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Our book group discussed this last week, and we all loved the book! It's a seniors group, so many had stories of the horses they loved growing up on the farm in their youth. One question/comment though: it must have been a conscious decision on the part of the author to downplay the gambling aspect of horseracing. You make occasional references to odds, but don't reveal them. The race Red Pollard had Charles Howard put $200 down on Seabiscuit to win (then CH added $25,000 for himself) really had us curious as to the final odds, to figure out how much CH made on that race on the side! We know the movie can't be nearly as good as the book, for all its detail and poetic language, but we are looking forward to seeing it, too. Never would have believed I'd enjoy a 300+ page book about a horse so much, but you wrote it in such fascinating, storyteller fashion. Thank you.
Barbara Kuttler
Davenport, IA USA - Monday, June 09, 2003 at 16:00:41 (EDT)
Enjoyed your book very much. I first knew Seabiscuit when he came to Pimilco Races for the Preakness. That was in 1936 and I was ll years old. It was the grat depression and Seabiscuit gave the people something else to think about and I have never forgotten this wonderful horse. He was my Hero.
Norma Wood <>
Baltimore, Md USA - Monday, June 09, 2003 at 10:43:03 (EDT)
Laura, the Collector's Edition is gorgeous! It belongs with artworks displayed under special tracklights. Your choice of photos and the way they are cropped and framed are first class. Your sensitivity and love for Pops show clearly from cover to cover, and your taste is impeccable. I'm already a huge fan, and you amaze even me!
Albuquerque, NM USA - Monday, June 09, 2003 at 01:30:01 (EDT)
I bought this book and know I will love it. My husband and I had the honor of appearing in the SEABISCUIT movie that is to be released July 25th. We spent a very cold November day at Keeneland (better known as Pimlico) but I would not have wanted it any other way. I had tears in my eyes when I thought about what we were filming. A tribute to an historical event.
Janet Roy
Florence, KY USA - Saturday, June 07, 2003 at 17:33:41 (EDT)
Dear laura, I have to admit i havent read your book. i plan to now. i didnt know anything about seabuit till i saw the movie poster at work. That is why i am writng you. I am the asst. manager at Peachtree 8 Cinemas here in columbus, ga. I was wondering where i could get some stuff about seabiscuit. i really want to promote this movie, big time. i really dont want the same old promotional stuff the studios send out. I want this movie to do good here. Some people are already talking about how boring it looks from the preview. I'm excitied. PLease can you help me out where i can get some pictures, newspapers articles, what ever you can help me with. i want too put them up before the movie comes, and get people ready and excitied as i am. thank you so much for any help you can give. Donald.c Gilbert Jr. % Peachtree 8 Cinemas 3131 Manchester Exp. Columbus, Ga. 31909
Donald c. Gilbert Jr. <>
Columbus, Ga. USA - Friday, June 06, 2003 at 10:51:17 (EDT)
I have to admit that until last year I knew very little about the horse. While attending the funeral of my husbands grandfather people spoke of him the last living person to have ridden Seabisquit. I was intrigued that no one had mentioned it before. Lucky for his great grandchildren he had written his memoirs and it includes his opportunity to ride the famous horse. He does say that he wishes he would have seen the value of the horse and taken a couple of his own pictures with him.
Alicia <>
Ukiah, Ca USA - Friday, June 06, 2003 at 10:24:36 (EDT)
Hello Laura.. I completely enjoyed reading your book. A truly amazing story. I could not put it down and didn't, I read it in a day. My father grew up in San Mateo,Ca and spent much of his boyhood and adult life at both Tanforan and Bay Meadows. He as I share your passion for the horses. He would always tell me stories about those days and I felt he was with me as i turned every page. Late in life he began making wooden carvings of horses heads that had won the Kentucky Derby and mounting them on a wooden backboard. The detail is amazing. He had done them all up to 1996 when he passed away. An article was written about him in the San Mateo Times. I would like to send you a copy of the article and a picture of his carvings for you to enjoy. Is there an address where I can send them ? They do not have to be returned. I hope that you will allow me to. Again many,many thanks for the book from both me and my father. Mark & Michael O'Kennon
Mark O'Kennon <>
Fremont, Ca USA - Friday, June 06, 2003 at 01:28:51 (EDT)
Laura, i brought your new special collectors edition with all the new pictures. I'm glad you decided to do this. You had mentioned you were working on it a few months ago. I also brought the new paperback with the seabiscuit picture from the movie. I guess I must have 4 seabiscuit books now. I am even building a seabiscuit scrapbook. I was thrilled when the tv guide in the washington post had seabiscuit on the front. I sent away for the pbs documentary. Since I have read about seabiscuit, I have had a renewed interest in horseracing. I am sure other people are like me. Keep up your work.
dave kerlin <>
germantown, md USA - Thursday, June 05, 2003 at 21:45:09 (EDT)
Laura, I just bought your book for my dad for father's day. He is retired and active in Thoroughbred racing. It would be the most special gift if I could have you sign it. Since you're in DC- any chance I could meet/drop by? If too imposing, can I overnight it w/return postage for quick return? Please let me know. I would be grateful. Kim
Kim <>
McLean, VA USA - Tuesday, June 03, 2003 at 22:07:13 (EDT)
I've just finished your book a second time. I had an interesting reaction (to me, anyway--you be the judge)both times: a feeling of gratitude, like when you're floating above the snow-coated pines in a ski-lift on a brilliant March day or listening to, say, James Taylor in concert singing The Frozen Man. Thank you for enriching our lives - Harry Schier
Harry Schier <>
Rapid City, SD USA - Monday, June 02, 2003 at 16:08:44 (EDT)
I just want to add my praise to everyone else for your wonderful book, I only hope that the movie does justice to it because I'm sure it's a treasured experience for everone who reads it. My own connection with thoroughbred racing is tenuous at best and then only as a spectator and bettor and that only at Louisiana tracks. Back when I was going to the track, there was a saying to the effect that there's honest racing, crooked racing, and Louisiana racing. Make of that what you will; considering the ways some of the nags I bet on (nothing anywhere near the caliber of Seabiscuit, I assure you)lost, I at least accept the saying. Anyway, I do have a question and a comment. What is the Selima Room? It's mentioned in your footnotes but nowhere could I find it in the text. I'm guessing that it had something to do with Molino Rojo but I could be wrong and, as I said, I couldn't find it. As to the comment, I was reading the guestbook and found references to your CFS. Didn't know what that was so I checked WebMd and now I know. I am sincerely sorry for your illness and wish you a complete and full remission if a recovery is not possible (And I was given to understand that recovery is possible). Any illness is a bad thing; one that hinders a creative voice such as yours affects all of us, even those with our own, different set of initials with which we must contend. Mine are CP, by the way, but I'm used to them and would rather have them than yours. Thanks for reading! Pat
Pat H. Mooney <>
Houston, TX USA - Sunday, June 01, 2003 at 23:45:43 (EDT)
Hi Laura, I heard an interview w/you on NPR this morning. You mentioned a book about Gettysburg that everyone should read. Please tell me the title as I didn't catch it. Congratulations on the success of your book! Brendagale
Brendagale Beasley <>
Murfreesboro, TN USA - Sunday, June 01, 2003 at 10:02:40 (EDT)
What a great book! With every chapter, I felt as if I was actually there for every event. Looking forward to the movie and I hope it remains true to your book. Thank you so much for all your efforts in writing this inspirational story about Seabiscuit, Charles Howard, Tom Smith and Red Pollard. I'm recommending this book to anyone and everyone.
Christine Tutcher <>
Tampa, FL USA - Saturday, May 31, 2003 at 13:18:36 (EDT)
I wondered if I mailed my book to you and covered return postage, would you be so kind as to sign it? I recently purchased it from the Kentucky Horse Farm. I understand your limitations with book signings and appearances and if there have been many of these requests, I understand. It would mean so much more to me, considering your personal struggle, to have it signed. Hopefully, someone will email me. Thank you. You are a courageous woman.
Sandra Daus <>
St. Louis, MO USA - Friday, May 30, 2003 at 08:47:56 (EDT)
Please send/add a thought to the memory of John M. 'Red' Pollard at Let us never forget him
Laura Kallock <>
Cranston, RI USA - Friday, May 30, 2003 at 04:08:41 (EDT)
I just have to say that I am 46 years old and there were parts of this book that made me feel absolutely giddy. You have done a fantastic job with a story that should be required reading for anyone who sets their sights too low in life. I can't wait for my friends and family to read it too!!
Tom Martin <>
Mahomet, IL USA - Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 17:14:40 (EDT)
i've been a horse racing fan (bettor) since the early 80's yet have never been a fan of the history of racing until now, thank you. not only was your book rivetting, it also gave me a deeper insight to the inner workings of horse, trainer, and jockey. it showed how self rightous and stubborn racing officials were (and still are). between holding the truth blind to the public and the enormous takes, have lead to the demise of horse racings popularity. the fact remains that sports are fueled by betting and there are better bets out there nowadays. I truely believe if fans felt they were getting a fair shake on the percent of their dollar and the outcome of the event, they would bring the sport back to its glory days. with just a little knowlege of the game there is nothing more exciting than a horse race (your book will inform the uninformed of this). besides who would'nt want to root for a sport where money earned is based soley on the players success, and in the case of the horse, may only earn a sugar cube. whereas, todays atheletes earn millions for crying, crimes, and sitting on the bench. your book could catapult the sport back to greatness, if only the "powers that be" would read it, get over their egos and do something about it. thank you for two days of reading bliss.
brian loftus <>
costa mesa, ca USA - Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 15:14:23 (EDT)
i've been a horse racing fan (bettor) since the early 80's yet have never been a fan of the history of racing until now, thank you. not only was your book rivetting, it also gave me a deeper insight to the inner workings of horse, trainer, and jockey. it showed how self rightous and stubborn racing officials were (and still are). between holding the truth blind to the public and the enormous takes, have lead to the demise of horse racings popularity. the fact remains that sports are fueled by betting and there are better bets out there nowadays. I truely believe if fans felt they were getting a fair shake on the percent of their dollar and the outcome of the event, they would bring the sport back to its glory days. with just a little knowlege of the game there is nothing more exciting than a horse race (your book will inform the uninformed of this). besides who would'nt want to root for a sport where money earned is based soley on the players success, and in the case of the horse, may only earn a sugar cube. whereas, todays atheletes earn millions for crying, crimes, and sitting on the bench. your book could catapult the sport back to greatness, if only the "powers that be" would read it, get over their egos and do something about it. thank you for two days of reading bliss.
brian loftus <>
costa mesa, ca USA - Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 14:27:45 (EDT)
What are the chances that four brilliant planets could line up on a straightaway to mother earth: Charles Howard, Tom Smith, Red Pollard -- and Seabiscuit? What a story for the ages. Thank you, Laura, for showing us what it all meant.
Susan Sutton <>
Concordia, KS USA - Tuesday, May 27, 2003 at 19:31:52 (EDT)
Dear Laura, My cousin gave me your book last year and it sat on my shelf until two weeks ago when she said she wanted it back. I can't believe I let such a great book sit for so long. I have read a great number of horseracing books over the years, but never with such fantistic descriptions that you painted in words. In particular, I have read page 70 at least five times and have called friends and read it to them. One line "To pilot a racehorse is to ride a half-ton catapult" reminded me of Gary Stevens when he rode Winning Colors. She was so calm as she entered the starting gate I couldn't help but wonder if she would fall asleep before the gate opened. But once it did, Stevens had to hold on for his life. Congratulations on a most amazing book. Jerry Nisker
Jerry Nisker <>
Orange, Ca USA - Tuesday, May 27, 2003 at 18:31:58 (EDT)
I just read the book in two weeks for my book report. I ride equestrian and am entering my first show at the end of the month. I absolutely LOVED the book and I can't wait for the movie!
Kim <>
Worcester, MA USA - Tuesday, May 27, 2003 at 18:23:18 (EDT)
I was 11 years old when I heard the Seabiscuit-War Admiral match race on the radio. I guess I was part of the "eastern establishment" because War Admiral was my favorite horse & I was devastated when he lost to Seabiscuit.After reading your book, I am a Seabiscuit fan.The book was wonderful.
george h. elwood <>
hancock, ny USA - Tuesday, May 27, 2003 at 15:03:43 (EDT)
I just finished reading the book and it is FANTASTIC!! I am NOT a horseracing or horse fan, but I couldn't put this book down. It was so packed with information, I was simply astounded. I've told everyone I can think of that this book is worth reading, no matter what your literary tastes are. Congratulations Ms. Hillenbrand. I can only hope that the movie will do justice to this excellent book.
K. Waldkirch <>
Wauwatosa, WI USA - Tuesday, May 27, 2003 at 12:58:58 (EDT)
Laura: Just finished reading your book and will only add a few comments as so much has been said already about it. Thank you for telling this story and a special thanks as a racing fan in treating this with the intelligence I hoped for. You explained racing terms to the layman, but did not dumb it down for us race fans. This is a natural story that would excite any reader, but the secret comes in how you tell the tale (I am a writer, so I envy your talent). Your text was thriiling, uplifting and most importantly, touching to the human spirit. Regards, Tom Hyland
tom hyland <>
chicago, il USA - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 20:36:44 (EDT)
In the midst of reading Seabiscuit, had to stop to surf the web for more on this horse and the author of this great read!
John Grove <>
Norwood, MA USA - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 19:41:25 (EDT)
Dear Laura: Just finished reading "Seabiscuit." Wow, what a ride. Your description of the races put me on Seabiscuit's back. It was exciting and exhilarating. Your reseach was superb. My uncle, a former Calvary officer in WWII, gave me the book to read because I love horses as much as he does. He recognized your talent for research too. Your story makes me wish I had lived in those days and seen Seabiscuit run. However, I was a little late by being born in September, 1940. Keep up the good work and I'll be looking for future books from you.
Jeri <>
Hickory Hills, IL USA - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 18:10:28 (EDT)
Your book was fantastic! Thank you for a wonderful ride!
Barry Smith
USA - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 18:09:55 (EDT)
If you would like to know the correct story of the race between Seabiscuit and Kayak you should contact Buddy Haas's Sister-in-law Dorothy Shull.
L. Shull <>
USA - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 15:34:54 (EDT)
I have the 1935 Program from the Santa Anita Handicap. Is there a traveling Seabiscuit museum? Are you interested in this program for an historical exhibit?..from Mary Forte, horse racing historian, Solana Beach, California
Mary Forte <forte1@cox net>
Solana Beach, Ca. USA - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 00:35:11 (EDT)
Great Book!!!I was never really interested in racing just the horses. I have more respect for the sport since reading your book. I had several questions but they seem to have been answered by your fan mail. I felt the same as one of your other readers concerning the choice of cover for the book. I wanted a great picture of the horse, after all it was about him, "the Biscuit".Will read it again, as I got so engrossed I was sure to miss something. Thank for a great book!!!!
jeanne <>
wernersville, pa USA - Saturday, May 24, 2003 at 21:31:29 (EDT)
Dear Laura-a friend sent me the Smithsonian article "Betting on Seabiscuit" because of my heath issues over the last five years. I am finally being treated and evaluated for chronic Lyme Disease with improvement. I assume you have researched the possibilty yourself, but thought I could add to your information on CFS and Lyme Disease. I have lived an incredible journey and would be happy to share. I find it difficult to get information and support in the D.C. area. I promise to read "Seabiscuit". Sounds like you drew from deep inner strength to write it. You should be very proud. Jeanne Talbot
Jeanne Talbot <>
USA - Saturday, May 24, 2003 at 20:03:49 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I was fortunate to be picked to be an extra on Seabiscuit. I am employed at Santa Anita Park and was at Pomona Racetrack for the Agua Caliente Racetrack scenes (assistant blacksmith). I had a copy of your book signed by all the stars in the movie. I would love to know if you are doing any book signings here in Los Angeles. Thank you for a great book. Javier
Long Beach, CA USA - Saturday, May 24, 2003 at 15:49:08 (EDT)
If I sent you a copy of "Seabiscuit," would you sign it and then send it on to Maggie, who is 90 years old? She loaned her copy to me and I would love to send it back, signed. She would be thrilled! I would send you a prepaid shipping label and wrapper. I would need to know where to send the book. I hope this can be accomplished soon. If it is not possible, please let me know. Thank you
Karen Strossman <>
No. Rose., ny USA - Saturday, May 24, 2003 at 14:23:34 (EDT)
I'm not a horse race fan nor a horse person in general. I loved your book. It was riviting! Great reseaerch and great writing! I have lived in view of Bay Meadows for most my life and I wouold like you and all those that visit this site that there are plans to tear it down. They already took the practice track away a few years ago and now want to tear down the rest. It is a shame and is not good for the community. Would all those who enjoy horse racing and history please send their objections to the San Mateo Planning commision.
Donald Kolko <>
Belmont/San Mateo, Ca USA - Friday, May 23, 2003 at 18:57:04 (EDT)
Excellent visuals! Our students in the Upper School (grades 9-12) will thoroughly enjoy this site. As a private college-preparatory school, we have chosen Seabiscuit as our school-wide required book to read this summer. This web page was entered on our network for our students to review. Wonderful!
B.J. Warner <>
Baltimore, MD USA - Friday, May 23, 2003 at 16:51:02 (EDT)
Albuquerque, NM USA - Friday, May 23, 2003 at 09:57:10 (EDT)
I am the chairman of a lawyers' book group in Rockville, Maryland. We are discussing Seabiscuit at our next meeting on July 17th, and we would very much like to "hook-up" with you by a conference call. We've done this in the past with other authors, and it has worked well. Please contact me, if you can. I've finished reading your book and thinkd that it is wonderful. Hope to hear from you. Jim Demma
James J. Demma <>
Rockville, MD USA - Friday, May 23, 2003 at 08:30:10 (EDT)
I Live in Saratoga Springs NY., and I am so glad that the Movie Seabiscuit is going to premiere here in my home town.
Richard Krupski <>
Saratoga Springs, NY USA - Friday, May 23, 2003 at 06:17:16 (EDT)
I read your book twice, and am now on the third time. I read a lot!!!!!! So, that is saying a lot about your writing, and the story! Seabiscuit is one of my all time favorite stories! Thanks for the great read!
fl USA - Thursday, May 22, 2003 at 20:52:52 (EDT)
Seabiscuit lovers: Be a part of the grass roots movement to get SEABISCUIT ON A STAMP. Please write a card requesting SEABISCUIT be put on a U.S. postage stamp. Mail the card to Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee; Stamp Development; U.S. Postal Service; 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW; Room 5670; Washington DC 20260-2437 We need Seabiscuit as much today as during the Depression. Together, we can do this. maggie van ostrand
maggie van ostrand <>
pine mountain, ca USA - Thursday, May 22, 2003 at 19:23:37 (EDT)
I have been a fan of horse racing since I was ten years old. I think it is amazing and wonderful that when can be inspired by Seabiscuit even after all of this time. If I ever feel sad or depressed because my life isnt going the way I want it too I just look to Seabiscuit for inspiration and I feel better. He had everything against him and he beat the odds every time.
Danielle <>
Augusta, GA USA - Thursday, May 22, 2003 at 12:32:11 (EDT)
Seabiscuit was an amasing race horse even though he was not very attractive
Tiffany <>
Downingtown, pa USA - Thursday, May 22, 2003 at 11:28:28 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand - Your book was fabulous reading. My late father,born in 1904 was an ardent race fan, outrageous gambler and voracious reader, he would have loved your book.BURNING QUESTION: Do you know how many portraits were done of Seabiscuit and who the artists were? Are all of the paintings accounted for? Do you know the name of the artist who mistakenly painted GROG? Or what became of that portrait? I have inherited a portrait of Seabiscuit from my father and have been unsucessful in finding out it's history.
Barbara Miller <>
Savannah, Ga USA - Wednesday, May 21, 2003 at 20:58:23 (EDT)
An absolutely fabulous story. Thank you for an amazing effort!
Hans Solmssen <>
Summit, NJ USA - Wednesday, May 21, 2003 at 16:27:12 (EDT)
Hi, Great book. My dad, Bill Amis, was a handicapper for the Pasadena Post from the opening of Santa Anita until 1942 when he took over for Oscar Otis at the Chronicle. Seabiscuit has always been a part of our lives. Thanks, Jackie Amis Wheeler
Jackie Amis Wheeler <>
Palo Alto , Ca USA - Wednesday, May 21, 2003 at 13:29:14 (EDT)
Dear Friend Laura...Yes, I feel that you are my friend! First let me thank you sincerely for your book about SeaBiscuit...I thoroughly enjoyed it and am anxiously awaiting the movie. But most of all I feel that you are my friend because I am also a PWC...........20+ years....having a "worse" day today. It is comforting for me to know I am not alone in this struggle. Thank you for bringing some light to this condition! We are really close friends! Wishing you more success and better health..........Jan
Jan Couture <>
Rochester, NH USA - Wednesday, May 21, 2003 at 07:57:53 (EDT)
The best book I've read in a long time. The best non-fiction ever! You made me cry at the end!
Carla Folks <>
Franklin, WV USA - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 21:55:02 (EDT)
I really loved your book, it's now definatley one of my favorites! It was so incredable how such a sad group of people ended up so great!
Carolyn <NA>
Harleysville, pa USA - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 14:34:48 (EDT)
Laura, Thank you for giving us the gift of this magnificent book! I just finished it and was hoping it would never end. This is, by far, the finest work I've read in a long time. My only question is; will you be making any appearances so that I can get my copy autographed?
Jeff Berndt <>
Bartlett, IL USA - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 11:37:21 (EDT)
Laura, I wrote earlier to ask a question. I have not received an answer, understand that you can't answer all your mail. So, perhaps someone else can answer my question. Is the oak tree still standing over Seabiscuits grave site? I would love to hear from someone who has the information. Looking forward to hearing from you. Gloria Massey
Gloria MASSEY <>
puyallup, wa USA - Monday, May 19, 2003 at 22:36:40 (EDT)
I am so enamored of this wonderful story even after a second reading that I had to say thank you .
Mike Fischer <>
NY USA - Monday, May 19, 2003 at 22:10:20 (EDT)
Oh my gosh! The book had me sitting on the edge of my seat! It is the best book i ever read! I recomended it to all my horse-loving friends! I even got my trainers hooked! Thank you SO MUCH for writting such a WONDERFUL book!
Seabiscuit's BIGGEST Fan
USA - Monday, May 19, 2003 at 15:56:18 (EDT)
I just finished the Seabiscuit book this morning (I work third shift and we can listen to books on tape at work.) Wow, what a fantastic book! It does read like a novel, but even more gripping than most novels. I cringed, cheered, and cried. I cannot wait for the movie! Is there a way to get more pictures of Seabiscuit and have any reels of him on the track been digitalized to see online?
Peoria, IL USA - Monday, May 19, 2003 at 14:08:49 (EDT)
All the fervor surrounding this unlikely horse (Funny Cide) that has his sights set on the triple has stirred me to re-read your book. I read it last summer after reading somewhere that actress Ashley Judd had just read it and loved it. At the time, I had no idea it was even about a racehorse. Your book moved me to laughter and tears throughout the beautifully written story. It inspired me to believe that anything is possible if you want it badly enough. I found my self rooting for the Biscuit with everything in me! Thank you for contributing such a fantastic account of one the most exciting stories not only in sports, but in the history of our country. I am very excited for the movie to come to theatres; the casting director has done a wonderful job and I expect it will be true to your book! Thank you again for the inspiration! I will be keeping a watchful eye for your next release...
Dawn Payne <>
Hilton Head, SC USA - Monday, May 19, 2003 at 13:06:05 (EDT)
I am halfway through your book and really am enjoying it... I am a real horse fan. Rose connolly So. Calif.
Rose Connolly
USA - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 23:47:21 (EDT)
Did Seabiscuit ever run the Preakness? Or the Kentucky Derby? I know he won a match race against War Admiral at Pimlico in 38, but I can find no record of his attempts at the triple crown or any of the three races that make up the triple crown. If anyone can answer this please email me. thanks. maybe I should read the book.
phil mcrackin <>
plymouth, ma USA - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 23:36:27 (EDT)
What a beautiful book. I had read several stunning reviews on your book and even in their glory, they do not capture the pure beauty and love you have given these people and this magnificant horse. I'm not what one would describe as a a sport or specifically a horse person but Ms. Hillenbrand you have a gift. You have documented the definitive story of this horse, the people who loved him and the times he lived in. Please when will your next book be published. The topic does not matter. I am convinced with your gift you will make it soar! Yours very gratefully Sue Perakis
Sue Perakis <>
Andover, MA USA - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 17:44:20 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I have just this minute finished your book which was chosen as the latest selection for our neighborhood monthly book club. I had to express my gratitude to you for bringing us this wonderful story! I laughed and cried and my heart was truly warmed. I grew up loving horses and as a young girl in Alabama, I dreamed of someday owning a thouroughbred farm. Although that never happened in real life, the memory of my childhood fantasies were brought back to me while reading about this wonderful horse that I had heard of all my life but knew very little about. I regret that I never went to Santa Anita Racetrack during the 37 years I lived in southern California. But on my next visit "home" I will definitely visit just to see the statues of Seabiscuit and George Woolf. In 1999 I moved to Rockville, Maryland. Yesterday The Preakness was won by Funny Cide, another unlikely champion. Now I am spurred to visit Pimleco soon, so I can see a race in real time. In your book, you not only educated me (for which I am so grateful), but you made me realize that this sport is about true love. THANK YOU!!!
Teresa Somogyi <>
Rockville, MD USA - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 15:06:02 (EDT)
I was given your book last year as a birthday gift. I finally read it this past made me cry and laugh..and I am thrilled about the upcoming movie..Feel it is well-casted. Laura, there are not words I can convey to you how very much I loved this book..but do appreciate all your hard work writing this wonderful I wasn't born until 42..and did not know that much about Seabiscuit and company..although I had heard of him. Now I go around excitedly telling all my friends about this book and the upcoming movie...Thank you so much for acquainting me with these colorful american horsemen and the hero Seabiscuit.
Marlene Mckay <>
Mt.Vernon, OH USA - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 13:48:07 (EDT)
Laura ......of course I loved the book .....but have a question that I can't find the answer to .....have searched far & wide via internet, and you didn't address this in your book ......"why wasn't Seabiscuit entered into any of the Triple Crown races?" I realize not having won one of "these" races does not diminish Seabiscuit's greatness .......but why? After all, he beat War Admiral who was a Triple Crown winner you know the answer to this? Many, many thanks for a great read.
daisy galletto <>
Bakersfield, CA USA - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 02:39:32 (EDT)
As a former jockey who is now in a wheechair for life . All i can say is ........... thankyou with a tear in my eye . Robert Dallen.
Robert Dallen <>
overland park, Ks USA - Saturday, May 17, 2003 at 19:02:17 (EDT)
One of the most interesting books I've read. Have trouble putting it down. Thank you for the wonderful book and the website. I've never been a racing fan, but this story tore at the heartstrings. Sea Biscuit was a courageous animal who was lucky enough to have dedicated handlers, owners and friends.
Donna Powell <>
Tustin, CA USA - Saturday, May 17, 2003 at 18:51:51 (EDT)
I love the website. I can't wait for the movie. As a matter of fact, I'm a promotions coordinator at a theatre in San Antonio, TX and we're doing a promotion for the MOVIE. If Laura Hillenbrand would like to appear or contribute, or if anyone has more info. or insight into the story or movie, please contact me! Thanks.
Howard Drezner <>
San Antonio, TX USA - Saturday, May 17, 2003 at 15:46:42 (EDT)
Never before have I written to an author, but I haven't been able to "shake" your book. You have brought back an era and put all of your readers in it's center. I fell in love with the little turf pounder with that enormous heart. Through your efforts, Seabiscuit lives again to inspire another generation.
DiAnn Park <>
Grand Rapids, MI USA - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 16:20:56 (EDT)
Seabiscuit fans: You know THE MOVIE comes out July 25th. But also on July 25th, Turner Classic Movies airs the old Shirley Temple version too. Check this link to search for exact times.,,,00.html Bless you and take care, Laura.
Albuquerque, NM USA - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 15:12:54 (EDT)
Since Funny Cide won the derby I have been reading a lot about Barclay Tagg and I am struck at how much he epitomizes the spirit of Tom Smith. I can't help but but root for Barclay Tagg and Funny Cide this weekend to win one for those of us who toil away in the horse business with little recognition.
J.D. Folbre <>
New Braunfels, TX USA - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 15:12:26 (EDT)
Seabiscuit lovers: Be a part of the grass roots movement to get SEABISCUIT ON A STAMP. Please write a card requesting SEABISCUIT be put on a U.S. postage stamp. Mail the card to Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee; Stamp Development; U.S. Postal Service; 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW; Room 5670; Washington DC 20260-2437 We need Seabiscuit as much today as during the Depression. Together, we can do this. chuck lustick
chuck lustick <>
new orleans, LA USA - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 14:49:25 (EDT)
I loved your book! It's such a great story. I am a writer myself and hope to one day have something published. I know you suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I also suffer from this as well. It has altered my life in a lot of very negative ways. I haven't been able to do the simplest things in a long time. Recently though I found a doctor in Chevy Chase,MD. Her name is Dr. Mary Lee Esty and she is president of Neurotherapy Center. She administers biofeedback therapy through a revolutionary program that only she and a couple of other doctors in the US have. It is working very well. I am about half way through the treatment and I am responding to it. Recently, I actually had a weekend where I did not sleep for 48 hours straight. I also see a movement therapist in her practice as well. That has been a huge help with pain management and getting my body back into motion. I strongly suggest you see these people if you haven't. It cannot hurt you or set you back at all. The phone number is 301-652-6270. I really hope you might give this therapy a try. It has made a huge difference for me. I feel like I am slowly regaining control over my life. Best Wishes to you! I can't wait to see the movie based on your book!
Jennifer Tate <>
Reston, VA USA - Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 15:20:12 (EDT)
The year I was born, 1939, my Dad built a beautiful wooden rocking horse for me. His name is Seabiscuit. I adored that rocking horse, and rode it until I was much too big to do so. Since then, he has been loved and ridden by my children and their friends, my grandchildren, neighbor children and others. He's been broken and mended many times, and finally, I had to admit he had run his last race. All I have left of him is his head, which I'm going to frame and keep forever. I still adore that horse. I have always thought of the real Seabiscuit as "my" horse. Of course, I have read your truly wonderful book, have seen the PBS documentary, have watched the old Shirley Temple movie about Seabiscuit, and look forward to seeing the new movie when it comes out. If I knew where to send it, I would send you a picture of my very own Seabiscuit. Thank you so very much for writing his story so beautifully.
Susan Miller <>
Colorado Springs, CO USA - Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 14:17:09 (EDT)
Just finished reading your book. Enjoyed it immensely. What a great story about another era. I hope you write another one day. I appreciate the amount of meticulous research you did and saw an interview where you said it had affected your eyesight. I hope that has improved by now. Despite the hardships the people around Seabisquit endured, I envied them living their lives to the fullest doing what they loved doing more than anything else. Congratulations on writing a truly enjoyable book.
Marion Ventura <>
Briarcliff Manor, NY USA - Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 13:45:10 (EDT)
Laura, What a great book. I couldn't put it down. I felt like I was at every race. What a great research job. The people were fascinating. What a time in history. When I was a child my father would disappear on Sunday and he always told us he was going to Boston. Later as adults we found out that he went to the races at Suffolk Downs. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to feel what it was like for my father every Sunday at the races.
Toni Ramos <>
Gloucester, MA USA - Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 09:54:38 (EDT)
Laura, I have just finished your book for the 4th time! You did a wonderful job!! I thoroughly enjoyed it. From the way Seabiscuit ran his later races, it seems to me maybe he was a lot like his grandpa, Man O'War, than a lot of people realize! I would like to know what happened to Marcela, charles Howard's wife after his death? Did they have any children? How many children did Mr. Howard have, total? You brought that little horse, Seabiscuit, alive. He came along in history at just the right time. America needed him. I'm sure I'll read this book, again and again! Thank you, Dianna Wells
Dianna L. Wells <>
Des Moines, IA USA - Wednesday, May 14, 2003 at 23:46:37 (EDT)
Thank you so much for not allowing one of the greatest sports stories of all time to degenerate into obscurity. Your book brings it all back with superb writing and careful research, and I laughed and cried as I read it. Congratulations on all your success with it; you've certainly earned it.
Mathilda Cinqmars <>
Knoxville, TN USA - Wednesday, May 14, 2003 at 20:46:25 (EDT)
So much enjoyed your book. I totally lost myself in the drama and hated to put it down. Excellent writing and wonderful story. So look forward to the movie. Can't immagine anyone could do it justice as you have. Maybe Spielberg.
Alice O'Neill <>
Menlo Park, CA USA - Wednesday, May 14, 2003 at 20:25:26 (EDT)
Dear Laura, great book, it is as if I was there. I lived within Pollard, Smith, Woolf, Howard, and all the fans. Thank you for this wonderful story.I laughed, cried,and learned alot about the greatest horse of all time.Win or lose the Biscuit had more heart than any horse then and now.There will never be another Seabiscuit.Iwish that I could have been at that last grand race.What a champion, the little horse gave people around him a purpose to live.Iwould love to get some pictures of the Biscuit, turn me on to where I can get some. Just e mail me if you get the chance.
michael fagan <>
saint louis, mo USA - Wednesday, May 14, 2003 at 19:05:45 (EDT)
I just finished reading SEABISCUIT for the second time in a year, and it was as enthralling the second time around as it was the first. I am a voracious reader, and believe me when I tell you that NOBODY writes historical narrative as compellingly, as engagingly, as brilliantly as Laura Hillenbrand. I wish she would do Secretariat. Polar opposite of Seabiscuit, and the one book I could find about him was so dull I could hardly stand to read it. He deserves a better story. I, too, look forward to the Seabiscuit movie. Rarely do movies come anywhere near the quality of the book they're about, but I'll go anyway. I hope your health has/is improving hugely, Laura. You deserve it, and your readers want another glorious book from your mesmerizing genius. Thank you so much for the stunning effort you put into the book. I'll read it a third time and enjoy it just as much.
Trisha Lisk <>
San Francisco, CA USA - Wednesday, May 14, 2003 at 16:29:08 (EDT)
Laura, My father Charles F. Schick is 86 years old. He was on the farm in the 30's & broke War Admiral & Seabiscuit as yearlings. I've always felt that my father had a history to share but wasn't sure where to channel it. My father has your book & knew many of the people from that era. There are not that many people left from my fathers era who knows the history of these horses. I know he would like to speak with you . My parents live near me here in St. Pete, Fl
barbara lynch <>
st. petersburg, fl USA - Wednesday, May 14, 2003 at 15:55:40 (EDT)
Laura, Your book was nothing short of "WOW". I was spellbound as your prose allowed me to wear the shoes of the trainer (Smith) and the jockey (Pollard). I laughed with them, was drawn into the frustration they must have been feeling, and cried with them. You are truly an inspirational author. My family grew up raising and riding horses. Our horses were bred to do ranch work. Here in ND we don't have the chance to see the beautiful race horses that grace other parts of the USA. My mother and father did, at one time, race chariot ponies and Pacers. Eventhough the sport of rodeo and the every day work of ranching was foremost in our minds and hearts, our family has always been fond of any event featuring horses. As a child, the books I read most always starred a horse. Old Bones is one I especially remember. Thank you so much for the road you traveled in gathering the needed information for your book. You are a wonder among wonders. God Bless You!! Becky Field Minot, North Dakota
Becky Field <>
Minot, ND USA - Wednesday, May 14, 2003 at 15:29:19 (EDT)
I loved the book and also loved the recently aired documentary on Seabiscuit. I'm a lifelong horse fanatic and can't wait to see the SEABISCUIT movie this summer!
Jamie Smith <>
New Orleans, LA USA - Wednesday, May 14, 2003 at 11:09:21 (EDT)
Since God does not allow magnificent anamals to live for ever, He gave us Laura Hillenbrand so that furture generations can enjoy Seabiscuit through her increditable work. Seabiscuit is a must read for all horse lovers around the world. Laura, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have given thousands of readers something to treasure.
Bob Retz <>
Whitefish, Mt USA - Tuesday, May 13, 2003 at 15:49:27 (EDT)
I love this site! The pics were great! What a wonderful horse he was!
Ga USA - Tuesday, May 13, 2003 at 13:00:13 (EDT)
ROCKLIN, CA USA - Monday, May 12, 2003 at 21:40:16 (EDT)
Who wants to share their opinion about Seabiscuit with me?
Tessa <>
USA - Monday, May 12, 2003 at 14:10:23 (EDT)
I bought your book Seabiscuit last night . I just finished. You made me feel like i was actually there.I could not put the book down. You and SEabiscuit have captured my heart. Thanks for a great story.
Elizabeth <Fagot>
Kenner, La USA - Sunday, May 11, 2003 at 20:56:47 (EDT)
Laura, Just finished Seabiscuit. Was enthralled the from starting gate to homestretch. I'm not a great horseracing enthusiast, but I especially enjoyed the slant on history that you provided. I never knew that in 1903 auto owners had to pay 60 cents a gallon for gas and had to bring their own containers to a drug store to make the purchase. I was interested to learn about ordinances to keep cars from scaring horses, the importance of cars in the SF earthquake and fire, the fact that people went to bike repair shops to get auto repair and servicing. I have long resented Seabiscuit's fame for drawing attention away from my birth in April of 1938. I was surprised reading the paperback edition to see some errors that slipped by the proofreader and spell checker--"cooly" instead of "coolly"; "reigned" instead of "reined"; and a couple of instances of "lay" that should have been "laid." But this retired English teacher can't give up old proofreading/editing habits. All in all your book was an unmixed reading pleasure. The characters--particularly Pollard, Smith, Woolf, and Biscuiit--really became three dimensional. Thanks for giving me a pleasurable break from my usual diet of whodunnits and thrillers. Kerry
kerry wood <>
pacific grove, ca USA - Sunday, May 11, 2003 at 18:40:39 (EDT)
Laura: I have read many of the postings in your guestbook and echo all the compliments that have been bestowed upon you and your book. Absolutely the most informative, researched, nostalgic and enjoyable book I have ever read. GREAT effort! You are a masterful researcher & writer. Thank-you very much!
Dave DeBar <>
Omaha, NE USA - Sunday, May 11, 2003 at 13:48:08 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, What can I say that hasn't already been said. I just this minute finished reading you book, and had to write you. I have never in my live read the acknowlegements in a book, but did this time. Wow! I am even more impressed with this book than when I finished. You certainly did your homework. What an outstanding writer you are. I love history, and I want to thank you for making it come alive! I am looking forward to the movie and hope that it will reflect your excellent writing. Lori Scott
Lori Scott <>
Columbus, Oh USA - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 21:58:07 (EDT)
Thank you for the excellent book and for keeping the memories alive! Looking forward to the movie on July 25 and to more books from you.
Connie Muscavitch <>
Appleton, WI USA - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 20:11:09 (EDT)
Thank you for the excellent book and for keeping the memories alive! Looking forward to the movie on July 25 and to more books from you.
Connie Muscavitch <>
Appleton, WI USA - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 16:24:00 (EDT)
A fascinating book. The characters both human and horse are so alive and vivid. The second time reading was even more riveting and exciting then the first first time reading. I come from a horse loving family. We lived a few miles from Santa Anita during that time period in Pasadena. We were great race fans and I remember the War Admiral - Seabiscuit race and how eager we were for Seabiscuit representing the west to win the race. It was a memorable day. I was 10 years old at the time. We had one race horse that was stabled at Santa Anita in 1941 shortly before Pear Harbor. We would arrive at the race track around 5:30am to watch our horse and other horses work out. The atomosphere was very exciting. Our horse "joined the army in 1941" and never raced. During those years I remember Joe Hernanadez calling the races and thought he was the best race announcer in the world - much better then Clem McCarthy and more accurate too.
Priscilla Milliman
- Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 07:38:34 (EDT)
Hooray for Seabiscuit! I have heard the name all my life and never knew anything about the horse, wasn't even sure if it was "Seabiscuit" or "Teabiscuit". Now I know! What a story! What a horse! I can't wait for the movie! I've been buying everything "Seabiscuit" for weeks! Thank you for bringing such a wonderful story into my life!
Deanna Ranneklev <>
Putnam Valley, NY USA - Thursday, May 08, 2003 at 17:13:19 (EDT)
please excuse previous email from Swift. i love the book and she does too but is a practical joker, are there any pictures of Seabiscuit?
Swallow <!>
!, ! M.E - Thursday, May 08, 2003 at 08:09:28 (EDT)
I grew up near Narragansett Race Track.I never saw a horse race until I moved to SoCal in the 70's. One day our company did an outing at Santa Anita. I never saw George Woolf's statue; I never knew who he was. I'm sorry for this; I apparently missed a lot. But I certainly read your book, "Seabiscuit".It was absolutely a beautiful & fascinating labor of love.
Paul Palombo <>
Jamestown, RI USA - Thursday, May 08, 2003 at 04:18:57 (EDT)
Deaer Laura, Fantastic read. Words can describe it. You are a wonderful writer. I have loved Seabiscuit all my life. Is there a way to trace his get - who his foals were and their foals. I know that this is silly but I think I might own a horse with him in his background. At any rate I would love to find out. Please write books on all the race horses you can! Some of the standardbreds have exciting stories also. Keep up the good work. Harriet
Harriet Sabatini <>
Decatur , AL USA - Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 17:44:35 (EDT)
Laura - While researching the history of Danada Farm, I found a reference to Tom Smith as the trainer for the Ada L. Rice stable in 1948-49. And to my surprise, I learned that Smith trained Dan and Ada Rice's first Kentucky Derby runner in 1949 ( it would be his 4th and last Derby). I also have located photos of Smith in the winner's circle at Jamaica (NY). Because of your wonderful book, and Smith's historic ties to Danada Farm, I was motivated to fly to California last December to be an extra in the movie. My research on Smith and his ties to Dan and Ada Rice will be published in an upcoming Illinois Racing News, but I would like to talk to you and compare notes. All the best, Eileen
Eileen White <>
Wheaton, IL USA - Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 15:48:33 (EDT)
Mrs. Hillenbrand, your book was one of the best I have ever read. I was in my last week of finals at college and couldn't study until I finished "Seabiscuit", it was so well-written and researched. You did a fantastic job and I think any aspiring writer should look up to you as a role model. The way you told the story was so suspensful and enthralling; one wouldn't beleive it until they read the story. I have always been a fan of horse racing and horses in general, and have read biographies of Man O War and Secretariat and whatnot, but I never knew there was so much to Seabiscuit that was so hidden and interesting. Once again, thank you. Your book was one of those that only come around once ever few years because it is so good. I am glad you wrote this book for us. I can't wait to see the movie but I know it won't be as good!
Abigail Bertalan <>
PA USA - Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 14:33:19 (EDT)
dear Ms. Hillenbrand i am 10 and have already read Seabiscuit more than 5 times. is there any way of loopholing the copyright system because i would like to download some pics as a background. any system errors, write to SWIFT at MIDDLE EARTH. or see DUMBLEDORE WYRD for more. love Swift
wyrd, ------- M.E - Wednesday, May 07, 2003 at 00:23:13 (EDT)
LAURA, Thanks for a beautiful, tender,loving, book on a great horse. I feel like I knew Seabiscuit just from reading your book. I have one question. Is the oak tree still there over Seabiscuits grave? Thanks again for a tremendous book. Gloria Massey
gloria massey <>
puyallup, wa. USA - Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 22:55:11 (EDT)
I just finished your wonderful book. Thank you for introducing me to a whole new world. I have a question. Charles Howard was obviously very wealthy. Why did he not help out Red Pollard financially after the Seabiscuit partnershp was over? It was incredibly depressing to learn of Pollard shining the shoes of other jockeys later in life and dying in an institution. Did Howard leave anyting to Pollard's widow or children? I would appreciate any answer you may have for me. Sincerely, Kim Sport
Kim Sport <>
New Orleans, LA USA - Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 22:44:43 (EDT)
Ms. Hillebrand, I've read a great many books of the past few years and few have moved me like "Seabiscuit.". It's a wonderful story, beautifully written. Good luck with motion picture - hope it does your book justice.
Tom Geldert <>
USA - Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 22:40:27 (EDT)
Hi Laura, I am the author of an upcoming children's book titled, Seabiscuit vs. War Admiral: The Greatest Horse Race in History (Angel Bea Publishing, Fall 2003). I just got advance copies today. They look awesome!!!I would love to send you an autographed copy. Where should I mail it? If you would like a sneak preview visit Regards, Kat Shehata
Kat Shehata <>
Cincinnati, oh USA - Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 22:04:03 (EDT)
Dear Laura, May I send you my copy of your book for your autograph? Thanks, Kev
Kevin McHale <>
Rochester, MI USA - Tuesday, May 06, 2003 at 14:39:26 (EDT)
Laura, I am an avid reader. I picked your book up at a library book sale and I must say, I couldn't put it down. I couldn't even read it prior to going to bed because I would sit straight up and life would come back into my body from this exciting story. I have to say the most incredible testimony of the power of this book was when I gave it to my husband to read. He has never completed a book in the 24 years we've been married but this time, he read straight through cover to cover. Bravo for the best horse race I have ever seen... The one this book allowed me to view in my mind!!!
JoAnn Nicholls <>
sykesville, md USA - Monday, May 05, 2003 at 19:08:41 (EDT)
Laura, You know I had heard of Seabiscut growing up from my father and grandparents. But never fully understood the impact he had on that generation or the entire story. I have to admit I had wet eyes several times while reading your work. Excellent book and very well written. I appreciate it so much. I have forwarded the book to my daughter and sons as well. I have been involved with horses in one way or another for most of my life and this story seems to bridge all humans enjoy and revere about horses. I come away wonderng which one is taking care of the other. Thanks again. Brian
Brian Tobler <>
Carlsbad, Ca USA - Monday, May 05, 2003 at 16:47:43 (EDT)
I just want to say that I cried when I finished your book. I read few books that move me and inspire me like yours did and I just want to say thank you for opening America's eyes to a forgotten piece of history. I'm gonna see the movie!
Steph <>
Kansas City , MO USA - Monday, May 05, 2003 at 11:30:47 (EDT)
laura: may I mail book to you for your signature? thanks. bert
bert rosen <>
new york, ny USA - Sunday, May 04, 2003 at 23:28:57 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I truly LOVED your book. I read a lot, but not many books that touched me as this one. I am sending a copy to a soldier friend of mine in Iraq. I am disturbed that an internet list put Seabiscuit number 25 on a list of the greatest hundred thorobreds. I think he rated much higher. What's your opinion? Many thanks for the wonderful book. Sincerely, John Keating
john keating <>
san mateo, ca USA - Sunday, May 04, 2003 at 19:58:11 (EDT)
I just finnished your book. It has taken me almost a year to complete due to family obligations and everything else. I have to say that it was very exciting and hard to put down. Thank you for giving us this story - it will live in my heart forever!
Evelyn R. <>
Pickens, SC USA - Sunday, May 04, 2003 at 17:50:32 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Several months ago I e-mailed you on this forum asking about the dog you mentioned in the book as being Seabiscuit's companion, the one with the ears three times normal size. At that time I wondered if it was a Papillon, a breed rapidly gaining popularity since Kirby, a black and white Pap, won Westminster's Best in Show in 1999. You graciously encouraged me to pursue the identification of the dog. After the PBS special ran I polled the members of the Papillon mail list to get expert opinions on the picture of the dog in that documentary. The results: 2 no's, one strong maybe but more evidence would be helpful, and one very strong yes. Let me include the comments of the yes voter, Susi Gleffe, past president of the Papillon Club of America and professional breeder and shower of these little dogs (included with permission): "Just have to note my dissenting opinion -- I felt the dog DID look like a papillon, at least papillons of that time. Remember this was over 60 years ago. If you look at the photos of papillons in the late 30's/early 40's, the similarities are apparent --well, at least to me! We can't compare the photo shown in the documentary to today's papillons. Few of the show paps of that era resemble those seen in the show ring today, so a "companion quality" pap of that time would look even less so. Also, after a quick check of many of the rescue paps advertised today,you can see that the pap shown in the photo would probably be acceptedinto purebred rescue even today. I've had a few rescues (registered,albeit puppy mill/pet store offspring) come through here that looked very much like the dog shown in the piece on Seabiscuit -- matter of fact, I've seen many Paps in rescue that looked LESS like a papillon than Seabiscuit's little friend! We'll probably never be able to prove the origins of this dog (which was likely not a purebred anyway), but my feeling is there is quite a bit, and we'd need to speculate on what other breed could have contributed those, 'huge, saucer-shaped ears'." If I include my own private inclinations, I would agree with Susi Gleffe. The results, then, are tied with one vote (and this also is a very strong vote from an expert breeder and shower) in the middle. The Papillon community is split on the issue! I know that doesn't give you definitive evidence, but it's better than I hoped. If any other pictures of the dog turn up, I and several other Papillon afficionados would appreciate seeing them. As many others have posted, I thought the PBS program was more than wonderful. It was great to see you in person, and the film footage was nothing short of miraculous. The attention your book has received has been well earned. Seabuscuit's comeback story--and yours as well--inspires us all at a time when we really need inspiration. Thanks again, Chris Oravec
Christine Oravec <>
Salt Lake City, UT USA - Sunday, May 04, 2003 at 14:37:54 (EDT)
Laura, Is it possible to view the trailers online that were shown during the Derby? Once again, they're already moving me to tears. I'm going to look like an idiot at the movie. BTW - I am so affected by this horse and story that I cried yesterday for the first time during a car commercial! Thanks again for an incredible book that I will always treasure.
Kelly Halbert <>
Cincinnati, OH USA - Sunday, May 04, 2003 at 09:41:49 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I got hooked on Seabiscut upon seeing the documentary on the PBS channel. I had to learn more. Thanks to your very informative, and historical book ( I am half way through ), I am learning much more about these magnificient races horses, and the difficult lives of the early brave jockeys that rode them. Seabiscut is truely an american legend, and your narration makes it difficult to put the book down. Seabiscut has totally captured my heart and I must track down some pictures or photos of this great racehorse. Thank you for writing this wonderful book and giving us readers such a treat with your literature. Red La Fleur
Red La Fleur <>
tacoma, WA USA - Saturday, May 03, 2003 at 22:50:57 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I just finished watching the Kentucky Derby with "Funny Cide" winning! Another underdog and the first time since 1929 a gelding has won this race. All I could think about was Seabiscuit, another underdog! Your book has made horseracing and the life of trainers and jockey's come alive! It truly requires absolute and complete love and dedication to the animal and the sport. I'm so glad you shared this wonderful story with us. B.
Betty <>
Oxnard, CA USA - Saturday, May 03, 2003 at 18:57:53 (EDT)
I can relate to how both Seabiscuit and Red Pollard were underdogs. I run a nonprofit program that introduces inner city kids to horses. Feels like were headed into another period similar to the 1930s, but without the Roosevelts and the New Deal. The Seabiscuit story is truly fascinating and inspiring. My program has a link to the film because our now city-owned facility was built in 1939 and was considered as a possible location for the movie. Check out what we do at Thanks for putting this story on paper. I look forward to the film's release.
Harvey Smith <>
Berkeley, CA USA - Saturday, May 03, 2003 at 17:08:07 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: The paperback sat unread in my car for a month until I finally opened it up while waiting to pick up the kids from swim practice. After they got in the car it took some urging on their part to get me headed home since I couldn't put the book down (I got a few paragraphs in at red lights) and needless to say there was no dinner or help with homework that night- I was incapable of shutting the book! I have told 20 friends and relatives about the book and have purchased 5 paperback copies to hand out. I always preface my raving enthusiasm with, "I know, I hate horses too, but you HAVE to read this book!" Our cat of five years has been renamed "The Biscuit" and I am skipping my daughter's soccer game to watch the Kentucky Derby LIVE this afternoon. Thank you for the most heart- wrenching history of an era and a horse that reminds me of why I love this country so much, especially when the times we live in now have made me question America's soul. You are absolutely brilliant!
Gail Bloxham <>
Davis, CA USA - Saturday, May 03, 2003 at 12:18:50 (EDT)
Dear Laura, The story is wonderful. You are a poet.
Kevin McHale <>
Rochester, MI USA - Friday, May 02, 2003 at 11:54:14 (EDT)
"Bring on the Empty Horses" Thank you for your humanity, humor, and wisdom. Now that I've finished the book, I'm a bit loney without these people and animals you've given me and thier love of life. I would love to send you some of my watercolors........they all come out differently. My father, a tough/sensitive kid from Brooklyn, ran off from N.Y. to Hollywood in 1938 (he was 18). I have always envied him that trip. I have always been fastenated with the era. I've been to Jack London's Valley of the Moon in Glenn Ellen, now I'll have to make the treck to Willits! Warm thoughts! Reuel
reuel smith <>
crockett, ca USA - Friday, May 02, 2003 at 10:19:28 (EDT)
Laura, May 01, 2003 Thanks for all your labor in writing a truly great book. I'm in the middle of a bad cold, and yet I read this "page-turner" in two days. The book was loaned to us by Janet Way (a neice of Red Pollard) the way, the last Pollard sibling: (Joanne Way) age 75 (and Anne's best friend) died on April 10, 2003, here in Edmonton. So, continued success, and sincere appreciation for being the catalyst for a remarkable read. !!
Peter and Anne Lema <>
Edmonton, AB Can - Thursday, May 01, 2003 at 22:07:29 (EDT)
Just wanted to say: Great Book, and I can't wait to see the movie on the big screen. I actually got a chance to be a part of the movie as well, I was part of the crowd scenes filmed at Keenland Racetrack in Lexington, it was a very cold day, but it was well worth it! I know this movie wil be Great, again great book, can't wait to read your next one.
Shane Nicholson <>
Lexington, Ky USA - Thursday, May 01, 2003 at 19:32:48 (EDT)
Laura-In the early 60's My father & I rode colts for Lin Howard, my dad had a training stable in Buellton, Cal. He was a very good hand and Lin told us the jockeys loved these colts that we had started because they didn't run away with them they would actually stop and turn around and back up! We used them on the ranch just like any horse we took in training, we gathered and worked cows on them although they had never seen such a creature in their lives, the first horse we got from Lin was a colt called Grandpa I recall it took dad 4 hours to get this horse up close to a cow! Lin would bring 4 horses at a time to us we would ride them 4-6 months and he would take those four home and bring four more, we did this for quite a few years, I was about 16-18 at the time, Lin actually gave me a mare that he couldn't breed. Could you please tell me when he passed away? Your excellent book brought back some very wonderful memories, the horses most of them sired by Noor & Natheu(?) and wonderful man, I most remember a time when our family, Mom Dad and myself went to visit him at his ranch in Moorpark, Ca. The lifesize statue of "Seabiscuit" at the entrance. My fathers name was Walt Mason.
Judy (Mason) Anderson <>
Auburn, Ca USA - Thursday, May 01, 2003 at 18:21:30 (EDT)
Greetings, Just wanted to let you know that our bookclub will be starting your book soon. We will take 15 weeks to read it. This book club at the Aphasia Center of California ( adapts the bookclub concept so stroke survivors with aphasia can access literature again. About 15 people attend the bookclub sessions. We use the large print book version, the audio tapes from Talking Books and we create material to help support the story and make it accessible for our stroke survivors who have difficulty reading. We look forward to spending the rest of spring and most of the summer with Seabiscuit! All our best, Ellen Ellis and the members of the Aphasia Center bookclub
Ellen Ellis <>
Walnut Creek, CA USA - Thursday, May 01, 2003 at 17:50:50 (EDT)
The book was the best! Very moving! I grew up on horses and had the priviledge of riding some great ones. Your descriptions of the powerful feelings of being on one of God's greatest creatures were so perfect. You brought those experiences back to life for me and I felt the thrill all over again! Your writing made it so easy to relate to what it must have been like for everyone involoved in the real story of Seabiscuit. All the big names in horse racing were a part of my life but none like Seabiscuit. He was very special because he was an overcomer against great odds as was the team who brought him to success. I remember going to fairs and carnivals as a a kid and always making a bee line for the horse race games. Seabiscuit was always my first pick. He was a hero! He gave all of us underdogs hope! Your book brings it all back to life! It's a story we wish would never end! Thank you!
Sue Radder <>
Grand Island, NY USA - Wednesday, April 30, 2003 at 14:34:03 (EDT)
our math teacher told us about sea biscuit i looked him up, so go seabiscuit. we will honor him today. hip hip hooray!!!!!!!!
USA - Wednesday, April 30, 2003 at 08:56:03 (EDT)
In math class we brought up horses and my math teachers mentioned Seabiscuit. My friends and I really liked what we heard about Seabiscuit, and we enjoyed your slideshow.
J.J. Young <none>
Philadelphia, P.A. USA - Wednesday, April 30, 2003 at 08:50:36 (EDT)
Laura, I just finished Seabiscuit and, wow, what a book! I'm still reeling from reading the epilogue so I must go back and read it again. You made the horse and the people in the book so large and so powerful that they should have lived forever. This is the kind of book I read and then ask myself, What am I going to do, now that I've finished this book?
Jackie Kuhwarth <>
Sacramento, CA USA - Wednesday, April 30, 2003 at 05:04:48 (EDT)
Knew very little about horse racing or of Seabiscuit when I picked up your book. The way you tell a story made this one of the most exciting books I have ever read. I am lookng forward to visting the horse racing track this weekend. Sure wish I could see Seabiscuit.
kent kraft <>
phoenix, az USA - Tuesday, April 29, 2003 at 23:40:15 (EDT)
Laura, Your novel on Seabiscuit is one of the best books I have ever read. I was hooked from the first chapter and cried through the ending. You are a very gifted and insightful writer and I look forward to your next book. You give so much joy to so many people. Thanks. Sharon Manuel
Sharon Manuel <>
Brookfield, Ill USA - Tuesday, April 29, 2003 at 21:54:28 (EDT)
Your book was great. The documentary was great. With Chris Cooper in the movie I am sure it will be great also. The Seabiscuit story is the "stuff that dreams are made of."
james shoop <>
fairfield, nj USA - Tuesday, April 29, 2003 at 21:11:13 (EDT)
I bought your book for my father as a personal gift to him for his upcoming wedding. I would love to be able to get it autographed by you if that were at all possible. Would you be touring up in the Ottawa, Ontario, Canada area (SARS free!) in the coming weeks or months? Please dvise if possible. best wishes in your endeavours and I look forward to reading your book soon. Sincerely, Philip Kelly
Philip Kelly <>
Ottawa, ON CAN - Tuesday, April 29, 2003 at 15:22:08 (EDT)
Hi Laura; my brother Robert, upon reading your book and examining his birth certificate, was delighted to find he was delivered by Doc Babcock - this was in Oct35 at the Willits Hospital. Was Doc's first name Richard? The scrawly signature only indicates R.....d. My only memories of Ridgewood is the carsick-inducing, hot, winding Hwy 101 in the summer in the 40's and 50's past the entrance. We are enjoying the book and look forward to the movie.
Lin Price <>
Winchester, TN USA - Tuesday, April 29, 2003 at 14:42:55 (EDT)
Frank LaBoccetta jr <>
queens , ny USA - Tuesday, April 29, 2003 at 12:16:44 (EDT)
After being up until 3AM finishing Seabiscuit last night - Thank You. An astonishing story, beautifully crafted. Thanks for putting me inside the skins of your characters, and on the back of that horse. I wept my way through the library copy - this morning, I bought a hardcover copy because I wanted to pay you for my experience. I'm such a sap. Waiting for your next work!
Scott Daniels <>
Dover, OH USA - Tuesday, April 29, 2003 at 10:51:16 (EDT)
The PBS special was excellent. Nice promo for the movie. Best of luck to you on the Derby. Look out for the Lucas colt.
Mike Herbst <>
Mount Vernon, WA USA - Monday, April 28, 2003 at 23:28:14 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Thank you for your excellent work with your book on Seabiscuit. Congratulations on your success! Your ability to explain the horseracing world to the layperson is exceptional. There is an unprecedented six-year rivalry continuing in horse racing that I am hoping you might be interested in writing about. This is the longest rivalry in sports history between two individuals. This rivalry is being compared to as another "Alydar vs, Affirmed." It is touted as the "rivalry of the" year according to TVG. It has been written about by Sports Illustrated, Thoroughbred Times, the Daily Racing Form and Blood Horse magazines. There have been numerous newspaper articles including the L.A. Times, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. On September 8, 2002 there was a match race at Del Mar, only six days later another match race was held at Pomona during the Los Angeles County Fair. This year on May 23, 2003 there will be another match race held at Los Alamitos Racetrack. The purse for these match races is only $10,000. No one else will compete against one of the contestants. This individual has only been beaten a handful of times in a hundred or so races by one other competitor. These match races have ben simulcast all over the country, and are becoming quite the phenomena for horse racing fans. I'm sure you have heard of these two? They are mules. Black Ruby, an eleven year old jenny (mare), and her only competition - Taz, an eight year old jack (gelding. Black Ruby has been called the "Secretariat" of mule racing. Mule racing was incorporated into the California summer fair racing circuit about six years ago. I have worked in the horse racing industry in northern California for the past nine years. Although I don't work directly with the horses, or mules, I enjoy the atmosphere in racing. I believe the story of these two mules, their owners, trainers, jockeys, etc. has all the elements of another great book by you. If you would like to contact the owners or trainers, I'm certain they would be delighted to share their experiences with you. They are "down home" nice people. Thank you for your consideration of this idea. I'm sure people would be interested in this story. If I can be of assistance please feel free to contact me. Sincerely, Nora Lee
Nora Lee <>
San Mateo, CA USA - Monday, April 28, 2003 at 18:45:24 (EDT)
Sea biscuit is a wonderful horse. He is a hall of fame in my book.
olla, la USA - Monday, April 28, 2003 at 10:32:10 (EDT)
Your book was terrific. I lifetime fan of horseracing has sparked my interest in the sport once again. Can you share any information with me regarding the pinball machine created in the late 30's. I'd like to find one. Thanks, Joe
Joe Drury <>
Leonardtown, md USA - Monday, April 28, 2003 at 03:47:14 (EDT)
It bring's tear's to my eyes the story of Seabiscuit. He, and his jockey Johnny Pollard had tough lives, and had to fight hard to become the champion's they became. They indeed deserve to be called Legend's. I am writing you this response, because Seabiscuit's story reminded me of another legend, who's story need's to be told. I would plead with you to please think about writing the story of an unforgetible Race horse, who gave her life for the sport. The horse is RUFFIAN. The amazing spirited race horse, that lost her life, due to a shattered foreleg, from her last, and heartbreaking race, the match race between her, and Foolish Pleasure, at Belmont race track. I was a teen when watching Ruffian race that fateful day. I cried, and cried when I watched in horror this magnificent, spirited, beautiful horse, with such courage, and will to run, that she actually caused more damage to her shattered ankle, which in the end cost her, her life after waking from sugery, and destroying the cast that was placed on her leg. Like Seabiscuit, Ruffian was a wonder spirit, that graced those of us who love horses, with a chance to be know them, and love them. I can not think of Seabiscuit, without thinking of Ruffian too. They were both courageous, magnificent horses, and I thank you for giving Seabiscit his due. All I ask is that you consider giving Ruffian the same opportunity to share her story with the world, so that she won't be forgotten.... I thank you very much for taking the time to consider this, as your next book. Ruffian's story need's to be told for those who knew, and loved her, and for those who never got the chance, but could in future come to love her, and her memory as much as I, and other's who will alway's remember Ruffian....
R. M. <>
-, MA USA - Monday, April 28, 2003 at 01:57:21 (EDT)
When I was a kid, my family gave me a board game one Christmas. I don't remember the name of it, but it was one of those games where each player got a horse, you rolled the dice and counted off squares, simulating a race around the board. Among the horses were War Admiral, Whirlaway, Citation....and Seabiscuit. Who was Seabiscuit? I asked my grandfather--maybe the most dedicated racing fan I ever knew--if he'd seen or heard of Seabiscuit. Turns out he'd seen 'em all, and by his account best of them was Seabiscuit. At the time I was surprised, because I thought a horse had to win the Derby to be really great. Little did I know. Laura, thank you so much for your book. I was in tears for much of it, though I can't say exactly why. Maybe it's as simple as the power of your love of Seabiscuit and those around him. I've given your book to several people--I even left a copy in Hawaii--and have been the recipient of much gratitude. All that should go to you, as you are an amazing writer. Thank you so much for your dedication and courage...and your wisdom in finding the very best subject for your skills.
Jeff Craddock <>
Silver Spring, MD USA - Sunday, April 27, 2003 at 12:02:28 (EDT)
My wife saw the story on PBS and thought there was a family resemblance. My hair is red and thinning also.Found out about your book when searching for the story.
John R. Pollard <>
Beverly Hillls, Fl. USA - Sunday, April 27, 2003 at 10:49:40 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I watched the documentary last Monday on PBS featuring Seabiscuit. I read your book last summer and it was just fantastic. I really think what makes it such a great read is because of ALL your research, dedication, style, grace and such a wonderful horse. Plus it is a true story. Also what I liked so much about your book is that it brought hope,it is a part of our history AND it did not involve a war or destruction of a country. Imagine that. It is amazing what a horse and a great writer can do! I can not wait until the movie comes out this summer. I just love that Seabiscuit. Thank You Again Ms. Hillenbrand for you sprit!
C Rockstad <>
Bismarck, ND USA - Sunday, April 27, 2003 at 09:23:13 (EDT)
Laura, Congratulations on a masterpiece. I thoroughly enjoyed every word in your wonderful book and eagerly look forward to the movie this July. However, there were a few items in your gem that I was a little bit confused about. Can I post here, or might you e-mail me? Vince Piscitelli
Vince Piscitelli <>
Benicia, Ca USA - Sunday, April 27, 2003 at 09:06:30 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Seabiscuit is beautiful. I have never experienced anything like it. Everyone is so real as if I know them, and especially Biscuit. I know nothing of horse racing, but heard of all the famous names from my father when I was a little girl. I learned so much about the total picture, but the relationship with Smith and Pollard and Biscuit was amazing. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR RESEARCH AND DEDICATION. iT SURE IS A GIFT TO ALL THAT READ THIS MARVELOUS BOOK. tEARS WERE RUNNING DOWN MY FACE DURING THE END OF THE STORY. i CAN RELATE TO THE LOVE OF THE ANIMAL AND THOSE WHO LOVE HIM. tHANK YOU SO MUCH.
Donna Timko <>
Eastlake, OH USA - Saturday, April 26, 2003 at 22:17:11 (EDT)
Your book was given to me as a present from my sports loving daughter in law.I thought she was nuts.(still do at times)She knows I like racing ,but iI thought what can a book about a horse be like.well I soon found out ,shince once started I could not put the book down untill finished. This book could wins the TRIPLE CROWN. This past week on the REGIS show he said he had seen the movie.My undestanding is that it will not be out untill July 2003.Was it an PREVIEW that he saw or is it in fact been released? Please reply to email and let me know,as there is no way I will miss seeing this movie. Thank you again for a great book,and Thank you my daughter in law.
Mardi Merjian <>
bayside , ny USA - Saturday, April 26, 2003 at 11:00:02 (EDT)
I've just finished reading your magnificant book and want to say thank you. It brought back memories of childhood trips to Agua Caliente with my parents. I must say that your description of the original tracks demise was one of the funniest things I have ever read. It deepened my appreciation of those days spent under the eaves, watching my folks urging thier horses on. When I visit Del Mar this summer, I'm sure it will be a far different experience for me than in years past. What is it about this book that is so evocative and moves so many people? It has created a certain yearning that is bitter sweet and incomprehensible. The broken,brave and lately unsung characters of this story deserve the spotlight that you have so gently turned on them. Congratulations and thank you.
T. Zirnite
USA - Friday, April 25, 2003 at 17:40:21 (EDT)
P.S. If you can write a book like Seabiscuit when you are ill, I'd love to see what you write when you are healthy again!! Wow!
Alexandra Mayer <>
Palo Alto, CA USA - Friday, April 25, 2003 at 17:24:17 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Your description of how you feel described me to a "T" when I had a misdiagnosis of CFS for 4 years, before my real diagnosis of celiac disease (aka gluten intolerance). This is a very common misdiagnosis, since CD can masquerade as CFS. I don't want to be another person offering your "cure" since this info won't help unless you test positive. If you haven't been tested for celiac disease and gluten intolerance, like many other CFS sufferers, you could be missing the key to your health. I'm writing since I hate to see others suffer as I did and wish someone had clued ME in earlier since CD is so common and CFS is the #1 misdiagnosis. I'm an athletic, highly educated, career-oriented woman who became bedridden at 30 years old. I re-started my life 4 years later, a few months after getting my CD diagnosis and changing my diet. Occam's razor comes to mind when I think of all the failed CFS treatments I tried compared to the simple one that gave me my life back - diet. For more info, see and Email me if you'd like to know more.
Alexandra Mayer <>
Palo Alto, CA USA - Friday, April 25, 2003 at 17:16:46 (EDT)
I live in the foothills above Arcadia, California. I hike four days a week in the San Gabriel Mountains. As I hike down, off in the distance, I can clearly see Santa Anita Racetrack. Ever since I read your book, I no longer look at that track the same way. Your book really moved me. A classic speaks to everyone. You cinched it with yours. Nothing but the best of luck to you.
Joe Tortomasi <>
USA - Friday, April 25, 2003 at 16:31:42 (EDT)
I just finished your book "Seabiscuit, An American Legend" today, and was completely captivated. It just won my heart! The best book I've read in a very long time, it made me just fall to pieces for the little horse who had more heart than all the others. Your descriptions of the actual races had me literally biting my nails, crying and laughing at turns! Thank you for bringing such a magnificent part of history, and such a magnificent horse, alive for me. I will never forget this book, or Seabiscuit.
Anne McIlhany
Houston, TX USA - Friday, April 25, 2003 at 16:09:08 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Deepest thanks for a most excellent book. "Seabiscuit An American Legend" touches my heart like no book I have ever read. I hope you don't mind if I suggest that you look into a book titled "Live Right For Your Type" by Dr.Peter D'Adamo for yout CFS. I do not have CFS, but have had amazing results by following his blood type diet for other health problems. He also has a web site and a clinic in Connecticut. I wish you well.
longwood, fl USA - Thursday, April 24, 2003 at 22:48:40 (EDT)
I have just watched the American Experience program on PBS about Seabiscuit. What an amazing story! Seabiscuit was a legend at a time when America was hurting and needed a hero. The very next day I began reading your book and I can't wait for the movie this summer. I can't quite figure out what my attraction is to this story but I am absolutely engrossed by Seabiscuit. After seeing the trailer on the internet I had tears in my eyes. Thank you Laura!
Rick Deloney <>
Harrisonburg, VA USA - Thursday, April 24, 2003 at 14:40:52 (EDT)
I have just this moment finished the very last word in your magnificent book...I cannot tell you how much I loved this book. What a horse, what a confluence of amazing people, what a story! Thank you.
dee leonard
Haverhill, MA USA - Thursday, April 24, 2003 at 12:41:08 (EDT)
This is a very interesting site and i have enjoyed viewing the slideshow that you have put together.
Amanda Dial <>
Mansfield, Tx USA - Thursday, April 24, 2003 at 12:16:26 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, Many years ago my father gave me a book by the noted English author P.G. Wodehouse. The story therein was one involving the fictional characters Bertie Wooster and his butler (gentleman's gentleman) Jeeves. That did it - I have been hooked on Wodehouses's writing ever since and I continually come back to it. I have the feeling that your wonderful book "Seabiscuit" is going to be in the same category. The phrase "shit godzilla" is so perfect that it defies description, so I won't try. Yesterday I started reading the book for the 3rd time. I read recently in The Blood Horse that someone whose name I can't remember had decided it was time to criticize some picayune point in your book and a few weeks later the final page was your response to him. You were a bit restrained in your response so let me just say this: he should have subtitled his piece "I'll never be able to write like that so I'll have to content myself with some cheap shots to get some attantion." Many thanks again and let me end with this question: Who is the "Borden" to whom the book is dedicated? I ask because that is my middle name, and I am a distant cousin of Lizzie. Terry McManus
Terry McManus <>
Wanatah, In. USA - Thursday, April 24, 2003 at 12:12:04 (EDT)
I knew next to nothing about horses before reading your book. Now whenever I think of it, I can FEEL the horse thundering beneath me, as if I'M in the irons! By the way, your mom and my mother-in-law are friends.
Miriam Erez <>
Ketura, Israel - Thursday, April 24, 2003 at 07:11:57 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, It's a small world, my late Uncle, Richard Grunder, was a friend of your Father and your Uncle Jim Hillenbrand. He told me about your book and how fascinating it was. I bought it the other day and can't put it down. I just wanted to compliment you on your fine writing style and exceptional research. This is truly a great book and destined to become a classic. Sincerely, Scott Dwinelle
Sc ott Dwinelle <>
Alexandria, VA USA - Wednesday, April 23, 2003 at 21:27:25 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Many years ago, more than I care to admit, my father sat me down and gave me a book to read by P.G. Wodehouse, the great English humorist who created among others the characters Bertie Wooster and his butler Jeeves. In the many years since I have read his works over and over and over, some of them more than 10 times, and each time I return to one of them I am rewarded. I believe it is going to be the same with your wonderful book "Seabiscuit". If for no other reason, I can once again look forward to that exquisitely perfect phrase "shit godzilla". Did that come to you in a dream? I saw the PBS documentary last night and I had to agree with the Chicago Tribune opinion of it - It's wonderful but it was too short. I have the movie to look forward to this summer and I have the book to read (starting this afternoon for the third time (1st time October 2-4 of 2001, 2nd time November 27 through December 2 of 2002, and now the third, (but not last time). Recently it seems there was a bit of a fuss in the Thoroughbred Magazine The Blood Horse about some one or other challenging you on some picayune point in the book, and the last page was devoted to your reply. I only vaguely remember the objection a while back and your defense was ok, but I couldn't help but think that that guy whose name I forget should have subtitled his querulous little piece "I couldn't write that well in 5 lifetimes so I'll just take a cheap shot!" Pay no attention. Terry McManus
Terry McManus <>
Wanatah, In. USA - Wednesday, April 23, 2003 at 17:04:43 (EDT)
Hello Ms. Hillenbrand. I am producing a story on Seabiscuit for the local NBC affiliate to air during this year's Preakness. Any interest in being part of the story? I would love to talk to you. Please let me know at your earliest convenience! Thank you. Toba Rainess
Toba Rainess <>
Baltimore, MD USA - Wednesday, April 23, 2003 at 16:47:02 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I just watched Seabiscuit: An American Legend on the American Experience from PBS. What a wonderful documentary based on a superbly written book. Bravo. When the book first came out in 2001, I noticed that it was a "must read". Now I used to ride horses when I was a kid at summer camp, but I was not into horse racing as a story. Your book is such a treasure of little bits of information woven into a story that reads like a great novel. When I first finished the book, I went out and bought it, and advised my father to read it, as he used to take care of horses on his Uncle's farm in Minnesota. I enjoy how you describe each character--Red, Smith, Mr. Howard, the horses, and the scenery. Your description of the times back in the 30's brought me right there. You are very knowledgeable about horses. Thanks for bringing a great story to life.
Dave Hultgren <>
Monroe, NY USA - Wednesday, April 23, 2003 at 15:38:53 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I just watched Seabiscuit: An American Legend on the American Experience from PBS. What a wonderful documentary based on a superbly written book. Bravo. When the book first came out in 2001, I noticed that it was a "must read". Now I used to ride horses when I was a kid at summer camp, but I was not into horse racing as a story. Your book is such a treasure of little bits of information woven into a story that reads like a great novel. When I first finished the book, I went out and bought it, and advised my father to read it, as he used to take care of horses on his Uncle's farm in Minnesota. I enjoy how you describe each character--Red, Smith, Mr. Howard, the horses, and the scenery. Your description of the times back in the 30's brought me right there. You are very knowledgeable about horses. Thanks for bringing a great story to life.
Dave Hultgren <>
Monroe, NY USA - Wednesday, April 23, 2003 at 15:37:59 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I watched the PBS program the other night about Seabiscuit. I did not know at the time that it was put together from your book. I was born in 1939, so was not personally familiar with the story, but had heard of it as an adult. I am writing to complement you on the story, and to offer my services to you as a typist, if you would care to dictate your next book. My daughter suffers from Meneires Disease which also has vertigo as one of the effects, so I know from her just how dibilitating it can be. With e-mail, it would be so easy. You could send your full tapes to me, and I could type and send them to you by email so that you would have a hard-copy to work on, and so on and on. Please contact me if I can be of help. Judy Rife Administrative Assistant to the President Cornish College of the Arts 710 E Roy Street Seattle, WA 98102
Judy Rife <>
Seattle, WA USA - Wednesday, April 23, 2003 at 13:35:38 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Yours is the greatest book I have ever read, without exception. I heard you on the Tony Kornheiser show, and thought you were just great. I have considered myself a struggling writer because, although close once or twice, I have not yet been published. After hearing and reading about you, I have a better understanding of what a struggling author truly is. I am completely humbled by the incredible work you produced under such adverse conditions. You inspire me to put aside my petty distractions and keep writing, submitting; writing and submitting. If you had any words of advice or counsel, I would appreciate hearing from you more than I can. However, I can imagine how much the recent promotional appearances and your work on the movie have taken from your time and energy. Please accept my praise, admiration and best wishes. Sincerely, Paul Barbour
Paul Barbour <>
Baldwinsville, NY USA - Wednesday, April 23, 2003 at 10:06:54 (EDT)
Hi Laura. I'm in awe of you. I love how articulate you are and how you speak of the legend Seabiscuit with the passion, knowledge and ease of a great story teller. Your guestbook indicates you have touched many lives with your written words, I can't imagine the hoopla that is yet to come with the movie. I hope you are well enough to participate in promotional interviews before the movie is released because I think it would be even more interesting to hear from you than the big stars of the film. My brother in-law reads nothing but horse racing history books since reading your book. My husband, an avid reader of exclusively sci fi/fantasy material, tells me regularly that your book is the best he has ever read. The office of our new home is adorned with recently acquired black and white photos of past race horsing legends including, Seabiscuit being ridden by Sonny Workman, and Seabiscuit beating War Admiral. I think there is going to be a huge resurge in the interest in the history of horse racing. Your book sat unread by my bedside for months. I kept looking at it, knowing I should read such hugely recommended book, and with the move, never got around to it. After watching the PBS documentary (two nights in a row), I can't wait to read it. I just love the "Rudy" type story where the unlikely perseveres beyond belief. My husband and brother in-law are extremely hard-working iron workers who come home and dedicate each and every evening to their families. I sure would love to send them to the movie premier. I think it would be one of their life's highlights. I'll have to look into how to make that happen. If anyone out there can help me, I'd love to hear from you. Laura, all the best to you as one of your life purposes is raised before you.
L. Love <>
Jordan, MN USA - Wednesday, April 23, 2003 at 02:42:18 (EDT)
Laura, The first time in my adult life that I heard the name “Seabiscuit” was about 6 weeks ago when my vet walked onto the horse ranch in Agua Dulce, California, where I board my two horses and asked if any of the newborn foals there (there's 8 of them) were bay colored. He explained to me that he had been approached by some movie people and was tasked to help search for a foal that could “play” the Seabiscuit foal part in your upcoming movie about Seabiscuit. Somewhere in my collective memory the forgotten name “Seabiscuit” instantly arose to the surface of my mind and correlated with the faint recollections of a famous horse that I had once, long ago, heard of somewhere in my childhood (I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s). My response to the vet’s inquiry was “COOL ! ”. Unfortunately, none of the foals in my barn matched what he was looking for. Subsequently, with my interest peaked, I went to the internet to do a search on “Seabiscuit” to see what was up with this new movie and to quench my newly born thirst for more knowledge of Seabiscuit. I found your website. I was intrigued, as all horse lovers will be, to learn more about Seabiscuit and to discover that you had written a book about him. I then bought your book a few weeks ago, and finished reading it the day that the PBS special was aired (yesterday). The PBS special was fascinating in that I got to see Seabiscuit in action, in his glory, and all of the people I had just read about. Your revealing book made me fall in love with Seabiscuit. I found myself in tears many times as I read your most excellently written story of that incredible horse with the largest of hearts, and the special people who surrounded him and loved him. Now, when I spend time with my two horses, a 15 year old thoroughbred Arab mare and a young 5 year old Thoroughbred mare ex-race horse that I just acquired last November, I almost feel like I’m back in the 1930’s era of time when horses were special to everyone, because I have a big heart for horses. That’s how much your book touched my soul. When I read the Acknowledgements section of your book I was very very surprised to find a personal connection between my ex-race horse, “Faded Memory”, and the story of Seabiscuit…I learned that A.G. Vanderbilt Jr., the man who orchestrated the match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral at his Pimlico race track actually owned the Great Great Grandfather of my horse (Faded Memory)...the very famous Native Dancer! I recently learned of my horse’s relationship to Native Dancer (my horse is BIG, 16.3 hands, and she looks like Native Dancer) when I paid the Jockey Club to do a tatoo research on my horse’s tatoo number (she only raced in four races, and only won $577...she had a crummy trainer), but not knowing much about Thoroughbred racing history, I didn’t know that Vanderbilt owned Native Dancer. Wow! What a small world it is when it comes to thoroughbreds. Needless to say, I will be anxiously waiting for the movie to open this summer. In the meantime, I’ll continue to train my sweetheart of an ex-race horse (her nickname is “Spice”) to NOT run like she’s in a race when she’s around other horses on a trail ride and dump me off in a flying heap when she comes to a very abrupt stop at the end of her own little personal race (luckily I didn’t get hurt), and I plan on making a pilgrimage to Santa Anita race track soon (I’ve never been there even though I’ve lived not far from it for 16 years) to visit the statues of Seabiscuit and Woolf and imagine in my mind Pollard and Woolf riding Seabiscuit and hearing the roars of the crowds at the "Hunert Granders". I only wish that I could visit Seabiscuit. Thank you so much for your gift to us in writing about Seabiscuit’s story. If you ever come to L.A., please let me know so that I can ask you to sign my book, and I’d love to invite you to visit my horses and their horse ranch home in Agua Dulce! Joe Kieras
Joe Kieras <>
Long Beach, CA USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 23:43:53 (EDT)
The PBS showing was GREAT! I thought you were an older gal...oops! I have more faith in the future and the younger generation now that YOU HAVE CAPTURED A MOMENT-IN-TIME THAT WASN'T IN YOUR TIME! Good for you...and thanks for rekindling the SPIRIT of SEABISCUIT!
LeAnna <>
Willits, CA USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 23:23:27 (EDT)
I first read your book in July of 01 and am still at a loss to explain how Seabiscuit has captured my imagination so completely, even given your wonderful skill in telling the story. Last night I saw the PBS special on him and was so thrilled to actually get to see him in moving film - not only the racing, which was amazing, but just him. I, of course am now re-reading the book and enjoying it more this time, because I know all of the characters a bit now. The one piece of the story that saddens me, I guess because I cannot understand the motive, is the manner in which Mr. Howard chose to bury Seabiscuit. It just seems it would have been much more fitting to honor him by burial in a public place and manner so that his many admirers could honor him with a visit if they wished. I hope to some day hear you explain, if you know more about it, why Seabuscuit was buried in an anonymous place.
D.H. Grummett <>
USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 23:20:41 (EDT)
Laura, I coach a swim team in San Antonio. Our unofficial mascot this season has been Seabiscuit. The kids are learning that sheer determination beats everything. We are all going to see the movie when it is released. Thanks for your good work. -Rick Whittlesey
Rick Whittlesey <>
San Antonio, TX USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 22:08:41 (EDT)
Hello Laura, I am writing you a note to say how much I enjoyed your book and that I am a nephew of Red and Agnes. My mother was Alice Conlon, sister to Agnes. My two sisters and I lived with them ( I think thier son was named Mike, but we called Norah "Patty" If I remember, I was very young, about five I think. We had fallen on tough times, my father Raymond Greene, although a graduate of Boston College and a Deputy Sheriff of the Charles St jail, managed to about drink himself to death. My mother managed to hold the family together working as a legal secretary in Boston. She died a few days short of her 88th birthday two years ago. Well enough of my rambling, again my compliments on a terrific book, not just about uncle Red, but about horse racing in that era. If it is possible, I would love to email Norah, if you had that information I would greatly appreciate it. Regards, Ray Greene
Raymond G Greene <>
Essex, MA USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 20:45:42 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I work at an OTB in South Dakota.I have been to the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders Cup.My boss goes to both every year and currently owns a number of racehorses.Your book is one of the finest about racing I have ever read.I want for the movie to be just as big of a success.I have recently seen the first trailer and must say it is awful.It looks like a history lesson on WW2 and the depression rather than a wonderful story of friendship,overcoming obstacles,believing in something,and a great racehorse.The trailer conveys nothing of the spirit of your fabulous story.I hope you will address this problem to the movie's producers and hopefully the new trailer will show us the beauty of your book.You need to make the public want to see the movie before thet will see it. Sincerely BRETT GOUCHER
brett goucher <>
sioux falls, sd USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 20:06:24 (EDT)
Dear Laura-Last fall a friend recommended your book as a "must read". I got it as a Christmas gift, put it on my reading "pile", and finally got ot it on the outbound leg of a business trip this month. As I got deeper into the story, I found it more difficult to put the book down, finally staying up the last night to read the last 100+ pages. I'm old enough to remember the 1949 (?) movie in the 50s, and only old enough to vaguely remember hearing about the horse. The story is incredibly, and you did a magnificent job telling it. Congratulations! Then I read about your health issues and the impact they had on your writing the book. Your persistence, perserverance and courage rival the characters in the book. I salute you for overcoming your challenges. You are a role model for all of us. I look forward to your next book! Bill Riley Danville, CA
Bill Riley <>
Danville, CA USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 19:52:32 (EDT)
That Story was one of the greatest in American History.And i have never seen a Horse that went on to be an american Icon,Movie Star,Radio Personality,Horse,Spokesperson from every thing from Hats to Cars.Just think about the way that horse would ride like the wind.And how at the time this was the "great depression"and not only did Seabisket help heal America but also the whole World.
Larry B.Williams,Jr <>
Sanfrancisco, Ca USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 18:55:27 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand. I have just finished re-reading 'Seabiscuit' and appreciate what an excellent narrative it is. Even if one knew nothing of horses, racetracks, and the people who love them,your book makes the reader part of the drama and romance. I became a friend and neighbor of Marcella ( Howard ) Fenton in the 1960's and was constantly reminded of the 'charmed Cinderella' lives of the Zabala sisters. Is there a possibility their stories could become material in your capable hands? Our family looks forward to the 'Seabiscuit' movie and hopes it enjoys the great success it deserves. Thank you again for an excellent read. Sincerely, Doris Robbins
Doris Robbins <>
Port Orchard , WA USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 17:45:43 (EDT)
Hi Laura, My compliments on a very informative and well-done documentary on America's racehorse Seabiscuit. One of the things I liked about this story was the describing of Seabiscuit's nature--sort of a free spirit and non-conformist, something a lot of us can identify with. The other part I liked was at the end of the match race with War Admirial when Seabiscuit's owner said "see, I told you so, my horse just made that horse a rear admiral!" If there ever was a champion 'darkhorse', Seabiscuit was it! Truly an inspiration for all of us. Best, Bob Covarrubias
Bobby <>
San Diego, CA USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 17:39:47 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand,
Doris Robbins <>
Port Orchard , WA USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 17:32:31 (EDT)
Hi Laura, My compliments on a very informative and well-done documentary on America's racehorse Seabiscuit. One of the things I liked about this story was the describing of Seabiscuit's nature--sort of a free spirit and non-conformist, something a lot of us can identify with. The other part I liked was at the end of the match race with War Admirial when Seabiscuit's owner said "see, I told you so, my horse just made that horse a rear admiral!" If there ever was a champion 'darkhorse', Seabiscuit was it! Truly an inspiration for all of us. Best, Bob Covarrubias
Bobby <>
San Diego, CA USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 17:31:15 (EDT)
I enjoyed the PBS Documentary last night and I am looking forward to the book. I was brought up on the ranch adjoining Ridgewood Ranch owned by Charles Howard and where Seabiscuit retired. Growing up I heard alot about Seabiscuit but could never quite understand why. I looked in the Almanac and saw that Seabiscuit never won the Kentucky Derby or any race listed int the Almanac. I thought that maybe Seabiscuit was talked about because of a move made before I was born. Then I read Seabuiscuit: An American Legend. I consider one of the best books I have ever read. For one thing it answered by question as to what the big deal was with Seabuiscuit. For another, it was so well written that I could hardly wait until I got to the part about the race with War Admiral. I don't know if it was the writing that made the book so good, or the fact that it is such a great legend--or both. It is one story that I find inspiring. At my age, I am inspired by less and less. It is refreshing to be so taken by this story. Ever since I was a little boy in the early 1950's I have heard speculation as to where on Ridgewood that Seabiscuit is burried. Nobody seems to know. This story confirms that maybe he is still alive---in our imagination at the very least.
Christopher Neary <>
Willits, Ca USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 15:24:48 (EDT)
I enjoyed the PBS Documentary last night and I am looking forward to the book. I was brought up on the ranch adjoining Ridgewood Ranch owned by Charles Howard and where Seabiscuit retired. Growing up I heard alot about Seabiscuit but could never quite understand why. I looked in the Almanac and saw that Seabiscuit never won the Kentucky Derby or any race listed int the Almanac. I thought that maybe Seabiscuit was talked about because of a move made before I was born. Then I read Seabuiscuit: An American Legend. I consider one of the best books I have ever read. For one thing it answered by question as to what the big deal was with Seabuiscuit. For another, it was so well written that I could hardly wait until I got to the part about the race with War Admiral. I don't know if it was the writing that made the book so good, or the fact that it is such a great legend--or both. It is one story that I find inspiring. At my age, I am inspired by less and less. It is refreshing to be so taken by this story. Ever since I was a little boy in the early 1950's I have heard speculation as to where on Ridgewood that Seabiscuit is burried. Nobody seems to know. This story confirms that maybe he is still alive---in our imagination at the very least.
Christopher Neary <>
Willits, Ca USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 15:18:26 (EDT)
WASHINGTON, DC USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 14:07:52 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I watched the PBS presentation on Seabiscuit last night, and enjoyed it immensely. I always knew there was a legend about the horse, but I did not know it was so dramatic. Thank you for presenting a heartfelt story of a courageous horse and his equally outstanding jockey. The Pollard family has much to be proud of.
Melda Lara
Fullerton, CA USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 13:41:39 (EDT)
Dear Laura, As a great-granddaughter of Charles Howard, I am so glad to see that you have brought him back to be recognized once again. Last night I watched the PBS story of Seabiscuit. I cried as I always have, because it is such a wonderful story. It has always brought my family much pleasure having it as our heritage. I am pleased that his story intrigued you, because you gave him new life. Job well done! Thank-you. Best Wishes, Cynthia
cynthia leask <>
medford, or USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 13:33:43 (EDT)
Hi Laura I enjoyed the PBS special very much. You commentary was great. Can't wait for the movie. Hope you are feeling well. Thanks for this great lierary work. Bill Lathrop
Bill Lathrop <>
Mountlake Terrace, WA USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 13:21:36 (EDT)
Dear Laura, My daughter and I truly enjoyed watching SeaBiscuit last night on PBS. My daughter is an equestrian rider and has her own horse. She has been riding for 5yrs. We absolutely loved the movie. We cannot wait for the Movie to hit the big screen. Thank you for making the documentary. I am going to get the book for her birthday. Do you know if Breyer horses makes SeaBiscuit ? My daughter is a huge collector of Breyer horses and is going to be looking for SeaBiscuit. Great story !!!! Thanks again - Denise
Denise Cabral <>
Smithfield, RI USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 13:14:57 (EDT)
Laura, last night, I was intorduced to one of ther greatest horses I have ever seen, thank you. Seabiscuit again captured the hearts of American's, over sixty years laterI am looking forward to reading your book, thanks again.
Pasadena, CA USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 12:55:36 (EDT)
I'm reading the book during my morning commute, and it makes me want to stay on the bus and skip work. What a wonderfully evocotive book it is, capturing the times perfectly. Like a good race, I'm on the edge of my seat. My hat off to Ms Hillenbrand, and my only hope is that the movie is as good as the book. What a wonderful piece of work!
john m polhamus <>
GLASSBORO, nj USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 12:48:21 (EDT)
Dear Laura: I saw a documentary last night about Seabisquit, during which your book was mentioned. I'd love to read this book? Can I order it directly from you? I was so fascinated by Seabisquit's story. I remember the horse, of course, from talk in the 50s, and I think I remember an episode from "Our Gang" in which they made reference to Seabisquit. Please let me know if I can order the book through you. (I would like it signed if that is appropropriate for me to ask?). Sincerely, Nicholas Campbell
Nick Campbell <>
Atascadero, CA USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 12:09:04 (EDT)
When my kid brother was given a stick horse for his birthday, our dad told him to name the horse SeaBiscuit. We had never nheard of such a name, and now 5 years later I see a documentary on TV describing a horse by the same name. I now am a huge fan of Seabiscuit, and wish more people of young generations, such as myself new of such a legacy.
Audrey B. <>
USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 11:20:05 (EDT)
Watched the PBS Special, yesterday evening. What a fabulous and heartwarming story!! As a child I owned a Seabiscuit Board Game, and over the years, I'd mentioned the name of that horse to many people. But in the past 15 or 20 years, it seemed, fewer and fewer people remembered. Now, thanks to your efforts, the story of that valiant horse is alive, once again. Thanks to your efforts, my children, and theirs, and all our future generations will know the name, Seabiscuit. Thanks You, Laura !! Bill Evans
Bill Evans <>
Sierra Vista, az USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 11:08:05 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand: Last evening, my husband & I watched "American Experiance" on our local PBS station. It featured the Seabisciut story which was one of the most fasinating tales of my childhood. I rode with my cousin in various local horse shows for 4-H and my father would fill our heads & hearts about wonderful stories of Seabiscuit. Thank-you for immortalizing him!!
Teresa Horning <>
USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 10:44:14 (EDT)
My husband, daughter, and I just finished viewing "The American Experience" documentary on Seabiscuit. It was excellent! All three of us have read and loved your book. It was thrilling to watch the races and see the footage of Seabiscuit and the people in his life. My dad was a big fan of racing and we often went to Bay Meadows, Golden Gate Fields, and Pleasanton Fairgrounds meetings. My first trip out of the country was to Agua Caliente when I was three! Reading and seeing "Seabiscuit" has brought back many memories. Thank you!
Barbara Gifford <>
Fremont, CA USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 02:05:20 (EDT)
I just watched the Seabiscuit special on my local PBS station (WHYY 12 in Philadelphia, PA)and it was awesome to actually see races from Santa Anita Park and Pimlico Race Course (Both owned now by Magna Entertainment Corp.)
Michael R. Rambo Jr. <>
Bensalem, PA USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 00:24:34 (EDT)
I saw your program and recorded it on tape.I'm 13,and I really love horses.When I first saw a horse race,I was against it.Over time,I got to become fond of the sport.Now I see why many people love the sport.I want to know where can I find a bookstore with your book in stock near Far Rockaway?My zipcode is 11691.Thank you for helping me.
Stephanie Cepeda <>
Far Rockaway, N.Y. USA - Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 00:17:40 (EDT)
Laura, I watched PBS tonight and enjoyed the Great Seabiscuit Story. I am purchasing your book tomorrow. My late father was Phil Ranallo, a horse Racing Journalist that won the Eclipse Award in 1973. I have quite a few articles about Seabiscuit and other Champions of that era, (from my father). Keep up the Great Work!!! Sincerely, Paul Ranallo
paul ranallo <>
buffalo, ny USA - Monday, April 21, 2003 at 23:25:07 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Over the past year my interest in Thoroughbred racing has gone from mere interest to wild fanaticism. Your book of The Seabiscuit Story gives racing fans the insight to these marvelous animals and their sport. You detail the horses and their personalities in such a way that you can not help but appreciate their desire to win. Just last week when I read that Empire Maker, according to Jerry Bailey, had temporarily lost focus and started gawking at the Aqueduct crowd during the homestretch of his Wood Memorial victory, I thought of you and Seabiscuit. I am looking forward to the movie this summer. My only problem is that I was so moved by Seabiscuit's story I got teary eyed several times. That's cool in the privacy of my home reading a book, it won't be real cool in a public theatre! It is amazing how a horse from the late 1930's can touch our hearts today. Thank you for reminding a new generation about this horse and the unusual mix of people around him. And thank you for being a part of the resurgence in The Sport of Kings. Now, if we can only get another Triple Crown Winner...
Paul Pasqualini <>
Harrisburg, PA USA - Monday, April 21, 2003 at 23:09:41 (EDT)
LAURA: HI! Just wanted to let you know that I just watched the very fine PBS special on The Biscuit. As great as it was to see film of his races- in color yet!- it was even more inspiring to see you speak so well and warmly about the horse and his people. Oh, what I'd give to meet you and have you sign my copy. With Triple Crown season around the corner, I plan to re-read the book, as I will do every year at this time. Also, I plan to break a long, long movie-theater exile to see the movie this summer, as the condition I live with has made me incredibly sensitive to most movie-TV content. I dug up a story by a columnist from Seattle who said it will be the biggest sports-related hit since "Rocky". That's good enough for me. Again, thank you, dear Laura, for not only bringing this incredible story to the world but being as inspiring a person as Seabiscuit was a race horse. G-d bless you always.
Jonathan Cohen <>
Brookline, MA USA - Monday, April 21, 2003 at 23:03:51 (EDT)
What a marvelous writer you are, Ms Hillenbrand. The only problem was that I found myself reading faster and faster skipping over words. So I had to slow down and reread what I had simply pushed myself through. The book was given to me as a Christmas present by my twin sister, Joyce, and her husband, Jed. I thought, well, it might be interesting, but I didn't begin to read it seriously until mid-March. When I got started, I couldn't put it down. I thank Joyce and Jed for giving it to me, and I thank you for writing it. I finished the book one day before the PBS documentary. The documentary was visually quite interesting, but it lacked the gripping power your book had over me. I look forward to reading your other books.
Jerry Hartweg <>
Ann Arbor, MI USA - Monday, April 21, 2003 at 22:28:01 (EDT)
Placed in the context of "The American Experience" your book highlights the courage embodied in the American character; our strength of mind...our will to endure are reflected in the'Biscuit and Red Pollard and do us proud. Your strength and will in writing the book under the conditions you endured serve to underline the point. Thumbs up Laura!
Ralph Donabed <>
Boston, MA USA - Monday, April 21, 2003 at 22:27:38 (EDT)
Fabulous horse... fabulous story.
Richard Elms <>
Houston, tx USA - Monday, April 21, 2003 at 22:12:35 (EDT)
Laura: I love you! Call me! I want to make you biscuits on Sunday morning. 615/506-0121 Randy
Randy Armstrong <>
Nashville, TN USA - Monday, April 21, 2003 at 22:07:08 (EDT)
Laura; Class of 85' alumni..... First let me say "what a great American story.!!" The book is remarkable to say the least. It's the kind of story the captures your heart and won't let go. Seabiscuit did for horse racing what Michael Jordan did for basketball. People who never watched or cared about horse racing before; hung on every stride of Seabiscuit.! Keep telling the story..!! God Bless. Dwayne Pierce
Dwayne Pierce <coachd121>
Washington, DC USA - Monday, April 21, 2003 at 21:56:16 (EDT)
I would very much appreciate Ms. Hillenbrand, or her representative contacting me about a potential event with our non-profit here in Baltimore. Thanks so much!
Megan Hamilton <>
Baltimore, MD USA - Monday, April 21, 2003 at 20:58:48 (EDT)
I enjoyed your book so very much! I've loved horses ever since I saw my first one at 5 yr. Your book inspired me to not give up on my dreams. I've had CFS, quite severe, for 13 yrs. and am amazed at this accomplishment. I congratulate you for your efforts and having a best seller! Can't wait for the movie! :-) God Bless & Be Well, Love, Catherine [if you want to talk therapies or anything feel free to contact me]
Catherine <>
Grants Pass, OR USA - Monday, April 21, 2003 at 18:12:53 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I'm grateful for the opportunity to tell you how much I loved your book. I picked up the book because I was a horse crazy child. _Seabuscuit_ was absolutely rivteting, as both narrative and history. Woman, you can WRITE. Since I am a librarian with an academic background in history, I can say with confidence, Woman, you can RESEARCH. You brought vividly to life the world of the track, particularly the difficult life of the jockey. I can only imagine the sheer glee you must have felt when you uncovered the story of the moving mountain of manure. I found out that you wrote this wonderful book despite struggling with CFS. Wow. Be well. I am so looking forward to seeing the PBS special tonight, as well as the movie this summer.
Linda <>
Columbia, MD USA - Monday, April 21, 2003 at 16:27:05 (EDT)
I was transported to the track each time you described a race. It was like being in the irons myself. You have a brilliant gift for immediancy in your writing, also, for creating empathy with your subject. I was especially interested in Tom Smith. What a trainer!! What a book!! Congratulations on the completion of this huge project, expecially in the face of fatigue syndrome. It must have seemed impossible at times.
J. L. Morgan
Shreveport, LA USA - Monday, April 21, 2003 at 15:00:18 (EDT)
Laura, Thank you for your wonderful account of a special horse and the long forgotten people who made this story possible. It is truly one of the most engrossing books I have been privileged to read.
Barry Waldman <>
bayside, ny USA - Sunday, April 20, 2003 at 23:29:53 (EDT)
laura.i loved your book,i never thought it would be so good...i read it after being an extra in the movie out here in hemet was so much fun.the horses were great,and everyone who played in the movie was so nice...exspecially toby mcguire.hes a cutey!!:P
sierra <>
hemet , CA USA - Sunday, April 20, 2003 at 23:04:21 (EDT)
Dear Laura, When your wonderful book came out I was a part time bookseller @ Barnes and Noble. I suggested Seabiscuit to everyone even those with no interest in horses or racing. I knew even they would be touched, enchanted, changed by reading your work. Seabiscuit was an amazing animal and all those whose lives revolved around his were too. Your attention to the small details of each person as well as Seabiscuit are what personalized the story for all who read it. Its not a book about a horse. Its a book about taking chances, reaching out, thoughtfulness, lonliness, thouroughness, going the extra mile, faith, heart. Seabiscuit was no ordinary horse. Those who recognized that and indulged him were as special as he was. You above all. Your effort and stamina in developing the book in spite of your personal struggle, your tenderness with the characters, and amazing attention to detail are so appreciated. I hope you are happy. I hope you are as pleased with the book as your readers are. I hope only good things come your way. You must be a dear person to write so beautifully. Thank you so much. If you are ever in the Denver area call me. We can have hamburgers, hang out, watch the dogs and kids play, visit on the deck. Take care, Nancy
Nancy Hegele <>
Highlands Ranch, co USA - Sunday, April 20, 2003 at 12:49:00 (EDT)
Recently read Seabiscuit. It's a great book and I think I will eventually read it a second time to really get the full impact of your detail events. Growing up my father was a follower of the horse races, actually he once told me he visited every track in the US. He mentioned quite a few of the horses in Seabiscuit's career. Just wanted to let you know you did a great job on the story.
Di DeLia <>
Milton, MA USA - Sunday, April 20, 2003 at 11:52:23 (EDT)
I just completed the reading of Seabiscuit and ofcourse loved it. However, did I manage to miss in your book, the orgin of the name Seabiscuit? I thoroughly enjoyed all the history, detailed emotions of the main players in this amazing story. Thank you for the details of both man and beast.
Karen Hall <>
Newport Beach, ca USA - Sunday, April 20, 2003 at 01:35:29 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand: Grew up in Saratoga, and have patted Seabiscuit's neck many times before entering the Hall of Fame, one of the places I never tire of visiting. You've written one of the most memorable books I've ever read. I was deeply moved by the story. Perhaps you will find time to attend the Saratoga meeting in August.I never miss it, especially the Travers. I eagerly await the PBS special and the movie. Great job, Laura.
elkridge, MD USA - Saturday, April 19, 2003 at 21:30:00 (EDT)
Isn't it amazing that as soon as people tell you how much they love Your book,they start talking about themselves. Does everyone really think their lives are that interesting? What happened to humble?
Gary Leonard < >
winter haven, fl USA - Saturday, April 19, 2003 at 20:44:16 (EDT)
Laura, I just finished your wonderful book tonight and will be discussing it at my book group on Tuesday. Who are you and how do you write so enticingly? It was pure joy to pick up your book, and I am by far not the only one who thinks so. I have a question on Red Pollard. Is he buried in Rhode Island? Are his children still here? I just moved here two years ago, and am always surprised that anyone else found this place. I would love to visit his grave if it is here. You made us care about all your characters. Thank you. RCB
Regina Berry <>
East Greenwich, RI USA - Friday, April 18, 2003 at 23:40:41 (EDT)
can someone tell me when Sea Bisquit will air on PBS? Thank so much!!!
gigi <>
jax, fl USA - Friday, April 18, 2003 at 18:05:49 (EDT)
FROM THE AUTHOR: On Monday, April 21 at 9PM EST, the "American Experience" documentary on Seabiscuit will debut on PBS. Featuring extensive newsreel and home movie footage as well as myriad photographs and interviews with those associated with the horse, it is getting rave reviews across the country. Watch it!
Laura Hillenbrand
USA - Friday, April 18, 2003 at 17:38:29 (EDT)
Hi, Laura--Congratulations on a great book. I didn't know anything about horses, but I was just enthralled by the story and your wonderful way of telling it. It was fascinating to read about a horse and realize that he was an athlete--a category I'd reserved in my head for humans. PS--I couldn't read the last few pages . . . I know he dies at the end!
Sue <>
USA - Friday, April 18, 2003 at 16:20:58 (EDT)
thank you so much for taking the time and effort to write this book i read it in two days i have had a long love for horses that started when i was old enough to climb on my blaze rocking horse i remember playing a race horse game with seabiscuit when i was only 9 i am 46 now you are to be truly commended for all the information you found and for bringing to life the story of the horse and the people who loved him i cant wait for the movie to come out thank you laura
susan <>
feasterville, pa USA - Friday, April 18, 2003 at 14:55:17 (EDT)
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and was really caught up in the excitement of the BIG races that Seabiscuit ran. It was so gratifying that he finally won the "hundred-grander". The hardships of the jockeys were a revelation, and the "Iceman's" death was absolutely tragic. Thank you so much for exploring that part of US/CALIF history. I'm definitely recommending the book to friends.
Barbara Wintrup <>
San Francisco, CA USA - Friday, April 18, 2003 at 14:07:06 (EDT)
I loved the book. I had no idea what the jockey's went through on a daily basis, what a committment. I was also interested in learning more since my grandfather owned horses in the 40's. Unfortunately he died very young and I was never able to meet him but have heard a lot of great stories. His name was Ralph Nagle and he owned "Cyper", "Milk Pact" and "Royal Step" to name a few. I know he raced at Garden State, Atlantic City, and Oaklawn Park since I have photos of the previous horses in the Winner's Circle at these tracks on my wall. If you ever run across anything on my grandfather in your research I'd love to hear from you. Once again thank you for increasing my knowledge of this exciting sport. Tom Condrin
Tom Condrin <>
Orefield, PA USA - Friday, April 18, 2003 at 11:46:36 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I worked as a blacksmith at Santa Anita for twelve years and know many of the men or descendants of Seabiscuit's tale. Many of us laughed no mention of Seabiscuit's shoer was mentioned. People tend to hate shoers, that necesary evil that costs so much. Ironically, Bruce Kinney was Charles Howard's Buick Sales Manager in Los Angeles. He went on to create the Thoro'bred Race Plate Co, in Anaheim CA,the largest manufacturer of racehorse shoes in the world. It started in a garage in South Central LA and now sell to 30 countries. I was the first woman in the US and Canada to pass the International Journeyman's Horseshoers Exam in 1977, in those days a 6 hour marathon of forging and shoeing. Harry Patton, one of the greatest shoers that ever walked, trained me, became my mentor. 11 years later I married him. Go to and see History, also articles posted on Home Page. Your book was so extraordinarily written, your language unique and telling, I was mesmerized, couldn't put it down, wanted to read it all over again. Many friends are in the movie, filming right here at Santa Anita. Thank you for your courage and strength. Ada Gates Patton
Ada Gates <>
Pasadena, CA USA - Thursday, April 17, 2003 at 20:28:02 (EDT)
Laura, Horse racing will never be that popular again.There will never be a horse like Seabiscuit again. Owners never let their horses run at 7 years old. A good race horse is retired by the time he is 4. Ever think of writing a book about Kelso? A great horse that raced until he was 8. Great Book,read it 3 times. I hear that War Emblem is gay. OUT Gary
Gary Leonard <>
winter haven, fl USA - Thursday, April 17, 2003 at 20:24:34 (EDT)
Cindy J. Gish <>
Elizabethtown, PA USA - Thursday, April 17, 2003 at 18:22:59 (EDT)
MONDAY NIGHT: SEABISCUIT DOCUMENTARY AIRS ON PBS AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. Write to the Federal Government to have Seabiscuit put on a U.S. Stamp. Here's how: Send a card requesting SEABISCUIT be put on a U.S. postage stamp to this address: Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee, Stamp Development U.S. Postal Service 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Room 5670 Washington DC 20260-2437
maggie van ostrand <>
pine mountain, ca USA - Thursday, April 17, 2003 at 12:39:34 (EDT)
I love this horse and your book was fantastic unbelievable I'm crazy over this whole story... Can you please let me know How I could get some pictures of this wonderful horse
Anita L Stewart <>
West Springfield, ma USA - Thursday, April 17, 2003 at 11:58:13 (EDT)
Hi, Laura. I just want to let you know about a new nonfiction children's book coming out soon titled, Seabiscuit vs. War Admiral: The Greatest Horse Race in History (Angel Bea Publishing, Fall 2003). You can check out a sneak preview at
Kat Shehata <>
Cincinnati, oh USA - Thursday, April 17, 2003 at 11:23:37 (EDT)
I just finished your marvelous book. I normally do not read non-fiction but your book was excellent.
valy <>
dallas, tx USA - Wednesday, April 16, 2003 at 22:01:18 (EDT)
I read the article in The Smithsonian and enjoyed it very much. The parts about cognitive therapy reminded me that you may want to investigate these sites:;; Marvelous techniques for relief of almost everything. I sincerely hope you will visit them and glean what would be useful. Sincerely, Jerry Freeman
Jerry Freeman <>
USA - Wednesday, April 16, 2003 at 17:01:39 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Wow! What a fantastic job you have done telling this story. Thank you very much. As an aside, have you noticed that your website colors are the colors of Samuel Riddle's stable silks (yellow & black)? Shouldn't they be red & white? I'm sure Seabiscuit would think so! Thanks again, Michelle
Michelle Edwards <>
Virginia Beach, VA USA - Wednesday, April 16, 2003 at 14:23:45 (EDT)
Really enjoyed your book. I to started to fall in love with racing in Seattle at Longacres. Knew some of the Alhadaff's, bet on Steven's...always...cried when Boeing bought it. Now living in Louisville again where I went to HS. Much of the reason I returned was due to the Horses. Mail back if you want to talk about Seattle etc. Hope to meet you some day...maybe at one of your signings...esp. since I have bout about a dozen of your hardbacks for gifts. Best of luck... Michael
michael <>
USA - Wednesday, April 16, 2003 at 12:03:36 (EDT)
Laura: Your writing is superb.Seabiscuit,Smith,Pollard, Howard, Wolff, and other people all come to life so vividly. I learned so much about all that goes on behind the track scenes and the preparations for a race. Especially the weight loads the horses carry. Seabiscuit has such drama and suspense. I fell in love with "Seabiscuit" and my heart ached for him each time he has a set back. I don't usually read non-fiction, but I work in a library, so wanted to read it before the movie comes out. You made me feel that I was there when all this took place. I was only 12 in 1939, but remember "Seabuscuit". Thank you for making me feel a part of this group. I do think horses are the most beautiful animals when they race; the way their muscles ripple and flow are so beautiful, especially on those slender legs. I eagerly await the movie also. Thanks again for a real glimpse of the racing life.
Betty Christie <>
Cherry Hill, NJ USA - Tuesday, April 15, 2003 at 09:49:22 (EDT)
What a wonderful story! I enjoyed your book very much and I'm telling everyone to read it!
Mark Zilembo <>
Oakland, Ca USA - Monday, April 14, 2003 at 18:25:33 (EDT)
I just logged on to your site, because I just can't get enough. I have goosebumps as I read the introductory to this site. All I really want to say is THANKS!! Your insight on Seabicuit and the visualizations in your writing were sublime. THANKS AGAIN!
Patty Murphy <>
Annapolis, MD USA - Sunday, April 13, 2003 at 15:01:12 (EDT)
Have you ever been so moved by a story that you literally hug the book up to your heart when you finish it...then go back and read every word of the preface, acknowledgement, readers guide and footnote? The combination of great story telling, and the genuine personal integrity of the jockey, trainer, owner, (and horse!) was awesome -what a literary gift. Thank you Laura Hillenbrand....considering the challenges you faced in writing this book, as per the Reader Guide, you are a worthy example of personal integrity yourself. Maybe that is why you were able to represent the main characters so well.
Birdie D'Andrea <>
Wayne, PA USA - Friday, April 11, 2003 at 21:33:06 (EDT)
Norah Pollard, the daughter of John "Red" Pollard, Seabiscuitâs jockey, has written a book of poems whose honesty, wit and passion are very much her fatherâs. Leaning In comes hard out of the gate: both its grief and its ecstasy are unbridled. Some of the poems in Pollardâs book present an intimate and compelling portrait of her father, the jockey-of-the-decade who is central to Seabiscuit÷An American Legend, Laura Hillenbrandâs national best-seller.  Other poems come from the poet's passionate youth and turbulent later years. Laura Hillenbrand writes: ăIn Leaning In, Norah Pollard has created a work of singular radiance·, an elegant, truthful, resonant collection. It should be read, re-read, and remembered.ä As a footnote, it is worth mentioning that Leaning In is related to two major media events that will make this the Year of Seabiscuit: the PBS documentary AMERICAN EXPERIENCE:: SEABISCUIT, to be broadcast on April 21 (with the poet as a central commentator), and the Universal Studios motion picture SEABISCUIT, scheduled for release in July (with Toby McGuire as Red Pollard). Norah Pollardâs Leaning In will be very much a part of this year-long celebration of a remarkable horse and his remarkable jockey. For more about the book and its author, go to our website at
Rennie McQuilkin <>
Tariffville, CT USA - Friday, April 11, 2003 at 21:07:03 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand Like so many others I could not put your book down either. I read it last summer and I just love that Seabiscuit!!! I am so glad that you were the story teller. THANK YOU!! 4/12/03
C. Rockstad <>
Bisamrck, ND USA - Friday, April 11, 2003 at 19:12:59 (EDT)
Hello, I bought your book in the airport to read on the way back from Dublin, Ireland. I forced myself to put it down for a while after each chapter. I didn't want it to end too fast. It was wonderful read. It's a fascinating story with truly great characters. Red Pollard sounds like he was a really strong athlete, in both spirit and body, and I have a new apprecation for jockeys. Today's crybaby athlete's could use a lesson and read this book. Can't wait to see the movie even though the book are usually always better. Cheers! Bob Reed, Norwich, CT
Bob Reed <>
Norwich, CT USA - Friday, April 11, 2003 at 15:38:39 (EDT)
Laura Hillenbrand, my next door neighbor and friend gave me your book, "Seabiscuit, An American Lengend"! I love it. I quickly read it cover-to-cover. I have had four horses. One was a registered Thoroughbred and two were half TBs. I can hardly wait to see the movie!!!!!!!!!! You did a WONDERFUL job writing this book!!!
Diane Stroud <>
Pineville, NC USA - Friday, April 11, 2003 at 00:49:37 (EDT)
Laura- I have taken some pictures of Charlie Irwin's barn located in Cheyenne Wyo. I would like to send them to you.
G. Scott <>
USA - Friday, April 11, 2003 at 00:33:53 (EDT)
This wonderful book has gone through my family and friends like a wildfire. My wife and I, both avid readers, agree that "Seabiscuit" is one of, if not the best, book we have ever read. Thanks for a wonderful wonderful book that really makes a difference in our lives.
Chuck Thompson <>
USA - Wednesday, April 09, 2003 at 18:56:13 (EDT)
Laura, I'm not even a horse enthusiast, but I couldn't put your book down. Where can I get a movie poster of the upcoming film? Also, there is a group in Birmingham at Birmingham Southern College that is interested in having you at next years writer's conference. Can you write and let me know about the poster/agent info? Thanks, Greg
Greg <>
Huntsville , AL USA - Wednesday, April 09, 2003 at 00:08:50 (EDT)
Kudos to an accomplished author! Your research and attention to detail was phenomenal. I'm envious of your brilliant writing style! Seabiscuit: An American Legend was our current book club selection. I was prepared not to like it as I am not a horse enthusiast. We all loved the book and your way of telling a wonderful story. Thank you for an enlightening and enjoyable ride!
WILLIAMSVILLE, NY USA - Tuesday, April 08, 2003 at 12:00:37 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I am writing on behalf of the trainer at "Dreamfields Thoroughbred Training Center", the owner, Triple Crown Jockey, Steve Cauthen. The trainer, Louis Oliva, would like to have a representative of Ms.Hillenbrand contact him. Thank-you
brenda cook <>
verona, ky USA - Monday, April 07, 2003 at 22:56:23 (EDT)
Dear Lauar: I work at our local library in the adult fiction area! I facilitate an adult book discussion once a month, and had read rave reviews on your book "Seabiscuit"! We always enjoy at least 1-2 nonfiction books a year, so I thought your book would be perfect. There has been times, where I have to force myself to finish the book, but not this time!-I finished with 4 days to spare and wanted MORE!- You did an absolutely great job with your research, it brought so much to the book, and your writing style had me cheering at the racetrack for "Seabiscuit"! It was just a true pleasure to read, and I thank you for sharing his story with us!!
Debbie <>
Homewood, IL USA - Monday, April 07, 2003 at 18:56:46 (EDT)
just read your responce in the blood horse ..Bravo..the champ was everything you said. love your writing..even when you're angry.
Bedford, Va. USA - Monday, April 07, 2003 at 17:57:24 (EDT)
Cheval Volant / Alex Solis Great Moments
Joel B.
Gaithersburg, MD USA - Monday, April 07, 2003 at 16:55:40 (EDT)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand - My mother's friend lent me a copy of your book and I have already read and re-read it so much I might have to buy her another copy! well #1 bestseller again (congrats) means it won't cost me too much! I am from the S.F. Bay Area so I loved the story about Seabiscuit the underdog from California. Tom Smith is fascinating too especially when you consider that the whole "Horse Whisperer" and "natural horsemanship" fad is passed off as something new when it is not not NOT! and has been folk tradition in the West for many generations! Some people shout to humans, those who REALLY speak to horses let the horses do the "advertising" for them. I really enjoyed the jockey stories too (Esp the bizarre one about the dead guy come back to life. At Bay Meadows! I went there for a company picnic in the infield!) Awesome that anyone then or now could endure such torture for a sport. And before the jockeys guild it was stay in the saddle or starve, so they must have been so loaded with ENDORPHINS! (the power of the body's natural high/opiates.) As for the horse himself...what can I say? He inspires me. What a wonderful story about pulling through "against the odds" so to speak. YOU inspire me. we'll probably never meet since I know your health limits your ability to tour but all I can say is God musts have blessed you with your writing talent, so you could keep going. Take Care Kristin
Kristin A. Ruhle <>
Sunnyvale, CA USA - Monday, April 07, 2003 at 06:32:22 (EDT)
My mum just gave me a copy of your book for my 34th birthday last weekend. I've never been a great fan of reading, probably having only read about 10 books in my life that I wasn't forced to as part of studies. I'm not interested in Fiction and only my only interest in non-fiction is with subjects I can identify with. I used to ride as a youngster, showjumping, cross country etc and have always been a huge horse racing fan. Currently I have a 10% ownership in a horse which has had two starts, gone out at 100-1 each time and duly come last. This is my third racehorose that I have had ownership in and I remain ever hopeful that one day I'll be part of a syndicate who has a winner !!! I have always had a keen interest in Australian racing history and obviously am a huge Phar Lap fan. I had never heard of Seabiscuit until I was given your book. I just finished reading it in a week, taking time whenever I could to get a few hours in and finished the last half of it yesterday afternoon. It is unheard of for me to be so absorbed in a story. Thanks so much for bringing this truly remarkable tale to the world. This book wasn't just a tale of a great horse, but a triumph for the human spirit and I was upset to finally reach the final page. Anyone who thinks they are having a rough time at some time in life only has to learn what Red Pollard went through in his lifetime to be grateful for everything they have got !! I look forward to the Movie (even though I'm sure it will do no justice to your fine book) and I'm now trying to find out if anyone I know has an American friend who can record the PBS special this month.....!!! Thanks once again for giving me the the most memorable reading experience of my life. I will now try to convince my Australian and New Zealand friends to pick up the book so they to can learn about the American wonder horse which carried to victory the same kangaroo skin saddle that once sat on the great Phar Lap. Not only have you given me the best reading experience of my life, you have given me a new passion for reading and life itself.
Grant Kearney <>
Sydney, nsw Australia - Sunday, April 06, 2003 at 21:03:05 (EDT)
I must say that I absolutely loved the story of Seabiscuit. I have been interested in him since I saw the original movie with Shirley Temple. Just one concern with the paperback version of the book: Why does the photo on the cover focus on the people and not on Seabiscuit himself? I must say that I was greatly disturbed by the decision to "cut off" Seabiscuit's head for the cover. Just seemed a bit odd.
Annie <>
IA USA - Sunday, April 06, 2003 at 18:15:53 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I have written you a letter and would like to mail it to you (snail mail). Is there an address I could use to send it c/o Random House for instance. I could retype it, but was hoping to avoid that extra step as I might just not get `round to it!' Thanks, Caroline
Caroline McClennan <>
Chagrin Falls, OH USA - Sunday, April 06, 2003 at 12:16:28 (EDT)
Hi Laura, Wow! Thank you so much! I'm afraid I'll never be able to express to you how much this incredible story touched me! I can't thank you enough for making Seabiscuit a part of my life. I came away feeling a very deep connection and appreciation for not only Seabiscuit but every person involved as well. I feel as though they were all a part of my life and that I knew each of them personally. As though I actually lived through each and every situation sharing every emotion they felt. Understanding how you felt during the research and writing of this book I especially appreciate the effort it took on your part to see it through. I wish you the best in your crusade! Here's hoping this finds you as happy and healthy as you could ever dream of being! -=Dan=-
Daniel Smith <>
Susanville, CA USA - Saturday, April 05, 2003 at 14:25:48 (EST)
I "listened" to your book via cassette recently while traveling by train. It was one of the most enjoyable experiences. I found myself almost talking out loud - groaning when things went wrong, cheering along with each race - Its simply a great story, superbly told. Thank you.
Maxine Gruner
USA - Friday, April 04, 2003 at 20:25:48 (EST)
Laura, I too am a CFS person of 12 years duration. That you were able to write this wonderful, wonderful book is a tribute to your tenacity and spirit. I attend a northern VA college as a part-time student, trying to finish my undergraduate degree, but the challenges with CFS are many. You weave a captivating story - thank you for providing a lovely diversion during this time of war.
alexandria, va USA - Friday, April 04, 2003 at 16:53:18 (EST)
Hi Ms. Hillenbrand, My book club is reading _Seabiscuit_ this month and we would like to invite you to join us. We are meeting on April 8th in McClean Gardens. We are a diverse group of thirty-somethings and the discussions are always insightful. It's normally a potluck, but if you can't find the time to make anything, just bring a bottle of wine. Directions will be provided upon your response. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Jay Mallard <>
Washington, DC USA - Friday, April 04, 2003 at 14:27:13 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand (Though after feasting upon your book I feel that I know you well enough to want to call you "Laura"): My wife purchased "Seabiscuit" a few weeks ago. She finally finished it on Wednesday (April 2). I sat down with it on Wednesday evening. I read the entire book, cover to cover (including Author's Notes) during the past 36 hours, barely taking time off to handle the most critical chores around the house. I read at the kitchen table, the dining room table, in the bathroom, in bed, in the car, and of course, in my favorite reading chair. For me, it was a totally mesmerizing story. Your lucid and enamoring character development brought those closet to Seabiscuit alive again. The intricate details of Seabiscuit's personality and idiosyncracies was masterful and enlightening. Race descriptions brought back so many memories of days before TV when kids my age had to use their imaginations when listening to tales and events on radio. We became a literal part of those broadcasts as we, of necessity, projected ourselves into them through our own mental imagery. It became a a wonderful reverie for me as I contemplated my own experience in listening to early races on radio. Growing up as a boy in the late 40's, I had a cardboard racing game that included small plastic horses in slots that were to be moved along a racetrack when their number came up on a spinner wheel. I remember playing the game hour upon hour to see which horse was really the greatest--Man O' War, Whirlaway, Citation, Gallant Fox, or Seabiscuit. Thank you for your intellect, writing skill and your intense interest in bringing back to the world the fascinating story of this incredible animal. America needed a hero then to drag our entire society out of the great depression. We need one now to help us keep our perspective and balance in a world fraught with uncertainty and peril. Seabiscuit will do very nicely for those fortunate to happen upon your richly rewarding portrait. THANK YOU!!!
Joel Orgill <>
USA - Friday, April 04, 2003 at 14:05:00 (EST)
At first I did not like the book, but it is a very interesting book that gave my some knowledge.
Cecilia Castellanos <>
Desplaines, Il USA - Friday, April 04, 2003 at 13:26:49 (EST)
I bought Seabiscuit after it was reviewed on NPR as a gift for a young girl named Genovive (daughter of a friend who was leaving for 6 town for 6 months - although I know I mispelled the name). When I read the section about a prostitute named Genovive who played a role in Red's earlier life, I opted not to give her the book and instead got her a book of Tennessee Williams plays. I non the less DEVOURED and THOROUGHLY ENJOYED the book Seabiscuit. Genovive's mom convinced me to give Genovive the book anyway .
Bill Ogilvie <>
Austin, TX USA - Friday, April 04, 2003 at 01:10:36 (EST)
I was given the book "Seabiscuit" as a Christmas present, and am reading it for the third time!! It is destined to be an American classic and if the movie is as good ( with Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges and Chris Cooper can it miss? )I think we will be seeing our next Oscar winner! I recomend this book and movie to ALL!!
michael aquino <>
east boston, ma USA - Thursday, April 03, 2003 at 14:45:52 (EST)
does anyone know what happened to Yummy, Red's agent?
maggie van ostrand <>
pine mountain, ca USA - Wednesday, April 02, 2003 at 23:48:39 (EST)
One of the best books I read last year,,,,no doubt. I laughed I cried, I told everyone it is a must read. For those that just see the movie....they will miss so much.
Jean Lightfoot <>
USA - Wednesday, April 02, 2003 at 20:21:07 (EST)
read your book about a year ago and can't wait for the movie i am a horse breeder and love the sport thanks again
tampa, fl USA - Tuesday, April 01, 2003 at 16:43:12 (EST)
I work for the U.S. Equestrian Team and we have an event June 19-22 in Gladstone, NJ called the Festival of Champions. Would you be interested in doing a book signing there? Everyone was very excited when I mentioned the possibility. They all must love the book as much as I do. Thank you.
Jamie Saults <>
Gladstone, NJ USA - Monday, March 31, 2003 at 21:38:22 (EST)
A great book,I learned so much,it was all new to me,I feel akin to Seabiscuit,he died the day I was born,thanks so much for writing about him.I hope oneday to visit his Memorial at Saratoga.I even started going to Thistledown RaceTrack to watch the horses run,I think I'll read the book again,thanks!
Brett Knight <>
Cleveland, oh USA - Friday, March 28, 2003 at 00:42:04 (EST)
Dear Laura...I just yesterday finshed your book for the second time. You have given a great gift to the reading public. My plan is to reread it every spring. Thank you so very much.
anne elam <>
berryville, VA USA - Thursday, March 27, 2003 at 18:23:02 (EST)
Great read - love combining my love of history and horses in one story! My daughter is 14 and in horse 4-H and would like to do a presentation on the author and her early years, experience with horses, how it lead to college and her career as a writer, etc. Any info would be helpful- report is due April 1st. We have copy of book with interview, About the Author, etc., and also have copy of Smithsonian article on CFS from DEc. 2002, but we are looking for more that could inspire and encourage young girls. Can anyone help us with this? Thanks- Leann Scotch and Kayla Scotch
leann scotch <>
Wilsonville, OR USA - Thursday, March 27, 2003 at 15:43:04 (EST)
Thanks so much for your book, Seabiscuit. What did Seabiscuit sense about Red that made him NOT remove some of Red's fingers when Red offered him the sugar cube? Talk about sensitivity, WOW! God bless you & thanks again.
Dan Deasy <>
crestline, ca USA - Wednesday, March 26, 2003 at 23:35:25 (EST)
Laura, thank you so much for this book. I absolutely LOVED it, and did not want it to end. I cried reading it, and i wanted desperately to know this horse, to see this horse run... I am very glad to know about the PBS show coming up, and look forward to the movie. Your accomplishment is all the greater for knowing what you endured to write it. I can't wait to see what you write next. Again, thank you.
Paige Peterson <>
Benedict, MN USA - Wednesday, March 26, 2003 at 17:06:03 (EST)
I love the horses, and I love your book! I would like to know who is playing Seabuiscuit in the new movie. It will be great to see Chris McCarron and Gary Stevens in the movie, but I don't see anything about which horse or horses are in it. My guess is they are going to be racehorses, and most race enthusiasts would find it interesging. Thanks!!
Pamela Kight <Pam J. Kight/BF/Hennepin@Hennepin>
Bloomington, MN USA - Wednesday, March 26, 2003 at 13:06:52 (EST)
I just finished your book today. Incredible work. Seabiscuit was a wonderful horse and never gave up. He worked hard for his trainers and riders. Cannot wait until the movie comes out. The book made me cry! Excellent!
Samantha <>
Olympia, WA USA - Tuesday, March 25, 2003 at 16:21:59 (EST)
FROM THE AUTHOR: For those of you who have asked what happened to Pumpkin, I am happy to say he went into retirement with Seabiscuit at Ridgewood. Though they were no longer stabled together--Seabiscuit's barn could only hold four horses, and was reserved for stallions--they took their daily exercise together. I was unable to find what Pumpkin's ultimate fate was, but Howard was fanatical about providing happy lives for all his horses. A good example is Chulo, another horse who worked with Seabiscuit. Howard gave him to two children at a nearby ranch, where he lived happily until his death. Pumpkin was almost certainly just as well cared for.
Laura Hillenbrand
USA - Tuesday, March 25, 2003 at 15:43:02 (EST)
I just finished your book. I loved it and could barely put it down. My question is the same as Lindy's. What happened to Pumpkin? In my mind that was a loose end. The friendship between Seabiscuit and Pumpkin seemed as strong as any other in this great story. Thank you.
alan k <>
baltimore, md USA - Monday, March 24, 2003 at 22:08:59 (EST)
I have a film of this race. Can you direct me to where I might go to market it?
krasmussen <>
MA USA - Monday, March 24, 2003 at 15:51:05 (EST)
NOTE!!!! When I was a kid in the 1970s, I took out Seabiscuit's biography from the public library. "Seabiscuit: The Saga of a Great Champion", was written by B.K. Beckwith in 1940. I remember it very well to this day. A hard-cover book in the sports section, with black-and-white photographs of highlights from Seabiscuits career, and the people who cared for him. It was riveting and I couldn't put it down, which is why I will not bother to read someone else's account of it 60 years later. Beckwith's book is the original, published two years after the match race with War Admiral. It was terrific. It was "all there", as they say. I wonder if everyone is being hoodwinked here. And now a movie? They already made one of those, too, in 1949. And it included real footage from his races.
rob <>
NEW YORK, NY USA - Monday, March 24, 2003 at 01:46:01 (EST)
thank you, Laura, for supplying us with the PBS American Experience/SEABISCUIT website. It's very informative, especially your interview. I must say, however, that none of the writing, even Otis', can hold a candle to yours. Next to your writing, everyone else's pales.
maggie van ostrand <>
pine mountain, ca USA - Sunday, March 23, 2003 at 17:55:24 (EST)
FROM THE AUTHOR: The much-anticipated one hour documentary on the life of Seabiscuit will premiere on April 21 on PBS' "American Experience" program. To hear audio of Seabiscuit's biggest races and see clips from my interview for the documentary, go to Enjoy!
Laura Hillenbrand
USA - Sunday, March 23, 2003 at 16:24:01 (EST)
Dear Laura. Your book was given to me by Kate Donovan, journalist travelling here in Mexico in January. It was a special gift, her personal copy. By a trick of fate, she and my 94 year old father, W. Earl Graham Sr., were flying out of Mexico city about the same hour, so as we sat at the airport coffee shop, she asked me if I had begun to read Seabiscuit yet. I said I would start in the next few days. Of course, our friend, who had just met my father the night before, didn't know what a jolt I would have when I read about Earl "Sandy" Graham on p. 74 of your book. By the way, when thinking about how to express my admiration for your book and writing abilities, I can best say, it lives up to everything the book jacket says. Your use of language is enviable . . . my congratulations to your prof!. Also, thanks to Laurie Gordon, I had spent one and a few days of another August season in Saratoga (circa 1960-61), so the racing flavor was nostalgic. I wonder if you could give me any family or other information on Earl "Sandy" Graham, or some leads. My niece Cindy Graham of Phila has been researching family history and uncovering our Graham ancestors has been slow. Your Earl "Sandy" Graham was approximately 3 years younger than my Dad. My father's grandfather James Graham was born Roxborough PA 1916 died 1901, one year before my father's birth. My great grandmother was married James when he was over sixty, and a widow. Since we don't know who my father was named after, it occurs to me that your Earl Sandy could have been a grandson or other relative of James, or that he and my father were named after the same ancestor. Do you happen to know: if Earl Sandy came from the Phila-NJ area, or from any part of the East Coast? What the name of the cemetery he was buried in . . . (was it and the place of death also Winnepeg) The date of that fateful horserace or his death? Is Sandy a first or middle name or nickname? Any other clues or leads? My great great grandfather, Patrick Graham we only know that he died in Phila; his wife's name is as yet unknown. My best to you, Jeanne.
Jeanne Graham <>
Mexico D.F. , Mexico - Friday, March 21, 2003 at 19:11:07 (EST)
This was one of the best books I have read in years. One of the most intriguing parts was the web of friendships and relationships woven through out the story - my favorite being that between Seabiscuit and Pumpkin. But at the end of the story, I was left wondering - What happened to Pumpkin? If you have more information about him, I would love to hear it!
Lindy <>
USA - Friday, March 21, 2003 at 17:05:09 (EST)
As a lifelong horse lover, former rider, eventual owner-trainer of Standardbred racehorses for 18 years....all I can say is WOW. You wrote a wonderful book. Anyone who has ever been involved in the sport of horse racing, be it thoroughbred or standardbred, will immediately identify with the personalities and characters portrayed in your very entertaining book. While the circumstances differ from what I experienced in harness racing, the sense of community....of peculiarly wonderful personalities...and love of horses and what they can do is much the same. As some very wise person said some time ago..."The outside of a horse is good for man -and vice versa." Many, many thanks.
Bob Chaffee <>
Windsor, Ct USA - Friday, March 21, 2003 at 08:52:34 (EST)