Now I love the thrill of watching real life horse racing; however, I definitely do not enjoy watching a cameraman’s selected footage of whatever his focus happens to be. Invited to a special screening of Secretariat, I wondered it it would turn out to be a boring biopic. I really wanted to enjoy the showing, and I did.
The Disney movie is not a documentary even though it is based on William Nack’s book Secretariat: The Making of A Champion. It is the story of a strong-willed woman and an equally strong-willed horse. Penny Chenery Tweety takes over Virginia’s Meadow Stables in a male dominated business. Time shows her competitive spirit match that of the foal Big Red who becomes perhaps the fastest racehorse of all times. The large chestnut’s speed, endurance, and stamina make him a legend. Her belief in running at life is compelling.
Secretariat is the story of renegades–a horse, a woman, a trainer, a jockey, and a $6,000,000 gamble. Who would bet that a horse who consistently broke last could achieve 1973’s racing Triple Crown? Who would believe that same horse would win the prestigious 1972 ‘s Two Year Old Horse of the Year then 1973’s Three Year Old Horse of The Year Awards?
Penny Chenery overcomes what seems the insurmountable. Her stable and its blue and white checkered colors grow from the toss of a coin. It survives by syndication even though Secretariat does not race past three. Legendary trivia: His Kentucky Derby record :59 2/5 and Belmont record 2:24 still stand. He won the Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths. He sired 600 foals in retirement.
Tag it as “The Impossible True Story”. It is rated PG for language. It opened in theaters October 8, 2010. Look for a cameo from the real life woman who made Secretariat happen. I hate seeing most movies more than once, but this one I want to see again.
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