Big Red

by Ed Meyer

posted on September 16, 2010 in General Discussion | 2 Comments >>

Tonight, I was invited by the local media to watch a preview of thSecretariat - Belmont Stakese movie “Secretariat.” The movie told an incredible story, but did we do it justice?

A coin toss determined who would get a new foal. I won’t spoil the movie for you, but I will skirt the ideas that we could have taken things a bit farther, just like the Seabiscuit craze.

Otto Thorwarth, a retired jockey from River Downs, was Ron Turcotte. He did an incredible job. He planned on riding for years to come, but after seeing him on screen, he is now booked for a few jobs in movies. Good job, Otto!

Local Kentucky media, and many from around the world of racing played bit parts. Our guest, who will be on tomorrow’s Internet Show, played a media type asking a question at a press conference. That man was Dick Jerardi….. Mike Battaglia, and a host of others did a great job in making the part come true.

I question if there was enough content. Disney is the giant, and far be it from me to question, but I am the one who will be paying to watch. So, I do have a voice. It was a neat packaged flick, but it could have been more real. That part, I will leave to you when you go see it. There were actions that were more “Black Beauty” than Secretariat. This was our time to celebrate a champion, and show fans the excitement of Thoroughbred racing.

It made me feel good, but there were no tears in my eyes when they went back in history. I get goose flesh when I watch a sports flick about the real story. Even though I know the ending, it doesn’t matter. Sports take us back. It makes us think of better times when we were young, and hope was abound. Sports allow us to put down our problems for two hours, and get watery eyed about what is happening. We get to root, cheer, and clap like a kid for this brief time. Even the tough guys sob quietly when the story line gets sad…..

I liked the flick… But, I would have loved to have seen more history with facts. That is where the action is…… So, enjoy it and take the kids. They will clap, and love the movie. Disney seldomly drops the ball, but as a racing fan, it left me wanting more. I wanted to go back in that time machine and hear the call where “Big Red” was drawing away by 31 lengths and “moving like an incredible machine.”  Runners like that come around once in a lifetime, and in this case, it reminds of a great Joe Hirsch line that can be used for this movie. “Once upon a time there was a great horse named Secretariat.  Just once.”