Saturday, October 16, 2010


Somewhere in time's own space
There must be some sweet pastured place
Where creeks sing on and tall trees grow
Some paradise where horses go,
For by the love that guides my pen
I know great horses live again.
~Stanley Harrison

Watching Secretariat win the Derby, Preakness and Belmont to become the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years is one of my most treasured childhood memories. In the ‘70s, my church stood one block over from Churchill Downs, my family lived in South Louisville just a few blocks from the Twin Spires and horse racing was in the air we breathed.

Critics have cynically dismissed this as Seabiscuit, the Sequel. There are parallels in their stories to be sure. Like Seabiscuit, Secretariat came at a time when people needed a hero. Economic struggles were again upon us, the presidency was tainted with scandal and the fabric of our society was fraying. Yet, for two minutes on the first Saturday in May, Secretariat gave us all something to unite and cheer about.

Secretariat is directed by Randall Wallace, writer of Braveheart, and at one time a would-be pastor until his pastor told him to pursue his true calling (he'd been writing since age 7). Wallace’s film is as much about the horse’s owner, Penny Chenery Tweedy, as the great stallion itself. The photography is gorgeous, the film’s story is compelling, and the roles are well cast with actors who fit the characters quite nicely.

This is a wonderful, feel-good movie. For those of you who remember 1973 races, you’ll nonetheless find yourself holding your breath as “and down the stretch they come!”

1 comment:

RosieBoo said...

I love this post...and the article on Randall Wallace...I think I'm now a huge fan of his and want to see Braveheart again.