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Andrew Wayne Thomas
cleveland, tx USA - Thursday, March 20, 2003 at 16:20:39 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand, What a beautiful book you wrote! What love and happy emotion it continues to inspire in me. Seabiscuit is my all-time favorite book, yet trying to articulate what is so moving about it is as difficult as trying to describe to someone why your favorite song is what it is. How do you thank someone for giving you hours of sweet, wonderful happiness and a lifetime's worth of warm memories? Apparently the best way I can think of, which still feels woefully inadequate, is to write and simply say thank you. I owe you a debt of tremendous, ultimately unpayable gratitude. My payment, for what it's worth, is to wish you happiness, good health, lightheartedness, peace, joy, enlightenment. Whatever you like. May you have all of it. Thank you thank you thank you, Mark
Mark Williams <>
Austin, TX USA - Thursday, March 20, 2003 at 12:56:18 (EST)
I am currently looking for a copy of SeaBiscuit, I just read "THE PERFECT RIDE" by Gary Stevens,and am seeking to further a position as a "bug" jockey, with a respectable racing stable..If anyone knows connections with a racing stable PLEASE..get in contact to my email;I would like to hear what you have to say. GOD BLESS THE U.S.
spokane, wa USA - Wednesday, March 19, 2003 at 21:20:43 (EST)
I knew nothing about horses, let alone this masterpiece called Seabiscuit! I hated for the book to end. I've never esperienced the passion and detail that was in this story. thank you, Laura
cheryl spidahl <>
gig harbor, wa USA - Tuesday, March 18, 2003 at 16:28:47 (EST)
Seabiscuit Fans: For those of you who enjoy the music in the Seabiscuit movie trailer and want to hear more, well--the trailer music is a blend of excerpts from two movie soundtracks. The opening music of the trailer playing up to the point where the screen text shows “It would take a broken hero to get them on their feet” comes from Thomas Newman’s “Shawshank Redemption” (Newman received an Oscar nomination for that score. I’m not positive which precise track from that movie is the source of the excerpt, although the end title track is close.). The second part of the trailer, as Jeff Bridges and Elizabeth Banks (portraying Charles and Marcella Howard) jump from their seats, features an excerpt from Jerry Goldsmith’s “Rudy” (both the “Main Theme and “The Final Game” tracks have that excerpt). The following link to “Theme from Rudy” is apropos and good quality. ( Side note: Thomas Newman’s cousin, Randy Newman, is working on the score for the Seabiscuit movie. These selections wil have to hold us until the American Experience 1-hour Seabiscuit special airs Monday, April 21st. See Enjoy!
Greg K <>
albuquerque, nm USA - Tuesday, March 18, 2003 at 06:39:22 (EST)
My husband greatly admired your book and was captivated on every page. I would like to give him an autographed copy for our anniversary. Is this at all possible? Thankyou
Trudy Wolcott <>
Sacramento, ca USA - Monday, March 17, 2003 at 15:51:48 (EST)
Just finished reading "Seabiscuit". Loved it and had a hard time putting it down. Noticed mention made of a can of soda in the book. I grew up in the 40's and only recall soda in bottles!!!
Sandy Melick
USA - Monday, March 17, 2003 at 13:39:48 (EST)
Dear Laura, Thank you for writing this wonderful book. I had heard of Seabiscuit but didn't know the story. Secretariat was such a wonderful gift to the country (and the world) during a time when we really needed the perfection he brought. The Depression era had Seabiscuit. Now, with you book, we can all share the spirit that this magnificent horse had. Thanks again, Rich Preach
Rich Preach <>
Long Beach, NY USA - Sunday, March 16, 2003 at 17:17:38 (EST)
WOW....what a wonderful book. I read it last night, just couldn't put it down...I would like to add my congratulations along with my thanks....the match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral was a thrilling read; I felt as I do when I am at the track, when the horses come thundering down the stretch to the wire...just an exemplary book. Our sport needs a new hero, akin to a Seabiscuit or a Secretariat....maybe this May, we will have what I have waited for my whole life.... Thanks so much for sharing with with myself, and all of the others who have joyfully experienced your book....
Melissa <>
Columbus, OH USA - Sunday, March 16, 2003 at 12:26:27 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I've just finished your remarkable book and have to tell you something that I've rarely had the opportunity to say to another writer: I wish that I'd written it. In point of fact, I've rarely wanted to say that. But "Seabiscuit" warrants it. It is not only a good story well told, it's the tale of a lifetime and I envy you. I wish you all the best in your future endeavours. Thank you so much for what you've already done. Paul McDonnell
Paul McDonnell <>
Tulsa, OK USA - Sunday, March 16, 2003 at 01:00:14 (EST)
Dear Laura, I thoroughly enjoyed your book! You have a wounderful command of the english language, and a heartfelt understanding of the world of horse racing. Would you be interested in writing a book about Laffit Pincay Jr.'s life story? Please e-mail me. Sincerely, David(Laffit's son-in-law)
david bernstein <davidbfitness@aol>
alhambra, ca USA - Saturday, March 15, 2003 at 17:10:47 (EST)
Dear Laura, I was out yesterday morning at Santa Anita talking to various trainers. Both Noble Threewitt and Leonard Dorfman said some nice things about you. I worked on the "Backside" during the years of 1945-1950 and have written a personal history of those years and the life of a young kid on his own growing up. The book is finished with the exception of the editing. I am not satisfied with the editing I've been receiving as people who are not familiar with horses or racing are deleting too much of the emotion and my heartfelt love of the horse. Do you have a suggestion for an editor? Do you have an e-mail address in which I could correspond with you? Any help would be most appreciated. Sincerely, R. Addison
Robert Addison <>
Santa Barbara, Ca. USA - Friday, March 14, 2003 at 12:20:12 (EST)
I really enjoyed reading your book ! having been raised on a horse farm, and working part time at a track the story, and situations really flowed nicely. Working with horses is a real important part of my life. I recently became a volunteer investigator who handles cases of horse abuse here in Illinois. I work with the Hooved Animal Rescue & Protection Society Please look over the site, and feel free to let me know what you think of the work we do with horses.
Steve <>
Ill. USA - Thursday, March 13, 2003 at 23:52:19 (EST)
To Laura Hillenbrand: Your book Seabiscuit is wonderful. I went to Barnes and Noble and couple weeks ago and was just glancing over it, and decided to get some coffee and sit down a minute and look at it. I got caught up in it like I never have with a book. I love racing, of course, and love horses even more. I've been around horses many years. What a wonderful story, and yet, it's real!!! I was so entrapped by that book, that I almost read half the book right there in the store. Time passed, it got dark, I forgot what time it was. I felt like I was there, with the characters, with the horse. It was something. I want to see the movie, but I'm afraid it won't do the book justice. I am from Virginia, also. Congratulations on a wonderful book!!!
Sue Dorsey <>
Advance, NC USA - Wednesday, March 12, 2003 at 20:11:08 (EST)
dear laura, thanks for the amazing book. i just had to write and tell you how much i loved the read and the story. seabiscuit has been the subject of many conversations at the ranch i volunteer at here in half moon bay, and we're even planning a ranch outing to see the movie when it's released. thank you for the inspiration, a job well done indeed!
mrs. newman <>
half moon bay, ca USA - Wednesday, March 12, 2003 at 15:15:23 (EST)
I like your site. Go Seabiscuit!!!!
Lawrence Allie <>
NYC, NY USA - Tuesday, March 11, 2003 at 21:15:56 (EST)
Laura, when is the documentary about Seabiscuit going to be on PBS? I thought it was going to be on a monday in April 2003. How is your book with more seabiscuit pictures coming?
dave kerlin <>
germantown , md USA - Tuesday, March 11, 2003 at 17:15:03 (EST)
I just finished your wonderful book, I hated putting it down and always feel rather empty after finishing any book when it is so good. Thank you for taking the time to tell the story. I spent a few years in the TB business in the heart of the TB world in beautiful Kentucky. I know the passion that wraps itself around the people that are involved from hot-walkers to grooms to owners to the railbirds... It's a wonderful life and a hard life and most won't change a thing about it. To know a horse with such heart and courage is to know the breed and the mind of the great Thoroughbred. You told a wonderful story. Thank you.
Diana Thompson Boehme <>
Gordonsville, VA USA - Monday, March 10, 2003 at 23:50:33 (EST)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, My new novel, Kirchborn, has been described in reviews as the the fictional, contemporary equivalent to your masterpiece. I only wish that were true. There will never again be anything like the great horse or your magnificent chronicle. Kent Gilmore Nephew of Bill Gilmore
kent gilmore <>
Paso Robles, CA USA - Monday, March 10, 2003 at 18:15:50 (EST)
Dear Mrs. Hillenbrand, My compliments on a fascinating book about a fascinating sports figure. Prior to your book, the only references I'd had to Seabiscuit were old plug gags in Looney Tune cartoons from the 40s. This was an eye opener! I learned a great deal about thoroughbred horses, racing and jockeys. I was especially interested in the chapter on the jockey's life. Must be one of the most stressful of all jobs. Also appealing to me was your description of how a horse enjoys running against other horses--and even deer! They are fighting to be the alpha animal in their immediate "herd". I have no doubt now that a horse can appreciate its situation and enjoy it lucidly. Thanks for a great read! One of my top ten books so far this year!
steve baetzner <>
largo, fl USA - Monday, March 10, 2003 at 17:15:09 (EST)
Simply FABULOUS!! This was absolutely one of the best "works of art" I've ever read. I have recommneded it to dozens of people since reading it myself. And, each time I encounter someone who has already read it, they have nothing but praise for it. Simply put, the most descriptive, insightful telling of this awe-inspiring tale ever written. Congratulations!
Tammy Benson <>
Newton, NC USA - Monday, March 10, 2003 at 11:31:40 (EST)
Ms Hillenbrand, We will be discussing your book at our next book club and I wanted to know if you have any suggestions as to how to begin the discussion or any special remarks that have come up in the past that I could share with the group. Thank you.
Amy Douglas <>
Gardnerville, NV USA - Sunday, March 09, 2003 at 20:22:46 (EST)
Spirit of Seabiscuit Rides on...I was born in the Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital and delivered by Doc Babcock.Oh how your book has stired up the emotional spirit. All the memories...My Mother was one of "the pretty gals" that was called upon for publicity shots with Seabiscuit on the Ridgewood Ranch. Oh, they must have had fun pose'n in their finest cowgirl attire- all decked out!She had told me about the funny looking Seabiscuit and what a character he was....He knew exactly when he was being photographed and put on a show when HE wanted! Growing up in Willits...we know how fortunate we were that Mr Howard gave us the funds to build a hospital in spite the loss of his son. My grandfather helped Doc Babcock with many medical equiptment, the ambulance and an iron lung of sorts. Willits has the Oldest Continuing Rodeo in California..compared to Salinas' California's Oldest! In your book you mentioned Salinas is where the Howard's met. I worked for some folks on Zabala Road (Marcela's Maiden name)Today there is a trotter "second chance" villa called Camp Warhorse.Sorry, got sidetracked...anyway..The Ridgewood Ranch fell into the hands of a lumber company, who clear-cut,hauled, and milled all the timber on the ranch...It was a sorry site for all who traveled 101 between Willits and Ukiah. The hopes were that they wouldn't cut the knoll behind the home...but they saved that for last stab. They sold the scalped land in the 60's to the Golden Rule Church who have tried their best to be good custodians of the property. Most of the scars have healed ..Thank Heavens! The Pollards married at St Anthonys as my Mom and Dad. Now movies? Mom and my Dad met at the Noyo Theatre. He was a reel runner up 101 from SF to Eureka. She the 1st usher hired at the theatre.We can barely wait for the movie based on your book! I saw in my Mother's enthusiasm for the Ranch, the Howard's & Seabiscuit a different spirit-- a genuine touch-your-heart YIPPEE! Was it the times? That generation endured much..the WWII etc... and they came out winning! Annabell still embraces life like that!Anyway, thanks for a wonderful story told..that was real...and I think you feel and captured "the SPIRIT of winning the race...YEAH SEABISCUIT!"
LeAnna <smile4fun2>
Willits, Ca USA - Sunday, March 09, 2003 at 19:44:23 (EST)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, I've walked onto several airplances with your book under my arm. I was stopped every time to listen to the praise other readers had for your book. Every time I had the book with me in public, someone stopped me to tell me what they thought about it. I spend a good part of my life breeding and training race horses. I learned more about the backside in the 1930's from your work than I have from walking down thousands of shedrows and talking with folks who have made such their life. I owe you. Thank you.
Gene L. Mason, Ph.D. <>
Lynn, MA USA - Sunday, March 09, 2003 at 15:31:07 (EST)
Congratultions Laura for writing one of the most intriguing books I have ever read. I was most impressed by the way you wove passion and psychology into the details of Seabiscuit's career The way you described his ability to "stare down" his opponents and sense when they were most vunerable to be defeated by his exerting a bit more effort is an inspirinig message to anyone who wants to succeed in life against seemingly overwhelming obstacles. It has worked for me all of my 75 years. Great job, George Metz
George Metz
Cheshire, CT USA - Saturday, March 08, 2003 at 20:07:48 (EST)
America needs Seabiscuit as much today as it did during the Great depression. We're in trouble and we badly need a hero. Thanks to Laura Hillenbrand, we've got the Biscuit. Let's write and get him put on a U.S. postage stamp as a sign of affection and respect to both of them. 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 Together, we can do this.
maggie van ostrand <>
pine mountain, CA USA - Saturday, March 08, 2003 at 17:14:06 (EST)
Being an Englishman from over the pond, I was a bit worried about reading a book about an American horse that I have never heard of, and from many years before I was born. However I was truely captivated by the book from the beginning to the end. I am involved with Horse Racing in Great Britain and have read many Racing books, and must admit that some, ( I won't mention which ones, are a great disappointment!!) However this had me gripped from the very first pages, the details of the very hard conditions the jockeys had to cope withn were eye opening,I hadn't relised that so many jockeys were badly injured or killed in those days. As for the Biscuit himself, the reader soon gained a real affection for the little underdog that managed to beat the best racehorses in all of America. The chapter on the race match against War Admiral was particularly breathtaking, I felt as if I was there witnessing the amazing acceleration that took Seabiscuit past War Admiral to an empthatic victory. What more can I say a brilliant book, I can't wait for the film, when it eventually arrives in dear old Bligthy.
Nigel Leggett <>
Great Britain - Saturday, March 08, 2003 at 17:06:12 (EST)
SEABISCUIT ON A STAMP. 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 We need Seabiscuit as much today as during the Depression. Together, we can do this.
chuck lustick <>
new orleans, LA USA - Saturday, March 08, 2003 at 16:36:13 (EST)
Laura, I just finished the book. Thank you for a wonderful and delightful tour of the grand old days of horse racing. One could almost hear the roar of the crowd and the thundering of hoofs! Bravo! Well done! Gary
Gary Obst <>
Loveland, OH USA - Friday, March 07, 2003 at 16:02:38 (EST)
I just wanted to say that I am very excited to read about this horse and see this movie. Also VERY EXCITED that my Cousin's Son (Jimmy) is the "Stunt Man" for Tobey in this movie. We can't wait to see this movie. I saw the interview with Tobey on the "Tody Show" this morning. (3-6-03). Looks great......... GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Carol Zawadski <>
Enfield, CT USA - Thursday, March 06, 2003 at 16:19:15 (EST)
The story that you wrote to tell about that phenomenal horse and retinue of other people and horses and places and times and situations and events led me to our local bookstore to purchase the book about Secratariat written by the famous gentleman who interviewed you about your crafting your extraordinaty tale which allowed you to rise above your other distractions and live. Remarkable. Thsnk you Laura. You introduced me to another crafty long winded sentence author, Willaim Nack. Don Moyer
Don Moyer <>
San Bruno, CA USA - Wednesday, March 05, 2003 at 22:09:11 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Knowing about my past interest in horse racing, my grand-daughter gave me your book and I'm grateful to her for exposing me to your wonderful story about Seabiscuit, one of my favorite horses. I do have a question regarding the description of the various races you describe. Did you have access to the Daily Racing Form charts for those races? In particular, I might note, that when, as a college student in California, I was fortunate to be able to attend the Santa Anita Handicap in 1940 and my recollection of the running details of that race varies a little from your description. KayakII did move on the stretch turn and did close some, but he never "nodded into the lead". Of course, I'm not claiming an infallable memory. One other aspect of that race which struck me at the time because it was an oowner's position that I was previously unaware of. Since Seabiscuit and KayakII ran as an entry, regardless of which horse won, the paramutal wagering would not be affected. Therefore, Mr. Howard, who certainly wanted Seabiscuit to win, "declared to win" with Seabiscuit. This meant that if there were a situation where both horses were in contention near the finish of the race, their jockeys would make sure that Seabiscuit would win. There was some conjecture after the race that KayakII might have been the better horse that day but the majority of observers thought that even though KayakII made a strong move on the far turn he probably never have caught Seabiscuit. I don't believe my personal recollections belong in your guest book, but thought you might be interested in hearing them from one of your and Seabiscuit's fans. Thanks again for a wonderful read. I look forward to the movie. Richard Reed
Richard Reed <>
Lincoln City, OR USA - Wednesday, March 05, 2003 at 21:02:26 (EST)
Your creative use of words is awe inspiring, sometimes I stop and marvel at such phrases as;"he took up being a jockey at 13, abandoning formal education and his boyhood" and "the three came to the intersection, it was their crowded hour" Bravo,Simply origional use of words!!! Through you, God has blessed horse racing. -Doug Wofford
doug wofford <>
Thousand palms , ca USA - Wednesday, March 05, 2003 at 13:17:33 (EST)
Laura - A good friend and business colleague loaned me your book, and now I feel compelled to get my own copy for my collection. As a person who enjoys the track, I was fascinated by the behind the scenes things that went on. I would be interested if you are having any book signing in the NY-NJ-PA areas in the near future, as I would love to have this book signed as a gift to my friend. Maybe I'll see you at this years Derby - Section 111! Thanks for a great read!
Tom Lopes <>
DE USA - Wednesday, March 05, 2003 at 13:00:46 (EST)
Loved the book. One thing that I did notice that I did not like about the book is the front cover. Surley, as I am sure lots would agree, he deserves a full head and/or body shot of Seabiscuit of the front cover. You can barely see Seabiscuit. How sad.
kim <>
USA - Wednesday, March 05, 2003 at 08:51:34 (EST)
"Seabiscuit" was absolutely the most enjoyable story I've ever read. I worked part time in college at Suffolk Downs as a hotwalker and found your race track knowledge to be spot on. You obviously did your homework. Having worked at Suffolk Downs and having had a brother in law that worked there for many, I personally find it amazing that such a horse could have been overlooked at such a second tier racing facility (at least until he caught Mr. Smith's attention). I'm an avid reader and typically anxious to reach the ending. But I was so rapt in this story I'd hoped it would never end. Marvelous work. I will probably see the upcoming movie. But it's unlikely to do enough justice to your book. Congratulations.
Bob Levesque <>
Powder Springs, GA USA - Tuesday, March 04, 2003 at 13:37:02 (EST)
Dear miss Hillenbrand , I just finished reading your wonderful book for the second time , it is the best book i have ever read on horse racing, thank you for writing it. I just hope that the movie is worthy of such a great work. Thanks again.
Mike Bullene <>
washougal, wa. USA - Monday, March 03, 2003 at 15:24:24 (EST)
Hi I've just finished reading about the wonderful Seabiscuit and I've started all over again. I feel like I know the characters personally and it's touched me in a way no other book ever has, I can't stop thinking about it! I sobbed for ages when I read (over and over again) the epilogue. My book wasn't called Seabiscuit - An American Legend it was called Seabiscuit - Three Men and a Racehorse, is this because I live in the UK and have I read a different version ? Thank-you for bringing us the story of this remarkable horse. Sarah Free. From Reading,Berkshire, England.
Sarah Free <>
Reading, UK - Monday, March 03, 2003 at 11:42:44 (EST)
Our club loved your book on Seabiscuit! We all agreed that your descriptions of the races were superb--we felt we were there! Are you planning any speaking engagements in the Washington, DC area in the near future? Also, do you know whether there are any living progeny of Seabiscuit, and if so, are any of them racing now? Thanks so much for a wonderful read, and for your follow up. We look forward to your next book.
Judy Keating <>
Alexandria, VA USA - Monday, March 03, 2003 at 07:43:09 (EST)
My husband gave me a copy of your wonderful book after hearing you on a radio talkshow. A friend just mentioned to me that in your acknowledgements you have mentioned the Seabiscuit liquor store in Hercules, California (page 343). We live in Hercules, and we are members of the Hercules Historical Society. We are curious to know where this liquor store was and who the operator was. I assume by the fact that "liquor store" is not capitalized in your book, that "Seabiscuit" is not the actual name of the store, but that Seabiscuit was the operator's special interest. Any information that you might give me would be appreciated. Thank you for such a special book! Sincerely, Shirley Gotelli
Shirley Gotelli <>
Hercules, CA USA - Monday, March 03, 2003 at 00:11:44 (EST)
I have just finished Seabiscuit with tears streaming down my face. Ican't remember the last time a book so moved me. And yet, I have never had an interest in horses or horseracing. In fact, had it not been my book club's February pick, I would never have considered reading this book. What a loss that would have been! It is just a wonderful book, beautifully written. It is both a great character study and a great tale. Ms. Hillenbrand describes the many races so well that I felt I was listening to them live on the radio. I will recommend this captivating book to everyone I know! Thank you for such a wonderful read...Nancy
Nancy <>
Northville, Mi. USA - Sunday, March 02, 2003 at 17:11:19 (EST)
Out of all the horse books I have read, I would have to say that your was by far the best. I liked the way I could read it like it was fiction but at the same time tell myself that this really happened. It was hard for me to put the book down, it was really suspensful. If only a horse like Seabiscuit would cross my path. When reading these books with just the perfect horse in subject makes me kinda jealous that I didn't take part in its life and that their trainer, owner and jockey get to be with this magnificent horse 24-7. But at least they were nice people. I am very excited about the movie coming out. Good luck with your other writings! By the way, is there a biography on Seatle Slew, War Admiral, Sunday Silence or other famous horses? Lots of love!!! ~Caitlin
Caitlin Pionke <>
Houghton, MI USA - Sunday, March 02, 2003 at 12:01:24 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbran, I finished your book tonight and am thrilled and grateful that you wrote this wonderful horse story. I typed "seabiscuit" and "saratoga" in Google search and found information regarding the upcoming movie that uses the beautiful old track at Saratoga as a backdrop. I went to Skidmore in Saratoga Springs and had the chance to get on a horse for the first time. During my time there I learned to ride, show, foxhunt and play polo and had so many friends teach me what they knew about horses. We worked as hotwalkers, crashed parities, attended all the sales, worked at the polo field and anything else to be a part of the track in the summer. I was fortunate to be a small part of fascinating world of racing and all that goes on in Saratoga, especially in August. My wife has had chronic fatigue syndrome and you are also a hero to her for producing this wonderful book under the restrictions of this condition. Renee is a 3rd generation native of Saratoga and her family has the usual store of stories from having lived in this amazing town. Your book is simply thrilling. I have no fingernails left at all and I had to pace the room while reading about the ‘40 Santa Anita and the match race. Thank you so much for your book. It’s as close as you can get to the thrill and thunder, and to those who know and love horses. We hope you are well. Herschel Hicks Birmingham, Michigan
Herschel Hicks <>
Birmingham, MI USA - Saturday, March 01, 2003 at 23:58:17 (EST)
Laura, You have inspired other writers like myself. Thank you! What is your next project and how are you feeling? Best wishes, john ferguson
john ferguson <>
Tulsa, Ok USA - Saturday, March 01, 2003 at 20:12:40 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I just wanted to compliment you on your book and its success. I first heard about Seabiscuit (the horse and the book) during an interview you did on NPR some time ago. At the time, I knew absolutely nothing about horses or racing, but after hearing that interview, I was determined to read the book. I couldn't believe I had missed out on this piece of history! Now that I have finished the book, I am happy to say it met my every expectation. And, I now know a lot more about racing and that wonderful horse. I hope you write many more books in the future. Good luck with your writing career and thank you so much for sharing Seabiscuit with a new generation of fans. Sincerely, Kim Marks
Kim Marks <>
Norman, OK USA - Friday, February 28, 2003 at 23:33:57 (EST)
the bisquit I understand trained at the old detroit fairgrounds before his battle with war admiral. My dad said he saw him race there. Had a few tighteners there to get him prepped. Is this true. I'm doing some research on the old Detroit fairgrounds but can't seem to find much of anything anymore. I would really like some pictures.
Pantera <>
detroit, mi USA - Friday, February 28, 2003 at 15:45:28 (EST)
Dear Laura, Loved the book. Very inspiring and extremely well written. I am looking into writing a book myself. I only hope that I can find a topic as exciting as yours, not to mention expressing it on the written page as well as you have. Good luck with the movie. I can't wait to see it! - Evan Bell
Evan Bell <>
New York, NY USA - Friday, February 28, 2003 at 15:23:08 (EST)
Dear Laura, I have just read a Preview Review of the Seabiscuit movie trailer, by FilmHobbit, dated 2003-01-19, which I found on the Cindy Pierson homepage. It reminded me of one of my favorite proverbs: You can't win them all (who said that by the way? Was it a horse-player?). Anyway, the person who wrote it must 1) be very young, 2) know absolutely nothing of Thoroughbred horse racing, and 3) probably belong to the species of human beings who will never care much for the sport ever. Although the review of the film trailer was very negative, the writer left it open whether the up-coming movie would be good or not. Whatever can be said about the trailer (which I have not seen yet, only read about in the US Thoroughbred trade press) it was certainly not the "fault" of neither Seabiscuit, nor of Charles Howard, Tom Smith or Red Pollard, to have been active and engaged in the career of the legendary racehorse (which they made legendary with the help of hundreds of interested racing writers, newspaper editors, radio people, many track operators, racing secretaries, and hundreds of thousands of horseplayers, racing spectators and sports fans in general) during the crucial years in question, coinciding with the outbreak of World War 2. The story of Seabiscuit happened, it was real, it appealed to many, many people in America during a time when circumstances were, well, “perfect” for a true story like Seabiscuit’s to develop. The point I would like to make here is that we have a smiliar situation in Sweden - to a negative preview like the above mentioned. Thoroughbred racing here (about 110 years old with royal “ancestry”; the father of our present King Carl XVI Gustaf, Prince Gustaf Adolf, was a keen steeplechase rider and finished 2nd on the Gentlemen Riders’ list in 1928 and was president of the Jockey Club of Sweden when he was killed in a plane crash in 1947) is extremely tiny in the public eye. There is no mention of it, editorially, in any of the Stockholm daylies, etc. Your book, though, has been translated and was published in December 2002. We tried to help with two promotions at the two Thoroughbred tracks, but unfortunately the translation was done with no regard for proper racing terminolgy, and the book has not caught on. Rest hope with the movie. I have been in contact with UIP (United Pictures International) that is taking the movie here in Sweden and volunteered to help with the translation and it will be extremely interesting to find out how it will be received here in our country. It will probably open in late Fall. If it turns out to be a success, will it benefit our racing situation to a marked degree? I will let you know. Bjorn Zachrisson, Djursholm, Sweden
Bjorn Zachrisson <>
Djursholm, - Sweden - Friday, February 28, 2003 at 05:29:08 (EST)
I have just surfed into this site and found it quite amazing. Can you please tell me if you book is available in Australia? I have a son who is an apprentice jockey and is recoving from a near fatal horse racing accident. We both can't wait until the movie is released here in Australia. I will keep a look out for the book in the bookstore. Keep up the good work Julie Molloy
Julie molloy <>
perth, W.A Australia - Friday, February 28, 2003 at 03:56:32 (EST)
What a wonderful book, I went to my firsr horse race when I was 10 years old in 1945 at Santa Anita, also been to Hollywood Park, Del Mar and Caliente. I have seen all the big races on the West Coast along with some great horses, Swaps Native Diver Busher and the like. I have always admired the honesty of the race horse and no one has ever told it better than you in your book "seabisuit". I have seen his statue at Sanat Anita and have read so much about him. But you truly brought him to live, he was an inspiration to all, you don't have to be big and perfect to be great, it's your heart that counts,. I am so looking forward to seeing the movie this year.. Thank you so much for the book, may you enjoy your success and know that hose who read your book fell in love with the 'biscuit and with you for bringing him to life agsain. Thank you again. Fred Bausman Springfield Mo
Fred Bausman <>
Springfield, Mo USA - Thursday, February 27, 2003 at 22:52:03 (EST)
I love your book! Is there any way I can get any prints or pictures of Seabiscuit to place in our beautiful Inn? Thank you.
Wendy Advocate <>
USA - Thursday, February 27, 2003 at 10:48:20 (EST)
I really enjoyed your book. It was so well written. I wasjust wondering if Tom Smith ever had a woman in his life? I also wondered what happene to Pumpkin...
Nancy <>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Wednesday, February 26, 2003 at 20:43:54 (EST)
I hope you’ve been told by others what an inspiration you and your excellent book are to those of us also wrestling with CFIDS. As articles on you appeared, my best friend and first reader sent me copies, and I’d keep those close. On days when I thought I couldn’t type one more word, or I felt overwhelmed with illness, I’d re-read the articles about you and say to myself, ‘If Laura can do it, so can I.’ It’s taken years of writing through the illness – made easier, recently, by looking to you as my unknowing muse - but I’ve finished the first in a trilogy of novels. I thank you for the role you played in motivating my work, I wish you continued success in yours, and I hope for us all a bright future, free of illness.
JB Allyn <>
USA - Wednesday, February 26, 2003 at 19:34:31 (EST)
Laura, A spellbinding, memorable book. Thank you for every ounce of effort you put into research and writing Seabiscuit. Here's to energy and stamina and good days for more writing. You are a brilliant, sensitive and gifted storyteller. Seabiscuit would have welcomed you into his stall.
Quinton Hallett
OR USA - Wednesday, February 26, 2003 at 18:49:39 (EST)
I loved the book. Ive always been a fan of horse racing, but not betting. You tell a great story of the horse as well as the people around the horse. One thing not mentioned on the website. When you sold the rights did you retain control of any content of the movie? Were there certain things you wanted to see in the movie? Im a movie fan as well and i always like to hear what the author felt of the script. sincerly Ron Loren Pitts
Ron Pitts <Gdog Gdog Gdog Gdog G>
High Point, NC USA - Tuesday, February 25, 2003 at 13:27:29 (EST)
Ms. Laura Hillenbrand You are a wonderful storyteller. I had to read it every night this week before I went away for work. You brought the characters to life and made me feel good about rooting for myself. The "Seabiscuit team" never quit and your book was the best trophy of all. Sincerely Charlie
charlie <>
wilkes-barre pa, PA USA - Tuesday, February 25, 2003 at 12:37:56 (EST)
Thank you for a fascinating book! I'll be leading a review this week and was also interested in finding out any more information about Howard's first wife, Fannie May. What became of her and their 3 surviving sons? Thanks again for a great read!!
Sandi Holahan <>
Wilmington, DE USA - Tuesday, February 25, 2003 at 09:45:28 (EST)
I thoroughly enjoyed your book and I hope you will be publishing another book very soon. I am captivated by your writing style. Upon reading the interview at the back of the book, your comments about on-going illness due to food poisoning caught my eye. I wondered if you might be interested in the following organization: S.T.O.P. is the powerful victim-founded national grassroots organization working since 1993 to make food safer from pathogenic contamination and reduce suffering, illness and deaths from foodborne disease. Everyday 14 unsuspecting Americans are killed and another 890 hospitalized because of preventable food poisoning. To learn more, visit our website at Your testimony before D.C. legislators would be enormously helpful. Thank you for your candor and sharing some of your life with your readers.
nancy <>
Friday Harbor, WA USA - Monday, February 24, 2003 at 19:09:02 (EST)
Fantastic book! I just finished your wonderful book and I'm now a big fan of Seabiscuit! I have been an avid racing fan since I was a teenage girl in love with horses. I grew up watching Secretariat, but Seabiscuit really tugged at my heart. I live 5 minutes from Tanforan Shopping Mall, formally the Tanforan Racetrack and they have a bronze statue of Seabiscuit that has always fascinated me. Now I know the story. I'm curious about the Seabiscuit pinball that you mentioned in the Acknowledgments section pg. 342. Can you tell me anything about that? My husband collects pinball machines and I'm interested. Again, great book, I m looking forward to the movie, hope it's as good as the book.
Liz Wilberg <>
So. San Francisco, CA USA - Sunday, February 23, 2003 at 19:38:42 (EST)
Laura, I have a First Edition copy of your book which I am proud to own and would be pleased and honored to have you sign it for me. Would this be possible? You have written a classic. Thank you. John F. Hunt
John F. Hunt <>
Grantsburg, WI USA - Sunday, February 23, 2003 at 19:35:35 (EST)
Thank you so much for writing such a wonderful book. I believe I did have one of the board games when I was a young girl. I have always loved horses. I wish I could be a part of that world. How did you get interested in this? Please write more stories! :)
Gloucester, MA USA - Sunday, February 23, 2003 at 17:15:54 (EST)
I can not thank you enough for this wonderful and amazing book. It was added to our book club from Millennium Sportsclub Eldorado, here in Shingle Springs, CA and I can only tell you this, WE LOVED IT .. thank you so very much for such a complelling and tender story. We are holding the book review this coming weekend on March 1st and wanted some additional imput from you. Is there any way you may be able to email us with a note to tell us a little more about yourself and your love of SEABISCUIT. We are hooked
Liz Butterbaugh <>
Cameron Park, CA USA - Sunday, February 23, 2003 at 15:40:36 (EST)
Laura, I so enjoyed your book. I can't wait to see the movie. Can you tell me how I can get information on Sea Bisquits decendants?
Shelby <>
woodbridge, VA USA - Sunday, February 23, 2003 at 10:59:27 (EST)
Can't agree more with comments below. Why oh why has Seabiscuit's head been chopped off on the cover photo? What a shame!!
christine <>
bethany, ok USA - Saturday, February 22, 2003 at 18:07:30 (EST)
I am loving you're book. You write so well that I can imagine the horses on the track as they race. The 1937 Santa Anita race is rivetting. I also read about your story in the Smithsonian mag. and am very impressed with your achievement as I, too, have suffered with ME. One minor criticism is that I would have liked to see real photos included in the book to illustrate the different stages in Seabiscuit's life including photos of Marcella Howard. However, I love the book and am excited to se what happens next.
chrissy <>
bethany, ok USA - Saturday, February 22, 2003 at 18:02:26 (EST)
brilliant book, brought a tear to my eye on numerous occasions, and made my hairs stand on end!
stefan <>
london, uk - Saturday, February 22, 2003 at 07:45:12 (EST)
Horses have played a huge part in my life. I have my grandfathers colours (silks). He trained and rode his own racehorses at country meets in the 1940's. My dad farmed with horses and at a young age had his own team of 10. I guess horses are in my blood. Today I own & ride a quarter horse. I also do prep work on race horses and in the past I broken and trained horses for stock work. My life would not be complete without a horse to own & love! When I was a young girl I read the story of Pharlap (Australia's Seabiscuit!)and several times my Dad had to take the book off me as it made me very upset. I have since read the book as a young woman and still feel those same feelings of emotion. I can vividly recall visiting the Melbourne Museum in the early 1980's and seeing Pharlap and thinking what it would have been like to actually have seen him in real life, watching him race! My Dad recalls that Pharlap gave people a reason to smile, to go out and celebrate! He was there only hero during those hard times. I am but only a quarter of the way through the book 'Seabiscuit' and already I am limiting myself to the number of pages I read per day. I do not want the story to end. I am sure, like others who have sent you messages that I will read the book again but nothing is ever like the first time! I look forward to seeing the movie - when it is released in Australia. I only hope they do the book justice, as with many movies made from books, especially 'real life' stories, the movie is never quite what you imagined as you read! Well done to Laura. You have obviously spent many hours researching the lives of many people involved with Seabiscuit and also with the racing industry at that time. Thankyou for producing a book which describes so well the life and times of people of that era - if only I had a little of the talent of Tom Smith!
Narelle Bein <>
Moora, wa Australia - Friday, February 21, 2003 at 23:43:49 (EST)
Laura, Seabiscuit was the most captivating read I have ever experienced. Your story telling is incomparable, paticularly the build-up to and the race with War Admirable. It should have come as no surprise that a major influence in your story telling style was Shaara's Killer Angels, until this moment my favorite book. Like Killer Angels, I know I will read Seabiscuit over and over again. I'm off to buy a hardcover for myself so the paperback can be lent out. Thanks Laura and thank you Gambier OH.
Rick Gallagher <>
Denver, CO USA - Friday, February 21, 2003 at 10:50:36 (EST)
A quick question...Do you know when Hard Tack died? Resolving this will make my stepfather a very happy man. Thanks.
Lee <>
sewell, nj USA - Thursday, February 20, 2003 at 19:07:40 (EST)
STARTHERE Hello...I am a forever fan of horse racing. This book is great. Ms. Hillebrand is just simply a genius at telling an unbelievable story but she is also able to capture in a most unique style the emotion of the equine athlete as well as that of his/her human partners. I have been to the Kentucky Derby the last seven years...spending thousands of dollars to place two dollar bets. The chapter on the match race between War Admiral and Seabiscuit rivals the excitement when My Old Kentucky Home is played in the Post Parade. Quite simply this is the most brilliant story and book ever written.
Nick Marinovich <>
Chula Vista, CA USA - Wednesday, February 19, 2003 at 00:22:06 (EST)
I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this book. This book has it all!!! It was so well written. The races that were described in the book had me sitting on the edge of my seat. I think it was better than being at a real race. I was telling one of my "horsey" friends all about the book and she told me that the grandson of the owner of Seabiscuit lives here. I knew the name, Chuck Howard, sounded familiar, now I know why. I have now given copies of this book as gifts. Even people who don't enjoy reading about horses loved this book. I am really looking forward to the movie. Thank you for giving me so much enjoyment! Linda
Linda Giles <>
Yerington, NV USA - Tuesday, February 18, 2003 at 22:11:46 (EST)
Hello, i am 15 and i just finished read Seabiscuit. I got the book from and old man who went with us to be an extra in the filming of the movie Seabiscuit. After being an extra on the set of Seabiscuit and not knowing the Seabiscuit story at all i really wanted to learn more about it. So i started reading Seabiscuit and it is a truly awsome book. Now i am doing a project for my history class on Seabiscuit. Now i cannot wait until the movie comes out !
Kaysha <>
Yuma, AZ USA - Tuesday, February 18, 2003 at 17:03:21 (EST)
Dear Laura - I am just finishing your wonderful book for the 2nd time. I spent my summers during the 1960's and 1970's on Ridgewood Ranch in Willits. Of course, the story of Seabiscuit and the Howards was well known and talked about. I played on the ground that is said to cover his bones. His actual gravesite is still, I am sure, a mystery to all but a very few, but my grandfather told me where he had heard it was rumored to be and that was good enough for me. I thought about Seabiscuit a lot when playing or swinging there. I spent many of my happiest hours swimming in the beautiful old-fashioned olympic-sized pool. At one time, it had a terrifyingly tall high dive. I climbed it once on a dare, but never had the nerve to jump off. I loved the aura of the bathhouse. Back then, there were still some old pictures on the walls from what must have been the 1930's and 40's. As a child, I didn't know much about those times, but the people in the photos looked glamourous and like they were having a lot of fun. I have no idea if they were pictures placed there by the Howard family, but I imagined them to be. It's difficult to describe what I liked about that particular place, but I always had the feeling that it was special to someone and that a lot of care was taken in making it a place of peace and enjoyment. Perhaps the spirit of Marcela Howard? I also saw what was said to be Seabisciut's barn when I was 6 or 7 I think, before it was converted into a printing office. That was the first time I heard the story of Seabiscuit. The barn (now office) is still there with the weathervane in Seabiscuit's image still on top. I have also visited the tiny cemetery where the family which perished of diphtheria rests. The gravestones are hard to read now, but it is still very moving to see the dates of death so close together and to see that some of the children were only babies. Were you able to visit the ranch yourself? If there are any books or other materials which tell of life on Ridgewood, I would love to get any information on where I might find them. My grandfather brought me a book about Seabiscuit from the library when I was about 9, and since then, I have been enamoured of the little horse with the big heart and knobby knees. The thought that I was truly walking the same ground that Seabiscuit had walked never failed to evoke dreamy fantasies of going back in time to watch him, touch him and, of course, being a horse crazy girl then, to be able to gain his love and devotion of me as his perfect sole mate. Seabiscuit's story got me hooked on horse stories, and since I could seldom find anything else about Seabiscuit back then, I devoured every other horse book I could get my hands on. I am so happy to read on your website that the Biscuit is still so loved. For me, he will always be the best. I usually listen to books on tape because, being a working mother and slave to my pets, I don't have much time for sitting still to read. I wasn't past the third chapter of your book when I ordered the hardcover copy. I felt like I wanted to see and touch the Biscuit (or his likeness anyway), as well as listen to the excellent production by Recorded Books. It is a book I will always treasure. So, having said all that, I hope I have conveyed to you how much I enjoyed your book. Your obviously exhaustive research gave me background on the people in the Biscuit's life which enriches my childhood memories even more. I am sorry to hear from your website that you have been ill. I will add you to my prayers, and hope for your recovery. Your work seems to mean a great deal to a lot of people. In times as stressful and worrysome as these, it is a wonderful contribution to our human spirits. I hope you are able to continue writing. Thank you again. Cindy Trentadue
CindyTrentadue <>
Healdsburg, CA USA - Tuesday, February 18, 2003 at 16:25:51 (EST)
WOW! I have not read a book in over a year and I just finished Seabiscut in two days. I grew up with horses and even worked at a local quarter horse race track ponying, excercising and mucking out stalls. I even graduated high school early to work on a Throughbreed farm. I thought I wanted to be one of the few female jockeys. I was young . Having only a small glimpse of unglamorus life on a race track, I could really understand and appreciate the lives of the incredibly strong and rich characters that created history. Also having purchased a nag heading for the glue factory for $25.oo when I was 12years old. It was all I could afford at the time. I worked with her day in and day out until she what ready for me to show. She was always a winner and often, I was approched by perspective buyers. I kept for 14 years until she died. She to was a winner. I was heartbroken when she died and I was heartbroken when I read the part where Seabiscut died. Thankyou for reviving a wonderful part of history.
Victoria Smith <>
West Chester, pa USA - Tuesday, February 18, 2003 at 15:32:34 (EST)
I can't remember when I last read a book. But I am really glad I read about Seabiscuit. I could not put the book down and read it in a week. You have really converted me. If anyone can recommend to me other books I would love to here. Thank you brad
bradley williams <>
london, england - Tuesday, February 18, 2003 at 03:18:16 (EST)
Laura - Your book was sensational. I am interested in speaking with you regarding Seabiscuit's physical problems. I work with rare disorders (human) and am most interested in exploring what may account for what I perceive as some interesting symptoms. I am in the DC area so please try to reach me by my e-mail. This is important. Thank you
Mary <>
Rockville, MD USA - Monday, February 17, 2003 at 11:52:35 (EST)
I didn't know anything about horseracing but thoroughly enjoyed your book and was profoundly moved by your excellent and entertaining history of that time. Thank you for your talent and thoroughness in the life of Seabiscuit and his crew. C. Gildar
C. Gildar
IL USA - Monday, February 17, 2003 at 11:50:12 (EST)
MANKATO, MN USA - Monday, February 17, 2003 at 11:31:23 (EST)
I just finished listening to your book 'Seabiscuit An American Legend'. It was terrific! I am looking forward to the movie, but will be extremely disappointed if they don't follow the book. So many times that happens and I promise myself I won't watch any more movies of books I love, but then I usually break that promise and get disappointed again! Thanks again for a great book! Cindy
Cynthia L. Ware <>
Merrimack, NH USA - Monday, February 17, 2003 at 08:18:39 (EST)
HATE THE CUT-OFF PICTURE ON THE COVER OF SEABISCUIT: AN AMERICAN LEGEND? The library version of the UNABRIDGED audiobook ($94) published by Recorded Books 1-800-636-3399 has the whole picture! Instead of the version on previous editions, they've at last shifted the focus to the Biscuit, omitting the guy who stood to the left of Charles Howard in the original picture and giving the space to the Biscuit's head. High time! This unabridged audiobook also comes in a less expensive version (about $59) but I believe the photo is the same as the original -- no Biscuit head. If you listen to the book as often as I do, the extra money is well spent.
maggie van ostrand <>
pine mountain, ca USA - Sunday, February 16, 2003 at 15:08:48 (EST)
LET'S VOTE FOR SEABISCUIT ON A STAMP. WE CAN DO THIS by sending 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
chuck lustick <>
new orleans, la USA - Sunday, February 16, 2003 at 15:02:41 (EST)
Here's an URL with some outstanding and new photos of the Biscuit arriving at Ridgewood to retire, including a photo of Doc Babcock.
maggie van ostrand <>
pine mountain, ca USA - Sunday, February 16, 2003 at 14:56:16 (EST)
I've just answered my own question. Following is what I was able to find about George Woolf's saddle, on another website: One of the most eerie tales of the turf sunrounds the Australian saddle taken to America by Phar Lap's jockey, Billy Elliot, in 1932. The saddle, with a kangaroo and lizard hide skin was a novelty in Califomia, where cowhide saddles were the norm. It was also much admired by a young American rider, George Woolf. Woolf was at Agua Caliente the day Phar Lap scored his historic international victory in 1932 (after which har Lap died a mysterious death) in the Elliot saddle and became friends with the Australian. Eiliot gave the saddle to Woolf as a parting gift when he left for Australia. The Phar Lap saddle was larger than the average American one and Woolf, only the second rider in America tof inherit the nickname as "The Iceman" won most of his country's major races using it. It was, Woolf was often heard to say, his good-luck charm. In January 1946, Woolf was riding at Santa Anita only a few miles from where Phar Lap had died 14 years before. After three wins on the day using his Australian saddle, he was asked to ride a horse called Please Me in a lowly graded race. Woolf agreed, reluctantly, because the light weight the horse was to carry meant using a tiny,uncomfortable saddle rather than his usual one. Please Me balked suddenly at the first turn in the race and threw Woolf over his head into the Santa Anita running rail. one of America's most famous riders died in hospital the next day without recovering consciousness. Still hanging from a peg in the deserted jockeys' room was his Australian "good-luck" charm. It was never used again.
Andrew Robinson
London, UK - Sunday, February 16, 2003 at 09:18:54 (EST)
Seabiscuit is such a wonderful book. I loved it. Having grown up in Australia, where Phar Lap is still revered as the horse that helped that small nation bind together and build hope (despite my being born 30-40 years afterwards) through depression and global unrest, this brought a tear to my eye for it's similar force of importance and bravery. I loved it. I'm intrigued to know how Goerge Woolf came about having his lucky kangaroo hide saddle from Phar Lap?
Andrew Robinson <>
London, UK - Sunday, February 16, 2003 at 08:46:48 (EST)
I just heard on the TV that Johnny Longdon died at 96.I knew the man personally.My Father Ivon McMains worked for Johnny when I was a child.Johnny had his horse ranch in Riverside the 60's,and I remember going there with my dad and Johnny and his wife comming there to see about things.He was such a neat guy and always brought me candy.His formen Scotty and Sleepy,was always there too.I wish there was a way I could let Johnny's family know how much of a shock it was to me to see the news that he had died.That part of my life is such a wonderful memory, and I will always treasure it.Sincerely,Sue Holloman(McMains)
Sue Holloman(McMains) <>
Riverside, Ca USA - Saturday, February 15, 2003 at 11:13:41 (EST)
i am interested in learning about race horses, quarterhorses and thorobreds. thanks bill
bill cain <>
dumas, texas USA - Saturday, February 15, 2003 at 08:11:53 (EST)
i loved the book...well written with an underdog who wins plot...i even named my screen name after the book...seasbiscuit@aol
kevin j <>
bonita, ca USA - Saturday, February 15, 2003 at 00:15:30 (EST)
Hallo, nachdem in unserem Forum über das Buch berichtet wurde habe ich es mir auch gekauft und es hat mich total fasziniert. Eine wahnsinnig tolle Geschichte wunderbar erzählt. Freue mich schon riesig auf den Film. a lot of Greetings to Laura !! you write a great Book !!
Klaus Frank <>
Zweibrücken, Germany - Friday, February 14, 2003 at 15:16:03 (EST)
Hi Laura:I just want to add my props to you for a great book.I have been a race track fan in California for most of my adult life and your book was the best sports book I have ever read!I bought three copies and gave two away to friends.Please let me know if your coming to Southern Calif.for a book signing...Sincerely, Dwain Gallo
Dwain Gallo <>
Yorba Linda, Ca USA - Friday, February 14, 2003 at 14:42:13 (EST)
PS......I have a small but fairly successful bookstore in downtown Lansing, Mi....been open 4 1/2 months. I have had Carol Higgins Clark in to sign, Dave Barry is stopping by this month and Elizabeth Berg in May and possibly Kathleen Norris later this year....maybe Studs Terkel, too. Loren Estleman and others... Way Station Books & Stuff 223 South Washington Square Lansing Michigan 48933 1-517-853-1336 Please, please, please please oh please...?
Randy Glumm <>
Lansing, MI USA - Friday, February 14, 2003 at 11:31:15 (EST)
Fantastic Book. Please come for a book-signing Thanks, rg
Randy Glumm <>
Lansing, MI USA - Friday, February 14, 2003 at 11:18:47 (EST)
I think calling Seabisuit ugly and small is the worst insult anyone could say about a horse that had so much heart in him that it shone through his coat and made him better animal than War Admiral would have ever been. Being born in 1981; I missed it completely but my love of horses was born watching old newsreels of that dear creature with beautiful eyes; big heart and devilish face. A creature after my own heart. Seabiscuit the Beautiful
Vikki <>
Sunderland, UK - Thursday, February 13, 2003 at 14:04:12 (EST)
Seabiscuit. How could someone have disowned what appeared to be such an ungainly animal? A story of courage, determination and joy. I would however have given anything to see Seabiscuit hurdle and see if he would beat Red Rum or Desert Orchid. A flight of fantasy but the Biscuit would forver be my fave. I have to say; Tobey Maguire as Red Pollard? Please. Elijah Wood would have been better and Tom Smith should be Alan Rickman (sour puss). An opinion but I will have that film and never leave it. To Seabiscuit goes the final honour.
Vikki <>
Sunderland, UK - Thursday, February 13, 2003 at 13:57:44 (EST)
What an amazing book! When I was in the middle of the book I was thinking, gee, what else could happen? Holy Cow!! What an amazing horse!! Thanks for writing such an entertaining depiction of not only this horse in particular but also the times in which they occured, a glimpse into horse psychology as well as what it "feels" like to ride a horse going 35-miles-per-hour. I hope the movie does the book justice. Thanks again for a job well done.
Dawn Nakashima <>
Berkeley, CA USA - Thursday, February 13, 2003 at 13:34:23 (EST)
Dear Laura: Thank you so much for writing such a memorable and stirring book. I like some of the other readers have never written a fan letter. Your book was so powerful. Thank you for bringing this amazing little horse his owners, trainers and all of the colorful characters to print. Respectfully, Chris Tucker, native Kentuckian
Chris Tucker <>
Louisville, KY USA - Thursday, February 13, 2003 at 10:11:05 (EST)
Saw the picture as a child, Trust the new production will thrill the adult mind as the old movie did for us child horse lovers. Have been a successful thoroughbred breeder now retired, and horse love still prevails.
Eileen <>
Keswick, On Canada - Thursday, February 13, 2003 at 05:18:55 (EST)
I just learned about this wonderful horse because i aquired a photo of the horse and rider 1937. aprox. 10x18 great photo and horse. are there collecters for this type of photos?
Joe Massey <>
Bay Point, CA USA - Wednesday, February 12, 2003 at 15:43:17 (EST)
Great book. The feel of the times
Tampa, Fl USA - Wednesday, February 12, 2003 at 12:33:12 (EST)
I saw the original movie on TV as a kid. I can't wait for this one. 2003 is really the year of the horse. bev
bev davis <>
dallas, TX USA - Wednesday, February 12, 2003 at 11:36:28 (EST)
thanks for entertaining in such a way your cast and crew and writers do..
gigi richards <>
Philadelphia, Pa USA - Tuesday, February 11, 2003 at 22:54:25 (EST)
Loved your book - just finished reading it for the 4th time! I also was among the first group of people to take the "Ridgewood Ranch, Home of Seabiscuit" tour last spring. What a beautiful place even if it's smaller than when the Howards owned it. Would love to see a coffee-table type of book on Seabiscuit with photos from the Howard collection of pictures and newspaper/magazine clippings as well as other sources. Any chance that's happening?
Kathy Graves <>
yreka, CA USA - Tuesday, February 11, 2003 at 20:22:16 (EST)
I was wondering if anyone here knows what the names of the horses were that are in the seabiscuit movie.
Stacey <>
n. gros., ct USA - Tuesday, February 11, 2003 at 14:28:45 (EST)
Dear Laura, Do you have any more information on Charles' first wife, Fannie May? She seemed to disappear quickly from the story and Marcela and Charles were later referred to as the 4 boys' parents and then as grandparents to the next generation of Howards. Did Fannie May have any connection at all to the Seabiscuit years?
Christine MacManus <>
Narragansett, RI USA - Tuesday, February 11, 2003 at 12:38:20 (EST)
I just finished reading Seabiscuit. I think I read it in just under a week. I could not put it down. Morning, Lunchtime, afternoon and evening, I was cheering the Biscuit every day!! Being a lover of horses and racing itself, the slow lead up to the match race with War Admiral was suspense at its best. I will certainly be recommending it to all and sundry. I trust the film will do the book justice!!
Joseph Kingsley <>
BRISBANE, QLD AUSTRALIA - Tuesday, February 11, 2003 at 00:23:57 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I am on chapter three of you book and can hardly put it down expecting the rest to be just as wonderful. I am reading it because it is the selection for our book club at the Greenbelt, MD library. We will meet to discuss your book on Wed. Feb. 19 at 2 PM. Since you are local, you might want to join us and hear our coments. I can only speak for myself, but I'm sure everyone will welcome you.
Mr. Frank Wrigley <>
Seabrook, MD USA - Monday, February 10, 2003 at 23:12:01 (EST)
Dear Laura, Having never written a fan letter before I shall try to keep it brief and not get maudlin. I have never been involved with horses and have only seen a few races in my life. I was given your book as a gift and I must admit it sat for a while before I picked it up. I am so glad I read it. Seabiscuit was the most enjoyable reading experience I have had in years. Your style and storytelling ability are just fantastic, they completely sucked me into Seabiscuit’s world. I certainly hope you are planning on writing more books (sooner rather than later). Good luck with the film and thank you so much for the uplifting and wonderful experience. Best regards, Jon Rubin
Jonathan Rubin <>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Monday, February 10, 2003 at 22:12:35 (EST)
dear Laura: I learned that this was one of Sport's Illustrated's top 100 sports reads of the century. My sister is presently reading it, and i told her if I thought it good, i would buy it for my brother. He and I found the book "Hotblood" to be intriguing and sad, but not near the "emotional rush" that I derived from "Seabiscit". She said i didn't need to bother, as he has read it 7 times. He's a horse guy, who had a very good showing at Keeneland raceway once. He races mostly at Mountaineer Park in Chester, W.Va. now. The chances of these 3 rugged individuals and a horse coming together, was problematic, at best. I was transposed inside the book, and i was vicariously living through each new mini-saga. There were salty tears rolling down my cheeks, when Red brought Seabiscuit around the turn at the 1940 Santa Anita Handicap. thanks again, for this inspirational, true-life story of some individuals, that had a love for racehorses, and a horse named Seabiscuit, who possessed "true grit".
John E. Lee <>
marietta, Ohio USA - Monday, February 10, 2003 at 19:57:52 (EST)
My grandfather loved the races, and because I loved him, whatever he loved I made mine. He often said that when he died, he wanted to come back as a race horse. I can only pray that he got his wish, and that he came back as a son of Seabiscuit. Your book about this rough little horse deeply moved me. The world was a different place back then. I don't believe stories like that can happen any more.
Mariann <>
Barnegat, NJ USA - Monday, February 10, 2003 at 13:26:02 (EST)
Laura, I read your book a little over two years ago, after recovering from a long illness. I was in the process of having an old stable owner pick out a horse for me. When I saw the horse he was told about, it was skinny, shy and unsure. I immediately named him "Sand Dollar", because it was as close as I could get to my Seabiscuit. I didn't want your book to end, and I have read it again since this time. I don't know how you were able to capture in words the emotions -- joyful, funny, hopeful and scared -- that go along with a relationship with one of these magnificent creatures. Sand Dollar is now a muscular, healthy horse, who eats all the time (just like Seabiscuit), has a playful but competitive spirit, and is loved by everyone at my barn (most of all by me). Your book has really captured the essence of the relationship between a horse and his "human" family. Thank you for the story of SeaBiscuit.
katherine edwards <>
Charlotte, NC USA - Monday, February 10, 2003 at 00:32:31 (EST)
Laura, This book is one of the greatest accounts of a horse and the lives surrounding the horse one could imagine. You have brought this era and it's people to life. I appreciated your immense task and look forward to the movie. Thank you for such a terrific work.
William Koretz <>
Ketchum, ID USA - Sunday, February 09, 2003 at 22:53:34 (EST)
LONG BEACH, CA USA - Sunday, February 09, 2003 at 16:35:30 (EST)
Truly, one of the best reads of my life. I almost cried when the "rough little horse" died @ 14. You certainly added warmth and flavor to the characters, through your oral histories. I am an impatient reader and usually look forward to the ending. I am now looking forward to a sequel. Thank you for crafting such a well paced, educational and heartwarming book. Thanks also for Sharing Seabiscuit
Mary-Ann Bieksza <>
Bernardsville, NJ USA - Saturday, February 08, 2003 at 15:22:07 (EST)
Truly, one of the best reads of my life. I almost cried when the "rough little horse" died @ 14. You certainly added warmth and flavor to the characters, through your through oral histories. I am an impatient reader and usually look forward to the ending. I am now looking forward to a sequel. Thank you for crafting such a well paced, educational and heartwarming book. Thanks also for Sharing Seabiscuit
Mary-Ann Bieksza <>
Bernardsville, NJ USA - Saturday, February 08, 2003 at 15:21:14 (EST)
ms hillenbran i have just finished seabiscuit. several friends had recommended it to me over the past year but i was'nt interested because i have no interest in horses, racetracks or gambling. boy, was i wrong. it is an outstanding story that gripped me completely. thanks so much for an extraordinary job. joe dudley
joe dudley <>
winston-salem, nc USA - Saturday, February 08, 2003 at 14:30:10 (EST)
Wow! Thank you for a wonderfully told story! In my life, very few books have captured, entertained and educated me like this! The life-lessons you recognized and beautifully connected create dreams and inspiration. SEABISCUIT is a great accomplishment and a gift to us all. Thank you!
Robert Spalding <>
Poland, oh USA - Saturday, February 08, 2003 at 10:29:00 (EST)
SILVER SPRING, MD. USA - Friday, February 07, 2003 at 23:30:56 (EST)
Laura, I absolutely loved your book Seabiscuit. I was well acquainted with the Howard family in the early 70's and have often thought fondly of them. I had been told about Seabiscuit but never realized the history behind the horse. I even visited the Seabiscuit ranch with Mike Howard. What a wonderful story....
t p
San Diego, USA - Friday, February 07, 2003 at 23:27:01 (EST)
Laura, Thank you for the wonderful book! My book club is meeting to discuss this on Feb. 13th and I would love to know more about you to share with the group. This was my pick, my husband recommended it to me and I was enthralled. Thank you for this wonderful slice of American history. Best wishes, Ann
Ann Goddard <>
Cedar City, Utah USA - Friday, February 07, 2003 at 17:27:06 (EST)
SEABISCUIT ON A STAMP? YOU CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN. Just send a card requesting it to 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 - Friday, February 07, 2003 at 11:35:08 (EST)
I'm at a loss for words to describe the feelings that your book has generated for me. The closest that I can come is to say that I've been enriched by my newfound awareness of this marvelous animal and the people that shared his life. I bought the book because of my overall interest in history, but you've expanded my meager knowledge of horse racing a hundred fold. After watching Secretariat win the Belmont as overwhelmingly as he did, I thought that there would never be a better thoroughbred. Little did I know that he was just chasing the standard carried long ago by an even greater horse. Thank you!
Michael Meredith <>
St. Louis, MO USA - Friday, February 07, 2003 at 10:55:59 (EST)
john herzhaft <>
glendale, az USA - Friday, February 07, 2003 at 10:37:21 (EST)
I am an avid reader, and I can honestly say I have never read a non-fiction book that was more exciting and captivating. I fell in love with Seabiscuit and cried myself to sleep the night I finished the book. I can't wait for the movie. I hope the movie does the justice to your book it so deserves.
Donna J. Baushke <>
Gardnerville, NV USA - Thursday, February 06, 2003 at 12:39:24 (EST)
I will be conducting a book club group of 18 people on Tuesday night Feb.11th on your wonderful book Seabiscuit and would love very much to know more about the author and your experiance on writing the book.PLEASE, I really love your book and I am telling the world.. Thank you so very much. Karla
Karla Burke <>
Marion, MA USA - Thursday, February 06, 2003 at 10:05:29 (EST)
Laura, Many thanks for a wonderful book. How lucky you are to have to opportunity to enrich so many people's lives, and what a pleasure it is for those of us who get to peek into the world of Seabiscuit through your words. Alfred Scott
Alfred Scott <>
Richmond, VA USA - Thursday, February 06, 2003 at 09:23:04 (EST)
Dear Laura, I very much enjoyed reading "Seabiscuit" last summer and am currently preparing a report and presentation for my literary club on Tuesday, April 1, 2003. "The Ladies Literary Club" was organized in March of 1880 and has met uninterrupted since then twice monthly nine months out of the year. Our minutes are recorded manually in archival books and stored at the Kentucky Museum as a historical reference. As a Kentucky horse enthusiast and thoroughbred owner and rider, I am incredibly interested in all aspects relating to your book. I unfortunately have much in common with your physical history as well, as I was struck down by a very unusual virus 6 years ago which has left me to deal with and overcome chronic fatigue and related disorders and exhaustion. I had no idea of your struggles until I began my research, and cannot fathom the daunting task of authoring a book of this caliber and the required research necessary to achieve your measure of success. I would appreciate any personal word from you with which to share with our club in April if possible. Thank you, Congratulations, and all best wishes from Kentucky-Roiann
Roiann R. Ridley <>
Bowling Green, KY USA - Wednesday, February 05, 2003 at 16:31:42 (EST)
heinz wiegand <>
new hope, , al USA - Wednesday, February 05, 2003 at 15:57:29 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand: I was given a copy of Seabiscuit right after it came out in print by a good friend of mine who works for Random House. She told me that I HAD to read it. It would, in her opinion, reach #1 best-seller status. I picked it up and put it right back down. "A book about a horse? I don't HAVE to read this one," I thought. This friend has known my reading taste for fifteen years. Why she thought I would be interested in non-fiction, I have no idea. Why she assumed I'd like a story about a horse -- a mystery. It has sat on my shelf since. I saw its rise to #1 best-seller in both hardback and paper, and still told myself, "It's about a horse. So what?" Finally, a few weeks ago, I saw the preview for the film while at a theater. "Good Lord. Now they're making a movie about it," I thought. But now I was curious. I found the book, picked it up, dusted it off, and started reading. And now I'm writing to apologize. I have to admit that I have never enjoyed a book more than I enjoyed this one. The amount of research you did was absolutely unbelievable. People I had never heard of came to life for me; I learned aspects of racing that I had never imagined; and I found myself reading the accounts of actual races a few sentences at a time, and then re-reading them in 2-3 sentence chunks, so that I could prolong the suspense and excitement. I cheered out loud when Seabiscuit won (even during my students' tests in school), and I welled up more than once at his setbacks. Why am I telling you this? In short, to say "thank you." Thank you for the wonderful experience. And thank you (and Allyson) for proving me wrong.
Jim <>
Indianapolis, IN USA - Wednesday, February 05, 2003 at 14:13:03 (EST)
Laura, I just finished reading your book and wanted to tell you that it was amazing. I absolutely could NOT put it down! You are a very talented writer and thank you for writing such a wonderful book about such wonderful people and horses. I am so anxious for the movie to come out this summer, but am sure that it will never be as good as the book (it seems they never are). I do have one question for you. While looking at information about the upcoming movie, I noticed that William H. Macy is playing a character named Tick Tock McLaughlin and I don't remember anyone by that name in your book. Have I lost my memory or is this a 'Hollywood' character just made up for the movie? Thanks again for the great read and I hope you are feeling better.
Cathy <>
St. Louis, MO USA - Wednesday, February 05, 2003 at 12:30:30 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I've just finished reading your book about Seabiscuit (at about two in the morning) and wanted to thank and commmend you for a wonderful job. Since 1991, I've had the privilege of being the finish-line TV cameraman at the Preakness. In all those years at the track, I never heard anyone mention the War Admiral-Seabiscuit match race being run there. There's no contemporary sense of history, no institutional memory extant. With that personal experience in mind, I'm overwhelmed by the sheer amount of research that went into your book. You seem so like a "marionetteuse," attaching a string to each character, and then making all the characters, both human and equine, come to life...I can only dread the making of the movie. Just make sure that you get amply compensated for the ruining of your good story well told. There's no way the film can ever reflect or depict the journalistic and literary "tour de force" that you fashioned. [For my money, "The Black Stallion" is the best horse-racing movie ever made, right down to the match-race climax. That's gonna be a tough act to follow.] If you ever revise the epilogue, please let us know what ever happened to War Admiral: How long did he live, how did his progeny fare, etc. Also, I read some of the blurb about your personal challenges when the book was first published. I hope that you are doing better, healthwise. Sincerely, T.J. O'Toole
T. J. O'Toole
silver spring, md USA - Wednesday, February 05, 2003 at 00:04:14 (EST)
FROM THE AUTHOR: A REPLY TO DENNIS. Ridgewood does not exist, at least not as Ridgewood. When Howard died, the horses were dispersed and the ranch was ultimately sold and divided. It has not, however, been developed, and it exists much as it did. Seabiscuit's barn is still standing, as are other structures from his day. His grave remains there on the property. I am told that some of the property is being restored to the way it looked in its Ridgewood days. Most of the property is owned by the Church of the Golden Rule. This year, because of the book, local officials have been holding tours of the ranch, complete with home movies from Seabiscuit's time at the ranch and commentary from former ranch employees. Anyone who wishes to see Ridgewood can contact the Chamber of Commerce of Willits, California. They will probably be able to let you know if any tours will be held in the future.
Laura Hillenbrand
USA - Tuesday, February 04, 2003 at 21:36:47 (EST)
FROM THE AUTHOR: A REPLY TO MARIANNE. Your question is an excellent one. I know the parting between Tom and Seabiscuit was a rough one for Tom, but as for the horse, I have not seen anything that demonstrated a serious depression, such as what Cigar experienced when he was retired. I heard one anecdote about how the horse was disinterested in breeding at first, and I suppose that could have been attributable to losing Tom, but we'll never know. The structure of Seabiscuit's life remained relatively stable upon his retirement, and that probably helped things. Pumpkin went to Ridgewood with him, so they were together every day, and the Howards became much more directly involved in his care. My guess is that the close attention he lost when Tom left his life was replaced by the affection Charles Howard showered upon him. Howard rode him often and taught him to work cattle, and judging by the many photos I have seen of the two cantering around together, the horse adored him. At any rate, if he was unhappy, it was short-lived; everyone I have spoken to who knew the horse in his retirement said he was a blissfully happy horse.
Laura Hillenbrand
Washington, DC - Tuesday, February 04, 2003 at 21:26:25 (EST)
Thank you Laura for the outstanding book. It was compelling reading on many levels. Great history, tugging human interest and exciting sports reporting, I found that I could not put it down. I intend to put "Seabiscuit" on a list of readings for my high school American History course.
AR Barton
Washingtonville, NY USA - Tuesday, February 04, 2003 at 21:18:51 (EST)
Dear Laura, Having worked with thoroughbred horses my entire life, words cannot express how your book captured the very essence of thoroughbred racing. Our industry owns you a great deal of gratitude for allowing the public a glimpse into the wonderful world of horse racing. The dedication of the people involved with thoroughbreds is unlike any business this country has seen. Day in day out these people unselfishly care for these amazing athletes with very little recognition. Your book changed that. Thank you for bringing the beauty of thoroughbred racing into the homes of so many people, who in their wildest dreams, had no idea such a wonderful world existed. The movie will only be icing on the cake. I anxiously await your next book. Daniel J Eidson Assistant Racing Secretary Hollywood Park, CA
Daniel J Eidson
Beverly Hills, Ca USA - Tuesday, February 04, 2003 at 17:56:55 (EST)
The last several days have been wonderful. I read your beautiful account of Seabiscuit. I couldn't put it down. Does Charles Howard's Ridgewood still exist?
Dennis Gustin <>
Crossville, Tn USA - Tuesday, February 04, 2003 at 14:34:26 (EST)
Oh the joy of this book! Thank you for your hard work, persistence and beautiful writing. I think of you often and wonder how your day is going. Does the success of Seabiscuit sustain you or do you need new motivation every day? What is it like to create an absolute phenomenon? How does it feel to see something you've created change peoples' lives? Did you have ANY idea your little outline would affect the world? The last two days have brought us more heartache and sorrow --- I'm going to pick up my Seabiscuit and begin reading it again so your beautiful characters can comfort me. It's a privilege to know you're reading this --- it was certainly MY privilege to read your book. Thank you for your strength!
Clare May
Portland, Orson USA - Monday, February 03, 2003 at 23:56:41 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I just finished Seabiscuit. I enjoyed the story more than any I have read in a long time. You wrote as though you were present at the stables and racetracks with Seabiscuit. I felt as though I was reading a firsthand account of the events. Seabiscuit should rank with Babe Ruth and Harry Truman as American folk heroes! Did you ever see the film The Black Stallion? The horse racing scenes appeared to be modeled after Seabiscuit's story. You did a wonderful job telling the story. I put the book down several times for a day or so, just to make it last longer! I wish i could go back in time and see the match race with War Admiral.... I hope you had input in the film version of Seabiscuit's story. Thanks! Gary Rocco
gary rocco <>
rochester, NY USA - Monday, February 03, 2003 at 22:23:01 (EST)
I am 76 years old and have done a lot of reading. I want to commend the author on her superlative writing. I have never been drawn into any story as well as this one. Your writing is superior to most authors and a tribute to you and the schools you attended. If it is possible to do so, please keep me informed of any of your latest publications.
Rudy J. Nadalet <>
USA - Sunday, February 02, 2003 at 21:15:28 (EST)
I have never before been tempted to contact an author before but I have just finished your book on SeaBiscuit to find an irrepressible urge to do just that. Your book was amazing. Your writing transported me back in time and as I read I felt the nervous anticipation before the races, the fear that SeaBiscuit was lame for life because of his suspensory injury and the tears and triumph in 1940 with the victory of the Santa Anita Handicap. Thank you for doing such a marvelous job and telling an incredible story with respect and humor.
Tammy Kinkead <>
Weatherford, Tx USA - Sunday, February 02, 2003 at 18:25:15 (EST)
SEABISCUIT ON A U.S. POSTAGE STAMP -- If you'd like to be a part of the grass roots movement to get Seabiscuit on a stamp, send a request to 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 - Sunday, February 02, 2003 at 15:13:34 (EST)
I hope all fans of the Seabiscuit story will be sure to see the film coming out this summer. I thought I'd find the link to the preview trailer on this site, but didn't, so...everyone check out!
J. Broussard <>
Concord , NH USA - Saturday, February 01, 2003 at 17:57:21 (EST)
Just INCREDIBLE! One of the all time best books I have ever read. I did not know the story of Seabiscuit and now I can't get him out of my mind, nor the people around him. I have 12 cats and I told my husband we must get another just to name him Seabiscuit. Thank you so much for telling a story of great interest, Seabiscuit and his "gang" deserve to recognized for ever. Also, I am so glad you are advising on the movie, which I can't wait to see, so that Hollywood does'nt blow it.
Susan Sobel <>
Las Vegs, NV USA - Saturday, February 01, 2003 at 17:26:45 (EST)
Laura, Incredible story. Your writings will change the sport of horse racing. I am currently building a race track in Indiana, one of the first mile tracks in many years. I never knew the story of Seabisquit until a friend gave me a copy of your book at our opening night. I have become deeply moved several times while reading the book. I truly have been touched by this horse through you. Incredible! I feel as though I know every person in the story of Seabisquit's life. Thank you so much for your gift of one the greatest stories in sports history.
Paul Estridge <>
Indianapolis, IN USA - Saturday, February 01, 2003 at 13:55:04 (EST)
Dear Laura, I wanted to make a suggestion about your illness; have you been checked for lyme disease/ we had a cousin misdiagnosed for a year until tests for lyme disease were done. Love the book and will be having a Seabiscuit party here in February. thanks for a beautifully written description of horseracing that a novice could comprehend.
Karen <>
Rome, GA USA - Friday, January 31, 2003 at 17:42:59 (EST)
Dear Laura,
Karen <>
Rome, ga USA - Friday, January 31, 2003 at 17:40:03 (EST)
Laura, thanks for the fantastic job you did in researching and writing Seabiscuit. It's amazing how much a book can mean to so many people, isn't it? I visited Xalapa Farms outside of Lexington, KY (actually near North Middletown in Bourbon County) last fall and was told that some scenes from the upcoming film were to be shot there when the leaves would be at the peak of their fall colors. As I looked at their old, stone horsebarn which is sort of arched and semi-circular in shape, I thought it would indeed be a great setting. Can you tell me if scenes were indeed filmed there? Its such a beautiful horse farm with many old, old structures which would blend right in with a story from the 30's. Thanks again for such a wonderful book. I can't wait for the movie!
Randall Motz <>
Brownstown, IN` USA - Friday, January 31, 2003 at 16:52:39 (EST)
I loved reading your book, "Seabiscuit"! A wonderful story that gave me goosebumps all over as I read it. Can't wait to see the movie. In the meantime I will re-read the book again and again. I have always loved horses and have ridden for most of my life. Your book is a triumph of the spirit of both man and animals. Thank you for all your hard work and research to bring this incredible story to life.
Carolyn Wilson <>
Hendersonville, NC USA - Friday, January 31, 2003 at 14:59:45 (EST)
I enjoyed reading the book about Seabiscuit as a child I was very close to the Caliente Racetrack as my Father was a trainer their and I used to hear these stories about Seabiscuit often. Also the prize fighter that you named on page 54 is my great great Uncle. His real name is Ace Hudkins(the Nebraska Wildcat) I thought you might like to know for your own information. Your book is number #1 as far as I am concerned. Iam looking forword to seeing the movie.
Kathy Hudkins Newcomb <New lady 02@msn>
Imperial Beach, Ca USA - Thursday, January 30, 2003 at 17:16:37 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I have never cared anything at all about horseracing but my Mother who lives in Alexandria VA told me I had to read "Seabiscuit" since I was the curator of the Arcadia Historical Museum right across the street from the Santa Anita Racetrack and needed to know about this history. I listened to my mother, read the book and loved it. With the filming at the racetrack and after talking to Judianna Makovsky, the costume designer, I decided it was time to put together an exhibition about Seabiscuit. I was so impressed with your research, for me that was one of the most interesting things about the book. Would you consider lending any of the Seabiscuit materials you collected to the Museum? Any thing you would be able to loan would be kept in locked cases and handled with extreme care. Arcadia is buzzing with talk of the movie and one of the Museum volunteers was an extra so we all are waiting for the movie to open. I thought the opening was in December so I am on a fast tract to pull together an exhibition. I would love to hear from you and would appreciate any suggestions you may have. Take care, Marny Hackley
Marny Hackley <>
Arcadia, CA USA - Thursday, January 30, 2003 at 16:40:47 (EST)
PLEASE READ!!! Laura, i can't begin to describe what an effect your book has had on my life. though i am only 14, i have never read a book that has captivated me like yours, and has effected my life like yours. i felt like i was living back in 1934, esperiance the excitement of Seabiscuit's live races. I had a little arabian gelding who had bad conformation, and crooked knees, and no one wanted to buy him, but i did, and i trained him, and he became an excellent showjumper, who everyone loved and knew well. He had an amazing personality. during competitions he would wach the horses jumping, and in his round, he would always be determined ot beat them. when he one, he was so proud, and strut his stuff. unfortunatly, he suffored form a suspensory ligament also, just like Seabicuit. No one beleived he would ever jump again, but spending 4 hours, with him a day, for 6 months, i got him back to jumping. During his recovery, he would stand in his stall, watching the other horses jumping, wishing he could be there. The story of Seabiscuit, kept me beleiving that he could get better, so i thank you for this. And i thank you for bringing the great memory of Seabiscuit back into the lives of horse lovers around the world. Best regards, Keirstin Rolheiser. I would love to hear from you, so please if you can emial me. Thank you So much!
Keirstin Rolheiser <>
Edmonton, ab Canada - Thursday, January 30, 2003 at 16:01:44 (EST)
I see your film is heading our way soon, can't wait. Congratulations on this success. We plan a Seabiscuit dinner to tie in.
Calgary, Canada - Thursday, January 30, 2003 at 13:16:23 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I loved your book. Do you have a mailing address so that my friend could send you a fan letter? She loves horses and has been riding since she was four. I would appreciate it very much.
Amelia <>
PO, OR USA - Wednesday, January 29, 2003 at 22:15:54 (EST)
Your book was one of the best books I have ever read! What a remarkable story! I fell in love with that horse (and his friend Pumpkin too!!) Thank you so much for doing all of the research and hard work to bring this story out to us!! Long live Seabiscuit!
Susan Niebergall <>
Vienna, VA USA - Wednesday, January 29, 2003 at 21:34:47 (EST)
I have just finished your book. It was marvelous. I hope the movie does it justice. I have a question. You mention a statue of Seabiscuit that was put in place at Santa Anita. I have seen a statue of Seabiscuit at the Tanforan shopping mall in San Bruno CA. The mall is built on the site of the Tanforan Race track. Is the statue in San Bruno a copy of the original? I hope it is not the original as the shopping center is undergoing renovation and I would not like to see the statue disappear--for that matter even the copy should be left in Tanforn to keep this memory alive. I hope you and your book can influence the relocation of the statue in Tanforan. I would like to know if the original is still at Santa Anita. I read your story in the Smithsonian magazine. I hope you are returning to good health and will enjoy all the good that will come from the book. Thank you for bringing Seabiscuit back to the Bay Area. F. Dowd
Daly City, CA USA - Wednesday, January 29, 2003 at 19:17:51 (EST)
laura, great book. Iam a song writerand a have a song that i think might be good for your movie can i send you a rough copy. I grew up next to Monmouth Park. kettle river was a horse much like seabiscuit. thats my e-mail address horseracing is my passion good luck with your illness i'll pray for you. michael ares
michael ares <>
bradley beach, nj USA - Wednesday, January 29, 2003 at 17:57:11 (EST)
Laura, Some Seabiscuit films have been added to the web recently--go to The clip of Seabiscuit tearing down the homestretch of the 1938 Hollywood Gold Cup shows how much acceleration that little horse had.
Greg <>
Albuquerque, NM USA - Wednesday, January 29, 2003 at 15:47:24 (EST)
My daughter rides hunter and also western drill team, and I've been bitten by the horse bug myself. HOWEVER, I was still not prepared to be so swept away by your story. You must feel lucky to have entered the lives of your characters so fully, and I feel gifted by your ability to tell their stories so well. A friend said, "Yeah, but Seattle Slew was the greatest athlete of the century, including humans!" Not so in my mind. There is only one Seabiscuit.
Jo T.
USA - Wednesday, January 29, 2003 at 15:40:01 (EST)
What a tremendous piece of literature; to involve the reader on this level. Your book became my daily escape of living in the lives of these intriguing personalities. Seabiscuit was truly a remarkable horse, determined, willful and with the proper handling, he proved he had the heart of a champion! This brought a piece of American history into the future, I felt a part of each race, and at times almost began cheering. Of course there were also the tears, i.e. The 'Biscuit being led from Santa Anita for the last time, gazing at the track, not knowing he would never race again. The connection of these five lives is unforgettable. I only hope that the movie can approach the depth of your book. Universal will have a big winner on their hands, aided by good word-of-mouth. The country will then be able to re-live this amazing story, coincidentally at a time when we need the same uplifting event!
George C. Paternoster <>
Middletown, CT USA - Wednesday, January 29, 2003 at 08:19:42 (EST)
Dear Laura, There isn't anything I could add to all the plaudits you have received for this book. Just thought you might get a chuckle out of the fact I haven't read a book in five years having acquired a new hobby of collecting classic movies. The last year or so I picked up a few books but just read bits and pieces.Well, I got so involved in Seabiscuit's story that by the time I got to the big match race with War Admiral, I was reluctant to read on! I couldn't bear more bad news. If he had lost that race, in total disgust, I would chucked your book out the window and never read again! Thankfully, I will be an avid reader once more! Thanks again. P.S. Hope Hollywood doesn't screw up your story or make it too profane. I appreciated the clean language in your storytelling.
Craig Connell <>
Lockport, NY USA - Tuesday, January 28, 2003 at 20:10:40 (EST)
Hi Laura, just finished your wonderful book. My only disappointment is that it is over! A few questions: We know Howard had 4 sons, Jr., Lin,and the one who died, but what of the 4th. son? Also, do we know any more about their mother, Fannie May, like what became of her after the divorce. It seemed odd that Howard and Marcela were referred to later as parents and grandparents of the boys.Did they ever have any children of their own? One other question regarding a 4 foot solid gold trophy awarded for a race. Could it have actually been solid? I thought maybe only King Tut's artifacts were in that category. Thanks so much for a great read - a glimpse into the past that was fascinating and very moving. Our values seem to be getting lost in our wealth today in America. This was a nice reminder of where we came from. Best wishes, Christine
Christine MacManus <>
Narragansett, RI USA - Tuesday, January 28, 2003 at 11:46:07 (EST)
Laura-where do I start? I just finished "Seabiscuit" and I couldn't bear to put it down. It was a smashing read - full of feeling and relevancy. Your writing made the Howards, Red, Woolf, and Tom Smith truly real people for me, whom I wept for as their stories quietly ended. You created in me a great empathy for them. I have always loved horses, and this book made me feel again like a horse-crazy 14-year old girl! I haven't felt this way since the day I went to see the movie "The Black Stallion" in the theatre. There's such a special bond that can happen between man and horse. I didn't know all that much about horseracing though, and I didn't think that trainers and owners and jockeys ever really got that emotionally attached to their horses. I guess I always felt that horseracing was more about "commodities" and less about the love of horses. You've shown me otherwise. I was also so excited to see that so many of the tracks you mentioned that the 'Biscuit ran at or Red Pollard rode at are still in existance today - and I've actually been to them! Del Mar, Thistledown, River Downs are all tracks I've been to. How neat to know I was standing on the same ground that these folks had. I can't wait to ask my Grandmother next time I talk to her what she can remember of the Seabiscuit phenomenon. I have two questions for you - is "Ridgewood" still in existence - and is there any place other than the statue at Santa Anita at which one can pay homage to Seabiscuit? I can't wait to see the Seabiscuit movie - I intend to get a babysitter and go out for that one with my husband - a special treat! Good luck with your illness - best wishes always - and thank you again for touching my heart with the story of this great horse and the people that loved him. Sincerely, Amanda.
Amanda Lehmann <>
Fairfield, OH USA - Tuesday, January 28, 2003 at 10:14:34 (EST)
I just completed Seabiscuit. Thank you for such an incredible, moving experience. Your response to Vanessa Natalie was so timely, especially occurring today. I have meant to e-mail you the last two days to ask why Tom Smith was alone in the convalescent center, and had such an isolated funeral. Were the Howards not in touch with him throughout his later life? It broke my heart that such a dedicated man, so quiet, so dedicated to his incredible skills and intuitions, would be so alone. Your reply and Vanessa Natalie's correspondence help me to better understand....
Kim Gibbs <>
VA USA - Sunday, January 26, 2003 at 16:38:07 (EST)
FROM THE AUTHOR: A NOTE IN REPLY TO VANESSA NATALIE'S POST. Dear Vanessa, I was delighted to see your post in my guestbook this morning and read your recollections of Tom Smith. As you can tell from my book, I grew to adore him in my years of research, and I love to learn anything I can about him. From your post, it seems that you and your family are unhappy that I did not speak to you while researching my book. I hope you will be understanding about this. I simply never learned that you existed, though it wasn't for lack of trying. I spent four years exhausting every possible lead trying to find relatives of Tom. I was still searching right at the very end, just before turning in my manuscript. I spent hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars placing ads in newspapers and magazines all over the country. I contacted virtually every organization in racing--probably one hundred or more of them--in hopes that someone would know a relative, or at least know a name. No one did. I searched phone banks to find his children in the hope that one might still be living. I could not search for grandchildren by name, as I didn't know their names. Smith is the most common name in America, and finding a relative of a particular Smith from among the millions of Smiths is virtually impossible, especially when your subject has been dead for decades. I interviewed more than one hundred people who knew Tom--many knew him intimately--and no one gave me a lead that could bring me to you. It wasn't until shortly after the hardcover came out that I found Dean Beck and several other relatives, with whom I have become dear friends. They did not mention you. I certainly wish I had been able to speak to you while researching the book--what a treat that would have been--but I hope you will understand that I could not have done more to try to find relatives. It just isn't an easy task when you have virtually nothing to go on, and so much time has passed. To address the things that seem to have bothered you about the book: you mention that your family was at the track with Smith almost daily. Are you sure this applies to the Seabiscuit years, and not later or earlier? The reason I ask is that I spoke to scores of people who worked with Tom from predawn to sunset every day for the Seabiscuit years. I asked each one what they knew about Smith's family, and none of them ever met a single member of his family other than his son Jimmy, who was training racehorses at the time. Most of them didn't even know he was married; Tom apparently never said a word about his wife, even to people like Sonny Greenberg, a person with whom Tom was quite open and close for many years. People spoke of visiting Tom where he stayed, and they never saw his wife. Two of them believed that he was estranged from his wife. In any event, my reporting here was accurate; I presented only what people's impressions were about his family, not what his actual circumstances were, because I was not able to find family members who could speak to his family life, and I did not want to present other people's speculation. On the sad circumstances of his death, you seem concerned that I misrepresented the family in their handling of this. I did not state that he was alone when he died, and I didn't make any statement or implication about what his family's behavior was because I could find no information about it. I don't think anyone could read the book and come away with the impression that his family treated him callously, as I think is your concern. I'm so happy to learn that he was lovingly cared for in his final days. He certainly deserved it. I will add the information you provided to future editions of the book. About his funeral, I didn't state that there was no one there. I said that "almost no one came," and my source for this was a horseman who was present. Saying that the attendees were mostly family doesn't contradict this. What struck me was that this great trainer who had such a monumental impact on his sport would not have the whole racing community present for his funeral, as, for example, George Woolf did. The funeral appears to have been open to the public, but people chose not to come. I thought this was so telling of the way in which he was misunderstood and underappreciated. I hope that in spite of your concerns you feel, as his other relatives do, that I did Tom justice in my book. I did my very best to find out everything I could about him, to present him as he was, and to help people look past his offputting gruffness to see what an extraordinary man he was. Judging by the response to my work, those who have read it come away from it respecting and admiring Tom. I don't think there is greater evidence of this than the fact that he was recently inducted into racing's Hall of Fame after being unjustly excluded for so many decades. I think you will enjoy the way in which he is presented in the film; I worked closely with the director/screenwriter to ensure that he was presented fairly. I was thrilled at the casting of Chris Cooper, as you were. If you wouldn't mind, I would really love to hear more from you, your stories about Tom, any corrections you think need to be made in my text, anything. I am so happy that you've written. Best wishes, Laura Hillenbrand
Laura Hillenbrand
Washington, DC USA - Sunday, January 26, 2003 at 11:25:16 (EST)
I wanted to answer the question that a gentleman asked a couple days ago about Tom Smith's birthday. His birthday was May 20, 1878. He died on January 23, 1957. His wife, Janet E. Smith (Nettie) was born on February 4, 1887. She died February 21, 1977. Tom Smith had 3 children. There names were: Vera E. Smith (born 1906), James W. Smith (born 1908) and Erline E. Smith (born 1914). Tom Smith is my Great-great Grandfather. Erline E. Smith was my Grammy. My Grandmother, Jo Ella Scotti (Erline's only child) was alive all during the "Seabiscuit years" and is still very much alive and well. My home is filled with all of my Grandpa Smith's things. My walls are covered with pictures of he and Seabiscuit...I have scrap books filled with articles about them. I have his trophies and even his beautiful stopwatch. My furniture now, was theirs. I even sleep in his and my Grandma Smith's bed! My family is and always has been extremely proud of my Grandpa Smith. Unfortunately, we weren't contacted about any of the books or the upcoming movie. There are lots of things about my Grandfather that I bet most people would be surprised to hear. You can only get a glimpse of his personality with the stories about his quietness, evasiveness, and dry sense of humor. In his private life though, with his family and friends, he was a real character. Anything but dull. He loved his family very much and he even had his 2 daughter's and his granddaughter all living in the same house with him and my Great-great Grandma Smith. There are a few things that have upset my Grandmother and me. Even though we're sure that it wasn't intentionally inaccurate... My family was at the track with my Grandpa Smith almost every day. They were all just private people as far as the "public" was concerned. The things that bother my Grandmother the most (because she was there), are some things that were said about him possibly being alone or without family. He was not alone when he died. By the time he went to the convalescent hospital he was semi-conscious. A while before that, he had a stroke and was cared for at home by his wife, 2 daughters, and his granddaughter. They all adored him and hovered over him until it was obvious that he needed help that they couldn't give him there at home. He was in the convalescent hospital for maybe a little over a week when he died. Someone (family) was always there at the hospital with him. Day and night, without exception. Also, there were definitely people at his funeral. It was just mostly family. It wasn't a public affair, but there were definitely people there. Again, we haven't been contacted in any way by anyone and we had nothing to do with any books, movies, etc... I just wanted to say hello, and maybe be able to say a few things about my Grandfather and our family. Most of all, I wanted to sat that I am very happy, and proud for my Grandpa Smith. It is an incredible honor for him and it's been amazing to see how many people respect him, and care for the way he is remembered. I recently heard about the trailer for "Seabiscuit" being on the internet. I nearly broke my neck running to my computer to watch it. I was sitting alone at home... surrounded by everything "Tom Smith and Seabiscuit"... having all the family photos and hearing the stories all my life... I sat at my computer and first looked at the 1 movie still, and then the trailer. I watched it over and over with the sound as loud as it would go, and I just I cried my eyes out. I was shocked to see how much Chris Cooper looked like my Grandfather... considering he looks nothing like my Grandfather. :-) I'm so excited to see the movie and I know I'll be waiting in line to see it the day it's released. Thank you, Vanessa Natalie
Vanessa Natalie <>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Sunday, January 26, 2003 at 03:08:18 (EST)
I just finished your book, Laura, and I want to read it 3 more times! My 18 year old son read it first and loved it. I wish I had lived in the time of Seabiscuit. You are a wonderful writer! Thank you!
Mardi <>
LaGrange, GA USA - Saturday, January 25, 2003 at 23:17:59 (EST)
Outstanding book. I have a couple questions. 1) What input did Andy Beyer have for your book. 2) You mention all the charts you referenced, but I don't recall any references to odds or payoffs, was this your intention? Thanks for allowing me to be one of the few 6 ft plus jockeys - Chris
Chris Tomaso <cjtomaso>
Manchester, CT USA - Saturday, January 25, 2003 at 16:30:32 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I have just finished your book and enjoyed it not only from the historic perspective, but the love and care that you took in describing the people and horses. It is almost as if you wanted to be there and personally live the events with the people. As a collector/dealer in memorabilia with a strong interest in US history, especially in the 1930s/'40s, I have come to appreciate not just obtaining "things", but the people who were a part of those times. It had to be exciting to sit with those who saw this great horse run. Thank you for this wonderful work. Jared Aaronson
Jared Aaronson <>
Westford, MA USA - Saturday, January 25, 2003 at 08:43:59 (EST)
Laura, I posted a rather lengthy piece, in case you didn't get the whole thing. Check out this website. It may do you a world of good. Good Luck
eric <>
ca USA - Friday, January 24, 2003 at 23:20:30 (EST)
SEABISCUIT POSTAGE STAMP: Sample of Short Letter Request To: Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee Stamp Development U.S. Postal Service 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW Room 5670 Washington DC 20260-2437 I respectfully request that you create a U.S. Postage Stamp featuring SEABISCUIT, an American legend. Sincerely,
maggie van ostrand <>
pine mountain, ca USA - Friday, January 24, 2003 at 12:36:49 (EST)
SAMPLE LETTER FOR U.S. SEABISCUIT POSTAGE STAMP -- Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee Stamp Development U.S. Postal Service 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW Room 5670 Washington DC 20260-2437 For consideration on a U.S. stamp: SEABISCUIT, the thoroughbred racehorse, about whose life a PBS documentary will air in April 2003, and a Universal motion picture is scheduled for release July 2003. His life story, as written by Laura Hillenbrand in “SEABISCUIT: An American Legend” is being used to teach reading in some schools, and is being read to prison inmates in Austin TX among other cities. The story of SEABISBUIT is inspiring and full of hope at a time when hope is what America needs. SEABISCUIT: An American legend, has remained on the Best Seller lists of numerous American newspapers, was chosen by USA Today as their first pick of their book club, and has been the number one choice of Book Clubs countrywide. These book clubs are bringing together people from all walks of life, who are discussing SEABISCUIT as a great and charismatic personality who reaches people all over the country. In 1938, SEABISCUIT, the Cinderfella horse of all time, received more newspaper column inches than did President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Clark Gable, Adolph Hitler, or any other person. The last time SEABISCUIT was the hope of our nation was during the Great Depression. We need him again, and now. I respectfully request that you reward America with a stamp featuring the image of SEABISCUIT, an American legend. Sincerely,
maggie van ostrand <>
pine mountain, ca USA - Friday, January 24, 2003 at 12:32:55 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I heard you on NPR with Diane R., and wanted to go immediately to get your book. With 2 small children, (one delayed developmentally) I forgot about the 'Biscuit until my husband and I attended our first movie in over 4 years. There was a teaser for SEABISCUIT, and I screamed with delight! I told him that I wanted to get the book a long time ago, but forgot about it. I just finished the book-AWESOME- and am so looking forward to the movie this summer.Well done! D'Annne T. Thompson (40 yrs)
D'Anne Thompson <>
San Antonio, Tx USA - Friday, January 24, 2003 at 11:58:35 (EST)
Hi,just want to thank for the pleasure this book brought me. I'm 46 and I felt exactly as I did when I read my "horse-racing" books when I was 10 years old. I loved it. Thanks for bringing back the happiness of my childhood. An excellent, well-researched book with the passion of a true writer
Jennifer Mac Kinnon <>
halifax, NS Canada - Friday, January 24, 2003 at 00:20:03 (EST)
Thank you for bringing such a wonderful horse back. My friends who are not horse lovers loved this brave little warrior.
lisa <>
corinth, ms USA - Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 23:28:14 (EST)
I purchased the audio book for my 4th year anniversary and listened to it on my ipod while driving to Montana with my wife... we can only say THANK YOU and urge all persons we meet to buy the audio book... It is amazing...Again, thank you for showing that heart can win the day. All our best to you.. Robert & Michele Payton
Robert Payton <>
Camano Island , WA USA - Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 21:50:15 (EST)
Dear Laura, I am enjoying reading "Seabiscuit".I am on page 107 after 3 days.I would like know the birthday,year and day, of trainer Tom Smith.Cool Website- Thanks.
Bill Schauberger <>
Fairmont, MN USA - Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 18:14:57 (EST)
I have no interest in horse racing, and still think of it as dull as knitting, but your book is one of the most compelling I've read. I was stunned by your ability to communicate the sheer emotion of the story and I'll never forget Seabiscuit, Red, Howard and Smith. I was sorry to finish the book and wish you all the good fortune you rightly deserve for bringing to life the life and times of these extraordinary people and creating such an excellent work. Thank you
Alex Jackson <>
St Albans, UK - Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 16:05:24 (EST)
I loved the book! I had to read it for school and thought it would be boring but it ended up being one of my favorites! Thanks Laura for telling us such an "American Legend." It was truly wonderful!
Caroline <>
Tx USA - Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 11:44:59 (EST)
I LOVE Seabiscuit. He had so many setbaks and returned; so many failures but succeded; Carried so much weight but managed; did not at all have the phisicue to be thought a "proper race-horse" but overcame it with his personality. You showed that and more in the book and it truly is amazing. In fact, I'm doing an english mid term paper on it right now, so I should get back to that, but that book is on its third circut to all my horse friends. I've read it 3 times since Jan 1st already.
USA - Wednesday, January 22, 2003 at 22:42:30 (EST)
SAMPLE LETTER FOR U.S. SEABISCUIT POSTAGE STAMP -- Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee Stamp Development U.S. Postal Service 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW Room 5670 Washington DC 20260-2437 For consideration on a U.S. stamp: SEABISCUIT, the thoroughbred racehorse, about whose life a PBS documentary will air in April 2003, and a Universal motion picture is scheduled for release July 2003. His life story, as written by Laura Hillenbrand in “SEABISCUIT: An American Legend” is being used to teach reading in some schools, and is being read to prison inmates in Austin TX among other cities. The story of SEABISBUIT is inspiring and full of hope at a time when hope is what America needs. SEABISCUIT: An American legend, has remained on the Best Seller lists of numerous American newspapers, was chosen by USA Today as their first pick of their book club, and has been the number one choice of Book Clubs countrywide. These book clubs are bringing together people from all walks of life, who are discussing SEABISCUIT as a great and charismatic personality who reaches people all over the country. In 1938, SEABISCUIT, the Cinderfella horse of all time, received more newspaper column inches than did President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Clark Gable, Adolph Hitler, or any other person. The last time SEABISCUIT was the hope of our nation was during the Great Depression. We need him again, and now. I respectfully request that you reward America with a stamp featuring the image of SEABISCUIT, an American legend. Sincerely,
maggie van ostrand <>
pine mountain, ca USA - Wednesday, January 22, 2003 at 16:02:40 (EST)
I must say your book is just so exciting I love every page of it!It's really one of my favorites ,Thank you for writing it!
Chistina <>
Heidelberg, Germany - Wednesday, January 22, 2003 at 15:48:48 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Seabiscuit is a beautifully written story. It's definitely the best book I've read. It has been such an inspiration to my mom. She has chronic fatigue from Lyme Disease. She read an article about your fatigue and how it took you like six years to write Seabiscuit. She was so happy after reading the article because now she knows someone with chronic fatigue has accomplished something. We both ride horses and are big fans of Thoroughbred racing. I'm so excited about the movie. It looks very good. In my mind, Seabiscuit is the Harry Potter of horse racing. Hope you get feeling better.
Amy Lyon <>
Santa Barbara, CA USA - Wednesday, January 22, 2003 at 15:29:37 (EST)
THE MOVEMENT TO PUT OUR BELOVED SEABISCUIT ON A U.S. STAMP As of Monday 1/20/03, the USPS changed the form which, only last week, was a way to submit suggestions for a subject to be put on a stamp. The only remaining way to get all suggestions read is to send to: Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee, 47 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Room 4474 EB, Washington DC 20260-2437. Of the 50,000 suggestions submitted annually, only 25 to 30 ideas are selected. So let's get behind this 100%. The requirements for selection of a subject for a U.S.Stamp are: Educational message to people; reach a wide audience; and stand the test of time. SEABISCUIT certainly meets these criteria. If we all write today, we can do this!
maggie van ostrand <>
pine mountain, ca USA - Wednesday, January 22, 2003 at 15:19:56 (EST)
Dear Laura, Although I doubt I can say anything better than the very genuine & heartfelt comments I've already read here--I still just HAD to write and thank you personally for sharing this wonderful story with us. Not since my grammar school days has a story of a horse touched me so--and I thought I had read them all--so you can imagine what a surprise and a true joy it was for me to read SEABISCUIT as an adult. Reading your book was like being transported back in time to 1938--I really felt that I was there-that I lived it--that I actually SAW these amazing races, got to personally know each of the members of "team Seabiscuit", and of course, I fell in love with our little brown horse. The chapters that told of the history of racing, especially the horrors and sacrifices these jockeys made just to ride--were amazing-I really had no idea. I especially loved a passage on WHY they 80. Laura, you have a true gift-a wonderful way of writing--I still can't believe how your written accounts of races were more exciting than any race I've ever seen in person! (how did you do that?) I want you to know that I was riding the bus to work one morning when I read the very last chapter--and I fought the tears very hard--but later that day when I got home, I just stood in my kitchen and cried--my husband was worried, and it was hard to explain to him how much it hurt for your book to end--I mean, the racing public had several years to enjoy and love "Pops" as he raced through history, but for me, he came "alive" only for the brief time it took me to read this book, but, as my husband so kindly pointed out "You can always read it again"...and so that's what I did--right away & I felt better. (by the way, thank you for this website, I was relieved to see other readers had the same reaction) Thank you for researching this inspirational story and making sure that it will not be forgotten--I know now that Seabiscuit WILL continue to live in my heart and the hearts of all your readers--I am tempted to say "write about more of our favorite horses", but, what I really want to say is, write whatever you want, and we will read it. I wish you much happiness, good health, and continued success, Sincerely, MJ Isler ps--anxiously awaiting the movie....HOPE they will stay true to your gem of a book--also, can you let someone know there will be a demand for merchandise (high quality photos/prints/statues?) thanks!
Mary Jo Isler <>
Franklin, WI USA - Tuesday, January 21, 2003 at 21:47:24 (EST)
Sitting in a theatre this past Monday, a movie trailer began to play that somehow seemed familiar....about 15 seconds later, I surprised myself by squealing, "SEABISCUIT"!!!! even before the name of the movie was revealed. I am absolutely thrilled that your fabulous book is finally on its way to the big screen. I hope they do it justice...I can barely wait!
Valrey Van Gundy <>
Queen Creek, AZ USA - Tuesday, January 21, 2003 at 20:51:14 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I finished Seabiscuit last night with wet eyes. What a wonderful story and a magnificent piece of research that you accomplished! It's an amazing story of how several lives came together to create history against very significant odds. I have never thought of myself as a horse person even though I live with a woman who loves horses and grew up in Lexington, Ky. I now have a greater appreciation for horses and racing and am eagerly awaiting the movie.
Tom Reynolds <>
Atlanta, GA USA - Tuesday, January 21, 2003 at 15:11:26 (EST)
I just completed reading your book. It was one of the best books I've ever read. Thank you so much! My husband and I are still mystified about the rules of "impost"....and how they were decided. I didn't seem fair that Seabiscuit always had to carry more weight.
Jeanne Hanna <>
Rantoul, IL USA - Tuesday, January 21, 2003 at 11:27:01 (EST)
I am a Belgian girl. I read the dutch translation of your book and I am really touched by it. Thank you for sharing Seabiscuit's life with us
Macha Vanharen <>
Zutendaal, Belgium - Tuesday, January 21, 2003 at 10:12:16 (EST)
Dear Laura, "Seabiscuit" is the best book I have ever read - bar none - ever! I bought it the day it hit the bookstores; could not put it down; wept during the match race, at the end and various times in between. (I've been through two divorces and never cried a tear - dont ever cry - but cried reading this book).The Biscuit touched me as not much else has. Cant wait to see the movie. I've been concerned about Hollywood not doing your book justice but from what I've read here, it sounds like they may have done it after all. Yep, you're the 12th Triple Crown winner all right. May God bless you and keep you. Louise
Louise Markham <>
Shreveport, LA USA - Tuesday, January 21, 2003 at 08:21:44 (EST)
TO READERS TOUCHED AND INSPIRED BY SEABISCUIT’S STORY -- For what Seabiscuit has done for us, let’s do something for the Biscuit. We can get him on a U.S. Postal Stamp if enough of us write to the following U.S. Government committee, and request that the U.S. Postal Service create a Seabisbuit stamp. The Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee considers all suggestions from the public, and requires only one sentence describing your submission idea. All you have to write is "Please create a Seabiscuit stamp." Send your request to Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW, Room 4474 EB, Washington DC 20260-2437. You can also go to your local Post Office and ask for Postal Service Form 4314-C. Check the suggestion box and, in the Comments section provided at the base of the form, write in “Please create a U.S. stamp for the great racehorse, Seabiscuit” and address it to the same place in Washington as above (instead of the local postal address request printed on the form). NO POSTAGE IS REQUIRED. Let's get a groundswell of public requests for this new commemorative stamp, a real grassroots effort. SEABISCUIT needs all of us in order to cross the finish line. If you’d like to help even further, President Bush and his family are Seabiscuit fans and have expressed their interest and admiration for his story to Laura Hillenbrand. Note that the Bush family has historical ties, through George Herbert Walker, to the Belmont Racing stable that owned the great Man O’ War, Seabiscuit’s grandsire. Write to the Bush family and request their help. GEORGE W. BUSH: email: First Lady LAURA BUSH: email: White House:fax: (202) 456-2461, White House phone:(202) 456-1414 Write to: The White House, 1600 Pennslvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20500, and former Pres GEO BUSH, email address: FAX:(979) 260-9557, George Bush Presidential Library, 1000 George Bush Drive West, College Station TX 77845, and former First Lady BARBARA BUSH, The Barbara Bush Foundation, email address: Write today. Together, we can do this.
chuck lustick <>
new orleans, ca USA - Monday, January 20, 2003 at 20:04:42 (EST)
I thoroughly enjoyed your book. I decided to read it after an article on you and the book in the Raleigh (NC) News and Observer and I'm glad I did. One interesting item concerning Seabiscuit that I learned several years ago was when I spoke with a Japanese-American woman who was from CA but was then living in Bethesda, MD. In 1942 when caught up in the infamous incarceration of her people, Lily Okura and her family were temporarily assigned to live in Seabiscuit's stall at a racetrack in CA. I regret I do not know which one, but she thought it was somewhat amusing and I think was also somewhat proud of her indirect association with such a famous horse. I thought you might be interested in that little tidbit!
Jerry Rhodes
Cary, NC USA - Monday, January 20, 2003 at 16:44:16 (EST)
Seabiscuit is the best book i have ever read and has inpired my whole life. i want Laura Hillenbrand to know this. I bought a five year old, Raggy, scruffy, arabian gelding. He had horrible confirmation, yet after 2 years of trianing, he was an amazing horse, with a wonderful heart, and always won his jumping competitions. This book has inspired me to have faith, adn i hope that pjeople will continue to realize what greatness Seabiscuit brought into our world!!
Keirstin Rolheiser <>
Edmonton, AB Canada - Monday, January 20, 2003 at 15:35:25 (EST)
I belive you have inspired alot of people to have a little more courage to go with their dreams. I have a 5 year old gelding Nasty Native that I may let strech his legs if all goes well toward this endever. I was considering all the risks far more than what I should, I believe. I have gained strength and courage from reading all the wonderful feedback you have recieved for writing this wonderful book. Yes I belive that those were the good days, when the ole'timers gave advice and it was good for horse and man. At least that is the way I am blessed to remember. Thank You Sherry
Sherry Shoemaker <>
Fairmont, MN USA - Monday, January 20, 2003 at 00:49:14 (EST)
Laura, [I hope YOU get to read this] I KNOW that CFIDS is NO fun. Congatulations on your persistance and resulting achievements in spite of being "pooped". I WAS disabled with CFS for years, yet have been well for some time. I stumbled down several dead end therapy paths before happening onto the method that gave me my life back -- not instantly but LOTs faster than current medical thinking would indicate. Too small a space to describe the protocal here, yet if you'd like to talk to one who's turned it around, I'd be pleased to pass along my experience. My considered opinion is that most who are still struggling with CFIDS would benefit from this therapy. [The FDA does not approve of it, & last time I spoke with the Nat'l. CFS group, they seemed less than interested {someone there must have had CFS :-) ] Best wishes for a successful movie experience and a speedy recovery from spending more hours in bed than you'd like.
Terry <>
Soquel, CA USA - Sunday, January 19, 2003 at 22:08:45 (EST)
I'm only eleven so we were reading about Seabiscuit is school. He sounded like a really great horse but it wasn't until my teacher told us about this website...I love this website, it gives me a feeling of what he's really like. Thank you for doing this and helping me learn about Seabiscuit, the famous race horse.
Laurel <none>
Greenville, SC USA - Sunday, January 19, 2003 at 16:53:38 (EST)
My husband and I listened to your book on tape driving home from TN yesterday. We enjoyed it very much and we are looking forward to the movie coming out. Thank you for your wonderful book. I hope that soon there will be an answer to help all people who are suffering with CFS.
Janet Stillwagon <>
Venice, Fl USA - Sunday, January 19, 2003 at 16:24:23 (EST)
Dear Laura, After seeing your book "Seabiscuit" at the Michigan State Fair's exhibit on horse racing, I decided to read your book and, once I started it, I couldn't put it down!! It's one of the few books that has brought me to tears!! Recently over the Christmas holidays, my husband (who heard all about Seabiscuit as I read the book) and I saw the movie trailer for the first time. At first, it seemed like it was for a historical movie about FDR and the Depression, and then we realized it was for Seabiscuit!! By the time the trailer had finished, we were both in tears! We will be waiting in line the first weekend the movie is open!! Can't wait!! We hope it is everything that you dream it will be and that you are able to enjoy its sure success!!! --Kathleen
Kathleen <>
Royal Oak , MI USA - Friday, January 17, 2003 at 14:56:16 (EST)
Laura, Thanks for a very enjoyable book....I couldn't put it really caught the color of the interest in horses began in college with roommate's family who trained trotters....looking forward to movie this summer....Best Wishes!
DOWNINGTOWN, PA USA - Thursday, January 16, 2003 at 17:54:29 (EST)
Laura, I realize that this may be an inappropriate way to re-contac you, however, I have lost your contact information. As you may recall, you were kind enough to be a part of our Michgigan State Fair exhibit in the summer of 1999. As the release of the movie approaces this summer, I would like to discuss the possibility of "primiering" the movie at the State Fairgrounds. Please contact me at the e-mail provided or at 734-462-2400.
Steve Jenkins <>
USA - Thursday, January 16, 2003 at 17:17:28 (EST)
Of course, your book was great, but I am equally interested in the health issues you overcame in order to write it. Although I suspect you don't have the time to answer these messages, please know that I, and thousands of other readers, wish you well, and hope to hear that your health has improved. Best wishes.
Gerard Mos <>
Kansas City, MMOO USA - Thursday, January 16, 2003 at 00:17:37 (EST)
1-14-03 The movie is being filmed here in Santa Maria, Lompoc and Santa Ynez valley. I saw the "cattle call" in paper and read the movie was about Seabiscuit. I love horses. Owned a "warmare" for 28 yrs. I still miss her. Sunday was a lovely day for a drive. Mom and I went to Buelton. We got there late. Bill Dance was telling about the movie and was into the match race. He was very emotional and I was impressed with his understanding of horses and their minds. Race horses like to run but it is more than that as you know some love to win and will give their absolute all when asked to someone they trust. There is nothing like feeling that surge forward. The two of you together, flying, hearts pounding and the thrill of winning. Anyway, to make a long story short. He came over and spoke to Mom and decided she was too frail to be in his movie. He did pick me and I will be in the wedding scene. I went to Santa Anita for wardrobe. First time I have been down there. Impressive track. Interesting to see racing scenes being shot and a little of the movie business. Impressed with the care in which the movie is being filmed. Music of that era was playing in wardrobe area and on a table was an old newpaper showing a head pic of Seabiscuit. I have your book. Phil and Jan, Sister and brother-in-law, sent it to me today. Phil hopes the movie captures the essence of your book. Jan loves the history and story of the men coming together with Seabiscuit. She has not been able to put down the book. Phil will have to wait to read it for himself. How did you get involved in writing about race horses? Hope I am not being too nosy but I am interested. HOw did the movie come about? Thank you for your attention to my thoughts. Sincerely, Trudy
Trudy Schneller <>
Orcutt, CA USA - Tuesday, January 14, 2003 at 22:44:52 (EST)
I don't know why I grew up with a drawing of Seabiscuit over my bed, but somehow I felt a connection to him. I just finished reading the book and can't wait to see the movie. I'd love to find a copy of that old drawing I used to look at before getting into bed.
USA - Tuesday, January 14, 2003 at 17:29:39 (EST)
Wow! What a book! As a voracious novel reader but not much on non-fiction, and no particular fan of horse racing, I was a little leery when a male colleague kept insisting I read "Seabiscuit." When he pointedly left his copy on my keyboard one morning, I thought oh, well, what the heck. I was hooked from the first paragraph. I read it so fast the first time and was so exhilarated, I gave him his copy back, went out and bought my own and read it again, more slowly so I could savor every word. I have told everyone I know to read this book, and every single one who has taken my advice has told me how much they loved it, too. You are a truly wonderful writer. Bravo, and thank you!
Ann Winfield
Atlanta, GA USA - Tuesday, January 14, 2003 at 17:26:03 (EST)
I listened to the story on tape. What a wonderful experience of shared struggle, grief and victory. I was engulfed, enraptured and encouraged by through these people and Seabiscuit. I wait anxiously for the movie. Blessings. NCH
Nola Huey <>
Tempe, AZ USA - Monday, January 13, 2003 at 23:35:54 (EST)
I've known of Seabisuit for many years. My father, now 82, had named his Model A Ford "Seabiscuit" in the early 1940's. I bought a Model A Ford in 1969 and named it "Seabiscuit II" and painted the name on the door. When I saw your book in paperback last summer, I purchased a copy and sent it to my father to read. He enjoyed it so much that I purchased a copy for myself. I started it last week and couldn't put it down. Thanks for a great job in bringing a an event in a time in our counties history to life. It was fantastic. I'm looking forward to the movie and only hope it will be able to capture the spirit of your book. I hope you are doing well. Thanks ever so much. Jim
Jim Ketchim <>
Odessa, MO USA - Monday, January 13, 2003 at 10:51:44 (EST)
I'm a biography reader and was given your book and I must say, I was most impressed with your descriptiveness of the charters. I saw a preview of the forth-coming movie and can't wait to view it. Congratulations on an excellent job. S.R.Roth
S.R.Roth <>
Scottsdale, AZ USA - Monday, January 13, 2003 at 09:13:34 (EST)
Hello, I am reading this marvelous book. Seabiscuit is an inspiration for all times. I am right in the middle about to go to the Big Race with War Admiral. I am chomping at the bit all the way through this story. Thank You for a very historic look into horse racing.
Frank Charles <>
Sutter Creek, Ca USA - Monday, January 13, 2003 at 02:14:28 (EST)
Dear Laura, I have not finished reading Seabiscuit but I couldn't wait to visit this website and let you know how absolutely delicious your words and Seabiscuit's story are. I am savoring the pages of this like a Hershey Kiss slowly melting in my mouth! Thank you so much for your talent and for giving this book to us! Valerie Scott - Idaho
Valerie Scott <>
Coeur d'Alene, ID USA - Sunday, January 12, 2003 at 22:50:15 (EST)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand I am a mad keen racing fan and punter from Australia. My wife bought your book about Seabiscuit for me for Xmas and it was the best I have ever read. The wife thinks I am a bit of a sexist bastard and had been looking to purchase it for awhile but thought that I would not read it as it was written by a woman. I can't believe that she said that! Anyway she is thrilled that I enjoyed it so much and although as not as keen on the horses as me, she is now reading the story of Seabiscuit, Red, Charles, Tom,Marcela and The Iceman. If you come down to Australia it would be a pleasure to introduce you to Sydney racing. Regards Tony Doyle
Tony Doyle <>
Sydney, NSW Australia - Sunday, January 12, 2003 at 17:33:43 (EST)
laura, thank you so much for this book that kept me buisy this winter break from college. i recived it from my mom as a christmas gift and i finished it in record time. i love horses and have always wanted to know more about the thoroughbred racing industry and your book opened up the mystery to me. your writing realy attatched me to each character in the book and after discovering how each one passed away i cried like i had lost a good friend. the book really reminds me of my neighboor who is 81 years young and still farms and owns 9 horses, 7 which are arabs. we had him up for supper last night and i asked him about seabiscuit and yes, he remebered the great horse. he is horse crazy as much as i. thank you so much, teresa stanley
Teresa stanley <>
whitewater, wi USA - Sunday, January 12, 2003 at 14:43:17 (EST)
I am 14, and am reading your wonderful book. It is helpful in school by learning about industrial effects on the economy and history.
Lydia Pratt <>
Fort Worth, TX USA - Sunday, January 12, 2003 at 11:47:11 (EST)
This is the best book I have ever read! It really shows how a horse can bring people together and show them what the United States is all about. You brought this story to life, and showed its full meaning. I am very excited for the movie, although it probably won't be as good as the book. Also, who is playing Seabiscuit?
Perry <Not Applicable>
Boston, MA USA - Saturday, January 11, 2003 at 10:57:35 (EST)
Laura, Thank you for your wonderful work, and for opening the door for so many other great horse books to reach the general public. Books like the Thoroughbred Legends series---with titles such as Man o' War, Secretariat, Ruffian, John Henry, Dr. Fager, and many more---available at Exclusively Equine. (
Robert Bolson <>
Lexington, KY USA - Saturday, January 11, 2003 at 00:32:10 (EST)
Dear Laura, I have heard this book described in terms of historical, sports, nonfiction . . . but I think it is best described as a love story. You captured the mystical relationship between man and beast. I enjoyed this book greatly and will reread it often throughout my life. Thank you for taking the time to tell this inspiring love story.
Mary Hunt <>
West Chester , PA USA - Friday, January 10, 2003 at 21:35:32 (EST)
Loved your book. Great web page also. The book got me enthused about returning to the racing world as a small time trainer and owner. Keep up the good work and good health to you.
Mike Potter <>
Armstrong, B.C. Canada - Friday, January 10, 2003 at 16:22:21 (EST)
Dear Laura, Couldn't put it down and got an appreciation for racing to add to my general love of horses. What a great Christmas gift from my kids. A supurb winter read. I am a clinical social worker and have a specialty in working with those with disabilities. Hang in there. I wish you had Smith and Pollard to nurse you back to good health, but maybe you have healers so profoundly loving and experienced.
Patricia Katzmaier <>
Medford, OR USA - Friday, January 10, 2003 at 13:03:30 (EST)
Dear Laura, Thanks so much for this wonderful book! It held my interest from the first page to the last. I can't imagine the time and effort you had to put in in order to give the reader so much detailed information, and yet do it in a way that was so personal. I always felt like I was there! I really loved this book. Don't know if I will try going to the movie. The movies never do justice to the books. Unless, perhaps, it shows actual footage of some of the races?? That would be wonderful to see. This story is very inspiring, and is such an outstanding example of what can be accomplished when a person, or an animal (if you can call Seabiscuit that!) never gives up. I was especially impressed with the qualities of courage and perseverance that Seabiscuit, Pollard, and Smith expressed. And you, too! To take on and finish such a daunting task. Thanks again for giving me and so many others this glimpse of human history that uplifts and inspires us and shows us what can be achieved if we give it our all and never give up. Sincerely yours, Caroline Harlow P.S. At age 65 I have recently begun taking riding lessons, something I have always wanted to do, and am loving it! When I was a girl, I loved reading every horse story I could put my hands on. So you can see that this story was especially interesting to me.
caroline harlow <>
Bellevue, WA USA - Friday, January 10, 2003 at 11:18:10 (EST)