverage provider since the track opened. I have been around many tracks since a little boy, and needless to say it's in my blood. Needless also to say, there has never been anything written about racing (novel or true story) which has captured the heart and soul of the sport. I would like to relate to you how I came to know: "Yummy Dominick" If you do read this and have time to talk, either by phone or E-Mail, you can contact me at home; Larry Wolken 850-230-1193 or P.S. I'm also a friend of Mary Simon. In fact her husband Mark (Thoroughbred Times) attended High Shcool with my two sons, Brad and Mike, in Chicago long long ago! Hoping to hear from You. Thanks, Larry Wolken. Although I now live in Florida, I will be at Keeneland in October for the entire meet as I have done, Spring and Fall, for 38 years!
Larry Wolken <>
Panama City, Fl USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 10:58:12 (EDT)
Hi - I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your book about Seabiscuit. The highlight was the race between War Admiral and Seabiscuit. I was on the edge of my seat while reading it. Thank You.
Connie Holmes <>
Greenville , NY USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 10:00:26 (EDT)
Another thank you from a CFIDS compatriot.
David Kolodney <>
Santa Rosa, CA United States - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 08:36:17 (EDT)
I also just saw the PBS special on Seabiscuit and also noted the apparent discrepancy about Red Pollards vision. I agree with the prior Ophthalmologists thoughts. However, interestingly, the photo of Mr Pollard shown at the time of that comment suggested a cataract to me. The right pupil was white while the left was black. He could well have had catarat or possibly retinal detachment from trauma. Not likely from an injury to the back of the head but a direct one, for instance, a clod to an unprotected eye from a leading horse. Anyway, great story. I look forward to seeing the movie. W. Jackson Iliff M.D.
W. Jackson Iliff M.D. <>
Annapolis, md USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 07:55:19 (EDT)
Congratulations! I also have CFIDS, so I'm doubly impressed with your achievement. You surely are the fourth under-dog success in this great story. I am SO happy for you! This awful illness can leave one feeling incompetent, which is now something you'll never have to experience. I hope you take some well earned rest and tend to recovery. Should you find any therapies or treatments that help, maybe you could inform the rest of us. (As for me, I'm experiencing some mild improvement on the pH balancing diet) Congratulations again. It's a wonderful story, and you tell it beautifully. Sincerely, Patricia E. Bransfield
Patricia Bransfield <>
USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 04:17:10 (EDT)
Honestly I became interested in your book because I heard of your battle with CFS and how you had written the book in spite of your health. I was so inspired by your accomplishment. Then last weekend I saw the movie. It was wonderful. The next day my husband returned home with the book. I will read it as soon as hefinishes. Everybody stood and applauded at the end of the movie. I was crying and had to compose myself before I walked out into the light. The first thing I said to my husband when we left was that I thought it was the best movie I had ever seen. After I saw the movie I read the article in the New Yorker where you describe your experience with CFS. It touched me as I have had similar experiences. I have also had CFS since 1987. Your writing style is superb. I can't wait to read the book. I hope you will continue to be a spokesman for CFS. As you well know there is not enough funding for research and the our illness has been given a bad rap by much of the medical community. You have become a celebrity and people listen to celebrities. Sincerely, Gail
Gail Ilse Mayberry <>
Carmichael, CA USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 03:53:18 (EDT)
I am an ophthalmologist. I just finished seeing the PBS show about Seabiscuit. The discription of Red Pollard's eye condition seems a bit off. If someone is hit in the occipital lobe causing damage to part of the lobe they develop what is called a hemianopsia. This is a situation where there is loss of vision in a particular field of gaze typically right or left sided from BOTH EYES. Hence Red Pollard may not have been "blind" from his right eye but may have had loss of vision from the right side in both eyes. Usually direct trauma to the eye or area around the eye will result in unilateral visual loss. On rare occasions distant trauma may affect one eye by causing the nerve of the eye to hit the adjacent bone. This is relatively uncommon. By the discription of the injury to Red Pollard's head I suspect he had a hemianopsia. (this is similar to what individuals with a stoke may experience.0 The occipital lobe's only function is visual. Hence damage to only the occipital lobe only results in visual loss.
Scott Grant <>
Ca USA - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 01:46:47 (EDT)
Isn't it interesting that 3 of the greatest jockeys of the time were from Alberta. Red, George and Longden. I just finished a book featuring a chapter on Max Bell. He was part owner of Tanforan which I was thrilled to see in the film. Max co-owned racehorses with Bing Crosby (his best friend) and Frank McMahon. Max bought his first horse from Johnny Longden and they remained lifelong friends. Max remained in Calgary, Alberta and Bing Crosby stabled his horses in a ranch just outside the city here. I know how difficult it is to have your work edited and I'm sure things were left out of the film but I hope that you were still pleased with the final result. You certainly had a dream cast to bring your story to life. Congratulations! My book will be Canada wide in 2 weeks, it is just back from the printers. I'm proud to have been able to include Max Bell in the book.
Susan Warrender <>
Calgary, Canada - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 at 00:22:31 (EDT)
Now I am even more impressed. I just watched a documentary about Seabiscuit on a PBS station (13) here in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex area. It proved that the movie/your book stuck very close to the facts of this great story of grit and determination. I am sure the movie was a little off-track at times because that's Hollywood. I still can't wait to read your book. The comments you made in the PBS show were revealing and it was nice to see you. Keep up the great work.
Jim Taylor <>
Richardson, TX USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 23:51:46 (EDT)
How did Seabisguit get his name?
Debra Hosmer <>
EL CAJON, ca USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 23:08:11 (EDT)
This wonderful book has forever changed my outlook on life. I wish I could get in a time machine and go back to that time to see this magnificent animal in person, overcoming impossible odds and inspiring a nation. His story gives me hope for all of those who are facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Thank you for giving us this story of hope, courage, and perseverance!
Mark McCauley <>
Fort Worth, TX USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 22:10:28 (EDT)
Hello Laura, I have been following your story ever since my sister sent me the Washington Post telling about your soon to be published book. She mailed the whole newspaper. Our dad grew up in California in foster homes during the depression and, of course, knows all about Seabiscuit from his youth. When you were profiled in the Smithsonian magazine last December, we all read the article even though we live in different cities. I have always loved horses, and bought the book as soon as it came out. The clerk was so excited about the book, he told us all about his family in Kentucky and how Seabiscuit would be a best seller. My son works for a movie theater so I can see all the movies I want for free, but because I have CFIDS too, I rarely watch movies at home, much less go out to see them. But after having your book read to me every night and hating for it to end, I had to go and see the movie when it opened 7/25, traveling 2 hours round trip. It was full house, with all the wheelchair spaces taken. People sniffled, cried, and applauded. The little girl sitting next to me was transfixed. I knew there would be a Randy Newman score, but didn't realize how atmospheric it would be. You could feel the tension of the audience during the race scenes, and they cheered after the races. At the end the audience applauded and many stayed to watch the full credits. I don't know why Gary Ross directed the movie, but he did such a superb job of telling the story of your book, and the character he wrote into the screenplay, Tick Tock (Macy), was fabulous. It almost seemed as if Pleasantville went back in time to a separate reality with artistic license. The film premiered in Atlanta at the Fox Theatre to benefit the RETT foundation so that must have been a swanky affair, but Kim Basinger showed up at the theater I went to in Athens. Incognito and beautiful. No one bothered her. Laura Hillenbrand, thank you for your grace and dedication to the beauty of a banged up life. When Red reads his poetry, its all poetry by people who were sickly and thus had time to examine their lives. Gary Ross, thank you for seeing Laura's vision and hearing the hoofbeats even before she finished. I know your autistic child is precious and your lens is the clearer and more sensitive for that. The horse of a different color has a huge heart. It takes a different trainer to see its future.
GA USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 21:32:11 (EDT)
Hi Laura, Read your wonderful book several times, and saw the movie opening night (first time in 52 years that I wanted to brave the crowds for a movie)!! My only disappointment with the movie is that they didn't bring out the wonderful personality of Seabiscuit!! I have my own thoroughbred (Bodacious Black) whose personality is unique (like most horses) and I was disappointed that the movie focused so much on the human players, that they lost the true essence of the story - - Seabiscuit!!! Without Seabiscuit, the other characters would have never happened. I loved the last words of the movie because it captured how I feel about my horse, and I think if the movie had focused a bit more on Seabiscuit, moviegoers would go away with a better sense of the relationship one can have with a horse!!! I loved the book - - you didn't miss a beat - - I just wish the movie had done more justice to the relationship between human and horse - - Seabiscuit, the ultimate HERO in this story!!
Kirsten Mulvey <>
San Diego, CA USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 20:08:00 (EDT)
Dear Laura, What an excellent book. I grew up loving Seabiscuit. I was in 4th grade when our class read the book "Come On Seabiscuit". I've been a fan ever since. And now I live on property that was once part of the Ridgewood Ranch, in Willits. I am friends with some of the people down there and am still taken away to fantasy land whenever I visit there. The movie is wonderful. They did a good job condencing your book to theatrical length. I have received some news clippings from family in Pasadena and one article showed a picture of "Seabiscuit's" hooves as an ashtray arrangement. I have never heard that they cut his hooves of and was wondering if you had. It just doesn't fit the picture of Mr. Howard and how much he cared for that horse. If anyone knows the answer please let me know. Thank you so much for this book and the renewed life it has brought back to this small town.
Roni McFadden <>
Willits, CA USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 19:55:35 (EDT)
I've read your book half a dozen times, I bought the cd version so I could listen to it on long drives. (It was great, but I had to set the cruise control so I would stop speeding during the race sequences.) Now I've seen the movie. Thank you a thousand times for bringing this story to light and showing the world what can happen when people listen with their hearts. It's really like a ray of light in the darkness.
Jared <Finehorseman>
New York, NY USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 19:30:12 (EDT)
Hi !!!!!Google
USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 19:18:54 (EDT)
Dear Laura. My husband bought me your book when it first came out but, for one reason or another, I finally just read it recently. I really enjoyed it. It is so well written that it just carries the reader along. Horses were a big part of my life for many years and I know how easy it is to love them. I've had CFIDS for 20 years, acutely at first, then able to work for many years, and now in the midst of a relapse/recurrence. I feel for you in your struggle and admire your perseverance. Thank you so much for speaking out on behalf of all of us. Sincerely, Jeanne
Jeanne M.
USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 19:14:29 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I have had CFS since August of '75. I am sorry but I haven't read your book. It is so hard for me to read and even remember what I did read. I am happy for your book's success yet I am sorry that you are not able to enjoy the success that healthy people would be able to. My heart goes out to you in your struggle with CFS and I hope that one day all of us PWC's (People With CFS)will be able to live a normal life. Thanks for sharing your struggle with CFS with the world. We have never had a famous person who could speak for us and maybe this will help some people realize what PWC's face. Robert
Robert Harrington <>
Calera, OK USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 18:52:59 (EDT)
I saw the movie yesterday, and I really enjoyed the story of the three men and the little horse that could! I can't wait to buy and read the book:) Thanks for telling this great story!
Robin <>
Detroit, MI USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 18:47:48 (EDT)
Seabiscuit was a great horse. I read the book and its just as great as he was. I'm going to see the movie tonight and can hardly wait! If anyone wrote less about him he would be disgraced.
Susan Munson <>
Ashaway, RI USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 18:32:58 (EDT)
Hi, I just wanted to say keep up the awesome work. Seabiscuit is an awesome Movie, everyone should go and see it. Seabiscuit is the best darn horse their was on this Planet and still is. well thank you for listening to what i had to say. Sincerely Mark
Mark Stout <>
Seattle , Wa USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 18:28:52 (EDT)
Hi, I just wanted to say keep up the awesome work. Seabiscuit is an awesome Movie, everyone should go and see it. Seabiscuit is the best darn horse their was on this Planet and still is. well thank you for listening to waht i had to say. Sincerely Mark
Mark Stout <>
Seattle , Wa USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 18:27:56 (EDT)
Just saw the movie! I'm so impressed with Seabiscuit and the people who had a part in helping him become the great champion to the underdog. An inspiration to us all!
Dee Bryson <>
McMinnville, OR USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 18:24:28 (EDT)
Thank you so very much for your inspiring story of such a magnificant horse and the people who surrounded him.Their lives have touched me deeply, and I will never forget them.They all personify the word "Heart".
Jay Taylor <>
Sacramento, CA USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 18:20:48 (EDT)
For your CFIDS, I suggest becoming a member of a foundation that supports CFIDS Research if we are ever going to find a cure for this disease. See Al
CA USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 17:37:37 (EDT)
SIERRA MADRE, CA USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 17:26:09 (EDT)
Hi Laura,I'm sure the many messages prior to this one have put it more eloquently, more completely. I can't add anything other than to say thank you so, so much for bringing the story of this incredible gift of a horse and the people who loved him to our attention. What a horse! What a story! And what a writer you are -- tremendous ability. Horses in general, but racing horses especially, thrill me (I tear at the first notes of "My Old Kentucky Home" on Derby Day, when they're coming down a backstretch, when that first one pounds ahead to cross a finish line). And, of course, I go to mush quickly over watching or reading or talking about anything having to do with Seabiscuit. (Yes, it's a problem, I realize!) Thank you again; my husband, who read the book first, also loved it and adds his thank you, too. With great appreciation for your enormous efforts to bring Seabiscuit to life once again -- Sue Khan
Sue Khan <>
West Des Moines, IA USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 16:56:45 (EDT)
Laura, You have inspired me to keep on going, I have been in pain and dealing with fatigue and depression for over a year now. I was laid off my job and have not been interviewed for a job since then. My Grandfather built many race tracks, I have ridden horses all my life and had to sell my most recent horse because I had no money to support him. I had an idea to write a book about re training the OTTTB and had shelved it until I felt inspired to write again. Well, when I learned you had CFS I was shocked! I am still in the diagnosis stages but it has been narrowed down to either CFS or Lupus. One more test and then I think we will have an answer, but I can't be sure what the doctor will say. I have started a TB history page on my website that I encourage you to check out. is the home page. When I read about your health, I no longer felt alone in my battle against fatigue-pain and depression. If you could do it - perhaps so can I??? I don't know of any other way of contacting you but I do hope to hear from you. Kind regards, MaryLea
MaryLea <>
San Jose, CA USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 16:54:56 (EDT)
I saw the movie. I loved it. I recommend it to everyone. Very inspiring.
USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 16:49:07 (EDT)
Every since reading Margaurite Henry's "Come On, Seabiscuit" in 1970, I have loved the story of Seabiscuit, Red Pollard, Tom Smith and Charles Howard. For anyone who has not read it, I highly recommend it as a short book (written for children/adolescents) that captures the wonder of this story. And now we have your extraordinary book. The depth of your research and your vivid, rigorous, heartfelt writing so exquisitely brings their stories to life. The movie is okay, but it just doesn't have the depth of your book--just one example: unless they read your book, people who only see the movie will never know what George Wolf saw and felt at the moment he knew Seabiscuit would win his race against War Admiral--it was one of many times that I cried while reading your book. I treasure your book--thank you, thank you, thank you.
Roxie Newberry
West Shokan, NY USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 16:48:14 (EDT)
ANAHEIM, CA USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 16:47:10 (EDT)
Wonderful book, reread it again and did notice a editing glitch on page 114 regarding the "tempermental" rails shouldn't this be temporary. Your research and documentation was extraordinary. Are you thinking of a new project? I can't see where the movie could do justice to your story but I am compelled to see it anyway. Thank you for bringing this period of history to your reading public.
Mike Yothers <>
Edmonds, WA USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 16:39:18 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, just had to tell you how much I enjoyed your book. You have a talent for description that is lacking in most writers. My favorite example of this is on p.142 (Chap. on War Admiral) ... It was just the look of him. Even at a standstill, he was a glittering thing. He was the picture of exquisite, streamlined elegance, light and fine and quick. He moved like a bird: flickering, darting and fluttering... And then, in the next paragraph, in contrast to that perfect description, came the simple statement : The foal grew up and Riddle named him War Admiral. How effective that was!!!!
Gwendolyn Meade <>
Pearland, Tx USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 16:20:57 (EDT)
Dear Laura Hillenbrand, Thanks for a wonderful book, a beautiful job. So many great horses to write about. Do you like Kelso? Harold Jewell
Harold Jewell <harold@sports.rochester>
Rochester, NY USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 14:56:41 (EDT)
Dear Laura: I loved your book - it opened a whole new world that I'd known nothing about. Once I started it, I couldn't put it down. It's a wonderful book, and on so many levels. I saw the film yesterday and really admire it; the cast is exceptional, and the film gives such a good picture of those times in America. Now I want to read the book again! I hope filmgoers who hadn't read the book will do so, because the book provides so much richness and depth. Thanks a million for sharing Seabiscuit's story with us!
Karen Ketchaver <>
Cleveland, OH USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 14:07:03 (EDT)
Hi Laura, When I was 7 years old my Grandfather told me the story of a wonderfull horse called Seabiscuit. Every now and than I'd would find articles on his life. Who would think 43 years later I would find your book walking through Barnes and Noble store on a Saturday afternoon. The book made you feel like you were right in that peiod of time and also in the race. I just came back from seeing the movie "Seabiscuit" and it was outstanding! Everything I expected it to be. People stoodup and applauded when it was over. It was so good to see a movie that has some substance to it. I pray that it gets a oscar for best picture. Jeff Bridges was made for the part of Mr. Howard. Toby McGruire did a great job of playing Red. Gary Ross should get award for Best Director. I know that your have CFS and I can't tell how much your book has meant to me. It gives everyone hope. That's the best gift you can give someone. All your hardwork have made you an outstanding author. I have one question that you may answer. How did Seabiscuit get his name? Please keep in touch. Barb
Barbara Nelson <>
St. Louis , MN USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 13:35:23 (EDT)
Dear Laura, My grandfather, Murray Tynan was a sports writer for the New York Herald Tribune in the 30's and 40's covering horse racing. He wrote about Seabiscuit and I was wondering if you were able to acquire any these columns for research on your book? My family has been trying to find these columns for years as my grandfather passed away soon after in his early 40's from a heart attack. If you know where we might be able to get copies of his columns, especially the column he wrote about the match race with War Admiral, I would really appreciate it. Thanks, Virgina from Saratoga Springs
Virginia Tynan Leone <>
Saratoga Springs, NY USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 13:34:54 (EDT)
saw the movie last night--and finally --a great movie--what a great story. read parts of your books--fantastic--from everyone---thanks for bringing SEABISCUIT back to us!!!
david e. concino <>
york, pa USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 13:20:15 (EDT)
Hi Laura: I'm so happy the way the movie turned out. In April, 2002, I read the book and have been "hooked" ever since. You and Gary Ross did a great job of converting this story to the screen. Thank you for writing a beautiful book and keep well so you can write another one. (I have the collector's edition and the PBS video...cannot get enough)
Sandy O'Connor <>
Irvine, CA USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 12:59:17 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Thank you for writing such a heartwarming book. I produce Travel Radio International. This week's program is about Seabiscuit from Ridgewood Ranch, our production studio is about a 45 minute drive from there. Star Decker, the 'Audio Journalist' on this program rides there often. I hope to myself next week. Would you be interested in hearing our 1/2 hour program on CD? Travel Radio International is heard all around the world, on American Forces Radio, public radio stations and radio reading services for the blind. I saw the movie last night. I was very unhappy. They should call it something else, it's not about Seabiscuit. After the movie and when the applause died down, because of course they were thinking it was based on truth, I walked out making this statement. "If you want to find out the truth about Seabiscuit, read Laura Hillenbrand's book. This isn't" CD's of Travel Radio International's Audio Journey of Ridgewood Ranch and the real Seabiscuit Story are available. Thank you, Patricia
Patricia Lawrence <>
Mendocino, CA USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 12:56:37 (EDT)
Dear Laura: I read your beautiful book in April 2002, and was so "hooked" on this story. The movie was wonderful and Gary Ross and you did a great job of converting the story to the screen. I yelled out during the match race and I knew what was going to happen. I hope it does well at the box office so more people will read the book...which is certainly not suffering on the best seller list. Thank you for writing this!!! Keep need to write more.
Sandy O'Connor <>
Irvine, CA USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 12:48:21 (EDT)
Laura I saw the movie this weekend, and want to read the book. Is there anyway I can get a signed copy of the collector's edition? Thanks for writing a story that will never be forgotten. Anne
Anne Avery <>
Oklahoma City, OK USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 12:40:10 (EDT)
Thank you so much for your wonderful book. My husband and I both read it and look forward to the movie. Thanks also for being open and candid about your life with CFIDS. I also suffer from CFIDS and have an idea of what you had to endure to write this magnificent story. I pray that you will have the strength to write the new book that is inside you, waiting to get out!
Betty Volkart <>
Columbia, MO USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 12:34:15 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I can't tell you when I have enjoyed a book more than I have Seabiscuit. The way you wove the story - bringing the story of the owner, trainer, jockey and of Seabiscuit himself...You drew me into these peoples lives to the point where I felt like I was a member of the family. As I read the accounts of the races, it felt as if I were standing beside the track. I could feel the pounding of the hooves, feel the dirt being flung into my hair as the horses flew around the track and hear the rustle of the silks the jockeys wear. As the book came to its end and the stories of the characters came to a close, I cried. I just didn't want this book to end. Now I can't wait to see the movie. Thank you so much for bringing Seabiscuit's story to life. It was truly a labor of love and I look forward to reading more from you.
Lisa Shuping <>
Claremont, NC USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 12:30:28 (EDT)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, What a beautifully written book. I was particularly interested in the material concerning Santa Anita, because Hugh Blue was my grandfather. Was he also, perhaps, the unnamed racing secretary who kept loading Seabiscuit with excessive weight? Hanging out with him in the Turf Club are some of my fondest memories of childhood. Thanks for bringing them back and giving me a an exceptional reading experience. Best wishes, Dugald Stermer
Dugald Stermer <>
San Francisco, CA USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 12:09:41 (EDT)
Read the book long ago and have been waiting for the movie. We saw it on Saturday night - I loved it - was I the only one crying? A very moving and inspiring story. Thank you.
Ann <>
Edina, MN USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 12:07:39 (EDT)
I saw the movie over the weekend and loved it! Now, I’m going to read your book....Since books are usually better than the movies based on them, I wanted to see the movie first, to avoid being disappointed. There are a couple of questions that I have about the movie. First, I would like to know if Red Pollard ever had any contact with his family after they abandoned him? Also, what was the purpose of the scene with the prostitute? Was it supposed to show how Red's past had prevented him from having loving relationships? Finally, did Red ever marry or have children? If you could take the time to respond, I would greatly appreciate it! It’s wonderful that Seabiscuit’s story has been kept alive and remains an inspiration. Greatly because of your book, which generated the movie, Seabiscuit continues to bring joy to people’s lives. Thank you for helping make this possible. I look forward to reading your book and know I will love it! P.S. Unless I missed it, I didn’t see any credits given to the many horses that played Seabiscuit in the movie. Most of the time, animals in starring roles have their names listed in the credits. I wish their hard work had been acknowledged in that way!
Kimberly Sears <>
Nashville, TN USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 11:39:33 (EDT)
Laura, While reading Seabiscuit at work (lunch hour of course) I cursed out loud when Pollard broke his leg. Fortunately no one was present to laugh at me. I smiled to learn about a jockey named Stout and the reference to the old Butte, MT track. Thanks. Matt Stout Butte, Montana
Matt Stout <>
Butte, MT USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 11:11:01 (EDT)
THANK YOU THANK YOU, Such a beautiful beatiful story. We need more of this in our country now. So much spirit hope and love, where has it gone. God bless you.
Marilyn <>
USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 10:51:38 (EDT)
My wife, Francine, & I just saw the movie. It was MUCH better than I thought it would be. (We're not into horse racing.) We loved the human interest stories, though. We do have a question for you though: Did John Red Pollard ever see his family again? I'm talking about Edie, etc. I've already discovered on the internet that he married Agnes Conlon & had a daughter Norah Patty Pollard Christianson and a son named John.
Bohdan Klymkiw <>
Toronto, Ontario Canada - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 09:57:33 (EDT)
Hi Laura--Saw the movie on Saturday and loved it but didn't see the purpose of the scene with the prostitute. Want to go see it again! Have had your book for a month now and have been fighting reading it because I wanted to give the movie a fair, unbiased critique. (Joel Segal said the same thing on GMA). Now I can dive into the book headfirst!! Thank you for such a great story and for getting younger readers interested. All the best--take care of YOU.
Tay C. Satterfield
Kemah, TX USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 09:56:29 (EDT)
Saw "Seabiscuit" last night. I thought it was fantastic. I've been to the site that offers the radio commentary for the races and I see that the final race shown at Santa Anita was not quite accurate, but it made for one heck of an ending. Thank you for your considerable talent. I'm going to get your book today and read it. When Seabiscuit won that particular race the audience in the theater applauded. And some wiped away tears. OK, so that was me! But, I'm sure others did, too.
Cocoa, FL USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 09:25:54 (EDT)
My wife,daughter,and I saw the movie last night and enjoyed it very much. I would like to know after Seabisquits racing days, how long did he live and just how did he die? Would you be so kind as to tell me. My mother-in-law told me he had to be shot! I don't listen to most of what she says, for she has a dark side to her. Please let me know if you can. Thanks, and thank you for such a great story. Jean
jean fitter <>
sanford, nc USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 08:37:59 (EDT)
Read the book, loved it. Saw the movie tonight, and thought it was really long and boring. The book had 100 times more dramatic tension. Plus, the movie was pretty much fiction and had little to do with reality. The cheesy way the final Santa Anita race was filmed really annoyed me.
ETC <>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 06:54:27 (EDT)
I justed saw the movie Saturday night and loved it!!!! This is the best movie I have seen in a long time. Academy awards will be coming your way for sure. I bought the book today, Sunday, and can't wait to get started reading it. Thank you soooooooo much for adding fantastic true story for our growth and entertainment.
Lynn <>
Los Alamitos, CA USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 04:31:03 (EDT)
What a coincidence to finish the book the same weekend the movie started playing in the states... Just wait and see if it comes to Europe. You've done a very good job in telling a story about a branch of horse-sports not very common over here, I just couldn't put the book away. I guess the way you described the peculiar things about Seabiscuit attracks any horselover, not just the racehorse fans. Fantastic!
Laura <>
Rijsenhout, The Netherlands - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 03:45:37 (EDT)
Hello! My name is Louise Belle, I am 14, and I just watched the movie 'Seabicuit' on Friday, the day it came out. I never knew of this story, and I suppose the trailers influenced me into watching it... I not only loved the movie, I was really captured in the story, in the hearts of the people and the horse which really gave this nation something to look forward to, when depression struck. Immediately after I watched the movie and got home, I researched the internet for Seabicuit, and I found that the movie was based your book 'Seabiscuit: An American Legend'. The next day, I went to the library, in hopes that your book was there, and all of them had been borrowed! I really do plan to read your book, considering all of the wonderful comments about them here. I made my dad promise to take me to Santa Anita track so I could see the statue of Seabiscuit....I hope more and more people could obtain knowledge about this 'underdog'....-louise belle
Louise Belle de Leon <>
USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 02:35:48 (EDT)
I LOVED the book and saw the movie today. You are an exceptionally skilled writer. I have recommended the book to everyone---even my non-horsey friends! Congratulations on a fine contribution to the history of horse racing and the little horse that could. Best wishes, Gloria
Gloria <>
Jackon Hole, WY USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 02:19:05 (EDT)
I just saw the movie, 'Seabiscuit' today - it's an excellent movie! It's actually the best movie since Titanic. I'm dying to read your book! Thanks!!
NM USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 01:12:23 (EDT)
I just saw the movie, 'Seabiscuit' today - it's an excellent movie! It's actually the best movie since Titanic. I'm dying to read your book! Thanks!!
NM USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 01:12:08 (EDT)
I spent three hours in a resturant today finishing reading this book. I cannot believe how you have created a book that makes one feel like they are on the track with the horse and jockey. I was hoping that no one would call 911 because I was crying so hard. Thank you for great literature. It must have been an incredible ordeal to have done so much great research into such an incredible time in history. I have not been so moved by a literary work in many years. You surely are someone special. Thank you, Jerry
Jerry Frazier <>
Boulder, CO USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 00:29:50 (EDT)
Dear Laura: I hope you are well. Congratulations on getting the movie of SEABISCUIT made. Having spent 8 long years in LA, I know how difficult that it. I'm glad it's not a bad movie. I wish it were a better one. It so totally lacks the grace or your splendid writing and I missed the wonderful personality of the Biscuit himself. The poor horse didn't even get a credit! I hope a lot of people see it and are encouraged to read your book. After all, it's only the #1 best selling paperback for an year or so, and it should beat Harry Potter! MwM
Marshall W. Mason <>
Mesa, AZ USA - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 00:09:05 (EDT)
Saw the movie tonight, wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Had to comment about the China used in the dinner scenes, I have the exact set given to me after my grandmother passed, What a fantastic message, cannot wait to read the book
Laura Drury <>
coloradosprings, co USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 23:59:13 (EDT) is amazing to me how critics can say there is too much emphasis on the underdog theme when your fabulous book was converted to mass audience Hollywood. Is this not what made our country great! anyway..I am very interested in the earnest mr. pollard. I have not been able to find much on him post seabiscuit. Do you have any info? how much contact did he have with his family? How about charles Howards first wife? any sites or info would help satisfy a yearnig for completion! Thank you and thank you for your dedication to great truth's!
judi marchand <>
sugarland, tx USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 23:56:19 (EDT)
I just wanted to thank you for your absolutely amazing book - you have a rare talent to immerse your readers into worlds they have never even imagined.
Marianne Soucy <>
Hooksett, NH USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 23:38:38 (EDT)
It has been a long time since I sat in a movie theater and when the story finished the audience broke into applause. I was overcome with emotion as were the majority of the viewers. What a great movie. I can hardly wait to read the book.
USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 23:31:47 (EDT)
Would you consider screening this beautiful film in a hospital rehabilitation unit. I have a friend recovering from a crushed hip who I know would be inspired by this film. I bought her the book on tape, but it may be months before she can get through the audio book. I am sure that countless people recovering from debilitating injuries would find amazing strength in your presentation of the characters and story. Thank you for your consideration.
Sharon Klimback <>
Boise, Id USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 23:12:22 (EDT)
Miss Laura, Words cannot express what an honor it is for me to even write this. I knew nothing of "Seabiscuit" before reading your masterpiece. I was told that I had to read the book before seeing the movie and I pass this same advice along to anyone and everyone out there. I thought an excellent job was done on the movie, but it was your hard work and dedication on this project that made the movie what it is. From one Throughbred racing fan to another, again I say Thank You and Thank God for your talent. The only regret that I have is that "Seabiscuit" was before my time. What an honor and privelage it must have been to see him. Thanks Laura. Keep up the good work. Jeff Tew
Jeff Tew <>
Brandon, MS USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 22:59:49 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I have thoughly enjoyed your book on Seabiscuit. We have just finished seeing the movie, but like the book better, but it was all great! I have picture of my relative, standing beside his P-51 Mustang during WW2 and his plane was named "Sea Biscuit". He was a ranch boy and I'm sure he had a love for the race horse "Seabiscuit". Unfortunaly he was killed just before the war was over. If for some reason or another you would like to have a copy of the picture, I will send you one. Sincerely, SR Rogers
Street Rogers <>
Fort Hancock, TX USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 22:49:41 (EDT)
The book is great, the health problems.. Go to a possible help for your health problems--please continue your writing.
Joyce <>
St.Paul, Mn. USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 22:48:00 (EDT)
Hi, Just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed the story of Seabiscuit. We saw the movie on Friday when it opened and brought our kids (17 & 20 yrs old, you have no idea how hard it is to have them fit a movie in with mom and dad these days) back to see it again on Sunday. We loved it just as much if not more the second time around and will get the book & CD tomorrow! It truly has many messages for living life and being persistent in what you do and what you do with your life. Thanks again to everyone for all of your efforts with bringing this story out to America. My son just got promoted as a team leader and was looking for some inspiration for his new team. He has a team of Seabiscuits and I can't wait to see how he does in the future after seeing this movie.
Jerry & Debbie Lucas <>
Orlando, FL USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 22:38:09 (EDT)
This is a wonderful story. My husband and I loved the movie and will be anxious to read the book also. We were disappointed in one aspect of the movie, however. This is a movie we would have loved to share with our grandchildren who are aged 9 through 15. However, the inclusion of the scene with the prostitute makes in inappropriate for them. This scene added nothing to the story and we feel it was included just so the movie could receive a PG-13 rating and possibly attract a larger audience. Because of this, a wonderful story is denied for older children who would enjoy the movie and be able to appreciate the message of the story.
Virginia Kickle <>
Mt Zion, IL USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 22:24:52 (EDT)
This story inspires such hope in a world of very little.
Tx USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 22:20:09 (EDT)
I just read your story in the 7/7 issue of New York Magazine. I know that you have gone through may doctors and treatments for CFS. But you might want to try one more. My gyn and nutritionest specializes in cases like yours. Actually, that's how I found her many years ago. My friend was seeing a therapist with CFS and the therapist was going to a doctor's assistant who was the only one who had helped her at all in all the years she had suffered from the disease. I was suffering from many things including chronic yeast infections, vitamin deficiency, binge eating among other things. Corinne was the only person who listened to me, credited me with actually having a problem, and helped me through a very tough time. she has helped me through other problems over the last 14 years. It might be worth seeing her just to talk. Her name is Corinne Furnari. 212 477-0405. She's on 23rd St in New York. If you decide to see her say I recommened her. My name is Leslie Rutkin. I live in NY on E 30th St. and 2nd Ave. Corinne is now treating my sister. I can't say enough about her. I hope you are well. Please let me know if you see her.
leslie Rutkin <>
new york, ny USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 21:58:15 (EDT)
What a wonderful story.
Raymond Williams <>
USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 21:54:05 (EDT)
Wonderful movie, even better book! I urge you to use the popularity of this wonderful story in helping end horse slaughter. All horses deserve a happy ending!
Barbara Reeves <>
AR USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 21:52:17 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Congratulations for writing SEABISCUIT AN AMERICAN LEGEND. Your book is an excellent presentaion of everything that is right with America and the opportunity it offers. I have read many important books regarding life in American and yours is among the best. An important aspect of your book, which makes it unique, is the objectivity of your presentation of the events. One of the best ways to teach my grandchildren is to have them read good books. I have endeavored to do that by giving them a collection of books they can learn from and enjoy. Your book will be an excellent addition to the collection. If you would be kind enough to inform me how I could arrange to have you inscribe some copies of your book for my grandchildren I would appreciate it. Thank you for writing such a fine book. Kindest regards, John Brainard
John E. Brainard <>
New Canaan, CT USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 21:09:38 (EDT)
Like so many others, I found your book to be probably the best I have ever read. I hope your health will allow you to write many more. "You have a gift". Thank you.
norm solberg <>
minneapolis, mn USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 21:06:13 (EDT)
After reading Laura Hillenbrand's exquisite book, I was positive no film could do it justice. There was just too much to the story. Having had the honor of reading beforehand, however, allowed me to fully enjoy the movie all that much more. Thank you all.
FM Lorenz <>
San Juan Capistrano, CA USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 20:53:15 (EDT)
I read this story when I was in the 8th grade and have held it dear to my heart since then. I have told my children, now grown, about Seabiscuit and when ebay arrived I got all of them their own copies of Come On Seabiscuit. I even bought copies for my nephews. All because the story is true and magnificent and inspiring. And I thank you for digging for the whole story and sharing it with all of us.
C Killingsworth <>
N. Little Rock, AR USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 20:28:38 (EDT)
Hi, Laura. Long time, never see. It seems you've become quite the international sensation. I shall try to make time to read your book and see your movie. I'd love t hear from you; sorry I've not stayed in touch. Say, see if you can get a copy of a screenplay for a live-action "Speed Racer" movie. I used to have a copy but I lost it. I'm in B-Town at 346-2651 or Congrats on your work. -Tony Acquaviva
Tony Acquaviva <>
B-town, USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 20:19:45 (EDT)
Just saw the movie and loved it. I plan on getting the book.I found myself wanting to learn more about that era. Thank you
mary kay <>
fontana, ca USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 19:51:11 (EDT)
Thank you so much for a wonderful book! I am so glad that I have had a chance to know the story of Seabiscuit, Red, Tom, the Howards, George, and all the rest of the compelling characters involved. It makes me rather envious that I have never had experience with horses. Thank you again, and I wish you the best of everything.
Liz Zegadlo <>
IL USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 19:13:00 (EDT)
i just saw the movie and its very touching. i like what you are doing by taking time out of your day and writing about this GREAT legend. you and everyone else who made this happen should be very proud of your selves
ewing, NJ USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 18:49:56 (EDT)
Have watched the interest grow in your book at my job (library) since it came out and now the movie. I think it's just marvelous to know that hard work and perseverence in the face of adversity probably brought you more than you bargained for!! Good for you!! I have worked in the Thoroughbred industry in one form or another for many years, and can say in all sincerity it's nice to see the industry itself as well as the bond between the horse and his people portrayed accurately. Seabiscuit helped everyone put all the pieces of their lives back together again to become a huge story--a sum greater than all of its parts. Thanks, Ms. Hillebrand, for giving us a great gift.
mary s <>
lexington, ky USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 18:35:56 (EDT)
Dear Laura: Your guestbook is replete with lavish praise for your wonderful book and great admiration for your courage, dedication and sheer literary genius. I wish I had the eloquence to add some comments of my own that would be at least as impressive. Let me just say that I agree with your many fans...and then some! I also agree that the movie "Seabiscuit", while very exciting and entertaining, does not do full justice to your masterpiece. I would surely like to know how much input you had with regard to the screenplay. I know it is not possible to put everything into a 2-hour movie and I suppose the film is as good as it could be, but we lovers of the book are just a wee bit disappointed. I have another reason for this entry in your guestbook: I am hoping that you or some of the contributors who are familiar with your family background can tell me if you are related to the illustrious Hillenbrand family (The Hllenbrand Industries) from Batesville, Indiana. I understand that William Hillenbrand, youngest son of John W., has a daughter, Lauren or Laura. Could that be you? I ask because you bear a striking resemblance to the girl in that family who would be your Aunt Mitzi. In my youth I used to lifeguard for Mitzi and her Girl Scout friends at the family's JAWACDAH Farms resort. I would just get a kick out of knowing that a family from my old home town produced such a successful literary talent! If so, they must be very proud, indeed.
John Bigham <>
Bradenton, FL USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 18:26:41 (EDT)
I found your website by accident. I read your book and loved it. I am a stable girl in England so I can relate to what you wrote. Can't wait for the film to come to England, any idea when that will be?? Love the website too.
Annie <>
York, USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 18:15:38 (EDT)
Loved the book. I have a copy of a photo taken on Sept. 23, 1952 at the Goff's Bloodstock Sales in Dublin ,Ireland with myself and Johnny Longden. Would you like a copy? Best wishes, Ron Barnett
Ronald Barnett <>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 17:45:02 (EDT)
I loved the Flash in the introduction. I myself use swhish to do my flash. Cool site Great job.
USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 17:43:06 (EDT)
I am contacting you about Fibromyalgia,CFS and all the oyher things they call it. I have found a treatment that works,not drugs,not herbs,nor execises. This is an electrical stimulator(not a TENS unit)and does not hurt. This has worked on all the people tried for the last 2 years(over 200). It removes all the symptoms of fibro over a short period of time and is safe. If you e-mail back,I will send all the information I have compiled to your return address. I have filed for patent and contracted w/ the Norwich Clinical Research Lab to take this to the FDA for approval,which I am assured by Norwich will happen. It is easy for me to find people w/ this condition since they are everywhere but the scepticism is rampant.I will prevail however.You must have prevailed to be able to write a book while suffering from "fibro fog" (whoever coined that term). Whatever you decide is ok w/ me there are so many that I sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed and want to help all of them and get impatient that htings take so long(try working the FDA). BEST OF LUCK, Sincerely Vince Osrud Founder Fibro-Fix Vestal, New York 13850
vince osrud <>
vestal, NewYork USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 16:59:31 (EDT)
I presume that this will never get to you or never get read or dismissed as a prank or whatever but my father, Allen (Gallant)Fox was a reporter for the Daily Racing Tab in New York from 1935 to 1940. He is probably one of the few people alive today who witnessed what you wrote about first hand. Too bad no one knew he was still alive because he would have been a great source of information for you. Today at 90 years old he is still as sharp as a tack and remembers every little detail like it was yesterday. He is very modest but I wanted to to know.
Roger B. Fox <>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 16:56:07 (EDT)
After reading Seabiscuit, I felt like I had traveled back in time to an era where horse racing was more than just a sport- it was life. While reading your novel I became engrossed by it and torn between wanting to never put it down, and yet never wanting to finish it because that would mean that it was over. I loved every minute of it and I marvel at how wonderfully you put it together. I loved how you told of each character's story and introducing them to each other without losing speed. There was no faltering. I am amazed at how you were able to include so much detail and compare it to today's racing world without taking the story out of context. I appreciate you showing what jockey's really went through (and still do) to try and make weight, and how detrimental it is to their health. While reading Seabiscuit, I lived and breathed him. I dreamt about him and Pollard and Woolf and Tom and Charles and Marcela and the whole gang. Now having finished the novel I am ready to watch the movie, but I have a feeling it will by no means compare to your novel. Ever since I was little I have always wanted to be a jockey, but where I live at there is no way. Now I am 18 and I'm about to move to Florida and try to get involved in any way I can. I was in powerlifting and now my wieght is up to 120, but I'm going to try to wittle my wieght down to where I can at least be able to be a lighter exercise rider. I wanted to talk to u more about all your findings that u listed in the acknowledgement section of your book. I would love for u to tell me of what it took to write this book and about all the people you met. Please email me-it would me the world to me. If for any reason you can't get to me, try my other email address at I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Crystal.
Crystal <>
Alvord, TX USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 16:52:16 (EDT)
As a licensed public Thoroughbred trainer, I can only say you have a heart as big as Seabiscut's for bringing this story to the world. Having trained a horse that EVERYONE said would never break his Maiden (he ended up winning 4 races and is now retired on our farm) I know the melding of spirit between the human and the creature.
M.H. <>
Chesapeake City, Md USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 16:40:53 (EDT)
I saw the movie "Seabiscuit" yesterday, 7/26/03 and was thrilled and felt like I was there with them. What extraordinary life experiences surrounded these people and Seabiscuit with such heart and how they fought back together and never gave up. I haven't read your book, but after reading the comments on your guest book I feel I must. I have always love horses and read every book about them as a child/young girl, when I could find them, also drew pictures of them quite well. At one time I wanted to raise them, but circumstances in my life did not allow that. I saw the old movie back in the early '50s and loved it then. Thank you for making a difference. On the negative side, I didn't like the sex scene or the foul language and the taking of the Lord's name in vain, this wasn't necessary. I pray to God that you will get better from your illness, and continue your writing career God willing, in Jesus Christ's name. I have a friend who has a similiar illness for years and still working on it. God bless you and yours, Kathie E
Kathie E <>
West Palm Beach, Fl USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 16:08:59 (EDT)
Dear Mrs. Hillenbrand - saw the movie at 3:40 PM Friday, bought the book at 6:00 pm - been reading it since Friday night - Thanks you so much - what a heart warming story and you make it so interesting - what was it that even got you thinking about writing this story - its absolutely amazing. I've seen the interviews, know how hard it was for you to write this book. I had never heard of it before the 2 week lead up to the movie. I've never seen a movie and then walked right into a bookstore to get the book. You have incredible talent. Thank you so much for bringing us this story. Lynn B. Skilling
Lynn B. Skilling
Toronto, Ontario, Canada - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 14:50:20 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, My wife, Holle, and I live on the West Texas High Plains and have been thrilled to read such a wonderous and uplifting book as is yours about Seabiscuit. Just by happenstance, the other night we were watching the Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn classic movie "Woman of the Year" (1940). To our astonishment and thrill, Tracy's character makes reference to Seabiscuit in the dialogue at the 1 hr, 48 minute mark. Paraphrased here, he declares that for his wife (played by Hepburn) to change course in midstream and alter her ambitions, is "like asking Seabiscuit to stop in the middle of a strech run in a race and drink a glass of water." What is interesting to us, is that this provides further evidence of what you point out in your book: that Seabsicuit attained amazing stature as the highpoint personality of the late 30's and early 40's, emblazoned irrevocably on the imaginations of Americans everywhere, leaving his imprint as the cultural icon of his time, marking even the dialogue of characters played by the Hollywood signature film stars of his day. We are so pleased that by bringing the story of Seabiscuit back to life for another stretch run in the 21st century, you have restored the concept of nobility and humanity in the literary arts and hence brought it back to the fore in the cultural landscape and minds of Americans everywhere. We cannot help but think that in a world much jaded by the cynicism of the Postmodern era, and overrun with recession, adn depressed by war in remote Irag and now Liberia, that with your eloquent tale of Seabiscuit, you have breathed life once again into the somnolent American Dream. Sincerely, Tai Kreidler (& Holle Humphries)
Tai Kreidler <>
Lubbock, TX USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 14:09:42 (EDT)
Thank you for a wonderful read. Having been an owner of several racehorses over many years,your book & the movie brought back many fond memories of racing as well as the obstacles of life.Horses are very proud & noble creatures. Thank you for bringing the personality of Seabiscuit to life. Jim Furgason
Jim Furgason <>
Cave Creek, AZ USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 14:08:06 (EDT)
I saw the movie yesterday. The race scenes almost made me want to run up and down the aisles. Was the movie derived from your book? Looks like SEABISCUIT's horse-sense is going to make someone a lot of "horse cents." Never the less, the movie was great and I can't wait to get the book. Was there a second match race?
Jim Taylor <>
Richardson, TX USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 13:57:12 (EDT)
Dear Laura! BRAVO! I just saw the movie Sea Biscuit yesterday in a little old Antique Theatre here in Bozeman, MT..It may be the best movie I've ever seen! Definately Academy Award contender, in every catagory!I must read your book immediately! I have been tracking your progress, because I am also aflicted with CFIDS, for 12 years now. But grew up in the Bay Area. The movie made me laugh, and cry (hard) and gave me goose bumps all over..WOW..I am also a horse lover and previous horse owner in my youth, who had MANY physical injuries, none of which could keep me off my horse! And he was hit by a car, and everyone wanted him to be put down, or taken away from me etc, but I wouldn't have it!....I loved when Toby McGuire & Sea Biscuit healed together...mustn't we all??? Congratulations on your tremendous success, with unsurmountable truely are an inspiration to us all! And having a 'famous' person talk about their battle with CFIDS is so important to us all, as you know! THANK-YOU! And may God bless you further with complete and utter healing of this troubling, perplexing & merciless disease! Nancy McCampbell
Nancy McCampbell <>
Bozeman, MT USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 13:02:00 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hilldenbrand, I have just started to read your book and immediately I became emotional. I was born in San Francisco and my father was a professional football player in the 1940's for the 49er's. He was addicted to the horse races and I remeber going to Golden Gate Fields as a little girl and getting to sit on his shoulders while I watched the horses come around the track. My father was entered into the Prep Hall of Fame in 1986, and he and his father had an upholstery business in San Francisco. For a short time my father (Nathan Howard) worked for the day he came across some papers stacked in plastic and were molding.....he was told to throw them out but instead, was told he could have them. These papers are dated May 5, 1906 and are the original first EXTRA released after the Original Newspaper building burnt down due to the earthquake. I would like to send you one. I still have horses, and last year I donated my quaterhorse stud "Joey" to Wash. State University. He was born with a crippling disease whose origin is unknown. I have written his story (it is very short) but I would like to send it to is only about 8 pages...(it was for an english assignment for college) it was the hardest thing to leave him is called " A Color Called Roan". I am sure I will find your SeaBiscuit story very emotional since it touches many memories for me. I wish my dad could have gone to the movie with me, he was a huge moviegoer....he passed away in 1989. Thank You Lisa
Lisa Howard <>
Yakima, WA USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 11:43:17 (EDT)
Laura, the movie was wonderful and different, should be there at oscar time. How about the ten dollars he borrowed, was that really for the dentist or did I miss something??
Frank J. Ahearn <>
Haverhill, Mass USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 11:31:05 (EDT)
PETALUMA, CA USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 11:20:56 (EDT)
I am a member of the local CFIDS support group and e-mail support person for the local mitral valve proplapse support group. Congratulations!
WASHINGTON, DC USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 11:18:38 (EDT)
I am a member of the local CFIDS support group and e-mail support person for the local mitral valve proplapse support group. Congratulations!
WASHINGTON, DC USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 11:16:54 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I did the reverse of a lot of your readers, I saw the movie Seabiscuit first and then started reading about this famous racehorse. I sat through the movie twice. The thing that struck me most was the real life vulnerability of the characters and the time that they lived in. There were none of the 'super hero' characters that are so typical of movies these days(Unless of course you want to include War Admiral in that category and Seabiscuit proved that this myth was not true.) The film entertained me and aroused my curiosity. I foumd your website and found to my delite, how historically accurate the movie is. I read with great interest your article from The Backstretch magazine in 1998. I also read much of the other information at the Seabiscuit online website and enjoyed the slide show presentation. I have not read your book yet. However, I plan to do that next. Thanks for sharing the story with us. Run Biscuit run.
George Brown <>
Round Rock, TX USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 11:02:22 (EDT)
We saw the movie last night and it was wonderful. I plan on buying the book today,we were wondering if Red Pollard ever reconnected with his parents and siblings. I guess I will just read the book and hope to find this out>
Jan <>
Fairfield , Ca USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 10:49:08 (EDT)
I have an autographed painting signed by Steve Donaghue. Donaghue is mountedon a horse named Humorist. The painting is signed: To Christopher Fitzgerald With Every Good Wish Steve Donaghue" The painting was left to me by my uncle Fred Fitzgerald the son of Christopher who is referenced in your book. I am interested in learning anything you can tell me about the relationship between Mr Donaghue and Christopher Fitzgerald. Also was Humorist a horse of any fame? Is there a collectors market? I would be interested in corrsponding to learn more. My uncle Fred Fitzgerald had quiet a reputation in his day for playing the horses. Sincerely Yours: Robert Benson
Robert Benson <>
Darien , CT USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 10:42:12 (EDT)
Not since I was a child and read and reread books by Henry, James, and O'Hara have I been so captivated and thrilled by a book. You have so captured the personality and feeling of the horses. As someone who has loved and been loved by a horse (who was a grandson of War Admiral), I was particularly spellbound by your writing. Thank you for writing the book. It is one I will enjoy reading over and over again.
Karen LaBorde
USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 10:06:57 (EDT)
Just finished watching the new movie with Toby Mcguire and Jeff Bridges. Its a sure winner just like the horse. It has so much heart and the acting was superb- Mcquire is sure to get AN OSCAR NOMINATION. GO SEABISKET-NEVER QUIT!!!!
Laurence Cohen <>
Longwood, fl USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 08:36:32 (EDT)
I have just finished the book. I had told my wife that the next movie I really wanted to see was Seabiscuit. Was not very interested in reading the book though. In a book buying frenzy my wife bought me the book. I said thank you very much not wanting to upset my wife I took it. I am traditionally a slow reader I finished this book in less than week. Seabiscuit flowed it was great the book itself read like a horserace just could not wait to get to the other page. I was so into it when Seabiscuit lost to stage hand by the photo finished I yelled NOOOOO!!! and thew the book. I would like to know if Laura you are happy withe the movie adaption. Thank you for a wonderful book. Can not wait to go to the races.
Adam Simons <>
santee, ca USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 06:20:01 (EDT)
Seabiscuit is the best book i have ever read. i couldnt put it down and thats amazing coming from a person who doesnt like to read. being a horse lover myself i found it a very touching story. it just tells you that looks dont always matter and you should never give up on your dreams. i cant wait to see the movie. i hope its as great as the book
katherine <>
las vegas, nv USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 03:20:13 (EDT)
Truly a worthy movie for the next Oscar !!! The entire cast was talented and performed outstandingly. The music was appropriate and touching, the photography perfect. What a story - both Seabiscuit's and yours! I look forward to reading the book. Keep writing and may God bless you and make you well.
Vicki Black Shanklin <>
Garden Grove, CA USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 03:20:10 (EDT)
Saw the movie today; wonderful to learn of the depth of feelings that translate between Sea Biscuit and jockey, owner, trainer, manager. I am writing to Ms. Hillenbrand to find out if I buy the book from her website... can I get it autographed?
Josephine Locke <>
Concord, NH USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 02:03:22 (EDT)
Read the book and just saw the movie. Of course the book is much better but the book will help to enlighten some folks who don't read often on the history of Seabiscuit. Toby McGuire is great but even too big for Red Pollard in my vision. Jeff Bridges was an awesome fit to Mr. Howard. I think the part of Tom Smith was not well thought out. In the book, he's made out to be much more intellegent the the movie lets on. The movie eliminates all the scratch races, Reds marriage, and the strength of the press. I felt they should have done more on the REAL LIFE of the jockeys. They just barely touched the real life of jockeys. The book is best/excellent, but the movie rates high.
Kellie <>
Littleton, CO USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 01:36:29 (EDT)
Dear Laura Hillenbrand: What a truly fascinating and absolutely mesmerizing story. After seeing you in an interview on TV, my wife recommended your book to me as a "must read". She was right. It now ranks as one of my all time favorites and I will recommend it to everyone. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I certainly hope it doesn't disappoint me after reading the real thing. Pat
Pat Oswald <>
Anaheim, CA USA - Sunday, July 27, 2003 at 00:43:16 (EDT)