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Horse Races in Heaven

Updated on June 19, 2014
Secretariat | Source

Animal Kingdom vs Shackleford

Did you see Shackleford win the Preakness in May 2011? Did you see how hard Animal Kingdom battled to win? He came from the very rear of the race. Who couldn’t help but feel the rush of happiness to see Animal Kingdom try to push his way to the front? And what was that other feeling, sort of indescribable, when Shackleford was neck in neck with Animal Kingdom the last few lengths? What was that feeling? Was it pure awe?

1973 Triple Crown

Seabiscuit was the first race horse I saw – or thought I saw. After watching the movie, I bought the book to learn about the real Seabiscuit of the late 1930's.

Secretariat was the next horse movie I saw. In 1973, the real Secretariat won The Triple Crown. It was the 9th Triple Crown and the first in 25 years. His jockey was Ron Turcotte. There have been television specials and videos made of that historic day. It was the Belmont Stakes. Seventy thousand fans showed up to watch Secretariat run, many of whom had never been to a horse race before and did not bet on horses. His owner, Penny Chenery, said, "He just felt like running that day."

Secretariat’s biographer, William Nack, during an interview for the CBS video Secretariat, Part 2 , saw the horse early in the morning before the race. Nack had actually slept beside a tree trunk to be close to Secretariat's stable door. Nack's description of how Secretariat was walking and acting before the race is amazing. The video Secretariat, A Moment in Eternity also has amazing statements in it. These are the tributes that men utter when they feel they have been in the presence of greatness.

Pure Awe

One video producer captioned a screen: “Herein lies a moment to which no one has expression.” The man calling out the race exclaimed at the time, “This is the most sensational Belmont Stakes in the history of the race.”

Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes in 2.24 minutes which broke the record. He ran so fast that he won by 31 lengths which had never been done before and hasn't since. Many were afraid as he raced at full speed such a long distance that he would collapse and die of a heart attack.

I had only seen two race-horse movies in my lifetime, Seabiscuit and Secretariat, when I saw the newspaper article regarding the Preakness race won by Shackleford. I had never heard of Shackleford. Out of curiosity, I found a video of the race online. I sat in awe, watching it again and again.

I am not a fan of gambling. I would not bet on a horse race. But I am drawn to the horses’ strength and intelligence. I see those regal horses running and racing with such determination that I cannot help wonder. They might allow man to herd them this way and that – such as when several men had to push Shackleford into the starting gate at the Preakness. But these race horses do not race due to man’s insistence. They race because they want to win -- or more to the point -- they do not want their opponents to win.

I believe the scriptures which speak of the eternal nature of the animals. I look forward to the privilege of watching these beautiful creatures one day where there are no starting gates, no starting bells and nobody is betting money. These magnificent horses will race when and whom they want to race.


A Moment of Eternity, video title.

Seabiscuit vs. War Admiral 1938

Photo Source

White horse and small horse in field: From Photobucket.

© 2011 Pamela Kinnaird W


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    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 4 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      moonlake, that's incredible that your dad had race horses and your brothers were jockeys. It must take such courage to be a jockey! I love the book, Seabiscuit, because it really gives such insights into that whole specialized world.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      I remember when Barbaro was euthanized it was so sad.

      My Dad had race horses and my brothers were jockeys. One got out of it but my youngest brother went on to race when he started getting threats about throwing races that was when he got out.

      voted up.

    • grinnin1 profile image

      grinnin1 5 years ago from st louis,mo

      Excellent hub- You touch on many truths about life and animals! Thank you!

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 5 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      Angela Blair, thank you so much for taking the time to read my article. I really enjoyed your newest hub, The Race Mare. You tell it so beautifully and bravely.

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Wow -- a Hub about my favorite critters in the world -- the magnificent horse. As a young woman I used to ride in what was called "match races" which is just one chosen horse against another. I was the rider because I weighed the least of anyone in our family. Thanks for a great read -- and bringing back some fun memories. Best, Sis

    • Dahlia Flower profile image

      Dahlia Flower 5 years ago from Canada

      I love horses, too. I enjoyed this hub. Kudos.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear Friend, are welcome and you deserve all good things in my honest opinion. Merry Christmas to you with peace, love, happiness, health and the most-important, God's presence. Kenneth

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 5 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      Merry Christmas, Kenneth. And thank you!

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 6 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello, Pamela...SUPERB hub. Loved every syllable of it. Voted up and away. You, my friend, are truly God-gifted to write such wonderful stories. Such color. Such creative style. I admire that. And I thank YOU for your following me. That gives me confidence and reason to write more hubs. I sincerely appreciate YOU. Merry Christmas, Kenneth

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 6 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      Barbbitsnpieces, thank you for your comments. I'm no expert, that's for sure. I just know I love to watch these magnificent animals doing what they do so well. Mahalo.

    • Barbsbitsnpieces profile image

      Barbara Anne Helberg 6 years ago from Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio, USA

      Not to put a damper on things, P.K.W., but Secretariat did not win the Belmont Stakes in 1:59, or he would have died of a heart attack. He won the 1-1/2 miles race in 2:24 flat, still a track, race, and world record.

      Big Red ran one of only three Kentucky Derbys finished in under two minutes. When he set the Derby speed record, 1:59-2/5, in 1973, his opponent Sham also hit the wire in under two minutes. The other victor to win roses in under two minutes is Monarchos, 1:59.97.

      Shackleford and Animal Kingdom did okay, but the Preakness has seen a lot better, Horse of the Year battles like Affirmed and Alydar, 1978; Curlin and Street Sense, 2007, etc.

      Kudos for your reading of Seabiscuit's story. It is truly an amazing one: how three men came together at the right time for the right racehorse is astounding.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 6 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      The BlueStar, Sounds like a great life you and your stallion have had and are having. Aloha.

    • thebluestar profile image

      Annette Donaldson 6 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Hi Pamela, First Draft was conceived by artificial insemination, into a very successful Appaloosa mare. Fortunately for the breeders, no journey had to take place. I have imported two quarter horse mares in the past and it is extremely hard on the pocket as well as for the horses being transported. Given the choice now, I too would opt for artificial insemination. But sadly, both lack of grazing and ill health has stopped me from breeding my stallion. Both he and I are happy in spending time with each other in a gentler way of life now. x

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 6 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      Case1worker and Pat, thank you for your comments.

      The bluestar, that's interesting. I didn't realize Secretariat's ponies would be in other countries. That would be one nervous owner at the other end waiting for such an expensive, important pony to arrive safely to Britain. And yet, all the ponies, all the horses -- worth money to mankind or not -- in reality are so important.

    • thebluestar profile image

      Annette Donaldson 6 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Hi Pamela, Secretariat is well known in the Appaloosa Horse Club of Britain too. A son of his by the name of First Draft has been a very important breeder of quality Appaloosas of thoroughbred origins. Secretariat was indeed a great animal.

    • profile image

      Pat 6 years ago

      Secretariat, Seabiscuit, Ruffian, all awesome

    • CASE1WORKER profile image

      CASE1WORKER 6 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      I love the look of horses but must admit to being a bit frightened by all their power- good hub and nice to see the old film of seabiscuit

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 6 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      Fossillady, thanks for stopping by. Yes, Secretariat was amazing and the movie by Disney was the best movie I've ever seen.

    • Fossillady profile image

      Kathi 6 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      I am so inspired by these amazing animals this morning, particularly the videos about Secretariat. I sort of remember that clip with him pulling away from the rest! A great way to begin my day, thank you for sharing Pamela