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Laura the way you told the story of Seabiscuit is as masterful as the characters themselves. The story has greatly encouraged me personally, I am 50 years old and can coach basketball as well as Tom Smith could handle a horse, but no one can see it, you book has encouraged me to keep looking, thanks.
Paul <decature@netzero.nat>
Omaha, NE USA - Tuesday, July 09, 2002 at 17:36:08 (EDT)
I just finished reading your book on The Biscut. I heard your interview on KNBR John London Show and was facinated enough to buy the book. It gave me an insight into a sport that I never really took time to appreciate. I am looking foward to the movie, although it will be difficult to equal the book. I look foward to other books that you will write.
Jerry Nakamura <>
Stockton, CA USA - Tuesday, July 09, 2002 at 15:01:08 (EDT)
Laura: Thank you for a wonderful reading experience as well as a trip down memory lane. The"little house in Pawtucket R.I." was on Vine Street and I lived with my parents and brothers just down the street from the Pollards. I lived there from about 1942 to 1952 when I was roughly 3 to 13 years old and I remember playing with Red Pollard's children: a girl about a year younger than me who I knew as Patty and her brother Michael who was about 7 or 8 years younger. I don't remember Patty having a deep voice like her father but her brother sure did. My father (who also enjoyed your book) and I both remember Michael coming to our and calling "Boopy" for my brother Bruce. Of course Bruce will never live down the Boopy Nickname. I remember the Seabiscuit movie and I thought it was pretty good- what did I know, I was just a kid and it was about someone I knew! Now I look forward to the real Seabiscuit story on film, If it's half as good as your book it wiill be wonderful. Thank you again for a wonderful experience, Bob Daggett
Bob Daggett <>
Holliston, MA USA - Tuesday, July 09, 2002 at 10:28:39 (EDT)
Laura - I have a question. I love your book and I am giving it to the managers who work for me. I have already recommended it to 20 people and I am only a third of the way through it. I am doing a presentation on the Triple Crown and how it relates to business. What is the "helper horse" called that walks out with the racing horse to the gates. The Thoroughbred horse seems to rely on this "helper horse" for emotional support. I am sure it ed the heart of America through your diligence, talent, and wisdom. I am a lifelong horselover who bought a 3 year old off the track in 1976 at Centennial in Denver. He became a successful dressage horse. Today I have a 25 year old former roping horse that I rescued from starvation, and a handsome Thoroughbred cross that I ride across Princeville Ranch and am training in dressage. Yet, being a horselover isn't the reason alone why I was so touched by your book. It is multi- dimensional in its content and effect. It strikes me that when Seabiscuit lived, our country and the world were in a especially painful and frightening state. Seabiscuit was a healer of people, a vehicle for loving, hope and enthusiasm. A place to connect. I see you bringing Seabiscuit back to life and him serving that same role today through your eloquent, gripping book. As I write this, I feel it in my own heart. Our country and world today are in such a fearful and pained state, we are all ready for and healed by knowing Seabiscuit and his family through you. I honor you as an amazing woman, bringing your gifts to the world in such a profound way. I moved to Hawaii from the DC area in 1993 and feel like you could have been my neighbor and friend. In the larger scope of things, you are. God bless you and take precious care of yourself as you handle the pressures that come with your success. Blessings, Roxanne MacDougall
Roxanne MacDougall <>
Kapaa, HI USA - Tuesday, July 09, 2002 at 01:24:21 (EDT)
Dear Ms.Hillenbrand I just finished reading your book, great job. I am sitting here looking at a picture of War Admiral winning the Saratoga Cup in 1938, with my father Maurice Peters the jockey who is mentioned in your book on page 163. In your book there is a picture of Red Pollard being carried off the track on a stretcher, I would like to know if you know where I could get a copy of the picture. I believe that the other jockey in the picture is my father wearing the silks of Foxcatcher Farms.
Rodney Peters <>
Hershey, PA USA - Monday, July 08, 2002 at 22:04:39 (EDT)
Dear Laura: July 16th is the anniversary of SEABISCUIT’S thrilling come-from-behind win of the inaugural Hollywood Gold Cup of 1938. The race, in all its glory, with the inimitable Harry Henson calling the race, is now available from my own collection. It is the very race you describe in such exquisite detail in your wonderful book: George Woolf up and carrying 133 pounds. This race and the DRF Chart’s, are included on a long-playing (33-rpm) record of many of the other legendary horses from 1938 to 1977 i.e. Citation, Noor, J.O. Tobin (Seattle Slew), Native Diver, Dahlia, Swaps and Dr. Fager among others (15 races in all). But, the highlight for we Seabiscuit fans is to be able to close our eyes and listen with our hearts to Seabiscuit running an actual race. As you know so well, my web site, Second Running, is devoted to Horse Racing History and Nostalgia. If anyone is interested please visit and come to Collector’s Corner for more information. I am presenting the record in a Reserve-Auction starting July 9th .Thank you again for letting me be a part of your wonderful story.
Martha Cantarini <>
- Monday, July 08, 2002 at 21:51:33 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, First let me say how much I enjoyed your book. Once I picked it up, I could not put it down. I am sending you this E mail because I have 2 or 3 items that may interest you or someone you know. The first is a painting by R.H. Palenske. It is titled Seabiscuit and some of his colts. I have not a clue as to it being an original or a print. The second item is an original. It is the winners circle picture of Native Dancer winning the American Derby on Aug. 22, 1953 at Washington Park. A.G. Vanderbilt is the owner, Eddie Arcaro is the jockey, and W.C. Winfrey is the trainer. It is in excellent condition and is not a copy. I also have a print of the famous filly Ruffian and her rider. the original painting was done by Mr. Puleo, and this is a reprint I purchased in Lexington, Ky. If you or anyone out there would be interested in any or all of these items, I can be reached at Sincerely, Mike Fingerhut
Mike Fingerhut <>
St. Louis, Mo USA - Monday, July 08, 2002 at 17:56:54 (EDT)
Just finished reading the book. A real gripper. The amount of detail is staggering. As a writer, myself, I know how hard it is to integrate one's research in a readable and enjoyable book. Thanks
Ruth Radlauer <>
La Habra Hts, CA USA - Monday, July 08, 2002 at 12:42:19 (EDT)
Boy! What a book! I am a Realtor and don't have a great deal of time to read so I often purchase books on CD so I can listen to them in my car. In listening to your book, I not only learned a great deal about horse racing that I knew nothing about previously but was introduced to a horse that had more heart, determination and a never quit attitude than many people that I know--never mind other horses. The devotion of the people around him was amazing and inspiring and I felt like I knew them all. Thank you for writing such a wonderful book. I would be interested to know if any of Seabiscuit's decendants had his speed and spirit.
Paula Daley <>
Camp Verde, Az USA - Sunday, July 07, 2002 at 18:28:59 (EDT)
Seabiscuit was a great read, and I especially enjoyed your writing style and the stories of what the jockeys from the era endured to practice and perfect their art. My father was born in 1939 and had a horse racing game that featured Seabiscuit, War Admiral, and two other horses. You used a spinner, and if the spinner landed on the color of your horse (Seabiscuit was blue), you moved your horse forward one space. I played the game for hours and unfortunately ended up wearing it out. You mentioned in the book that you came across several Seabiscuit parlor games in your research and was wondering if you had come across this one. Before reading your book, that game was the extent of my knowledge of Seabiscuit--thanks again for your great work.
Gary <>
Jamestown, OH USA - Sunday, July 07, 2002 at 17:48:34 (EDT)
I am an avid reader and have a hard time finding great books to read. I saw your interview on Charlie Rose and knew I had to have your book. I expected the book to be good, but much to my amazement, your book is great! Keep up the good work and don't stop writing. I'm now a fan.
Jamie Jardine <>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Saturday, July 06, 2002 at 23:33:47 (EDT)
Wonderful book!!! My sister-in-law gave it to me as a birthday present. I only wish my father-in-law, Jack Barry (Editor of Kentucky Irish American amd Sports Writer) was still alive to read it. I couldn't put it down...
Jim Davis <>
Modesto, CA USA - Saturday, July 06, 2002 at 16:13:16 (EDT)
Laura, The best book I have ever read and I have read a few. Even after reading on and off for four days i cried at the end. In UK we had a horse called RED RUM which won the Grand National 3 times and came second twice. Like Seabiscuit it had an eccentric trainer and the stories behind the horse's life and that of its connections were as important as the horse itself. The reason for telling you this ? You could make that story come alive again better than anybody else. This book was an awesome read. Terry
Terry Dadds <>
UK - Saturday, July 06, 2002 at 13:18:11 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I became aware of your book from your interveiw on NPR. After hearing you talk about it ,I just knew I had to read this remarkable story.It is a wonderful story and so beautifully written.You did a great deed in making many of us aware of the remarkable characters in the book.I also appreciated the acknowledgement section.It really helped in giving me an understanding of the tremendous amount of work and effort you put into this book and the sources from which they came. Just an aside,I remember as a child growing up in the 50's seeing Seabiscuit portrayed in cartons on TV.I never knew that Seabiscuit was a real Champion.Thank you for bringing us this story. Rich Steo
Rich Steo <>
Branchburg, NJ USA - Saturday, July 06, 2002 at 10:31:09 (EDT)
Laura, A good friend of mine handed me your book a couple of days ago and said " this woman knows what shes talking about!" I was a Jockey for fourteen years and recognized many names mentioned in your book. I was surprised to read that many of the stories in your book had been told to me by a great friend and x jockey named Gene Pederson AKA (Lefty Gene). The stories were told to me in 1988 while I was living with Gene whom was the jockey room custodian. Most of the colorful stories were told while Stake pictures from the same colorful era you wrote about hung in Gene's living room. I wish you would have had the opportunity to speak to Lefty, Now lovingly known by all northern California Jockeys as Pops. He has long since retired from all work and although has many health problems has a recolection of the past that puts you into that place long forgotten by most. I am enclosing my e-mail address and hope that you will contact me. I would love to get you two together and am quite certain you will enjoy speaking with Gene. He was great frinds with johny Longdon, George Wolf And to many others to mention. If I can be of any assistance in the future please do not hesitate to contact me. I enjoyed your book immensely. Regards Orlando L. Garrido
Orlando L. Garrido <>
New River, Az USA - Friday, July 05, 2002 at 12:14:57 (EDT)
Laura, I really enjoyed your book about Seabiscuit. I learned so much about the history of that time and about race horses in general from your writing. You did a marvelous job with all of the characters in the book. I have recommended it to my online book club and to many of my friends. Thanks for telling us the story of Seasbiscuit.
Dot <>
Lady L ake, FL USA - Thursday, July 04, 2002 at 20:27:51 (EDT)
Laura, Just as the rest of the world has fallen in love with your book, so have I. Heard about it in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where I live. A question for you, how can we get better TV coverage on Thoroughbred racing? One thing that has always bothered me is that there is practically no coverage of the history of the horses, jockeys, owners, humurous background stories, etc. When one sees how full the coverage is for so many other sports and so very little on the sport of kings, it's shameful. I'm amazed we even get to see the horses led into the starting gates! Sure wish you the best, and pray for your recovery with CFSD. You have brought such joy to millions of us. Thank you, Robin
Robin Olin <;>
Washington, CT USA - Thursday, July 04, 2002 at 16:30:40 (EDT)
I picked the Seabisquit book on tape up at a Cracker Barrel in Memphis to pass the time on my way home to Jackson, Ms. My husband and I were both captured by it. THank you for such an entertaining book - I pictured every scene in my mind. I cried, laughed, chewed fingernails, cheered and was left with a warm heart when it was over. I will research everything I can to find out more about these American legends. Thank you.
Bonnie Coleman <>
Ridgeland, Ms USA - Thursday, July 04, 2002 at 14:54:56 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I didn't know who Seabiscuit was until my friend told me. She noticed I was reading Man O' War, and said she had the perfect book for me to read when I was done with Man O' War. Once I started reading Seabiscuit, I couldn't put it down. It is the best book I have ever read. I wish I could have known Seabiscuit, because I love horses and think they are the greatest animals with the biggest hearts. Thank you for writing this and expanding my knowledge of the history of racing and racehorses.
Emma Towle <>
Orange, MA USA - Thursday, July 04, 2002 at 14:18:49 (EDT)
Ms Hillenbrand, I would like to know more about the rules for setting weights on each horse for each race. I know nothing about "imposting" and would like to know where I can find some information about why there were such handicap rules and who made the decision for the amount of weight pulled. Can you please tell me where I can find this information? Thank you. Loved the book. I learned so much.
Barbara Hess <>
Davidson, NC USA - Wednesday, July 03, 2002 at 15:55:50 (EDT)
laura,i just finished reading you wonderful book.i've been going to racetracks regularly but never gave much thought to the personel involved with racing.i was more involved with the art of trying to win races. The book you've written has given me more incite to racing,besides i loved every minute of reading time.i wish the movie will hold true to the book. I just want to thank you for a wonderful adventure. Thanks Thanks and THANKS
reuben barrett <>
monroe township, nj USA - Wednesday, July 03, 2002 at 14:05:43 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I must confess that I had never heard of Seabiscuit until I heard about your book. I'm extremely interested in animals and love true stories, so I bought the book and have just finished it. I was deeply moved by the characters (especially the main ones)and the amazing horse -- Seabiscuit. I was teary-eyed in several sections. I wish I could touch Seabiscuit. I am planning a vacation at the end of July, and I was wondering where I should go. After reading the book, I may just make a trip up 101 to Willits, just to be in the area of where this remarkable story ends. Thank you sooooooo much for telling this story. I started browsing the internet and found a site that said Tom Smith has or will be FINALLY inducted into the Hall of Fame of trainers. He seemed to be greatly unappreciated. Again, thank you.
Dixie R. Patterson <>
Los Osos, CA USA - Wednesday, July 03, 2002 at 12:52:39 (EDT)
Laura; Outstanding book, your way with words made the story come alive, I felt like I was there when Seabiscut toyed with War Admiral. Question is there anyplace where I can buy a video/DVD of the War Admiral match race and the Santa Anita Race? Would love to add to my collection. Keep up with your writing you're a breath of fresh air.
C.W.Miller <>
Jacksonville, NC USA - Wednesday, July 03, 2002 at 05:45:17 (EDT)
Thank you for bringing one of the great success stories of the last 100 years to the people. My days of paying attention to Thoroughbred racing only during the Triple Crown season are over! After finishing your wonderful tribute to a truly magnificent group of people and horses, I have a brand new appreciation for this enthralling sport. It was a privilege to turn each page! I've never been so disappointed to finish a book!
Jonathan Feldstein <>
columbus, oh USA - Tuesday, July 02, 2002 at 22:55:51 (EDT)
Thank you for bringing this special gift to everyone. I am proud to say I read your book and like everyone else lucky enough to have read it, I feel like I lived through the experience. If the book had been 10,000 pages it would still have been too short. I hope the movie is done well and if the people producing it are smart they will use your magical touch to help them. I wish you the best and hope you live a happy and HEALTHY life(so you can write more books).
Michael Schubert <>
Corona, CA USA - Tuesday, July 02, 2002 at 19:43:20 (EDT)
Ms. Laura, I have read many of the comments about the book. I too, like the others loved the book. I just finished it tonight. Rather, I thought I had finished it and then found the Acknowledgements at the end. So, what I wish to add is a thank you for thanking EVERYONE by name who helped you unearth the story. I have never seen such extensive acknowledgements. Could be this is typical, but somehow I don't think so. A fine thing to do, unusual at that and speaks volumes about your character. Thanks for a great read. I look forward to the movie.
Vicki Ellis
Philadelphia, PA USA - Monday, July 01, 2002 at 23:13:54 (EDT)
This sounds like a really, really good book. as soon as I can I'm going to read it.
VA USA - Monday, July 01, 2002 at 21:16:46 (EDT)
Wonderful...touching...I fell in love with The Biscuit from page left me in tears of triumphit joy followed by tears of saddness in the realization that perhaps the greatest racehorse of all time has been living in unanimous shadows for so long...thank you for bringing him back into the spotlight where he rightfully belongs
Michelle Fox <>
USA - Monday, July 01, 2002 at 17:21:47 (EDT)
Laura, I can't thank you enough for bringing all of the emotions to life in this wonderful sport of horse racing. I've worked with horses in some capacity for 25 years and it is my life, it is all I know. I am just like many that wonder around the Santa Anita Backside day in day out trying to make a living, seven days a week, in hopes of one day being able to find that "Big Horse". Just like Seabiscut. There have been books on horses and people involved on the sport but none yet to my attention that have captured what goes on in out hearts like this book I just finished. I wish you much success with your further projects along with good health and happieness. Seabiscut and yourself made me very happy, Laura. Thanks again, Cathy Riccio
Cathy <>
Monrovia, Ca USA - Monday, July 01, 2002 at 14:08:15 (EDT)
As I read the "Second Civil War" chapter, I suddenly became aware of my body's reaction: I had goosebumps all over my legs and could feel my heart pounding in my throat. I can't remember the last time reading put me in that place. A year ago, after a 25 year hiatus that involved college, grad school, 24 years of teaching public high school, and raising two children, I returned to my passion--riding horses. Your book taught me a lot about training horses and allowed me the privilege of peering into a horse's psyche. I can hardly wait for the movie, as I am now suffering from Seabiscuit withdrawl.
Valerie <>
Annapolis, MD USA - Monday, July 01, 2002 at 12:02:15 (EDT)
Respected Sir,warm regards, sir, i have started the work of writing, please i want your assistance that which book or guide is suitable for me for the reference, Sir,i could not do more expenses since i am from a meadiocre family. but i can write the stories or dramas, i heard about this site through the[the search engine]please convey me the same and oblige, or delete this one. your's with love, sunil
sunil deshpande <>
amravati, ms INDIA - Monday, July 01, 2002 at 08:48:55 (EDT)
Thank you for such a richly textured, exciting and moving book. Your research and craft combined to make this fine story race through the past into the present. What a super achievement.
Kim Mast <>
Foster, , RI USA - Monday, July 01, 2002 at 05:06:59 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I have just finished reading your book. Thank you for such marvelous storytelling. I grew up riding and showing horses and studying under Helen Crabtree in Kentucky (you might consider her a future subject). That thrill and excitement of stepping onto my horse in the make-up ring before a big competition was reawakened by your words. You captured the sensation exactly. There is nothing quite as genuine as a horse. Many thanks, Beverly Anderson
beverly anderson <>
tulsa, ok USA - Sunday, June 30, 2002 at 08:14:59 (EDT)
I am a horseman myself. I am reading your book for the third time. When I finish it I start all over. I sind something I missed each time. I can't wait to start the fourth. The way you wrote this book, I can tell you from what I know of horses and the time that it takes to bring your horse to the point of being ready for a race; your book and your reasearch is remarkable. Thank you for giving me something to laugh about, think about and cry about. Most of all thank you for writing a book that took me to a time of the great horses, trainers and jockeys. I loved every minute of it even now the third time around. thanks, Shane
Shane L. Burke <>
Universal City , tx USA - Saturday, June 29, 2002 at 18:12:04 (EDT)
Thanks for writing a great book. I am blind and have ridden horses since I was five. I currently own 2 Arabian horses and I love them more than life probably. Your book was of great interest to me as the Biscute over came all odds as I believe I have done. Thanks for a great book.
Jack Wood <>
Fairfax Station, va USA - Saturday, June 29, 2002 at 13:05:42 (EDT)
I am 2/3 thirds through this book and I just love it. I not only am enjoying the story, but your writing, which is terrific...I am thrilled when a book challenges me, with excellent vocabulary (at least one word so far was not even in my dictionary; guess I need a better one)and compelling narration. And the research! Four years to undertake, with references fully documented (over 30 pages)from so many diverse sources. The book brings home the era of the 30's, when people desperatly needed distraction from the Depression and the madmen in Europe, and how radio first brought people into a mass culture. I had read elsewhere that until the automobile, ordinary human beings had never traveled faster than on the back of a horse. Mr. Howard, with his Buick dealerships, had both ends covered didn't he. But I don't think too many early cars could go as fast as 40 mph (or 320 furlongs per hour if you prefer), and only a motor cycle could accelerate faster than Seabiscuit and your rivoting narration. Thank you!
Dave Goldstein <>
Manlius, NY USA - Friday, June 28, 2002 at 15:57:39 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I am a surgical nurse who is recouperating from foot surgery this summer (2002) and I recently read your book on Seabiscuit. I found this book to be extremely interesting, very educational, and a "must read" for anyone who has any interest in the horse racing business or loves animals. I have a book that is probably like an antique about the story of Whirlaway (or Mr. Longtail, as he was called.) That book is more or less a pictorial history of that horse, but hardly as interesting or well written as your book. As with most of the readers of your book, I also had tears in my eyes while reading your book. It's very emotional and the lives of the trainer and the main jockey were so sad. Obviously, Tom Smith was a person who related to horses and animals (perhaps he was somewhat autistic and couldn't relate to those days, psychological problems were not so well known about as extensively as they are today) and for him to talk to the news media probably drove him really crazy. And...for jockeys to resort to conscious anorexia in order to stay at a certain weight to ride a horse or even to burrow into a mound of horse manure for the heat as a "schvitz bath" is just as sad. I was debating about reading this just came to my local library this spring (2002), but as with everyone else, I couldn't put it down once I started reading it. I read the other internet sites about you and your struggle with CFS and I have to give you much credit for being able to research your subject and being able to continue on your 4 year journey of writing a story that needed to be written. All of these beautiful race horses have a story and a personality, unfortunately, only the most popular ones get written about...but not in the fashion that you have done with this particular book. I read that when you write, you forget about your an RN with a psychology degree, I would like to suggest another therapeutical endeavor...I would like you to write a "best seller" about the lives of the jockeys and their famous or infamous mounts. Now, in the Seabiscuit story, you told about the lives of some of the jockeys who were involved with this particular horse and even War Admiral...but what about the jockeys who made names for themselves in the 1950's and up. What ever happened to Willie Shoemaker? Is he alive still or has he passed on? Eddie Arcaro...what about him? What about the horses Tim Tam and Candy Spots (who was my favorite in the 1960's---he was a sorrel colored Thoroughbred who had a few white spots on his read end...hence, the name) and their jockeys? Everyone and horse and even the owners have a story to tell. I have 3 cats who were strays...they have stories to tell... Anyway, this is what I would like to give as my suggestion...writing about these jockeys would take you into a world away from least for a while. By the way, if you ever watch Entertainment Tonight on the week-ends, they usually have a program pertaining to "whatever happened to (actress/actor, etc...) which I find to be very interesting. Think about it. If you would like to contact me, I would be happy to talk to you. By the way, I am an animal artist and at one time started to write about all the zoos, animal parks, etc...that I have day when I have time I will continue on my book...the trouble with animal parks and zoos, as soon as I would write about them, changes are made, so my chapters have to be constantly updated. Oh well..... Sincerely, Anita Silverman
Anita Silverman <>
Chesterland, Ohio USA - Friday, June 28, 2002 at 14:34:24 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I just finished your book. Kudos for a great work (!) which captures the texture of the lives of those people as well as the textue of American life in the '30's and '40's. (This is the first time I have ever read the Acknowledgements section of any book; What a great story unto itself). I am an aficionado of movies from the '30's and '40's. One of the things which strikes me about those movies is the dominance of one pasttime and obsession in American life back then; horseracing. Men (it was dominated by men, apparently) would play hookie from work and go to the track. Police chiefs would have their bookies. People would tell others going to the track to place bets for them and later would ask about the results of a race. This was before the NFL, the NBA, and Michael Jordan. It was before casinos on Indian reservations or on cruise ships. Horseracing was a pervasive part of our culture as pasttime, sport, and betting activity. One last thing: Recently, I went to Gulfstream Park to see a rock concert (and horse race). Right after the race, someone I was with asked why an an ambulance would follow the racers around the track. Thanks to your book, I knew all too well. Congratulations again. Jack Hickey
John H. (Jack) Hickey <>
Miami, FL USA - Friday, June 28, 2002 at 07:30:50 (EDT)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, Just finished the book! It kept my interest with an intensity that few books have in recent years. As a 1968 graduate of Kenyon College, I shall be proud to extoll your achievement to others when I brag about the accomplishments of Kenyon men and women. Carl Beasley
The Rev'd Carl H. Beasley III <1079 Firetower Rd>
Colora, MD 21917 - Thursday, June 27, 2002 at 21:27:40 (EDT)
After hearing you on National Public Radio and crying even during that interview, my husband and I bought your book when it first came out. Both read it. Both cried. Both laughed aloud. Both gasped audibly. Both did an art piece on Seabiscuit after finishing it. Your moving words on this fabulous story was such a treat and we thank you!
Nolan Winkler <>
Hillsboro, NM USA - Thursday, June 27, 2002 at 19:50:42 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand Your book was wonderful and should make a standout movie. An FYI for you. I'm the General Manager of Tanfroan Park Shopping Center in San Bruno which was a race track for over 60 years from the turn of the century until the early 60's. Seabiscuit ran at Tanforan more then a few times and we have an an origanal full size bronze sculpture complete with jockey Pollard. I would be happy to send you a picture of the sculpture if you're so interested. I offered to loan it to Universal Studios, but they declined and it is soon to go into storage while we remodel our mall. Thank you for bringing the golden years of horse racing and the Mohamad Ali of horses back for another glance. Emile Hons General Manager Tanforan Park San Bruno CA
Emile Hons <>
San Bruno, CA USA - Thursday, June 27, 2002 at 18:23:34 (EDT)
Laura, What an incredible story told in such an incredibly gifted way! I never ever enjoyed a book as much as this one. Totally captivating, totally real and so moving. I've read the book twice, given three copies away as gifts, I continue to think about all the characters (as well as the author)and I can't stop telling everyone I know about this book. Thank you so much for all of your hard work. You are truly a beautifully gifted writer and I hope that you continue to write more books. I think I have a serious crush on you! I wish you peace and good health! Gary
Gary Weinreb <>
Indianapolis, IN USA - Thursday, June 27, 2002 at 17:38:20 (EDT)
I was captivated, inspired, and thankful. It was a wonderful delight to learn of this magnificant horse and the story of the men that loved him. Thank you for giving us this treasure of a true story. I do hope you find and write that next great story. I shall be looking forward to it. Jim Glose
Jim Glose <>
Allen, TX USA - Thursday, June 27, 2002 at 17:35:56 (EDT)
Our book group will be meeting this evening to discuss your wonderful book SEABISQUIT An American Legend.I will be presenting information about you and leading the discussion about the book. I would appreciate it if you could you send me updated biographical information about you that I could share with this group.
Betsy Haushalter <Rbhaus @aol,com>
Elm Grove, WI USA - Thursday, June 27, 2002 at 12:35:36 (EDT)
FROM THE AUTHOR: Today I will make my last online chat appearance for the USA Today Book Club. Please join me with your questions and comments about Seabiscuit. The chat will begin at 4:00 EST, Thursday, June 27. The address is See you there!
Laura Hillenbrand
Washington, DC USA - Thursday, June 27, 2002 at 10:34:56 (EDT)
FROM THE AUTHOR: Regarding the post concerning the origin of the word "upset," the "error" my reader points out isn't, in fact, an error. It is a popular myth in racing that the sporting use of the word "upset" came from Upset's defeat of Man o' War. I wish it were true, but I did some research and found that the term was already in use. In fact, the newspaper stories from 1919 note how coincidental it was that the great Man o' War was beaten by a horse with such a name. You can find earlier stories which use the term in the same way. It was a surprise to me too; I had always been told that we owed Upset for a part of our language.
Laura Hillenbrand
Washington, DC USA - Thursday, June 27, 2002 at 10:33:36 (EDT)
I absolutely loved the book. It's a truly amazing story and a wonderfully-written book. I'm writing to point out an error I spotted. On page 35 of the paperback edition, Ms. Hillenbrand says that Man o' War lost only once in his career "to a colt coincidentally named Upset." The term "upset" to denote a surprising defeat actually comes from that very race! It was no coincidence that Man o' War lost to Upset, for that is the origin of the word. I just wanted to point that out--it was the only thing that interfered with my utter enjoyment of the book. I can't wait for the movie...who will play Seabiscuit? Thanks, Michael Novak
Michael Novak <>
New York, NY usa - Thursday, June 27, 2002 at 00:38:57 (EDT)
I found the old oak today. Sat and reminisced with Pops about those great races. He doesn't get as much sleep as he used to ... says God keeps him too busy racing and there's no need for rest when you're immortal! What a character this horse is.
mark clyde brant <>
willits, ca USA - Wednesday, June 26, 2002 at 22:37:04 (EDT)
Wow, what a fantastic story! I have always been facinated with this period in our nation's history, which is what first drew me to this story. I chose this book for my book club's June discussion and can't wait to get together and discuss it. You did an excellent job bringing the characters and places to life, especially for someone like me with little knowledge of horses or racing. It was so vivid that I felt like I was truly there. You couldn't help but fall in love with Seabiscuit as surely as Howard, Smith and Pollard had. How wonderful that the story of Seabiscuit will live on for years to come.
K. Krant <dtdkk>
IL USA - Wednesday, June 26, 2002 at 20:08:14 (EDT)
Thank you for a fantastic read. Although Seabiscuit died a year before I was born, you brought his life and era alive for me. Congratulations on a magnificently researched and written spell-binder.
J.C. Jones
Minneapolis, MN USA - Wednesday, June 26, 2002 at 15:45:07 (EDT)
steve <>
san jose, ca USA - Tuesday, June 25, 2002 at 23:02:34 (EDT)
I read on the Thoroughbred Times website,, that the match race between War Admiral and Seabiscuit may be filmed at Keeneland with Gary Stevens as George Woolf and Chris McCarron as Charlie Kurtsinger.
J D Folbre <>
New Braunfels, TX USA - Tuesday, June 25, 2002 at 18:04:06 (EDT)
FROM THE AUTHOR: This Thursday will be my last online chat appearance for the USA Today Book Club. Please join me with your questions and comments about Seabiscuit. The chat will begin at 4:00 EST, Thursday, June 27. The address is See you there!
Laura Hillenbrand
Washington, DC USA - Tuesday, June 25, 2002 at 12:53:07 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand- I just purchased your book and am I really looking forward to reading it. Are you still doing book signings? I would very much like to have an autographed copy of Seabiscuit. Thanks, Randy T. Chesapeake City, MD
Randy T. <>
Chesapeake City, MD USA - Monday, June 24, 2002 at 20:54:35 (EDT)
Laura Hillenbrand: A pleasant suprise, one of the most enjoyable books I've read in many months. I have reread the "The Second Civil War" chapter a dozen times without diminishing enjoyment. The only down side is that my wife is tired to death of me telling her about SEABISCUIT. Thank you for the great book. I await the movie. George Nolan.
George Nolan <>
Coeur d'Alene, ID USA - Monday, June 24, 2002 at 20:34:49 (EDT)
What an incredible story filled with colorful, eccentric, fascinating characters, not the least of which is the Biscuit himself. Having just finished the last page, I feel like I've lost a friend. Today's sports heroes pale in comparison to Sea Biscuit -- a regal, playful, headstrong winner to the end. My heart was racing during the final hundred grander at Santa Anita, and I could hear, see and practically smell the Biscuit pounding down the track to claim his prize. A true champion -- it is no wonder the entire country was so enamored of this magnificent creature.
jen nelson <>
new york, ny USA - Monday, June 24, 2002 at 18:00:49 (EDT)
We own 40 acres at Ridgeview, also referred to as Walker Lake. We plan to be living on the property in 3 years. I was surprised to see a book about Seabisquit and his owners. I read your book this weekend, enjoyed every paragraph. I knew Seabisquit was buried out here, it is still a secret as to where.
Greg LaRue <>
Willits, CA USA - Monday, June 24, 2002 at 15:55:46 (EDT)
Laura As a syndicator of racehorses in the Northwest with a singular goal of attracting new owners (fans) to the sport, I often struggle putting the essence of involvement into words for prospective clients. Not to worry--from now on, I will just hand everyone a copy of your book. Thanks for sensing the glory of the story and the people behind it--it will always be "first to the wire" with me. It has now become my quest to have an extra part in the movie (crowd scenes, etc.), but I have failed at locating a contact point for Larger Than Life Productions. Could a member of your staff e-mail a phone number, web-site, or any information useful to reaching my goal?? Thanks again!!
Stephen Morris <>
Seattle, Wa USA - Monday, June 24, 2002 at 15:22:27 (EDT)
Loved the book, couldn't put it down. What a different world we live in today. Hard to say whether it is for the better.
Richard <>
West Caldwell, NJ USA - Monday, June 24, 2002 at 10:57:04 (EDT)
What a ride! Thank you for transporting me to Seabiscuit's world. I was so immersed that I half expected to flip on the radio and hear one of Seabiscuit's races being called. Even when I was obligated to stop reading (family obligations, conversations, meals), a part of me always remained with Seabiscuit and company . I am sorry this ride had to end. My only complaint is that you've made my world seem awfully prosaic in comparison. Still, thank you.
Paul Preimesberger <>
USA - Monday, June 24, 2002 at 00:24:03 (EDT)
Laura: I have not finished this most wonderful book on Seabiscuit but had to tell you I have not been able to put it down. I thank you so much for putting this all down in a book that so grandly tells of a wonderful,true spirited thoughbred horse as Seabiscuit. What a wonderful entourage of people that loved him and gave themselves to such a magnificient animal. My heart and eyes have raced in the pages of this truly wonderful book. Thank you so very much
Brook <>
Fort Worth, TX USA - Sunday, June 23, 2002 at 12:50:41 (EDT)
I gotta say, WOW! You are a wonderful writer who really made me feel the sensation of the races. In addition, I am really impressed by your research and your ability to grasp oral history. Congrats! Susan Mazur, Ph.D (Cultural Anthropology)
Susan Mazur-Stommen <>
Riverside, CA USA - Sunday, June 23, 2002 at 03:10:27 (EDT)
Congratulations -- the book is great; delightful reading. I'm working on the index for its brazilian edition, and many times I find myself reading it instead of working. :-)
Miguel Vieira <>
SP Brazil - Sunday, June 23, 2002 at 00:24:08 (EDT)
Laura, I just finished your wonderful book on Seabiscuit--one of the best books I have ever read! I also viewed your interview on PBS, which added to my enjoyment of the story. I am an antiques and collectibles dealer, and I hope to someday find a souvenier of Seabiscuit memorabilia--to keep as a reminder of his greatness and the courage of the men who devoted their careers to training him. I wish our country had a "Seabiscuit" today to cheer on and to bring out what is best in all of us--the underdog fight to achieve against all odds. Thank you again for your beautiful book, and I look forward to the movie. I have confidence that it will be presented well with you as a consultant! Sincerely, Cindy Taylor
Cindy Taylor <>
Lufkin, Tx USA - Saturday, June 22, 2002 at 12:43:23 (EDT)
Laura, I really enjoyed the book very much. It is an exciting piece of American history even if one is not into horse racing. Am looking forward to the movie. Thanks
Tami <>
Bedford, KY USA - Friday, June 21, 2002 at 08:53:13 (EDT)
I just finished reading your book, and enjoyed it so much, it was sad to be seeing the end of the beautifully written story. I am 14, and my goal is to publish a book by the time I am sixteen. I ride horses, and they are always my first passion, but writing is an outlet that helps me so much espically in my time of stress because my parents are divorcing. My horse, Jewel, is also someone I turn to to talk to about the things that are happening in my life. She is an Arabian-Thoroughbred cross, and is an abosloute joy to ride. I don't find many horse books that are actual novels, or books based on real horses, and when I do find them, they usually aren't what I expected. When my friend loaned me her copy of "Seabiscuit" I was sekptical, but after reading the first paragraph, I was hooked on your story, and Seabiscuit's. I think Charles Howard said it best when he said, "There will never be another Seabiscuit." Thank you so much for writing about this wonderful horse, and his epic story.
Haley <>
Littleton, MA USA - Thursday, June 20, 2002 at 18:05:12 (EDT)
Hi Laura, I have become a huge fan of you and your book "Seabiscuit, the American Legend." I have been fascinated both with jockies and horse racing since I can remember, mostly due to the fact that Mel Peterson was my grandfather (the winner of the 1947 Santa Anita Handicap, and many other great races.) He also raced against, and beat, Seabuscuit in 1932 (up on Hiatus), and is listed on the racing forum in the back of your book. My Grandfather (bless is heart) can not remember yesterday, but he is able to describe, with great clarity, every mount and every race he rode, from the late 20's to the 50's. He was good friends with Red and George. He also knew all of the jockies mentioned and quoted in your book. Our family has hundreds of photos and artifacts of these great days, incredible people, and the horses. Since completing your book, I have booked my flights to visit him. I have made arragements to take him to Santa Anita Park, on a personal tour one last time to bring back those "great old memories." I have made notes, through out your book, that I will be reading to him. Please let me know if you ever need any contacts or pictures, as my Grandfather loves to reminisce his "old glory days." I can be reached at God Bless you and your work. Sincerely, Matthew Peterson.
Matthew Peterson <>
Phoenix, Az USA - Thursday, June 20, 2002 at 17:05:41 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I just wanted to express my thoughts on your wonderful book. I haven't read a book such as yours in some time that moved me to feel such extraordinary emotions. Your stamina and courage in writing this story, while dealing with your illness, only proves that the spirit of Seabiscuit and all those people associated with him still lives on. I enjoyed reading about the history of early California and its racetracks since I was born here and have lived here all my life. I am so glad you brought the life of Seabiscuit to the attention of the world so we could all enjoy reading about the great American Legend
Kathy Wilson <>
Huntington Beach, Ca USA - Thursday, June 20, 2002 at 15:19:30 (EDT)
We communicated by email some months back (early 2001). I sent you a copy of my book re 1921 polo matches. I am interested in learning about your experience of having your book turned into a film. did you use an agent?
nigel abrassard <>
uk - Thursday, June 20, 2002 at 14:03:30 (EDT)
I just finished reading your book. You wrote with much heart and depth. It certainly matched chapter by chapter the heart of Seabiscuit and the people so close to him. Thank you for writing the book. You gave a gift that will last forever. It will keep the memories of all the people and horses in the book alive. I'm looking forward to the movie. Beverly Ann LeBlanc
beverly leblanc <>
macedon, ny USA - Thursday, June 20, 2002 at 11:20:24 (EDT)
Loved your writing and rearch that made a wonderful bit of literature. I was distressed to learn about your chronic fatigue syndrome, more recently HEPATITIS C HAS BEEN IMPLICATED in this syndome, Hope you have looked into this.Again I really enjoyed your book
Dr A. Schreiber <>
Glen Head, N.Y USA - Thursday, June 20, 2002 at 08:53:03 (EDT)
oh, how I hated to put the book down! beautifully written
marilyn kilgore <>
USA - Wednesday, June 19, 2002 at 23:33:37 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I finished your book a few weeks ago and wanted to write but every time I get to this place I start crying and can't get my feelings out. You see, I own a 22 year old TWH with a heart of gold like Seabiscuit. He has been through a life threatening leg injury and almost didn't make it. But to everyone's suprise, he has a great will to live. I could use a Tom Smith! I loved the book and couldn't put it down. You placed me in the time and place of the book. I actually lived it while reading. I was also very happy to know that he was treated so well. Some race horses are not and that saddens me. Thank you.
Gail Seat <>
Walnut Creek, CA USA - Wednesday, June 19, 2002 at 14:25:07 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Simply want to say that I thoroughly enjoyed your book. I know little or nothing about horse racing and I'm really not a big horse fan, but found the book both entertaining and informative. My father was a Veternarian/Foreman at Ridgewood Ranch during the earlies 40's and I have some rather vague memories of not only Ridgewood, but also of the man my mother and father called "Pa Howard." It was therefore of great interest to me, as you filled in a lot of blanks concerning all of the wonderful characters in your book. An absolutely delightful read! Thank you very much. Sincerely, John Britton
John Britton <>
Modesto, Ca USA - Tuesday, June 18, 2002 at 17:31:26 (EDT)
Never been a race fan but I shall always remember Seabiscuit because of your great book. Thank you for the pleasure. wf
woody fowler <>
maggie valley, nc USA - Tuesday, June 18, 2002 at 16:20:44 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Finished your wonderful book, Half way through it I took my 9 year old 17 hand Warmblood/Thoroughbred gelding ( prospective eventer and best pal and horse rescue adopted)) out for a gallop with the stirrups hooked up high around our training fields. What a rush for us both to just go flat out for a little bit. You really caught the spirit of the human/horse interface better than I've ever heard or read anyone before in 53 years. Much success to your ventures...can't wait for the movie.
Mel Stimmell <>
Baltimore, Md USA - Monday, June 17, 2002 at 16:04:52 (EDT)
Wonderful, amazing book. Where/how can one view a tape of the great race with War Admiral?
Regine Ebner <>
Tucson, AZ USA - Monday, June 17, 2002 at 13:45:03 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand. Loved your book. My company (Thoroughbred Traditions Inc.) specializes in Thoroughbred Racing collectibles. I would like to persue creating an additional product line for Seabiscuit. We have already done a limited edition shot glass and it has been well recieved. Also, I'd be interested in submitting part of the proceeds to a worthy charity. I've done projects in the past that have benifited the Disabled Jockey's Fund but thought you might know of another one that might be more appropriate. Our company has an extensive customer base for commerative and collectible horse racing products and we have some ideas we would start developing. Please let me know your thoughts as to a worthy charity and possible product line. Sincerely Doug Dearen Thoroughbred Traditions Inc. 1-888-895-(RACE) 7223
Doug Dearen <>
Louisville, Ky USA - Monday, June 17, 2002 at 11:54:52 (EDT)
Dear Miss Hillebrand: Thank you for a great book and for connecting a link to my past. My Polish parents and I came to the U.S. in 1949, emigrating from post-war Germany. In my boyhood, my father took to calling me something that sounded like “Sheebeeshkee” when I would exuberantly run around our flat. “Sheebeeshkee?” I thought. I always wondered what it meant, thinking it was some Polish/German term. It was not until you published “Seabiscuit” that it dawned on me. Even my father, with only a third grade education and from rural Poland and Germany had heard about this great horse. (I had only heard of ‘Seabiscuit” from, I think, Abbott & Costello or The Three Stooges comedy routines and was not even sure if it was a real horse.) Thank you for the education, for a good read and for connecting the dots for me. Your writing style is a joy. “Seabiscuit” reads like great fiction.
Fred Gesiorski <>
Houston, TX USA - Monday, June 17, 2002 at 08:50:40 (EDT)
What a book! It took me one weekend to read, could not put it down. I kept talking to my family about it in between. They will all read it now. Being a Swede I not only learned a lot about this country in the early 1900's but also learned to appreciate even more the struggle and hardship that people and animals went through to make this country what it is today! Being a horseowner/rider and animal lover just added to this epic. I visited the exibit on Seabisquit in Saratoga last summer and spent hours reading and listening to radiobroadcasts. Thank you so much for writing this book, it tought me so much! Best of luck with the movie, I hope it can come close to doing justice to your book! Sincerely, Tina Russell
Tina Russell <jrusl@frontiernet,net>
Geneseo, NY USA - Monday, June 17, 2002 at 08:36:38 (EDT)
Do I need to say more?
Phyllis Allen <>
TX USA - Monday, June 17, 2002 at 07:41:49 (EDT)
I was led to read your book by Seabiscuit him self. I will explain. My hobby is that of an above ground treasure hunter, which means I go to yard and estate sales. I arrived at a sale late one morning and all the dealers had their treasures ready to go. A picture against a wall had paper wrapped around it which revealed the top of a horses head. I bought it and unrapped it. At the bottom it was signed, Seabiscuit by Wallace, 1936. This led me to read one of the greatest books ever. You are welcome to use what I believe is an actual Seabiscuit engraving in the upcoming movie. Do you or anyone know the full name of Wallace or who he may have been? Thank you for such a great book.
Glenn Taylor <>
USA - Sunday, June 16, 2002 at 22:13:45 (EDT)
Some months ago, I was talking to my mother. When I asked her about a shooting of a rape suspect in Tijuana, same one you mentioned, She said she remembers that incident. My mom was probably 6-8 years old. According to her, a Mexican soldier was accussed of raping and killing a young girl. Eventually he was shot but later the truth surfaced. The Mexican people named him Juan Soldado, or John the Soldier. He became the patron saint, though not recognized by the church, for the accussed. People will go to his gravesite and light a candle say a prayer for him, then ask if he could look out/help someone in grave need. His grave was unmarked for several years, until the people of Tijuana made a more respectfull resting place for this innocent man. Sometime ago I mentioned the Howard Farm, as it is today, I forgot to tell you that what used to be the entrance is now named 'Howard Lane'. By using the Mapquest in your e-mail and using the city name of San Ysidro. You will be able to see it. Take care and once again, thanks. David Beltran
David Beltran <>
Chula Vista , CA USA - Sunday, June 16, 2002 at 12:00:45 (EDT)
A few days ago I would say that my wife would never read a book about horse racing. I finished Seabiscuit this morning and my wife saw my reaction. She'll be starting it this afternoon. Thanks for the great book. Loved the Del Mar, Aqua Caliente, Molina Rojo history lessons too! Good luck on the movie.
David Jackson <>
San Diego, CA USA - Sunday, June 16, 2002 at 11:38:42 (EDT)
I just finished reading your wonderful book. Tears, smiles and goosebumps the whole way through! I enjoyed your notes at the end also. I have one question ... what happened to Pumpkin, Seabiscuit's friend and companion?
Connie <cesweitzer@acsworldnet>
Mifflintown, Pa USA - Sunday, June 16, 2002 at 01:12:58 (EDT)
As a trainer of horses and people, I can't remember reading a book that so totally captured the dynamics of the subtle dance between horses and humans. The day to day is about the constant struggle of giving them work that they actually love, being true to their natures and being in awe of their generosity. Then there are the very special ones - in my life, they have always been Thouroughbreds. Reading about Seabiscuit in your delicious book, reminded me again of giving every horse a chance - you never know which one will show you greatness.
Holly Mason <>
Lincoln, RI USA - Saturday, June 15, 2002 at 07:41:32 (EDT)
Laura,I have just finished reading your absolutley wonderful book.You have brought to life a history of extraordinary times,events and people.I hope the movie being made from your book can capture your vivid prose.It would be fitting if the race seqences were narrated verbatum from your accounts. Best Regards Maurice Fitzgerald
Maurice P.Fitzgerald <>
houston, Tx USA - Friday, June 14, 2002 at 21:37:32 (EDT)
I haven't read your book, Laura, but was compelled to write after seeing you in a magazine. Like many of the other posters, I have CFS. What an inspiration to read that even with such conditions, people can live and do something great with their lives. I would like to correspond with others and have a website at For anyone who would like to, please visit the site and email me. It is very theraputic to talk to people who know what it's like. I am making a (slow) recovery, and could use all the help I can get! Thanks, Ingrid
Ingrid Rice <>
DeLand, FL USA - Friday, June 14, 2002 at 21:27:16 (EDT)
I bought the book by chance at the airport a few months back. Never quite been so moved by anything I had previously read. Absolutely marvellous, I could feel the goosebumps on my back as each race unfolded. What a rare wee horse, and what a writer
Tom Hillis <>
Winslow, Bucks UK - Friday, June 14, 2002 at 19:46:57 (EDT)
Very well written. There are many lessons about life that make this a very useful bio for the classroom teacher. I enjoyed the format and timeline of the story. Great job and impressive horse. thanks for writting it.
Ann Stacy <>
Waxahachie, tx USA - Friday, June 14, 2002 at 19:39:32 (EDT)
Wow what a great book, one of my fav reads ever. One question however, what a "seabiscuit". Why was the horse named that?
James Kent <>
Groveland, IL USA - Thursday, June 13, 2002 at 22:30:23 (EDT)
This is an absolutely wonderful book for people of all ages to read, really looking forward to the movie.
Kathy <>
Rockland, MA USA - Thursday, June 13, 2002 at 12:38:54 (EDT)
The most enjoyable sports story I have ever read.
Thomas J Drury
USA - Thursday, June 13, 2002 at 12:15:46 (EDT)
Great Read! - congratulations- suggest that you include in the paperback version, a much needed chart listing the starts, wins etc. As a horseman I would not considera 5 year old thoroughbred as "old" Best wishes.
Ted Friedrich <>
USA - Thursday, June 13, 2002 at 11:52:36 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I just galloped through your wonderful book. My heart was pounding and I felt as tho I was there in 1940 aboard that magnificent animal as he sped towards the wire. Your gift as a writer, reminds me anew, that "Truth is stranger than fiction." No-one could make up that incredible story. Thank you I will reluctantly allow my husband to take my book from my grasp. Catherine Pansey
catherine pansey <>
melbourne, fl USA - Thursday, June 13, 2002 at 08:55:18 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Your book was so fantastic that I named my Star Boat "Seabiscuit". Your book kept me up to 1AM one night last winter. I have gotten many of my friends to read it too. We have a fleet of 20+ Star boat here in St. Michaels, and mine is the only one with graphics on the side...Seabiscuit, but I did not use his traditional colors...had to make her a bit salty(I have to call him a her because it's a boat, sorry). Thank you for your book. Never had I had the slightest interest in horse racing until I recieved your book as a Christmas present. It appealed to me, I think, because I am a competitor...competition is great whether it is on a biking, sailboat racing, running, or horse racing. I am off to race to Bermuda tomorrow, but not in Seabiscuit. Good luck in the future, Mike Keene PS Check out the web page above for a picture.
Mike Keene <>
Wittman, MD USA - Thursday, June 13, 2002 at 05:47:11 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillinbrand, Your book was thoroughly exhilarating. Having been around racing for 50 years, I was most appreciative of the accuracy and true spirit of the personalities involved. The 'backside' came alive as it truly is, as well as the main characters. Hopefully the upcoming movie will do the book the justice it deserves. If done with the accuracy of your book, it will be a boon to the racing industry not only for the great story it is, but as a educational tool to future fans who know little about the background of the real racing world. Thanks for a great read.
marjorie peggsTp LAURE hILLINBRAND <>
ventura, ca USA - Thursday, June 13, 2002 at 01:24:41 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Prior to reading your book, I watched only one televised horse race, and even this race with a mild, detached curiousity and little enthusiasm. Your book made the thoroughbred world come alive for me through a rich historical presentation of moment setting background and a compelling story of individual, emotional, human (and animal) will. Thank you for an excellent book and for cultivating an exciting new interest for me.
Patrick Reasonover <>
Atlanta, GA USA - Wednesday, June 12, 2002 at 23:56:39 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I just wanted to tell you how much I loved your book. I have been on the fringes of Thoroughbred breeding and racing for years and finally have a 2 year old filly, Lil Nancy Dickens (named for me) heading for final training at Louisiana Downs this weekend.I actually wept at your description of the dedication of the George Woolf statue that faces the Seabiscuit statue at Santa Anita. It is my goal to see it in person some day. I realize how incredibly sad the death of a young person is, but I cannot help but be upset that there is no statue of Red Pollard as well after everything that he and Biscuit went through together. Is it because the sentiments of the country were with the jockey who rode him in the match race with War Admiral, whereas the Santa Anita Handicap was so much more important to the connections only? I also realize that the world is a different place today, but I was also touched to read about the deaths of Tom Smith and Red Pollard in virtual obscurity after everything they had come to mean to this country when everyone needed a dream story to follow. My father, who passed away several years ago, raised me on stories of Man O'War, Seasbiscuit, War Admiral, and Whirl-A-Way. How very much he would have enjoyed your book. I borrowed it from a friend, but I will go and buy a copy now to keep in my permanent library. Thank you, thank you for this wonderful book. Nancy Dickens
Nancy Dickens <>
Madison, MS USA - Wednesday, June 12, 2002 at 21:55:01 (EDT)
Dear Laura, reading your Post article about "Hoist the Flag" made me think that possibly Seabiscuit and War Emblem were related - if only distantly. Were they or am I confused? I am once again reading Seabiscuit and have given it to several other to own and to read. It is truly a magnificent story. Thank you.
Donna Johnson <>
Austin, Tx USA - Wednesday, June 12, 2002 at 14:59:06 (EDT)
Hi Laura! Loved your book! I also grew up in Fairfax and had and rode horses and still do. My maiden name was Atkins. Do you have any older sisters or brothers that I could have known? Thanks, Dale PS You can see me on the bio page of my web site--I'm an artist now:
Dale Adler <>
Oak Hill, VA USA - Wednesday, June 12, 2002 at 11:22:18 (EDT)
Laura, Great read. As a native of the Washington, DC area as well as a fan of thoroughbred racing we have that in common. I was at Belmont Park for the historic Marlboro Cup race where Seattle Slew bested Affirmed. It had sort of the feel of the Seabiscuit-War Admiral match, except that Affirmed never got close to 'Slew. How thrilling it must have been to have witnessed Seabiscuit's win over War Admiral. In closing, let me say that as I reached the last 30 pages or so of your book and realized that it was going to end with Pollard riding the 'Biscuit to victory in the Santa Anita I said to myself, "you couldn't make this up!"
A. D. Thompson
Franklin Park, NJ USA - Wednesday, June 12, 2002 at 11:02:43 (EDT)
Hello, I've just finished reading your book Seabiscuit An American Legend, I foung the racing sequences very exiting even to the point that I was cheering Seabiscuit on aloud. Even sixty years later I want a small part of this horse that so many racing fans loved to watch run.
Albert Arseneau <>
Toronto, Ontario Canada - Tuesday, June 11, 2002 at 18:56:30 (EDT)
Ms. Laura Hillenbrand: I had not read a book for years until Seabiscuit came home as selected for my wife's book club. I opened the cover, read a few pages, and was a delightful captive. It brought back so many memories. May I tell you of one that was painful then and humorous today. My first job out of Visalia, Cal. Jr. College (1938) was in Los Angeles. Your book reminded me of the electric car to Santa Anita where I was when Kayak won the $l00,000 handicap. Suddenly, I was reading in your book of Whichcee and Heelfly that reminded me of a race prior to the Handicap. I bet $2.00 to win on both horses(believing one would win but not sure which). Whichcee won and I tore up a ticket and headed for the payoff window. When I presented the ticket I was told Heelfly did not win, I had torn up the wrong ticket. Went back to the rail, in desperation scooped up a handful of pieces which I pieced into a semblance of a ticket (while eating breakfasts at my board & room) Wrote a tearful letter to the Santa Anita Racing Board explaining what I had done. My efforts were unexpectedly rewarded when I received a check for $l5.30. Every book has a beginning and an ending. I enjoyed reading your book until there were no more pages to read. I wanted the story to continue. Thank you
ST George, UT USA - Tuesday, June 11, 2002 at 18:51:57 (EDT)
I received a copy of your book from one of my colleagues who retired from our school district twelve years ago. I am presently teaching a senior elective high school English class entitled "Modern American Literature". I plan to incorporate your book -- either in whole or in part -- in next year's curriculum. First, it is fine example of how literature is a reflection of history, and second, it is a fine example of writing, period! In particular, the parts of the book that detail the actual races puts the reader right atop Seabiscuit. You've provided the avid reading public, and the not-so-avid among my high school readers, a book that captivates. Thanks for the "ride"! Deb Cohn
Deb Cohn <>
Mequon, WI USA - Tuesday, June 11, 2002 at 12:12:06 (EDT)
Maam..driving home one evening i was listening to a sports radio station...i heard something called "the Lupica Moment" or something like that...he went on to describe your book glowingly and said to pick it up on the way home....i did, and was immediately enraptured beyond belief....without a doubt, it turned out to be one of my favorite reads ever....i read quite a bit and was smitten by the characters and thoroughly impressed by the research, as well as the Biscuit....i proceeded to buy copies for all my friends and family, and even stragers id meet at a answering machine would inevitabley fill up with glowing messages and efusive thanks for the wonderful experience of the great read....i re-read it and thought id like to try to listen to it on tape, which arrived total is in the vicinity of 25 copies....i point this out as a matter of reference to the joy i recieved reading your, Ms Hillenbrand, thank you for taking the time and energy to write've made me a better person and im eternally grateful Marcelo Barreiro
marcelo barreiro <>
los angeles, ca USA - Monday, June 10, 2002 at 16:17:27 (EDT)
Wonderful book, gifted author! Does anyone know if there exists a VHS tape that consists of famous horseraces and would include some of Seabiscuit's races? Something of this sort must exist, and if not, someone should put one together fast. I would greatly appreciate any information that anyone has. Thank you
Dallas <>
Bryn Mawr, Pa USA - Monday, June 10, 2002 at 11:32:23 (EDT)
Laura - Loved your book. You obviously know so much about horseracing. I have a question for you think the recent triple crown upset was phoney. I've been searching the web for someone's opinion of War Emblem's awful showing but don't know where to look. I personally think the race was fixed, he didn't even look like the same horse and why wasn't the Prince there? and why did Bob Baffert look so flat and then disappear immediately afterwards? and why wasn't there a steward's inquiry and request for a urine test on War Emblem? Yeah, they sort of raced him but that terrific stumble in the gate...I think he was drugged and that's why th stumble and that's why he looked so ladeedah in the post parade. Of course we are now talking about international politics, dirty tricks, etc. I don't think the current administration wanted a Saudi to win America's greatest race. If any of this is true it is truly heartbreaking and I'm quite sure I am not the only person who has come up with this idea. If you have any info. or know any scuttlebutt around the racing world...I don't know why you'd want to tell me but, hey, it's worth asking. Thanks, Mary
mary berkeley <>
santa fe , nm USA - Monday, June 10, 2002 at 11:01:55 (EDT)
I really enjoyed the book. I have some questions. What ever happened to the first wife after the divorce and to Marcela? Where are the children from the first marriage? Thank you so much for your work on the book. Our book club has made it the selection for June. Marlene
marlene northup <>
phoenix, AZ USA - Sunday, June 09, 2002 at 16:36:49 (EDT)
FROM THE AUTHOR: For those of you who would like to read it, here is the link to my Washington Post article from June 7, on the efforts to save the severely injured racehorse Hoist the Flag, an ancestor of War Emblem.
Laura Hillenbrand
Washington, DC USA - Saturday, June 08, 2002 at 21:59:24 (EDT)
Where's the movie!? We love Seabiscuit! We want Seabiscuit!
irv and sharon cohen < >
hammonton, nj USA - Saturday, June 08, 2002 at 21:30:01 (EDT)
Laura, I wanted to tell you I loved the article on Hoist The Flag in the Washington Post this week. It is a fascinating story and written very well - like Seabiscuit, it is a very engrossing read. Thank you for providing some great background to today's Belmont Stakes. You may want to put either that article, or a link to it, on this web page - those that don't get the Post would enjoy it, I'm sure. If not posted here, let your fans know where it can be found. Thanks again for a terrific story on Hoist the Flag. Regards, Jim McCann
Jim McCann <>
Annapolis, MD USA - Saturday, June 08, 2002 at 07:36:50 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I am 46 years old and a native to Mendocino County, CA. Both of my parents are native to the county and spent their younger years growing up knowing of the Howard ranch near Willits and the events of Seabiscuit in the news and on the radio. During my youth my folks always shared the history of Mr. Howard, the fact that he lost a son and built the Howard Memorial Hospital, and the fact that Seabiscuit, the famous race horse, lived at the Howard Ranch on the "Willits Grade". We would always look for the surviving population of white Fallow Deer that graced the hills of the Willits Grade... apparently the progeny of escaped captive deer of Mr. Howard's. The white deer are still there on the old Howard called the Church of the Golden Rule Ranch. I enjoy reading but don't take much of my time to actually do it. Once I settled into your book, Seabiscuit, whcih my wife had purchased, I was captivated. You have done such a superb job of meshing the puzzle pieces together for the enjoyment of all. I am THRILLED to now have a thorough understanding of this small, but thrilling, part of Mendocino County's history. The story of Seabiscuit, Red Pollard, Tom Smith, and Charles Howard took me to all ends of the emotional spectrum. Your description of the actual race with War Admiral was heart-pounding spectacular. Thank you, and all involved, for meticulously putting this puzzle together. I will cherish this new knowledge of my homeland forever! My duaghter is in the 4-H youth program and meets once-a-month at the old Howard Ranch for the meeting on Horse Veterinary Science taught by one of our local veterinarians. What a special, wonderful place to conduct these meetings. I plan on reading your book to her so that she too can harbor a sentimental place in her heart for Seabiscuit!
Robert J. Keiffer <>
Hopland, CA USA - Friday, June 07, 2002 at 22:34:09 (EDT)
Thank you for your Washington Post article about HOIST THE FLAG. Racing news was hard to come by in 1971. Jean Cruguet, who rode SEATTLE SLEW in 13 of his 17 races, first called my attention to HOIST THE FLAG. During a 1993 interview, after winning one of the last editions of the Washington DC International aboard BUCKHAR, Mr. Cruguet stated that HOIST THE FLAG was the best horse that he ever rode. Though his opinion may have changed from time to time, this is an amazing statement. [He also stated, circa 1993, that his greatest thrill in racing was his defeat of the great ALLEZ FRANCE in England by his longshot mount, HURRY HARRIET.] I disagree that HOIST THE FLAG would have been a sure triple crown winner had he stayed sound. On the negative side: Although he crossed the finish line first in each of his six races [disqualified once], none of his 6 races were beyond a mile. Champion two year olds frequently either fail to train on or continue to excel only at distances of one mile or less. His last race was on 20 March 1971, approximately 6 weeks before the Kentucky Derby and 11 weeks before the Belmont Stakes. On the positive side: If HOIST THE FLAG had trained on, he would have probably been too much for the 1971 double classic winner, CANONERO II, a bargain horse who prevailed despite serious conformation problems. More important, HOIST THE FLAG's paternal grandsire was the undefeated RIBOT, whose claim to greatness really resides in one King George wins in England and two Arc wins in France, all at about 1.5 miles. In addition to PERSONAL ENSIGN, HOIST THE FLAG also became the broodmare sire of three stallions of considerable importance, CRYPTOCLEARANCE, Maryland's beloved BROAD BRUSH and Europe based MACHIAVELLIAN. PERSONAL FLAG, a full brother of PERSONAL ENSIGN, won more than a million dollars on the track and, though relatively undistinguished at stud, has sired an unusually high percentage of winners per live birth. PS: The story of the tenacious effort to save the stallion, NURYEV, is very similar to that of HOIST THE FLAG. He was attended 24 hours a day for months and a special indoor barn was constructed to protect him from additional injury. Without this effort, there would never have been a THEATRICAL, PIENTRE CELEBRE or my own personal favorite, MIESQUE, the dam of KINGMAMBO. MIESQUE participated in 10 Grade/Group I races without sex restrictions, and won 7 of them. More amazing, only one male ever finished in front of her and she defeated him twice [SOVIET STAR].
David Lawrence Scally <>
Chevy Chase, MD USA - Friday, June 07, 2002 at 13:17:50 (EDT)
This book is one of the most phenomenal that I have read. My grandmother is an avid reader, and she often reads the new releases before I am able to. She couldn't stop talking about it, so I decided it needed to be next on my list. I couldn't put it down!! I was crying when Seabiscuit was hurt, crying when he triumphed, and laughing at Tom Smith's antics with reporters. I can't think of a better true story, and Laura Hillenbrand, you are one fine story teller! Thanks for bringing this huge-hearted horse back to life and back into the American radar. I will be giving this book to many people for Christmas! It's a true gem. Thank you.
Sara VanWinkle <>
Raleigh, NC USA - Thursday, June 06, 2002 at 20:53:16 (EDT)
Hey, My name is nicole I am 16 years old and love seabiscuit. i just want to say thank you for the great book. i have the other book that is called "come on seabiscuit" it is over 300 pages and i read it in one day. i love this horse so much. well i just wanted to say you did a great job and to keep up the good work. with all my love Nicole
Nicole Buckley <>
baldwin, me USA - Thursday, June 06, 2002 at 12:27:56 (EDT)
bob hulcher <>
mobile, al USA - Wednesday, June 05, 2002 at 17:41:14 (EDT)
My wife and I enjoyed you book so much. My wife's father, who passed away several years ago, was a horse racing enthusiast and in fact had seen Seabiscuit race. The date and location are lost now but my wife has vivid childhood memories of Seabiscuit stories told to her by her father. Could you please advise me of who to contact ,photo archives etc., in order to be able to purchase a photograph of Seabiscuit. Thanks again for your wonderful book. Chris Sawyer, 6300 Frydenhoj Suite 29, St. Thomas, Vi., 00802 e-mail
Chris Sawyer <>
St. Thomas, VI USA - Wednesday, June 05, 2002 at 16:00:31 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I too suffer from Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia! I've been trying to contact you. Every article I've read it mentions how you destroyed your health writing the book. I know how you feel. I was diagonozed after putting new carpet in my house. I sleep for days, months. Finally the doctor told me I wasn't loosing my mind. Or just lazy! I'd love to talk to you. Please e-mail me anytime. A Chronic Fatiguer too, Shirley K. Pollman
shirley k. pollman <>
sylvania, oh USA - Tuesday, June 04, 2002 at 17:40:17 (EDT)
Dear Laura,
shirley k. pollman <>
sylvania, oh USA - Tuesday, June 04, 2002 at 17:36:08 (EDT)
Incredibly well written! I can picture the events happening in my mind.I feel as if I were there. It's wonderful that Seabiscuit is finally being recognized for the Legend he is!
Linda M. Goppert <>
Georgetown, CA USA - Tuesday, June 04, 2002 at 16:04:37 (EDT)
The superlatives and accolades you have received for your book are all understatements. What you have accomplished, and what you have given your readers, is the gift of time, allowing us to live through the events as if we were there. It has left us breathless. Thank you.
James Meyer <>
Edwards , MO USA - Tuesday, June 04, 2002 at 15:56:31 (EDT)
The book is beautifully written - thank you for a wonderful read. It is just a thought but why not do a "coffee table" edition with lots of pictures - you hooked me in with the great writing and now I would like to see pictures. Chuck Houghton
Charles G. Houghton <>
Esopus, NY USA - Tuesday, June 04, 2002 at 12:52:53 (EDT)
Although I have not contacted you before, I know that my brother John has been in contact. Seabiscuit is a wonderful book, and well researched. Red was my uncle, and he was a true "horse whisperer". My grandparents often told me stories about neighboring farmers or ranchers asking to "borrow" Red when he was a very young man, because he had a way with even the most difficult horses. In my childhood, we would visit my grandparents in Edmonton yearly. On some occasions Red would also be there. Some of my most fond memories are of the three brothers, Red, Jim, and my Dad, Bill, together, regaling us with their often wild adventures together as young boys, and spouting poetry (much of it original, with generous sprinklings of "Bobby" Burns' and Robert Service's works). Incidently, Robert Service worked for a time in my grandfather's brickyard, after going bust in the gold rush.Incidently, I also read the query in your guestbook from Brian Pollard. I am his namesake, and he was also a charming character.
Jim Pollard <>
San Bernardino, ca USA - Monday, June 03, 2002 at 14:29:29 (EDT)
After reading some great reviews I bought Seabiscuit. My wife and I both read it and loved it! What a story! Thanks for bringing it to us.
John Houpt
Carlisle, Pa USA - Sunday, June 02, 2002 at 21:56:23 (EDT)
Laura, It's taken me months to finish your book--marinated and savored slowly in hopes it would never end! I can't tell you how many times my husband studied my face, red as a raspberry from crying, and said, "You've been reading Seabiscuit again." I am so inspired by the quality of your mind to exhibit the resolution, courage and tenacity it took to write this beautiful story. Without YOU there would have been no Seabiscuit for most of us. Know that you have touched the secret spaces of many a horselover's soul. I will be indebted to you forever. For now, I'll soak my eyes in tea bags. Your distant admirer, Leslie Peterson
Leslie Peterson <>
Eugene, OR USA - Saturday, June 01, 2002 at 23:49:11 (EDT)
Your book fully deserves to be number 1 on the NY Times bestseller paperback list. Thank you for putting it in paperback to make it more accessible to the public. The character development in your book is tremendous. In this regard, it is comparable to the greatest books I have ever read, including A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr and The Alienist by Caleb Carr. The pleasure of reading a great book such as Seabiscuit should be shared by all.
M. Dulberg <>
Douglaston, NY USA - Saturday, June 01, 2002 at 21:37:12 (EDT)
I read Seabiscuit and it was great. I've never been a big fan of documentaries or biographys but you wrote this more like a novel and I thouroughly enjoyed it! I had a hard time putting it down. The amount of research you put into this was amazing. You brought the characters to life. My favourite horse books have always been Walter Farley's Black Stallion series and some of your story of Seabiscuit reminded me of some of that writing. This is must reading for anyone, not just horse lovers. It was so well written and I cannot wait for the movie to come out. Thank you for Seabiscuit's history and the insights into the lives of the jockeys and others involved in horse racing. Kay Anderson
Kay Anderson <>
Weatherford, Tx USA - Saturday, June 01, 2002 at 17:53:18 (EDT)
The Oscar Cast -------------- Tom Smith: Robert Duvall "Ollie": Derrick Hyatt (Fairfield Cty., love "Hard Tack") Charles Howard: Colin Firth Mr. Riddle: Charlie Rose
Derrick Hyatt <>
Ridgefield, CT USA - Saturday, June 01, 2002 at 16:43:57 (EDT)
Dearest Laura, I haven't forgotten. You are "The American Legend". Congratulations! You truly deserve all the success and admiration for your triumphant achievement. I am so very proud of you. All the best, love always, Nigel
Nigel Spier <>
Hollywood, FL USA - Saturday, June 01, 2002 at 11:25:23 (EDT)
Hey Laura, I believe we shared a drama class at Kenyon (how long ago was that?!) I noticed the announcement of Seabiscuit in the Kenyon mag and was thrilled for you. I am happy to say that your book is still flying off our library shelves. Our patrons can't wait to read it (again and again). Congratulations!
Ann Minner <>
USA - Saturday, June 01, 2002 at 10:34:07 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I am not sure that this is best way for me to get ahold of you, expecially since I am not sure I want to have this material in a guestbook. But not being particularly computer literate and being a bit too lazy to try to find another method, I thought I would give it a go. When I saw that a book had been written about Seabuiscuit, I was quite excited, as my father had once told me his brother was the jockey. My mother and father (James Pollard) had separated when I was quite young (two). Apparently my father had also been a failed boxed and his only "win" had been knocking out my mother. As a child, I often visited the farm where my father lived with his paents, but as I grew older I became more estranged from him, and I believe the last time I saw him was when I was twelve. I completely lost touch with that side of the family, and given that my mother was an orphan and I was an only child, you can imagine what my family tree looks like. In the last few years I have thought of trying to get in contact with my father's relations, just to talk and find out more about my 'family' of sorts. So, I was hoping that if you had been in contact with any of them during your research that you could either forward my email address to them, or send me theirs. I must confess that I haven't read the book, only a few reviews. My wife saw it in an airport and could see the resemblance between me and Red -nose, primarlily, but I am receiving the book for father's day and judging from the comments of the reviews and the responses to your website, it looks like it will be a great read. You can't imagine how strange I feel writing a letter like this, but in the end, I think it will be quite something to contact people I have had no contact with over the last 40 years. Thank you for any help you can give me in this matter. Brian (Barney-as my father wanted to call me) Pollard
Brian Pollard <>
N. Vancouver, B.C. Canada - Friday, May 31, 2002 at 14:05:43 (EDT)
Scientific Games is thinking about writing a "for Dummies" book about Horseracing and Handicapping and I thought of you. I was hoping you would consider authoring such a text with the objective of attracting the next generation of fans to the sport. We would assist in setting up and financing book promotion tours, interviews and reviews. Such a book benefits us because we are dependent on the survival and growth of the industry as its largest supplier of tote equipment and services and one of the largest OTB operators in the country (maybe the world). Please let me know if you are interested in developing this project idea further. As the author of the one horseracing book in history that attracted massive general interest, and touched the heart of everyone who read it, you would be the perfect author for this project. Sincerely yours, Lisa Lettieri (a devoted fan) Dir. of Corp. Communications Scientific Games, the parent company of Autotote Systems (212) 754-2233
Lisa Lettieri <>
NY, NY USA - Friday, May 31, 2002 at 12:26:25 (EDT)
Laura, This book evoked every emotion from laughter to tears. When a frind lent it to me saying, I know your love of horses so I thought you would enjoy this book. I looked at the catagory, sports/history and had my doubts. I am so glad I read it!!!!!!!!!!! Grew up near Narragansett Race Track, used to jump the fences at 15 and place a $2.00 win/place/show bet. Those were the days.....looked for a job ponying, they took one look at me and told me the track was not the place for a "nice girl", now I understand. Thanks for all your wonderful work. Karen Sullivan, I own a wonderful Quarter horse 30 years and still going strong.
karen sullivan <>
ashfield, ma USA - Friday, May 31, 2002 at 09:25:03 (EDT)
Laura: I just finished reading “Seabiscuit” and felt that I had to write you about how he effected my life and meant more to me than him being just another Thoroughbred. Although my life began in August, 1941, Seabiscuit is a rock-hard memory thanks to my father, mother and most of my relatives. Like Red Pollard, my father was born in 1909 in Canada (Nova Scotia), came to Los Angeles, California in 1926, and, while still in high school, began working for the Los Angeles Evening Herald. He stayed there through the merger with the Los Angeles Examiner until 1967. In the late 1930’s, my father had a “moonlight” job; he was a race track bookie. While at his real job, he booked; when he wasn’t at work, he was either at the race track or asleep. But when I was born, my mother made him quit booking because, as she told me, she did not want her son to have a jail-bird for a father. So he quit that sideline job, but continued his off-track betting as long as he worked for the newspaper. During this time, our annual vacation frequently consisted of two weeks at Del Mar. Once father retired (actually forced off the job when Hearst broke the Newspaper Guild in 1967), he spent almost every day at the track. After mother died in 1969, my father rarely saw the inside of his home, unless you consider Hollywood Park, Santa Anita, Del Mar, and even the Fairgrounds his home. He died in 1993 when he had a stroke while at Santa Anita ... a fitting place for his life to end. I mention these things to you because your book and the names and places about which you talk stirred vivid memories of my youth. Whenever my father and uncles got together, either to go to the track or to play poker, the winner was always called “the Biscuit." When something was especially good, such as a meal, or the color of sky, or even my report cards, he would say “She’s a Biscuit." It took years for me to understand what he meant. I would not doubt that my father was at Santa Anita for the hundred-grander in 1940, or that he was at the track when George Woolf died. I know I was at Del Mar when Johnny Longden became the most winning jockey ever; I took my camera, climbed a tree next to the paddock and snapped a photo of him as he and his winning mount passed by. I wish you had finished your book before my father’s death; I would have loved to discuss it with him. The stories you tell of Red Pollard, Tom Smith, Charles Howard and Seabiscuit were all a part of his life and of course, mine. Thank you so much for your work. Fred Simon
Fred Simon <>
Bakersfield, CA USA - Thursday, May 30, 2002 at 23:16:20 (EDT)
for Laura Hillenbrand--your tribute to Smith in the last paragraph on page 326 is so moving, I have read it over and over. Your writing is beautiful.
Betty Hyland <>
USA - Thursday, May 30, 2002 at 08:33:38 (EDT)
Laura... I heard about your book because I, too, am a CFS sufferer. What a GREAT book!!! I've not yet finished it, but I've already begun to dread it ending. Seabiscuit, Red, Tom Smith and Charles have become a part of my life. Although an animal lover, I've never had much contact with horses. I'm finding myself wanting to learn more about horses and horse racing. As I live close to Del Mar, CA I plan to check it out this summer. Thank you for opening new doors for me! CFS, although often debilitating, has taught me to appreciate each day and to not be afraid of jumping into new interests!
Lesa Ingraham <>
La Mesa, CA USA - Wednesday, May 29, 2002 at 23:45:03 (EDT)
FROM THE AUTHOR: Please join me on Thursday, May 30 at 4:00 EST for the live author online chat at the USA Today book club. I will be participating in these chats each week for the next few weeks. To join and post questions, please go to I look forward to seeing you there!
laura hillenbrand
Washington, DC USA - Wednesday, May 29, 2002 at 23:08:10 (EDT)
Laura, I just finished Seabiscuit,An American Legend. It was a terrific book that was so well written you didn't have to be a horse fan to enjoy it. It truly was a history book on the late 1930s. Congratulations on a job well done and I look forward to reading your future books. Please let me know when the next one will be issued. Cary Scapillato
Cary Scapillato <>
Weston, CT USA - Wednesday, May 29, 2002 at 22:32:04 (EDT)
Dear Laura Hillenbrand- As an aspiring author, (though I am only age 12) i find this book to be a literary masterpiece. It is by far the best book I have ever read(with Black Beauty and other various horse books behind). I have read and re-read this book so many times, I can easily quote many passages, just name the chapter! I can not express enough how much this book has opened me to new possibilities in my writing. It has given me insight on technique, detail, research, style, and creativity. Now, as I write, I try to think about your book, and maybe some of the ways you would have phrased something. The book has been my model, the target of how I someday wish to write. As I read "The Second Civil War", i felt as though I was there, at the track, experiencing the joy that so many other felt in seeing these two great horses striving for greatnes, and a place in history. And none is so worthy for that place then Seabiscuit. My friend and I are going to write a book, about the great racehorse Secretariat. We will use your book as a guide, the goal to reach with our book. My friend's name is Alex Shinners, and we have been friends our whole lives. And, also present our whole lives were horses. I would be proud to say that we are the most horse-obsessed people in the world. This fact mad me appreciate your book even more. So, it would be a great honor, and help, if you could e-mail Alex and I some tips on writing, and publishing, a book. We hope that somday, people will read with the same amount of awe and wonder our book, just as I read yours. Nicole Shelby
Nicole Shelby <>
Harleysville, PA USA - Wednesday, May 29, 2002 at 20:54:50 (EDT)
I am a voracious reader, but have rarely read something of this quality. Books like this lift my spirits - informative, interesting, astonishingly well-written. I couldn't put it down (trite but so true here). I wish you could write 20 more of this caliber, although that's a selfish wish - it's just rare to find a mix like this that I enjoy so much! This is my favorite kind of book, and you are outstanding in this genre. Thanks. Cathy M.
Cathy M. <>
ID USA - Wednesday, May 29, 2002 at 17:41:27 (EDT)
GREAT BOOK !!! I could smell the stables !! I would like to see you do a book on Babe Ruth. ted purcell
Ted Purcell <Ted Purcell @>
San Diego, CA USA - Wednesday, May 29, 2002 at 15:06:27 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand - wonderful read! As I read "The Second Civil War" my heart raced and my palms sweated just like they did two Saturdays ago when War Emblem (any relation to Man O'War and the Admiral) won the Preakness. I see you went to Kenyon and were a freshman in 1985 - you don't by any chance know a Claire Hedley do you? I worked on Capitol Hill, across the hall from her for several years. I believe she attended Kenyon the same time you did as she and I are the same age. jeb
Austin, TX USA - Tuesday, May 28, 2002 at 18:19:48 (EDT)
Hi Laura, As a young teen, I read a book called "Come on, Seabiscuit!" at least 20 times. I am now 40 and have thought of and remembered that book frequently throughout my life. You have no idea how excited I was when I heard you were writing about my hero. I received your book for my 40th birthday and just finished it. You have given Seabiscuit his due. I want to thank you for a great read, and a beautiful homage to an unforgettable horse and those that loved him. Hats off to you! PS. How about tackling Ruffian or John Henry next?
Eve LoCurto <>
Rochester, NY USA - Tuesday, May 28, 2002 at 12:06:40 (EDT)
Hi your book is great i am going to the newmarket raceing school and hope to be a jokey
lee <>
hawick, 4 USA - Monday, May 27, 2002 at 15:43:45 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I finished reading Seabiscuit,An American Legend today. Seabiscuit was a great racehorse, and you are a great writer of non-fiction. It is one of the best books which I have ever read.
Charles Barnard Jr. <>
USA - Monday, May 27, 2002 at 14:09:59 (EDT)
Hi Laura! I have not yet read Seabiscuit! However, I am 46 years old, raised on and around the Racetrack and have always had undying respect for the name "Seabiscuit"! I can't wait to dig into your book!!!
jeff mikols <>
sellersville, pa USA - Monday, May 27, 2002 at 12:06:33 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I am unable to read anymore because of macular degeneration. But my husband read "Seabiscuit". He could have read it in one day, but he read it a few chapters each day. During our cocktail hour each day, he would relate the story to me, often reading me long passages. We loved the book so much, we named our golden retriever puppy "Pumpkin". We were impressed with your dogged research for this manuscript. But after reading in USA Today that you suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, we are now absolutely amazed at your achievement. Good luck to you.
Regina E. Nieberding <>
Baltimore, Maryland USA - Monday, May 27, 2002 at 10:09:57 (EDT)
Dear Laura, What a beautiful book about the legendary Seabiscuit!! A storyteller friend of mine who had read the book twice gave me your book and unknowlingly recreated a wonderful part of my childhood. My father was in the printing and publishing business and three of his many clients were Santa Anita, Del Mar and Joe Hernandez. From 1946 - 1951, I often accompanied my father on "business" trips to Santa Anita, Del Mar and to see Joe - who became a close family friend. Although I was too little to see Seabiscuit run, I certainly remember the stories. I have met my fathers friend "Doc" Strub and also have been in the "shakey" press box and Joe's broadcast booth on the roofs of Santa Anita and Del Mar (although never when Joe was calling a race)! Joe's son spent summers at our place in Rolling Hills and my parents attended his ordination when he joined the priesthood. Thank you for also bringing back some delightful childhood memories and supplying a deeper background to those memories!! Marilyn Hershey Rudzik, Mariposa,CA
Marilyn Hershey Rudzik <>
Mariposa, CA USA - Monday, May 27, 2002 at 01:46:12 (EDT)
Hi Laura, talked to you on WBZ Boston Sunday night. Asked you why horses today can't run as often as they did during SEABISCUIT's day and talked about weights, FOREGO, etc. Forgot to ask if any way you could sign my book.[I'll pay the postage of course]
tom n <>
boston, ma USA - Monday, May 27, 2002 at 00:59:36 (EDT)
Hi Lauren, just finished reading "Seabiscuit" as our book discussion group"s selection for June. I am 59, have limited experience with horses (riding lessons 30 yrs ago), and can honestly say I would never have selected this book, nor even picked it up in the bookstore. Since I had to read it, I did. Can truly say I loved every minute of it. My heart raced at every race. I enjoyed getting to know the characters. Their individual backgrounds were so instrumental in the development of the story. I truly hated to see it end. I got it at the library, but will definitely buy it to share with my husband and friends. Thank you such a beautiful book. It is a grand tribute to Charles Howard, Tom Smith, Red Pollard, George Wolff who recognized the ability and challenged the magnificent Seabiscuit into becoming the champion he was. What a team they were!!
Judy Wade <>
Sandpoint, ID USA - Monday, May 27, 2002 at 00:49:18 (EDT)
Great book! It was given to me as a gift, and I couldn't have been happier. A great, indepth, and emotional read, that I have yet to be able to put down.
Shannon Middagh <>
Saskatoon, SK Canada - Sunday, May 26, 2002 at 23:46:59 (EDT)
I found out about Joseph Pulitzer for my fourth grade immagrant project. There was so much info !!!!! Thank you so much !!!!! I did not even know how to spell Pulitzer until I came to your site .Thank you again!!!!!
MarissaMerrill <>
Warwick , R.I. USA - Sunday, May 26, 2002 at 19:39:08 (EDT)
Laura, I have just finished your book on Seabiscuit and can honestly say that it is one of the most moving and remarkable books I have ever read. Your characters simply leap from the pages! I only wish I could be as stoic as they. The world awaits your next masterpiece.
Roxanne Campbell
Richmond, VA USA - Sunday, May 26, 2002 at 17:21:27 (EDT)
Laura, with the recent passing of my dear friend, Gigi, a huge void has settled upon me. To escape that emptiness, I decided to reread 'Seabiscuit'. My second time around was not a disappointment as I easily moved from chapter to chapter soaking up all the sights along the way. Thanks again for being the driver on an incredible equine journey from bullrings to big ovals,from wilderness to civilization.
Larry Bretzing <>
New Port Richey, Fl USA - Sunday, May 26, 2002 at 02:56:12 (EDT)
Loved the book, loved the horse. As a kid when all my friends had posters of rock stars on their walls, I had Seabiscuit. I have been around racing for 30 years and the book captured the business better than any I have ever seen. Would love to see the set if you ever film at a racetrack.
Jamie Saults <>
Freehold, NJ USA - Sunday, May 26, 2002 at 00:41:37 (EDT)
FROM THE AUTHOR: "Seabiscuit: An American Legend" has just been chosen as USA Today's Book Club selection of the month. As part of this, I will be the guest on their Book Club online chats each week, beginning next Thursday, May 30, at 4:00 EST. I'd love to have all of you join me there, and I'll be happy to answer your questions. For more information, go to Thanks to everyone for lifting my book to #1 on the New York Times list for the last three weeks!
Laura Hillenbrand
Washington, DC USA - Saturday, May 25, 2002 at 22:12:25 (EDT)
I just finished reading Seabiscuit, having started it yesterday. I just couldn't stop! What a great book. Laura - thanks so much for all of your hard work in writing this unforgettable story.
H. Louise Waara <>
Sherman Oaks, CA USA - Saturday, May 25, 2002 at 22:04:01 (EDT)
Wow. What a beautiful book. I was a huge fan of the late, beautiful Seattle Slew, but have a new favorite after reading your book: Seabiscuit. As an aspiring writer, the only negative thing I have to say is that I got depressed, because I could never write so beautifully. You re-created a whole world in which I lost myself while reading this great book. Also, I am inspired by what you have achieved while suffering from such a lengthy illness. Great job!!!!!!!!
Martina Silas <>
Los Angeles, Ca USA - Saturday, May 25, 2002 at 21:36:49 (EDT)
Was Seabiscuit the 5 horse in the sixth race at Santa Anita on March 5, 1938? Thanks
Theresa <>
Yakima, WA USA - Saturday, May 25, 2002 at 20:32:36 (EDT)
Thank you. I loved this book. My father and uncle were both riders in the 30's. I started training race horses in 1982,after a few years as a groom and exercise rider. I asked my Dad once who his favorite horse was and he replied imediately "Seabiscuit". After reading your book I know why. He really was amazing. My father died 5 years ago but I know he was along side me as I relived a part of his life. My Dad also worked as a groom when he got too hungry to be a rider any more. He told of travelling across the country by train and subsisting on carrots, stolen from his charges feed. I still can't give Seabiscuit the nod over Secretariat but thats only because I saw him run. Thanks again!
Theresa Randall <>
Yakima, WA USA - Saturday, May 25, 2002 at 20:27:59 (EDT)
Dear Ms.Hillenbrand, Hiya. Thanks for the ride... I had a really good time. As a child, I wanted to grow up to be a racehorse. This is the closest I've been. I felt the pain. Not Pollard's, Seabiscuit's. If I'd had any liniment I'd have rubbed it on my legs. As a teen, my hero was Carry Back. Stiill got the scrapbook. Always thought I might write his story. Didn't yet. Wanna collaborate? Need a researcher? One thing, did you really learn the nicknames (I'm still smiling) from a man named Wad Studly? (No, I'm still laughing) Was that his real name? LOL. Did he make any movies? Thanks again. What a treat! Gary Miceli
Gary Miceli <>
Key West, FL USA - Saturday, May 25, 2002 at 14:46:00 (EDT)
Ms.Hillenbrand - I just finished reading your book - Thanks for writing one of the best books I ever read.
jim prevost <>
USA - Saturday, May 25, 2002 at 11:38:23 (EDT)
Dear Laura, My mother was ranting and raving about your book since she purchased it on a recent trip to the east coast. She opted to read your book in lieu of a trip into New York city for a day at the races. I knew it must be good! I grew up in the shadows of the San Gabriel Mtns. and was privledged to see many great horses and great races over the years at Santa Anita. Your book was fantastic and a great tribute to a great horse and the wonderful people who were part of his journey. My mother was right, again and I intend on passing the book on to my children. Thank you and I too look forward to the movie.
Cheryl Roe <>
Bothell, WA USA - Friday, May 24, 2002 at 23:51:57 (EDT)
Dear Miss Hillenbrand. Your book is beautifully written. You took me to the races many, many times, and each time I was hanging on to the book in sweaty anticipation as to the outcome. Thank you for gathering all the material to bring this story to us. It is stunning. My thnnks, N. Platner
N. Platner <NNPNOR@Sover.Net>
Norwich, Vt USA - Friday, May 24, 2002 at 20:36:29 (EDT)
Dear Laura,I happened to see your book in the book section of a Sam's Club a few weeks ago and I had to buy it. I have only bought a couple of books in my life, but "Seabiscuit" is a name and remembrance from my childhood that has remained with me through many years. When I was a little girl in the 1950's I had a simple horseracing game that was made out of cardboard and paper. The "tracks" were cutouts in the the cardboard and the "field" consisted of Man O War, Citation, Whirlaway, Seabiscuit, and a fifth horse which I don't remember. The horses were little molded plastic pieces and a throw of the dice dtermined the pace. For some reason, Seabiscuit was my favorite horse in that little game. I would play for hours, even by myself if I had to!. With the imagination of a child, it wasn't difficult to pretend it was a real race, and that the plastic horses were real too. I have been fascinated by horses all my life, although I have unfortunately had only a couple of oppotunities to ride. I had just finished your book before Derby Day, and I took my copy to one of my aunts in Kansas City that weekend. I am going to buy another copy for myself, beause this is one book I want to keep around. It's like having the spirit of the living Seabiscuit back. I always felt like I had a personal bond with him because of that simple little game. After reading your book, I feel like I truly have known him. I'm sure that like all God's good beasts, Seabiscuit is in heaven, and I expect to be able to meet him there someday. Thank you for bringing his legend and the lives of those around him so vividly to life. Catherine Skalla, Tulsa
Catherine Skalla
Tulsa, OK USA - Friday, May 24, 2002 at 15:47:13 (EDT)
Laura: Just to let you know that "Seabiscuit" is still on hold at every branch in our library system, a year and a half later. You've got a tiger on your hands. But you knew that.
Race Fan <dreconomist @>
Spokane, WA USA - Thursday, May 23, 2002 at 22:55:10 (EDT)
Laura- Thank you for introducing me to the era in which my grandfather rode. My grandfather is Maurice Peters, mentioned in your book p. 163. He rode Dauber to an astounding victory in the '38 Preakness, other then that I did not know much about the times in which He was a very famous jockey. I loved your book and will continue to try to learn more about my grandfather, who has been deceased for almost 20 years. Any suggestions on where I might learn more? You are an incredible wordsmith, your book will cross the wire as classic in record breaking time! Greg Peters
greg peters <>
palm coast, fl USA - Thursday, May 23, 2002 at 22:49:42 (EDT)
Having spent my childhood in Lexington, KY I could almost smell the racetrack as I read your wonderful descriptions. I know after reading other comments, that this is true for most of us who loved your book and your writing. What a true gift you have and have used to give to the world a story that may never have been told if you hadn't jumped on it when you did. I know we have lost many of those involved and your timing was perfect. Thank you!
Judy Hinckley <>
Salt Lake City, UT USA - Thursday, May 23, 2002 at 22:42:32 (EDT)
hey, my dd and mom told me to ead this book, im only 15 but i liked it a lot. I learned so much more than i previously knew about Thoroughbred racing by reading this book. I am really looking foreward to seeing the movie! please e-mil me back and tell me what is going on with the movie
Chris <>
shutesbury , MA USA - Thursday, May 23, 2002 at 16:32:00 (EDT)
Dear Laura,I happened to see your book in the book section of a Sam's Club a few weeks ago and I had to buy it. I have only bought a couple of books in my life, but "Seabiscuit" is a name and remembrance from my childhood that has remained with me through many years. When I was a little girl in the 1950's I had a simple horseracing game that was made out of cardboard and paper. The "tracks" were cutouts in the the cardboard and the "field" consisted of Man O War, Citation, Whirlaway, Seabiscuit, and a fifth horse which I don't remember. The horses were little molded plastic pieces and a throw of the dice dtermined the pace. For some reason, Seabiscuit was my favorite horse in that little game. I would play for hours, even by myself if I had to!. With the imagination of a child, it wasn't difficult to pretend it was a real race, and that the plastic horses were real too. I have been fascinated by horses all my life, although I have unfortunately had only a couple of oppotunities to ride. I had just finished your book before Derby Day, and I took my copy to one of my aunts in Kansas City that weekend. I am going to buy another copy for myself, beause this is one book I want to keep around. It's like having the spirit of the living Seabiscuit back. I always felt like I had a personal bond with him because of that simple little game. After reading your book, I feel like I truly have known him. I'm sure that like all God's good beasts, Seabiscuit is in heaven, and I expect to be able to meet him there someday. Thank you for bringing his legend and the lives of those around him so vividly to life. Catherine Skalla, Tulsa
Catherine Skalla
Tulsa, OK USA - Thursday, May 23, 2002 at 14:28:30 (EDT)
I snubbed my friend when he first suggested reading Seabiscuit but I relented and after just 10 pages I was hooked. This is by far the most wonderful and intriguing story I've read or heard in such a long time. I'm thrilled to know all about Tom, Howard, Red, and Seabiscuit. Enjoy!
Paul Brennan <>
New York, NY USA - Thursday, May 23, 2002 at 00:29:45 (EDT)
A friend of mine gave me this book.....saying if Iliked Lance Armstrong's book, I will love this. She was right. My dad dragged me to every race course on the east coast growing up. The night I got my wings in the Navy, my Dad asked me to go to the trotters in Pensacola. Like I had a choice! All my friends were out partying.....and I was at the pari mutual window. Oh well. Thanks for helping me relive a bit of my youth. Awesome book
Bob Ickrath <>
Hingham, MA USA - Wednesday, May 22, 2002 at 22:17:49 (EDT)
This is a haunting story. At the risk of echoing many who commented in this guestbook, it is the most fascinating book I have read in a long time. My wife is currently reading it; she appears to be as fascinated by it as I am. We own pleasure horses. Their schedule is our schedule. Strangely, the world of horse racing has remained aloof to us, until now. We plan to go to Calder in a month. We hope that Seabiscuit the book, the upcoming movie and documentary, as well as the animated feature about Mustangs released next Friday will inspire your readers to voice their opinion with regards to the inhumane transportation, slaughter, and PMU exploitation of horses in the US and elsewhere. There are many web sites exposing these issues – be ready for horror stories. Write to politicians, foreign embassies, sign petitions, do something. Many horses are not as lucky as Seabiscuit was.
Alain & Nicole Le Floch <>
Loxahatchee, FL USA - Wednesday, May 22, 2002 at 13:42:35 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Hope this is not too !! long for you to read ? Back in 1960 as a high school student at the grand old age of thirteen,i committed the deadly sin of playing truant ! My parents would certainly have skinned me alive,if they ever knew !,but i could not miss the Derby being shown on TV. I was fanatical about horse racing,due to my elder brother being an apprentice Jockey(and my hero!) The english Derby still to this day is always on a wednesday. So i sneaked out of school at lunch break to watch this fabulous event. My homework for that evening was to write a poem,which i did vigorously to make up for my truancy !! This poem that i wrote in one evening and presented at school the next morning,won the British poetry award for my age group,and the teachers forgot all about my truancy(phew !) Whilst writing the poem,i put myself in the shoes of a Racehorse,and here are a few lines of my sixteen verse poem!! Oh i wish i werent a horse,to be whipped hard on my flank, As i,m racing round the course ,and up the difficult bank,the timekeeper counting as we race round the bend,the crowds all shouting from begiining to the end. That is the first verse with fifteen others to follow,and i think you will agree it is not bad for a thirteen year old. To this day i still have it in its original handwriting and have never had it published !! I am now 55,and after receiving your book as a gift recently,had the greatest pleasure in reading your beautifully written story about Seabiscuit. My favourite writer is Dick francis,and as you know was a great jockey before his serious injury,back in 1958. Keep writing. Best wishes. Jack Halford
jack halford <>
greenwich, ct USA - Wednesday, May 22, 2002 at 11:45:31 (EDT)
Thank you, Ms. Hillenbrand for writing this book. It brought joy to my life.
sue marconi <>
Painesville, OH USA - Wednesday, May 22, 2002 at 10:05:09 (EDT)
Laura, Wanted you to know how much I am enjoyed your book. It is a true masterpiece. Your research and writing are an example of the best work in literature. Thank you for sharing the details of this wonderful story and its cast of characters with the general public. Several of us here at the office are reading the book. Myself, John Sebree and Laura McPerson are lobbyists for the Realtors here in DC. We would be honored if you could join us for lunch one day at your convenience in town. We would like very much to meet you, discuss the book, and enjoy your delightful company. Please let me know if your schedule would permit the lunch. Thanks again and we look forward to seeing you soon. All the best, Jim Freeman
Jim Freeman <>
Washington, DC USA - Wednesday, May 22, 2002 at 08:17:31 (EDT)
Hi Laura. What a great book. I was a jockey up to the 9th of Febuary this year when I had a bad raceday fall and broke my back. I am still in hospital getting rehab. When I was here only a week one of our Stipendary stewards came in and gave me your book to read. I was on a lot of drugs at the time and promtly forgot about it until a week ago when I started reading it. Your book is truely marvelous. Ive never read a racing story that was so interesting and such a great story. It has given me the itch to get back in the saddle. I may never walk again, but I sure as hell will get back in the saddle for a blat!!!Never to race but for a bit of fun. Thank You. Christine Lawn.
Christine Lawn <>
New Zealand - Tuesday, May 21, 2002 at 21:55:10 (EDT)
i really enjoyed the book, what a great story, i was born in 1930 so i knew him as i kid. laura, do you know in your research if ther is a book on charts of older horses who ran in the 50, 60s if so please email the name to me
spider pitzer <>
westminster, ca USA - Tuesday, May 21, 2002 at 21:52:16 (EDT)
I received a copy of this book from my brother-in-law who said that he and his wife had thoroughly enjoyed the book and that it was one of the best they had ever read. I was skeptical. After reading the first page, I was hooked. It is one of the best books that I have ever read. Most of the time I skim read. This time I went word for word hoping that I wouldn't get to the end. I hope the movie does the book justice. Thank you Laura!
Doug Avery <>
Ocala, FL USA - Tuesday, May 21, 2002 at 12:54:01 (EDT)
I enjoyed the book tremendously. The race narration is so vivid that I felt as if I was the one on top of Seabiscuit if not Seabiscuit himself. I can't wait for the movie! I anticipate it to be one of my favorites along with "Phar Lap" and "The Black Stallion"!
Liz Porter <>
Glen Ellyn, IL USA - Tuesday, May 21, 2002 at 12:49:25 (EDT)
In Nov of 1938 I was six years old and didn't know much about the outside world. But, I knew the names War Admiral and Seabiscuit. I didn't know the real story about this great animal until I read "Seabiscuit". When I opened the book and read the first paragraph of the preface, I knew I had a book that would be hard to put down. What a masterful job Laura Hillenbrand did in bringing the story together.
Charles B. Nieberding <>
Baltimore, MD USA - Tuesday, May 21, 2002 at 11:45:54 (EDT)
"Come On Seabiscuit" was the first full length book I read as a child of 9. "Seabiscuit" gave me a marvelous update. It showed me the world as it was in the 30s while reminding me of stealing late a late night read on a cot in my grandfather's living room.
Rebecca Houseman <>
Sacramento, CA USA - Tuesday, May 21, 2002 at 06:46:40 (EDT)
thank you....not many people understand that what makes a racehorse great is not how much money he makes or how many winners he sires but the heart that makes him want to get to the front of the pack...what a wonderful experience it was getting to know Seabiscuit through the words and heart of a gifted writer. i wish i could say that i have as much heart as this special horse, but alas, i am just a regular person.
karen mayo-albrecht <>
alvin, tx USA - Monday, May 20, 2002 at 21:54:50 (EDT)
Thanks, Laura, for an incredible journey through time. Your remarkable narration makes me wonder about the possibility of time travel. Somehow, you were there, interviewing all of the principal characters, and watching the 'Biscuit' from an owners box. Did you bring back any souvenirs for use in the movie?
Larry Bretzing <>
New Port Richey, Fl USA - Monday, May 20, 2002 at 20:08:20 (EDT)
Damn good book.
Ronnie Pyeatt <>
Elgin, AZ USA - Monday, May 20, 2002 at 17:23:18 (EDT)
I love this book! The only part I didn't like was...finishing it. It is so well written, I felt like I had stepped back in time as the fly on the stall to meet these colorful characters and ride the most charming racehorse of all time. Thanks, Laura. I enjoyed every page. p.s. I think Robert Duvall would be the perfect cast for Tom Smith in the movie!
Patty Cacak <>
Seattle, WA USA - Monday, May 20, 2002 at 16:44:02 (EDT)
Laura, I loved the book. I own a 4th generation mare by War Admiral(War God, Goddess Lea) and I know what it is like to fly along on the back of a horse who truly lives to run. On page 108 I can attest to the existence of "equine pride". I ride my mare and her 2 yr. old son follows along with us in the very rural area where we live. The 2 of them love to race each other through hayfields, along logging roads etc. My mare's ears are back unless she's in the lead. She loves nothing better than to whip by her son, 16 years her junior and beat him up a long hill. Then her ears are forward and she is so happy. Thoroughbreds are the greatest horses! KC
Kathy Cahill <>
Dodgeville, WI USA - Monday, May 20, 2002 at 10:43:29 (EDT)
Hello, Laura: It's nearly 2:30 AM and I've just finished "Seabiscuit". My sister had referred me to the book as she thought it was particularly well written, and so I read it, even though neither of us has an interest in horses. But my interest is history, and when I see it portrayed so effectively, entertainingly and in such breathtaking detail, I always wind up staying up late reading it. And so it has been with your book. Interesting, many of my favorite history writers are not professional historians or scholars, but are passionate about their subject. In this regard you remind me of Barbara Tuchman. Perhaps if I suggest one of her books to my sister, she'll read it. I'm also somewhat of a computer person, and love your web site, photo and all. I nearly always skip through "Flash" introductions to Web pages, but I waited to see what yours would do. It's probably the most dramatic and effective use of Flash that I've seen yet. The way that the introductory text describes the different participants in the drama is exactly the way the trailer for the movie should start. It would have the same impact as the way the introductory text to "Star Wars" set the scene for that film. Congratulations!
James Macaulay <>
Hackensack, NJ USA - Monday, May 20, 2002 at 02:26:56 (EDT)
Laura - Please retake your picture for this site and smile.You must know that beautiful women are culturally obligated to smile. So, ... .I will check back in, shall we say, ten days. OK. John.
John J. Viktora <>
Flagstaff, AZ USA - Monday, May 20, 2002 at 01:31:40 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I have been wanting to know if you could tell me what color the horse was that George Woolf was riding when he fell and died at Santa Anita in 1946.The horse named "Please Me". I would like to know because as a child, I had the same nightmare over and over again in which I would dream of a horse that ran around a racetrack without its rider and I would wake up screaming hysterically at the same spot each time just as something happened, but I could never see what had happened in the dream to make me wake up with such fright. I was only 8 at the time. I am 47 now. The strangest thing is that I remember it so vividly to this day. In fact I was working from home one day and I saw you on TV. I was captivated by your story and the book you had written because it brought back for me the memory of my horse in the dream. Then when I began to read the book I discovered the jockeys name was John Pollard. That is my husband and my son's name. I am married to a man named John Pollard. I thought it strange. But when I read the part about George I thought how horrifying for the people watching and his friends to see this incident of him falling and the horse continuing around the track without him. I then reflected back to my continuous nightmare I would have as a child and thought on some strange and mysterious level could it be the horse in my dream, because the horse had no rider and I would scream in such horror and wake up not really knowing what had happened to make me scream in such a way. I always woke up right at the same spot. I can't figure out if it is because I witnessed something in the dream so awful that I blanked out and did not visualize it. Anyway, it has my attention. If I knew the color of the horse "Please Me" that would be very interesting to me because then I would know it is the same horse in my dream. Thanks for you help if you know the answer. Sincerely, Karen Pollard
Karen Pollard <>
Rochester, NY USA - Sunday, May 19, 2002 at 23:38:29 (EDT)
Laura- Thank you for such a wonderful book. My wife and I have the wonderful pleasure of visiting Ridgewood Ranch this coming Saturday, up in Willits, we are looking forward to it. Thanks again!
Vince Norris <>
Stockton, CA USA - Sunday, May 19, 2002 at 20:16:52 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your book. It was simply one of the best books I have ever had the incredible pleasure of reading. I read at least 120 books a year and your book stands out as the best. Thank You
Patrick Cory <>
Freehold , NJ USA - Sunday, May 19, 2002 at 11:33:49 (EDT)
Thanks very much for "Seabiscuit." It's a terrific story but in the hands of a less gifted writer it would not have been so gripping, so entertaining, so very interesting. I was sorry when I read the last page, and even reading the acknowlegments and dust jacket couldn't satisfy my need to be further engrossed in the book. Thanks for a really great story. I wish I had been there.
Susan Tash <>
Evanston, IL USA - Sunday, May 19, 2002 at 09:09:40 (EDT)
I loved the book. I was unaware at unfair the sport was to Seabiscuit. I am so glad he overcame. He was truly a great horse!!!!!!!
Joan <>
Slatington, PA USA - Saturday, May 18, 2002 at 14:50:18 (EDT)
I don't think I have read anything so quickly. I have hung on every chapter. Thank you for solidifying my interest in horse racing.
mmenendez <>
Georgetown, DE USA - Saturday, May 18, 2002 at 14:36:06 (EDT)
What about Black Gold ?
Morgan <>
ny, ny USA - Saturday, May 18, 2002 at 00:43:15 (EDT)
Your book was amazing. I just finished it yesterday and I am starving for more. I do hope you will be writing another book soon. I am so filled with emotion that there are no words...
Stacy Kichline <>
USA - Friday, May 17, 2002 at 23:52:27 (EDT)
I really enjoyed your book. I'm 13 years old and horses have always been a huge part of my life. The story you wrote was both moving and true and thats what made it even better. I could almost feel the excitement of the crowd when Seabiscuit won against War Admiral and I had to stop myself from jumping up and cheering in study hall. Over and over I could almost feel Seabiscuit's muscles surging underneath me just as Woolf and Pollard did. I think the story of Seabiscuit and the people that were blessed enough to be around him prove that if you have enough heart and want something enough you can do anything. I hope you'll write more books about the life of horses and the people around them even if their stories aren't as interestings and inspiring as those of Seabiscuit, Tom Smith, Charles Howard, Red Pollard, George Woolf, and the many other people that were a part of the great little horse's life.
NC USA - Friday, May 17, 2002 at 22:23:11 (EDT)
Laura: Even at the risk of sounding like another fawning admirer, I had to lend my voice to the chorus of readers who've sung their praises over your book and the pleasure it's brought to us all. Thanks for giving us the chance to ride a legend and to be transported, so convincingly and compassionately, to another time and place. Add me to the list of those you've moved. Steve Hoffner
Steve Hoffner <>
Plano, TX USA - Friday, May 17, 2002 at 18:02:48 (EDT)
It's a great book, and your own story is as good as Seabiscuit's. Now get back to work.
Steve Greer <>
Leesburg, VA USA - Friday, May 17, 2002 at 14:37:16 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Well, we know what day this is, May 17. In addition to being the day when the world bade farewell to Seabiscuit, it also just happens to be my birthday. (I delayed writing this little note until now.) Henceforth, I shall always remember this incredible fellow earthling, especially, on the 17th of May. Our eldest daughter surprised me with your book on my birthday last year. I expressly held off starting it for months until I felt that the time was right, my eager anticipation building into a virtual thunderhead. What I couldn't know is that it would prove to be one the headiest experiences of my life, in literature or otherwise. Two chapters from the end I did something I've never done before. I stopped reading. The thought of what I knew was coming, and the realization that I would soon have to leave Seabiscuit's company and that of the others, whose presence you create with such astonishing reality, was too much at the time. I finally finished those last chapters in one sitting, part of which was an experience akin to that of going to church. I thought I might weep, but I didn't. I simply felt awash in a great deal of love. Thank you for what you've done to make Seabiscuit live in our hearts always. Larry Myland
Larry Myland <>
Richland, MI USA - Friday, May 17, 2002 at 13:56:59 (EDT)
I listened to your outstanding book on as an unabridged book on tape during my commute time to work. I was thoroughly mesmerized and enchanted by every single one of the characters in the book. But I fell in love with Seabiscuit. I found myself crying in the car during the last chapters, not only because of the loss of many old friends, but because the book had ended! Thank you so much for giving me so much pleasure through this book!
Tracey Deschaine <>
Malvern, Pa USA - Friday, May 17, 2002 at 09:00:30 (EDT)
Laura: This my 3rd or 4th posting to your guestbook, so I will not comment again on how wonderful your book is (but it has been my most treasured reading experience), I just wanted to put in my two cents about potential topics for your next book. I read a posting about possibly writing about Seattle Slew, which would be a great story, though I was thinking more about your next book being about the great Australian horse Phar Lap. Phar Lap's story is quite similar to Seabiscuit in several respects; he was and is a national icon (in Australia) he raced and excelled under often difficult conditions, he had a fascinating group of men associated with him, I just think in your hands this story would be just as great a one as that of Seabiscuit's. But I will read your next book regardless of the topic (even if not about horses!). I am really looking forward to the movie and documentary. I think my dream of how the movie will look and "feel" would be a cross of the movies "Phar Lap" and "The Natural". I envision Robert Duvall as Tom Smith, but the other roles I have a tough time with. Well, thanks again for providing this forum for those of us who hold "The Biscuit" and his story in our hearts each and every day. You too are an inspiration in your day to day struggle with your illness. Thank-you again so much for your book. Take care.
Matthew Karns <>
Bloomsburg, , PA USA - Friday, May 17, 2002 at 07:52:09 (EDT)
I return to the "Guestbook" time and time again to share a common bond with a "collection" of people I will probably never meet. It is a powerful bond. I think that we should have a "Seabiscuit Club", "Seabiscuit Society" or something that prolongs these shared moments. Earlier I commented on the best book ever written. Donna Johnson Donna Johnson
Donna Johnson <>
Austin, Tx USA - Thursday, May 16, 2002 at 16:50:33 (EDT)
Laura - I so enjoyed your interview on the Kurt, Mark & Lopez show on 98Rock. I have always loved horses. I ride every week. As a child, if something was particularly difficult, my father would say, "come on, Sea Biscuit". Can't wait for the movie. I don't care who the actors will be, who is going to play Sea Biscuit?
Ronnie Martin <>
Washington, DC USA - Thursday, May 16, 2002 at 16:24:07 (EDT)
Laura- Next year, you're invited to my 23nd annual Kentucky Derby party.
Gerry Leonard <>
Kansas City, MO USA - Thursday, May 16, 2002 at 10:50:42 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Up front I must confess that I have not yet read your book on Seabiscuit. However, going to school at Iolani School in Honolulu, HI, we knew of this remarkable horse through a sermon given to us by an equally remarkable, and legendary, coach Father Kenneth Bray, an Episcopal priest. We noted that before each football game, he would slip a silvery item from his coat pocket during the team huddle and every player would strain to touch it. The football players knew all about this item, but the students, in general, knew nothing of it. In that sermon, we learned about Seabiscuit. The item was a horseshoe that Seabiscuit had worn on his epic defeat of War Admiral. He told us that Seabiscuit was not a particularly imposing horse, that some might have considered him small and ugly, but that he had one thing that other horses did not have: Heart. He wanted his players, who were usually undersized and perhaps not as talented as the opponents, to have heart. Now how would a priest in the middle of the Pacific Ocean have such an item? Apparently, he knew the owners of Seabiscuit and asked for the horseshoe. I believe it was plated and a memorial plaque was attached across it. It is now in a museum honoring Father Bray at Iolani School. I do hope you are doing well. CFS does improve, in some cases, in my experience. Maxwell M. Urata, M.D.
Maxwell M. Urata, M. D. <>
Honolulu, HI USA - Wednesday, May 15, 2002 at 22:55:09 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Thank you for telling the Seabiscuit story! I have read and re-read your book. What a captivating story! I would like to meet you to learn more about the Howards. What happened to Marcela Howard? What became of Ridgewood? Keep fighting the CFS. Thanks again.
Jeff Myers <>
Memphis, TN USA - Wednesday, May 15, 2002 at 21:03:54 (EDT)
As an avid horse lover from the age of 2, when I was first lifted astride a huge palomino, I must say "SEABISCUIT, An American Legend" is truly in the ranks of that rare genre: a must-read book. I received the book as a gift from another horse-lover & could not stop reading until I finished the final page, teary-eyed with emotion. A fascinating & heart-pounding horse-race of a book. Thank you, Ms. Hillenbrand! Brava! I look forward to the upcoming film. Please check out my other website: & know that I'd be honored to screen the film at the Moondance International Film Festival.
Elizabeth English <>
Boulder, CO USA - Wednesday, May 15, 2002 at 19:35:10 (EDT)
Dear Laura: I want to thank you for your exceptional story. It is the only book I have read that tells the story of the racetrack like it really was (is), especially from a jockey's standpoint. The public, for the most part, have gathered their knowledge from corny B movies. Many sports writers today, apparently, have no knowledge what-so-ever of the real horseracing world, nor do they care, as often evidenced by their written words. But, tragically, they have become experts and influenced many of those who have no access to further knowledge. I rode my first race at Caliente in the mid-fifties and know many of the people in your book. Although I rode at 28 tracks during my 18-year career it is still Caliente that holds the most intense memories for me. The good times were great and even the bad times were good. Never before in my time has anyone captured the emotions, heartaches and struggles on the backside as you have in your story of Seabiscuit. Certainly few have known of the profound dedication the jockeys have to do what they must, to live their dreams. I am truly awed at the research you have done. And, never before have I seen it presented. It has always amazed me that a sport could have been so popular and so few know so little about it. With your emotion packed words I am sure you and you alone are responsible for the increase in interest in the Derby and the Preakness. There are still those that equate race riding with driving a car i.e. step on the gas when you want to go -- turn when you want to turn, etc. It is not like that! I have 18 broken bones to attest to that fact. With your extraordinary talent, Seabiscuit has returned to us as a teacher of the truths; these wonderful horses are living, breathing, intelligent masterpieces of a great creator. Through you, his incredible story will last a lifetime and I thank you again. Please stay close to the Hollywood connections that are doing your story. Thank you again, Former Jockey John Cantarini
Jockey John Cantarini <>
Canada - Wednesday, May 15, 2002 at 19:20:55 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: As a fellow CFIDS patient, I recognize the monumental task you undertook in writing this beautiful book. I admire your courage, your persistence, and your talent. People will look at your photo in the ads you recently posed for (I think I just saw the first one in Vanity Fair and you look gorgeous) and they will not know how your "invisible illness" has impacted your life. I do -- and I applaud the masterpiece you created in spite of your limitations. I wish you health, happiness and everything else you so richly deserve.
Lisa K. <>
Bedford, NH USA - Wednesday, May 15, 2002 at 14:37:12 (EDT)
I chose Seabiscuit for our Book Club selection this month and I couldn't have selected a more energetic, uplifting book. It was truly inspiring and a testimony to the power of the human spirit when faced with obstacles. Thank you for bringing the life of Seabiscuit to the pages and for allowing the brilliant minds of Pollard, Smith and Howard reflect the genius of them all.
Melanie <>
Acworth, GA USA - Wednesday, May 15, 2002 at 08:54:32 (EDT)
Laura, Your retelling of Seabiscuit's life and times was worthy of the great champion himself. I first became attracted to horses and racing as a 10-year-old who found himself transfixed by Secretariat. Thanks for taking me back in time and honoring Seabiscuit's remarkable legacy. And thanks, as well, for the exploration of a jockey's difficult life. I've worked most of my adult life as a union activist, and found those passages fascinating as well. I wish you the best.
Larry Dorman <>
Farmington, CT USA - Tuesday, May 14, 2002 at 23:16:00 (EDT)
As a longtime fan of thoroughbred racing, I thoroughly enjoyed your book. I recommended it to my husband (who has no backgrouned in horse racing) and he replied "A story about a horse?" I told him it was more than that. He read it and enjoyed thoroughly. Now, how about a book on the horse I followed faithfully as a kid - New Yorks's favorite, the people's horse - STYMIE Thank you.
Barbara Pettis <>
Franklin, MA USA - Tuesday, May 14, 2002 at 16:53:40 (EDT)
What a wonderful story! It seems that in today's world of greed and lack of ethics, men like Smith, Howard and Pollard don't really exist any more. They seemed to define the meaning of the term "having character". Today, people mostly use the term "characters" to describe the baby boom generation of people who really never had to struggle much to achieve anything.
Cathy <>
NY USA - Tuesday, May 14, 2002 at 12:47:24 (EDT)
Laura,Thank you for your wonderful book. My grandfather bought me a pony at age 2. My dad took me to the track when I younger than he would want to admit. I am the 3rd generation of passionate race horse fans.Thank you again.I am a surgeon but would like to make two suggestions for your film.These are made only to help make your movie not to be intrusive.I have classmate from college who would a perfect Charles Howard.His physical appearance and demeanor is exactly as I would imagine Mr. Howard.More importantly he has the talent to pull this off. He knows nothing of this letter to you. His name is Kevin Dunn.If you don't already have this cast, you should contact Kevin or his agent or me.He is perfect.I would also like to make a musical suggestion.As Seabiscuit accelerates away from War Admiral in the match race,please consider using Jupiter from The Planets by Holst.It fits the moment and the horse.Thank you again.I hope your movie can reach and convert a whole generation of new racing fans. With respect and thanks, Steve Doran
Stephen N Doran <>
Bloomington, IL USA - Tuesday, May 14, 2002 at 11:43:50 (EDT)
I cried throughout your book - you owe me for the ton of tissues!! Your literary strength is equal to the story you tell - contratulations. You tell so many stories in the book, the depression and how it stole a generation's opportunity, the restructuring of the sport of kings after the turbulent twenties, the lives of those completely given to helping Seabiscuit be the best and all the hurdles they had to overcome to prove that he was an incredible athlete. I have long opposed the idea of weights in a race - if they run the same distance then have the same weight otherwise we never truly know how they are as equals. Your book has been a clear insight into that issue and the struggle of the men who rallied to hold the line as best they could to help Seabiscuit become one of the greatest athletes of all time is well served by your prose. I'm in hopes that their story will prompt the sport to reconsider the whole idea of unequal weights and that the memory and struggle of Seabiscuit so well told by yourself will force the sport to reorganize the rules on that issue alone. Thank you for your book that will live on in the hearts of everybody who reads it. One thing I noticed in the book is that the owner, the trainer, and the jockey never left anything to chance - they worked on every aspect of the coming races, from starting bells to walking the track to studying the running style of the other horses - nothing was overlooked - your attention to detail is a compliment to their work and I'm sure Seabiscuit and Charles Howard and Red Pollard and George Woolf and last but not least Tom Smith would ALL be pleased and approve of teh quality of your book. As clearly as Seabiscuit was a gift to the world so is your book. Thanks.
Sue <>
Phoenix , az USA - Tuesday, May 14, 2002 at 09:31:08 (EDT)
The only thing that annoyed me about your book was, that it finished. Thanks for a great read.
Des Ritchie <>
Dublin, Ireland - Tuesday, May 14, 2002 at 09:21:03 (EDT)
Laura, thanks for your brilliant delineation of an era of national despair and how the 'little horse' helped restore our hope. Congratulations on your winner, with your form and talent, the outcome was never in doubt. Now, for your match race prediction-You will defeat CFS.
Larry Bretzing <>
New Port Richey, FL USA - Tuesday, May 14, 2002 at 03:55:04 (EDT)
I would like to invite you to speak at the Friendship Heights Village Center and sign copies of "Seabiscuit." Please send me the name of your publicist. Thank you.
Jennie Fogarty <>
Bethesda, MD USA - Monday, May 13, 2002 at 13:58:19 (EDT)
Dear Laura, My son is a horse trainer - he has a lot of difficulties reading a book (dyslexie) but time to time I find a book on horses and He loves it. I am reading your book on Seabiscuit I find it fantastic I am sure my Son will love to read it but he does not read English - only speaking ! Do you know if your book has been translated ??? if yes please tell us there is so much to learn in your book. I love it. Thank you. Nadine
Nadine MAY <>
Marseille, FRANCE - Monday, May 13, 2002 at 13:41:06 (EDT)
Dear Laura, For years an etching of a horse's head hung in my parent's home in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a copy of a print done by a Pierre Nuyttens. It wasn't until I started reading your wonderful book about Seabiscuit that I went to examine this picture more closely. Imagine my surprise when I realized it was "himself", Seabiscuit! The artist captured his intelligence and spirit perfectly. It is dated 1942. Along with your book, I think I have a treasure!
H. O'Brien <>
Ontario, Canada - Monday, May 13, 2002 at 11:43:51 (EDT)
Dear Laura, thank you so much for bringing Seabiscuit back to life for another generation of Americans. I had heard the name but knew nothing else about him. Your book and the story were captivating but I am not sure why exactly Seabiscuit was so very popular. He didn't win the triple crown or even any of the reaces individually. I could see from the pictures in your book the intelligence and disposition of the horse; was it the "sparkle" in his eyes or his underdog role that won over the fans? I certainly think he was a great horse and athelete but what made him so very popular with the fans? I know you are very busy but I would really like to hear your thoughts on this. Thank you for a very moving book! Hope Bludworth
Hope B.udworth <>
Falls Church, VA USA - Monday, May 13, 2002 at 09:41:37 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I just, very reluctantly, finished your glorious book and handed it over to my husband. He has been witnessing my chuckles, gasps, cheers and tears for the last couple of days and now I want to share this treasure with him. I have been horse crazy since I was a small child. I grew up foxhunting in the midwest, but as the years went by and life made its claims on me, my horse connection faded, and I thought it would be relegated to sweet memories. I have recently started to ride again, and one time on the back of a horse re-ignited my passion. What good timing that I read your marvelous book as I rediscovered my love of horses. This is such an extraordinary story of courage and I was profoundly moved. I cannot say enough about this book that hasn't already been expressed numerous times. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving us this beautiful work and I wish you all the best in every endeavor in your life.
Carol Overman <>
San Francisco, CA USA - Sunday, May 12, 2002 at 17:28:42 (EDT)
Yesterday, I was riding and I got to thinking......I wonder who is going to be cast in the movie of Seabiscuit? I personally think that John Lyons would be good for the part of Tom Smith and Mickey Rooney for the part of Charles Howard.(Rooney would have made a good Pollard or Woolf if he was much younger). Let me know, anyone, if you agree or whatnot.
Lindsey <>
Holly, Mi USA - Sunday, May 12, 2002 at 09:58:38 (EDT)
I hope you received the note I sent you, telling you about a friend who had the same health challenge you have CFS. She is doing great now. If you are interested in knowing what she did, I can put you in touch with her. I too benefited from a serious health challenge and the same technologies gave me back my life. I would be glad to send you the information. I will look forward to hearing from you.
Jodie Brodnax <>
Decatur, GA USA - Friday, May 10, 2002 at 22:06:32 (EDT)
Hi Laura: I picked up a magazine at the doctor's office today dated November 2001. There was a story about you and your health challenge with CFS. I have a friend who has this same problem and because of what she used, she is in really good health now. It took almost a year, but it worked. If you are interested in contacting her I can get you in touch with her I know she will be happy to share with you her remarkable story. I had a serious health challenge too several years ago and benefited from the same technologies my friend Cris used. If you would like to know more I will be glad to send you some literature. I know you will be pleased with the information. I will look forward to hearing from you. Jodie
Jodie Brodnax <>
Decatur, GA USA - Friday, May 10, 2002 at 22:00:16 (EDT)
I would like to get my book autographed. Is this possible? I would of course be responsible for all postage etc. Charles Blankenship
Charles Blankenship <>
San Marcos, TX USA - Thursday, May 09, 2002 at 19:37:48 (EDT)
Dear Laura: Your book Seabiscuit...what can I say that hasn't been said? I didn't want it to end. I have loved horses since a little girl. You had me in the stands cheering at the get the reader forgetting everything except what your reading is truly a gift. I gave the book to my dad...a long time racing fan....he to passes on his admiration. Not only were your characters let us get to know them. I laughed, cried cheered....I hope the movie will do true justice to your book, don't back down if they want "to make slight change." I have a feeling you won't. Thank-you for a book I will always treasure. Becki G. Minnesota, USA
Becki G.
MN USA - Thursday, May 09, 2002 at 15:00:30 (EDT)
By far the best book I have read in quite some time. I looked forward to reading it every night after work. I literally found myself talking to the book during such moments as "then Smith went back to the barn to give Seabiscuit one final check (oh no, what now!)" or "Pollard decided to help his trainer friend out and work the low-level claimer (Red, don't get on that horse!)" Congratulations on a job very well done.
Lucky Kalanges <>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Thursday, May 09, 2002 at 14:37:34 (EDT)
By far the best book I have read in quite some time. I looked forward to reading it every night after work. I literally found myself talking to the book during such moments as "then Smith went back to the barn to give Seabiscuit one final check (oh no, what now!)" or "Pollard decided to help his trainer friend out and work the low-level claimer (Red, don't get on that horse!)" Very well done.
Lucky Kalanges <>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Thursday, May 09, 2002 at 14:37:02 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I can only say "Ditto" to the many positive comments left by your other admirers. I was equally enamored and read right through changing my 6 month old daughter's diapers! (Very carefully, I might add.) That is how much I loved your book. I could barely stand reading the races and had to put the book down several times during the race against War Admiral and try and convince myself I would survive if Seabiscuit lost. I can't wait for the documentary and movie and hope that you are involved with both projects. I also rode hunter/jumpers competitively growing up and was an English major at Ole Miss. Hence, I'm jealous of you in the most marvelous way! Congratulations and best of luck on your next projects--we are all looking forward to them. Sincerely, Jenifer Schrader
Jenifer Schrader <>
Bloomfield Hills, MI USA - Thursday, May 09, 2002 at 14:15:35 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Your book was absolutly captivating. I oringinally bought it for my mom for christmas, but as soon as I bought it I told my self I would just read the first chapter and see what it was a bout. Needless to say, I read the whole thing in 2 hours before ever wrapping it and my hands itched for almost a week before she finally opened her gift and read it, allowing me to re-read it over and over again. I've now read close to 6 times and every time is like opening a long-lost diary. It is filled to the brim with amazing story and beautiful writing. I am only 14, soon to be 15, and in ly Language Arts class, we have been asked to do a speech on a book. Guess which book I'm writing on?! I am looking forward to the movie. You are an excellent writer, and thank you for briging the forgotten life of Seabiscuit alive. Lindsey
Lindsey Gavel <>
Holly, Michigan USA - Thursday, May 09, 2002 at 09:39:55 (EDT)
Laura, I can't begin to describe how much I enjoyed your biography of Seabiscuit. Such a good read deserves better words of praise than I can muster. I know your projects must be numerous, but I'm writing to ask you to consider an equally moving tribute to another racing legend, Seattle Slew. For 25 years, since first reading his pre-Derby hype, I have longed to see Slew in person. Now, due to my own inactivity, that dream will never be fulfilled. His rags-to-riches, ugly-duckling-turned-swan story longs to be told; you are the perfect author for such a task. Please help me to know this horse in print now that I cannot know him in life. Thank you, Lee Reilly.
Lee Reilly <>
Newton, NJ USA - Wednesday, May 08, 2002 at 18:09:03 (EDT)
Thank you for your engaging and thoughtful book. It was more than a good read. I own a thoroughbred, and although she is not a racehorse, she has famous blood in her veins. You have a gift for bringing history alive. I hope you will write another book. Kathy
k.McTigue <>
Gaithersburg, MD USA - Wednesday, May 08, 2002 at 17:09:12 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I went into a newsagents in York to buy a paper and came out with Seabiscuit. Three days later after such an inspirational read I write to congratulate you on bringing to life a story which would normally be laughed out of court for being too contrived. It cries out to be made a movie and I am pleased that you are involved in both the film and the documentary. I know you will not allow your labour of love to be messed about. Dirt racing is relatively unknown and often despised here in the UK. The horses were tougher in those days and had punishing schedules. You mentioned Mr. Smith's brush with the authorities over medication. Were the horses back then given any permissable drugs? We once had a great rivalry between two steeplechasers in the sixties. Arkle from Ireland finally conquered the brave Mill House of England. Arkle went on to defy huge weights before being injured at 11. Mill House was not a broken horse and came back after injury to claim a big prize late in his career. Kind regards, Neil Snowdon
Neil Snowdon <>
Tadcaster, North Yorkshire England - Wednesday, May 08, 2002 at 15:13:19 (EDT)
I laughed at the Biscuits temperment, I literally cheered and cried tears of joy as I read he won the Big 'Cap in 1940. I feel as though I witenssed his life now after reading your book. You have enriched my life on many levels to tell his story with such fine detail and passion. Thank you so very much. What an incredible story. One that I will read over and over, not only to myself, but to my chidren and hopefully someday grandchildren.
Tyler Thayer <>
Novato, Ca USA - Wednesday, May 08, 2002 at 12:58:31 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Now that Seattle Slew has just past away, I cant help to put both horses in the same catigory. Both had such a powerful will to win that they overcame there deficencies. I saw Seattle Slew win the triple crown and still have the uncashed tickets from those races. I hope the movie is coming along. Any update???
jOHNSTOWN, pA USA - Wednesday, May 08, 2002 at 11:28:19 (EDT)
I enjoyed the book as much as any book in years. The author has a gift of creating prose in ways that leave the rest of us in awe. The paragraph in which she describes the beauty and power of the running thoroughbred horse ranks with the opening paragraph of "A Tale of Two Cities."
John R. Leatherman <>
Durant, ok USA - Wednesday, May 08, 2002 at 10:22:03 (EDT)
What more can be said than Thank You for the very enjoyable read. Tears or laughter I was spellbound. Thank You most sincerely.
Margaret Pollok <>
Orlando, Fl USA - Tuesday, May 07, 2002 at 23:06:59 (EDT)
Hello, I have just seen an advertisement for your book in a magazine. I was drawn to your website with the intention of asking why/how could a book be written about such a great horse, but yet, not even have the horse's face on the cover of the book? There are faces, but not poor Seabiscuit's. Ironically, after reading many of the other sign-ins to your guestbook, I am going to go buy it for my Father. He has been play'in the ponies for over 50 years, so I am sure he will love it. Thanks, Bob Friedman
Robert Friedman <>
Pittsburgh, Pa USA - Tuesday, May 07, 2002 at 21:10:40 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand...Thank you SO much for the wonderful read. I grew up on Baldwin Avenue, South of Santa Anita, and because of the traffic the track brought to our neighborhood, never became interested in racing. Your book has brought it to life for me. I finished the book this afternoon (teary eyed; and I'm a 6'3" 240 lb. fireman), and literally can't wait for your next project. Your style and attention to detail is truly wonderful...You put us all right there in the story...THANKS AGAIN!
J.M. Dodd <>
Thousand Oaks, CA USA - Tuesday, May 07, 2002 at 19:24:13 (EDT)
I was born two years after beloved Seabiscuit died. I heard about him during my life, but never knew much about him until I read your book. I didn't want the book to end. I had trouble reading that last couple of chapters. What a Hero he was, what an Inspiration to the dirt-poor society of the Depression. Pollard, Woolfe, Smith, Howard, Marcela, Agnes...what a cast...what a story to rekindle the spirit of unwanted to wanted, from unloved to loved. I am so grateful to you, Laura Hillenbrand, for bringing this story to this Society of Death, and to prove, once again, that good overcomes evil everytime!!! I'll look for that Oak Tree in the Cailfornia High Country and shed tears of gratitude for Seabiscuit, and all that loved him!!!
Richard <Dawson>
Traverse City, MI USA - Tuesday, May 07, 2002 at 16:47:26 (EDT)
DON BARKER <dbarker33@hotmai>
conover, NC USA - Tuesday, May 07, 2002 at 16:36:06 (EDT)
Laura, I just love Sea Biscuit! Ever since reading about him he brought tears to my eyes. He had great strength, resilience and the will to win! He is an inspiration to the human race. I am an American Indian and love animals. (I'm Sioux and also an author. I would like to send you one of my books if that is possible. I'm on Barnesand Thank you Laura for a loving and inspiring book, you have the heart and soul of Sea Biscuit - the greatest horse that ever lived!
Ken Shields <>
Poplar, MT USA - Tuesday, May 07, 2002 at 15:35:42 (EDT)
on derby day, an article you wrote was in the courier-journal (hometown newspaper, which you probably know) and i, along wtih my husband, found it to be very compelling. you wrote with such enthusiasm regaring the ky derby and with such a blatant affection for horses. i found this to be kind of like a cheer on paper. now i had vaguely heard of your book about seabiscuiit (and of course i had heard of him, being from louisville)but if you write with such aplomb in the book-which, according to critics, you do--then i'm sure i will find it very satisfying too. i am very sorry about your illness but it seems to me you have accomplished many things that mayb a "well" you wouldn't have, however, we will never know will we? at least in the case of your article i read and also i'm looking forward to reading the book now. celia hallahan
celia <>
louisville, ky USA - Monday, May 06, 2002 at 21:21:38 (EDT)
Thanks for the great novel.....I hope the movie does your storytelling justice... H.
hector toro <>
San Jose, ca USA - Monday, May 06, 2002 at 18:34:27 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I want to thank you for writing such a descriptive book. Your portrayals of the people was amazing, and when the horses were racing, I felt I was at the track rather than reading the words on the pages of a book. Although I have always been fascinated by horses (and their ability to run so fast with such grace), your book has truly peaked my interest on reading more about the race horses of the past -- for example, reading about Seabiscuit and his teasing personality made me want to read about Secretariat and his training. I have always thought Secretariat was one of the best race horses ever -- now i want to read about other horses -- and what role the jockey plays in the winning or losing. if this keeps up, i may even try to ride a horse. Again, thank you for such a great book!!
Patricia O'Donnell <>
USA - Monday, May 06, 2002 at 08:22:09 (EDT)
Can only say that it is the best book I have ever read (and ever likely to). Although I had been a racing fan for many years I had never heard of Seabiscuit or his achievements (I never thought there was another horse with the bravery and character of Red Rum!!!!! - now there is another true story). I was fortune to buy a copy of the book in Miami airport prior to getting on a flight to Trinidad. By the time I got there I had finished the book, I just couldn't put it down. It's a magnificent story and the book captures the achievements, the personalities of the characters and the bravery of the horse perfectly. If Universal do the same we will have the film of the century (alongside Braveheart of course!!!). Many Thanks for writing the book.
Brian C Smith <>
Anchorage, ak USA - Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 21:26:35 (EDT)
I bought the hardback. Then I bought the book on tape. Now I have the paperback. Whats next? I'm running out of gifts for next Christmas! Hurry Ms Hillenbrand, put the book out in some other form before Christmas!
Fritz Hill
San Jose, CA USA - Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 20:27:27 (EDT)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, Your book was one of the best books I have ever read. Thank you for the most wonderful reading experience I have had since I can't remember when. The way you captured the miracle of Seabiscuit grabbed my heart and soul in a profound way. I'm not even a racing fan but I do love animals, and I gravitated to your feeling for the horses and the men who worked with them. I felt as if I was actually in every race you described, magnificent! I bawled like a baby at the end at the unraveling of the lucky few who were graced to be involved with Seabiscuit. Pure poetry. Your gift to the world in this book is major life achievement and I stand here in standing ovation for you with tears running down my face. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Steve Alpert <>
New York, NY USA - Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 20:23:40 (EDT)
If anyone had told me a week ago I'd be reading a book on a horse I'd have said they were crazy. SEABISCUIT is not only a well written, well researched sports book, it a great book period! This is one of the most interesting books I've read.
Skip Guidry <>
Cut Off, LA USA - Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 20:15:59 (EDT)
I recently picked up a copy of the book in an airport in El Paso Texas. I hardly put it down since! I absolutely loved it, it's shot ahead to be my favorite book of all time. What a treasure, and what a horse! After I finished the book I turned to my boyfriend with tears in my eyes and said, "I love that horse." I have yet to hear the end of that, but it's true. Buy this book, you won't be dissapointed, it was FABULOUS!!
Rachel <>
St. Albans, VT USA - Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 18:53:33 (EDT)
Am enjoying "Seabiscuit" very much. As a child in the 40's, I saw many framed photographs of Seabiscuit hanging in the hallway of my grandfather's home. He was chief steward at Santa Anita during those years. His name was Christopher FitzGerald and he is referred to in "Seabiscuit" on page 305 as "Old Pink Wiskers". I have never heard of him being called that and would love to know how he earned such a nickname. Thanks for sparking an interest for all in the history of handicap racing. Art
Art FitzGerald <>
Bellevue, WA USA - Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 18:13:51 (EDT)
Laura: I really enjoyed reading your book! I finished it in just under two days and could not put it down. I thouroughly enjoy horse racing and race horses. Your book is a true favorite.
Sara Hart <>
Bessemer, MI USA - Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 17:38:01 (EDT)
One of the finest books I've ever read. Had I not read it I might never have discovered the significance of a very fine drawing I own is a depiction of George Woolf crossing the finish line on Azucar at the first running of the Santa Anita Handicap in 1935! I'm an art collector, but not a racing aficianado. Thanks not only for a great read, but for expanding my knowledge of this drawing which I plan to sell! Thanks again.
K.L. Kirsch <>
Louisville, OH USA - Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 17:36:34 (EDT)
FROM THE AUTHOR: Upcoming radio appearances: Monday, April 29, WRJB-FM Memphis, Monday Night Live with Bobby Melton, 6:15 PM EST live; Tuesday, April 30, WWTN 99.7 FM Nashville, 8:25 PM EST live; Thursday, May 2, KSTP-FM Minneapolis, 10:00 AM EST live; Friday, May 3, WMAL 630 AM Washington, DC, Charlie Warren Show, 9:00-10:00 PM live, call-in; Saturday, May 4, ESPN radio, Jeremy Schapp show, between 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM EST live; Saturday, May 4, WBBR Bloomberg Radio New York City, 6:48 AM EST, 6:48 PM EST, 9:48 PM EST, taped; Sunday, May 12, WBSM AM Providence, Sunday Sports Show, 6:30 PM EST live; Sunday, May 26, WBZ-AM Boston, Jordan Rich Show, 11:00-11:30 PM live;
Laura Hillenbrand
USA - Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 17:34:53 (EDT)
FOR LAURA HILLENBRAND: We who are obsessed with your wonderful book, are calling ourselves "Biscuiteers," and, when we interact with one another (which is becoming more frequent), it is called "Biscuiteering." You are lovingly referred to as the Biscuitmeister. We hope you approve. maggie van ostrand
maggie van ostrand <>
pine mountain, ca USA - Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 17:25:34 (EDT)
I heard about this book several months ago. I enjoyed the races I rode upon Seabiscuit. Thank you. Here's hoping we see you on the west coast in the coming years for book signings and such.
Eugene McNally <>
Tacoma , WA USA - Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 17:20:54 (EDT)
Laura, as a writer who knows what it's like to put years into a book, I am in awe. Total awe at what you have put together. Good luck with the picture. Anxiously awaiting your next body of work. Thanks
Lorne Abrams <>
Champaigne, IL USA - Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 17:18:13 (EDT)
Laura, I received your book this weekend. I can't wait to read it. Why is the picture on the cover cut in half? Not that it really matters because I'm sure the book is a great read.
Wanda Kirkpatrick <>
San Antonio, TX USA - Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 17:16:30 (EDT)
Is there somewhere on the net that we can find the betting odds on horses back to the 1930's? I really wasn't that interested in them until I finished the book. I need something to make the story continue.
Lew DeRidder <>
Memphis, TN USA - Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 17:15:03 (EDT)
thank you for this book. I heard about it on the radio and had to buy it.
Tucson, AZ USA - Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 17:13:24 (EDT)
Laura, a superb book. I hope you feel better soon!
Columbia, MO USA - Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 17:12:07 (EDT)
Dear Laura: Your writing was superb! My only observation is X-Filish- It's about this strange Canadian connection. The owner and jockey were Canadian born and the source of the owner's wealth was a Buick dealership. The Buick motor car origi- nated in Canada. Thank you for a great read!
Everett MacLean
USA - Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 16:29:53 (EDT)
Laura: I really enjoyed reading your book! I finished it in just under two days and could not put it down. I thouroughly enjoy horse racing and race horses. Your book is a true favorite.
Sara Hart <>
Bessemer, MI USA - Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 12:51:01 (EDT)
One of the finest books I've ever read. Had I not read it I might never have discovered the significance of a very fine drawing I own is a depiction of George Woolf crossing the finish line on Azucar at the first running of the Santa Anita Handicap in 1935! I'm an art collector, but not a racing aficianado. Thanks not only for a great read, but for expanding my knowledge of this drawing which I plan to sell! Thanks again.
K. L. Kirsch <>
Louisville, OH USA - Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 11:19:29 (EDT)
This morning I received some junk e-mail from a fellow named Keith Nichols who is using your guestbook list to sell his pirated tape of Seabiscuit race footage. Since this seems to be the only contact place, I am complaining about it here and hope you will discourage people like Mr. Nichols from this annoying and intrusive sales effort.
Anti-Spammer <>
USA - Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 11:10:10 (EDT)