Monday, January 24, 2011

Secretariat out on DVD/Blu-Ray: Win a copy!!!

Some of you may remember my review of Secretariat (the movie) a few months ago. The movie  is being released on DVD/Blu-Ray on January 25, and it includes footage of an interview with Penny Chenery, Secretariat's owner.

And there is a giveaway!
In exchange for spreading the word about the release, the company offered to sponsor a  DVD/Blu-Ray giveaway. I'm not being compensated, I just wanted to get the merch into your hands :-). Here's how the giveaway works...

  • Leave a comment on this post sharing your thoughts or memories relating to SecretariatIt can be anything. 
  • Make sure to include an email/ID/handle of some sort so I can reach you, or make sure to check back on Feb. 1 to see if you won.
  • I'll randomly select one or two winners (depending on how many DVD copies I receive).

My thought on Secretariat (and Penny)

In the DVD interview, Penny says something that mirrors a mantra I repeated to myself to calm my nerves when I was competing Harvey: I've already won. I've won, because I had Harv. I even blogged about this mantra years ago, so isn't it funny that Penny says this? 
"I loved the line in the movie where Diane Lane says, ‘I’ve already won.’ I knew that. Whether Secretariat won or lost, he’d won his personal battle. He was having a wonderful time. I was having a wonderful time. My father had died, my mother had died, but the things they had fought for in life and as a racing experience, they were achieved. I was proud and grateful. If we won the Belmont, that would be great, but we’d already won the race in life.” [download full text of interview]
And here's the video excerpt of Penny's interview...


  1. "He is moving like a tremendous machine!"

  2. I remember Secretariat as one of the most marvelous horses ever to be in the Triple Crown races, and he won all three! A gorgeous animal, with a noble profile, and a massive chest. Room in that chest for lung capacity and what had to be a great heart probably made him the runner that he was. My recollection is of picking up speed in the final leg of each race, even in the Belmont which is so long.

    I have never had a close-up experience with racing thoroughbreds. All my experiences with Secretariat were watching his important races on television. But they are vivid memories after 30+ years.

  3. Every time I see him run, it brings tears to my eyes, the heart demonstrated by Secretariat in body and spirit. I can't take my eyes off of him and I almost can't believe he was real.

  4. I was glued to the TV for all his races, think I might have bruised my fiance's leg pounding on it. LOL He is my favorite racehorse of all time.

  5. I love the quote from her(at least I hope she really said this..)

    "This is not about going back. This is about life being ahead of you and you run at it! Because you never know how far you can run unless you run."

  6. Secretariat must have been such an amazing horse to behold. Sadly, I never saw him in person, but just reading his stories, looking at his pictures and of course, watching that movie on big screen was enough to amaze me. What a once in a lifetime horse he was!

  7. This was the last movie I saw with my friends, the last night I was in Ohio before moving. We watched the Breeders Cup race for Zenyatta and watched Secretariat, this movie holds a very special place in my heart as it was the last hurrah with all of my friends.

    So much of the movie was appropriate with my life changes, like the quote "This is not about going back. This is about life being ahead of you and you run at it!". Am bittersweet about it being released, a token celebration and goodbye wrapped up in a race and movie.

  8. I've been wanting to see this! Secretariat has been, and always will be, an icon for not only the racing industry but the love of horses itself.

  9. Have not seen the movie yet, but super excited that it's finally available to rent. When I got my first horse in the 90s, my mom and I were excited because my new appendix had Secretariat in his blood line. And even as people completely new to horses, we knew who that was, lol.

  10. I remember screaming at Turcotte in the Belmont when he let Secretariat go to the front along the backstretch. Every horse I had ever seen run that race always faltered at the end if they moved up on the far side of the track. I just kept yelling, "No! No! Don't do that!!"

    Ironically, when I saw the film, that's what a good number of Sec's handlers were yelling too.

    And then, he just kept running, and running, faster and faster, leaving the other horses 31 lengths back. I still have tears in my eyes when I think of it.

    I love how in the film they show that moment of the totally empty track on the last turn before the big red horse comes thundering through, all by himself, racing into history with a track/race record that still stands nearly 40 years later.

    It will always be one of the most powerful memories in my life.

  11. I'm sadly too young to remember Big Red himself, but his Triple Crown races, particularly the Belmont, still give me goosebumps, no matter how many times I watch them.

    I did get to meet Ron Turcotte a few years ago, and he was one of the nicest, most down-to-earth people I've ever met. My autographed copy of the Belmont win photo is one of my favorite possessions.

  12. Lisa - lisaar@embarqmail.comJanuary 24, 2011 at 6:57 PM

    I can relate to what Penny said to herself. I think that it's wonderful she was already a "winner" regarless of the race's outcome. When I had my first horse I cried after my first class. I didn't place but I new I was already a winner... I had met my goal of owning and showing a horse in an A rated show. No ribbon needed... I was already a winner!

  13. Kate -

    I wasn't born yet when he was racing, however, I grew up as a horse crazy girl and always admired the photo of him flying across the finish line at Belmont. I bet riding him truly was like riding the wind.

  14. My favorite little fact about Secretariat is that he had such a huge heart, and they never knew whether his heart grew to match his ambition and need to win, or whether having a big heart gave him the physical ability to be the horse that he was. Either way, I just love the whole idea of that.

  15. How exciting! I have say that I've heard so much about Secretariat, watched videos and been in awe just watching how strong, noble and how much presence he had....has, even now. But I must embarassingly admit that I've yet to read the book or see the movie, though I've wanted to very much.

    I would love love love to be able to participate in your give-a-way, pretty please?

    You can contact me at twinville2 at yahoo dot com


  16. I watched the movie at the theater with my mom, and after we were both like, "aww, I want to go see Jack now!" but we couldn't because it was 10 o'clock at night.
    I love the line of "I've alredy won" because even though so much crap had happened, she hadn't let go of what she ahd believed in, what made her happy. I find it relating to my own horse experience, because at my old barn there was so much pressure on showing and stuff, and I couldn't afford to show. One of the girls I rode with said, "how can you call yourself a rider? you haven't even won a ribbon!"
    I couldn't believe it, because I don't ride for ribbons, I ride because I love horses. I've worked hard enough to earn a ride, that's enough of a win for me. Whether I get a ribbon or not.

  17. Many years ago, I worked on a documentary featuring Penny Chenery. It was so long ago I can't remember if we shot it at Arlington Race Track or at Dick Duchsois' farm in Barrington. Sadly, I did not get to meet Big Red.

  18. I remember watching all three races, but had forgotten the thrill of that Belmont win until I saw the movie. Is it tacky to get tears in your eyes over a horse race?

  19. I was about to cry during the movie when they are training Secretariat harder than what other people would, saying that he will let them know when it's too much. This reminded me of my own horse, who, against all odds, works harder than the vets said he could. And he will let me know when it is too much.

  20. I was not alive for Secretariat's races but remember finding out that we did share the earth for about 6 years before he died. I could not understand why my parents did not take me to visit him. I did not speak to them for days in protest. Didn't they KNOW that I was going to grow up about as horse crazy as any person can be...

    Hearing the announcer yell as he is coming through the turn has always sent shivers down my spine. Whether I win a copy or not (I would like to so please please please pick me) this tremendous horse changed history and touched more lives than any horse before or since. He was equine perfection.

    Gina Vergata -

  21. I'm sad to say I haven't seen it!

  22. I grew up in the Albany area, and saw Sec run at Saratoga in 72. I was 9 years old, horse crazy and would ride any old crap I could get my hands on. My annual campaign to get a freebie from the herd at Chincoteague fell on deaf, violently irritated ears. But even my parents screamed with me at that Belmont win.
    I finally got my own horse at the ripe old age of 44- a classic, old fashioned thoroughbred body with Princequillo/Native Dancer lines. Alas, no jaw dropping chestnut rocketry in him, but he is the love of my life. I still pull up that youtube of Sec running the third jewel on a regular basis- it always gives me a lump in my throat and chills down my spine. It's nice to still be amazed by something in this world- over and over again!

  23. I didn't get to make the trip, but my mom took a tour of Kentucky thoroughbred farms and did get to photo Secretariat in person. As depicted in the movie, he absolutely posed for photographs. My mom said he seemed to sense whose camera was ready to shoot and posed looking this way and that to present his best side!

  24. This movie is on my wish list for sure; I remember when Secretariat won the Triple Crown (of course I'm not going to say how old I was at the time... ;o)

  25. How well I remember Secretariat! I was watching him thinking to myself, surely he must be part quarter horse the way he was put together. The big broad chest and those rippling haunches. He was a proverbial classic to view.

    In the saddling paddock he stood with his eyes half closed almost snoozing as the grooms and trainer fussed about him. Even the walk to the gate was unhurried and leisurely. When most pony riders had to grasp bridles and hold on for dear life, Secretariat plodded along beside his escort without a care in the world. I knew in my heart of hearts that here was a horse that just had to be watched.

    When the races were in progress it seemed as though Secretariat was out for a romp,he didn't get upset or fight the jockey, he just ran, and ran, and ran! He had his work cut out for him each race, but he made it look so easy. I was hooked!

    All future race days were planned around Secretariat's schedule. I had to watch this horse in each of the follow up races. Each time he seemed to run even faster than the last outing. He was a marvel in every sense of the word.

    I also remember his very last race after he had been sold to the syndicate so few horses even entered the race. It seemed his final performance would be so disheartening for all concerned.

    And then the most horrible of news, the Laminitis. And finally he was being put down, there was no more the doctors could do for him. I cried that day as I thought that this wonderful athlete would never be able to found a dynasty for his offspring.

  26. I remember watching, glued to the televsion set, all of Secretariat's
    Triple Crown races and I had all his newspaper clippings taped to my bedroom walls. He was one in a million.

  27. Horse racing movies always make me bawl. I wish I could have seen Secretariat in person, but I wasn't born yet! What a great quote about already winning. I'm going to remember that if/when I finally get my own chestnut Thoroughbred back to a show after rehabbing an injury for over a year. Just riding him normally will be a prize!

  28. i was in america this christmas and had enough time to watch a horsey movie at an old seattle theater (admiral) before my husband arrived.

    i saw secretariat and loved itl cried as he came around that turn and there was nothing but emptiness behind him, and the jockey couldn't believe it.

    and i cried when when the groom cried how they will see something tomorrow when big red runs!

    i was scarfing down the salty american popcorn, crying and cheering and all alone, in an almost empty theater, and as i started my drive home on the freeway..

    i couldn't help racing the other cars: )

    well, ok, i'm used to the autobahn so it wasn't much.

    ~lytha in germany
    p.s. my question after the film was how did they get a TB to be so calm- every shot of him that was not racing was him almost asleep. how is that possible?

  29. Oh, I remember watching these races when I was young. The Belmont, in particular, was so vivid, with Sham fading, even as he came on strong, just because Secretariat wouldn't stop accelerating!

    A few years later, my folks took us to a racetrack. One of the horses in an early race was one of his get. I bet on him, even though he was undistinguished. He didn't win but you sure could see his sire in him with his size, ruddy chestnut colouring and haunches like oversized hamhocks!

  30. there's something to be said about
    "Hollywood"and the fact that they had the good sense to even produce equine movies and.......despite the fact that
    they sometimes didn't correctly recreate the actual events or maybe the actors didn't do justice to the roles of some of the colorful characters that owned, trained and handled these great horses or maybe the horse that "took" the role of Secretariat just didn't have the same magical quality, it's still great that we get the pleasure of enjoying a movie with an equine theme rather than endure today's world of hit movies that contain blood, guts and murder! And, as for my memory of the big red horse, to this day I honestly feel that even if we do have another triple crown winner, nothing will ever
    equal the excitement of Secretariat's victories!

  31. For many years, I rode an OTTB, a Secretariat grandson. I'd always loved Secretariat, and believe me, the first time I saw this horse, I had to run home and look up a pic of Secretariat. Big. Red. Horse. Their confirmation was nearly exact.

    I catch rode him, he was a very sweet horse, but big and bold, and occasionally pushed his owner to the limit. My job was to simply take the edge off. His only training issue was with "whoa". Like a lot of track horses, it didn't get instilled very strongly.

    He gave me a bucket list experience: ride a racehorse. I let him out one day, in extended canter, that went into a hand gallop that went into racing stride. It was the thrill of a lifetime, and so shocking to FEEL what I'd heard jockeys talk about: the horse building speed up inside themselves, it's right there, whenever you're ready to ask for it. I finally understood in my gut what "hitting your stride" actually means.

    I lived. And I'll never ever forget that ride. I've ridden my share of, and owned an OTTB. Nothing compared to the grandson of Big Red!

  32. When visitors enter my home, one of the first things they see is a framed TIME magazine cover of Secretariat (the original, sent to my dad in '73, and saved by me all these years). If that is not enough of a hint that Big Red dominates my heart, there is his "Final Portrait" by Tony Leonard on the wall in the dining room, the photo of him running in his paddock signed by Penny, the commemorative figurine from Churchill Downs on the mantel... well, you get the picture (the family is very nice about letting me decorate). I was 10 when Red won his Triple Crown, and I will NEVER forget watching the Belmont on TV, my mother and I screaming our lungs out. It is one of my greatest regrets that I never got to see him in person. I'd planned to go to KY and then his life ended far too soon. I did visit his grave at Claiborne, and my husband was wise enough to leave me alone there and by his stall, touching the plaque on the door through my tears.

    Meeting Penny, Ron Turcotte and exercise riders Jim Gaffney and Charlie Davis at the Secretariat Festival in '09 (along with the equine star of the movie!) was a thrilling experience. What lovely people, and ever-so-gracious to fans. Watching the Secretariat Look-Alike contest was emotional - here were some really gorgeous chestnut TBs. I knew it was a good horse when chills went down my spine, tears leapt to my eyes and I could just imagine it was really...HIM.

    Big Red will live forever in the hearts of his legions of fans. The movie was wonderful, if a bit fanciful, and of COURSE I can't wait to own it! :-)

  33. I remember watching Secretariat win the Derby, then talking to everyone in school about it the next day. Everyone at school had a favorite, but most were in the Secretariat or Sham camp. The debate continued after the Preakness, and up to the Belmont. I remember watching the Belmont and feeling a sense of awe watching the lengths open up. He is one in a million.

  34. I did not know of Secretariat before seeing this movie, but I do know his sire Bold Ruler, I named a horse after him. My own Irish Sport Horse is also related to Secretariat! So I think I'm well worth a copy :)

    Thanks for your wonderful blog! You inspire me!


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