Saturday, November 13, 2010


Went to the Movies

But only after going to the saddle shop sale. I got feed and got an extra deal when they rang me up for the wrong kind. When I went back into the store to correct it, the manager did not charge me the extra money my regular feed costs, so I saved an extra 50 cents a bag.

Got home, unloaded it, grabbed a bite of lunch and headed back out to the movie theater to catch the afternoon matinee prices. (Usually a little less, although still $7.25. Ouch)

Well Secretariat is at the end of its run around here so there were only three other people in the theater.  Hard to tell what kind of an audience reaction it was for them, but for me?  Great!

The reviews I read noted that the film was more about Penny Tweedy than the horse, and the horse did kind of take a back seat.  I would have loved more horse stuff, that's for sure, but that did not make the film bad.  In some ways, perhaps, it added to its appeal to general audiences.

The racing scenes were really well filmed with plenty of the power and drama of each race accented with close up shots in the starting gate, and images of horses' hooves pounding at the start.  They did a good job picking really good horses to play Secretariat as well, not falling into the typical movie flaw of having a bunch of stand-in horses that are of all breeds and sizes pretending to be racing Thoroughbreds.  My only complaint would be that looking at the photos of the real Secretariat, I kind of thought the horses in the film were a bit too short.  Sec stood at 16.2 and doesn't look that big to me in the film.  I would have chosen a bigger boy to make him more impressive. He's also really laid back in all the handling scenes with some pretty casual attitudes around him.

But, all that aside, the story is wonderful, mostly because it's true.  The best thing was, even though I personally watched all of those Triple Crown races (the Kentucky Derby, The Preakness and The Belmont Stakes) on TV live when they happened, and knew the outcome, I was still on edge, rooting Big Red on, as if I had no idea whether or not he was going to win.

Which leaves the Belmont Stakes of 1973, one of the most incredible races anyone has ever seen.  There is a filming trick they use during that race that I won't spoil for you, but it is very clever and somehow one of the only things they might have done to make a 31 length victory in track record time even more exciting.

Not by any means a perfect horse movie, but well worth my afternoon, even if it meant that I got home after dark to feed the Boys.

And, oh, yes....(adding to my comments on the"Behind the Bit" blog) Tucker is a close relative to Secretariat--cousin or something. *LOL*  He has Bold Ruler pretty high up in his pedigree a couple of times.

What does that mean?  Not a darn thing except that Bold Ruler bred horses do tend to have "attitude."


  1. Anonymous6:07 AM

    I enjoyed the movie too - liked how they showed the close relationship between the horse and his people.

  2. You have pricked my curiosity. I went to check on YouTube the Belmont stakes 1973 race. I would have loved to see a Zenyatta vs Secretariat race. ^-^

  3. I enjoyed the movie, too. I kept telling my son (who is 14) "he wins, you know". And he would say QUIT TELLING ME! LOL!

  4. I am probably the only one who hasn't seen this movie yet. But I'm still looking forward to it. I remember the excitement of the original races and watching them. Glad you had a good afternoon and got a deal on feed too.

  5. Thanks for the review. I might try to see this one for myself. I couldn't make myself go to see Seabiscuit as I had read and enjoyed the book and hate when movies don't live up to the written word.
    Tucker's cousin, Hmmm? :) (I too loved that post on BTB)

  6. I just saw this yesterday! and had the same thoughts. wished it would have been more about the horse than the family, thought the racing shots were great, and i was really rooting for Secretariat in the Belmont though I knew his story. The story was 'Disney-fied' but fun. Worth seeing, especially on the big screen!
    - The Equestrian Vagabond