Tag Archives: Secretariat

Widescreen wind around my eyes — SECRETARIAT

I saw Secretariat tonight at a sneak preview screening with the rest of the RTIP.  I enjoyed the movie, despite its fuzzy history and melodramatic tendencies.  It is a nice tribute to Big Red.  People who were old enough to remember 1973 will see it as a fun look back in time, and the young’uns will enjoy the racing scenes.  Jim would have loved it (NOT ENOUGH GAFFNEY!!).

I found myself reciting the race calls of the Triple Crown races.  I only tear up over horse races.  By the time they got to Belmont I was on the verge of a meltdown – but not because of “Penny’s heartwarming family scene.”  I was picturing the magnificent performance that I’ve seen thousands of times on video.

Secretariat is one of those personalities difficult to make non-documentary movies about because of the intensity of his fans.  We know all the stats, have seen all the races and can quote the calls, we’ve seen all the interviews and heard all the stories from the major players.

He was such a striking physical specimen that it’s hard to cast stand-ins.

But the most difficult thing for a feature film to capture is the personality, the style, the raw emotion stirred by the original Big Red.

I would have been just as happy had they simply showed the original Triple Crown races on the widescreen, and wrap myself in nostalgia for a time and a hero I never knew.

5 Comments

Filed under Infield Trips, Jim Gaffney, promoting racing, reviews, Secretariat, Secretariat movie

SECRETARIAT Inspires KY Wildcats…

Too bad I’m 100% TIGER!

Just stumbled upon this today:

Check out the oh-so-subtle checkerboard weave of the fabric and the Meadow Stable squares on the waistband.

Check out the oh-so-subtle checkerboard weave of the fabric and the Meadow Stable squares on the waistband.

According to Secretariat.com, the University of Kentucky Wildcats were inspired by Big Red for this year’s team uniforms.  Penny Chenery even sat next to Wildcats coach Billy Gillispie when the uniforms were unveiled at a big shindig at Keeneland Race Course.  UK has won the most championships in NCAA basketball.  They do not need any help from Secretariat catching that brass ring.  The blocks on the waistband are supposed to represent the 7 championships they already have, with an extra 8th block symbolizing this year’s success.

I think they’re getting a little ahead of themselves.  The guys wearing this gear have first dibs on a Championship:

Chris Douglass-Roberts shows how he plays the leader role in Tiger blue!

Chris Douglass-Roberts shows how he plays the leader role in Tiger blue!

Leave a comment

Filed under NCAA Basketball, Secretariat, Tigers, University of Kentucky Wildcats

GAWKED: BOURBON COUNTY SECRETARIAT FESTIVAL 2008

After 35 years, the spirit of Secretariat still gallops strong through the hearts of racing fans, as evidenced by the turnout at the first Bourbon Co. Secretariat Festival last Saturday.  The line for the autograph session with Penny Chenery wrapped around the exhibition building, and tours of Claiborne Farm, where Secretariat lived after his retirement from racing, were full for every scheduled half-hour.  For the Secretariat Look-Alike contest, 19 big, red (and sometimes cosmetically-enhanced) equine tribute artists vied for the $3000 prize.  All this and I didn’t even get a single shot of the famous bourbon!
Penny Tweedy, owner of Secretariat, poses with Mom and me.

Penny Chenery, owner of Secretariat, poses with Mom and me.

 

Wannabe Secretariats line up for the Look-Alike Contest

Wannabe Secretariats line up for the Look-Alike Contest

 

Each contestant was evaluated on many points, including the trademark Big Red Butt

Junk in the trunk: Each contestant was evaluated on many points, including the trademark "Big Red Butt"

Champion Secretariat Tribute Artist, TROLLEY BOY.  The 4 year old thoroughbred stallion was the first contestant to enter the arena and was the only one who needed no painted-on enhancement to his markings.

Champion Secretariat Tribute Artist, TROLLEY BOY. The 4 year old thoroughbred stallion was the first contestant to enter the arena and was the only one who needed no painted-on enhancement to his markings.

 

This pic reminds me of that shot of Sec striding onto the track for the Belmont.

This pic reminds me of that shot of Sec striding onto the track for the Belmont.

Judge Jim Gaffney and Sandra White, founder of the Center for Women in Racing & chairperson for the Secretariat Festival congratulate Trolley Boy.

Judge Jim Gaffney and Sandra White, founder of the Center for Women in Racing & chairperson for the Secretariat Festival congratulate Trolley Boy.

 

Mary McKinley & SHREKRETARIAT

Mary McKinley & SHREKRETARIAT

A super fan of Super Red

A super fan of Super Red

 

Secretariat looks watches over Jim Gaffney and Penny Chenery at the autograph booth.

Secretariat watches over Jim Gaffney and Penny Chenery at the autograph booth.

You could buy this barrel, handpainted by a local Paris artist, in the silent auction.  I wonder if the bourbon is included?

You could buy this barrel, handpainted by a local Paris artist, in the silent auction. I wonder if the bourbon is included?

This booth was brimming with authentic racing memorabilia.  Those are actual saddlecloths worn by such greats as Ginger Punch, Intercontinental and FOrest Danger.  Sadly, I left my Grade-1 saddlecloth money back at home.

This booth was brimming with authentic racing memorabilia. Those are actual saddlecloths worn by such greats as Ginger Punch, Intercontinental and FOrest Danger. Sadly, I left my "Grade-1 saddlecloth" money back at home.

Among the activites during the day were hours of mounted pony club games in the arena.

Among the activites during the day were hours of mounted pony club games in the arena.

No Nerf balls here.  In this game, riders had to spear balloons with sticks.

No Nerf balls here. In this game, riders had to spear balloons with sticks.

This is what 31 Lengths looks like in orange cones.

This is what 31 Lengths looks like in orange cones.

 

Big Reds Babes

Big Red's Babes

I could go on for even more pages, but instead, I’ll just send you to my photobucket album here!

1 Comment

Filed under Bourbon County Secretariat Festival, Claiborne Farm, Infield Trips, Jim Gaffney, photos, Secretariat

Infield at Claiborne Farm

Thanks to the McKinley Connection, I got an incredible tour of Claiborne Farm after the backside excursion last Friday.  A short but scenic drive up the road to Paris brought us all to Claiborne’s office, where stallion groom Tony Battaglia waited to show us around.  Battaglia works with Eddington and During.  In 1976, he trained Boldson for the Kentucky Derby (won by another bold horse, Bold Forbes).  He had a lot of great stories about the stallions and Claiborne’s history, and he was quite impressed with my knowledge of racing trivia!

This is where it all happens at Claiborne -- the breeding shed.  The black walls and lack of windows remind me of certain gentlemens clubs here in Memphis.

This is where it all happens at Claiborne -- the breeding shed. The black walls and lack of windows remind me of certain gentlemen's clubs here in Memphis.

Jim and Tony Battaglia outside of Secretariats former stall.  Bold Ruler, Unbridled and Easy Goer also occupied the stall now used by multiple graded stakes winner Eddington.

Jim and Tony Battaglia outside of Secretariat's former stall. Bold Ruler, Unbridled and Easy Goer also occupied the stall now used by multiple graded stakes winner Eddington.

Tony makes a point about Eddingtons career and bloodlines.

Tony makes a point about Eddington's career and bloodlines.

Eddington is over 17 hands tall, as Tony demonstrates for Jim.

Eddington is over 17 hands tall, as Tony demonstrates for Jim.

Jim says he could saddle up right now!

Jim says he could saddle up right now!

Eddingtons handsome blazed face.

Eddington's handsome blazed face.

Claibornes leading sire, PULPIT, mugs for the camera and begs for peppermints!

Claiborne's leading sire, PULPIT, mugs for the camera and begs for peppermints!

HORSE CHESTNUT, 1998 South African Triple Crown winner, and my favorite Secretariat look-alike!

HORSE CHESTNUT, 1998 South African Triple Crown winner, and my favorite Secretariat look-alike!

Jim Gaffney and Candice aka Filly aka The Infield Blogger

Jim Gaffney and Candice aka "Filly" aka "The Infield Blogger"

Here Lies the Greatest Racehorse WHo Ever Lived, Who Had the Heart of Three Horses in One.

Here Lies the Greatest Racehorse WHo Ever Lived, Who Had the Heart of Three Horses in One.

1 Comment

Filed under Claiborne Farm, Infield Trips, Jim Gaffney, live blogging, Secretariat

InfieldTrip: BOURBON CO. SECRETARIAT FESTIVAL

The Infield is an equal-opportunity blogger:  Top stakes races are not the only places you’ll find people slogging beer and looking at thoroughbreds.  This weekend, I’m headed to Paris, KY, home of the first-ever Bourbon County Secretariat Festival

The event is in honor of His Highness Big Red’s retirement to Claiborne Farm 35 years ago.  The big red horse may be long gone from these earthly pastures, but his memory is still very much alive and drawing people to the tiny town of Paris to see where he lived the last 16 years of his life.

This is a fair-like atmosphere, so I am sure there will be some fair-like, infield-esque folks around oogling the pretty horses.  Among the festivities are horse demonstrations, replays of all Big Red’s TC races, and a Secretariat Look Alike Contest.

And this:  3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. 1970’s Costume Contest presented by All Things Vintage and Varden’s Restaurant, judging in the Diamond Theatre

OMG I am soo going to make sure my happy ass is in that spot with the camera!  Afros, platform shoes, bell-bottom pants…now that’s a party!

I’m also visiting a couple farms while I’m up there: Adena Springs KY, home of Ghostzapper and Congaree, and Claiborne Farm, of course home of Secretariat, but now home of Strong Hope, Seeking the Gold and the best Big Red look-alike I know of, Horse Chestnut.

If I have time, I am also braving the crowds to observe the Keeneland September Sale.  Gotta remember not to sneeze or blink or twirl my hair while I’m there, or else I might find myself the owner of a pricey pony!

I’ll have complete updates as the weekend progresses, so stay tuned!  I’m also gonna have my Super Derby & MassCap picks up as well.  Free Wireless at hotels is a miracle of modern technology!

Leave a comment

Filed under Infield Trips, live blogging, Secretariat

Secretariat = Elvis??

Handsome Secretariat Portrait/ Tony Leonard

Handsome Secretariat Portrait/ Tony Leonard

I just got this article forwarded to me, from the Richmond Times-DIspatch in Virginia.   Skimming it, I could not help but notice the similarities in the legacies  of Big Red and Elvis Presley.

Secretariat was born in the Thoroughbred backwaters of Virginia.
Elvis was born in the Mississippi podunk town of Tupelo.

Secretariat was the king of racing.
Elvis is the King of ROck n’Roll

Elvis lived at Graceland mansion in Memphis.
Secretariat lived at a mansion-sized stallion barn at Claiborne Farm in Paris, KY.

Secretariat won the Triple Crown in 1973, with his peak performance in the Belmont.
In 1973, Elvis reached his peak with the Aloha From Hawaii special, broadcast via satellite to over 1 billion people. 

Elvis died unexpectedly at 42.
Secretariat died unexpectedly at 19.

Elvis is buried in the Meditation Garden behind his mansion.
Secretariat is buried in the Claiborne Cemetery behind the farm office building.

Elvis strikes a similar pose

Elvis strikes a similar pose

Secretariat is the benchmark by which all other 3year olds are measured.
Elvis is the artist all other rock stars aspire to be.

Elvis set album sales records that have never been broken.
Secretariat set speed records in all 3 Triple Crown races, 2 of which have never been broken.

Elvis was famous for his good looks and colorful fashion sense.
Secretariat had perfect conformation and was famous for his brilliant red chestnut coat, three white socks and handsome blaze face.

30 years after his death, Elvis fans still make pilgrimages to his home, buy millions of dollars in merchandise, and listen to his music on the 24/7 Sirius radio station.
35 years after his Triple Crown sweep, Secretariat fans still flock to autograph sessions, buy photos and $73 bobbleheads, and watch his Belmont every year during the Belmont STakes telecast.

Elvis had one daughter, Lisa Marie.
Secretariat’s lasting legacy is through his daughters, Weekend Surprise, Terlingua and Lady’s Secret.

I could go on, but now’s the time for you readers to add to the list!

1 Comment

Filed under Secretariat, Uncategorized