- Feb 14, 2011
- Reaction score
I know it's ancient history, but I still get tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat watching Penny Chenery talk about this glorious, one of a kind horse named Secretariat.
Have you seen the movie Dave? I'll agree that Big Red was definitely a freak of nature though. It's not often you see a horse with a stride like his, seen here on his way to winning the Preakness.Yup, there were no villains in the Secretariat vs. Sham story. Just two great, well-trained racehorses…with one of 'em having the additional benefit of being a freak of nature.
Yep, I saw the film shortly after it came out. I agree about the film's Disneyfication of the story, though on the whole I enjoyed it. Particularly Diane Lane's portrayal of Penny Tweedy (previously, and also again later, Penny Chenery (I originally mixed up the surnames…now fixed).)Have you seen the movie Dave? I'll agree that Big Red was definitely a freak of nature though. It's not often you see a horse with a stride like his, seen here on his way to winning the Preakness.
Not that I was ever aware of, Harry. I didn't know the Chenerys very well, but the times that I did meet them, they always seemed like gracious people who had an abiding love for the sport, which is a far cry from most of the owners these days. I don't think they were friendly with the Martins or the Sommers, but they were always cordial.Ah, Sandy, my bro', I hear you on the vilification of a nice man, Pancho Martin (Now whenever I sing Pancho and Lefty, which I do about every other gig, I'm gonna think of this).
But Hollywood always screws up the source material, don't they? I wonder though, do you think that the Chenery family viewed Mr. Martin as a threat? Or is it just pure Hollywood?
I'm well aware of that Harry, but it was a different era then. These days, the gloves would just be off. At least back then, they had some sense of decorum and respect for the game. Almost all of that is long gone these days, and not just in thoroughbred racing, either."I don't think they were friendly with the Martins or the Sommers, but they were always cordial."
Cordiality can hide a host of feelings, Sandy mon'.
Spot on Sandy. Timing and leverage. Sham, at any other time would have been a champion if it had not been for Secretariat. Phil Michelson at any other time would have been a multi-major winner but he ran into Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning may have won 6 Superbowls had it not been for a skinny kid named Tom Brady. Life is full of stories like that........ Sham, who was Secretariat's main rival (he did get close to him a few times), and ran in all three Triple crown races against him, eventually being distanced in the Belmont Stakes. It's a shame, because he would have been a champion, and perhaps even a Triple Crown winner if he had been born at any other time.
As others have noted, Secretariat won the Triple Crown in 1973. Seattle Slew (the bargain basement colt) was the first undefeated Triple Crown winner in 1977. then came Affirmed in 1978, duking it out with Alydar in all three races, with the belmont Stakes that year being one of the greatest races I've ever seen. As a four year old, I was Affirmed's personal security for the last six months of his racing career, and to this day, I've never been around a greater horse (Secretariat was a bit before my time). After he won the Jockey Club Gold Cup in 1979 (beating Spectacular Bid in the process), Lou Wolfson (Affirmed's owner) stuck something in my pocket back at the barn, and said "go have dinner". I didn't look until I got off my shift a bit later, and it was the first time I'd ever seen a $100 bill. I almost passed out, as that was a lot of money back then! Here's a very young me on the day Affirmed retired. They had a special "Affirmed Day" at Aqueduct, and paraded him to a much approving and raucous crowd, and Affirmed just struck pose after pose for the cameras, like the rock star he was.The Triple Crown in horse racing is pretty rare. If memory serves me correctly Secretariat won in 1977. He was a big, powerful, and smart horse. Then in 1978, Seattle Slew won the Triple Crown. He was a bargain basement horse, but he made the owners a ton of money. He did have pedigree, but never showed too much promise