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Fun facts about Secretariat, the horse and movie

Updated on March 7, 2014

You will want to watch this movie if you are a fan of the cast, especially Diane Lane and John Malkovich. They portrayed Secretariat's owner and trainer, respectively. While the movie was about the horse, it was also about the how the horse affected the lives of many humans, especially these two who were closest to and most dependent on, their horse. And speaking of the horse, it was not just one horse that portrayed Secretariat in the movie; ten horses were used in this Disney movie.

 

Secretariat Movie Poster

Source

Do you like horses and horse racing?

The movie is all about one amazing horse who was active in the early 1970s and who made horse racing history by winning the Triple Crown (and doing so by winning the last race by 31 lengths) and many other races along the way. The movie shows many of the business aspects related to horse ownership and racing as well as the toll it takes on family members, especially when a mother needs to be away from her family at important times during the family's life to deal with preparing for and being at horse races.

To win the Triple Crown requires being a champion in not just one race but three races that challenge different aspects of a horse's performance. To be a valuable horse requires winning many races long before even the Kentucky Derby which is the first "jewel" in the Triple Crown.

The movie shows that there were many obstacles to overcome and setbacks that seemed insurmountable along the way. Nothing was certain until the very end.


The horse that made history, also had a history.

The movie follows this horse, from even before it's conception until it won the Triple Crown. The movie reveals a little about the selective breeding involved, who the parents were, etc. People may be surprised to learn that Secretariat was born on a farm in Doswell, Virginia. It was an amazing animal from the moment it was born. It stood up right away. The end of the movie gives a brief description of what happened to the horse (and the humans involved in his life) after he won the Triple Crown.

Ironies and one-liners

Near the start of the movie, the trainer is playing on the golf driving range. He hits the ball and it goes astray so he alerts the other players by yelling the customary "FORE!" which of course sounds like a number. Later, Secretariat is seen racing at Saratoga and the owner and trainer are seen yelling from the stands "FOUR" (his number).

Other good lines from the movie include when he won Horse of the Year, it was said that "he took on the old boys and won." When describing Secretariat, it was said that "his legacy is not money, it's the will to win." When critics saw he was doing well, and people had their hearts set on a Triple Crown winner, it was said that he was "long on speed and short on stamina", referring to the final race at Belmont being a long track. At the press conference before the big race, it was said of his owner, "You're as big a story as this horse."

And of course "He's not a racehorse, he's Secretariat" and "Tomorrow, he'll be wearing wings."

Another irony was the weather and the spirit of the horse. In most of the races, he was a come from behind horse. Here at this race, the weather was very hot and so was he. The horse was "fired up. He knows what;s going on." This race, he ran with all his heart and then some.

SUCCESS all around

That is what the movie is all about. It is a housewife who is thrust in to a bad situation after a sudden death throws an already struggling family business (horse and farm) into chaos and confusion. She saves it by sacrificing her own family for the sake of her birth family's interests. Not only does she save it against all odds, but makes it a huge success. In the end she is able to return to the family life she was forced to put on hold. So the movie is not just about the horse's success, it is about her success and the success of the trainer, caretaker and jockey as well.


He is still honored many years later.

In addition to having a Fan Club, the horse's birthday is celebrated every year in the meadow where he started his life. He is still touching people's lives even after all these year. This year's Doswell, Virginia celebration will be on March 29.


For more detailed information, please go to the following website:


http://www.secretariat.com/fan-club/meadow_birthday/


The next Triple Crown Winner

When will there be another Triple Crown winner?

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