If you are a horseracing fan, a sports fan, or a history buff, you’ll enjoy the videos below – the real deal is better than the movie.
It’s been a while since I have posted anything – it was one of those weeks. MF was in Ottawa again and I was very busy with some more facilitation work. I also had a nasty cold; but the great thing about being sick is you have to slow down, so it was nice to hunker down and enjoy some movies with Ali and Fin, most notably: Secretariat. The movie was not tremendous but it was still quite enjoyable.
I’m a bit neurotic about renting appropriate movies for kids these days so I was happy to see this movie on the shelf. The movie is perhaps more for adults than young kids but our boys did enjoy it, especially Alistair. Of course it is the story of the famous horse who, in 1973, won the three “Crowns” of horseracing, the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont. The movie was well done with some great cinematography and it was only slightly overly dramatic in places.
The movie tells the great story of how, for the first time in 25 years, one horse won the big three races. Amazingly, two of those times still stand today as race records, almost 40 years later. There have been two triple-crown winners since, but neither horse had the pace that Secretariat did back in 1973.
Although it doesn’t mention it in the film, I find it very interesting to learn that Secretariat’s jockey, Ronnie Turcotte, was Canadian (NB), as was Secretariat’s trainer, Lucien Laurin (QC). Tragically, years after winning the triple crown Turcotte suffered a horrible fall and became a quadriplegic.
Apparently Secretariat had an enormous heart (literally) which, in combination with his perfect physique for both speed and distance enabled him to be considered perhaps the greatest race-horse ever, winning 16 of his 21 races, and “in the money” 20 out of 21. (No wonder he later became super-studly and sired 600 foals! (speaking of stanima))
Here is the first race – the 1973 Kentucky Derby, it is interesting to see him start poorly (last out of the gate) and to slowly ride on to the win – this track record still stands:
Here is the second race – the 1973 Preakness. I love this race because again he comes from last place for the win. He overcomes a wide first turn and it is amazing to see his huge move down the backstretch to charge to the lead – the footage is spotty but if you watch closely you can see his rush into first place:
And the third “Crown” – the Belmont. This race is remarkable in that, amid all the anticipation of a potential triple crown for the first time in a quarter century, Secretariat is an early front-runner and manages to hold on and eventually win by the largest margin ever, setting the fastest time that a horse has ever ran 1 1/2 miles. Again, this record still holds (the speed is roughly 56 kms/hr over the distance). It was thougt that a big horse like Secretariat needed to pace himself and come from behind on such a long race, so most fans were pleasantly surprised to see the speed that he was able to maintain all the way to the finish – you’ll notice the entire crowd cheering wildly at the end.