All eyes will be toward Virginia tomorrow from the theaters as one of Virginia’s finest athletes appears on the silver screen. Our mystery athlete ranked #35 after being named one of the “50 Greatest Athletes of the Century.” He was named ahead of Mantle, Oscar Robinson and Wilma Rudolph.
Who who is this famous Virginian? Why it is none other than Secretariat. According to the Richmond Times Dispatach:
Thirty-one lengths. About 248 feet. That’s the astonishing distance by which Secretariat won the 1973 Belmont Stakes, a victory so monumental some observers call it the greatest athletic achievement of all time, human or otherwise.
But that’s not all Secretariat, whose story is told in a movie of the same name opening tomorrow, accomplished.
He was the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years, setting records at the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes that still stand.
There had not been a triple crown winner in 25 years when Secretariat broke through to take it all.
He’s the best I’ve ever seen. Not even close,” said William Nack, author of “Secretariat: The Making of a Champion,” the book on which the film is based. “It would be difficult to top his Triple Crown. [With]each he broke the track record, and two of them still stand today, 37 years later. It’s the signature five weeks in the sport.”
Adds “Secretariat” director Randall Wallace: “I thought this was a story of transcendent courage; the horse had done what no one believed could be done. [The film] seemed a way to experience that kind of courage and physical drama.”
Secretariat continues to be the ultimate American horse in the minds of most Americans. He was born march 30, 1970 at Meadow Stable in Doswell, Virginia. He earned $1,316,808 over his lifetime. He died at the age of 19 in Kentucky where he has been retired to stud at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky.
The film is not just about the horse Secretariat. It also chronicles the lives of the humans involved in making this famous horse all that he could be. The film stars Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Dylan Walsh, James Cromwell, Kevin Connolly.
There has not been a thoroughbred racing movie since Seabiscuit. Hopefully Secretariat will be as successful. who plans on a trip to see Secretariat?