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Secretariat (2010) Poster

(2010)

Goofs

Anachronisms 

The racetracks used have modern synthetic track surfaces, not the dirt surfaces that would have existed at the time of Secretariat's races, except Churchill Downs which is dirt.
Before the Belmont Stakes race, when Secretariat is being led to the track, one of the people in the crowd takes his picture with a Kodak Instamatic camera. It has a FlipFlash flash device on it - these weren't made until 1975.
In a scene set in 1969, Bull Hancock describes Lucien Laurin saying that he "dresses like Super Fly (1972)."
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When Penny Chenery's mother passed in 1969, her return trip airplane's landing gear was of a Boeing 747. The 747 did not enter commercial flight until 1971.
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The family drives to the farm in Virginia, in 1969, in a blue 1961 Chevrolet Bel Air with Virginia plates. When they are preparing to leave, the husband says he had the flight moved up. When all except the wife leave, they do so in the same Bel Air. It appears they drove (not flew) from Colorado to Virginia, as a 1961 car would not have been a rental at an airport in 1969 due to the age of the car - rentals are always late model cars less than 2-3 years old, so it is unclear how they drove to and from the farm in that car.
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Although set between 1969 and 1972, several telephones show modular handset jacks. Modular jacks were first patented by Bell Telephone Labs in 1973.
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The credits note that the Scripture version used at Mrs. Cheney's funeral was New International Version. Mrs. Cheney died in 1969. The NIV Bible was first copyrighted in 1973, and was not in wide-spread use by pastors, etc., until several years later. The version used at the funeral should have most likely been the King James Version, which was widely used by most pastors at that time in most main-stream denominations.
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In the crowd, in 1973 when Big Red is being brought out to the gates, someone is holding up a sign that says "I 'heart' Red", with the red heart logo. In 1977, William S. Doyle, Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Department of Commerce hired advertising agency Wells Rich Greene to develop a marketing campaign for New York State. Doyle also recruited Milton Glaser, a productive graphic designer to work on the campaign, and created the "I 'heart' NY" design based on Wells Rich Greene's advertising campaign, where it then began the "I 'heart'" popularity across the country and world.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

Before the Belmont Stakes race, when Secretariat is being led to the track, one of the people in the crowd takes his picture with a Kodak Instamatic camera which would make just one "click" when the picture is taken yet the sound is that of a single lens reflex (SLR) camera.
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As Secretariat is being walked out of the paddock before the Kentucky Derby, a little girl takes his picture. Miss Hamm says, "He's posing again!" but the movement of her lips doesn't match the words she is saying.
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Character error 

In Secretariat's first winning race depicted in the film, the race track announcer refers to the track as "Saratoga Park," but historically Saratoga Race Course has never gone by that name.
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Continuity 

Eddie Sweat was holding on to Secretariat as he washed him. But when Penny Chenery comes over to help wash him, he's no longer holding onto him, it looks like someone off camera is now holding onto him as you can see the lead moving. And then when Penny moves off towards the foaling shed, Secretariat is now ground tied, no one is holding onto him.
During the Belmont race, the long shots show Secretariat alone increasing his lead, yet, on a couple of close-ups another horse can be seen running next to him.
When they are training for the Belmont, Penny Chenery is shown to be turning towards the left to lean her back on the railing while saying her line about how Pancho thinks they are training too hard. The shot cuts to a camera on the left, and we see the whole turn again from that angle.
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During the Kentucky Derby race, stable-hand Eddie Sweat is first seen in a crowded area, apparently under cover. When the horses reach the front stretch, he's seen on the rail in the sun. Then after the finish, he's back under cover in the crowd again.
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When the jockeys are mounting their horses prior to the Belmont, Sham's jockey says to Ron Turcotte "You're going to eat dirt today Ronnie." and the crosses his arms as Turcotte walks away and says "I don't think so." under his breath. The next instant Sham's owner is talking to Sham's jockey and his arms are no longer crossed.
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When Penny is confronted by her brother and husband regarding the inheritance tax that must be paid she ends up calling Ms. Hamm into the room. When Ms. Hamm enters the door remains open behind her throughout the scene. Then as Ms. Hamm turns to leave she has to open the door to exit.
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When Penny is being confronted by her brother and husband regarding the inheritance tax. The brother is sitting on the edge of the desk while Penny is sitting on the edge of her chair with her elbows on her knees. As the conversation continues Penny is suddenly sitting upright in the chair with her hands in her lap.
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When Penny's family is watching the Preakness on television at home, after Secretariat wins her son reaches into the bowl of popcorn sitting on the table and throws hands full of popcorn in the air. In all the shots leading up to the win, there is no popcorn on the floor or table, but in the shot where he reaches into the bowl, there is already popcorn scattered all over the table and floor.
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The newborn foal depicting Secretariat was the incorrect color. The foal used was bay (note the black legs, mane and tail.) Secretariat (aka Big Red) was chestnut, so would not have had black points.

Errors in geography 

At Aqueduct race track the police are shown wearing Nassau county uniforms. Aqueduct is located in Queens NY which is part of NYC. The police should be NYC cops. Belmont Park is located in Nassau County NY which is not part of NYC.
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Factual errors 

Jockey Ron Turcotte interviewed by the Toronto Star advises that trainer Lucien Laurin did not golf (he was an avid fisherman) and dressed rather conservatively.
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During the Kentucky Derby the crowd is heard singing "My Old Kentucky Home" as the riders are mounting. The song is only sung once the horses are on the track.
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Ron Turcotte is a bilingual Acadian (Eastern Canada) not a Southerner (US).
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Riva Ridge saved the Meadow Stable the previous year by winning two of the three Triple Crown races.
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Lucien Laurin is shown berating and firing jockey Paul Feliciano after Secretariat lost his first race. However, Paul Feliciano did ride Secretariat in his second career start, which he won, before being replaced by Ron Turcotte.
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Penny Chenery is shown meeting Ron Turcotte for the first time when looking for a new jockey for Secretariat. However, he had ridden for her many times before, including winning the Kentucky Derby the previous year on Riva Ridge.
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When Secretariat is shown coming around the final turn at the Belmont stakes, there are a number of photographers along the rail taking pictures as he passes. There are three concentric tracks at Belmont with the Belmont Stakes being run on the longest, outer track. There were no people standing on either of the inner tracks and therefore, no photographers along the rail during the actual race.
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When the Belmont Stakes is being run, it appears to be in the autumn, as the trees in the background are changing colors. In New York this generally occurs in early to mid-October. The Belmont Stakes is run in June, and the trees should be an intense green.
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In the movie, Secretariat trails the Kentucky Derby field for the first half of the race then stages a dramatic come from behind win. In the real Kentucky Derby, Secretariat was third from last around the first turn and sixth down the back stretch. He made a great charge over the last 3/8 mile but it wasn't quite as dramatic as in the movie.
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In the film the announcer for the Belmont Stakes mentions the margin of victory being 31 lengths which was true, but in real life announcer Chic Anderson announced it as 25 lengths because he was unable to correctly estimate the distance between the horses due to the incredible lead Secretariat had.
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Revealing mistakes 

Though taking place between 1969 and 1973, the children of Penny Chenery do not age during the course of the film.
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At the Belmont race the crowd is looking to their left and not following the horses as they progress around the track.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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