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Dear Miss Hillenbrand, I LLLOOOVVVEEEDDD your book and those crazy true characters, especially Old Seabiscuit. I lllooovvveeeddd him so much I tattooed his name in script along my right forearm. People keep asking me " whats Seabiscuit?" I tell them to read the book. Yours Truly Will Steel
willie <>
centerport, n.y. USA - Saturday, August 31, 2002 at 22:16:39 (EDT)
dear laura , great book im a horsemen in new york, i run at belmont and aqueduct , fingerlakes saratoga, i heard seabisket will become a movie.i have too be in the movie, i dont care in what respect!as a person in the stands walker.., anything at no charge. i will pay my own expences. this is a personal reason ,why im asking( has too do with my father dying) can you please help me? or point me in the direction, for whom i must contact,iam friends with alot of famous jockeys like angel cordaro and heledero gustines if i can help you out at all please contact me. my thanks again salvatore monaco sr.
salvatore monaco <>
new york, ny USA - Saturday, August 31, 2002 at 21:09:35 (EDT)
I just finished reading your great book about Seabiscuit. It moved me to laughter and tears, happiness and sorrow. I look forward to seeing the movie.
Richard Snyder <>
Jamestown, CA USA - Saturday, August 31, 2002 at 18:09:16 (EDT)
My name is Seth, and I love your book! I can not wait for the movie to come out. I am looking forward to seeing all your hard work turned into a film. The cast is going to be great and the director is a wonderful film maker. I can't wait to see Spiderman's Tobey Mcguire playing Seabiscuit's jockey and Emerson St.John as a jockey again too. Not to mention Jeff Bridges as the trainer. This will help the horse industry and racing. Yours truely...Seth in NY
sethatwood <>
new york, ny USA - Saturday, August 31, 2002 at 16:59:41 (EDT)
I recenty spent a day a Saratoga, and it was a thrill to see the SEABISCUIT Exhibit at the Museum. I do not know how long it will be there, but if anyone is in the area go and it see. It's worth the trip!
Suzie Birks <>
Madison, CT USA - Saturday, August 31, 2002 at 16:55:36 (EDT)
In the six years since meeting my husband, I have been virtually dragged to two Breeders Cup races, Churchill Downs, Santa Anita, Bay Meadows, Arlington Race Track and Hollywood Park, plus watched numerous on-screen races, of course. Only after reading your book on the awe-inspiring Seabiscuit do I truly appreciate the sport my husband has loved for so long.
C Hickman <>
Crown Point, IN USA - Saturday, August 31, 2002 at 15:02:35 (EDT)
What a book. Iwould not have believed a book about a horse could be so interesting and exciting. i'm so glad my book club chose it. My father was a great fan of horseracing and worked at N.Y. tracks for thirty years as a waiter and captain. Much of what you wrote about brought alive for me the thrill he got from the ponies. As for your writing it is simply terrific. I felt like I knew each of the characters and as for the racing sequences, I felt like I was on Seabiscuit. Thanks for a great, great book.
john haupert <haupertd@bell>
aiken, sc USA - Saturday, August 31, 2002 at 14:56:11 (EDT)
Hi Laura, I just finished your book and I was completely captivated. I must admit that the reason I decided to read it was not for a love of horse racing, but because I know of you through your family - (your Uncle married to my sister S.!) After visiting with your delightful mother once again on Lake Champlain a few weeks ago, I decided to borrow the book. I think you have created a masterpiece and I am totally impressed. Your caring and compassion for the characters (and horses) comes through via your dedicated research and artistic but accurate storytelling. During the races I had to omit any and all stimulation around me - I might as well have been riding that horse! And I found myself totally immersed in the details of a subculture that I never imagined taking an interest in. Congrats on an undertaking that I know was huge for you. I hope it's ok as a very extended family member to feel proud of you! Carol Thibodeau, So. China, Me.
Carol Thibodeau <>
So. China, Me USA - Saturday, August 31, 2002 at 14:32:25 (EDT)
I haven't even picked up the book yet, but as soon as I finish here, I'm heading out to my local bookstore and buying it. Having been a horse racing fan since the Nashua v. Swaps days, and also having moved to Lexington, KY to fulfill my childhood dream of being near horses, I'm anxiously awaiting the movie. To top it off, I'm going to audition for it next Saturday, Sept. 7. When my family and I took a vacation to Kentucky in 1958, I remember seeing War Admiral at Faraway Farm, which was the thrill of a lifetime. That was also when Man O' War's grave was still at Faraway Farm. That's about the closest I ever came to The Biscuit! I'm looking forward to reading your book and being in/seeing the movie! Thanks for drawing the American public to the wonderful world of horse racing and to prove that not everybody starts out with a silver spoon in his mouth.
Nancy Bickford <>
Lexington, KY USA - Saturday, August 31, 2002 at 13:21:53 (EDT)
Hello, I just found out that Tobey McGuire,Jeff Bridges, and new comer Emerson St.John are slated to star in your book adaptation of Seasbiscuit. I am so happy it is being turned into a movie. I proud for you and the new movie. Thank you
Janet Collins <>
Hollywood , CA USA - Saturday, August 31, 2002 at 12:47:58 (EDT)
I've written before, but now I've finished the book and hope the movie does it justice. I'm surprised no one has made reference to 'Seabiscuit' and the Bible verse of casting bread. I've always thought it meant don't be greedy, freely give and freely get. Included below is the verse and the US Catholic Bishops-New American Bible interpretation. Cast your bread upon the waters; after a long time you may find it again. This may refer to a spirit of adventure in business or to generosity in almsgiving. Waters: of the ocean, which sometimes carry lost treasures to the shore. + * + * + I'm also wondering what ever happened to the third colt that travelled with Seabiscuit and Grog from Kentucky?
Jim Martin <>
Dent, OH USA - Friday, August 30, 2002 at 23:14:09 (EDT)
I have some valuable information about Red Pollard and how he changed my family's life. Please contact me as soon as possible. Red Pollard taught my brother Mike Keller to ride in 1959 at Sullfic Downs in Boston. Your Friend In Jesus Christ L. Wayne Keller former horse trainer
L. Wayne Keller <>
St. Amant, LA USA - Friday, August 30, 2002 at 19:48:12 (EDT)
I have some valuable information about Red Pollard and how he changed my family's life. Please contact me as soon as possible. Your Friend In Jesus Christ L. Wayne Keller former horse trainer
L. Wayne Keller <>
St. Amant, LA USA - Friday, August 30, 2002 at 19:31:39 (EDT)
I have recently read that they will be making Seabiscuit a movie. Is this information correct? If so, who are the contact persons? Thank you all and have a Great and safe Labor day weekend!!
Brit <>
lexington, Ky USA - Friday, August 30, 2002 at 16:52:41 (EDT)
One of the most compelling and most beautifully written stories I've ever read. I handed your book to my 12-year-old son who raced through it in three days. When I finished SEA BISCUIT in Hawaii, I sat on the beach and cried. Just one key element was missing from the epilogue: Whatever happended to Pumpkin? Where was The Biscuit's best friend during his retirement?
jeanne Baruch <>
Santa Monica, Ca USA - Friday, August 30, 2002 at 03:13:41 (EDT)
Ms.Hillenbrand-My father,a Seabiscuit fan, told me that his trainer worked him in the surf at Coney Island to relieve his soreness and tendon problems. I've always relating this story, encouraging everyone to jump into the ocean and get cured like Seabiscuit. Did Tom Smith ever resort to this unorthodox training method? Is this folklore? You didn't mention it in the book and am curious if it's true. You wove a beautiful story and thank-you for your time.
Brian Paradine <jpara15772@aol>
Garden City, NY USA - Thursday, August 29, 2002 at 17:02:13 (EDT)
I can only echo the sentiments of others regarding the outstanding book. However, I am compelled to try to find out more about the training methods of Tom Smith. This man knew horses! I don't mean in the traditional sense, either. I can only assume he was a student of horsemen such as Bill and Tom Dorrance. Today, Ray Hunt is thankfully carrying on these methods so people such as myself can attempt to bring out the full potential of the horse. (He could do it himself if the human would just stay out of his way.) I am 50% owner of a two year old Thoroughbred colt. We just brought him home after 5 months of training at a track. In that time, we went thru 2 trainers, both of whom claimed to be horsemen. HA! Anyway, he is now sore in the left front shin and will get the next 6 months or more off to recover. The only way this horse will set foot back on a track is if by the grace of God, I can find a person who is not a trainer (anyone can get their license), but a true horseman. Maybe it is selfish and unrealistic, but I will not settle for anything less than what Tom Smith offered to Seabiscuit. If that cannot be done, I am seriously considering attempting my horse's racing career with me at the helm - God help us both. I would love to hear from you or anyone who understands the methods I'm talking about or who could put me in contact with Thoroughbred horsemen who would be willing to share information. Tom Smith has given the world a wonderful gift in the form of Seabiscuit. What greater tribute could we bestow upon him than to immortalize his methods and completely revamp the training methods on the backside? My home number is 812-644-7581,please call collect, if necessary. Thank you for any assistance and for the importance of showing what is possible if someone takes the time to "know you horse".
Lori Moffett
Washington, IN USA - Thursday, August 29, 2002 at 16:47:16 (EDT)
great book i tried ot as an extra for the film was a fantistic experience
mike palmer <>
cincinnati, oh USA - Wednesday, August 28, 2002 at 15:02:11 (EDT)
Your book is why I don't read fiction. Best book I have read since "Black Hawk Down". I live near Cincinnati where some filming is starting and want to help out. (My kids were downtown to try as extras-even before I read the book)! Can't wait for the movie and the next book. Awesome.
James McGlynn <>
Fort Thomas, ky USA - Wednesday, August 28, 2002 at 06:29:13 (EDT)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand. My wife picked up your book at our library and I just finished reading it. I have never been much of a horse or other sportsfan but I must tell you I really enjoyed your book. I have learned a great deal about horse racing and I may just have to review my thoughts on horses and races. Thanks for a very good read.
Paul Brown
Wenatchee, WA USA - Tuesday, August 27, 2002 at 19:36:49 (EDT)
Dear Laura, As a young boy I had several times read a book about Seabiscuit. I can't recall the author but it was one of my favorite books. I've never forgotten that book or lost the emotions engendered from reading about Seabiscuit. It was a pleasant surprise to see your book up on the shelf of the airport bookstore. Reading your outstanding work brought back so many of the emotions I had felt reading the earlier book. Parts of your book were so humorous they brought me to tears with laughter. The people sitting next to me on the plane must have wondered as to my sanity. A tremendous book. Your characterizations of the people involved brought them back to life. You bring the reader back to those times, places and events. And what a horse! Finally, you wrote about your illness and that was most disturbing to me. CFS seems to be increasing in numbers and claiming more victims with every passing year. I am very familiar with the disease as I have worked with many CFS sufferers in my business. I'm involved in the Wellness Industry and the company I work with is Herbalife International. I have yet to see one person suffering from CFS who has not recieved significant benefits from using the Herbalife Cellular Nutrition program. A good friend of mine, Murell Miller, suffered acute problems - very similar to yours - until she started using our program. She's been symptom free for about seven years. If you would like to know more, please feel free to call Murell. She's a wonderful person and would be more than happy to help you. I know that she could relate personally to your situation because she's suffered as you do. Murell's number is 321-727-3263 and she lives in Melbourne, Florida with her husband Don. Again, thank you for writing such a worthwhile book and for bringing back many good memories. Be well, Michael Boyd
Michael Boyd <>
Woodstock, GA USA - Tuesday, August 27, 2002 at 17:37:41 (EDT)
Dear Ms Hillendbrand, Thank you for the most wonderful story I have ever read regarding horse racing, the first half of the 20th century and the great escape into sport during the depression era. My late father (a New York lawyer) always tried to paint for me an image of life in the thirties when he was a boy growing up in NYC. Your book, finally, brought that image to life in my own mind's eye. Thank you.... Reading your book this summer made me feel like I was chatting away (me doing all the listening, of course) with Dad. Regards, Bill
Bill O'Brien <>
Swampscott, MA USA - Tuesday, August 27, 2002 at 16:29:32 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand: Loved your book so much that it was added to the list of summer reading titles at our high school, Our Lady of Good Counsel in Silver Spring. I will be leading two discussion groups (one at 9 a.m.,the other at 10 a.m.) at the school on Friday, August 30. Although this is extremely short notice, I extend an invitation to you to "pop in" and visit and, perhaps, talk to high school readers(approximately 12 students in each session)about the writing process, the book itself and, of course, the extraordinary characters. These students would be thrilled! As a further inducement, I"ll have a copy of that day's racing form that I'll use to explain some of the nuances of thoroughbred racing. If we miss you on Friday, we offer you the best of luck in all of your future literary endeavors! R.Seel
Rich Seel <>
silver spring, md USA - Tuesday, August 27, 2002 at 14:46:58 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Like so many others, I felt compelled to thank you for your book about Seabiscuit. I had difficulty reading the last page because the tears wouldn't stop coming. I don't know what it was that touched you to write this story. I kept seeing the title on the bestsellers list in the Washington Post Book feature on Sundays. I knew that Seabiscuit was a racehorse(I fell victim to Horse Fever at 5 years old), and couldn't help my surprise at the reaction to his story. The world has seemed to me to forgotten about the little triumphs of ordinary and commonplace people's lives... glitz and glamour! Money and the highlife! That seems to be what people want to know about these days. At least it does to me. A racehorse? An OLD RACEHORSE? To be living in an age when a gray hair on someone's head sends them in a panic to the nearest plastic surgeon... to live in a society that worships perfection in all things physical... to be one of the many out here who think everyday about giving up and giving in... Your book, Laura, woke something in me that went to sleep many birthdays ago. My dreams and my hopes. Inspiration comes to us when we are busy looking the other way. It comes quietly, most of the time, because it lives in the quiet, still places of hearts that continue to try, even when the dream is lost in darkness that seldom sees any light at all. Thank you Laura. Thank you for the story I will carry with me forever. Thank you for listening to your heart, and giving me courage to try again to hear my own heart. Thank you for the light.
Sandy <jzim@ispwest,com>
Silver Spring, MD USA - Tuesday, August 27, 2002 at 04:49:22 (EDT)
I am not the type of person to write and reqeust this but tonight I saw something on the news that drove me to it....First, I loved your book and this is why and am asking this question (and hoping that you do read this guestbook). There is another public figure that deserves a biography, written by a person like you,... it is Milton Hershy. I watched CNN this evening and learned that the group that is managing his estate plans on selling it. I only know about Milton Hershey because as a child I visited Hershy PA ...just like as a child I went to the horse races with my father. To this day, both the horce races and Hershy bring me joy. During my last visit I spoke to some locals at Hershy who raved about the man and expressed their concerns (serious concerns) about what is going on with his estate(?). He was determined to always have his $'s go to helping orphans, even after his death - and people are trying to take his legacy away. I desperately want someone to tell his story...and now...because there are still people in the town who knew him, I don't want his story of pure generosity and humanitarianism to be lost. If you know anyone who could write a story...true story...on MIlton Hershey...please suggest that they do so. And thank you for your wonderful story on Seabisbuit!
JO <>
NY, NY USA - Tuesday, August 27, 2002 at 00:10:42 (EDT)
I thouroughly enjoyed your book. I'm an auctioneer and this week we are auctioning the estate of a Carl Christensen who was a master trainer of horses. On his wall was a picture of Kayak II. He died recently in his 90's. I wonder if he ever met the great Seabiskit.
Mike Vendetti <>
San Jose, CA USA - Monday, August 26, 2002 at 21:25:26 (EDT)
saw you guys on tv the other night for the 1st time. you guys are great! loved your led zepp medley.
joe colussi <>
spring grove, pa USA - Monday, August 26, 2002 at 09:01:45 (EDT)
a really great book that tells the real story of the racing world and the people who live it. I would love to see Martin Sheen considered for the role of C.S. Howard. He has the right style and personality for that era of racing. Keep this production as true as your book, and you will be a big boon to racing.
marjorie peggs <>
ventura, ca USA - Monday, August 26, 2002 at 01:33:48 (EDT)
P.S. Through my great uncle, my mom was given a complete set of racing plates that belonged to Seabiscuit. I wish I knew what race he wore them in. Unfortunately, my great uncle is gone, like great Seabiscuit. Thanks to stories like yours, the memory is un-dieing.
Melinda McAlister <>
Granite Bay, CA USA - Sunday, August 25, 2002 at 20:49:06 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, thank you for writing a well researched book. Being a true lover of tales that have been accurate and in depth of the story the author wants the reader to learn, I found your book awesome! I love horses, and have tried to accuumulate all the good, great, and then outstanding stories writen on my favorite subject. I have added your book to the outstanding shelf, alongside Walter Farley's The Black Stallion series. Stories that leave a mental image of the great heart, winning spirit, and everlasting soul of eqqus that touch horse fanatics everywhere. I can not wait to go see the movie next winter. Please make sure Hollywood doesn't alter the true story, embelish facts, or add unrelated gossip just to sell tickets. The great Thoroughbred racehorses of past and present, their fans, breeders and trainers are counting on you. Also, blessed are the people and groups out there who help find homes for the ones who are not fast enough and discarded for the slaughterhouse men to pick up. Think of the great racehorse Exceller. Go to for more info. Thanks again for your book!
Melinda McAlister <>
Granite Bay, CA USA - Sunday, August 25, 2002 at 20:39:57 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Please have Ashley Judd play Marcela Howard in the upcoming movie Seabiscuit. I loved the book!
Mary McCurdy <>
Butler, PA USA - Sunday, August 25, 2002 at 16:05:16 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I have been riding since I was two years old, which is longer ago than I care to reveal. I was in high school when Secretariat made history in the racing world. Reading your marvelous account of Seabiscuit and the racing community at that time, I have to reverted to all of my prior facinations with the Thoroughbred world, and my teen-age desire to become a jockey. Cursed with a six-foot tall frame, it would and will never be, but thanks for the inspiration to return to the riding I have always loved.
Leslie <>
Atlanta, GA USA - Sunday, August 25, 2002 at 14:27:12 (EDT)
Dear Laura - Your book so lovingly illuminates the racing lives of Charles Howard, Tom Smith, Red Pollard, George Woolf, and of course Seabiscuit, that I long for more! Would it be too much to ask for a sequel featuring War Admiral?! You're a great talent who should be nominated for the position of Historian at Racing's Hall of Fame in Saratoga! Thank you for a great read!
Anthony J. Pacholec <>
Medway, MA USA - Saturday, August 24, 2002 at 23:56:07 (EDT)
For me it's very rare to find a book that I just can't put down once started. This is just such a book!! Recently at the airport I was in line at the bookstore behind someone who was purchasing the book. I put in a good word for the book, telling the purchaser how much I was enjoying it. I expect news about this book has spread this way by word of mouth. I hope the movie tells the story faithfully. I know it could never do the job you did with your fine effort. Thanks for giving us this story.
Jim Dyson <>
Clemmons, NC USA - Saturday, August 24, 2002 at 19:24:08 (EDT)
I hope they don't spoil the story in the movie. I see it as more of a sitcom--great great book, thanks
kevin <kevinthecomedian@yahoo>
louisville, ky USA - Saturday, August 24, 2002 at 13:59:33 (EDT)
Laura, thanks so much for having the courage and determination to overcome your personal obstacles to bring this inspiring story alive. I loved being taken back to the world of my parents!
Jinny Ditzler <>
Aspen, CO USA - Saturday, August 24, 2002 at 10:58:13 (EDT)
Laura, I haven't read the book yet, but my uncle, John Adams(a jockey hall of famer) rode Kayak II, and my dad tells the story of that relationship. I plan to pick up the book today. I read about it on the Horse Racing Hall of Fame website, it said the movie was about what happened between Kayak II and Seabiscuit. My dad has 8mm film footage of being at the track(mostly me walking around climbing on metal lawn jockeys.) I had not heard the Kayak II /Seabiscuit story until my daughter wanted to audition for the movie.....then my dad told the story. I think he has a lot of racing memorablia, if you need any framed photos...also the Greyhound Grill in Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky(where I live) has lots of old framed racing photos...they had at least one photo of my uncle and may possibly have some Seabiscuit as I understand both horses had the same owner. Unfortunately my daughter will not be able to audition today as she has a high school band gig (big football game today)
jennifer baldwin <>
ft. Mitchell, ky USA - Saturday, August 24, 2002 at 09:50:18 (EDT)
Thank you for your wonderful book. I started re-reading the day after I finished it. I kept seeing the action as if I was watching one of those old movies from that time. I cannot stop thinking about all of the characters and especially Seabiscuit. I wish I could say more.
Saverio Minicucci <>
Hatboro, PA USA - Friday, August 23, 2002 at 23:06:41 (EDT)
It is pleasing to see that Seabiscuit and Ms. Hillenbrand have this website. I recommend this book to everyone, whether they have any particular interest in sports or horse racing or not, because it is not only one of the best sports books I have read, it is one of the best books of any kind I have ever read. Thank you, Ms. Hillenbrand, for giving us this beautifully written book.
Richard L. Scheer <>
Beaumont, TX USA - Friday, August 23, 2002 at 22:45:16 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hiltenbrand may I call you Laura? I was born in 1943 four years before Seabiscuit died. I live in the city of New York were we have these subways. Well anyway I saw this man (gentleman) reading this book on the subway and he seemed so intent on what he was reading and it was during rush hour a time when the trans were packed and when we were having this heat wave this summer. You know ninety and above heat. They don’t even allow horses to roam around central park in this heat; they have rules. (Ever ride the number seven train in the heat? Not a pleasant experience I can assure you.) That’s what caught my eye. Him reading this book in all this heat. I tried to look over everyone who was in my way including ladies to see what he was reading. It was your story of “Seabiscuit An American Legend”. I said to myself without anyone listening. “Hell it must be good!” I went on line to Barnes and Nobel (I didn’t know about at the time until I told a friend of mine over the internet.) and made the purchase of your book on my own. It was sent to me via Fed Ex the first week of August. I was not at home when it arrived so Fed Ex left it with my next door neighbor who then proceeded to go on holiday for about two weeks. Can you believe that? You talk about being pissed off. You have no idea. I even thought she was reading my book for herself that is what the heat caused me to think. Finally at the end of last weekend, on the following Monday morning I decided to take matters into my own hand and I rang her apartment bell at eight o’clock in the morning. She answered sheepishly and gave me my book; the bitch. (Ops! Sorry.) Well I read it on the subway on my way to work each day this week and have finished it today including all of your acknowledgements and notes. Now I have this question, which I only hope you will not find offensive. How was it possible that a woman, such like you write such a lovely historic rendition of a male horse, in a male dominated sport such as Thoroughbred horse racing? Please get well so that you can answer my question. I admire your skill in writing and have told my son who is a student at Skidmore to visit that museum in Saratoga. My best to you. ~ Philip A. Robinson (
Philip A. Robinson, Sr <>
Corona, NY USA - Friday, August 23, 2002 at 19:14:07 (EDT)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand: I must commend you on writing such a beautiful tribute to an amazing legend. Once I started the book, I was unable to put it down and literally carried it with we wherever I went. The vivid portraits of the main characters propelled right into the their lives and I felt like I had witnessed this whole event. It has been a long time since I have read a book that made such an impact on my life. I woke this morning and went straight to the Sports Page to read about up-coming events in horse racing. I have been deeply touched by the experience of reading your book. Thank you.
Selene Becker <>
Westlake Village, CA USA - Friday, August 23, 2002 at 14:07:05 (EDT)
Great book! They are doing auditions this weekend for extras in the movie. Part of which will be filmed in the Cincinnati area! I am planning to go for it! My kids are wanting to try out as well! I will let you know if either me or my kids get a part as an extra! Take care!
M. Freeman <>
Crittenden, KY USA - Friday, August 23, 2002 at 14:02:38 (EDT)
Echoing all who have written-in already, I must say what an absolute page-turner your book was! I also read it for a book club "assignment" and was skeptical about a book devoted to, of all things, a horse. Well, you've certainly expanded my horizons! What a fabulous story, and so well-told! I will be anxious to see the PBS documentary, but am unsure a movie will ever live up to your prose. I only hope as well that nothing is lost in the theater dramatization of this fantastic piece of history.
Gabriele C. Ortiz <>
Aldan, PA USA - Friday, August 23, 2002 at 11:14:04 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Your book was great!!! I picked it up to read in the car on a recent trip to Florida and finished it by the time we got there. I admire people that can write but your writing style hooks a reader from the beginning. I have been casting your movie in my head ever since I read your book. I would like the movie to be great. I look at the web site for the movie and the I thought that TOMMY LEE JONES could play Tom Smith. I also thought that JOEL GREY could play RED Pollard. I know that sounds weird but with his age because Red Pollard looked older than his years and a little Hollywood makeup he would have been great in the part. But it is to late Tobey Maguire already got that part. But if you have any influnce atall please lobby for TOMMY LEE JONES. He a plainsman and horseman in true life Serior and a man a few words. Thank You for your time Rachel A Pagliaro 1122 Paramount Cir Gastonia North Carolina 28052 Ph 704 853-0300
Rachel Pagliaro <>
gastonia, nc USA - Friday, August 23, 2002 at 10:15:59 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand

I first hear about your book from my friend at school, Jennah (Your niece)while I was playing soccer with her and others. I was amazed at Seabiscuits history and the way you wrote it was great! Since I am only 13, reading such a great book at such a young age as raised my level of perception. I know have no noevles, biographies, ro anything, that livr up to the thrill and anticipation of reading Seabiscuit, An American Legend. Thanks so much!

Alice Kenney <>
Lewes, DE USA - Friday, August 23, 2002 at 08:24:53 (EDT)

My book club, "SLO Readers," chose your book as our Aug. selection. Otherwise, I don't think I'd have read it. I was traveling and took it with me to "get it done." However, once I began reading, I couldn't put it down!!! There's little I could add to previous guest messages, but I will say I haven't enjoyed another book as much in some time. Thank you for your courage and diligence in bringing this story to the public. And, SLO Readers is interested in reading additional books by Ms. Hillenbrand. N. L. Eckis
Niki Eckis <>
Morro Bay, CA USA - Thursday, August 22, 2002 at 19:58:06 (EDT)
I just wanted to let you know that the book Seabiscuit, The American Legend was one of the most wonderful books I have read. I have two thoroughbred horses -- one of which has lineage to Man-O-War and War Admiral. He does not have their personality. He is probably the most wonderful horse in the world according to me. This book helped me understand the world of racing and also how much people can love and care for a horse. Thank you for taking the time to write and share this wonderful history. Best wishes to your books in the future. Sincerely, Pam Weber
Pamela L. Weber <>
Chesterfield, MO USA - Thursday, August 22, 2002 at 16:29:49 (EDT)
Maybe Laura Dern, Bridget Fonda, or Karen Allen for Marcela.
Geno Castillo <>
Lexington, Ky USA - Thursday, August 22, 2002 at 14:09:17 (EDT)
Just finished your wonderful book. I enjoyed it more than any thoroughbred book I've ever read. I saw my first race at the old Garden State Park, back in 1949.Been hooked ever since. Thanks also for the history of Santa Anita, my favorite track.
Neil Peiffer <>
New Cumberland, PA USA - Thursday, August 22, 2002 at 13:50:12 (EDT)
Magnificent. What an insight to the racing profession and the perils of a jockey's life. This book brought tears to my eyes and is now one of my all time favorites.
Dom Testo <>
East Greenbush, NY USA - Thursday, August 22, 2002 at 08:53:04 (EDT)
Hey lighten up Bucky my comments were delived in a friendly and jovial manner and to take offence would be to misinterpret them. Your comment, however, is rash and intentionally offensive and I felt compelled to defend myself, this being a public forum. I apologise to readers for this inconvenience.
Alex <>
Sydney, Australia - Thursday, August 22, 2002 at 08:36:54 (EDT)
Red's wife is his love interest, moron.
bucky brant <>
st. tropex, fr USA - Wednesday, August 21, 2002 at 22:43:36 (EDT)
I am so excited to read in today's local paper that the film, "Seabiscuit" will start filiming in October in the Cincinnati/northern Kentucky area! My favorite book!!
Karen Whedon <>
Cincinnati, OH USA - Wednesday, August 21, 2002 at 21:56:46 (EDT)
Being Australian I must admit that I am unaquainted with the Seabisquit phenomenon that seems to have swept through America during the depression. We had out own horse racing cult icon- Phar Lap, a tragic story surrounds that magnificent creature. When I heard that Tobey was going to star in the movie of Seabisquit my initial reaction was "oh no tobey what have you done to yourself?!? This isn't a text book hollywood blockbuster it could be suicide!" But skimming through this site I think it might just come off on screen (says the mighty critic). Anyhow where is the love interest! I have heard no mention of a love interest anywhere for poor old Red. Perhaps Seabisquit played that role? I think I will have to read the book to find out! And another thing- Toby spent ages buffing up for spiderman-now is it the sauna for another six months? Give yourself a break man!
Alex Toth <>
Sydney, Australia - Wednesday, August 21, 2002 at 09:26:34 (EDT)
'His manner had the ethereal quality of hoofprints in windblown snow." Sorry if I got the quote wrong, but I will not forget the description. I am an author of children's books and I always said I was one day going to write the GREAT AMERICAN HORSE NOVEL, but now you have gone and done it. KUDOS to a wonderful author and story that has changed the way I write about non-ficiton characters and events. Also as a librarian I congratulate you on the dedicated years of research put into the project. It shows in every page. MM
margaret mcmanis <>
Lake Jackson, Tx USA - Tuesday, August 20, 2002 at 23:25:55 (EDT)
I certainly do like the idea of Jeff Bridges playing C.S. Howard. I remember him playing the exuberant auto executive in Tucker. I think that was somewhat how he'll play Howard.
John C. Pollard <jpollar1@san.rr.san>
San Diego, CA USA - Tuesday, August 20, 2002 at 20:17:14 (EDT)
I will keep my fingers crossed that Jeff Bridges plays Charles Howard. He will bring to it the same powerful - researched performance he did to Tucker.
Martha Cantarini <>
Canada - Tuesday, August 20, 2002 at 19:37:30 (EDT)
I would just like to say that I enjoyed your book-such great descriptions!-and I am looking forward greatly to the movie. I hope it is just like the book! Thanks for a great read!
Katherine Hall
Boise, ID USA - Tuesday, August 20, 2002 at 18:57:44 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I send yet another warm congratulations to your long list. Seabiscuit has its own shelf in my library. I am very worried about the film, however. So many movies do not present horses correctly (example: camera shows horses in barn, we hear loud NEIGHS, as if we don't know they're horses OR the ever-present horse doubles of different breeds, markings & colors), especially those featuring the racing world, where shady dealings often take over the story. Seabiscuit absolutely MUST be the movie that gets the details right, the movie that follows character and story and doesn't "dumb down" its audience. I'm sure you worry about this too, but I'm on a crusade of sorts to help make it work. I worked for years on the track as an exercise rider (for D. Wayne Lukas, among others), pony girl, vet assistant and shedrow foreman. Horses have been my life. I teach writing at Cornell University. If there is ANY way I can assist in the making of this film, please let me know - my ideas about horses in film have been a long time brewing. Thank you and the very best of luck.
Hadley Ford <>
USA - Tuesday, August 20, 2002 at 18:21:55 (EDT)
Jeff Bridges is in final negotiations, yes. Tom Hanks? Oh I wish! I have always dreamt of the day that Tome Hanks and Tobey Maguire would co-star in a film. That would be incredible. I am reading the book now, and anxiously awaiting the film.
IL USA - Tuesday, August 20, 2002 at 17:32:10 (EDT)
So far the cast sounds terrific. Maguire has great range and is extremely popular right now so he'll bring in a wider audience. Bridges is growing into the "mature" roles of the father figure of the movies he's in (K-Pax) so he'll do a fine job. Who to play Smith will be tricky. Since he won't have tremendous dialog it has to be someone who doesn't rely on words to convey feeling. I hope they are able to keep the movie PG or PG-13 (clean up some of Red's saltier language) so I can bring my son to see it. I can't wait!
Carolyn <>
VA USA - Tuesday, August 20, 2002 at 15:52:49 (EDT)
Looks like there are negotiations going on with Jeff Bridges to play the part of Tom Smith or Charles Howard in the the Seabiscuit movie. Looks like Tom Hanks must of past the movie by...he would have been terrific! Does anyone out there have news on the part of Marcela Howard? They'll have to tie down the cast soon, looks like filming is getting closer. Laura, once again, a spectacular book!
Katy Panyard <>
New Baltimore, MI USA - Tuesday, August 20, 2002 at 12:55:02 (EDT)
You've told a wonderful story in a style that makes it difficult to put the book down. Thank you.
John Robbins
Olney, Md USA - Tuesday, August 20, 2002 at 09:28:42 (EDT)
After riding at a dude ranch with my wife, an excellent English rider, I read your book, a gift on my 49th birthday. I was told you, the author, were a college roomate of Marie De Jesus, a teacher and asst. headmaster of Thomas Jefferson School where my two sons are being educated. Thanks for a wonderful read!
Larry Marks <>
St. Louis, MO USA - Tuesday, August 20, 2002 at 00:43:12 (EDT)
Just recently sold a horse that had been a friend. Cried for days.I know the feeling of the ending of a relationship like had to happen with Pollard and the 'Biscuit and the continuation of the relationship with Howard and Seabiscuit. I can see him in my mind quietly riding him on his property after the horse was retired. Friends. Anyone who has owned a horse knows that special relationship. Nothing like it.... Thanks for working so hard on the details so that we could go to that place in time.
Boerne, Tx USA - Monday, August 19, 2002 at 21:06:33 (EDT)
I agree with Nick the Brit its a wonderful book, well written and I'm looking forward to seeing how the movie develops as I live in Cincinnati where part of it will be filmed supposedly. As for your wanting the book on Oprahs Book of the Month or whatever its call. Ice Cream seems to work, shes made a big noise her over her liking Graeters Ice Cream... Thanks again
Jim Martin <>
Cincinnati, OH USA - Monday, August 19, 2002 at 20:02:35 (EDT)
The Tom Smith role simply MUST go to Robert Duvall. I can't see it as anyone else!
Marta <>
Dallas, TX USA - Monday, August 19, 2002 at 13:58:45 (EDT)
Does anyone have a Web site they would be willing to offer "Seabiscuit Readers" to use for casting their votes role-by-role on actors for the movie in progress? Could you please post it in the Guestbook so that we, the seemingly disenfranchised "Seabiscuit Readers", can relay our votes/comments to the producer? (We'll find a way to do that.) For example, director Gary Ross' "Pleasantville" is creative, stirring -- one of my favorite films -- but I hope he won't rely too much on his understanding of thoroughbred racing as "a racing enthusiast," as he's referred to: we need a solid HORSEMAN (and a jockey) as consultants on the script and shooting, don't we? Having Tobey Maguire (Pollard) show up in racing silks at his mount's stall in the barn area just before the race (as Mickey Rooney was made to do years ago) -- that just isn't done in racing, and there goes the movie's authenticity and integrity. Maguire may not be a fit for Pollard's personality, but he's a gifted actor and will be great in the role. (It's called acting.) Gary Stevens as George Woolf? Stevens the whiner who casts blame anywhere he can when he loses a race? Woolf was a sweet, gracious guy -- so please let's get an actor who can reach the Woolf personna that Stevens can't begin to approach. Chris McCarron is as great a human being as he was a rider: an excellent choice for Charley Kurtsinger aboard War Admiral. William H. Macy being cast as "a journalist" tells me there will be a departure from our book. (Isn't it as much ours now as it is Laura's?) Macy's a fine actor, gifted, but his popularity informs me he won't just be making a cameo appearance. Will the implied expanded role of "a journalist" in the film version be there as a foil for Charles Howard? Well, movies being a different medium than a book, we can expect some "changes" to be made, but. . . . . Regarding the casting of actors for the crucial roles of Tom Smith and Charles & Marcela Howard (and a horse with a personality that fits Seabiscuit!) -- well, I'll defer to the comments of other "Seabiscuit Readers" for those major roles. Please, somebody -- give us a Web site where we can cast our votes and, just perhaps, feel like we've done all that we can to have our say reflected in the film.
USA - Monday, August 19, 2002 at 13:39:17 (EDT)
Thank you for this wonderful book. The descriptions of the races were the finest I have read of any sporting event.
Worcester, England - Monday, August 19, 2002 at 07:27:23 (EDT)
"An instant later, Woolf felt a subtle hesitation in his opponent, a wavering. He looked at War Admiral again. The colt's tongue shot out the side of his mouth. Seabiscuit had broken him." "A somber group of newsmen, spectators, and horsemen quietly parted to let them pass. Seabiscuit paused and looked toward the track, and Smith's eyes clouded over." "Somewhere in the high country that once was Ridgewood, the tree lives on, watching over the bones of Howard's beloved Seabiscuit." Laura Hillenbrand I cry every time I read these, and many other captions. I have competed in high level Olympic and Paralympic sports for 20 years and this is absolutely one of the best sports, history and love stories I have ever read in my life. Laura, are you married? YOU ARE AWESOME! Please write again! Randy Snow
Randy Snow <>
Terrell, TX USA - Sunday, August 18, 2002 at 17:34:58 (EDT)
Laura, what a magnificient story. The depth of your research truly paid off. I felt that I was right there with Red and "the Biscuit". Thank you for articulating a forgotten era.
Jan <>
Brush Prairie, Wa USA - Sunday, August 18, 2002 at 01:16:34 (EDT)
Dear Laura You have wriiten a modern classic! I have read hundreds and hundreds of books, and one of my favorite topics has been ordinary people who have lived extraordinary lives, or people who have accomplished what would be considered the impossible. With the lives of the fascinating people in your book, you have woven in the amazing personality, mind, and spirit of Seabiscuit. What a story! (What a horse!) I usually read a book fairly rapidly. I found myself intentionally stopping until the next night, to reflect on what had just transpired, and then become anxious and look forward to the next race or event, (just as Seabiscuit's fans must have done years ago). Hands down the most enjoyable and memorable book I have ever read. I have never before finished the last page of a book and immediately started the first chapter again. PS Anyone who can write like this, with such insight into the people, events, emotions, and Seabiscuit, must be just as amazing as the people (Seabiscuit included) that you wrote about. Thank you for an incredible experience!
Craig Haskell <>
Woodinville, WA USA - Sunday, August 18, 2002 at 00:17:37 (EDT)
I haven't read the book but i hope to since i am auditioning to be an extra in the new movie featuring Tobey McGuire.
OH USA - Saturday, August 17, 2002 at 22:34:50 (EDT)
Thank you for the book... I've been waiting to read it... I picked the book up back in January and I've been hanging onto it until I graduated from nursing school in May so that I could actually read a pleasure book..... I love love love Secretariat and knew that after finishing this book I would feel the same for the Biscuit...I wish you would have included more about Ridgewood and what has happened to the ranch since it's glory days... also.. has anyone looked for Seabiscuit's grave?...I would also like to say that I was sooo thankful that after his retirement that Seabiscuit was able to live out the rest of his life on the ranch with the Howard's who so loved him...It just made me so happy that Charles Howard spent most of his days with the Biscuit... thanks again!!!!!
Kimber <>
Poca, WV USA - Saturday, August 17, 2002 at 18:57:34 (EDT)
I just finished reading the book. It was one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read. The characters were fullbodied and popped off the page. My first reaction when I put down the book was: this would make one terrific movie. A couple of suggestions for you if you have any input in the production (I did not know who else to e-mail) as to casting. Tom Smith: Paul Newman Marcela Howard: Salma Hayek Charles Howard: Gene Hackman
Dennis M Fischetti <>
Bayside, NY USA - Saturday, August 17, 2002 at 16:14:57 (EDT)
My wife bought your book for me . I thought to myself,"how could a book about a horse be worth my time/"; I put it on the bottom of the pile next to my bed. I was into another book that didn't hold my attenion. For some reason I picked out Sea Biscuit to replace the one that was boring me. How fortuitous for me. I must tell you your book is beyond wonderful. I was engrossed,captivated,excited by the way you crafted the races;and throughly enjoyed your book. It was be best one I've read all year to date(8/16/02)--and I have read alot. Thank you,thank you, thank you!!
charlie frank <>
east windsor, nj USA - Friday, August 16, 2002 at 12:01:34 (EDT)
Thank you so very much for your book, superb history, writing, and research. I could not put it down and have now read it three times. Please tell me the breeding of his dam and his size. Anna P.S. Best of luck and may your health improve.
Anna Harris <>
Tucson, AZ USA - Thursday, August 15, 2002 at 20:39:22 (EDT)
I am just reading your book,Laura, and I don't want it to end. I have had a lifelong love of horses and had the pleasure of having two that my daugther rode from when she was 5yrs old. She continued on my love and became a profficiant horsewoman. I had never heard of 'Seabiscuit' but I will now never forget him. The book is wonderful and I will be passing it along to Samantha. I hope the movie does your book justice and captures the 'feel' of the time but also the amazing ability of this 'little' horse. I hope I can buy a print of him somewhere soon. Thanks so much for your hard work. Best wishes, Janet Lofland,
Janet Lofland <>
Bear, DE USA - Thursday, August 15, 2002 at 18:17:25 (EDT)
Thank you for the wonderful story of Seabiscuit. I never knew anything of him until I read your book, and I must tell you that every word was a pleasure. When you wrote of the races, I felt as if I was there. I haven't enjoyed a book so much for a long time.
Lisa Sanders <>
Dallas, TX USA - Thursday, August 15, 2002 at 16:14:58 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I have just completed my second purchase and reading of your wonderfully written book on the Seabiscuit. Just as the first reading, the second one went too fast. It is a wonderfully written piece about a time in our history that gets little positive print. The cast of players is so much like the "American Story", a Hollywood production, yet these are real people interacting in perilous times. I leave this wonderful book a second time feeling the same pride in my country and her people. This second copy is being sent to a horseman in Western Colorado who lived and worked with horses back then, continuing to train for his son's stable today. These great folks are an extension to your story. Thank You!
Jerry Cunningham <>
- Wednesday, August 14, 2002 at 15:03:20 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I just wanted to let you know that your book is the best I have ever read. I am only 17, and have never had any interest what-so-ever in horse racing. I have honestly only watched one or two horse races on TV, and even then I never watched the entire race. Your book was recommended to me by one of my teachers, to read over the summer, and I am so glad he did. I even finished the book just after visiting San Francisco, which made it even more cool since that is all where it started. (my hotel was on Van Ness avenue too!) Thank you for writing such an amazingly inspiring book, and good luck to you as you continue to compose more amazing works.
Kyle Walsh <>
Ubly, MI USA - Wednesday, August 14, 2002 at 14:35:29 (EDT)
Great book! I am currently working with the owner of Fasig-Tipton and a true Thoroughbred lover, as well as other respected individuals, to put an end to the hidden and barbaric horse slaughter industry. I was hoping to talk to you and see if this issue would be something of interest to you and the upcoming movie. Thank you, Chris Heyde, Animal Welfare Institute, Washington, DC.
Chris Heyde <>
Washington, DC USA - Wednesday, August 14, 2002 at 11:52:29 (EDT)
I'm about 3/4 of the way through listening to *Seabiscuit* on tape as I make the long car trips from DC to Philadelphia, Annapolis, etc. There is an unabridged version, narrated by Canadian actor Richard Davidson, which is far preferable to the Random House abridged edition. Such a vivid account of horse racing particularly lends itself to being read aloud... I almost feel, as my car hurtles along in the dark, down the highway, that I'm listening to old-time radio, hearing about Seabiscuit tearing up the track. What magic nights. What amazing listening. I find myself taking ever-longer routes home, so as to hear as much as possible before turning off the engine. Thank you for a beautiful book.
Mystery Reader
Washington, DC USA - Tuesday, August 13, 2002 at 23:25:47 (EDT)
I have just finished your wonderful book about a wonderful horse. And even though I knew the outcome I still cried! Thank you for bringing Seabiscuit to life.
Michele Garry <>
Auckland, New Zealand - Monday, August 12, 2002 at 20:56:37 (EDT)
Hi Laura, I have never seen a horserace in person but upon reading your book I feel like I was there for many of Seabiscuit's races and was there for the interactions of the four men invoved. I didn't realize how much research was involved in writing this book. You did a magnificient job in recreating this wonderful story of Seabiscuit and how he and the main characters had there lives so changed in the years 1936 to 1939. Thank you so much. I want to see a movie made of your book but I am so afraid they will not be faithful to the book. i love this book. You have made Seabiscuit the most famous horse in America for a second time. Don Luke
Donald Luke <>
Bradenton, Fl. USA - Monday, August 12, 2002 at 19:07:56 (EDT)
Dear LAURA, Thank you for writing this wonderful book. I read it twice and also went out and bought the audio tapes.I read that you have the movie rights, I can't wait until the movie comes out. I hope you are working on a new book, whatever subject you'll write about I believe will be as successfull as your SEABISQUIT because you are a great writer. Congratulations.
Michael Savarese <>
Matawan, NJ USA - Sunday, August 11, 2002 at 22:10:27 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Seabiscuit means so much to me...let me explain. Its taken me a while to pluck up the courage to write and send you a message and I only hope it makes sense when you read it. I had always felt 'second best' in life, overweight, lazy, thoughtless, unambitious, negative in every way about myself (perhaps I'm being a little harsh), taking things too personally, especially in my business life. Although generally my personal and business life have dealt me some good cards in the past, they've also dealt me some pretty tough one's too! We have a beautiful horse and my wife Sarah loves to ride though I don't ride myself and have never felt any desire to watch horse racing or spend time with my own horse.So I suppose I'm also trying to say I had no real personal interest in horses before I read the book. However, after I listened to a review of the book on BBC Radio 5 Live, I felt strangely drawn to a bookshop whilst on business in London and bought the hard back edition as a surprise for my wife. I was never an avid reader of books, Sarah is the bookworm in our family. She read it, and loved it, but little did I know how much my life would change for the better after I picked up the book to read on holiday in Spain. As I read each and every page I could see myself in every character in one way or another. The rank outsider! the underachiever! etc brought the book totally to life. I shouted in excitement as Seabiscuit surged to beat War Admiral and tears streamed down my face as I read about the many tragedies that followed all the success, especially at Seabiscuits death when he so deserved to live out a long, peaceful life. What a fantastic story!! It made me realise that,unless we take life by the scruff of the neck what a total waste of time it would be to live it. There are lots of examples of the triumph of human spirit but I never would have realised a book about the triumph of the equine spirit would have had the effect on me that it did . I stopped the sulking and moaning immediately and have now become a far more positive person. I have a picture of Seabiscuit on my desk at work. He is my inspiration. I have written notes to customers about him to try and share some of that inspiration and we've had people contact us to find out more about him.He's totally changed my outlook on life and, although I know why, I still can't comprehend what compelled me to buy the book other than perhaps a ghostly nudge in the back towards the direction of the bookshop by his wonderful spirit. Thank you Seabiscuit, and you Laura, for his, and your, inspiration. I love you both for it. PS I even muck out the stables now too!!
Neil Hursthouse <>
Manchester, UK - Sunday, August 11, 2002 at 12:46:35 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, What can be said that hasn't already been told by other readers ? Except maybe when will you give us another story to enjoy that brings back the memories of a gentle America ? Soon I (we) hope. Good luck and health in your young future.
Jim Pratt <>
Tulsa, Ok. USA - Sunday, August 11, 2002 at 00:43:56 (EDT)
Laura, I've just finished listening to the Audible version of Seabiscuit, and was immediately driven to look for more information about this remarkable horse and story. Thank you for opening my eyes and heart to such an extraordinary piece of our history. Your recounting of events moved me to tears of hope, happiness, and sadness many times; I've been reminded again of the power of great story-telling. Thank you for an experience so powerful and memorable that it will live in me forever.
Pam Barnes Murphy <>
Wasilla , AK USA - Saturday, August 10, 2002 at 18:28:19 (EDT)
All the superlatives have been used in the many prior entries to your guestbook and in the press. I wish to compliment you on the incredible research effort you accomplished in writing the book. Having done the research for a doctoral dissertation I am absolutely overwhelmed by your diligence. I cannot begin to imagine the hours/days/months that went into this work. Then, as previously noted so many times, the wonderful way you have presented it is just marvelous. You must feel greatly rewarded for tremendous task you have completed.
Frederick Tripp, Ph.D. <>
Annapolis, MD USA - Saturday, August 10, 2002 at 17:13:13 (EDT)
Seabiscuit's story made my day with hope th- at you can comeback with self determination
kathy davidson <>
USA - Saturday, August 10, 2002 at 00:29:21 (EDT)
I heard your interview on NPR radio. It got me interested in the book. This is a whole new venue for me but I bought the book. This has been one of the most enjoyable stories I have read in a very long time. I love this horse!!!!!! I am 3/4 of the way thru the book now. I don't want it to end. Seabiscuit did the work but you have put together a very thorough and touching report of the details that brought him to his success. You have done a great job. This was way before my time, but you make it seem so real, that I can imagine it now. I love this book! Good Job!
sharon s. <>
Parma, OH USA - Friday, August 09, 2002 at 23:24:54 (EDT)
Hi, I just finished reading your book today. I returned it to the library and was told I owe a $1.00 for being late. I told the librarian this was the best book that I have ever read this summer. She whirled around in a circle to pick up the book and at the same time asked me 'What was it?' I simply said 'Seabiscuit'. She stood there looking at me and suddenly a smile appeared on her face; almost like sun sunrise. In her eyes I could set that she recognized the name. At the same time in a low voice she said 'Oh, I remembered him, he was a cool cat'. I said, 'Oh! you must of been in the book!' My mind raced to remembered who WAS SHE in the book as I stood there staring at a live person who actually remembered this 'cool cat'. She smiled back and said 'No, I wasn't in the book but I do remember that horse.' Wow! Great book and congratulations to you and your staff. Tomorrow I will buy my own copy. Barbara in Baltimore, MD.
Barbara Nevin <>
Baltimore, MD USA - Friday, August 09, 2002 at 20:47:00 (EDT)
I bought the book some time ago and put it on the shelf to get to sometime. On Monday I picked it up and by Thursday night I had read the last page. I could not put it down. You did a glorious job of transporting me to a time before I was born about one of the greatest horses to ever set foot on a track. YOu made it come alive! Marvelous read! I am hoping someone can help me find a book that I read many years ago about Man o'War told from the perspective a young boy who grew up around him (Big Red is a nickname I remember from the book as a nickname for the horse). I can't remember the title. Can anyone help? I would love to read it again. I have had a love affair with horse all my life and live it mostly through books now as maintaining a horse is beyond my means. Thanks again for a beautifully told story that really brought pictures and the story to life the way it deserved to be told. I just read an article stating that Toby Maguire has been signed to play the part of Red Pollard, and I find myself thinking about who should play Smith (the Lone Plainsman). If I think of a likely person, I will let you know. I hope that you don't let Hollywood screw up this story like the Shirley Temple movie did and as Hollywood is known to do with any good book. Again Thanks for a great story told with love and respect and excitement that can't be found anywhere else but the racing world.
Leah Glaze <>
Oxnard, CA USA - Friday, August 09, 2002 at 01:23:25 (EDT)
I don't have any connection with this company, but they have chocolate "Sea Biscuit" cookies/candies for sale. They have a "bust" of Sea Biscuit and Pollard(?) on the cookie. The perfect gift for the Sea Biscuit and chocolate lover. I discovered this site while researching the book/horse. See, it pays to have worked in libraries....
Janet Sugino <>
Brinnon, WA USA - Friday, August 09, 2002 at 00:49:45 (EDT)
Loved the book. A great story, beautifully told. Have a request. I have a friend I want to make a special gift to. She loved the book and loves horses. Do you know where I can get a nice print of Seabisquit to give her?
Orrin Wood <>
Concord, MA USA - Thursday, August 08, 2002 at 20:53:51 (EDT)
TOWSON, MD USA - Thursday, August 08, 2002 at 20:30:33 (EDT)
I certainly remember going to Santa Anita as a wee one and seeing Betty Grable and Judy Garland, and being thrilled right down to my Mary Jane's at the whole racing spectacle. A million thanks for your fabulous book Ms. Hillenbrand. I have a question regarding Red Pollard. I got the impression from your book that he and his family lived hand to mouth most of the time. True? Also, his drinking came up in your book as part of the tapestry of the story. Poor man must have drank to kill the considerable pain he was in. Or? If he drank so much how on earth was he able to do anything much less handle a thousand + pound horse?
Susan McGuire <>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Thursday, August 08, 2002 at 20:09:30 (EDT)
Just finished this wonderful book and can't help myself from trying to cast the parts for the movie. Here's an interesting idea: how about Jeff Bridges as Mr. Howard and Beau Bridges as Mr. Smith? (Instead of the obvious Newman/Redford as Smith/Howard ... or Howard/Smith?) And how about Jay Mohr as Pollard, and Sean Pann as Wolfe. Leonard DeCaprio might also be small enough for Wolfe. The women's roles: anyone with a "name." Can't wait for filming to begin here at Santa Anita in Arcadia.
Meredith Brucker <>
Arcadia, CA USA - Thursday, August 08, 2002 at 16:47:36 (EDT)
Here's a casting idea for the movie: Jeff Bridges as Mr. Howard and Beau Bridges as Mr. Smith. Wouldn't that be interesting? (Instead of the obvious Newman/ as Smith/Howard or Howard/Smith.) ANd how about Jay Mohr as Pollard, and Sean Pann as Wolfe. The women's roles: anyone with a "name."
Meredith Brucker <>
USA - Thursday, August 08, 2002 at 16:41:59 (EDT)
Sam Sheppard IS Tom Smith. I can think of no other actor who would bring the spirit and nature of Tom Smith to the screen than Sheppard. He just captures the image.
Geno Castillo <>
Lexington, Ky USA - Thursday, August 08, 2002 at 10:03:25 (EDT)
I am usually too busy taking care of my horses, donkey, goat and lama to read, but am thankful I had the opportunity to read your book. You did a fantastic job of writing and research. I learned a lot and the book touched my soul. Thank you.
Ruth Shore <>
Worthington, MN USA - Thursday, August 08, 2002 at 09:56:56 (EDT)
Looks like everything has been said about your great book. enjoyed it very much. Richard.
Richard McCaffrey <>
Dayton, Oh USA - Thursday, August 08, 2002 at 08:56:34 (EDT)
I thought you might like to know that "Spider-Man" Tobey Maguire has been cast for the role of Red Pollard in the upcoming movie based on your book. :-)
Kimberly R. <>
Valley Center, CA USA - Wednesday, August 07, 2002 at 15:45:32 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand....I've just finished reading Seabiscuit, and feel compelled to write to thank you for a marvelous experience..I have been in the gambling end of racing for 31 years now, and consider myself a pioneer in the OTB industry in New York.. Those years have exposed me to some wonderful moments both on and off the track..The older handicap horses that I recall, i. e. Kelso, John Henry, and the like bring back great races in my memory, but I would have loved to have seen some of Seabiscuits races as described in your book. Having read it, I can say I at least have gotten a feel for them. My son, an avid movie buff, just called me today to say that his favorite actor, Tobey Mcguire (Spiderman) has just been cast for the up-coming movie. I look forward to its release next year and hope they do justice to the racing scenes...just as you have done in your descriptions of them. Congratulations and thanks to you for a great read. arthur weinfeld
Arthur Weinfeld <>
USA - Tuesday, August 06, 2002 at 21:12:49 (EDT)
Laura, I just finished reading your book. It may be the best book I have ever read. I am 51 years old and I have read a dozen Michener novels; most of Ernest Hemingay; Philp Roth; four volumns of Tennessee Williams plays; and countless other books. I have also read numerous novels on horse racing, but yours is not only about horse racing, but people at a certain time in history. By the way, I am also a horse player. I received your book as a gift from Keeneland as part of a gift package in one of their handicapping contests. I can empathize with the strong feeling all of the principals had with the Seabiscuit and the way regular trackgoers feel about such a horse as Seabiscuit. I have owned parts of four horses and two of them won races. I have driven a 100 miles to bet a horse that won and 100 miles to bet on one that lost. I saw Secretariat and Seattle Slew's derbies. I also saw Alydar's - he was one of those 100 mile losses. I had one of the nine board games you referenced as a kid. The game included Citation, Whirlaway, and of course, War Admiral. You spun a dial which determined how many lengths you could move forward. I have said before that my favorite place is the racetrack, even on a losing day and your book captured that feeling. Thank you for a most enjoyable read and I hope your book goes to a movie soon - I hear it will. Marc Craft
Marc Craft <>
Lexington, Ky USA - Tuesday, August 06, 2002 at 20:50:49 (EDT)
Dear Laura, What a book! so many congratulations on a perfect read for someone who has now got emotional over two racehorses in his long love affair with racing.The other horse was a filly I part owned called Petrushka,which came to race in the Fillies & Mares at Louisville in 2000.Having seen an American race track helped my imagination go wild whilst Seabuscuit's races were being described in your book.This book of yours is a must for race fans all over the world,I can't wait for the Movie.
Peter Robertson <>
Pewsey, UK - Tuesday, August 06, 2002 at 07:00:46 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I was coerced to the grandstands of Pimlico for the 120th running the the Preakness Stakes in 1995 and I have been hooked since. Last year, my wife gave me a copy of your book as a present. For me, every page was compelling and every nuance was absorbing. I was excited to hear that Seabiscuit was going to be a motion picture. When I finished Seabiscuit I cried like a baby. That last paragraph eloquently summerized what that horse meant to one man. I strongly feel that those words, that paragragh, should be the end quote, or even the first thing you see in the film. It may help the viewers, like us readers, in knowing how magical the story of Seabiscuit is. Cordially, David Yawger
David Yawger <>
Washington, NJ USA - Monday, August 05, 2002 at 22:18:03 (EDT)
Dear Laura I was leaving the bathroom of a Borders book store, and as I was rushing out to meet my husband who was in line to buy some books I passed by what was listed as books on gambling....and there you were! Seabiscuit was on the bottom shelf. I picked you up wrapped my arms around the book and placed myself next to my husband. "You want that book?" yes I said. "Why Seabiscuit?" I don't know. Do you know anything about it. No I replied. Did you read a review? No! I just have to have this book. It simply felt good in my arms. Growing up next to Hialeah race track as a child had obviously rubbed off on me. Being a daughter of an avid horsetrack father and listening to joe tannenbaum over the loud speaker while the horse's "and there off" came thundering down the track. All that seemed to be right there when I reached down and pulled you off the shelf. When I grow up I want to be just like you (I'm 52 years old) Laura there were times in that book I could actually smell that wonderful odor of horse manure,as I held my fathers hand and he walked me through the stables introducing me to those marvelous short men in beautiful silks as they winked and smiled back at me. Very few books have taken me to that special place. Your writting,is magic. I would often times find myself rereading a sentence or paragragh that had just discribed a seabiscuit moment,or race.....I would never expect you to top this book nor do I have any expectations that you will. And you know what! It's okay.... you filled my heart up with a beautiful story about love, loyalty, integrity and greatness. I will always have a lump in my throat for the biscuit and the lovely lady whose brilliant words gave new life to an already regal legend.
mims, fla USA - Monday, August 05, 2002 at 01:02:12 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, A movie based on my novel BETSY AND THE EMPEROR (to be published by an imprint of Simon & Schuster) is in development with Al Pacino attached to star as Napoleon Bonaparte, as reported in "Variety". I'm a screenwriter, teach writing, and have been a story analyst in the film business for over 20 years. I'm also a fan of thoroughbred racing, and a horse race figures importantly in my novel. Your book SEABISCUIT is an awesome achievement-- beautifully written and unbearably suspenseful. It's one of the best books I've ever read-- and I evaluate books for a living. My hat's off to you. I look forward to seeing the movie. Sincerely, (Ms.) Staton Rabin 59 Main St. Irvington NY l0533
Staton Rabin <>
Irvington, NY USA - Sunday, August 04, 2002 at 21:39:54 (EDT)
I just finished your book, and I loved every page of it. When I was little I read any books and stories about horses that I could get my hands on, and I remember reading a story about Seabiscuit, so I knew I had to read your book. I laughed and cried through the whole book. Your descriptions of the races kept me on the edge of my seat and I felt like I was almost there. I think you should write more books on great racehorses, such as Man 'o War, Citation, Secretariat, etc. If you do, I will surely read every one of them.
Nancy Bruce <>
Saltillo , MS USA - Sunday, August 04, 2002 at 16:18:13 (EDT)
Laura, "Seabiscuit" has been by far one of the most enjoyable books I have read in a long time. In these times of few heroes and so much is so refreshing to read about Seabiscuit and the people who loved and believed in him. Seabiscuit raced before my time, and it is one of my true regrets that I will never see him. What a thrill he must have been. Thank you for sharing Seabiscuit with generations who might never have known him otherwise. It's a great story!
Linda Sathre <>
Chanhassen, MN USA - Sunday, August 04, 2002 at 15:31:44 (EDT)
Hi Lauta: Thank you for a truly wonderful book! I am an animal lover, horses too --and my husband bought your book for me believing it would help me cope with being housebound as we have been searching for a diagnosis for what were thought to be sports related injuries. As a 25 year athelete the body has "given Way", however symtoms have perplexed all thus far from here to Boston to NYC. Thus I related so very well to both Seabiscuit and Red Pollard and the physical difficulties they had to overcome. Your book was a joy as I have always been fond of horse racing and these beautiful animals. My congrats to you for this superb literary volume -- even mmore amazing given your own battle with CFS! I understand somewhat of your lifestyle as I too have rarely been out of the house except for physician visits, blood tests etc -- having gone from a very active two mile a day swimmer, cyclist and runner to being under "house arrest" has placed a new perspective on what is important in one's life as well as channeling one's energies into meaningful endeavors. You have certainly done so and are an inspiration! With very best wishes, Annie
Annie McMullen <>
Bristol, RI USA - Friday, August 02, 2002 at 18:46:53 (EDT)
Hello, I've readen your book. It's one of my favorite books! The first one is now in Holland, it's called Buitenbeen. When comes the next in Holland. I can only say one thing: I LOVE IT! Sorry for my bad English! Loving from Holland, Anneke
Anneke <>
HOLLAND, USA - Friday, August 02, 2002 at 15:22:00 (EDT)
FROM THE AUTHOR: 2002 RIDGEWOOD RANCH WALKING TOUR INFORMATION Enjoy a unique opportunity to visit the home of Seabiscuit at Ridgewood Ranch when the Willits Chamber of Commerce, Mendocino County Museum, and Christ's Church of the Golden Rule invite the public to "come on down to the ranch." The upcoming tours are August 31 and October 12, 2002 from 9am to Noon. Highlights include, touring the special barn that Charles Howard constructed specifically for Seabiscuit after his 1940 homecoming. This structure, with its signature Howard logo and its jockey and horse weather vane, is one stop on the tour that includes several other buildings important to the Howard ranch operation. The tour begins with a special screening of archival film footage that Mendocino County Museum staff recently had restored and transferred to video. Dr. Raymond "Doc" Babcock was a close personal friend of Charles Howard, and shot the 16mm color film footage himself. Witness Seabiscuit tearing down the racetrack at Santa Anita, while Clark Gable and Carole Lombard discuss odds from their seats in the stands. Watch sculptor Tex Wheeler work as he creates a model of Seabiscuit for his bronze statue. Other footage includes cattle branding scenes at Ridgewood Ranch, jockey Red Pollard "horsing around", and even a "Tin Lizzie" race held at the Willits fairgrounds in 1939. After the video viewing, storytellers will be on hand to discuss their experiences on the Ranch with Seabiscuit and owner Charles Howard. Docent-led walking tours will follow, and participants are asked to wear comfortable walking shoes. Stops on the walk include the mare barn, with its hand-penciled notes on stall walls about Seabiscuit’s mates and offspring, as well as the house that the Howards called home, where a special guestroom was set aside for crooner and race aficionado Bing Crosby. Light refreshments will be provided. Space is limited for these special ranch tours, so reservations are essential, available on a first come, first served basis. The cost for the video screening and walking tour is $20 per person. Please call the Willits Chamber of Commerce [707] 459-7910 to receive a reservation form, or pick one up at the Willits Chamber of Commerce, 239 S. Main Street, Willits, CA 95490.
Laura Hillenbrand
Washington, DC USA - Friday, August 02, 2002 at 12:23:50 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, you are one first rate writer. Absolutely the best I've read in years. Thank you for this wonderful story.
Mike Reeder <>
Boonville, IN USA - Friday, August 02, 2002 at 06:08:32 (EDT)
Laura, I wanted to tell you that I loved your book. I have always enjoyed horses and horse racing, but reading this book was like nothing else. I was captivated by the lives of these people as well as the horses. It is an amazing sport! I look forward to the movie. Seabiscuit rocks! Thank you!!
Ryan Waring
St. Cloud, MN USA - Thursday, August 01, 2002 at 21:57:52 (EDT)
Dear Laura: The story of Seabiscuit made excellent reading, and you crafted it well. What gave me the greatest satisfaction, however, was the knowledge that three people in particular truly loved this gifted creature and briefly gave to him that nobility of human character that is only briefly seen. Your rendering of his story lends meaning to the famous poem by Keats which reads, in part, "A thing of beauty is a joy forever; it's lovliness increases; it can never pass into nothingness, . . ." I wish you beauty in your life, and I thank you for enriching mine with both the joy and sadness of Seabiscuit's. Yours, Chuck Justice
Charles Justice <>
Bowie, MD USA - Thursday, August 01, 2002 at 09:57:11 (EDT)
Hi Laura: I would like to thank you for your masterpiece. This book was absolutely fantastic to put it simply. I was actually in tears when 'Biscuit won the 1940 Big Cap. Can't wait for the movie. Best of wishes in the future.
Nick Grant <>
USA - Thursday, August 01, 2002 at 00:05:43 (EDT)
Your rendering of Seabiscuit shows you to be a creative genius! I could not put it down and spent late hours reading it. I have co-authored a book (in a children's format with adult back pages) called, "Magical Mac: The True Story of a Healing Horse" which we would like to send to you (35 pages). You will love it as Mac was as unlikely, by nature, as Seabiscuit, to become a great horse. Mac lived to be the oldest horse on record in the USA (to age 50) and spent his retirement years as a true healer as were the Medicine Horses of the American Indians. Daily miracles were common place for Mac. My co-author, Michele Davis, who lived with Mac (she said he owned her and not vice versa) told me that she had to lie down on the floor when she finished your book--that is the impact on this woman who lived with a being as unique as Seabiscuit. She knows this from direct experience--those of us who came later and who report on these beings have a once-removed view and still must make them come alive again on paper. You have done that!!! Please send us the address to which we can send Magical Mac. Many good wishes for your ongoing writing and impact on the world.
Alexandra Makris <>
Columbus, OH USA - Wednesday, July 31, 2002 at 18:31:42 (EDT)
I read the review of your book in the Wall Street Journal and it peaked my curiosity. I am a recent enthusiast of the sport or should I say up until this year I had never actually taken part at a track but this year was able to do Breeders Cup, Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. To say the least, Ive been bitten by the bug. I found your book totally enthralling and a wealth of information. I do whoever have one question. In the Epilogue there was no mention of what ever happened to Grog. I know he was only a side player, but he was instrumental in Tom Smith's antics with the clockers and Wise We Boys. I'd like to think he retired and lived out his life with Seabiscuit.
Linda Greenawalt <>
Philadelphia, PA USA - Wednesday, July 31, 2002 at 15:55:50 (EDT)
found your book in local shop and being a youngish (34)racing fan I wanted to find more out about this horse called SEABISCUIT, I HADN'T HEARD OF HIM!!! Couldnt' put the book down till I had finished and felt I knew this horse well after reading it.Now want all my pals to read it and savour the moment when SEABISUIT beat War Admiral. Truely excellent horse and I believe the book does him a great justice!!!
sam kerr <>
dumfries, dumfries&galloway uk - Wednesday, July 31, 2002 at 07:20:09 (EDT)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand I have recently bought your book and am fasinated before I have even read it. Today I saw the Agua Caliente trophy, it was once the possession of my Regiment, a Scottish Cavalry Regiment, The Royal Scots Greys. How did it become a prize in Mexico in 1938. I have left the British Army and am now working for DW Lukas at Saratoga. I look forwrd to hearing from you. Yours Sincerely Sebastian
Sebastian Nicholl <>
Saratoga Springs, NY USA - Tuesday, July 30, 2002 at 21:32:45 (EDT)
Seabiscuit, an American Legend, is without a doubt, the best book I've ever had the pleasure to read. If wishes were granted; please let me be Johnny "Red" Pollard or George "Iceman" Wolff aboard the "Biscuit" in one of those awesome races so beautifully narrated by the author. Kudos to author Laura Hillenbrand, and to all those who worked their magic into such a wonderful endeavor. It allowed so many others the opportunity to vicariously live those historical gems of yesteryear's moments in time.
Robert J. Hurly <>
Philadelphia, PA USA - Tuesday, July 30, 2002 at 18:45:44 (EDT)
july 30, 2002 dear laura, this is one of the best books i have ever read. period. it was wonderfully written and the characters, horse and man, were vividly drawn. i loved this book. i originally bought it as a gift for a relative -- we all love horse racing -- and borrowed it back to read when i heard how good it was. i have not enjoyed reading a book this much in a long time. barb watkins p.s.when's the movie coming out?
barb watkins <>
st. louis, mo USA - Tuesday, July 30, 2002 at 16:09:21 (EDT)
Greetings. Thank you for such a wonderful book! Both of my parents came off of farms, so I grew up with a love and respect of animals. My aunt raised and raced Pacers. In fact, she was the one who purchased the book, "Seabiscuit" and allowed me to read it. My husband and I both thoroughly enjoyed the book and often re-read it. Unfortunately, my aunt never got the chance to enjoy the book--she died of cancer just a few short months later. I know she remembered as a youth the stories of Seabiscuit, the great challenge race and other events of the day. Thank you for such a wonderful book! We are looking forward to the release of the movie. If it is half as well done as the book was, it will be a classic!
Susan Jenkins <>
Akron, OH USA - Tuesday, July 30, 2002 at 10:36:45 (EDT)
I read your book a few months ago. Tonight, I read your biography of Pops on If the movie is 1/10th as captivating as the biography, we will have one great film. I was thrilled to hear McCarron will have one last a stunt jockey in the movie. PS- Go Black Ruby! (If you don't know, Black Ruby is the most popular equine athlete in California. She's a mule who races against other mules at the fairs in Northern CA.
Jon <>
CA USA - Tuesday, July 30, 2002 at 00:14:06 (EDT)
Dear Laura: Freddie Johnson is mentioned in your book SEABISCUIT. He was my father and as a result I also knew the jockeys my father had riding for him under his colors...Georgie Woolf, Johnny Longden, Red Pollard back in the late 20's and early 30's in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Georgie Woolf's father Frank Woolf managed our breeding farm south of Calgary, located next to the Chinook Race Track. As a youngster it was Georgie who put me up in a saddle on the back of one of the lead ponies. My love of horses has always been a big part of my life, ever since those early days. That love of horses carried over to my youngest daughter, Candy, who became an accomplished rider and showed horses successfully here on the West Coast for many years, winning numerous championships. I have visited the Derby Restaurant in Arcadia and it contains much memorabilia of Georgie, including my father's original apprentice jockey contract. Being there brings back so many fond memories of those long gone days. After moving to Southern California from Calgary many years ago, I now live in Temecula, California in the wine and thoroughbred country. Should your travels bring you to the Los Angeles area, it would certainly be my pleasure to meet with you and show you the old scrapbooks of my mother, M. Monta Johnston. In closing, thank you so much for writing the outstanding book SEABISCUIT...reading it was a real thrill for me. I'd appreciate hearing from you as I have many articles from the 20's and 30's that I'm sure you would interested in. If you will be so kind as to give me your address, I would be happy to mail some of the articles to you. Respectfully, Monta B. (Johnston) Flock
Monta B. (Johnston) Flock <>
Temecula, CA USA - Monday, July 29, 2002 at 18:45:55 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I just finished your wonderful book and haven't enjoyed a book so much in ages. I particularly enjoyed it because I grew up with stories my Dad told about Seabiscuit, "Mr. Howard" and Frank Howard, with whom he spent summers at Ridgewood Ranch. Dad is still alive, and at 92 his memories of the Howards and Ridgewood Ranch are still clear. He was raised in Burlingame just a couple of blocks from the Howard's home and knew Frank until his death. Fortunately, Dad was not with him on the day Frank died, but he clearly remembers that day and also that his lifelong friend Richie Penniman, who was with Frank that day never got over it. Last time Dad came to visit me in San Francisco, we stopped at the Howard family crypt so Dad could pay his respects. I also have 16 mm. movie films that my Dad took of he and Frank horsing around in the cattle corrals at Ridgewood. He also took films of Seabiscuit in the sheds and on the track at Tanforan, and of the Salinas Rodeo which I also have. I treasure them and the stories as an important part of my family history. Your wonderful book has, accordingly, had a special resonance for me and will hold a special place in my library. I have also forwarded a copy to Dad, who I am sure sill enjoy it as well. Again, thank you for a wonderful story well told!
james lawrence <>
san francisco, ca USA - Monday, July 29, 2002 at 17:35:46 (EDT)
I have not read the book..But I do remember this beautiful, spirited animal. He along with Man of War and Whirlaway were my favorites as a boy growing up. I am an animal lover from way back..Thank You for this site.
Ken Burlingame <>
El Cajon, CA USA - Monday, July 29, 2002 at 05:17:25 (EDT)
"All this fell away. The world narrowed to a man and his horse, running." As a racer, rider, horselover and avid reader I will always remember this book for this passage which comes as close as is humanly possible to describing the thrill of becoming one with a horse and his speed. Thank you ever so much.
Peter Smith <>
Castle Rock, CO USA - Sunday, July 28, 2002 at 23:00:34 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I have never seen a race, I don't gamble, and I don't know very much about horses, but I loved your book! I found it fascinating from start to finish. I loved how you included the personal details of the people that surrounded the miracle that was Seabiscuit. I found myself getting excited and wanting to cheer the horse on when I was reading about the races! I was also touched by the stories of Red Pollard, George Woolf, and Tom Smith, in particular. You did an amazing job of telling the story behind the story, digging in deep to find the possible motivations, hopes, and thoughts of the people and even the animals involved! I'm still not sure if the sport of racing justifies the terrible price that is sometimes paid by the animals and jockeys, but living vicariously through Red on that last ride was almost enough to convince me that the exhillaration of man and horse working together and becoming nearly a new, enhanced species would be worth the risks of riding. Thank you for an amazing book! Sincerely, Emily Butler
Emily Butler <>
Kingwood, TX USA - Sunday, July 28, 2002 at 21:37:05 (EDT)
Laura, I will always be grateful to you for the inspiration your book has given me. I am a professional writer, an animal caretaker, and something of an athlete. Your example has immeasurably brightened all those aspects of my life. Seabiscuit was truly a wonderful horse, but you're just as as outstanding as a human being. If you ever need help researching anything (using the internet or otherwise), I would consider it an honor to help you. Thank you.
Greg <>
- Sunday, July 28, 2002 at 20:38:41 (EDT)
Laura, the Ramona is running in an hour at Del Mar. I like Netherland because he has a lot speed and the current bias is fast. Also, you can't beat the connections, if you get get my drift. Please keep in touch. Mark Clyde Brant
mark brant <>
santa monica, ca USA - Saturday, July 27, 2002 at 19:35:34 (EDT)
please call me 800-522-1777 11am-3pm pst or e-mail me regarding a possible book signing also need to talk to you about pre-production project regarding movie gamblers book shop is the largest gambling book store in the world thank you, howard schwartz v.p & marketing director
howard schwartz <>
las vegas, nv USA - Saturday, July 27, 2002 at 12:41:49 (EDT)
Undenibaly the best horseracing book ever written. No writer can compare to you. Seriously. However, what you did for Seabiscuit was better than what that great promoter, Howard himself, could do. He was not a Horatio Alger story but was a bogus Horatio Alger, manufactured by the likes of Howard, a multimillionaire, Bing Crosby whose financial interest in Santa Anita was well known and by Mr. Vanderbilt who interceded with Riddle to force the match race with War Admiral. What other living horse had a movie made about him during his lifetime? None. He was a true Hollywood, west coast promotion and a great race horse but never the Horatio Alger ragamuffin that you portray. Blood Horse magazine ranked him #25 on its all time list of great champions. However, that does not detract from your legendary writing skill nor for my total enthusiasm and interest in the upcoming movie.
Charles F. Quinn <>
Chadds Ford, Pa., USA - Saturday, July 27, 2002 at 10:58:39 (EDT)
Hi Laura -- Enjoyed your wonderful book Seabiscuit. We have selected it for our book review group in August. How can I get a recording of Clem McCarthy's calling of the race? Thanks. Debby Ring
Debby Ring <>
Fremont, CA USA - Friday, July 26, 2002 at 20:07:45 (EDT)
Your book is not one I would normally buy. But, my husband did and enjoyed it tremendously. His comments caused me to read it as I am fond of horseracing. Well, I feel madly in love with "Seabisquit." Your portraial of his life, as well as the lives of Smith, Pollard, Howard and Marcella was ingenously well written. I didn't want the story to end. Thank you. Thank you.
Ruby Courey <>
Englewood, FL USA - Friday, July 26, 2002 at 18:19:19 (EDT)
One of the best books I have ever read. One coudn't write fiction this good. As good as Nordoff & Hall. Ms. Hillenbrand, you have an extraordinary gift and talent for writing. I hope you find another subject that inspires you so that we can be treated to another story as rich as Seabiscuit. It's all I can think about right now. What a bittersweet read . . turning pages so fast because of the story and storytelling, yet knowing it's coming to an end. Thank you for writing and sharing this book.
Stephen Wasserberger <>
Portland, OR USA - Friday, July 26, 2002 at 17:29:42 (EDT)
Laura Hillenbrand, I was intriqued to read your book after reading an article about you and the book in the Washington Post a couple years ago. I finally read it (actually, I am nearly finished & don't want it to end!) I love your style of writing. It moves as a horse with a steady gait! I basically wanted to say thanks for writing this book about this special, cool, amazing horse. The thing I love most is how all the people involved with him were so good to him, so in love with him & protective of him & never even flirted with giving into the commercialization of it all. For fun, I have envisioned a movie version with the following cast: Smith(Robert Duval)- Charles Howard (John Mahoney)- Marcela (Mary Louise Parker)- Red (Luke Perry) Woolfe (Jude Law) (there might be a better cast but those are my initial picks!) Finally, I hope you are feeling better. I was chronically ill for about 4 years with CFS (set off by paint fume poisoning), but doing much better now. I hope you are too. Great, wonderful book!
Marie Hagan <>
Arlington, VA USA - Friday, July 26, 2002 at 15:03:11 (EDT)
Laura, I loved the book! The story is well told, happy, sad, and joyful. My mother had a grandson of Seabiscuit, one of a set of twins they thought would be a runt. I have a photo of them. Not a runt! I also heard you on the Diane Rehm show and wanted to call in then, but was busy cleaning the barn. I am a breeder of Arabians and could really relate to the tales of truth. What horses go through. Sometimes stranger than fiction. Can't wait to see what you tackle next. Hope you are well. Cathy
Cathy Thomson <>
Waxhaw,, NC USA - Thursday, July 25, 2002 at 14:30:38 (EDT)
Laura, I am 44, strong and healthy, looking for a wife who loves horseracing and wants a family: 2118 Wilshire Blvd. #511, Santa Monica, CA
Mark Clyde Brant <>
Santa Monica, Ca USA - Wednesday, July 24, 2002 at 22:37:06 (EDT)
Thank you, thank you. Your book brought tears to my eyes more than once. What a story! What a horse! I don't know if I could stand reading another book like that. Not right away anyway. When is the movie coming out?
Jon Hall <>
Seattle, WA USA - Wednesday, July 24, 2002 at 19:02:10 (EDT)
What an inspirational book and what a great animal! That a four-legged athlete could help America forget its troubles during the depression just reinforces how special these creatures are. I'm on my second reading of your book and catch my heart beating with anticipation as your describe each of Biscuit's races. I feel that I'm there witnessing each race! I caught the racing bug in the early '70s as I watched another underdog, Canonero II, win the Derby and Preakness (in record time). I have followed the Triple Crown each year since. Of course, who could forget Secretariat...another "athlete" who made headlines and was on the cover of three top magazines and who also let us forget, for a short while, the Watergate scandal and the Vietnam War. I look forward to the documentary and movie. Maybe your next project could be about the racing champions who have faded into obscurity, i.e. Canonero II. The memory of these great animals is worth documenting. Thanks for such a great book and continued success with your writing. Gladys Rouge
Gladys Rouge <>
Newark, CA USA - Wednesday, July 24, 2002 at 18:25:17 (EDT)
What can I say? Just a tremendous literary achievement. The book moved me deeply. When i was a boy, my father instilled in me a love of horses and horse racing, and he spoke often of Seabiscuit. When I would ask him why he thought 'Biscuit was so great, he'd always say "That horse just made you just feel good about being alive." And so does this book. Thank you, Ms. Hillenbrand.
albert sce <>
brooklyn, ny USA - Tuesday, July 23, 2002 at 14:16:50 (EDT)
Laura I found your book both informative and for me very inspirational.Many tears were brought to my eyes by the trials and tribulations of Seabiscuit The heart and sole of this animal remind me so much of my 32 year old blind horse who is still boss of the barn ! I thank you for a great read. ( I fell sorry for the man who didn't finish the book ) This horse showed the true spirit of life, never give up ! I feel like I know him even though he was gone before I was born. Thank You ! Greg Berry
Greg Berry <>
Mancos, Co. USA - Tuesday, July 23, 2002 at 13:43:34 (EDT)
Several times in Seabiscuit, the author uses the phrase 'rule of thumb.' This dates back to a colonial law where a man can not be arrested for beating his wife if the stick width was less than the width of his thumb. Any domestic violence advocate knows this and everytime I read it, it makes me wince. It detracted from an otherwise phenomenal book.
USA - Tuesday, July 23, 2002 at 08:33:40 (EDT)
I thoroughly enjoyed Seasbiscuit but wanted to make the author aware of one issue. Several times in the book she uses the phrase
USA - Tuesday, July 23, 2002 at 08:31:47 (EDT)
Dear Laura - I have been browsing in the guest book and in stories included in "second running" and have a question about Tom Smith's induction into the Hall of Fame. Was there anyone who remembered Tom personally - family or friends. His son was mentioned in your book and I wondered what happened to him. Thank you again for a book that will remain with me forever. It refocused my life on a time that surpassed all other times in my life. Sincerely, Donna Johnson
Donna Clark Johnson <>
Austin, Tx USA - Monday, July 22, 2002 at 19:59:35 (EDT)
From: Greg Scheitler Community Relations Director Barnes & Noble-Georgetown Phone: 202-965-9360 e-mail: Dear Laura, Hello! From my understanding, you were shopping with us over the weekend. One of my booksellers told me that you may be interested in doing a event. I know that for health reasons you have not done any events in support of the book. However, if you are feeling well enough, we would love to host you. It would be a special treat for me because I grew up around a harness track back in my home state of Michigan. I have left you my e-mail address and phone number. If your health permits, we would be honored to have a event for you. We get wonderful turn-outs for our events and Seabiscuit is not only a hot seller here, but all over the country as you well know, congratulations! Please feel free to contact me at your convienence and best wishes. Greg Scheitler.
Greg Scheitler <>
Washington , DC USA - Monday, July 22, 2002 at 10:35:48 (EDT)
Dear Laura, The book, which I have recently read, is well written and well researched. I congratulate you on what is so obviously a labour of love. It gave real texture and colour to Seabiscuit’s racing career. Three very different human personalities and an unlikely equine hero coming together to form a passionate, griping and quite moving story that does well to avoid sentimentality. If not the greatest racehorse of all-time he was certainly one of the great characters. If I have a criticism, I believe you dwell too much on how up against it Seabiscuit was in almost every race you recreate for us. All horses have their problems just getting to post, but continually stretching the point of how much he had to overcome became a bit predictable. However, I hope the film is even half as good as the book. Regards, Steve Miller London England
Steve Miller <>
London, England - Monday, July 22, 2002 at 08:54:43 (EDT)
John M. Williams 19 Crescent Court, Sterling, VA 20164 703-404-9557/Fax: 703-406-3728 July 20, 2002 Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, From the moment I read my first book reviews of Seabiscuit: An American Legend and then heard your interview on the Diane Rehm show, I eagerly wanted to read the book. I have always loved horses and rode them when I was younger. More than a month ago my wife presented your book to me as one of many gifts for our 25th wedding anniversary. I am a sports enthusiast and have read biographies on Man o’ War, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Jim Brown, Joe Montana, Michael Jordan and many other great athletes. As a youngster, I read all of the Black Stallion books by Walter Farley. I have also gone to the racetrack scores of times over 25 years. As I started reading your book, I developed a strong admiration for your skillful writing and superb research. I learned a great deal about horse racing from the book. Until I stopped reading the book at the end of the 12th chapter: All I Need Is Luck, I was enjoying it. However, when Rosemont defeated Seabiscuit, my enthusiasm in Seabiscuit: An American Legend started waning. When Stagehand beat him, I know the photo was murky and did not clearly show the winner, my interest in finishing the book completely evaporated. I shall never know what made Seabiscuit a great horse, if he was one. I cannot remember when a sports biography let me down so much. I know my disappointment results from my expectation that Seabiscuit would win all of his races, particularly with the trio of men guiding him. To me, great athletes excel during their prime all the time. They come through when it counts. They have an overwhelming apparent drive to win and do win. This is why fans flock to see them compete. I may be wrong, but when I finished the 12th chapter, it was not apparent to me then that Seabiscuit was a great horse and would be. Today the book rests among the hundreds of books in my library, never to be picked up by me again. My son is interested in horses, and I suggested he read it. I look forward to reading other writings of yours in the future. Sincerely, John M. Williams
John M. Williams <JMMAW@AOL.COM>
Sterling, VA USA - Saturday, July 20, 2002 at 18:21:59 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Laura Hillenbrand, I just finished reading Seabiscuit. I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed your book. You have captured what this horse was all about and brought back to life the few people who had such great insight into this extraordinary animal and vividly painted the history of that time. Thank you for writing such a beautiful true story. I am sure Tom Smith, Charles and Marcela Howard, Red Pollard, and George Woolf would be very proud. Having grown up with horses and actually working out at Santa Anita racetrack as a Stable Agent years ago, I had the pleasure of saying Hello to Charlie Whittingham. What a moment that was for me! I now have two beautiful kids, a great husband and horses, dogs & a cat. You mentioned in your book that you will be consulting on the film. My husband will be working on the filming crew of this special film! It would be a great honor if you could autograph my book. Can I forward it to you? Sincerely,
Sheri DeRose <>
Simi Valley, CA USA - Saturday, July 20, 2002 at 00:41:49 (EDT)
Enjoyed your book so much! One question - a lady in my book club - from Connecticutt - said that the way Seabiscuit's name should be pronounced is with the stress on "Biscuit" - as in "See biscuit (run, jump, whatever)" and not on the "Sea" - have you ever encountered this pronunciation? Is this the eastern establishment still turning their noses up, or what?!
Andra English <>
Williamsburg,, VA USA - Friday, July 19, 2002 at 16:01:37 (EDT)
Laura, kudos on a marvelous journey back in time! I have not been so completely mesmerized by literature in quite awhile. I am especially looking forward to an upcoming tour of Ridgewood Ranch, all made possible due to your passionate portrayal of a true american icon! Thank you for stirring my soul.
Peter Lenzi <>
Petaluma, CA USA - Friday, July 19, 2002 at 14:54:55 (EDT)
Hello Ms. Hillenbrand. Here in Brazil, I´m a sports journalist. I making a report about your book, so, I´m looking for your "private" email adress because I need send to you some very important questions. Thank you. Eduardo.
Eduardo Geraque <>
São Paulo, SP Brazil - Thursday, July 18, 2002 at 18:48:23 (EDT)
Laura, being from No. KY and just tangentially involved in horses until I entered the convent (45 minutes from Churchill Downs), I was never keenly interested in horseracing. I have finished SEABISCUIT in less than a week, having vacation time to indulge. Truly I could not put it down. When you described the matches, I felt like I was in front of the TV on Derby Day with my wager on the horse of choice. I could not wait to see if Pops made it or not. Your characters live in my memory as does visualing Seabiscuit and Woolf' memorials at Santa Anita. Red and Agnes, Marcela and Howard - just wonderful reading. Thanks for your heavy research and rendering of a truly little/Huge horse. (I've added a few new words to my vocabulary, too. -- Gratefully,
Marlene Lehmkuhl <>
bardstown, Ky USA - Thursday, July 18, 2002 at 14:10:41 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I wish I had written you earlier -- when I gloried in the immediate heady aftermath experienced upon finishing your book Seabiscuit last year -- to thank you for such a wonderful story. I apologize for my tardiness and for the shameless request I am about to make: To begin with, I can't help but feel goosebumps whenever I see a horse. My father's family goes back 2 generations in Saratoga Springs, NY. My grandfather, Dr. Malcolm Magovern. .. was the Saratoga "town doc" and track physician for many years - 1930's through 1970's - taking care of the townfolk and the August crowd including jockeys, trainers and owners -- which afforded us the privilege of a box at the track during my grandfather's lifetime. His office was on Broadway and they lived on Church Street and then later across from the new Skidmore campus on Broadway - in a house we sold to Skidmore. My father and uncle worked at the track -- I relished hanging out as an exercise girl - stable groupie one summer. Needless to say, we went to the races as often as possible - whether or not we could squeeze into the box -- it was enough for me to stay in the paddock area. The names in your book - Fitzsimmons etc. were also woven into my grandfather's stories. Our close family friend jack Ruegg I believe has already written you - his wife, Tad Lagere had sewn many of the silks now kept in the racing musuem and she was also a close friend of Max Hirsch. I purused my love of riding later in Maryland - outside DC where my parents raised us. I often rode in Potomac horse shows out near Travilah. I am in my 30s -- we may have crossed paths! I also lived in the Glover Park area for awhile-- small world. Now onto my shameless but so heartfelt request. I am now an actress in New York City and DC- I have worked in independent films and in Off Broadway Theatre. I learned that Universal is making the Seabiscuit movie.. congratulations --! I would give my right arm to be part of that story. I understand that Debra Zane is casting and they sent out a notice today to agents that they are looking for an actress to play Anne Howard -- which is the one role I believe I would be appropriate for - in terms of looks and age -- but I would be open to any role -- as tiny as they come. I am currently my own agent -- so I was wondering if I could forward my headshot and resume to you or maybe talk with you/email about how best to forward my materials to Debra Zane directly without it getting lost in the shuffle. I know she must be receiving thousands of proposals right now. I would love to meet with you when I am in DC in August - or whenever it might be convenient for you. I am not some whacko fan I promise -- I went to Georgetown law school and practiced law before having the guts to pursue my real passion of acting -- to combine it with my passion for horses would be quite something. My parents -- Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Magovern - live in Chevy Chase where my father still practices obgyn. I am sorry for the bluntness of this request when I have never contacted you before. I really did enjoy your book and would be very content with experiencing Seabiscuit through your words alone. But I wanted you to know that you and Universal would be considering an actress that has a personal relationship to the sport, to Saratoga and to this amazing animal .. Sincerely, Sara Magovern (212) 875-7089
Sara Magovern <>
New York, NY USA - Thursday, July 18, 2002 at 14:06:05 (EDT)
WOW ! Finished the book last night. Best book in a very long time. I thought it was "Fiction". I wish I could have seen any one of the races discribed in your book. WOW ! What a marvelous animal. I am now searching for "Color Photos" and can not wait for the documentary (Aug 2002) or the movie (Spring 2003). Wow !! Excellent Book !!
Geno Ravelli <>
Springboro, OH USA - Thursday, July 18, 2002 at 12:55:57 (EDT)
Have read your book three times. When a student at U.C. Davis, horse production, Seabiscuit was my term paper. I did skip class to listen to the match race with War Admiral approximately 63 years ago. Have lost my copy of his pedigree but recall Seabiscuit was out of Swing On by Hard Tack. Your book is wonderful would have liked to seen his pedigree in your book
Jack Tognetti <>
Napa, CA USA - Wednesday, July 17, 2002 at 23:16:12 (EDT)
Outstanding book! I almost felt like I attended the races with Seabiscuit. You don't have to be a race fan or lover of horses to enjoy this book, but it doesn't hurt!
DR. R. J. Baker <>
Veedersbuurg, IN USA - Wednesday, July 17, 2002 at 14:36:49 (EDT)
My Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I belive I was born loving horses. I can not remember a time when I did not love these wonderful creations of God. At the age of eight, in front of a black and white television set, I saw my first Kentucky Derby. The year was 1966, the winner, Kaua King. I was hooked. From that day to this I have never missed a Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, or Belmont Stakes. Growing up in Arkansas, in a middle income family, the best I could do is to watch the races on television. In the 5th grade, I read Come On Seabiscuit! and shortly after Walter Farley's Man O' War. I have jumped for joy with tears in the middle of my parents living room in front of a color television set as I saw my first Triple Crown Champion, Secretariat, fly under the wire, and my joy was no less when Seattle Slew and Affirmed did the same. When Genuine Risk took the Derby -- leaving the boys in her dust-- I was pregnant with my daughter-- my jubliation caused my husband to inform me to "calm down--you will go into labor!" I did not, but she loves horses! These five horses have special places in my heart, but Biscuit reigns supreme. I have read your book, and may I say, this is the most wonderful book!!! My daughter gave it to me for Mother's Day. It fills in the lives and times so well. Thank you for such a grand book. I laughed, cried, and had to control my impulse to cheer, when I was reading in a public place. Thank you again, my dear, for a wonderful, insightful and heartwarming book.
Vickie Willmuth <>
Bradford, AR USA - Wednesday, July 17, 2002 at 12:16:43 (EDT)
Loved the book. I have a question. I have some Seabiscuit memorabilia. I purchased a print by "Wallace" which captures the horse. It seems to be based on the LIFE Mag full page shot of Seabiscuit upon his arrival in NY. Do you know anything about this artist? It is a stunning print. Thanks Fay
Fay Spargo <>
USA - Wednesday, July 17, 2002 at 04:43:27 (EDT)
"Seabiscuit" is the most compelling story I've read in many years. Ms. Hillenbrand's re-telling of the Seabiscuit-War Admiral match race made me forget I was reading an account; not seeing the race in person. My grandfather, whom I never met, was a horse owner-trainer. Now I wish more than ever that I could have known him. I look forward to Ms. Hillenbrand's next book.
Ben Ricks <>
Newark, DE USA - Tuesday, July 16, 2002 at 20:30:44 (EDT)
A brilliant book - I took it on holiday & couldn't put it down
Mike Strom <>
UK - Tuesday, July 16, 2002 at 18:28:02 (EDT)
FROM THE AUTHOR: To those of you who have been asking how you can see real footage of Seabiscuit, the PBS documentary on his life has now been completed. The movie will make its television debut in 2003 on PBS' American Experience program, but those who would like to see it sooner can catch it at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame at Saratoga Springs this August. Here is the schedule: August 21 6:00 p.m. – Saratoga Premiere: Seabiscuit, An American Experience Documentary for PBS by Stephen Ives. Inspired by Laura Hillenbrand’s award-winning book and produced by acclaimed documentarian Stephen Ives, this special program won’t be televised until spring 2003. Evening includes cocktails, buffet, music, and the screening. $75 per person. Call (518) 584-0400. August 22 10:30 a.m. / 2:30 p.m. – Public Screenings: Seabiscuit, An American Experience Documentary for PBS by Stephen Ives. Free with paid Museum admission. Tickets are first-come, first served on August 22. Doors open at 9:00 a.m.
Laura Hillenbrand
Washington, DC USA - Tuesday, July 16, 2002 at 16:19:51 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand: enjoyed your book very much (a Father's Day gift from my daughter). Iv'e been a racing fan for 50 years -- wondering if you might be attending the Saratoga Meet this year, would love to get my edition autographed.
Harold LeMay <>
Kingston, NY USA - Tuesday, July 16, 2002 at 10:44:43 (EDT)
I have spent 25 years as a trial attorney in Alabama. My only connection to horse racing was a chance visit to the Kentucky Derby in 1973 (?) when Secretariat won the first leg of the Triple Crown. I wondered what all the fuss was about as I had to view the finish through several pairs of legs. If I had read your book before I went to Churchill Downs, it would have given me a completely different perspective of what I was watching. Outstanding work. I can't wait to see the movie.
Charles Carr <>
Daphne, AL USA - Monday, July 15, 2002 at 22:43:55 (EDT)
Laura, I am a pilot for a major airline. I finished Seabiscuit this afternoon, crossing the North Atlantic at 38,000ft. After explaining the tears of joy in my eyes as I finished the book, I recommended it to all on the crew and will also advise the 5000 pilots on our union web-board to read it. It's a wonderful story, thank you for taking me there. Jerry
Jerry <>
Ft Collins, CO USA - Monday, July 15, 2002 at 22:30:29 (EDT)
Dear Laura, It's great to read other peoples entries, and I forgot to put my website in the text as the entry asked for it but did not post it. I would love to hear from others as well, as I have already, how wonderful it is that horses mean so much to so many and bring us all closer, one more reason they are just the best. Thanks again!
Christine George <>
Waldorf , MD USA - Monday, July 15, 2002 at 18:02:51 (EDT)
How wonderful it is to read about the best sport in the world and one of the best horses to ever race. I am the daughter of Willie Wyndle, who was a jockey from 1938 to 1950, and a trainer from 1950 to 1972. Most of the people mentioned in the book were friends of my parents and many of them I met as a child. I just lost both of my parents and reading this book made me feel connected to what they loved best. Thoroughbred horse racing. I still frequent the tracks, but there will never be another time like the old days. Thanks to Laura Hillenbrand for allowing me to relive my mother and father's passions with a very historic and real story. I cannot wait for the film. Hopefully it will bring the Sport of Kings somewhat back into the forefront.
Loxi Loray Wyndle <>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Monday, July 15, 2002 at 12:34:08 (EDT)
How wonderful to it is to read about the best sport in the world and one of the best horses to ever race. I am the daughter of Willie Wyndle, who was a jockey from 1938 to 1950, and a trainer from 1950 to 1972. Most of the people mentioned in the book were friends of my parents and many of them I met as a child. I just lost both of my parents and reading this book made me feel connected to what they loved best. Thoroughbred horse racing. I still frequent the tracks, but there will never be another time like the old days. Thanks to Laura Hillenbrand for allowing me to relive my mother and father's passions with a very historic and real story. I cannot wait for the film. Hopefully it will bring the Sport of Kings somewhat back into the forefront.
Loxi Loray Wyndle <>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Monday, July 15, 2002 at 12:30:53 (EDT)
Dear Laura, THANK YOU SO MUCH! Your book was a gift from one of my students as I left San Francisco of 41 years to the east coast of DC. Having read Seabiscuit's story as as child I was excited to relive it again as an adult. Knowing all books given as gifts hold special meaning in there timing, I had no idea how much the book would help me through the difficult time of relocating to he east coast. I didn't want it to end so I read it over a year. My heart left in SF and yet your book giving me hope in the east. Feeling so strongly how people in the east do not understand the west, how hard we all fight and know in our hearts, our own truth, our own abilities, we know, just as Red Polick, Howard and Smith knew Seabiscuit had it in him. What a wonderful story! I am an equine artist who longs only to paint and ride. I currently am Administrative Chair for Corcoran College of Art and Design in DC, which leaves little time for the love of horses and painting. Please check out my website which has 26 paintings of this magnificent creature. I currently ride ex-track horses whom are donated to the US Park Police. Your detailed descriptions are so acurate to how these horses have been trained. But mostly they have the largest hearts, and love to run! Thank you again, and I hope to meet you in DC sometime.
Christine George <>
Waldorf, MD USA - Sunday, July 14, 2002 at 17:20:53 (EDT)
Update: I put all the information about Reliv, and my experience recovering from CFS using it on a web page for anyone to read. I hope it helps many people.
Bret L. Bowen <>
Salt Lake City, UT USA - Sunday, July 14, 2002 at 14:15:00 (EDT)
Thank you for a wonderful book. I was 14 when Seabiscuit was in the headlines; I had his "portrait" tacked up in my room in northern California. Your research was amazing, and you really brought the people and horses alive.
Ralph Richardson <>
Venice, FL USA - Sunday, July 14, 2002 at 12:35:27 (EDT)
Laura, Thank you for giving us Seabiscuit. This is the best book I have ever read. He was truly an amazing racehorse. A Horatio Alger story in the making. The book made me feel like I was at everyone of "The Biscuit's" races. Cigar has always been my favorite racehorse but after this book, Seabiscuit is now in my opinion, the greatest animal who ever stepped onto the track. The weights he carried and won under were absolutely unbelieveable. His trainer Tom Smith, the kind of guy I would want to train my horse is a forgotten legend, it's kind of sad. Seabiscuits owner Charles Howard was one of the most enthusiastic and generous owners, the sport has ever seen. Red Pollard's story is a rollercoaster ride thru heaven and hell. When Red shattered is leg into a million pieces, and was told he could never ride again, my heart about fell to the floor. George Woolf was a great rider and filled in admirably when Pollard's services were unattainable. Finally, your vernacular is colorful,exciting, and intense. If you need a good character actor for the movie email me. Thanks again for this beautiful piece of history. Long Live the Biscuit.
Milan McFetridge <>
San FRancisco, Ca USA - Sunday, July 14, 2002 at 01:00:35 (EDT)
As a recently retired professional sprint sled dog racer, I have experienced the incredible heart and soul of dogs who just love to run and compete. Through your brilliant biography, you have graced generations old and new with the incredible story of a remarkable creation named Seabiscuit. My heart will forever have a special place in it for this wonderful animal and his horse 'whispering' trainer. May the sun never completely set on truly a story for the ages. Thank you.
Frank Adam <>
Billerica, MA USA - Saturday, July 13, 2002 at 16:21:15 (EDT)
My heart is still pounding! Your a wonderful writer that truly has mastered the pulse and heart of the reader. I'm very excited about your movie and t.v. productions. Any dates yet? Keep writing . Thank you Ellie
Ellie Downey <>
Mesa, Az USA - Saturday, July 13, 2002 at 10:57:50 (EDT)
Laura, someone I know handed me an article about you (and your struggle with CFS) which was published by USA Today, dated July 23, 2001. I sure hope you read these notes because I don't know how else to contact you. I want so much for you to find the relief from CFS and the increased energy I have finally found. I've had CFS for 17 years. The last three years have been the worst. Unable to walk or stand for more than two minutes, I had to stop working. Now I have the energy to mow the lawn, go shopping, camping, biking and so much more. It took about six months of drinking three 'nutrition shakes' a day using products made by Reliv International. (Thousands of people with various deseases have obtained greatly improved health from using their products, which are only sold through distributors.) If you are still struggling with CFS, please give Reliv a try. Go to and click on 'find a distributor in your area'. Or email me and I will help you any way I can. Anyone who reads this is welcome to do the same. Don't suffer any more. Please.
Bret L. Bowen <>
Salt Lake City, UT USA - Friday, July 12, 2002 at 18:35:41 (EDT)
I recently took "Seabiscuit" on holiday to Greece. Your book had lots of competition...the Med., the bluest sky and hottest sun I've ever experienced, Santorini's caldera, topless women (I'm almost beyond looking), etc. I'll never forget the holiday or your book. Great work!
Mark Radomsky <>
State College, PA USA - Friday, July 12, 2002 at 09:31:13 (EDT)
Your book on Seabiscuit is fabulous. The writing is graceful, the story heart-wrenching. You really feel for the people and the horse. I wanted to read the book all over as soon as I was finished. What an outstanding personal achievment for you!
Jim DeNapoli <>
Baltimore, MD USA - Friday, July 12, 2002 at 09:18:56 (EDT)
Wow! You’ve found yourself a great franchise business opportunity. Good luck! And great site by the way!
San Diego, Ca US - Friday, July 12, 2002 at 06:27:49 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, As a lifelong participant in the thoroughbred business, from the pitchfork up, I enjoyed your book for all the intricacies and detail it offered on the racing business and the era in which Seabiscuit reigned. Thank you for bringing a truly great american story to the forefront. I look forward to the movie. Hope to see you in Saratoga where Seabiscuit stands proudly at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Brian
Brian O'Hara <>
Saratoga Springs, NY USA - Thursday, July 11, 2002 at 08:51:07 (EDT)
OMG!!Your book wus sooooo good!! I have read your book like 4-5 times already. I cant seem to put it down... It its some piece of writing. I just to thank you for giving me the chanc to read such a great book about a very great horse. He deserves this much. I just wish that i could of seen him cus hes a lot compared to our champions these days. Anyways, i hope that the movie is coming along alright and that you get it out soon cus i cant wait.: ) And one day soon i hope to see the statue of Seabiscuit in Santa Anita Park and to see George"The Iceman" Wolof holding his Australian Kangaroo Leather saddle(once worn by the great Phar Lap) statue facing the legendary Seabiscuit.
Laura Depue <>
Fremont, CA USA - Thursday, July 11, 2002 at 00:32:28 (EDT)
The book was amazing, it felt I was actually there so many times that I got chills. Truly an amazing piee of work. I have recently acquired some video of SEABISCUIT, which makes it even better to see him in action
Michael Lizzi <>
Westbury, ny USA - Wednesday, July 10, 2002 at 23:28:24 (EDT)
Hi Laura and everybody! I found an online filmclip of Pops and the Cougar blowing them away in the stretch run at the 1940 Big 'Cap. It's at Pops is prancing back to the winner's circle like he's king of the world. Actually, in that moment, he was! Enjoy. Fondest regards, Mark Clyde Brant <>
arcadia, ca USA - Wednesday, July 10, 2002 at 22:42:40 (EDT)
Hi Laura and everybody! I found an online filmclip of Pops and the Cougar blowing them away in the stretch run at the 1940 Big 'Cap. It's at Pops is prancing back to the winner's circle like he's king of the world. Actually, in that moment, he was! Enjoy. Fondest regards, Mark Clyde Brant <>
arcadia, ca USA - Wednesday, July 10, 2002 at 22:42:31 (EDT)
Laura, I absolutely loved reading Seabiscuit. I could not put the book down, and I definately did not want it to end. I am thoroughly excited about the upcoming movie. Your writing renewed my love for reading and my love for horses. Thanks a bunch, and congrats on a wonderful book!
Kate <>
IL USA - Wednesday, July 10, 2002 at 15:59:22 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I just finished your book about Seabiscuit. I couldn't put it down and didn't want it to end. My father and I raised quarter horses for about 20 years and the book brought back memories about how wonderful it is to be around horses. I was interested to read the part Willits played in the book since we go thru there every so often on our way to Ft. Bragg. Do the Howard descendents still own the ranch and is the hospital still there? Anyway, it was a great book and I hope some smart producer will make it into a movies some day. Yours sincerely, Lyn Wheeler
Lyn Wheeler <>
Yuba City, CA USA - Wednesday, July 10, 2002 at 12:32:19 (EDT)
I wish to congratulate you for an absolutely riveting read about a legendary horse and the people who were influential in his life. As a four-year-old living in Vancouver, BC, in 1940, I vividly recall my parents and grandparents, who were avid followers of thoroughbred racing in the Pacific northwest during the 'thirties and 'forties, talking about Seabiscuit to such an extent that he became my favorite horse even though I never saw him run. Your book has filled a sixty year void in my life. You briefly mentioned the A.C.T. Stock Farm and its flagship runners, Indian Broom and Special Agent. The Stock Farm was owned by Austin C. Taylor who lived in Vancouver and raced his horses at Lansdowne and Brighouse tracks in Vancouver, Longacres in Seattle and at the tracks you mentioned in California. If my memory hasn't failed me, I believe CS Howard raced a few horses at the above tracks in the 'forties. Quite recently, I have become friends with Austin Taylor's granddaughter and her husband and it was them who gave me your book because of my life-long interest in horse racing. For your interest, her mother is one of Taylor's two daughters, and because of her poor health has moved to Vancouver to be near her daughter, after living most of her life in California not far from Santa Anita. Continued success with your writing.
Doug Sturrock <>
Vancouver, BC Canada - Wednesday, July 10, 2002 at 12:13:49 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I really dont do the write to the author thing and this is my first time. Yet I am so glad to be able to. WOW.....what a book. Im not really into the horses but love sports so a good sports book comes alomng and Im in!I also had a hunch this was going to be a bit special and it was. Much more so than a bit too. I felt I was on a journey and you were the driver, with the Biscuit, Tom, Charles, Marcela, Red ang George as my fellow passengers. And what a journey!!! I cheered and wept and hoped and even prayed for the injuries to heal(and stopped the prayers kinda knowing they'd been answered one way or another a long while ago) throughout. Thank you so so much for making my life richer......I think about the book and glow. Not the book, the story. The people, THE horse, the richness of your story telling; for you told a tale. To me you didnt write a book. Thank you again. So much. Tom Pugh PS With writing like that I bet you put a few would be authors off!!!
Tom Pugh <>
uk - Wednesday, July 10, 2002 at 11:18:38 (EDT)