Secretariat, the racehorse

With the movie about Secretariat, the thoroughbred racehorse, due to be released on October 8, 2010, there is racehorse fever in the air again. Last time there was a horse movie that set the world talking was when Seabiscuit came on the scene in 2003. So let’s take a brief look at the life of Secretariat.


Secretariat was known as Big Red to his fans, just like Man O’ War was back in the 1930’s. He only raced as a 2 and 3 year old and won over $1 million dollars in prize money. He was fast and set the highest speed records in both the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes that still remain unbroken today. He won the Belmont Stakes by a whopping 31 lengths. Born in 1970 and after racing as a 3 year old, he was retired to stud and sired over 600 foals. Out of which only a handful ever made it to the winners circle. He did become recognized as a top broodmare maker. It was not his son’s that became famous but his daughters that became the mothers of world class racehorses. He was quietly put down at the age of 19 due to problems with laminitis, a hoof problem that causes great pain.

It will be interesting to see if the movie stays or strays from the facts of the history surrounding “Big Red.”

Here is another DVD to see about Secretariat and the Kentucky Derby

in fact you can see the old archive footage of races back in the early 1900’s. The Kentucky Derby has been run since 1875 so that is a lot of history on the DVD.

For another side of the story behind Secretariat, you should read The Horse God Built: The Untold Story of Secretariat, the World’s Greatest Racehorse. It details the relationship between the horse and the person who knew him best, his groom. The book gives a behind the scenes look at the grooms, stall cleaners and human hot walkers of the racehorse world.

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