Housewife and mother Penny Chenery agrees to take over her ailing father's Virginia-based Meadow Stables, despite her lack of horse-racing knowledge. Against all odds, Chenery -- with the help of veteran trainer Lucien Laurin -- manages to navigate the male-dominated business, ultimately fostering the first Triple Crown winner in twenty-five years.Written by
Some of the close-up shots of the racing horses were achieved by attaching lightweight digital cameras to sticks and positioning them close to the horses as they galloped around the track. The horses got used to it, but the jockeys were sometimes startled by them. See more »
When Penny and her rival owner trade barbs at a press conference, Penny says the other owner's horse has as much chance of beating Secretariat on the track as he, himself, has of beating Muhammed Ali in the ring. In spring 1973, George Foreman was the boxing champion, and Ali was considered quite vulnerable. See more »
The film 'Secretariat' would have had to be awful for me not to Love it
I remember seeing the Belmont Stakes on TV in '73 and knowing I had seen a remarkable achievement by an equestrian (or any) athlete. Since that day 37 years ago the mystique of that horse, "Big Red" has only grown in my heart. I still cannot watch Secretariat run that day, without tears coming to my eyes. Thank god that U Tube exists and I can watch every race that wondrous stallion ran and see footage of him running in his paddock, filled with himself and his power. I don't know about Man of War but I do know about Secretariat and I have a hard time believing there was ever a greater Racehorse than he.
When I learned that a film was coming out about Secretariat, I could only hope it would do him justice. I am not a great fan of the genre of sport films, with 'Raging Bull' being one of the few exceptions. All I felt I could hope for was that they would not demean the memory of the great Secretariat. I have waited until the film showed at my favorite local cinema to view it.
I was planning to see it on the day that the equally wondrous filly Zenyatta was attempting to conclude her remarkable racing career by winning the Breeders Cup Classic for the second year in a row a feat almost as remarkable as Secretariat breaking the record for a 1 ½ mile race by 2 2/5 seconds, a record which still stands and which will not be broken, at least, in my lifetime. I would like to think that Zenyatta is a candidate for another equestrian cinema biography.
When Zenyatta made another of her great stretch runs from far behind (not unlike Big Red's usual mode of running) but this time came up a nose short I found myself again in tears and unable to go see 'Secretariat'. But the next day I decided to see 'Secretariat..' I'm glad I saw it and while it is certainly not perfect, and is a Disney product with designs to sell it as a Christian media event, the story is actually accurate from what I know, to the achievement that Secretariat, Penny Chenery, Ron Turcotte, and Lucien Laurin were able to pull off.
Diane Lane and John Malkovich were really fine. I wondered how Secretariat would come across. In the film he's a cipher just as he was in my mind in real life. How was he able to accomplish what he did in the Belmont Stakes? We'll never know.
So here's to the film makers for not totally screwing up Secretariat's life as they did with that Seabiscuit film..
Long Live King Secretariat (Big Red) and Long Live Queen Zenyatta!!
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