My father-in-law never passes up an opportunity for a good road-trip. As newly weds in the late 60’s he and my mother-in-law drove from Calgary to Mexico City to visit friends and only blew one transmission. They were always up for an adventure. Before my husband was born they would frequently make the trip from Calgary to Toronto in 36 hours.
One particular road-trip in the 1970’s took my father-in-law to Kentucky. One of his buddies came from a family that bred horses. He had the idea that it would be cool to go to the Kentucky Derby and see this Secretariat horse that everyone was talking about. So that weekend dad and his two buddies hopped into the car and off they went to Louisville. They got to see Secretariat win the Kentucky Derby by 2 ½ lengths while setting a record that still stands of 1:59 2/5 seconds.
Later in 1973 Secretariat raced in the Canadian International Stakes in Toronto, winning the Queens Plate and they got to see him in the paddock. My mother-in-law often comments about what a beautiful horse he was and how it felt like they were a part of history just watching him race.
It is these same romantic notions that got me interested in seeing “Secretariat” the new movie by Walt Disney Studios. Melissa and I went to a sneak preview last week and both just loved it. We were on the edge of our seats during the Triple Crown races, even though we knew the outcome! And it’s a great feel good movie about overcoming adversity and using determination and grit to accomplish your goals. This is a very family friendly movie with no drugs, swearing or violence.
In the theatre that night were families affiliated with riding schools around Calgary. It was a pleasure to be in the theatre with them because of their enthusiasm. I felt like the girls behind us were running the race with Secretariat with much oohing, ahhing, and breath holding.
Based on the remarkable true story, “Secretariat” chronicles the spectacular journey of the 1973 Triple Crown winner. Housewife and mother Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) agrees to take over her ailing father’s Virginia-based Meadow Stables, despite her lack of horse-racing knowledge. Against all odds, Chenery—with the help of veteran trainer Lucien Laurin (John Malkovich)—manages to navigate the male-dominated business, ultimately fostering the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years and what may be the greatest racehorse of all time.
When: In theatres starting October 8, 2010