Laura Hillenbrand, who authored the widely acclaimed best-seller "Seabiscuit: An American Legend," has been named the 2001 winner of the Big Sport of Turfdom award, it was announced Wednesday by Bob Curran Jr., the president of the Turf Publicists of America.
The award is presented annually to an individual whose cooperation with the media enhances coverage of and brings favorable attention to Thoroughbred racing. The 36th annual Big Sport of Turfdom luncheon, sponsored by United Tote, will be held on Monday, Feb. 18, the day of the 31st annual Eclipse Awards ceremony, in south Florida.
Hillenbrand suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and rarely leaves her Washington, D.C. residence. She spent four years researching and writing the book from her home, but welcomed more than a dozen news organizations into her house and conducted more than 100 media interviews by phone. A Washington, D.C. native who attended Kenyon College, she won an
Eclipse Award for outstanding magazine writing in 1998 when her free-lance article on Seabiscuit appeared in American Heritage magazine.
A movie based on the book is scheduled for production by Universal Pictures in 2002. (A PBS documentary is also slated for the fall of 2002 and the paperback version of the book will be published in April.)
The book reached the New York Times' bestseller list five days after it was published and was the number one bestseller for six weeks. It was on the Times' bestseller list for seven months was recently named the William Hill Sports Book of the Year (Hillenbrand is the first female author to win it).
Additional information and tickets for the Big Sport of Turfdom luncheon can be obtained by contacting TPA vice-president Michele Blanco at Calder Race Course at (305) 625-1311, ext. 3352.